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I've been giving consideration to doing some traveling on my 2017 HD Road King.  I love the feel of this bike, but I've never done more than about 80 or 100 miles on it at a time.  Yesterday, I got on it with no particular destination in mind, and made a 160 mile circle in about 3 hours.  My feet touched the ground at a gas station 5 minutes from the house, and at a couple of intersections.  But other than filling up, my butt didn't come off the seat in that whole time.  It wasn't bad.  I had a little pain in my lower back that quickly went away, and a couple of hand cramps during some city traffic.  Otherwise, no problem.

 

I'd like to get where I can do 500 to 600 miles in a day.  My grandkids live 2400 miles from me, and I'd like to ride out for a visit some time.  So I'm going to start gradually adding to miles until I reach a limit to my endurance.  Probably gonna have to upgrade from the factory seat pretty soon, and add a couple of accessories, such as a cell phone mount and a cup holder.

road king moms.jpg

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Just me but ditch the cell phone.

I listened to audio books when I was riding. Made the miles pass a lot faster and I wasn't listening to the same songs on the radio over and over.

The key to long distance riding is regular stops that are efficient. I stopped about every 2 hours for fuel and to use the restroom. Used it every time whether I thought I needed to or not. Same for fuel. If I had to stop for any reason I always put fuel in the bike.

Plan meal stops during off peak hours and eat good food that is a balanced diet.

Avoid energy drinks like the covid.

 

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My advice is that you not take any long road trips on the bike at all.


I don’t know how old you are or what experience in have on motorcycles, but my guess is the bike’s too big for you.   I found them a pita to drive, and they weren’t very much fun at all, for a host o reasons.  Not the least of which you have already mentioned.

 

Cat Brules

 

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I used to regularly make SS1K rides on my FJR - Virginia to Mississippi.  My one ride that I documented had me complete the trip in under 18 hours with just seven stops.  I also either did the speed limit or only "kept up" with traffic.  Total time stopped was under an hour.   Speeding doesn't save you time and can actually make you need to stop for fuel more often than doing the speed limit.  My FJR had an honest range of 250 miles between fuel stops, my current motorcycle can go even further.

 

Music or audiobooks are both good.  These days I prefer a helmet with a Bluetooth headset and earbuds instead of the helmet speakers.  The Sena 20S has an auxiliary jack to allow you to use earbuds (custom or otherwise) instead of the included in-helmet speakers.  You can sync the 20S with a cell phone for music, books and/or telephone calls as necessary.

 

When travelling by motorcycle I also share my position with my wife so she can follow on Google maps.  I don't usually take time to call when stopping for gas/bathroom/food - talking on the phone is not an efficient use of time when trying to maximize miles.

 

Proper diet is essential to cranking out big miles.  I always carried a variety of "road food" to get me through a ride: beef jerky, granola/protein bars and fruit (usually a banana or three).

 

Hydration!  I attached a 1-gallon cooler to my passenger seat and ran a Camelback hose with the bite valve so I could drink during the ride.  I also kept a cooler with Gatorade/Powerade in a saddlebag or the trunk to drink at fuel stops.  You have to replace the electrolytes and drinking just water will flush them out rather than replenish.

 

I never looked at a ride and concentrated on the start to finish points.  Instead, I broke the ride down and concentrated on riding fuel stop to fuel stop.

 

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I used to enjoy taking 500+ miles on my own. A few members of our club wanted to try them so we put on a 500+ mile "lunch" ride once a month for a year. The longest ride was 820 miles!

 

This is the patch that was awarded to those that made 10 rides.

 

image.png.d7434351e9706f56834d448badcf03cf.png

 

Note the 5150 designation!:lol:

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Nice bike @LawMan Mark, SASS #57095L:)
 

Last August I bought a Sargent seat for my Kawasaki. If you want a production “custom” seat they are worth a look. I have a range of 250 miles in a tank of gas. With that seat I can do 200+ miles easily without having to stop. 
With the stock seat my back and legs were going numb at 120-150 miles and my tailbone hurt something awful at around 160-180 miles. That doesn’t happen now. 
I am no “Iron Butt” rider. The longest I have gone with my new seat was a 320 mile round trip out into the desert and back so I can’t stare that the Sargent seat is great for anything beyond that. 
 

