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Old 07-31-2014, 07:13 PM   #1
Rhyano OP
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A motorbike trip to the Upper Peninsula

Hi, Iam Ryan and this is my first ever ride report, and my first ever long distance (>300 miles) motorbike trip... and I am going to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan!

The idea of traveling to see the sights of the U.P. was inspired by this ride report.
Upper Peninsula Adventure Trail (UPAT - 1250 miles)
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=627424

I read this report, and I was hooked! I wanted to ride these trails, the old forest roads, abandoned mines, the history of the area, camping along the shore of the big lake.... I only had one problem.. I dont have a dual sport bike... I have an SV650... hardly the motorbike for hitting the single track trails or the deep sand. But I still had a burning desire to see the area, so I am going to see many of the waypoints, sights, mines, towns, just taking it all in by sticking to the pavement, and even some of the old forest roads. I wanted to share my adventure with the folks here, sharing my perspective on things along the way.

Here is the rough route that I plan to follow. I will deviate from the route, and make up new routes as I go along depending on how I am feeling and what I want to see. I dont have an exact itinerary, I will just make my way along at my own pace.
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:19 PM   #2
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My Ride!

My motorbike. 2007 Suzuki SV650. This is actually my first ever motorbike. I have had it for a little over a year, and have put 7k miles riding the back roads around southern WI... now my wanderlust is pulling me to take a longer road trip.

Me and my bike.
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:40 PM   #3
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Sheet, I'd do it all with a SV650!

Just drop the air pressure to around 20-25 psi.

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Old 07-31-2014, 07:50 PM   #4
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Motorbike Maintenance and Prep.


Some fresh oil and Filter.


Air Filter... Clean and Check.


I really wanted to have some sort of GPS unit to follow the tracks and the waypoints from Cannon's gps files. I settled on a Garmin 62S. I really like it so far, and I think it should serve me well. I mounted it with a RAM mount kit. The assembly is sturdy and should hold up well.


A 12 volt power source for charging my cell phone, camera, or GPS batteries.


The stock seat on the SV gets un-comfortable after about 150 miles for me. I installed a Corbin seat which lowers my seat height a bit, but its still comfortable for me. I also added an AirHawk seat cushion. The combination of the Corbin seat and the AirHawk seem to be the ticket for me. I did a long distance ride a few weeks ago and didnt experience any dis-comfort during my 2+ hour ride. I will report on my thoughts as I go along on my trip.
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:59 PM   #5
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I still have a bit of a checklist to go through to get the bike ready to go.
Clean and Lube Chain.
Check tire pressure before I leave.
Check lights and turn signals.
Check coolant level.
Check brakes.

I also have a pack list to go through yet. I think that I have most of the items that I will need for this trip. I want to post them on here and get some input for other items that I might want to bring along. I am notorious for forgetting things when I pack for a trip and I usually end up stopping at a store to get what I need. I hope to avoid this by making a list ahead of time.
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Old 08-01-2014, 12:21 AM   #6
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:33 AM   #7
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I did lots of gravel and deep sand on a 1982 Yamaha maxim with a buddy on. 1992 bmw k75 as we did the same type of tour through the UP. Of it's dry and not raining you will be suprised what two tracks and logging roads you can ride, especially if your not loaded with all your gear. If you can camp at Hancock (it's cheap and has hot showers like 20 a night) and spend a whole day in keewenaw I would recommend it. Ride up and out to top of keewenaw peninsula on the two tracks it's amazing the end is a preserve and the views are astounding out the tip. There are nesting bald eagles on the lakes on the way.


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Old 08-01-2014, 04:38 AM   #8
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I would highly recommend riding up and down brick away mountain along 41 both directions and also rebutting that last part of 41 I promise you will love the grin factor on your SV. I saw wolves on that part of 41 several times when in college up at Michigan tech. The Suomi in Houghton is great for breakfast, if your in that area... I have to find them but I have pictures of us riding our bikes over a creek on the way out to the tip without lowering tire pressure where the wading over the creek is a log bridge that the water flows over and the logs keep you from sinking into the sand and rock....


