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My first season with my VTX was amazing. Loving riding it, I all too soon forgot about my old 750 spirit!

I am now in the midst of planning my first cross country road trip, for early this summer. Longest single one way journey I've done so far is Toronto to Restoule, (337 km) but I've done a lot more more during an all -day riding around. Anyways, I've got some questions!

First, anybody done this from Toronto to Vancouver trip? I'm not looking to enter the United States for any reason other than, I want to make this a Canadian Trip. Gonna add a day just getting out of Ontario, but I'd really like to see as many provinces as I can! What is the -realistic- amount of riding per day I could do? I'm probably going to camp as often as I can. Stay at a friends place in Vancouver, and maybe a few along the way for showers.

I've found a few sites that are giving me great tips on what to bring, and what to expect, but does anyone know of a good trip-planning site? I've tried google maps (which would be ideal) but really, it is kind of buggy - searching while my trip is up has cleared it, I'd like to be able to plot my gas stops.... and my camping stops all along the way..

Most sites (mapquest, google, bing) if you put a large trip in, it gives you the directions, says it will take 48 hours and you're on your way. I'm thinking riding 10 hours a day... Maybe 12..so you end up plotting all of your stops manually!

Anyways, any input is greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Sid.
 

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Sounds like a great ride. Really it comes down to your riding style and what a realistic kilometers per day you can comfortably and safely ride. The first couple days you will be able to ride long distances, however after that your daily range will go down about 1/3, ie 1000km, 1000km, then 600km, etc.

I would suggest getting good riding gear, including rain gear, that you can wear. I prefer a kevlar mesh with gore tex waterproof liner. Or just get a good set of Frogg Toggs. I lived in Vancouver for 8 months once, and it pissed rain all but 5 days of those 8 months.

I assume you will have both a GPS and a set of maps too. Alot of GPS devices have a way to locate gasoline along your route. You will probably find that the added luggage required to haul along camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad etc.) along with trying to locate campgrounds and set up camp in the dark would be a PITA for your first big ride, so I would suggest you find a budget for little cheap hotels along the way, as a good shower and nights sleep will give you more riding range the next day.

There are alot of tips on the IronButt page, but those are mostly for very long riding days.

Personally I get really bored on the major highways, and prefer two lane byways, but it sounds like distance is your goal verses seeing all the sights. At the very minimum, get some type of MP3 player to keep your mind sharp. Hard sour candy helps. Avoid caffeine and sugary drinks to stay awake. Advil every morning helps alleviate the soreness of long distances.

At least two credit cards on hand, plus a stash of cash as sometimes you just need it.

Your bike should be in perfect riding condition, with all tires, brakes, oil, etc well within spec for the ride.

Then, of course, have fun and enjoy the ride. If you find yourself running out of time, there is nothing wrong with turning around and enjoying the ride back without stress of time.
 

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I agree with the suggestion to use cheap motels rather than camping. I did a trip last summer from Toronto to Sioux Lookout, which is just past Dryden, then back around the south shore of Superior in 5 days (see the video in my sig). Spent an average of 11-13 hours in the saddle each day, and by the end of each day I was wiped. Just wanted a hot shower, warm meal, and soft bed. Last thing I would want to do is setup camp. If you have time to take a more leisurely pace, then that is a different story. The motels I stayed at were clean and very friendly.

BTW give yourself 3 days just to get out of Ontario. Good luck!
 

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You can do 10-12-14 hours in the saddle for 2-3 days but seldom more and even more seldom in the good condition necessary for a cross country run.
I had a buddy do Mississauga to Vancouver on a brand new BMW Tourer and he was beaten to a pulp after 4 hard days. I'd take more time if you could.
 

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Sounds like a great ride. Really it comes down to your riding style and what a realistic kilometers per day you can comfortably and safely ride. The first couple days you will be able to ride long distances, however after that your daily range will go down about 1/3, ie 1000km, 1000km, then 600km, etc.

I would suggest getting good riding gear, including rain gear, that you can wear. I prefer a kevlar mesh with gore tex waterproof liner. Or just get a good set of Frogg Toggs. I lived in Vancouver for 8 months once, and it pissed rain all but 5 days of those 8 months.
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These are great tips, thanks! The frogg toggs look interesting, and seem reasonably priced.
I was hoping to do there and back in like 10 days, but that is really, not going to happen! I'm looking at 14 days max, maybe this will allow some more time to see the sights, and relax!

I agree with the suggestion to use cheap motels rather than camping. I did a trip last summer from Toronto to Sioux Lookout, which is just past Dryden, then back around the south shore of Superior in 5 days (see the video in my sig). Spent an average of 11-13 hours in the saddle each day, and by the end of each day I was wiped. Just wanted a hot shower, warm meal, and soft bed. Last thing I would want to do is setup camp. If you have time to take a more leisurely pace, then that is a different story. The motels I stayed at were clean and very friendly.

