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  #1  
Old 25th May 2018
gunwish gunwish is offline
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Smile Long Road Trip advice

I hope that this is on the right sub-forum. This post a covers a few different subjects.

Next month I'm taking a my dream rode trip across the United States and back. I'll be gone for about 5 weeks. Probably put around 5500+ miles on my bike.

I have a 2009 Sportster 1200C, 23000 miles. In the last 2 months I have installed all new:
battery
tires, front and rear
air filter
spark plugs
clutch cable.

Before I go, I will change the engine oil and primary oil. Check and adjust the primary chain and final drive belt.

Does anyone have any more suggestions on what I should do to my bike before my trip?
Any parts that I should pack? Just in case. I am taking an extra set of plugs

If anyone has any road trip wisdom to bestow on me for a long trip, please post it here.

Thanks Brad
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  #2  
Old 25th May 2018
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Packing a Extra Rear Belt won't hurt. I pack one of these on walk about runs lasting months back in the 90's

http://www.aerostich.com/engineair-power-pump.html

There is no substitute for not having plenty of cash on hand as backup at home or wherever.
One of my best trips was with 7 other guys out of El Paso Texas . The trip lasted 6 months.
One of the dudes ended up married on that trip.

I am one of those trash bag rain suit dudes. It was my go to rain suit when I attended the South Carolina Meet and Greet .

Just be careful and don't push your self. Smell the roses. I stopped at Birmingham Alabama and went to the Barber Museum on my Texas to South Carolina ride.
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  #3  
Old 25th May 2018
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What Harry said about a spare belt is good advice. Regarding it I would add that should you do it, put the new one on in the comfort of your home at least a week before leaving and pack the used one as a spare. You can twist it and form a small triple layer package that slips into a zip lock bag and will pack easily for the trip. Also, if you have to use it, being more limber it will install easier on the side of the road. I' ve gotten it down to about 20 minutes. Make sure you take the minimum tools necessary for minor repairs, oh, and in anticipation of the belt replacement, ( I typically get about 60,000 miles on mine), remove the bottom allenhead bolt from the sprocket cover as it can be a bitch to get out at roadside as most exhaust can interfere with access to it.
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  #4  
Old 25th May 2018
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Maybe check how much meat is left on your brake pads.
What kind of tires did you buy? I only ask because I ran a set of Shinko 777's a couple of years ago and the rear only lasted 5000 miles, you said your trip might be 5500 miles, and i'm assuming you've been putting some miles on before the trip, might have to get a tire on the road.
I carry a small air pump and a plug kit, but that pump Harry linked is pretty cool.
I also carry extra nuts for the exhaust to head studs, but my bike likes to loose those.
Other than that, I usually stash some cash, an extra credit card, and a spare key somewhere in my luggage in case I loose my wallet or my key.
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  #5  
Old 25th May 2018
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Sorry for the following novel.
When I circled the country back in 09 I brought a lot of extra stuff I never ended up using but it's better to have it and not use it.
An extra quart of oil, a spare foot long section of fuel line, I use the slime brand air pump but Harry's is much more compact, if you have one of those new style lithium battery jump packs that could be useful, I have a set of cruise tools but I also brought an extra socket set and a few wrenches, extra sun glasses, rain suit, extra gloves, small first aid kit and sewing kit, a few zip lock bag inside which help waterproof things like your wallet and cell phone in the rain, even a few wetwipes in a sandwich bag to use for anything you may need to clean in the middle of the ride, a pen and paper in case you need to write something down, a gel seat could help with comfort if your going to be doing long distace everyday
If you plan to head up to the mountains it can get cold for instance when I went through Yosemite national park it was about 30° with ice on the side of the road, I had my insulated leather jacket with me which is all I had back then which helped and I even wore it in the middle of Wyoming when it was over 99 outside but as long as I was moving I was fine. The second time I went cross country I brought an unisulated leather jacket. You could always bring one sweatshirt and put your rain suit top on if you get to an area in the mountains that I cold Wearing long sleeve shirts work better in the beat so you don't get dehidrated as fast and also sun burnt. If you wear shorts sleeve shirts and use sun tan lotion an alcohol based spray on sun tan lotion works best. Always carry a bottle of water and a few granola bars. Rags, plexus or other brand plastic cleaner to keep your glasses clean, if you use a half helmet if it has the snaps for a shield, bringing the shield can be useful.
I like to use a website called mikapeak.com which has many good references for riding. I also use there checklists that they have to help prepare for the ride. You can choose from a few lists they have setup and you can add your own stuff to them and double check that you have everything you need as your packing. Here is the link to the checklists:
http://micapeak.com/checklists/
If you to the home page of that site it shown you links to motorcycle yeowpages wear if you know your route you can right down some of the motorcycle shops and stuff you may need to use on your route if anything happens.
Another thing I did was I stopped at a harley dealer in each state I drive through and bought a t-shirt from a dealer in each state. That added to the load so what I did was once I was full I would find a post office and get the largest flat rate box they had and mail all of my extra shirts and laundry back to my house. When I got home I had about 4 boxes waiting for me.
As for tires I also put a new set on my bike which i thought I was going to have to replace during the trip because I was on average getting 6000-6500 miles to my Metzler 880's but because most of the riding I did even though I stayed off the highways as much as I could the entire trip with most of the center of the country being flat roads without alot of crazy turns I made it back home riding over 9600 miles and I still had alot if tred left. I didn't change my oil until I got home either but I run amsoil synthetic which my shops distibuter says doensnt have to be replaced until 10,000 miles but I normally change at 3000.
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Hammer 1250 kit W/ 30° reverse dome pistons, billet 2.25" crush forward offset open air cleaner, billet intake manifold, Impact 560's, Sledge Hammer pushrods, Buell XB heads with crush level head porting, Mikuni HSR 45, 177.5 main, 25 slow, Clip 4th slot from top, Jim's powerglide II lifters,
Supertrapp supermeg exhaust 20 disks and open end cap, S&S roller rockers, Alto Carbonite clutch, Energy One 15% heavier spring, Daytona twin tech single fire ignition 1005s
Ricor intimnators, 13" Ricor IAS shocks, Brembo dual disk setup from 2012 street glide w/ matching brembo street glide master cylinder,
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Dyno (96.21 HP / 88.70 TQ)
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States I Have rode through