One option that some guys I knew in Oregon did was they found a custom seat business local to them that specialized in Harley Davidson, Indian and Goldwing seats. They would have the tech, for lack of a better word, set up a test seat. Then they would go on a ride. If the padding and foam worked they would have a custom seat made. If there were issues, the tech would modify the test seat to see if those issues could be fixed. My one friend had to do 3 or 4 iterations of the test seat but in the end (pun intended) it worked out great for him and he had a seat that he could do a thousand miles on in a day only stopping every couple of hundred miles for fuel and restroom breaks. 
That would probably be what I would look for in your area. 
Sargent is in Florida. Too far away for me to have the seat I bought from them modified. Also, I paid around $500 for my seat. My friends in Oregon paid about the same for their custom seats so in their case it was a good thing. 
 

Also, I looked at Corbin seats. I chose a Sargent because of my tailbone issues. A few people I talked to liked their Corbin seats but I found more positive reviews on Sargent and two of the guys I knew that had Corbins on their Indian Scouts didn’t have glowing reviews on how the seat helped them in regards to comfort and tailbone issues. 
 

Good Luck. :)

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The only mods I made to my FJR were grip puppies, bar risers and a Bill Mayer Saddle.

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19 minutes ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

Nice bike @LawMan Mark, SASS #57095L:)
 

Last August I bought a Sargent seat for my Kawasaki. If you want a production “custom” seat they are worth a look. I have a range of 250 miles in a tank of gas. With that seat I can do 200+ miles easily without having to stop. 
With the stock seat my back and legs were going numb at 120-150 miles and my tailbone hurt something awful at around 160-180 miles. That doesn’t happen now. 
I am no “Iron Butt” rider. The longest I have gone with my new seat was a 320 mile round trip out into the desert and back so I can’t stare that the Sargent seat is great for anything beyond that. 
 

One option that some guys I knew in Oregon did was they found a custom seat business local to them that specialized in Harley Davidson, Indian and Goldwing seats. They would have the tech, for lack of a better word, set up a test seat. Then they would go on a ride. If the padding and foam worked they would have a custom seat made. If there were issues, the tech would modify the test seat to see if those issues could be fixed. My one friend had to do 3 or 4 iterations of the test seat but in the end (pun intended) it worked out great for him and he had a seat that he could do a thousand miles on in a day only stopping every couple of hundred miles for fuel and restroom breaks. 
That would probably be what I would look for in your area. 
Sargent is in Florida. Too far away for me to have the seat I bought from them modified. Also, I paid around $500 for my seat. My friends in Oregon paid about the same for their custom seats so in their case it was a good thing. 
 

Also, I looked at Corbin seats. I chose a Sargent because of my tailbone issues. A few people I talked to liked their Corbin seats but I found more positive reviews on Sargent and two of the guys I knew that had Corbins on their Indian Scouts didn’t have glowing reviews on how the seat helped them in regards to comfort and tailbone issues. 
 

Good Luck. :)

I just got a Mustang for my street Bob, $600 I was will it be worth it short answer is yes.

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Posted (edited)

Oh, something people forget about. The higher your handlebars or the further your hands are from the triple trees the more amplified the vibrations to your hands. If you lengthen your bar or increase distance from the triple tree look into vibration dampening for your bar or get some mechanics gel gloves to absorb vibration. Snap On made some really good ones. Harbor Freight does not. Those gel gloves made by motorcycle accessory companies are a flippin joke. Believe me. I have spend hundreds on gloves looking for the right vibe dampening gloves. Also, what works on a rice burner may not work on a V-twin Hog. Different vibe frequencies. The Snap On gloves worked on them all. They just don’t or didn’t come in black or brown. 
 

Edit:

One motorcycle glove company that I really like for heavier gloves and vibration dampening is Olympia gloves. Very good gloves. 

Edited by Pat Riot, SASS #13748
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My brother rode from FW, Texas to Uray, Colorado stopping only for fuel & rr breaks on his BMW. He showed me his Texas hwy map which was highlighted on every road he took and the whole darn state was yellow. My butt must be more tender or I never had a good enough seat. My last bike had a Corbin and I still can feel the pain.

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Let’s talk rain weather gear. 
I rode my bikes in Oregon rain, shine, hot, freezing. The only time I wouldn’t ride my bikes there was if there was ice / snow. 
 