BTW give yourself 3 days just to get out of Ontario. Good luck!
Great vid TLR! Gets me stoked about getting on the road! Although I'm beginning to question my camping model :( I'm not getting any younger (nearing 40... but thats no excuse!) I guess it is a) the allure of camping, I love camping, and b) realistically, the price. I was looking at around 40 dollars a night to stay at KOA sites, which have WiFi, hell some have laundry facilities, most sites nowadays have comfort stations for showering / etc.... I'd end up doubling my lodging budget for hotels :-?. As it is, at ~4400 km one way, and my VTX is getting 6.4 L/ 100KM... at an average price of $1.23/L (Which I think is way too conservative) - it would be around $350 one way in gas alone. So $700 in gas, + lodging, + food, its over $1500, approaching $2000! Yowza.

You can do 10-12-14 hours in the saddle for 2-3 days but seldom more and even more seldom in the good condition necessary for a cross country run.
I had a buddy do Mississauga to Vancouver on a brand new BMW Tourer and he was beaten to a pulp after 4 hard days. I'd take more time if you could.
Duly noted.. I really don't want to wait another year, timing is good for me right now, but I suppose if I had to, I could.. Maybe do an east cost run at only 16 vs 48 hours..

Ah, but the planning sure is fun!
 

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Yup, a lot of people have no idea how freakin' huge this country is. They East coast is very doable. Quebec City is an easy ride in day 1 and on to St Andrews or Halifax day 2. Head up to the Cabot Trail or PEI day three or down to Bangor Maine. If you go that route, come back to Lake Champlain and through the Adirondack mountains. Perfect ride, one week, lots of rest and sight seeing time.
 

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Well when you hit the almost mid way point in Manitoba, and you are looking for advice on places to stay or go, or want to go for a "pop" an compare bikes, give me a heads up...I am just east of Winnipeg.
 

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Well when you hit the almost mid way point in Manitoba, and you are looking for advice on places to stay or go, or want to go for a "pop" an compare bikes, give me a heads up...I am just east of Winnipeg.
Awesome, will do! :thumbup: I am so far planning on day 3 to be doing Thunder Bay to the KOA campsite in Winnipeg. Day 4 is 'peg to Saskatoon to stay in a motel. Do you know what the north route (16) is like vs #1?

Cheers,
Sid
 

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I did a 7 day trip, following Route 66 from California to Arizona, camping along the way, but after two nights of camping in noisy KOAs, I opted for cheap hotels that actually cost the same. In the states a KOA is still going to cost you $40+ misc fees they tack on, so about $50. I was able to find cheap mom and pop hotels for about the same price. A long hot shower after a 14 hour day is indescribable.

Sometimes when you are riding distance, you get a second wind, and are good for another 2-3 hours of riding for that day to the next town, etc. It's alot easier to find a hotel at 10 pm verses a safe clean quiet campsite. Depending on the town, that campground or park could be the local drug, riffraff or teenager hangout.

Often times, KOAs are RIGHT next to busy roads or even railroad tracks. Fine for the RV crowd, but in a tent this noise and vibration will keep you awake when you need sleep the most.

Another problem with the KOAs, you ride in after a long day, but their general camp store (food, beer, wood, supplies) usually closes before 9pm. So you wind up setting up camp, then having to ride into town that night or the next day, etc. Hotels are usually walking distance to some type of food.

If I had the time and a relaxing schedule, I would make the campgrounds the daily destination, and stop riding in late afternoon to enjoy the campsite. A couple days of camping with a hotel stay once in awhile.

Maybe I will have a month or two to ride across the USA when I retire someday (LOL that is a pipe dream; I am a 52 year old newly divorced single dad with two kids, 11 and 13. I will have to work until I die to try and pay for some of their college).
 

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I am no long distance rider by any means but I have found my limit: 300-350 miles a day. I make a point to retire by 6pm and enjoy the rest of the evening in town. Never camped in my life and am not about to start now for all the reasons mentioned. In fact, I drive an extra 30 miles to stay in a reputable chain. The sort of places I ride, mom and pop motels look downright scary.
 

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If you do the camping thing you might want to dial back your expectations for distance the next day. Camp the first day at one of the provincial parks between the Soo and Wawa, then hit a hotel in Thunder Bay or Dryden, then camp in Riding Mountain etc. That should help to keep the costs down but give you the chance to have a nice hot shower and a good bed. Take lots of nuts and dried fruit or a trail mix that you can snack on and drink lots of water, especially if you don't think you need to. Sign up for a rewards card like the Riders Club from Best Western to get free room or two on your ride. One last thing, make sure you have a good seat cushion!
 
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