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Coast-to-Coast

  1. #1
    Posting Freak OneCheekRider's Avatar
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    Coast-to-Coast


    I have a bucket list item of riding my motorcycle coast-to-coast (possibly into Canada) and I would also like to visit friends/family I've neglected over the past few years or so. Yes, this includes my friends here on NESR! I'm leaving my job at the end of July and figure August might be a good time to tackle a trip of this magnitude. With that said, this will be the largest trip I've ever done on a motorcycle and I will be making a complete loop as the folks I would like to see are scattered across the country.

    I'm taking my Triumph Tiger 1200 and plan on taking my camping gear but also staying in hotels, and with friends/family along the way. I figure I'll swap tires when I get to the Northeast (who's the go-to tire guy now??) or possibly Chicago. For those of you that have done it, what do you recommend as far as essentials and also route planning. Also, I hope to ride with some of you as I make my way back to the Northeast. Any other tips you can give me would be great!

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  2. #2
    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: Coast-to-Coast

    Eat as much local bbq as you can find along the way. And pizza.

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  3. #3
    Awesomeness, Inc. MattR302's Avatar
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    Re: Coast-to-Coast

    One guy on BORN (lucky6600) did a coast-to-coast ride a couple years ago. He flew to CA to buy a bike, then rode it back to CT. The one thing I remember him saying in his trip report was that if he was to go cross-country again, hed go east to west. Riding into the sun in the morning tires you out, losing an hour crossing time zones, and flat-spotting the tires in the straight & flat west before getting to twisty roads in the east.

    Found his ride report:
    Lucky's first cross country trip | Adventure Rider
    And a more concise version: Just rode a bike home

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    Last edited by MattR302; 07-01-19 at 08:13 PM.
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  4. #4

    Re: Coast-to-Coast

    rain gear, tire plug kit, tools, oil, JB Weld, change of underwear, corbin seat, roadside assistance?

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    Last edited by breakdirt916; 07-02-19 at 01:17 AM.
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    Re: Coast-to-Coast

    East to West is preferred because the landscape opens up as you travel, but if you're doing a loop and zigzaging you'll still have a blast. New Mexico is unreal and Idaho is a very underrated state. I did 4 days of camping with 1 day hotel for over 2 months from Boston to LA. Order tires in advance and have them shipped to a known reliable shop for sure. You don't need much as far as clothes, and I stopped trying to cook with a jet boil after like day 2. Its much nicer to eat breakfast at a diner in the morning and plan the route for the day and ask locals about certain things. Occasionally the Hotel Tonight App would really come through for me in bigger cities for an affordable nice hotel. Also of course don't use the interstate its a drag, take it slow and get off the bike and hike when you can.

    Essentials, everything breakdirt916 said and,

    Very good all weather gloves and all weather hiking boots!
    A sweater or comfy down jacket vest for camping
    A nice blanket, air pad , and air pillow for camping.
    A Kindle
    BLM land map for free camping (There is an app for this, but I forget the name). Most of this land is out west.
    Sun Screen

    Truthfully everyone is different and you'll find out what you need when you get into a groove traveling. Its better to over prepare and ship back what you dont need via mail then to buy things on the road. But if you do need certain things.... Wal-Mart.

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  6. #6
    suburban ghetto living... black's Avatar
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    Re: Coast-to-Coast

    SPOT.... just to be safe hooked on you not buried deep in your bag,

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    hmmmm......

  7. #7
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Coast-to-Coast

    Jealous. Tiger 1200 should be a solid mount for that..

    What route are you thinking? What highlights are you aiming for?

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  8. #8
    Posting Freak OneCheekRider's Avatar
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    Re: Coast-to-Coast

    Since I'm starting in CA, my first big stop I'd like to have is the Grand Canyon (I've never been). Yes, it will be hot. Then I'd like to travel into Utah stopping at Zion and working my way through Dixie NF, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, and Canyonlands before crossing into CO. I have a few friends in Denver and will likely tackle another 14er or two while I'm there. Probably ride up Pikes Peak if I can. From Denver, I'm most likely just going to slab it to Chicago, as a Midwesterner I'm not sure it's possible to avoid it. I'll probably do the usual stop at "The world's largest truckstop" and probably get a steak in Omaha. My mom is having surgery so I'm not sure how long I'll be in Chicago. If she's doing well, maybe a few days. If not, my trip may end there as I look after her. If she's ok, I'll slab it to Cincinnati (again, not sure if there's a better way around this) then Slab to Nashville. From Nashville, I'll head to Tail of the Dragon and probably spend a few days just riding around there. I have a lot of family scattered across NC, so I'll slowly visit with each of them. From there, I'd like to head North and visit friends in NYC before making it to Boston and NH to see some of you. I'd like to go into Canada (I've never been) on the return trip and cross over in Detroit to see some more friends, then head back to Chicago to check on my mom again. Depending on timing, I'd head north into WI and make my way into the Dakotas, hit MT and Idaho, Oregon, and then head south on the coast. Once I get back into CA, I know how to avoid the slab the fun way.

