Riding to California: Trip
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Thread: Riding to California: Trip

  1. #1
    My Twitter: SH1FTG34R Array Sykk_KiLL's Avatar
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    Riding to California: Trip

    Hey everyone, this has been on my mind for a little while now and in the past i've always wanted to do it in my car with a couple of friends. However, I have moved onto two wheels and I think a trip like this would be awesome. I'd want to go by myself unless someone would be willing to ride along the entire way down. So here goes.

    I've always wanted to drive down to Cali from Vancouver and make pit stops along the way ever since I was a little kid. A few summers ago my parents took me in their Chrysler Sebring and I think that trip ruined it for me. I was in the back seat of a tiny convertable with leather seats, so in the sun the seats burned my legs and stuck to me like glue. The car's AC broke half way through the trip so it was even hotter in the back. Being much smaller then I am right now and the window being weirdly taller then on most cars, I missed a lot and I mean a lot of the scenery.

    So we ended up going to San Diego to visit my cousins, going to the Zoo and then going to downtown LA for a couple of nights. Spending time in the hotels and enjoying the downtown life. Things like going for dinners, ice cream, and my parents leaving me to go to the Casino. Haha.. Eventually we made it down to the beaches for a couple of days and that was awesome.

    That's when I realized I have to do this trip again but my way, and I told myself I was going to do it in my car. Well plans changed, i'm here now and I want to do this trip this summer. I know i'm going to need lots of mula, especially for food and hotels. I was thinking about getting a tent but that thought faded fast. I'm not going to put saddle bags on my bike, no way. A big backback will do, i'm not going to impress, i'm going to ride, tan, and have a great story to tell afterwards. So I guess i'm wondering if anyone else has done this sort of trip before and what were your expenses?

    Here is what i'm thinking, I want to safely have around $500.00 or so just for gas, with highway riding I can get 220-230 km out of my bike on about $12-15 dollers. So gas is a money saver in a trip when in my parents car that Chrysler jugged the gas. I'm going to need hotel/motel/trailer park (haha) money so I figure i'll need a couple of hundred for that alone. I don't really care about accomidations, i'm there for the ride and not for the comfort. A clean bed and shower will do I think i'm going to pack two pairs of different clothing for everything (socks, underwear, shorts, t shirts ect..) and every 2 days make a half an hour - hour detour and do some laundry quickly. I'm l337 at coin laundry. Now I have to factor in food money, I can eat moderatly and conservatively so I think I'll only need $350 or so for food.

    I need to workout the money issues I guess, so if you guys have input on that it would be great. I picked up the Ultimate Guide to Roadways book for motorcycles and it shows all the cool routes that have twisties and whatnot in the states (i've already circled the one's that will be along the way) and I plan to make detours so I can ride them. I don't just want to be stuck on the highway the entire time either right. I think the best thing would be to make a list and then add to it I guess. I'm really serious about this and i'll need as much input as I can from you guys. I want to enjoy the scenery, the night riding, the twisties and I guess the adventure.
    Yamaha R6
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  3. #2
    I Came,I Saw,I Conquered Array Yammer Jammer's Avatar
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    dont forget to factor in getting a new set of tires either before you leave or when your down there. Your gonna go through at least one set.

  4. #3
    My Twitter: SH1FTG34R Array Sykk_KiLL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maui Kawi View Post
    dont forget to factor in getting a new set of tires either before you leave or when your down there. Your gonna go through at least one set.
    I didn't even think of that, I should do an oil change before. Thanks for that good idea!
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  5. #4
    Ride Solo Array GSP's Avatar
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    pashnit.com is a great resource for riding in California, and there is also the Destination Highways book for NorCal (might be in local shops and will definitely be available at the bike show). Search this forum and others for trip reports--you might get some ideas about where you want to ride.

    You can follow the mountains (Cascades) or the coast there or back, so no need to drone on the Interstate if you have time.

    These days, it's getting difficult to find a cheap motel. You'll probably want to budget $50/day for that. You can often find small independent motels on the web if you know where you want to stay each night. Booking in advance beats riding around at night in unfamiliar areas only to find that the last room was booked just before you arrived. I stayed in a few Motel 6's when I went to California last year.

