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 How do you Tour?

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honda_silver
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wingnprayer
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PostSubject: How do you Tour?   How do you Tour? I_icon_minitimeTue Dec 29, 2009 10:03 am

This might seem like a daft question, but how do you guys go on tour? For example what type of things do you carry, where do you eat, sleep, etc and can you just go where the wind carries you?

Here in the UK accommodation is very expensive so staying in separate accommodation each night would; a) cost about US$80 upwards per person, and b) mostly need to be booked in advance, particularly during the summer months. So this makes touring quite challenging for your average UK motorcyclist.

The other option is camping. But then you need to carry all the necessary equipment. Again here in the UK the weather is very unpredictable (even during the peak summer weeks) and so you really need to take a mixture of light/heavy clothes and various sleeping options re temperature variation. Even given the ample space on a Silverwing you would still be taking the most basic of camping kit and this could reduce the enjoyment of the tour. Plus a lot of UK campsites have to be booked in advance during the peak weeks. It is quite risky to just turn up and hope.

So however you anticipate touring in the UK it is an expensive and logistical challenge. I have the impression that Europe is not much better (although others may put me straight on that).

So how does it work out for you guys across the pond and elsewhere, is it easier/less expensive or are you all financially unchallenged and don't need to plan it to the N'th degree?
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matthew
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PostSubject: Re: How do you Tour?   How do you Tour? I_icon_minitimeTue Dec 29, 2009 10:54 am

Well, on my one shorter trip (3 days/2 nights), and my longer trip (7 days/6 nights) this past year, I packed up for camping and varying weather conditions, and it all worked out very well both times, except I might have had some additional warmer clothes the first time. I find that I'm more attracted to camping, so staying in motels doesn't come up much - I consider that a more or less emergency option rather than a desirable first choice. I'm also not much interested in advance reservations, unless, as in the first trip, we were going to a music festival (or something else like that) and you had to have advance reservations even for camping. Other wise I like the "hit the road and let the camping be found where it can be" approach, but then, I'm willing to hunker down along the side of an out-of-the-way dirt road somewhere too, as needed.

As far as packing goes, I didn't find any problems with over loading the Swing, or making it uncomfortable or unbalanced while carrying my camping gear. I thought quite a bit about it first, and used a motorcycle-camping checklist which I found online to help me include and eliminate various things. In the end, I felt like I might have been able to take a bit less in the way of clothing, but nothing so outrageous that I thought I'd made any horrible mistakes in my packing. Just that living rough off the bike for a week required less changes of clothes than I might have planned for.

A small, light weight bivy style tent (one person), a sleeping bag, a thermarest air mattress, a piece of plastic for a ground cover, a tiny pocket rocket stove and a couple of fuel canisters, a water filter (just in case, which I never used), etc. Layers of clothing for varying weather demands. I ended up with my saddlebags, my small-ish top box, and two waterproof duffles loaded onto the back seat very nicely. Plus whatever I had under the seat. Really everything a person would need for such a trip. I never felt that I didn't have something I needed along the way. In fact I added a thing or two to my traveling kit after the fact, like a length of small diameter tubing in case I'd ever need to siphon gas from some helpful person's car. Takes up virtually no room and weighs next to nothing. That sort of thing.

Sounds like weather considerations over your way might be a bigger issue too. Since there's so much more room to move over this way, I guess a person could plan a trip so as to avoid whatever particular weather s/he might want to, for the most part anyway. Hey, maybe you'll need to go a bit farther afield, to where it's nicer weather - maybe spain/portugal, or italy, or france - and less expensive too. Doesn't sound bad to me: nicer weather and cheaper rates. Hmmm. I could live with that.

Ride safe.
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Waspie
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PostSubject: Re: How do you Tour?   How do you Tour? I_icon_minitimeWed Dec 30, 2009 2:34 pm

Touring in the UK - I don't!!!! How do you Tour? Icon_redface

My Wing is for my nightmare commuting to and from the fun factory, (work).

