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Tips for Long Trips

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by jfiddy, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. Hey guys,

    I'm considering doing the ride from Sydney up to the Gold Coast rather than catching the jet with my friends.

    Googling the path its 850kms / 11 hours worth of riding.

    Any tips or advice for a first long ride? I got a Kawasaki 250R (EX250J) 2009 if that's any help.


  2. I love the gpx, but it's seat is unforgiving. Expect to stop often for rest, drinks and toilet stops. Fuel will be needed about every 300kms. Wear ear plugs. Expect to be tired.
  3. thanks Rob!

    I was hoping to listen to the radio/mp3 the whole time. I'm planning on stopping every 3hours for touristy stuff. I got the complete leather gear but was thinking off doing regular clothes +mc boots and gloves to save some weight and pack more into my backpack.

    do hiking backpacks do well on long rides? Tank bag worth the investment?
  4. Tank back, rack... anything to lighten the physical load especially if you're not fit.

    Don't get me wrong, it's doable, but, don't over estimate your abilities until you do a few dry runs. Go our riding for a whole day with your proposed set up. Take a ride to canberra and back along the highway for example... see how you fair.

  5. cool. I'd like to think I've pretty fit but we'll see. Unfortunately I don't really have the time for a good and long test run. I'll just have to wing it. Hopefully I don't give up midway or get any mechanical problems.
  6. Tankbag and a tailpack or a topbox/panniers, if you can - Try to avoid carrying much on your back.

    I find a camelbak (or any other 'hydration backpack' - I use a Deuter brand one) to be invaluable on long trips. They allow you to keep hydrated throughout the trip without having to pull over for a drink, and the kilogram or two of water worn close to the spine isn't really noticable.

    I usually keep a packet of jelly snakes in the left/top of my tankbag for something to munch on when bored or hungry, too. (I use snakes because it's easy to feed them up under the chinbar and into the mouth)

    Tinted visor and/or sunglasses are a must for relieving eyestrain.

    A few Netriders recommend wearing compression shorts/bikeshorts under gear to help reduce the sore-butt feeling from the seat. I find that it does seem to help a little bit.

    (Now, personally... While the Pacific Highway is indeed the fastest way up there, I find it incredibly mindnumbing and buttnumbing. In some respects I find it a bit stressful too, with numpties sitting in the right hand lane doing 80, the abundant speed cameras and police enforcement. Not that I deliberately speed on interstate freeways, but I can do without the stress of having to check my speedo every 10 seconds.

    There's a route straight up the guts, taking Thunderbolts Way, Waterfall Way, Summerland Way, which avoids all the caravans, roadworks and 50kph towns yet to be bypassed. It adds an hour to the trip and about 70km, but it's much more fun, and time passes much quicker on the twisty roads. But that can wait for a future trip, perhaps, when your endurance is built up a bit better.)
  7. In summer, hydration is a significant issue on a long trip. Keep drinking.

    Do not expect to maintain your projected average speed. The stops you will need to make will extend your trip time.

    Three hours at a stretch is a long time on a small bike. A backpack is likely to make you less comfortable (more weight on your arse, possible pressure on your spine) so, again, be prepared to cut down your stints in the saddle.

    I agree with Rob on the matter of a trial run. Do a big loop around your home base so that you cover a lot of distance but never have more than a hundred ks to run home if it all gets too much. It utterly sucks to find yourself exhausted, skint and a long way from home with no option but to keep riding. BTDT.

    All that said, it's perfectly doable. I did some big runs (5-600 kms in a day) in the UK on my old C90 Step-Thru. Compared to that, 850 kms on a 250 shouldn't be too bad.

    And the sense of achievement when you roll up to your destination after a long run on an unsuitable bike is very hard to beat :grin:.
  8. I'd wear the leathers. Get some straps and attach your pack to the seat. Make sure the pack straps don't dangle and get caught in anything. Andy Strapz are good. But why take a pack? Get a small (waterproof?) duffle bag or something and strap it on.


