BARF - Bay Area Riders Forum

Go Back   BARF - Bay Area Riders Forum > Club House > Sport Touring / Cruising


Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-29-2007, 06:53 PM   #1
Akatombo
Rookie
 

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Motorcycles: EX250F
Name:
Talking A newb plans Santa Cruz => Orange County. (help wanted)

Everything in my experience so far has been limited to the short trip out of town. Or a jaunt up north from Santa Cruz, heading up along HWY 1 to some point before half moon bay, and turning back. I'm taking a bold step forward. One that truly frightens me. A trip down to Los Angeles, starting from Northern California. (cue ominous Thunder)

I lived in Santa Cruz, and have been forced to relocate for the time being. (graduating from school and stuff does that) I've been tempted to sell the bike, but instead, I have decided to ride it down to my parents place down in Orange County. Yeah, moving back in with the parents after college. lame. I know.

I seek advice, and critique on plan and methods. A riding buddy would be awesome for any part of the trip, but I do not expect anything for a weirdly timed trip.

Bike Stats

Kawasaki Ninja 250.
Fuel Capacity of 4.8Gal
Average Mileage of 50-60mpg
Range: main tank - 200 miles
Reserve - 240 miles (conservative estimates)
Longest Ride: 80 miles up hwy 1. Then back. total of 160 miles.
Time: 3 hours
Licensed for: 4+ years
Riding Miles: less than 1000 for 4 years.
Status: NEWB

The bike could be in better condition, as there are minor quibbles I have with the machine. However, those are minor things, like the paint, the cracked seat fabric, and whatnot. Mechanically, its in good condition.

Recent Servicing I've done with the bike
  • changed oil (synthetic)
  • adjusted the valves
  • changed brake fluid
  • changed coolant
  • new(ish) battery
  • changed spark plugs
  • serviced carbs

I'm planning to ride my motorcycle from the SF bay area, CA to Orange County, CA the first week of November, approximately the 8th or 9th. I've plotted out a route along the pacific coast highway, CA route 1 Southbound.

1st day with a planned 280 miles to Santa Barbara to stay with a friend for the night.
(travel time: 6.5 hours with breaks)
Departure at 0500 arrival at ~1300
2nd day with a planned 120 miles from Santa Barbara through Los Angeles into Orange County.
(Travel time: 3.5 hours with breaks and avoiding traffic)
Departure at 1100 arrival at ~1430
I have prepared a list of things to have on me.
  • Backpack (with hydration bladder),
  • Isotonic hydrating drink / water,
  • Tool Set,
  • Cell phone,
  • Food (clif bars and etc).
  • Map,
  • Laptop,
  • Toiletries,
  • Change of Clothes
  • Ear Plugs
I'll be strapping the pack to the seat behind my ass. I dunno if I'll have a camel bak on, but I doubt I will. Learning to drink from a tube while riding the bike doesn't seem safe to do on a long trip. I'm returning from a professional conference, so the laptop and the change of clothing must be with me.

I'm planning for the hourly (break / take pictures / call to check in with friends / sip gatorade / stretch, check bike, FINEC - Go) routine. Average speed including this break is projected to be around 45-55mph including breaks.

I'm cautiously looking at getting some motorcycle luggage, but not really too keen on it. I don't ride enough to justify the cost. If you have a recommendation, then let me know. I have been hunting for some stuff on newenough. I'm more looking at bungee nets and other cables to tie down the bag behind me. Its a good thing the bike has neat little cargo hooks.

I'm still undecided if I will be wearing my leather suit, or my ballistic nylon jacket / leather pants combination. That would be determined by the weather. I like my leather suit on the short rides because it isn't markedly more uncomfortable, and flaps around less. The leather suit also protects more as the pants and jacket don't zip together. I dunno about longer rides. Hm.. I'd want to pee eventually.

I have far more bicycle touring experience than I do motorcycle trips, so this is an exciting yet frightening thought. A multi-day bicycle trip doesn't inspire the same sort of anxiety that I'm feeling now.
the route map looks like this here.