    Here's a write-up of the trip I did with a friend last year:

    http://www.bcsportbikes.com/forum/sh...ght=GSP+motoGp
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  6. #5
    My Twitter: SH1FTG34R Array Sykk_KiLL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSP View Post
    pashnit.com is a great resource for riding in California, and there is also the Destination Highways book for NorCal (might be in local shops and will definitely be available at the bike show). Search this forum and others for trip reports--you might get some ideas about where you want to ride.

    You can follow the mountains (Cascades) or the coast there or back, so no need to drone on the Interstate if you have time.

    These days, it's getting difficult to find a cheap motel. You'll probably want to budget $50/day for that. You can often find small independent motels on the web if you know where you want to stay each night. Booking in advance beats riding around at night in unfamiliar areas only to find that the last room was booked just before you arrived. I stayed in a few Motel 6's when I went to California last year.

    Here's a write-up of the trip I did with a friend last year:

    http://www.bcsportbikes.com/forum/sh...ght=GSP+motoGp
    Thanks for the link, I will definetly read the thread in a minute or so. I think the best Idea would be to actually plan out my stop spots for motels/hotels and find out exactly how much it's going to cost.
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  7. #6
    Posing with conviction Array heisenberg9's Avatar
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    Without getting into a long post (right now) here are some benchmarks for your budget minded trip:

    3 to 4 tanks of gas a day at $12.00 per tank (US currency)
    Food you can do it on $10 a day but you are doing McD's if you can handle it.
    Hotel - Motel 6 is a no brainer. $40 off season to $60 to $70 in high season. If you stay in smaller towns the hotels are cheaper. Motel 6 guide is very handy for planning overnight stops.
    Booze is cheap too. $6 per day buys you imported beers to medicate your sore bones and muscles.

    Two cautionary notes. The police in Washington and Oregon are nasty, especially Oregon with jail time for going over 100 MPH in Oregon. Avoid the I-5 unless the benefit of shorter travel time allows you to get to something special in a short space of time.

    EDIT:

    I see pashnit.com mentioned. Yes of course! There is a fair amount of freely accessible stuff off pashnit in terms of california rides and their forum is VERY good.

    Quick set of places to have on your wish list other than coastal highways:

    Mount St. Helens (from the south entrance)
    Crater Lake
    Yosemite
    Sequoia National Park
    Los Vegas / Hoover Dam
    Grand Canyon
    and the countless roads that intersect the coast with the interior. Pashnit has loads on this.

    There are many more but this is a start.
    Last edited by heisenberg; 01-01-2007 at 03:00 PM.

  8. #7
    Sex Appeal Array Remy's Avatar
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    sup PP !!!

    i would go to, but thats kind of $$$

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  9. #8
    more lean please Array anoxion's Avatar
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    from what i've heard northern california is the place to go. highway 36 is apparently the best road on the west coast, as well as many offshooting off of there. i hope to do a trip similar to this sometime this year but we'll have to see how funding goes.

  10. #9
    Sex Appeal Array Remy's Avatar
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    oh and lane spliting is legal
    oh yah!
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  11. #10
    My Twitter: SH1FTG34R Array Sykk_KiLL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrotchRocketeer View Post
    The 36-299 loop is the best riding I've ever done. When on 36, make SURE you stop @ the little corner store and top up your gas. It's 87, but it's all there is between Red Bluff and Fortuna. Don't stop there and you WILL run out of gas riding at any kind of pace.

    I have a new wallpaper, twisties for 140 miles..

    Well, I can still feed a family with my chicken strips because my riding skill isn't that good yet to even begin to really scrub my tires down, but my pace is my pace and that road has got me excited. Thanks for all the awesome replies, I have tons and tons of research to do tonight

    Remy - come along man No wait, if I ride with you i'll end up in jail when we near Oregon, you will be doing definetly 130 + haha!
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  12. #11
    Sex Appeal Array Remy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShiftGear View Post
    I have a new wallpaper, twisties for 140 miles..