    PS 850k is a lot in a day. even driving that far is tiring.
  9. "Adventure is taking inappropriate equipment to out-of-the-way places", isn't it? :)
  10. A 20kg'ish hiking pack will kill you after a few hours in the saddle, strap it to the pillion seat if that is all you have to carry your stuff just make sure all the straps are secure. Stop a lot and drink a lot, move around on the seat, take the interesting roads if you can and have fun.
  11. All good tips, I would add my +1000 on hydration. Fluid loss can creep up on you without you knowing.

    Also roll of Gaffer tape in case things come adrift on the bike, ditto with plastic cable ties.
    Small torch because you never know even though you intend to travel in daylight.
    Puncture kit with inflation bulbs may get you to a Servo if you get a puncture.
  12. Dont jump on the bike and think of the gold coast as your destination, watching the 'distance to xyz' dropping down slowly from 1000kms or whatever it is, is depressing. Instead concentrate on the next stop 'oh great, only 200kms until x' - breaking it up into sections of the trip. That tips from Davo I think.
  13. Having just got back from 3000+ kms on the road over the last 6 days, I'd say don' even think about doing the run in one day unless you're a very experienced and fit long distance rider.

    Oh, and always park the bike in the shade when you stop.
  14. bugger. I was really hoping to do this in a day, leaving on Friday dawn, stay in qld for the weekend and get back monday dusk. I'm planning this trip late next month, do y ou think I have enough time to develop some endurance?

    EDIT: I've been told by some friends here at work I should be looking to do at least 5hours a day, not 11hours worth in one.
  15. They're right, especially in Summer. Yes, you'd have time, but the only thing that develops the endurance is doing long trips. There's no real short-cut, sorry. And, on a 250 you'd really struggle. I reckon 5 hours a day would be the max and you'd WANT to stop!!
  16. Leave pre-dawn, maybe 4am, keep hydrated and you'll make it in a day. It'll hurt, but you'll make it. Just be aware that, by the end, you will be tired, so knock off as many km as you can while you're fresh so you can cut your cruising speed back and stop a bit more frequetly when you're knackered.

    I'm an overweight slob with no stamina and little recent big distance experience and I wouldn't hesitate to go for it in your position.

    It's a biggish run but it's not exactly the Ironbutt.
  17. I used to ride my 250zxr up and down Sydney from Melbourne at least three times a year.
    It helps to have a jerry can of petrol. I've run out of petrol a few times because late at night not all petrol stations will be open. Knowing your almost outta petrol is a real distraction.
    As others have said take as much weight off your back as possible.
    Resting your chest on a secure tank back also helps take some weight off your back.
    Bring some lube for the chain. I did a ride once and found metal shavings from the chain. (Making sure you have it properly serviced before your ride is the smart thing to do)
    Wear a old t-shirt over your leathers so you don't get too much bug juice over your leathers. Easier to clean.
    If you gotta pee... do it lol no point holding it in to the very last minute.
    My zipper got stuck and I almost peed my self when I decided I couldn't hold it any longer ahahah...
    After going a few times I just sent my clothes and other stuff up via courier just to make it that bit easier.
    OH have a good stretch before heading out...
    Can't think of anything more atm... but hope it helps
  18. Wear leather, dude. Also I reckon don't wear a backpack, it'll tire you out quicker.

    If I do 800 to >1000 days I stop every ~250 ks for fuel but have a mid-tank water stop. This almost kept me hydrated when it was high 30s temp. Seriously, don't underestimate how much water you'll need. You need to keep drinking all the time. By the time you notice it, it's too late. Faitigue sets in.

    Oh and the more twistoes you do, the shorter the trip seems :grin: Watching an odometer count down while sitting in one spot at one throttle position for hours on end really blows.
  19. An 11 hr ride, a weekend stay and an 11 hr ride back... without being bike fit... on a gpx... :-k

    In the immortal words of "The Castle"... ____ ___ ___ ________
  20. For comfort and endurance - Work on core muscles, and get an airhawk or similar if you think the increase in comfort is worth it. After doing 4000-5000kms in 11 days with an airhawk, then taking the airhawk off and going 20kms to work - my bum was in comfort withdrawal symptoms. Stock seat feels like a plank now in comparison to the airhawk.