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Solo motorcycle trip - New York to San Fran

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by curlsaugogo, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. Hi all,

    In a couple of months I am visiting a friend in NY, and then a friend on West Coast USA on the way back to Aus.

    Initially I was thinking of flying across the continent and spending a week or more in Yosemite in between visits, but now it occurs to me that I might have enough time for biking across and taking in the Rockies as well.

    Its an embryonic idea at present, but has anyone here done big bike tours in USA? Im looking for advice on:

    - how long the trip might take?
    - international licensing issues? Im licensed but still with restrictions here
    - the motorcycle market there - buy/hire? Buy should be OK as I will have at least a week in NY, but I wonder if I could commission someone to sell it for me in San Fran. Or LA.
    - Route? Obviously it gets interesting at the Rockies but I am unsure what is of interest at that latitude in the East.
    - Hazards?

    Cheers for any advice or happy reminiscences you may have.
  2. I wouldn't even consider it as you're not on your fulls nor do you have the relevant experience.

    This is not having a go at you, but I do not think it's a wise idea.
  3. well, yes, experience is to be factored in.

    I imagine the main problems would be fatigue being too much of a problem to make quick enough progress if on a time frame, and I would have to avoid roads at risk of ice.

    Also it would be good to have some kind of mechanical support like RACV, dont know if such a thing exists over there for this kind of situation.
  4. Route 66 would be the way to go. It's interesting and you will find more information than you know what to do with. I've traveled the western half by car and it is a great trip.

    There's a LOT of information - and an active forum.

  5. i dont want to post another site but it is a US motorcycling site that has its main area as trips with photos so you might get a lot out of it. check out advrider.com

    fantastic for US ( and global ) trip info
  6. One of the most boring rides you can imagine. If you're going to do it, use a car.
  7. San Fran is one of the nicest places I've ever been to. Avoid LA if your on your own and dont know where to go or more importantly where not to go. Got myself in a heap of trouble a few years ago in LA. Give it a miss. Its over rated.

    PS: dont listen to the people saying dont do it, if you can ride a bike around melbourne you can ride a bike around the US. Whats the diffrence?
  8. Good luck. Enjoy yourself. Wish I was going.
  9. the difference is she's not on her fulls and probably won't be able to hire a bike. if anything goes wrong, she'd need a helluva lot of money for insurance.

    if buying a bike, same thing with insurance.


    EDIT: however, if you've got the money and yadayadayada then hell yeah woman, go for it. it'd be an awesome ride, and a courageous thing to do.
  10. Its this magical think called living life to the max. Who gives a rats is she's on P's L's F's D's M's J's C's or any other letter? What does it matter?
  11. thanks so much for the links guys - I will have a good play here tonight.

    I was keen to see some of the great American outdoors. I cant find any recommended East-West road trips through the Rockies/Yosemite, but I can take a detour off Route 66 to the Grand Canyon...so perhaps that will be the way to go, thanks Tony.

    It lands me in LA instead of San Fran, but my friend there works for Mickey Mouse, and I hear he's a bit of a big shot round there, so I reckon Ill be protected from its underbelly ;)
  12. Hi
    I would never say to anyone dont do it, but I would say that this would not be a cheap trip with insurance and the like. Much of the middle of America is pretty dull (no offence to anyone). Also Ive ridden through parts of india and s.e.asia and LA is more scary if your quite new to riding.

    On a positive note Yosemeti is probably one of the most stunning places Ive ever been. Just make sure you plan properly as if your staying in the park you have to book months in advance.

    I would recommend delivering cars for a company to travel across. Thats what we did and it was wicked. Drove an Audi TT from east to west coast for free. Fuel only.
  13. I'd vote San Fran over LA. I'm sure you can plot a route that lands you in the Bay Area. Then you can ride on up to Yosemite, which really is worth a look. Spectacular scenery, though it can get a bit crowded with all the tourists.
  14. Hope you didn't pick up any hitchers :shock:.
  15. Good point. Try flying from NY to Texas then ride from TX to San Fran via Vegas. The roads are nice and the weather is warm as apose to north america which can get really cold depending on the time of year you go.
  16. Oh now you're all confusing me :shock:

    It will be spring. One of the good things about route 66 is that it does drop south pretty quick and it is low altitude i think, for a few extra degrees of warmth. Also I thought it would be a kinda interesting road? Moreso than ripping through middle America on the interstates anyhoo.
  17. Well! if your in the US around March head for Daytona. Bike week is fun.

    Route 66 actualy doesnt exist anymore. I think its now call route E302 or something like that from memory which makes the song sound crap.

    "Get your kicks on route E302" - See what I mean?
  18. Buy a book called Road Trip USA - it's specifically for interesting roads around the US, and avoids the boring-ass freeways. (and yes, that includes Route 66, which is a truly "Americana" road).

    Another good online reference is pashnit, which lists out good motorcycling routes.

    You might want to consider joining the American Motorcyclist Association for US$39, as you'll get roadside assistance for the motorcycle. (though to get the roadside included in the membership, you HAVE to join up using automatic renewal option every year, but you can cancel once you're done with the trip.)

    I don't know how your restricted license is going to carry over, I'll let others comment on that.

    I covered about 25 states and 3 provinces of Canada with a wife and myself on a pickup truck, and it took us 2 1/2 months (and "covering" is really loosely termed -- we never stuck around more than a day or two in one place).

    If you only have time for a straight line route, it'll still take a good week just to ride straight across without seeing much other than roadside scenery. Even for a straight-line route, I'd give it at least 2-3 weeks to go at a more leisurely rate so you can stop here & there and have a look.
  19. I like this advice!!

    Im hoping the "restricted" bit gets lost in international translation...

    how many wives do you have? :cheeky:
  20. The IDP doesn't indicate whether you are on learners or p's. It only shows whether you can drive a truck, bus, car & motorcycle.

    Whether on l's or p's as long as you carry your normal license along with your idp you should be fine.