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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #16  
Old 20 Jul 2006
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Smile

I think they've buggered off.

Gone for advice elsewhere no doubt. Can't say I'd blame them.

Cheers!
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  #17  
Old 20 Jul 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodger
...........
Mebbe we should ask the stallions " how fast do you want to ride and on what kind of surfaces ?"
Having that knowledge precludes the question...
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  #18  
Old 25 Jul 2006
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I mean, wow!

We wonder off for a week and come back and it takes us a quarter of an hour to catch up! Cheers to everyone who's pitched in.

Surfaces - In North I think we plan to baisically stay off the interstates except a few miles on what now passes for Route 66. In South there is talk of possibly camping up in the mountains in Peru for a few nights and going well off track. Tho we havent worked out how possible or sensible this is.

The Route - Since our 1st post all those weeks ago our route has sortened somewhat as we are starting to grasp the scale of what we are doing. It is now looking like more of a triangle going North from LA to Seattle, SE to Chicago and then Route 66 (with excersions) until we decide to drop South to Mexico.

Time - The plan, as it stands (tho it has been known to change!), is to land in LA around August/September time. Hopefully we can get up and start on our way down again before the Autumn (or Fall i guess it'll be) makes way for Winter. I think around 2.5/3 months in North America is what we have planned at the moment.

The Advice - Canadians and Canada lovers, we mean no offence by missing out Canada but feel we dont have the time on this trip to venture that far North. I (Leroy) have been to Quebec once a long time ago and would love to see more as everyone i know who's been has raved about the place. It on my 'to do' list :P As for the lack of things East of Utah, well, thanks for the head up. We do want to get out in the middle of no-where for a while but it does mean we can schedule a little less time to do it in!

Cheers mollydog, riq and dodger for your help so far. Just so you know we take abuse well so if you think we are being a bit niave about any of this please tell us. We wish to learn the ways of the traveller.

Thanks,
Leroy
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  #19  
Old 26 Jul 2006
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildStallions
The Route - Since our 1st post all those weeks ago our route has sortened somewhat as we are starting to grasp the scale of what we are doing. It is now looking like more of a triangle going North from LA to Seattle, SE to Chicago and then Route 66 (with excersions) until we decide to drop South to Mexico.

Time - The plan, as it stands (tho it has been known to change!), is to land in LA around August/September time. Hopefully we can get up and start on our way down again before the Autumn (or Fall i guess it'll be) makes way for Winter. I think around 2.5/3 months in North America is what we have planned at the moment.
Hey Leroy,
Sounds like you may be months away from departure, yet say your
going in August or Sept? Is that next year or this year? I guess you like to play it loose. Good for you. Go for it!

No interstates eh? Lets have a look at that! When you get in a hurry you'll be doing interstates.....trust me. I hate 'em too but sometimes they are a necessary evil There must be a very good reason you
insist on going to Chicago on your bikes....in Summer?

If so, fine. Job? Relatives? Friends? The problem with a lot of the USA is everything looks the same. Every town has the same 20 chain stores and motels and fast food and Wal Mart and all rest of the things that cheapen life here. All the strip malls look a like and are mostly devoid of any character as they were built last week. This is not hyperbole. Honest. Its really sad.

But if you stay in the Wilderness states you may have a better time, not to mention better weather. The open mid west will be Hotter than in
August, even into Sept. Anyway...thats it for you guys...have a great trip.
Sounds like you've got it all figured out. No whinging now.

I trust you've thought about where...and how you plan to buy bikes in LA?
Insurance? Good, thought so. Did you know there is a dealer who will pick you
up at LAX, take you to your newly prepped bikes....and you are off.

I'm an X Los Angeles native. It is NOT a pleasant City....unless you live at the
beach...like I did.

Patrick
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  #20  
Old 26 Jul 2006
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Unfortunately not departing this year. The Americas are actually gonna be the last leg of our RTW trip starting in Feb '07 with backpacking in SE Asia, then 4x4ing in Oz and finishing with the bikes in the Americas. Really looking forward to it now.

Will the trek from Seattle to Chicago at that time of year be a little warm Or at least is it not biking weather?

Which states are considered the Wilderness states?