With the olympics hitting my part of the planet in a couple of years thats when it will pay serious dividends.
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honda_silver
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PostSubject: Re: How do you Tour?   How do you Tour? I_icon_minitimeWed Dec 30, 2009 6:27 pm

Waspie wrote:
With the olympics hitting my part of the planet in a couple of years thats when it will pay serious dividends.

I would expect traffic during the Olympics will be horrible ... avoid at all cost How do you Tour? Affraid
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MikeO
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PostSubject: Re: How do you Tour?   How do you Tour? I_icon_minitimeThu Dec 31, 2009 5:55 am

Close to my former home in North London runs the North Circular Road.
This will be the main road link between Wembley Stadium and the Olympic site in East London.
It is proposed to ban all traffic except 'Olympic' transport from one lane in each direction.
It's OK in theory but the NC is heavily congested at the best of times and the section near me was only three lanes wide in total - one each way and a suicide lane in the middle - so Lord only knows what will happen.
Glad I shan't be there!
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Waspie
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Waspie

Number of posts : 2392
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PostSubject: Re: How do you Tour?   How do you Tour? I_icon_minitimeThu Dec 31, 2009 2:18 pm

honda_silver wrote:
Waspie wrote:
With the olympics hitting my part of the planet in a couple of years thats when it will pay serious dividends.

I would expect traffic during the Olympics will be horrible ... avoid at all cost How do you Tour? Affraid

If only I could!!!

My ride on and off the island has to transit the 'causeway' a single lane road thatconnects Portland to the mainland, it is the entry/exit route for all attending the sailing centre. (I do hope they use sea transport for the event) How do you Tour? Icon_evil
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honda_silver
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PostSubject: Re: How do you Tour?   How do you Tour? I_icon_minitimeThu Dec 31, 2009 2:41 pm

Waspie wrote:
My ride on and off the island has to transit the 'causeway' a single lane road thatconnects Portland to the mainland, it is the entry/exit route for all attending the sailing centre. (I do hope they use sea transport for the event) How do you Tour? Icon_evil

I had to look up Google maps to see the 'causeway'. It looks like it will be a real challenge and hassle for the locals.
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exavid
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PostSubject: Re: How do you Tour?   How do you Tour? I_icon_minitimeFri Jan 01, 2010 7:38 pm

A lot easier on the West side of the water. Motels can usually be found for $40-60 per day for two people. Camping is normally easy too either in Federal, State, County or Private campgounds. Costs for these vary from nothing to $30 depending on location, time of year and quality of accomodations. Lots of places where you can pitch a tent for nothing outside the heavily populated areas. I used to like camping but at my age a real bed is a desired thing. I do camp now and then but try to avoid having to cook. That just takes up more space on the bike and time preparing and cleaning up. Much easier to keep some snacks and go to restaurants. I don't mind camp cooking but just not so much with the bike. I do cheat though because my touring is usually done with my Goldwing though the trips I've made even the coast to coast runs could have been done on a Silverwing with a top box and some panniers.
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PostSubject: How do you Tour?   How do you Tour? I_icon_minitimeFri Jan 01, 2010 10:19 pm

For my summer ride last year I tried something different I stayed in a Yurt. It’s camping w/out bringing your own tent and it has a heater, no less. It cost me $32 including tax and The shower and bathroom is just behind the yurt in the 1st picture. The 2nd picture is of Motel 6,It’s where I stay when I do multiple day rides. The thing about Motel 6 is I can get a 6pm hold w/out giving my card and most of the time I’ll over shoot where my stay is and also book another room 100 miles further up the road just in case I want to ride longer or just for back up.
I bring a change of clothes for everyday of my ride and when I go places where gas is to far in between
My rides I bring a 2gal gas container (3rd picture)so I won’t get stuck. Most of the rides here in northern California
Are day rides bcuz there’s just so many places to choose from, the coast, wine country, the valley and up to the Sierras.

