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Old 07-08-2014, 07:50 PM   #1
mach1mustang351 OP
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Trip to Lower America

Team,

I was contemplating a late Mid August maybe early September trip from Alaska back home to California. I was thinking about taking a little less direct route going through Calgary, Salt Lake City, Vegas, then up through SoCal before getting back to San Luis Obispo. Has anyone gone this direction?? Worth it?? Thoughts??

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Anch...35.4894169!3e0
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Old 07-09-2014, 03:17 PM   #2
High Country Herb
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Sounds like a great trip. It will probably still be a bit warm in southern Utah across to Vegas, so you'll want to be prepared for that.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:07 AM   #3
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A lot of boring Interstate. Move one road to the left, at the very least. Hwy 93 from Jasper to Vegas is mostly a fast beautiful scenic two lane. .
After Banff Park you could head east a tiny bit and south on route 40. Against the mountains on the east side. This sets you up for a ride thru Glacier Park and back to 93 south. 93 - A stellar ride thru ID and NV. I usually do an alternate on part of this route thru ID and make my way to Mountain Home ID, then south to Eureka NV, to Ely NV and on south to Vegas via 93.
From Ely you can angle southeast to Cedar City and enter Zion Park, just east of I-15.
I-15 is good thru south MT and horrible traffic thru much of UT,
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by thetourist View Post
A lot of boring Interstate. Move one road to the left, at the very least. Hwy 93 from Jasper to Vegas is mostly a fast beautiful scenic two lane. .
After Banff Park you could head east a tiny bit and south on route 40. Against the mountains on the east side. This sets you up for a ride thru Glacier Park and back to 93 south. 93 - A stellar ride thru ID and NV. I usually do an alternate on part of this route thru ID and make my way to Mountain Home ID, then south to Eureka NV, to Ely NV and on south to Vegas via 93.
From Ely you can angle southeast to Cedar City and enter Zion Park, just east of I-15.
I-15 is good thru south MT and horrible traffic thru much of UT,
Thanks for the info. I had modified my route to include hwy 40 and Banff. Glad to know that the 93 is a good road. I am going to be on a bit of a time crunch so I was hoping for something not super technical and slow. I like to ride at cruising speed and check out the scenery. I appreciate the input.

Modified map

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Anch...35.4894169!3e0

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Old 07-11-2014, 09:03 PM   #5
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Better route. About as good as you can get without weaving east and west. Direct thru roads but will have great scenery and low traffic. Mostly 65 speed limit and low on police patrol.

I've found reasonable motels just south of Glacier in Lakeview, Darby MT has Wilderness Motel on south end of town, Silver Spoon for food. Arco ID I use KD's next to Pickles Cafe, a must I try not to stop in Twin Falls. Eureka has good chain motels, OK food, Caliente near Vegas has good small motels and a cowboy/railroad bar/cafe. I haven't had good luck around Barstow for Motels or food.
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Old 07-27-2014, 10:12 PM   #6
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Well I have booked a return trip ticket and I will be on the road heading toward California 8/21 in the late afternoon. I was playing with the route a little bit and I was thinking about this variation...

https://goo.gl/maps/V8LAk

Any thoughts??

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Old 07-28-2014, 12:57 AM   #7
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IMHO No advantage to go to Cedar City and down 15. Not faster, not better scenery., unless you want to visit Zion Park.

If you go to Great Basin Park then angle SE thru Minerville to Cedar city, then I-15 comes into play. And a nice scenic road, but slower.

If you have time to jog, do it at Challis ID. Head west on 75 to Stanley then south thru Sun Valley and get to Mountain Home ID. South to Eureka NV and Ely. Very nice route. 75 is stellar scenery. Eureka has motels and food.
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The gate guard glares at me. "It's after curfew." He looks me up and down, "What do you think you are, some kind of ****** tourist?" ..Phu Loi 1969
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:06 AM   #8
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Do not miss Mohab/Arches and Cayonlands if you can fit them in. Absolutely amazing, especially if you can take on some dirt roads. No place like it on earth.

Haven't been the Bryce or Zion, but the pictures look amazing too. All of these canyon areas in Southern Utah are very different and beautiful in their own way. We took the Cayonland road to the bottom (in a Jeep) and that was an amazing ride.

Just be sure to plan for fuel: it's a LONG way between towns. Almost all of the exits had names for towns followed by "No Services".

The town of Moab was very cool as well; just don't order local beer on tap in Utah. Always order beer for export in a bottle, which just means it's brewed for states without dilution laws. As a Canadian or German, the local beer would be seen as blasphemy.
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:31 PM   #9
mach1mustang351 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thetourist View Post
IMHO No advantage to go to Cedar City and down 15. Not faster, not better scenery., unless you want to visit Zion Park.

If you go to Great Basin Park then angle SE thru Minerville to Cedar city, then I-15 comes into play. And a nice scenic road, but slower.

If you have time to jog, do it at Challis ID. Head west on 75 to Stanley then south thru Sun Valley and get to Mountain Home ID. South to Eureka NV and Ely. Very nice route. 75 is stellar scenery. Eureka has motels and food.
Good info. thought heading over to the Zion park area might get some nice scenery. I really need to make miles and cant explore much. Mostly looking for good scenery from the road and keep going. I'll probably stick mostly to my original map as posted earlier. I keep playing with ways to stay out of Death Valley but I haven't riden it before. Just judging without knowing. I also don't really want to do nor Cal. That used to be my home and I have done all that. I have a few weeks to work it out. I will probably post another draft or two.
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:33 PM   #10
mach1mustang351 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antirich5 View Post
Do not miss Mohab/Arches and Cayonlands if you can fit them in. Absolutely amazing, especially if you can take on some dirt roads. No place like it on earth.

