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North America Topics specific to Canada and USA/Alaska only.
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  #1  
Old 7 Dec 2010
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Across Canada, The States and Mexico

Howdy all.

This is my first post on this great site. Have been researching furiously and learning a lot.

I am in fact an on roader rather than an off roader and planning on heading from NZ to North America in June next year to trek across Canada from Vancouver to Montreal then through the USA with a detour down to Mexico, then to Los Angeles where I get on a plane and take a 12 hour plane trip home to NZ.

I would appreciate any thoughts on time frame for this

The plan is to bring Big Bertha (my bike - a Suzuki Boulevard C109 - as far removed from an adventure bike as you can get ) with me. We have exhausted most of the roads here in New Zealand so it is time to spread our wings. I have unfinished business from a trip I took through the states about 15 years ago.

I attach three very very rough ideas for the three parts of the journey and would love some locals input and expertise about ride journey times and I am unsure whether my bike could actually handle a trip to Mexico, but if the Forwoods can do it on a Harley...) - Currently I happily ride 500 - 600km's in the saddle a day here in little old NZ.

I was roughly working on 400km's a day, four days a week with three days of stopovers, staying if I like the place, changes in plans, etc, etc.

Across Canada Here

Across the States Here

Detour to Mexico Here


Thanks in advance.

Cheers
Nick.

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Last edited by kiwionabike; 7 Dec 2010 at 08:57.
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  #2  
Old 7 Dec 2010
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Why don't you do half of Canada and half of the USA ! Start in Nova Scotia and go to Ontario up to Thunderbay, and cross over to the US in Wisconsin onto Oregon. From there you have the choice of doing the coastal route south to Mexico. Or you can go south doing Utah, Nevada, Arizona onto Mexico. Mexico will be fine on your bike as the roads are as good as you can get anywhere. Just watch out for the topes (speed bumps) on the secondary roads. Enjoy your trip.
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  #3  
Old 9 Dec 2010
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Your Mexico route misses 3 things, Copper Canyon (Barrancas De Cobre), Parras Del Frontara and Real De Catorce.
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  #4  
Old 10 Dec 2010
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Hello from montana USA

Give me a shout about things to do and see in Montana. I live outside of Helena, just south of great falls. I can also ship and recieve stuff like tires. Your C90 will be a great bike to see the USA and mexico.
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  #5  
Old 10 Dec 2010
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I'd LOVE to see that bike get down the Copper Canyon!

I'm sure it would be fine for most of Mexico, the blacktop roads are generally pretty good, just watch out for the 'topes' and ground clearance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceP View Post
Your Mexico route misses 3 things, Copper Canyon (Barrancas De Cobre), Parras Del Frontara and Real De Catorce.
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  #6  
Old 11 Dec 2010
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The bike will do just fine for most roads in North America. You'll just have to pass on the more remote areas serviced by dirt roads. But there's plenty else to see in these three countries via paved roads.

Some suggestions:

Canada (BC):
I'd recommend taking Highway 3 from Vancouver to southern Alberta. Quite a bit longer but much more scenic in my opinion. The Trans Canada and Coquihalla Hwy are reasonably scenic as well but the Crowsnest (Hwy 3) leads to some of the best terrain in BC, along with some of the best riding as well. The Trans Canada is the main road through BC and has the most traffic.

USA:
I'd recommend taking Hwy 101 down the Oregon Coast instead of the I-5. The I-5 is good if you suffer from insomnia or are in a rush to get somewhere. Hwy 101 is spectacular along the coast. California Hwy 1 is downright gnarly if you love twisties and amazing seascapes. You could take the section between Legget and San Francisco. Both of these suggestions would add time to your trip.

Mexico:
Watch out for the topes (speed bumps). They're often not marked and I ended up taking one at 110km/h.
I would explore a bit more of the central plateau, that's where a lot of the colonials cities are. I second Real De Catorce but it is basically a 23km "cobblestone" road going up to it. Not loose, just bumpy. I'd also recommend Las Pozas de Sir Edward James near Xilitla for some trippy art installations. Cities like Taxco, San Miguel de Allende, Cuernavaca, etc are quite neat in spite of being a little touristy. Your route also takes you relatively close to Oaxaca and I'd recommend adding it to your trip.
Another benefit of staying in the centre is that the summer temperatures should be significantly lower than at the coast. Mexico City lies at near 6,000 feet in altitude ...I think.
They were working at paving the road towards Batopilas in Copper Canyon last spring. But I have no idea how far the pavement will go and how far along the are on the current work. I would not attemt that dirt road on your bike.