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  9. #9
    suburban ghetto living... black's Avatar
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    Re: Coast-to-Coast

    Quote Originally Posted by OneCheekRider View Post
    Since I'm starting in CA, my first big stop I'd like to have is the Grand Canyon (I've never been). Yes, it will be hot. Then I'd like to travel into Utah stopping at Zion and working my way through Dixie NF, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, and Canyonlands before crossing into CO. I have a few friends in Denver and will likely tackle another 14er or two while I'm there. Probably ride up Pikes Peak if I can. From Denver, I'm most likely just going to slab it to Chicago, as a Midwesterner I'm not sure it's possible to avoid it. I'll probably do the usual stop at "The world's largest truckstop" and probably get a steak in Omaha. My mom is having surgery so I'm not sure how long I'll be in Chicago. If she's doing well, maybe a few days. If not, my trip may end there as I look after her. If she's ok, I'll slab it to Cincinnati (again, not sure if there's a better way around this) then Slab to Nashville. From Nashville, I'll head to Tail of the Dragon and probably spend a few days just riding around there. I have a lot of family scattered across NC, so I'll slowly visit with each of them. From there, I'd like to head North and visit friends in NYC before making it to Boston and NH to see some of you. I'd like to go into Canada (I've never been) on the return trip and cross over in Detroit to see some more friends, then head back to Chicago to check on my mom again. Depending on timing, I'd head north into WI and make my way into the Dakotas, hit MT and Idaho, Oregon, and then head south on the coast. Once I get back into CA, I know how to avoid the slab the fun way.
    route 12 is a great road cutting thru grand escalante mts to / from captiol reef

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    hmmmm......

  10. #10
    Lifer bbhzx10's Avatar
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    Re: Coast-to-Coast

    Furthest I've gone is NH to Wisconsin, done several North/South trips.
    Camping gets tiring, so make sure to break it up when you can. Tire plugs/compressor is a must.
    If you'r headed to the Tail of The Dragon hit Moonshiners 28, the Cherohala also. The Blue Ridge Parkway/Skyline Dr is a beautiful but not fast way to head North. If you use that route plan on a night in Blowing Rock NC, great place to stop. Enjoy the trip, the road gets long in some of those states!

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  11. #11
    Fast is contagious JettaJayGLS's Avatar
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    Re: Coast-to-Coast

    Don't go through South Dakota on 90. No doubt about it, it was the worst part of my trip west. The mental concentration to drive a high roof van in those cross winds into the sun was brutal. I expect a motorcycle to be as equally nerve racking if not moreso.


    Do go to Badlands and Black Hills, just don't take 90 to get there.

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    Last edited by JettaJayGLS; 07-02-19 at 01:45 PM.
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  12. #12
    Posting Freak OneCheekRider's Avatar
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    Re: Coast-to-Coast

    Quote Originally Posted by JettaJayGLS View Post
    Don't go through South Dakota on 90. No doubt about it, it was the worst part of my trip west. The mental concentration to drive a high roof van in those cross winds into the sun was brutal. I expect a motorcycle to be as equally nerve racking if not moreso.


    Do go to Badlands and Black Hills, just don't take 90 to get there.
    I did all that when I drove out to CA a few years ago. I didn't find the winds nearly as bad as the bugs that littered my Jeep. It's the first time I had to pull over just to clean my windshield of bugs.

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  13. #13
    Lifer gixxer72's Avatar
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    Re: Coast-to-Coast

    Quote Originally Posted by OneCheekRider View Post
    Since I'm starting in CA, my first big stop I'd like to have is the Grand Canyon (I've never been). Yes, it will be hot.
    It actually shouldn't be bad for heat and you won't regret making the effort to see it. Stay away from Phoenix and low elevation AZ, it's been brutally hot here lately.

    If you exit the park through the east entrance it's a pretty scenic ride for many miles as you make your way towards Utah.

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  14. #14
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Coast-to-Coast

    North rim is pretty amazing. Shorter route to Utah and Zion. Nice roads for at least 1/3rd of the way. Only something like 10% of the visitors they see at south rim.

    Zion will be busy. It was in May.

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  15. #15
    Posting Freak OneCheekRider's Avatar
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    Re: Coast-to-Coast

    Looking at doing Antelope valley after the Grand Canyon. Not sure if it's worth the expense or stopover.

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  16. #16
    suburban ghetto living... black's Avatar
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    Re: Coast-to-Coast

    I'd rather do monument valley supposedly you hire a indian guide since its their land....
    i'd killto be able to slot canyons around there.

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    hmmmm......

  17. #17
    Posting Freak OneCheekRider's Avatar
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    Re: Coast-to-Coast

    Ya, it's like $60 minimum to do Antelope just doing some quick googling.

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    Super Adventurer SRTie4k's Avatar
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    Re: Coast-to-Coast

    IMO Zion was ridiculously busy when my wife and I went there last year. It just wasn't worth the 45 min wait in line to go into the canyon, it's better to just take the auto road through. Bryce was way more leisurely.

