Long Road Trip Advice


Reports and stories from trips, planning of gatherings, questions about how to get there!
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ckupas
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:37 pm
Location: B.C. Canada
Motorcycle: 84 1200 Goldwing Aspencade

Long Road Trip Advice

Post by ckupas » Tue May 01, 2018 4:28 pm



hi its my first post on here but I could use some advice, this summer I plan to ride my old '84 aspy from coast to coast. I'm on Vancouver island in Canada I'm planning to ferry to Washington state hit the I-90 then the I-94 to Detroit then up into Ontario. what maintenance should I do for such a long trip? I'm shopping for tires, whats a good choice for the trip? is there any pitfalls I should be aware of? i'll be traveling alone so any advice would be awesome. thanks for any info.. btw am I just crazy to want to do the trip lol :lol:
oh I just spent $1k on a Skookum jacket and pants (Olympia set) as a starting point



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WingAdmin
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Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Long Road Trip Advice

Post by WingAdmin » Tue May 01, 2018 8:39 pm

I assume you've had your bike long enough to trust it, mechanically speaking? I know of people who bought a new (to them) bike and headed out on a long trip, only to be sorely disappointed.

Are you looking for advice on routes? What to pack? Maintenance to do? All of the above?

Here's my advice: when travelling through Detroit to cross into Ontario, do it in the daytime. :)

Actually, I would skip the Detroit crossing, because it puts you into Ontario at Windsor, with a long, boring, straight highway ride down 401. Instead, head up 94 from Detroit and cross at Sarnia. You might want to even follow around the shore of Lake Huron for a bit after that - some gorgeous countryside and wonderful roads. I've ridden that route (up to Sauble Beach) many times.

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Rednaxs60
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Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 LTD
1995 GL1500 SE CDN Edition
2008 GL1800 (sold)
Ontario 1985 GL1200 LTD (sold)

Re: Long Road Trip Advice

Post by Rednaxs60 » Wed May 02, 2018 12:47 am

Did this trip in 2015 on my 1800 (recently sold). Went down through the US because I had traveled the Trans Canada route many times. Once you are out of the mountains in Montana, straight stretches and rolling hills but something similar to our prairies. A lot of small towns and hotels were at a premium sometimes - rode 1300 Kms one day because of this. The prairies are lonely as well, intend to do again, but with another bike for company, or with my better half, nice to have company.

It is less expensive to cross to Ontario in the US for fuel and accommodation, not for food, same prices as up here but in US dollars. When crossing in the US because of the differences in gun laws, I would recommend not stopping at pullouts unless someone else is there. Did this once on my return trip and had a young fellow pull up along side and ask for money. I declined his request and he just drove off. I was the only person there and no other vehicles in sight. Thought about my precarious position and never did it twice. Better safe than sorry.

I crossed into Ontario at Sault Ste Marie, Ontario is a great ride. Minnesota and Wisconsin are scenic States.

As for prep. Do as much maintenance as you think is reasonable, or want to do. New tires are a good investment, some 14,000 Kms to the east coast and back, more if you detour to PEI and Newfoundland. Expect to do an oil change or two for this type of distance. Take the oil filters required can buy oil en route. After all has been done have a tow package like BCAA, take the premium package. Had an issue in Northern California where the US affiliate did not recognize my bike as part of my basic BCAA towing package even though when I phoned BCAA I was told that it did. When all else fails have your plastic with you.

Tires are a personal preference. I have Michelin Commander II tires on my '85 LTD here in Victoria, have 25,000 Kms on these and not to the wear bars yet. Will be installing a set of Shinko Tourmaster tires on my '85 LTD I have in northern Ontario for a trip back to BC - hope these will be not too bad. Approximately $200.00 less for a set of Tourmaster tires from Fortnine. My '85 LTD is heavier than your '84 so the Tourmaster tires may be a good option for you. I keep my tires inflated to 40/41 PSI front/rear and use Ride On tire sealant and balancing formula instead of wheel weights - a good option and highly recommended. I have used Counter Act beads as well but prefer the Ride On formula.

You are not crazy to do the trip. Never want to say I should have done this, too late when your health is not with you. Do it once, if you enjoy it, do it again, if not once will take it off the bucket list.

Last year I did three trips, two of them two up riding. The first two were in BC and were about 2000 Kms each. I did the third one two up to LA and back, some 5000 Kms on my '85 LTD. Had an alternator issue in Redmond California, but other than this, bike operated well. Lee's Honda in Redmond took on the work and had me back on the road in 24 hours. My bike has the external alt mod install. Going to have a couple trips this year as well on the '85 and riding two up.

Hope this helps a bit. Cheers
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

Ernest

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ckupas
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Location: B.C. Canada
Motorcycle: 84 1200 Goldwing Aspencade

Re: Long Road Trip Advice

Post by ckupas » Wed May 02, 2018 5:30 pm

Thanks for the response, I got some valuable information from your posts. Rednaxs60 it sounds like you had an adventure lol, I test drove a new 2018 wing, omg what a dream machine! it made me unsure of such a trip on my old 84. but I think my old girl can do it if i give her new shoes and fluids. but i have decided to keep Canada side, I've made the trip by car many times so I'm familiar the the route. I looked into Michelin Commander II tires, they are reasonably priced. My biggest concern is the notorious rear wheel bearing flaw with the old wings. I have sleeved it and the wheel don't wobble but its always in the back of my mind there's no fix, just band aids for the problem. I think i have convinced my better half to get her bike license this summer, she will if i make this trip in one piece lol



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