How do you Tour? 2054006180101814636WevZot_fs
http://community.webshots.com/photo/fullsize/2054006180101814636WevZot

http://community.webshots.com/photo/fullsize/2997379350101814636TqjtVU

http://community.webshots.com/photo/fullsize/2985865370101814636mljoKo

james
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pja
Maxi-Scooter Rider
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pja

Number of posts : 158
Age : 75
Location : Batemans Bay, NSW, Australia
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PostSubject: Re: How do you Tour?   How do you Tour? I_icon_minitimeSat Jan 02, 2010 2:45 am

wingnprayer wrote: ...how do you guys go on tour? For example what type of things do you carry, where do you eat, sleep, etc and can you just go where the wind carries you?
Here in the UK accommodation is very expensive...
The other option is camping...


I've been retired for nearly nine years (gosh where did all that time go?); for the first half of that I got back on two wheels via a Vespa ET-4 150 and so did not do much touring. I had an itch to get a "real bike" so I swaped the Vespa for a Honda CB900F Hornet (Honda 919 in the USofA). Initially I used the Hornet for day rides. But then I tried a few "over-nighters" and I was hooked! I call it "mini touring" but do two to five day trips.

The Hornet was a great bike but touring meant using a tank bag and a back pack and that gets uncomfortable after several days. I started to think about something a bit more comforable for touring and in Sept. 09 ended up "swapping" the Hornet for my SilverWing.

I have only done one tour on the SilverWing so far (Click here to see a report) but I find it ideal. This trip was 2,020 km over five days and all my luggage, maps, etc. went under the seat. I guess if I need more space I could use a back pack (I don't like the look of a top box).

Most of my rides have been either solo or with Cliff, my Ulysses mate. Cliff has a Honda Deauville so we have similar capacities.

Our trips have been throughout New South Wales and Victoria (Australia). Both states have a coastal plain up to 60 km wide bordered by the Tasman Sea and the Great Dividing Range (up to 3,500 mtr. high) and then relatively flat in-land plains (much like Texas only more interesting IMHO How do you Tour? Icon_smile . We have a few "rules" for our trips:

  • We like to stay in country "pubs" and chat with the locals over a beer or two at the end of each day;
  • We like to stay in places that our wives would never stay in, so generally that means shared facilities down the hall; and
  • Our wives like to keep us on an accommodation budget of AUD25 per night (our last trip showed that the Global Economic Crisis has had an impact on this and its very difficult to find anywhere at that price - maybe AUD50 is the "new" AUD25 How do you Tour? Icon_sad ; and
  • We CANNOT pass a good looking coffee shop, cafe or bakery without a "road test".
We tend to cover about 400 to 500 km per day and are trying to stop more often for photography these days.

As I said earlier, I am really pleased at how well the SilverWing handles this role; although I miss the Hornet, it was a good move to swap to the SilverWing. I waiting for the Xmas/New Year "silly season" to end and I'll be out on the road again.

Our next trip is scheduled for late March or early April when we will be off to the alpine areas of southern NSW and Victoria. However, I might not be able to wait that long and might do a shorter trip on my own before How do you Tour? Icon_lol .

For you forum members in the Northern Hemisphere, its going to be 22 degrees C and fine in Batemans Bay tomorrow. Good riding weather!

Happy New Year to all,
Peter
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matthew
Touring Scooter Rider
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Number of posts : 361
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PostSubject: Re: How do you Tour?   How do you Tour? I_icon_minitimeSat Jan 02, 2010 9:55 am

Thanks for the report and the pics, Peter. I must say, you're "country pubs" don't look bad at all. Before I saw the pics I was expecting some kind of run down hell hole, seeing as how your wives wouldn't stay there, but they look like nice little hotels, actually.

Also, for those of us over here in the Northern hemisphere, what's "Ulysses"?

Ride safe.
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pja
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PostSubject: Re: How do you Tour?   How do you Tour? I_icon_minitimeSat Jan 02, 2010 7:55 pm

matthew wrote:
...Also, for those of us over here in the Northern hemisphere, what's "Ulysses"?

Matthew,

Ulysses is an Australian organisation that is starting to spread (slowly) around the World. Its a motorcycling "club" for "over 40's". See the About Us page for more details. Briefly, the club provides a social environment for older motorcyclists. You have to be over 40 and ideally have a motorcycle licence or at least an interest in motorcycles and you can become a "Junior" member. If you are over 55 then you can become a "Full" member.