Waterproof “Thinsolate” gloves aren’t once you get beyond about an hour of wet riding. Waterproof “Thinsolate” gloves with a raincoat cover are, but the cover is usually in the form of a mitten. Dexterity lost!

 

For rain coats / jackets and pants I bought Fly, Bilt, Olympia, and Tourmaster. The best of those 4 for reliability and comfort was Fly rain gear. All 4 of those makers are inexpensive. One bad thing about the Fly gear is I had to have a seamstress redo all the seams after a year of use. Also, in regards to footwear, the best thing I found for that was Fly overshoe gaiters. Waterproof motorcycle boots are great but truly suck for walking around in. Gaiters can come on and off easily and allow you to wear your favorite shoes or boots. 

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TIRES:

Best all around tires I have found for all weather conditions, except snow and ice are Michelin Road Pilot tires. Hands down the best motorcycle rain tire on the market and reasonably priced. They are also a very good dry road tire and they can be ridden aggressively in curves and twisties. 
 

Dunlop Roadsmart 3 is also a good wet weather tire but I think the Michelin is just a little better. Just a little. 

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330 miles is my best, on my old Vulcan Classic - from my home near Helena, MT to Pocatello, ID. Or vice versa - I came back every time too. :lol:

Vulcan_00.jpg

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44 minutes ago, Three Foot Johnson said:

330 miles is my best, on my old Vulcan Classic - from my home near Helena, MT to Pocatello, ID. Or vice versa - I came back every time too. :lol:

Vulcan_00.jpg

I had a 2015 Kawasaki Vulcan Classic LT. I do believe that out of all my motorcycles, that one was and still is my very favorite bike. I crashed it 7/17/17. Seven must not be a lucky number for me…

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2 hours ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

Let’s talk rain weather gear. 
I rode my bikes in Oregon rain, shine, hot, freezing. The only time I wouldn’t ride my bikes there was if there was ice / snow. 

AEROSTICH!  The best I have ever worn for wet weather.

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2 hours ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

TIRES:

Best all around tires I have found for all weather conditions, except snow and ice are Michelin Road Pilot tires. Hands down the best motorcycle rain tire on the market and reasonably priced. They are also a very good dry road tire and they can be ridden aggressively in curves and twisties.

I agree.  Started with Brick Stones (Bridgestones) on the FJR and changed them out quite early for the Michelin's.  I am also running Micheline Road 5 Trails on my BMW.  I may change them out for something a little more aggressive next time - they're not so good in gravel, sand or mud (my driveway and yard).

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1 hour ago, Three Foot Johnson said:

330 miles is my best, on my old Vulcan Classic - from my home near Helena, MT to Pocatello, ID. Or vice versa - I came back every time too. :lol:

Vulcan_00.jpg

I had a Vulcan Classic 1600.  I put 24,000 miles on it in 24 months.  It was "ok" around town and back/forth to work (25 miles each way), but I did not enjoy it on longer trips.  My back and shoulders would give me fits with the feet out front/long stretch to the handlebars.  Went to the FJR from that motorcycle and put 64,000 miles on the FJR in four years.  One would think I would have learned my lesson but I got rid of the FJR for an Electra Glide Ultra Classic.  12,000 miles in eight months reminded me of my aches and pains.  I traded that motorcycle for my current BMW R1200GSA.

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5 hours ago, Cat Brules said:

My advice is that you not take any long road trips on the bike at all.


I don’t know how old you are or what experience in have on motorcycles, but my guess is the bike’s too big for you.   I found them a pita to drive, and they weren’t very much fun at all, for a host o reasons.  Not the least of which you have already mentioned.

 

Cat Brules

 


What I’ve seen of Lawman Mark, he’s plenty big enough to handle his bike and has the skill and experience to enjoy his riding!!

 

Schoolmarm and I have ridden 1,500 miles in a long weekend and the guys that I used to ride with and I have ridden 2,500 miles numerous times when we had a holiday weekend with nothing else to do.

 

Having the motorcycle adjusted, tuned, and fitted to your size and shape and to the way you ride is essential!! This is true for trips and for everyday riding!!  We spent countless hours just making minor tweaks to suspension, controls, and riding position. Spent more than a few dollars too!

 

There were several years where I didn’t even own an automobile.  Schoolmarm had a car and I rode the bike anywhere that we didn’t go together!!  
 