    Well, I can still feed a family with my chicken strips because my riding skill isn't that good yet to even begin to really scrub my tires down, but my pace is my pace and that road has got me excited. Thanks for all the awesome replies, I have tons and tons of research to do tonight

    Remy - come along man No wait, if I ride with you i'll end up in jail when we near Oregon, you will be doing definetly 130 + haha!
    well fuck yah... you dont think i would be doing like ... anything less than 160kph... that would just take forever thn :S
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  13. #12
    Registered User Array michael's Avatar
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    Do you have a mapping program for your computer?
    If not, try www.mapquest.com and research some distances. From distances calculate mileage and fuel consumption, rather than ball parking.
    Count on $100 a day for food, and hotel, as a minimum. Sure, you can have breakfast on McD's, lunch at Jack in the Box, and dinner at BK, but why?
    California offers delicious, and relatively inexpensive foods. Mum and Pop restaraunts come in all sorts of flavours, from local, and every ethnicity. Life is too short to eat bad food on the road.

    Have a passport, the ultimate form of ID

    Carry 2 credit cards, one kept safely hidden, as a "spare," in the event something nasty happens.

    Make sure you have medical coverage for in the US.

    Talk to locals, they know where the best roads are, if you haven't got too long a list already in your head.

    California is a great place to be on a motorcycle, and yes, Oregon police will strictly enforce their speed laws.

    Enjoy.

  14. #13
    Get outta the fast lane!! Array westvan_dude's Avatar
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    Make sure you get a "gel" seat for your bike. Your butt and brain (sanity) will thank you.

    Be prepared for any climate (cold/hot) changes if you go inland or over mountain passes. Instead of leather if it was me I'd go Joe Rocket Alter Ego jacket/pants - or similar that will keep you cool/warm/dry. Something you can adjust from 5deg C to 45 deg C.

    That distance would be too much for me on a saddle. My bro-in-law did 5000kms from Vancouver to Fort Laird and back. He said he's now "done" with motorcycling. No kidding! And that on a very comfortable BMW R1200GS & sheepskin padding.

    Personally I'd go more with saddle bags and a tank bag vs a big pack on your back. Your shoulders will drop off in short time with a big bag on your back. Also less control of your motorcycle with "loose" weight. But that's just IMHO.

    If you get tires for the trip consider somewhat less sticky sport touring tires v.s. sport. They'll last longer. For instance the Dunlop D607's that come OE on the R1200GS. I replaced the rear at 9000kms, and I could hang with many sportbikes in the corners. Still on original front tire over 10000kms. http://www.dunlopmotorcycle.com/tire...tire.asp?id=83

    First aid kit, tire puncture goo spray can & plug kit, flashlight, road flares, tow rope, spare chain links, contact info for a motorcycle transport company should things go wrong - cash and/or credit card for flight home, etc.

    Here's some hydration packs so you don't dehydrate in hot weather, don't have to stop riding to take a drink:
    http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_l...=1167719545284
    or go with a smaller size daypack and add a hydration bladder to it:
    http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_l...=1167719757537

    Good luck with the trip and post up lots of pics.

  15. #14
    Registered User Array 105mmgunner's Avatar
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    I rode 2 up to about mid Oregon with my wife last Sept and was trying to think of something to add, something that made sense. I would recommend sticking tothe coastal roads, the I5 is a fantastic means of moving people but not a great way to move. Oregon is amazing and we will be going down to Laguna in two years, with her on her own

    Anyway I ramble.

    Medical, get extended for sure. Someone else mentioned that and man you must do it. It is cheap cheap cheap to do.

    Oneworldassist will do it and for my wife and me for 14 days was under $50.-(dont remember how much) and though I did not have a claim for them that trip(thankfully) I did have one for when I went jumping outa planes into Arhnem a few years earlier. Once I filled out the paperwork and got it all done they paid out fully on all my bills. I can say they are a good agency.

    Dont forget about hostels and chain lube. An alarm with a pager will give you peace of mind as well (it did me)

    I would join you but a major ride isnt in the cards this year. Next California and Laguna here we come!!!

    Ride safe and enjoy

  16. #15
    My Twitter: SH1FTG34R Array Sykk_KiLL's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies, i'm looking at saddle bags and costs right now. +1 for the chain lube, I completly forgot about that. I'm making a big list right now of things I need and what not, each post here has contributed well to my list. Thank you so much Ahh lots to do, oh well I have lots of time. Keep them coming please, this is all very good information! *add to list, buy digicam haha*
    Yamaha R6
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