What are its aims:

  • To provide ways in which older motorcyclists can get together for companionship and mutual support.
  • To show by example that motorcycling can be an enjoyable and practical activity for riders of all ages.
  • To draw the attention of public and private institutions to the needs and views of older riders.
The club is run centrally but is composed of branches all around Australia and now some overseas. Except for an annual "AGM" (or week-long get together) most activities are run at the branch level. I belong to the Eurobodalla Branch (Eurobodalla being my local region of NSW). My branch runs ride days twice a week (Sunday and Wednesday) and Cafe Latte runs on Saturday mornings (which are purely social gatherings where partners and friends join us). I co-ordinate the Wednesday (or mid-week) rides and try to organise longer mid-week trips ("mini-tours" How do you Tour? Icon_lol ).

Ulysses is most certainly NOT a biker organisation, in fact there are strict policies about NOT wearing insignia that might look like "colours". There is also a local policy about drinking (to excess) and riding.

Its a really good organisation to belong to; very laid back and (our branch at least) has a great bunch of members.

Hope that helps,
Peter
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jdeereanton
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PostSubject: Re: How do you Tour?   How do you Tour? I_icon_minitimeSun Jan 03, 2010 6:54 am

wingnprayer wrote:
This might seem like a daft question, but how do you guys go on tour? For example what type of things do you carry, where do you eat, sleep, etc and can you just go where the wind carries you?

When my wife and I travel we take both SilverWings and we travel light. Although we have added 46 liter GIVI top cases and Corbin glove boxes. We will stop every few days and do laundry. This is made simpler because in answer to you next few questions we stay in hotels and rarely book in advance. We have booked ahead in the past and we do try to research the availability of hotels during our trip planning. Cost is an issue, but I have spent a few nights sleeping upright in the seat of an armored vehicle, I don't need to sleep in the finest of digs. We rarely exceed the $80 cost point. That is $80 for the room that both of us stay in. At times we've spent more and once in the fall of 2006 stayed in a place in Kentucky that cost us $32 for the night. It was dry and we slept just fine, woke in the am with all limbs and property so I guess it was safe - live on the edge folks!

wingnprayer wrote:
Here in the UK accommodation is very expensive so staying in separate accommodation each night would; a) cost about US$80 upwards per person, and b) mostly need to be booked in advance, particularly during the summer months. So this makes touring quite challenging for your average UK motorcyclist.

The other option is camping. But then you need to carry all the necessary equipment. Again here in the UK the weather is very unpredictable (even during the peak summer weeks) and so you really need to take a mixture of light/heavy clothes and various sleeping options re temperature variation. Even given the ample space on a Silverwing you would still be taking the most basic of camping kit and this could reduce the enjoyment of the tour. Plus a lot of UK campsites have to be booked in advance during the peak weeks. It is quite risky to just turn up and hope.

We don't camp. My good Uncle Sam cured me of that habit during an extended camping trip to the middle east.

wingnprayer wrote:
So however you anticipate touring in the UK it is an expensive and logistical challenge. I have the impression that Europe is not much better (although others may put me straight on that).

So how does it work out for you guys across the pond and elsewhere, is it easier/less expensive or are you all financially unchallenged and don't need to plan it to the N'th degree?

Touring is a logistic and financial challenge. We have transitioned from standard vacations to just touring and while we do plan and try to figure out what we will do while travelling we don't go over the top with it. The back roads are full of interesting challenges and sites. Never pass by a small town bakery - a doughnut and cup of coffee with the locals is always a lot of fun.
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matthew
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PostSubject: Re: How do you Tour?   How do you Tour? I_icon_minitimeSun Jan 03, 2010 11:41 am

Peter,
Thanks for the explanation and website link. It looks like it would be a good organization for riders wanting to keep a social and, from the sounds of it, very cordial and sane/non-competitive connection.

I don't think Ulysses has arrived here in the States yet - or maybe won't. There may be something like it here, but I don't know. My riding tends to be solo, or with a particular friend sometimes. But I'd imagine there'd be some interest over here in such an organization.

In any case we're all jealous of you over there now, what with you having Summer in January! What a concept.

Ride safe.
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