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Sport-Glide / Sportster Motorcycle Touring This section is for the discussion of setting up you Sportster motorcycle touring and long distance riding.

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  #1  
Old 24th June 2018
SonWon SonWon is offline
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Default Along came...

Along came...

Here are the Photos from our trip.

This was our test ride, camping from the Sportster.

June 19, 2018 was the day we left for Bühl. We woke about 8:30 like any other day. I couldn't sleep longer since we still had to load the bike and we wanted to eat before we left. The two roll bags were packed, stuffed full. The bottom bag had the tent, cook set, two chairs, and a table. The tent is really nice, you will see in the pictures. The outer part is actually a rain fly and the sleeping quarters hang from that under the rain fly. The chairs and table are hiking items, very compact when folded and light weight. In fact all of the gear was designed for hiking accept the tent which is a motorcycle tent. The part we use for living quarters can also be a garage for the bike. I've read online that in some places (countries) people will steal stuff off your bike while you sleep.

The top roll bag had everything that was lightweight, ground mats, sleeping bags clothing, towels, etc. We have three sleeping bags and didn't have room for the third sleeping bag. Why three? The bags are rated for 7 degrees Celsius (45 F) which is a joke. Two bags on top should be good down to almost freezing. We could have used the extra bag in Yellowstone but I digress. There wasn't room for all three bags so I pulled one out since the low was suppose to be 15 degrees Celsius (59 F). It got colder and we felt the cold a little on the first night. We also have two insulated ground mats that are as comfortable as sleeping in bed. The heavy bag on the bottom. The saddlebags had heavier stuff too. The roll you see in the picture behind the roll bag is a picnic blanket for a road side nap if needed. The backpack was for shoes that I forgot to pack in the roll bag.

We took the Autobahn there and back. It was very windy both ways and there was more buffing around my head and shoulders than I liked. I think I may raise the windscreen a little to push the air stream a little higher. I want some air on the helmet though for the cooling vents. It was very hot too. I was really nervous about all of the weight on the bike. Two riders in gears plus 50 pounds on the luggage rack. I had a tank bag with a couple water bottles and I recently had moved all of the tools to the engine guard. I have a tool bag on each side. With all of the weight on the back I am glad I moved the tools forward. I think the only thing I am missing for roadside repairs is a final drive belt. I also purchased the road insurance (ADAC) similar to AAA. ADAC is better than AAA, if the bike is unrideable in say Spain they will return it to the house in Germany.

Back to the Autobahn. The bike is heavy so I was concerned about the tires. They were close to the weight limit so for the first few rest stops I pulled over and checked tire temps with my hand. I figured if I could hold my hand on the tire I was good. I also run 2 extra pounds to reduce heat build up. They were warm but no overly so. I pushed the bike fairly hard, 120-130 KPH (80-90 MPH). The Sportster even with all of the weight on the back and with the high winds was very stable. I can not picture any other bike that could have handled as good. I'll throw in a plug for Michelin Pilot Road 4 tire too. This is the tire up front as it is great, feels like the tire that should have been on the bike new. The rear is the Scorcher 11 tire. It will get replace with a Pilot Road 4 after I wear it out.

A short word about low speed handling. At very low speeds I would some times get into a wobble back and forth. I think this may have been from over correcting the steering, once rolling faster all was smooth. I suspect part of this is my lack of experience with a heavily loaded bike.

We arrived at the campsite, my wife picked a nice spot on the edge of the lake. The site was 3 extra euros a day and well worth it. There was an outdoor shower for rinsing off the lake water and very cold. She says the lake was warm. I forgot bathing trunks, we fixed that later on in the day when we got water. When I unpacked the sleeping bags I noticed I remove the wrong sleeping bag from the roll bag. The sleeping mats were rolled up with a sleeping bag three bags one has no mat rolled up with it. I slept on the ground. It was only bad finding a tolerable sleeping position and then I slept fine without the mat. Before I fell asleep the first night I decided everything mats and bags needed to be rolled separately. Plus the compression sacks that came with the sleeping bags can be used. I think this will free up space in the roll bag which will help with packing.

The saddle bags are small at 20 liters. I plan to buy 30 liters bags once money allows.