The first half seems pretty pleasant, actually. just along the coast line. low traffic, lower speeds, and great views. My only danger is the cross winds, slow camper vans and trailers, and going straight off a cliff because the ocean looks so beautiful.



This half scares me. The picture says so. IT SCARES ME. If I could just pack the bike into the train and take the train back to OC? I'd do it. The volume of traffic, the shitton of people who drive like asstards, and most of all, my lack of experience dealing with cars, and drivers in cars.

If you happen to know anything about the route including good parts, parts I should avoid, alternate paths, times of heavy traffic, let me know.
I hate highway riding. I just don't have much experience at speeds above 55mph I also don't have much experience with high traffic conditions. PCH around Santa Cruz is notably low traffic, and isn't exactly a high-stress road.

So how does my plan look? Unfortunately, normal AAA coverage doesn't cover towing my bike. Otherwise, i think I might be as prepared as I could be. Does somebody want to go with me? I'd be your best friend for the miles that you don't leave me behind on.

Last edited by Akatombo; 10-30-2007 at 04:09 AM..
Akatombo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2007, 11:39 PM   #2
Seesm
All love no fight....
 
Seesm's Avatar
 

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Auburn, Calif. USA Planet Earth
Motorcycles: Yamaha R6's, A few minis and a 463 Bobcat ready to work!!
Name: Not Javier
Rent a truck and roll down in that... I hated my first few big trips... More fun with someone but just be careful or load it in a trailer or rental truck if you do not have one. Good luck and may the force be with you!!!
__________________
Team CMR Racing / GreaterMotorsports.com/ powersportsparts4less.com / TDSGuns.com / REM Sleep Solutions /www.Fast50s.com / Pacific Track Time, Defense Industries.us / Bell / Gpr Stabilizer /Oury Grip / JPH Racing Suspension / two2cool / Motionpro.com / Tech Spec / bickleracing.com
Seesm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2007, 01:51 PM   #3
NoGall
..
 
NoGall's Avatar
 
AMA #: 690440
BARF Admin
Founding Member
BARFies '06, '08, '10, '14
Contributor ++++BB

Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: East Bay
Motorcycles: FJR1300
Name: Tom
I think you have pretty much everything covered other than a patch kit and a small can of chain lube. If you are not sure about the scary half... Take the long way around and by-pass it. Motow can cover the towing, but you would also have to sign up for AMA. Follow the link below. Since your trip is so close (before they could send you the ID card), read the related FAQ on that (you'll have a temporary method for accessing Motow).

https://home.ama-cycle.org/forms/motow.asp

Good luck, Man. We want pics!

Last edited by NoGall; 10-30-2007 at 01:58 PM..
NoGall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2007, 05:30 PM   #4
button
Let's Go
 
button's Avatar
 
Contributor

Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: a roundabout
Motorcycles: a touring gixxer 6...and DRZ400, the Weazl
Name:
.
yah indeed..if the LA part freaks you out, do as NoGall suggested...
.
take the long way home..slower traffic at least and if there are cars ( which there will be) they will not be screaming past you at 80+...and it is prettier...
.
__________________
.
just call me Button..
.
"Oakland is the Somalia of the Bay Area" ---mcarb
button is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2007, 09:27 PM   #5
Akatombo
Rookie
 

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Motorcycles: EX250F
Name:
Which route is the long route?

From what I can see, PCH turns into city surface streets, which is going to have crazy amounts of traffic. Its a trade off between the hopefully flowing highway, and the dense traffic of street traffic. I could die either way, and I have no idea which way would be safer, or less insane.

So which roads should I take instead of the proposed route by google?