Last edited by mikeLI_77; 25th May 2018 at 04:22..
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  #6  
Old 25th May 2018
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Make sure the gas tank is full and just ride the freakin' bike. There are Harley shops all over the country. No matter what you prepare for, something unexpected will go wrong. However, with only 23K on the odometer, the bike should give you a flawless trip. Go, have fun , take pictures and tell us all about it when you get back.
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  #7  
Old 25th May 2018
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do not over pack. 2 changes of clothes
carry 4 or 5 bottles of water
hate to say it but some slime tire inflator, it is a bitch when you have to change the tire afterward but it can save your hiney if you get a flat in the middle of nowhere.
sparkplugs and a rear belt, some bailing wire, keep the tools simple, they can tow you and repair the bike, tools are heavy, zip ties
rain suit, instead of heavy leather get a light jacket, a hoody, and use the rain jacket for a wind breaker.

Remember, it is all about weight and space. so pack wisely, as I said carry ample water and snacks, like fruit and energy bars, but leave the rest of the food to be bought when you need it. If you buy souvenirs, mail them home, they are just something else to pack.

oh and really important, get 2 of those large external batteries for your phone. You do not know if you are going have a place to charge

camping is super light, tarp for leanto, bedroll, one pan to cook and very few utensils. some rope and bungy chords.

I have done a few summers on the road on my first trip I gave away over half my gear because it was just a hassle. I camp out 4 days out of 5, eat well but cook most of my stuff besides the road using a very small hiking stove and a small pan. sleep next to the bike. And visit places on my Bucket list while traveling on my bike.

My biggest advice, get a very comfortable seat, you are going be in it a lot
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  #8  
Old 25th May 2018
SonWon SonWon is offline
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I would use a small 12v air compressor over the Engine air Power Pump. I don't like the idea of gasoline vapor being pumped into the tire and there is a chance the ignition coil or insulation on the spark plug wires could be damaged if not connected to a grounded spark plug. So if you go the Engine Air Pump route make sure to ground the plug and connect the spark plug wire.

MotoCampers while mostly for camping there are a lot of packing ideas on this site. Horizons Unlimited is another great website.

Lastly, make a list as you think of things to bring, at MotoCampers they have a starter list that should help get you going.
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  #9  
Old 25th May 2018
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Well I make sure I have the funds and a card. If my belt breaks on the road in the US it goes to a shop. If I was trekking across the Gobi I would carry a spare belt and plugs but not here. I do carry a small 12v pump and plug kit. I find it easier to have a pump available for daily pressure check if air needed simply because I like tires cold. I carry an accurate dial gauge. For tools I carry basic stuff--go around the bike and check for loose stuff at home and take those tools with you. I carry duct and electrical tape wrapped around handles. Some stainless light wire and a two pieces of coated heavier hanger wire.
Rubber can be a hassle but it is one of those things I deal with as needed. If I changed my own tires I would start out with pretty fresh stuff but I don't. I do try to have enough tread
but have had to replace on road which can happen due to hazzard anyway. Brakes I do make sure there is plenty of pad. I still change the dino at 2.5-3k on road (very Sporty easy) but not the filter at least 5k gone 6.5 to get home. Other bikes I did longer oil interval with synthetics. Good clothing not a lot, dry tent with some patches for it and air pad and stuff like that. I turn off smart phone while riding and have a charging brick and cords. Can charge off of bike. I carry old small flip in pocket for 911 type call only-turn on/off AM/PM (I carry at work on isolated property using power stuff, too). Paper maps for me. Minimal first aid kit. Dog tags on me and gremlin bell on bike and toilet paper--don't leave home w/o it. Have fun. Try a couple of practice runs for a weekend and just a few hundred miles.
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  #10  
Old 25th May 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsterpaul View Post
...remove the bottom allenhead bolt from the sprocket cover as it can be a bitch to get out at roadside as most exhaust can interfere with access to it.
sportsterpaul,

Thanks for a “duh” moment and a good laugh at myself.

One of the reasons I chose to buy Sportsters rather than a Dyna was ease of belt replacement. I haven’t had to replace a belt yet, but I realized the bottom bolt of the sprocket cover would be difficult. It never occurred to me to just remove that bolt!
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