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Old 08-01-2014, 04:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue 2 View Post
I did lots of gravel and deep sand on a 1982 Yamaha maxim with a buddy on. 1992 bmw k75 as we did the same type of tour through the UP. Of it's dry and not raining you will be suprised what two tracks and logging roads you can ride, especially if your not loaded with all your gear. If you can camp at Hancock (it's cheap and has hot showers like 20 a night) and spend a whole day in keewenaw I would recommend it. Ride up and out to top of keewenaw peninsula on the two tracks it's amazing the end is a preserve and the views are astounding out the tip. There are nesting bald eagles on the lakes on the way.


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Blue2 -- Thank you for the tips! I am planning on camping up near Hancock, probably Monday night do you have a particular campground that you recommend? I want to take as many of the two tracks and gravel roads as I can. When you went out on the Keewenaw Peninsula, did you go all the way to the tip by the Rocket Range? I would like to try and make it out there with the motorbike but I am not sure what the condition the road will be like or if my bike could make it. I am traveling solo so I need to be a little careful.

Thanks for the recommendations though, keep them coming, I want to see as much as I can up there, and I am hoping to learn some things from others on here who have done trips like this.
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:48 AM   #10
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I would highly recommend riding up and down brick away mountain along 41 both directions and also rebutting that last part of 41 I promise you will love the grin factor on your SV. I saw wolves on that part of 41 several times when in college up at Michigan tech. The Suomi in Houghton is great for breakfast, if your in that area... I have to find them but I have pictures of us riding our bikes over a creek on the way out to the tip without lowering tire pressure where the wading over the creek is a log bridge that the water flows over and the logs keep you from sinking into the sand and rock....


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AWESOME!! This is exactly what I am looking for! Fun roads to ride, and excellent trails to check out.
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:49 AM   #11
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I did go all the way it the tip and had little gravel riding experience before, lots of tarmack (45,000) miles the previous 2 years commuting to work. The trick I found for keewenaw two tracks was to take it easy your n a road bike and dodge the boulders on the trail. He only trucks on the road we took out had atleast 10 inches ground clearance for the random large rocks on the trail and several asked us how we made it it there.... The whole trail isn't that way just parts. The Hancock city campground is where I stayed it has free showers and doesn't require a pass like the state parks of Michigan do. Both state parks up there are nice, but you would need to get a sticker to camp in them and I don't know off hand what it is for out of state.


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Old 08-01-2014, 04:57 AM   #12
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Canyon river falls near L'anse is worth the stop if it's atleast 65 out there are often people cliff jumpin into it. Not been here before for you I wouldn't do it unless someone else is so you know where to jump. I went several times in the fall while at Mi Tech and it's great warm water even for wading and cool pictures. It's right off 41. That also happens to be where I picked up a full dresser Harley. The guy and his wife were lapping Lake Superior and he dropped it trying to park in the grass and was clueless how to pick up a bike. My wet 145 lbs 5'6 demonstrated no problem and saved their trip according to the wife.


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Old 08-01-2014, 05:01 AM   #13
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Hilltop restaurant in L'ance also has cinnamon rolls as big as a kids head. They are great too, even if it isn't meal time I always get one to go. My last trip I saved it and ate it on the ferry ride through the 6 to 8 foot swells on the way out to isle royale just to watch the others on the boat be jealous at first then turn green. It was delishous! I don't get sea sick. But worth the space for some sugar later and their other food is good too.


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Old 08-01-2014, 05:08 AM   #14
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Just finishing off a pavement ride through the area. Really nice. The last 11 miles into Copper Harbour and the road (H58) from Munising to Grand Marais are not to be missed.
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:15 AM   #15
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I will give it a shot to try and get out to the tip. I can always turn around if it gets too rugged, but this trip is all about seeing interesting things that not everyone gets to see, and I am always up for a little adventure. I appreciate the first hand accounts that you have from the area.

I will check out the falls for sure too. Jumping off the waterfall would be good photo material for this ride report!
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