I just spent the entire day watching people on their 695GSX-RR lanesplitting through traffic in LA while driving up to SF. That level of insanity is not something I can emulate. Laid back norcal riding just isn't going to fit into Socal.
Akatombo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2007, 09:18 AM   #6
blackOnblack
back to black
 
blackOnblack's Avatar
 

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 831
Motorcycles: '06 CRF250X, '02 XR50, '93 Badger 80
Name: michaeL
I just went from Hollister to N. Hollywood, partied like a rockstar, woke up the next day and rode to stockton. slept w/ the gf, then drove back to Hollister. I can assure you, LA is fuckin' scary. Those people down there FLY (if you think people drive fast here, pssh) around on the road not checking blind spots.

I was almost taken out three times going over the grapevine, and another 2 on the otherside of the mountain.

Becareful.

Your iPod and gas tank are going to be your new best friend.

ps. I took 152 to 5, then 5 down to 170. 330 something miles...
__________________
| TPW | PHU | TMP
blackOnblack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2007, 10:26 AM   #7
Seesm
All love no fight....
 
Seesm's Avatar
 

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Auburn, Calif. USA Planet Earth
Motorcycles: Yamaha R6's, A few minis and a 463 Bobcat ready to work!!
Name: Not Javier
pch down near torrance .. well really anywhere near that and into the city woudl suck but I think you will turn off pch before then anyway... L.a. is scary in a car as well so just if you lane split do not do that banzai fast stuff in between the cars...
__________________
Team CMR Racing / GreaterMotorsports.com/ powersportsparts4less.com / TDSGuns.com / REM Sleep Solutions /www.Fast50s.com / Pacific Track Time, Defense Industries.us / Bell / Gpr Stabilizer /Oury Grip / JPH Racing Suspension / two2cool / Motionpro.com / Tech Spec / bickleracing.com
Seesm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2007, 10:27 AM   #8
ST Guy
Veteran
 
ST Guy's Avatar
 

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: South Bay
Motorcycles: Honda ST1100 ABS (tweaked here and there)
Name:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seesm View Post
Rent a truck and roll down in that...
No way! Go for it! You'll love the ride. And it seems like you've planned pretty well. Just remember it can get pretty chilly along the coast. Even in the summer.

If your schedule permits it, stop for lunch at Nepenthe http://www.nepenthebigsur.com/ or here in Cambria along Moonstone Beach Drive that parallels Hwy 1 west of the town proper: http://www.moonstonebeach.com/mb-main.htm

Further down the coast, check out the motorcycle museum in Solvang: http://www.motosolvang.com/ If it's not open, make sure you have the phone number with you (or it might be posted on the door of the museum) and call them and they are more than happy to come by and open it up just for you. It's a great place to stop.

Enjoy your trip!!
__________________
It's not the answer that enlightens, but the question. - Eugene Ionesco

Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless when facing them. - Rabindranath Tagore

A mind all logic is like a knife all blade. It makes the hand bleed that uses it. - Rabindranath Tagore
ST Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2007, 09:52 PM   #9
pilotimb
Veteran
 

Join Date: May 2004
Location: Fremont CA
Motorcycles: '98 YZF600R
Name:
You'll do fine. When you get into heavy LA traffic just keep your cool and take it slow. Don't get nervous or flustered, maintain good lane position and keep your head on a swivel.

Highway 1 is a beautiful ride. Make sure you stay hydrated and if you feel like you're getting tired and losing your concentration, pull over and snack on something to get your blood sugar back up.
pilotimb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2007, 08:10 PM   #10
stoltzf4
Veteran
 

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: marin, ca.
Motorcycles: 04 DRZ400, 05 600RR, f4 (sold), f1(sold)
Name:
You sound like you have put a lot of thought to this trip and have the bases covered...almost anal to be honest

I think the only thing you really need to do is get over your fear and go for it! You will have a blast and look back and wonder why you were stressing so much to begin with.

Update us when you get there.
stoltzf4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2007, 11:37 AM   #11
Akatombo
Rookie
 

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Motorcycles: EX250F
Name:
Getting Ready to Leave

First of all, I'd like to thank the academy, and a cool cat that goes by the name of sasquatch around here. Sasquatch held on to my bike for a month, and helped me rehabilitate it into a shape that would make this trip possible.

some small issues have made themselves apparent, like a extreme lean-ness in the low end. (according to the expert opinion of Sasq. I have no idea myself.) I'll have to figure that out eventually.