As for having things figured out...hmmmm. Insurance? How we're gonna buy the bikes? ermmmm I think we were hoping to kinda stumble across 2 deserted bikes ready and waiting for us. Dont spose that happens a lot, does it?

Cheers for your help Patrick,

Leroy
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  #21  
Old 27 Jul 2006
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Wilderness states

You want to see some wide open spaces come on thru montana. There are lots of places that you can only reach on two tracks beat in thru the rocks or mud or wildflowers. I just did a nice ride that started out with a few cabins that all had solar or generators for power and then it started getting remote. There is a servicable 650 honda for sale for $675.00 US. If you buy a bike in montana you get a permanent license plate and insurance is not rewuired in montana, but it is in other states/countrys.
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  #22  
Old 27 Jul 2006
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Riding across the northern USA in Feb will be challenging !
It will still be winter - and no "British winter" either once you leave the coast !
If you are looking for cheap bikes ,there is another thread in HUBB with lots of good advice , but you will have a better choice if you are prepared to go upmarket a bit .
Your original question related to the best bike for N and S America , now that we have a bit more info and you have indicated that you want to buy in the US ,I would recommend a 650 thumper .They will go just about anywhere .
If you are not "mechanical" ,buy a BMW and make sure your route takes in as many BMW dealers as possible , they have an excellent 3 year warranty and your resale value will be proportionally better than any of the other makes .

But this is just my opinion and I've been known to be wrong .

All the best
Dodger
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  #23  
Old 27 Jul 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodger
Riding across the northern USA in Feb will be challenging !
It will still be winter - and no "British winter" either once you leave the coast !
Sorry, we're setting off on our trip in Feb. We wont be getting to the USA til August/September time. See post #18

Never heard of the Thumper. Who makes it?

Cheers,
Leroy
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  #24  
Old 27 Jul 2006
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Dilettante's

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  #25  
Old 27 Jul 2006
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Thumpers

Thumper = 650 single

Any make
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  #26  
Old 28 Jul 2006
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Thumper

And I always thought thumper was that cute bunny in the bambi story.
September is a great time to ride in montana, a little chilly but the summer tourist have gone home.
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  #27  
Old 29 Jul 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog
In summer much of the South East and the South are way too hot for riding bikes. The humidity is a killer from May to September. The eastern cities are hard to enjoy on a bike with sweltering heat and humidity. I love NYC but NOT on a motorcycle. Spring and Fall are a different story.

Additionally, the east is just way too congested. Even in Vermont or Maine you can't go 5 miles until you come to another town. I hated it.

The south has some excellent roads but the best ones are overrun with cops
and too many bikes these days. (Blue Ridge Parkway)
Congradulations! You managed to get me out of lurker mode. I happen to ride all over the south east year round. Spend the mornings in the vallies and the afternoons in the mountains. One can follow the fall colors from Maine to Georgia. Upstate NY is still beautiful. There is a LOT more to NY than NYC and urban sprawl. Lake George is wonderful. Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and upstate NY is one big interconnected 2 lane festival IF you avoid the major cities. From I-75 east in Ky and Tn through West Va, southern western Va, western North Carolina, and Northern Georgia is another 2 lane away from the masses (yet always relatively close to a dealer if needed, even BMW).

Get out, enjoy the local culture. Avoid Deal's Gap, Cherohala Skyway, and the Blue Ridge Parkway on the weekends go slow and enjoy the scenery.
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  #28  
Old 30 Jul 2006
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Hey Grimel,
Good of you to join the discussion.
I'm sure there are good roads in all the areas you mention. I've ridden upstate NY quite a bit, even was clued into the best roads from locals at a BMW rally.

In fact they sat down and planned my whole route all the way from Brooklyn to Quebec. It was in July, during a heat wave. NY state was in the high 90's in most places, it finally cooled some by Maine.

I've crossed the country a few times and ridden the south only in a few areas. Most foriegn riders will never see the local roads you know. Never happen. They may hit one or two. Typically they want to keep moving and end up skipping a lot of the good stuff. I know many riders who have come through California who have done just this. Then they complain and say the roads were not that great Funny how that goes. So I'm trying to convince them to play the averages....The averages being in many places out West riding motorcycle in summer can be more pleasant than the Mid West, East and deep south. IMO, that is.