When the guys and I rode, we often camped the whole time, only getting a room if the weather turned really bad and stayed that way.

 

All of this was possible because we knew how to ride, how to maintain ourselves when traveling, and how to make our bikes safe, dependable, and comfortable!

 

Motorcycling isn’t for everyone!! Some folks shouldn’t ride and others are a danger to themselves and others.  Long distance riding is for a select group who take total pleasure in being “up on two” !!

 

Me? I’m most happy just following the front wheel around, whether I am alone or with a group of like minded individuals!

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I've traveled all over Europe and most of the US on a motorcycle.  Wouldn't trade traveling that way for anything.  Being on a bike is like being a part of the scenery instead of being transported in a sealed steel cage.  Traveling 2 up, we'd do 300 to 400 miles a day depending on what we wanted to stop and see.  Traveling alone, I've done over 600 a day but that was when I was younger and had a better back.  Meanwhile, long ride to eats are the ticket here in Texas with the Honda ST1300 family of friends.

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6 minutes ago, Chief Rick said:

  I traded that motorcycle for my current BMW R1200GSA

I sat on one at the international motorcycle show in Dec 2019. I really liked it but, like my current Kawasaki Versys there is no way my wife could not get on to ride with me.

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4 hours ago, Redleg Reilly, SASS #46372 said:

I've traveled all over Europe and most of the US on a motorcycle.  Wouldn't trade traveling that way for anything.  Being on a bike is like being a part of the scenery instead of being transported in a sealed steel cage.  Traveling 2 up, we'd do 300 to 400 miles a day depending on what we wanted to stop and see.  Traveling alone, I've done over 600 a day but that was when I was younger and had a better back.  Meanwhile, long ride to eats are the ticket here in Texas with the Honda ST1300 family of friends.

Do you RTE with the MTF?

 

I will say that my wife enjoys riding in the Jeep with the top down more than riding pillion on any motorcycle.  With the top down, we get to experience most of the sights/smells as on a motorcycle, with a few additional benefits.

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My wife loved riding.  Put an oversized pillion seat and a luggage rack on the Heritage Softail and off we went. About 10,000 miles of two up riding I blew a fork seal on an overnight trip. I had to trailer the bike home. A friend I trusted, offered to let my wife make the trip home on the back of his Ultra Classic.  Needless to say 2 weeks later I had to get her an Ultra Classic.

Moral of the story is... Once the Queen gets to experience a better throne there is no going back to one that is inferior and you will either trade up or own 2 bikes. I opted for two.

 

I checked my logbook

 

Here is the Love of my Life on my heritage Softail. Our longest single day ride on the softail was about 525 miles to Sedonia Az. On that trip we experienced torrential rain, sleet and snow. 

 

May be an image of 1 person

 

The Queen on her throne and me as chauffeur on a H.O.G group ride in late March. Did about 450 miles or so that day.   

yucca2008.jpg.1834862d932b9d050b19c2d454481a70.jpg

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Christmas of 1999, we returned from a two or three day ride just before the sun started going down. We’d covered about 1,000 miles and I was ready for a damn good meal and much cold beverage. It had been a great trip.  Wehad stayed in motels because of the time of year, but the weather had been mostly pleasant.

 

 I pulled up in the driveway and shut the old Shovelhead down. I sat there for a good long two minutes. I heard her voice behind me as she stood up on the pegs to dismount. “I’m tired of looking at the back of your head,” she said.

 

 I instantly replied, “GOOD! I’m tired of hauling your ass around!  Go get your own bike and learn to ride!”

 

We bought her a new 1200 Custom Sportster on Valentines Day, 2,000 and I took the double seat off of my bike that afternoon!!

 

Never liked doubling and now I haven’t in over twenty years!!

 

She’s much happier too!!!

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11 hours ago, Chief Rick said:

Do you RTE with the MTF?

 

I will say that my wife enjoys riding in the Jeep with the top down more than riding pillion on any motorcycle.  With the top down, we get to experience most of the sights/smells as on a motorcycle, with a few additional benefits.

Used to ride 2 up all the time but not much anymore.  Less traveling than we did earlier in life I guess.