First night we ate fish sandwiches and soup with a salad we bought in town. This was our cheap dinner. We cooked this all over a propane burner and using the cook set.

June 20th, we were awoke by the birds singing. Breakfast was bread rolls (not that nasty white bread stuff in America) with butter and jelly. The butter and jelly was available from the campground store. We then left for the Triberg Waterfalls. That was a very pleasant two hour ride half by Autobahn and the wind wasn't as strong and I enjoyed the lightweight bike. We changed our clothes by putting on shorts and tennis shoes for the walk to the falls. About 30 minutes walk down and 45 minutes up the steep trail (45 degrees?). The trail was paved. They make you pay in the forest at little booths. The price was 5 euros each however the very nice lady charged us half rate so it was 5 euros in total for the both of us. We returned in time for an excellent dinner at the campground restaurant.

Being tired we went to bed and read for the evening.

On June 21st we decided to leave since it was suppose to rain the day after and we didn't want to pack in the rain with a wet tent. It was also suppose to turn colder which it did and getting comfortable wasn't the best without the mat. Packing took about 2 hours and then we showered and rode away. On the Autobahn there were several traffic jams, not fun. And many drivers were observed that needed to go back to driving school. I will not write the words I was thinking for the guy tailgating me in bumper to bumper traffic. Maybe I should carry bricks that accidentally fling off the bike at car windshields? <evil grin> Now you saw my dark side, I would never do that though. I'll let God deal with them in His way. They were lucky I wasn't a police officer.

We are both eager to take another trip as soon as time allows. I am thinking of a three day trip maybe longer to Schönberg. There is a historic village (similar to Greenfield Village) close by with a quaint campground next to a stream in that region.

Keeping the shiny side up!
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  #2  
Old 24th June 2018
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Looks like you had a great time. If ever you get to the old east Germany check out Colditz Castle. It was a POW camp in WW2. You can stay in the youth hostel in the castle as they have family rooms. We did not know this when we visited in 2010 and stayed in a small hotel off the market square.
Also only use the autobahns for fast long work. We did most of our riding on the back roads which take you through small towns and you find great places to eat that way.
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Old 24th June 2018
Crusty Crusty is offline
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Nice report! I especially enjoy the sunset photos. I really like colorful sunsets, and that was a good one.

I'm of the "too warm" sleeping bag school of thought. I have a sleeping bag that keeps me quite comfortable in temperatures as low as the freezing mark. Literally. (It was 32 degrees F in North Georgia) It may be too hot in summer weather, but then I just sleep on top of the bag. A good cold weather bag is not much bulkier than a bag that won't keep you warm, so you might want to consider getting something that makes your trips a bit more comfortable.

One thing I learned is as you keep camping, you'll find out which items to replace and what would work for you. Have fun!
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  #4  
Old 24th June 2018
SonWon SonWon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DEEP DIVER View Post
Looks like you had a great time. If ever you get to the old east Germany check out Colditz Castle. It was a POW camp in WW2. You can stay in the youth hostel in the castle as they have family rooms. We did not know this when we visited in 2010 and stayed in a small hotel off the market square.
Also only use the autobahns for fast long work. We did most of our riding on the back roads which take you through small towns and you find great places to eat that way.
Colditz Castle, thank you for the tip, I starred it in google maps, just over 4 hours by Autobahn. My current thinking is youth hostels to the goal and then camp ground.
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Old 24th June 2018
SonWon SonWon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusty View Post
Nice report! I especially enjoy the sunset photos. I really like colorful sunsets, and that was a good one.

I'm of the "too warm" sleeping bag school of thought. I have a sleeping bag that keeps me quite comfortable in temperatures as low as the freezing mark. Literally. (It was 32 degrees F in North Georgia) It may be too hot in summer weather, but then I just sleep on top of the bag. A good cold weather bag is not much bulkier than a bag that won't keep you warm, so you might want to consider getting something that makes your trips a bit more comfortable.

One thing I learned is as you keep camping, you'll find out which items to replace and what would work for you. Have fun!
Thanks John, now I need to figure out how to pack everything smaller. Will try the compression sacks on the sleeping bags and ponder new sleeping bags. First I need to see how small these bags will collapse to so I know what the space goal is for better bags.
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