Have fun

...Michelle
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  #7  
Old 11 Dec 2010
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[quote=Scrabblebiker;315542]The bike will do just fine for most roads in North America. You'll just have to pass on the more remote areas serviced by dirt roads. But there's plenty else to see in these three countries via paved roads.

Some suggestions:

Mexico:
Watch out for the topes (speed bumps). They're often not marked and I ended up taking one at 110km/h.
I would explore a bit more of the central plateau, that's where a lot of the colonials cities are. I second Real De Catorce but it is basically a 23km "cobblestone" road
</quote>

28 Kms :-)

And yes, it shook some of my electrics loose, I may have gon a tad fast at 70Kmh but it felt "comfy" ;-)

<quote>

going up to it. Not loose, just bumpy. I'd also recommend Las Pozas de Sir Edward James near Xilitla for some trippy art installations. Cities like Taxco, San Miguel de Allende, Cuernavaca, etc are quite neat in spite of being a little touristy. Your route also takes you relatively close to Oaxaca and I'd recommend adding it to your trip.
Another benefit of staying in the centre is that the summer temperatures should be significantly lower than at the coast. Mexico City lies at near 6,000 feet in altitude ...I think.

They were working at paving the road towards Batopilas in Copper Canyon last spring. But I have no idea how far the pavement will go and how far along the are on the current work. I would not attemt that dirt road on your bike.
</quote>

I was there in October, the road is now paved for about 15kms, but then it is loose gravel as they do the road. The trucks are pushing up onto the bends making life etra hard. We turned back as Jean was not coping with it :-(
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  #8  
Old 13 Dec 2010
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Thanks all for all the great feedback and thoughts.

Much appreciated.

Will update once further down the planning stages.

Cheers
Nick.
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  #9  
Old 13 Dec 2010
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I think you will be missing the best of the US.
Southern Colorado, Montrose to Durango, Cortez.
Northern Arizona, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon.
Southern Utah, Zion Nat'l Park, Bryce Canyou Nat'l Park.
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  #10  
Old 13 Dec 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ferris View Post
I think you will be missing the best of the US.
Southern Colorado, Montrose to Durango, Cortez.
Northern Arizona, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon.
Southern Utah, Zion Nat'l Park, Bryce Canyou Nat'l Park.

That's correct, I recall my motorcycle trip to the States just because of the stunning landscapes there in the southwest.
I'd also suggest a short visit to the Canyon De Chelly National Monument in Arizona and one full day at Arches National Park in Utah, which cannot be missed!
Plus, don't miss to ride some miles on the old Route 66!
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  #11  
Old 14 Dec 2010
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You have a lot of good recommendations listed here so I won't repeat just add a couple. When you get close to Washington (the state) send me an email and I will give you some great routes. In Mexico cross over to the Baja on the way up and see if you can get to the Serra Gorda Mountains, great sealed roads.
Also I always have a place to camp and a shop to work on the bike if it is coming apart by then.

Road Hog
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  #12  
Old 14 Dec 2010
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Thanks guys - am loving the local knowledge and expertise - will be updating my route as appropriate.

Much appreciated

Cheers
Nick.

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  #13  
Old 6 Jan 2011
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Hi Kiwionabike!

British-Columbia, highway 3, has been mentioned, and i support that.

As for Ontario, highway 17 on the northern shore of Lake Superior is fantastic. Good choice! But after Sudbury, instead of heading straight south, consider changing your route to include crossing the Algonquin Provincial Park on highway 60. Beautiful!

In Quebec, if you could make it to ride the north shore of the St-Lawrence river, between Quebec City and the Saguenay river, you'd love it. All of the north shore is beautiful, but that stretch is awsome!

In California, consider doing the Ebbett's pass, on highway 4. Rollercoaster type of thrill!

In Mexico, the Baja California states are interesting, and very different from the rest of Mexico. Someone else mentioned those states earlier, and i support that.

Have fun!
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