It mostly has to do with population density. The East is crowded. As I've said, in Vermont and Maine I couldn't believe that you could never, ever, get away from towns. There is no "away".

In Montana, Idaho, Nevada, CO, NM, Oregon, Wash, and N. Cal things are a bit more spread out, more mountanious with more twisty roads and fewer towns and cooler in summer.

I noticed you said "Follow the Fall Colors" . Yea, Fall is great just about anywhere. The original poster was talking about June or July I believe. At that
time of year you can follow the Fall colors straight to Hell if you take a southern route. Have you ever heard a Brit Whinge when they get in a hot & humid place for the first time?

From probably mid Sept. to November the south is beautiful.
I've ridden it then. Fantastic. In Summer, I'll stay West thanks.

I've spent Summers in Arkansas, N. Carolina, Virginia and Florida. Usually four to six months in each place working on TV shows or feature films.
Real HOt !!
Never thought I'd look forward to Hurricane season
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  #29  
Old 30 Jul 2006
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'' -- Have you ever heard a Brit Whinge when they get in a hot & humid place for the first time? -- ''

I say old chap ,less of the stereotyping - d'y hear ?
Ye Gods ! The bally cheek of it all - blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah ----------------------------------------zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz----------------------snnnnnnnnnorrrrrtt- huh ,where am I ? Must have fallen asleep , pour me gin and tonic -there's a good chap !
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  #30  
Old 30 Jul 2006
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come ride with me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog
Hey Grimel,
Good of you to join the discussion.
Thank you

Quote:
I've crossed the country a few times and ridden the south only in a few areas. Most foriegn riders will never see the local roads you know. Never happen. They may hit one or two. Typically they want to keep moving and end up skipping a lot of the good stuff. I know many riders who have come through California who have done just this. Then they complain and say the roads were not that great Funny how that goes. So I'm trying to convince them to play the averages....The averages being in many places out West riding motorcycle in summer can be more pleasant than the Mid West, East and deep south. IMO, that is.
I thought we were supposed to be a group that helped each other a) find "stuff" in oddball areas and b) find the local spots. Not much fun slabbing it everywhere.

As you said, you know riders who have went through Cali and complained. I know riders who have came through the south (looks like you need to be added to the list) and complain. BTW, these aren't local roads that I know. I have a simple rule - avoid interstates and major cities when ever possible. I've averaged about 60,000 miles a year for work and another 30,000 for myself over about 15 - 20 years. I map out all backroads when ever possible. I offer my services to anyone heading to the southeast.

Quote:
It mostly has to do with population density. The East is crowded. As I've said, in Vermont and Maine I couldn't believe that you could never, ever, get away from towns. There is no "away".
You didn't go far enough north.

Quote:
Have you ever heard a Brit Whinge when they get in a hot & humid place for the first time?
No, but, I have heard a Puerto Rican when he felt -20f for the first time.

Quote:
I've spent Summers in Arkansas, N. Carolina, Virginia and Florida. Usually four to six months in each place working on TV shows or feature films.
Real HOt !!
Never thought I'd look forward to Hurricane season
I ride in all those states plus Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama year around. There are 2 keys to survival, okay, 3, drink water at every stop, valleys in the AM/moutains in the PM, and avoid major cities. Atlanta may have 80mph traffic in 16 interstate lanes (main and bypass combined) each direction, but, there is so much traffic you don't get that much air flow. I now plan to hit Atlanta/Jacksonville/Orlando at night or early AM only.

The model of bike does come into play. Known ovens (Concours/FJR) aren't the best choices if you aren't going to do all the mods to block the heat AND the more weather protection (gold wing, BMW LT's, etc) the hotter. Minimal windscreens rule the world.

Come ride with me. I'll be the guy in the dark red meshtec armored suit with full face helmet in August.

As to the original posters question. Anything will work in the US and Canada, but a big trailie, adventure touring, adven/sport touring, etc type bike will be more fun (usually a LOT lighter than the touring rigs with the added manuevering). I LOVE the Buell Ulysses, but, I can't control my throttle so I have to move down the size (strictly personal problem I like to feel like I'm moving fast) scale. The 650ish singles and twins are leading the list for my replacement commuter/travel/do everything bike.
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