Haven't been the Bryce or Zion, but the pictures look amazing too. All of these canyon areas in Southern Utah are very different and beautiful in their own way. We took the Cayonland road to the bottom (in a Jeep) and that was an amazing ride.

Just be sure to plan for fuel: it's a LONG way between towns. Almost all of the exits had names for towns followed by "No Services".

The town of Moab was very cool as well; just don't order local beer on tap in Utah. Always order beer for export in a bottle, which just means it's brewed for states without dilution laws. As a Canadian or German, the local beer would be seen as blasphemy.
I want to check out all of these places. Don't tell my wife but my covert plan here is let the V Strom live with my parents and buy a new bike up here then I can fly to California, pick up a bike and keep exploring the United states... without having to drive 4 days to get there. We'll see how that works.
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:10 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by mach1mustang351 View Post
I want to check out all of these places. Don't tell my wife but my covert plan here is let the V Strom live with my parents and buy a new bike up here then I can fly to California, pick up a bike and keep exploring the United states... without having to drive 4 days to get there. We'll see how that works.
Note that bikes in CA require 8% sales tax (some counties are higher) unless you're buying private. Even if you're registering out of state, they're still required to collect.

I few dealers also told me they won't finance out of state buyers, but that might have been a specific dealer issues.
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:22 PM   #12
mach1mustang351 OP
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Originally Posted by antirich5 View Post
Note that bikes in CA require 8% sales tax (some counties are higher) unless you're buying private. Even if you're registering out of state, they're still required to collect.

I few dealers also told me they won't finance out of state buyers, but that might have been a specific dealer issues.

I would be looking for a second biker here in AK after I fly home. I got my eye on a couple :)
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:43 PM   #13
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Well I have booked plane tickets. Come up with a route (more or less) and now we are in a gear planning phase.

A couple weekends ago I rode about 200 miles in driving rain. I had dryness issues with my boots and gloves. I decided to budget some funds to remedying this situation. As many know August up in this area tends to be monsoon season so I expect at least some rain on the way down to "South" America.

The gloves situation was handled by a trip to Sportsmans Warehouse and picking up some fishing gloves.



Not sure how wind proof they are going to be but we should be okay. Ran them under the sink for several minutes and no leaks.

The other trip prep done today was picking out boots for the trip. Here were my choices.



The two on the ends have already let me down this season. My trusty Icon boots (far right) are my favorite for comfort, walking around etc. But the soles are almost smooth now and they let in far too much water earlier this year.

The Alpinestar (far left) failed on the 200 mile trip and there was literally sloshing water in the left boot.


I don't really want to have to buy new boots because the budget isn't really there.

So we went onto testing:

First up my Thorogood work boots. I wore these all the time when I had a job in security, and I usually rode my bike to work and don't remember we feet on rainy days. So we did a super scientific test.



Results: The more water got on them they started to "breach" in the tongue area. Water proof pants over the boots could help if my riding pants are cinched down. These would be the most comfortable off the bike but are not proper motorcycle boots so they will provide the least protection.

Second up my Fox Motocross boots. Normally I wouldn't use these on the street, and I haven't used them much since my beloved, and honestly also hated, YZ426F went away. I figured the schedule for this trip would keep me on the bike a lot, exploring and stopping not as much so they could work. They would be more protection than the Thorogood's but less flexible for walking.



Results: The did let some water through on the left boot in the softer mesh area on the top of the foot. Water didn't pour through but it was definitely there. I also forgot how stiff these boots are but if something bad happened I would likely be happy they were on my feet.

So after my R&D and trip prep today I have no answers. I have boots I know would work... but hey may be a bit odd



The Lacross Alphaburly.

Pros: They are waterproof they are good for walking and they are camo (I could sneak up on cars in order to pass). I am able to take this ride because I was unable to take time off in September for my moose trip so I will get to live that experience by wearing my hunting boots.

Cons: Next to no protection in a motorcycle type accident.

Anyway, I figured I had a prep thread going so I decided to post something.

mach1mustang351 screwed with this post 08-03-2014 at 05:50 PM
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Old 08-03-2014, 07:29 PM   #14
mach1mustang351 OP
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Spent some time out in the garage looking over the bike and coming up with a bike checklist before departing.

I did a ton of work over the winter and Spring so we are in good shape on maintenance.



You cant tell from the pics but the plates on the chain are rusted. It isn't kinking or anything but It will be replaced before leaving. Although they looked okay I ordered sprockets too. I know there are many theories on this but I never put a new chain on old sprockets. I put a new chain on some marginal sprockets and it destroyed the chain in short order and I had to replace it all anyway. Going back to stock gearing this time. Last set I upgraded to a 530 chain and a little taller gearing 15/44. Not sure I liked it too much. Not much pull from high gear and at crusing speed it seemed to put the strom in a resonation point I didn't care for. Ordered up Sunstar steel sprockets 15/47 and a DID x ring chain in factory 525.




Had 2 mishaps this summer with losing visors. The green helmet was purchased last summer and the visor wouldn't move smooth in the base plates and on the highway the visor popped out. I wore the red hat for a ride and the gear plate screws fell out on the right side, the wind got hold and broke off the gear plate on the other side. Ordered new visors and gear plates for the green one. The red one is 6 years old and I try and stick to the replace every 3 year rule.

The only other little tasks for the bike will be to install a plug for a phone charger and maybe a throttle body sync. Not necessary by mileage since I did it this spring but the bike is so smooth after and I just want to make sure I give myself every chance at comfort.
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Old 08-03-2014, 08:30 PM   #15
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And because I have been watching "The Worlds Fastest Indian" I adjusted an alternative that takes me by Bonneville.

https://goo.gl/maps/dRlB1
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