    Regarding SD, it's definitely a boring ride, but winds were never an issue the two years we've driven through. ND was actually more relaxing of a drive, the temps were lower and there is equally as little to see (although it's a bit more green and wet).

    Wyoming and Montana are easily the most amazing states to drive through IMO. The vastness of the mountains and the varied landscape is just breathtaking.

    My opinion on gear is to get a Goretex Pro shell suit with as many vents as you can get. I myself have the Rev'It Dominator jacket (it has tons of vents) with the Poseidon pants (equally as many vents as the Dominator pants but cheaper). Playing the layer game is just a pain in the butt, and having to get off every hour to throw rain gear on for a 5 minute shower is equally obnoxious. It's worth the cost. Heated gear is also a lifesaver, depending on the timing of your trip.

    And I'd strongly recommend a RDL seat if you're going to be on pavement the whole time. Your butt will thank you a million times over.

    Lastly, if you want an SOS device, a Garmin Inreach is better than a SPOT.

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    Last edited by SRTie4k; 07-09-19 at 06:13 AM.
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  19. #19
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    Re: Coast-to-Coast

    A nice organized tank bag is very helpful. You'll want to stay hydrated as most places will be hot. Comfy dry boots (and spare socks in that tank bag).

    Have fun and remember the journey is the destination, don't get hung up on locations and A to B driving. Enjoy the ride.

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  20. #20
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    Re: Coast-to-Coast

    Quote Originally Posted by SRTie4k View Post
    IMO Zion was ridiculously busy when my wife and I went there last year. It just wasn't worth the 45 min wait in line to go into the canyon, it's better to just take the auto road through.
    Are you serious? Did you not hike up the river at the north end of the canyon? What about angels' landing? Fookin' gorgeous.
    I was there with a 4 year old in tow and wasn't able to hike Angels' or as far into the canyons as I wanted. I saw enough to know I need to go back.

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    Re: Coast-to-Coast

    I should think a nation park pass would be worthwhile (and cheap)? America the Beautiful Passes (U.S. National Park Service)

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  22. #22
    Super Adventurer SRTie4k's Avatar
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    Re: Coast-to-Coast

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    Are you serious? Did you not hike up the river at the north end of the canyon? What about angels' landing? Fookin' gorgeous.
    I was there with a 4 year old in tow and wasn't able to hike Angels' or as far into the canyons as I wanted. I saw enough to know I need to go back.
    I would love to go hike Angel's Landing, but if we ever go back it will be in the off-season and on a weekday with an Annual Pass. Not having the Annual Pass was probably our biggest mistake last year. Otherwise you end up waiting more than you end up seeing. It was wall-to-wall people when we were there. Yellowstone was a much better experience, and we didn't particularly like Yellowstone due to how many people there were.

    Grand Teton or Olympic were much better for hiking without feeling like you're bumping into people all day long. Some of the fringe National Parks/Forests were even better if you don't like people (like me); Both the Northern Cascades and Bighorn, for example, were completely desolate and utterly beautiful.

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    Last edited by SRTie4k; 07-09-19 at 08:44 AM.
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  23. #23
    suburban ghetto living... black's Avatar
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    Re: Coast-to-Coast

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonk! View Post
    I should think a nation park pass would be worthwhile (and cheap)? America the Beautiful Passes (U.S. National Park Service)
    yup this....

    also if you head august into sept be aware it might snow up in the higher elevated regions. Early-Mid September doing route 12 there was 2 inches of snow on rt 12 when I drove it at night in Boulder utah cutting thru passes

    Also bison hang on the road a lot in Yellowstone and their eyes don't glow yellow at night like deer. You're on them superfast, go slow at night/ dusk round there, driving thru Yellowstone don't assume 50mph on the roads there tourists and being careful of wildlife(elk, mooose and bison) will keep you honest 30 mph

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    hmmmm......

  24. #24
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Coast-to-Coast

    My wife visited Zion off-season when she was in college. She said Angels' Landing and hiking in the river (whatever that area is called) was not an option because of ice and cold. A big part of why we went back was because she felt she didn't get to experience the park.

    I definitely wouldn't be turning people away from Zion. It's high on our list to go back to.

    Capitol Reef, Arches and the Grand Canyon are parks I feel I've "been there, done that" and do not need to revisit. Although I think my wife feels otherwise about Capitol Reef; we were only there for a half day stopover and I think she wants to go back.
    Canyonlands and Zion are two I could spend a lot more time at, possibly a lifetime. Definitely highlights for me.
    Our visit to Bryce was short and it rained. I don't feel I have a full feel for this.

    Something we wanted to drive but didn't get the chance was Grand Staircase. Especially with Trumps' cuts to the protection of that area.

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  25. #25
    Super Adventurer SRTie4k's Avatar
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    Re: Coast-to-Coast

    We camped in Escalante for the night, it's a very nice little town. But instead of Grand Staircase, we went east via Devil's Backbone, Burr Trail, Moki Dugway and Valley of the Gods, which were all fantastic backcountry roads with phenomenal views, and all very lightly traveled. Those would be worth doing on an adventure bike.

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