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20 hours ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

Oh, something people forget about. The higher your handlebars or the further your hands are from the triple trees the more amplified the vibrations to your hands. If you lengthen your bar or increase distance from the triple tree look into vibration dampening for your bar or get some mechanics gel gloves to absorb vibration. Snap On made some really good ones. Harbor Freight does not. Those gel gloves made by motorcycle accessory companies are a flippin joke. Believe me. I have spend hundreds on gloves looking for the right vibe dampening gloves. Also, what works on a rice burner may not work on a V-twin Hog. Different vibe frequencies. The Snap On gloves worked on them all. They just don’t or didn’t come in black or brown. 
 

Edit:

One motorcycle glove company that I really like for heavier gloves and vibration dampening is Olympia gloves. Very good gloves. 

Mine has stock HD handlebars, set about 8" above the tank.  I don't perceive any significant vibration.  Around here in Alabama, I wear HD fingerless gloves from March to October, and a pair of full hand gloves with Jersey knit gloves inside them the rest of the year.  I have a pair of weatherproof gauntlet style mitts, but have only wore them on one ride.

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23 hours ago, Cat Brules said:

My advice is that you not take any long road trips on the bike at all.


I don’t know how old you are or what experience in have on motorcycles, but my guess is the bike’s too big for you.   I found them a pita to drive, and they weren’t very much fun at all, for a host o reasons.  Not the least of which you have already mentioned.

 

Cat Brules

 

Been riding for about 15 years.  This is my 4th bike, and 3rd Harley Davidson.  I'm 6'2 and 220, I can stand over the seat of this bike with both feet on the ground.  I've found that the pleasures of bike riding most often outweigh the detriments.   

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My longest non-stop ride was 660 miles on a Honda 305 Super Hawk.
San Rafael, CA to Boise ID.

My mistake was going too late in the year and getting caught in a blizzard over Donner Summit on the return trip.
I was tailgating a big truck draft to keep from freezing to death, when the CHP pulled me over.
He kept me in his car for half and hour, fed me hot coffee, and taught me how to line inside my jacket and pants with Chevron paper towels to keep from freezing.
That was the only worthwhile ticket I ever received.

Kudos for Iron Butt...
I wanted to do this with my Sportster... Sacramento to Utah state line with a following vehicle and trailer for a safety net.
1,000 miles in 24 hours.  This even leaves 6 hours to crash in a motel.
But... this never came about, the bike is now sold, and no more bikes for me.
 

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3 hours ago, LawMan Mark, SASS #57095L said:

Been riding for about 15 years.  This is my 4th bike, and 3rd Harley Davidson.  I'm 6'2 and 220, I can stand over the seat of this bike with both feet on the ground.  I've found that the pleasures of bike riding most often outweigh the detriments.   

Sorry, Lawman Mark, I didn’t realize how much experience you had riding. I should have remembered you mentioning this before.  I apologize for my assumptions. 

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4 hours ago, LawMan Mark, SASS #57095L said:

I'm 6'2 and 220, I can stand over the seat of this bike with both feet on the ground.

I'm 5'5 and liked Harleys for that same reason.
Both feet flat on the ground at a stop light.
The Sportster Roadster 1200 was my last... sold now... buyer's wife is getting it.

2019-03.perspective.2017-09.changed.1978.2016.Bruce.selfie.Harleys.gauss20.burn.720.sfw.jpg

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7 hours ago, bgavin said:

1,000 miles in 24 hours.  This even leaves 6 hours to crash in a motel.
 

For anyone reading this that wants to do a documented SS1K, the biggest obstacle to overcome is making efficient stops.

 

While travelling, regardless of how many wheels, more time is lost at the gas station than anywhere along the way unless there happens to be a major traffic backup due to an accident.

 

You have to multitask: pump your gas, eat a bite and drink something all at the same time. 

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Used to ride 400 to 500 miles all the time. 36 years on the road   Many bikes. Worst long road bike was a 57 sportster that I restored. Bike would beat you to death after about 60 miles.  Actually put 385 miles in one day going to my wife’s fathers in northern Ohio one year. Couch bound for two days after.  Sold all my bikes and gave it up up due to shoulder and hip replacements. Now I just daydream when riders go by. 

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Just now, Tennessee Trapper Tom said:

 Now I just daydream when riders go by. 

You could always try a convertible sports car or a Jeep - I find I get most of the enjoyment that I have on a motorcycle when I put the top down on the Jeep.  Been considering get something like a Mazda Miata convertible when I decide to get rid of the bike.

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