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What to bring on my first long trip?

1747 Views 24 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  dm_gsxr
(kind of a long rambling thread)

I'm looking for some tips from you iron butt folks and anyone else with good road and touring tips. I'll be going on my first long trip in September from San Luis Obispo, California to Las Vegas, Nevada, almost 500 miles. Las Vegas Bikefest will be my first big bike rally type thing.

I'll be meeting up with and riding out with my dad and some of his friends (all on harleys) from the Bay Area, so I'll be the only sportbike in the group, and probably one of very few in Vegas for the event. Should be fun.

Here is what I have come up with for my trip so far.

-New equipment
sport touring windscreen (on the way)
Tourmaster tank bag (on the way)
Joe Rocket tail pack

I've got a nice hydration pack that I plan to either put in the tank bag, or in a backpack. For navigation, I've got a Garmin GPS loaded up with maps that's going in my new tank bag.

-Bike adjustments
put the shorter stock shock back on my bike for more comfortable riding position
raise clipons a bit

What to bring along is where I figure I'm going to forget something important. Here's some of the stuff I've thought of so far:

chain lube
honda polish
cleaning towels
JB Weld
zip ties
piece of tubing (for gas)
tire pressure gage
extra headlight bulb (in case the HID puttzes out)

I know there were a couple other things I was planning on packing, but I can't think of them right now.

Gearwise, I was considering getting some riding pants and some real motorcycle boots, but those are going to depend on available fundage. I'm hoping to at least get myself a fully perforated leather jacket for the long ride through the desert. Right now I've got an Icon Timax mesh jacket but I've been meaning to replace it with leather.

I'm also considering working out a way to ride with my MD player, but I may just go with earplugs.

I appreciate any advice, tips, or general road knowledge you folks can give, and I'm looking forward to my ride.
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No offense but 500 miles isnt really a long trip. Thats just a weekend ride.

Get the perf jacket! Pack all your stuff into a large tankbag and go. Loose the GPS, hydration pack (riding with HD's means you will stop often for gas), back pack, motorcycle boots, LB, fuses.

Take a flat repair kit for tubeless tires.

Ive done some very long sportbike rides (6000 miles, 800 in a day) and the easiest thing to do is over pack. Look at some of my pictures in the FZ1 forum.

Have fun and take pictures!
First thing would be a repair kit for tubeless tyres. Next thing would be to call up Ewan Mcgrewor(sp?) and ask him , seeing as he did 20,000 miles in 3 mnths. LOL. Have fun , ride safe.
Might look at the "archives of wisdom" at

I'd go ahead and take your hydration pack, considering the time of year and where you're riding. Sounds like a hot, dry trip. On a sportbike, you'll be refueling about every 2-3 hours anyway, so "bathroom breaks" won't be an issue.

Wear some padded bicycle shorts under your riding pants - they work wonders on longer trips.
Yeah, the 500 miles will go by like nothing...I've done almost 800 in a day and it wasnt that bad
I know that 500 miles in a day isn't that far, but it's twice as far as I've ever ridden so I'm just a little worried. I've driven further, but never ridden it.

You're probably right about me over packing. Thanks for the tips. What else you got?
here's the "basic checklist" from "Motorcycle Escape" magazine...

bandannas, bike lock, cable ties, camera & film, cell phone, change (pay phones), clean rags, duct tape, earplugs, bungee cords, extra face shield & cleaner, first-aid kit, hand-cleaner wipes, lip balm, maps/compass, pen/paper, pocketknife/multitool, rainsuit, spare batteries, spare bike key, spare fuses/spark plugs, spare gloves, sunscreen, sunglasses, tire guage, tire repair kit, water bottle, waterproof flashlight, whistle

some of that shite is so random and you can do without; but apparently it's a list compiled by many riders and many miles

have fun and be safe on your trip!
Since your coming to Vegas you should post up in the Vegas fourms or on

there are a few good places to go ride around vegas
Your thinking of the trip as a whole. That can overload a persons brain. Think of the trip as a short ride to a gas station where you and your friends will stop, gas up, rest and drink water (thats why I said loose the Camelback). Then think of the next short ride to the next gas station or lunch stop. Rest. Then after another stop or two, bam, your there.

Would you pack all that stuff to get to a gas station 100 short miles away? You will only go as far as the bike in your group with the smallest gas tank.
If I thought about my ride from Alaska to Texas as a whole I would have never done it. I made it into short rides from place to place and in the end, I was in Houston, whew!


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Body bags for you and your victim.
Good advice, Squid Killer. I hadn't even really thought of it that way.

King Cobra said:
Body bags for you and your victim.
And king cobra, I don't know what the fuck you're talking about, so ..... yeah. :dunno
Sunscreen, Lip balm, Earplugs, Sunglasses, Excedrine or Asprine or some other pain medicine are defanite big ones for me.
Install a throttle lock
Also since you will be with cruisers, maybe bring a magazine. Seriously, maybe get some Koss earplug earphones and an MP3 b/c you will be bored riding with those guys on the hwy at 70 mph cruise for 500 miles. But they usually stop every 100 miles or so... No need for hydration, etc since you'll be stopping often.
I've talked to my dad about his friends and it sounds like they actually do some good miles. He said they usually cruise at 70 - 90 mph. Looking at the fuel specs for most of the harleys, they could do about 200 on a tank, but they probably won't. I'm not too worried about being to keep up distancewise though, except for the comfort thing. I did plan on getting some earphones for my helmet.

Maybe I'm just thinking about it too much. My bike isn't even ridable right now due to a bent front wheel, so maybe I should worry about getting my bike back on the road first.
I just came in from an 800 mile ride:

Tire repair kit
Multi purpose tool.
Rain gear( needed it for about 300 miles of the trip )
Extra gloves( neopream(sp)for when it rains )
Socks and underwear
First aid kit( just in case someone goes down )

Newer HD's will get aroun 200 miles to a tank.
I make a stop every 150 miles for fuel and to strecth my legs.
Basic maintenance tools, windex wipes, tank bag, tail bag, gps if you have one, maps, lip balm, cell phone, camera, rain gear, and change of clothing, pain killers, your good to go, or another tip, pack everything you think you'll need, then only take half:)
I'd have to stop every 150 or so miles for gas anyway. My F4 only gets 40mpg, and with a 4.25 gallon tank, 150-160 is about all I'm going before finding a gas station.
Good rain gear, waterproof boots and gloves. Trust me, it's pretty miserable riding all day wet and soggy. Try riding for more than 12 hours with wet feet.
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