Sasquatch, you're an awesome dude.

With that said, my departure has been set at Wedsnesday Morning, November 7th of 2007. I'm going to go out, and buy a few things - like tie downs, a bungie net, and a right hand glove, since one of the pair I was intending on riding with... is no where to be found.

A little bit of riding around down was a confidence builder. I haven't been on the bike in a while - around 3-4 months, so it was nice to learn that I haven't lost some basic skills.

alright, time to go to the gear store!

Last edited by Akatombo; 11-06-2007 at 11:40 AM..
Akatombo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2007, 08:32 PM   #12
Jodacola
Motonoob
 
Jodacola's Avatar
 

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Walnut Creek
Motorcycles: 2008 Ninja 650R
Name:
Have a great time with the trip, Akatombo! I can't wait to see your pictures and hear how the trip went! I have family in Corona that I'm planning on riding down to visit in the Spring, and it will probably be the longest ride I'll have done at that point - I'm curious what to expect on the ride down! Driving down is always interesting, lots of wild drivers. But that's anywhere, I guess.

Nonetheless, I hope you have a great trip!
Jodacola is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2007, 10:35 PM   #13
NoGall
..
 
NoGall's Avatar
 
AMA #: 690440
BARF Admin
Founding Member
BARFies '06, '08, '10, '14
Contributor ++++BB

Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: East Bay
Motorcycles: FJR1300
Name: Tom
Have a fun and safe trip!
NoGall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2007, 08:55 AM   #14
Akatombo
Rookie
 

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Motorcycles: EX250F
Name:
I am alive... and well.

Update:

Posting from Santa Barbara. It took me from dawn to well after dusk to get here, but I did it safely, and on my own terms. Lessons learned.

1) A leather 1 piece suit isn't uncomfortable, even on long trips.
1.a) When it says ventilated with mesh panels, they aren't kidding
2) Consider wind chill when looking at the weather forecast
2.a) the coastal route through big sur is freaking cold.
2.b) combined with lesson 1, I was cold for the entire trip.
3)kickstand safety. when the engine cuts out, it isn't broken

Now the scary second half is coming up, but I've built up some freeway confidence on the bike. Man, I simply don't understand what people see in bikes with bigger displacements. My little 250 was, and is fantastic! its been doing roughly 60mpg, and hasn't once let me down.

edit:
So the questions. I need to be able stay warm-er. I'm going to stick a layer of plastic from a plastic garbage bag, or a sheet of cardboard or something onto my chest. The suit is astonishingly well ventilated, especially at higher speeds. any other suggestions?

Also, my neck hurts. the back of my neck, between my two shoulderblades. It is a mysterious pain, as I can't seem to find a position to place my head to prevent it from gaining a sore spot. Is my head craned upwards? downwards? Is it just an effect of holding the head against the wind? I have no idea. Mystery pains suck because I can't figure out how to not get it.

My standing theory is that my shoulders tense up in the cold, so if I make myself a little cozier, then I should be less neck-stiff pained in the long run. My longest strech of road has been about.. 60 miles or so over an hour. Breaks are often, and taken as needed. Mostly just to get some warmth back in my body.

Give me your blessings, I'm gonna need them through LA.
Pics come tonight / tommorow once I get back to OC safely.
<3 everyone.

Last edited by Akatombo; 11-08-2007 at 09:16 AM..
Akatombo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2007, 10:24 AM   #15
SVsick50
Veteran
 
SVsick50's Avatar
 
Mod Alumni
Contributor

Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Prunetucky, Ca.
Motorcycles: BMX, 1987 Honda Super Magna VF700C
Name: Dion
I rode my KLR650 down to O.C. earlier this year. Splitting L.A. 5:00 traffic on a bag loaded KLR was, um... interesting. GPS helped A LOT!

SVsick50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:40 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.