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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings!
Just joined the forum as I have my eye on an '81 Custom. Been reading through a bunch of threads and this seems like a great place!

I'm 72, been retired for 6 years, and haven't ridden a motorcycle in 40 years. When I was young I traveled across the country on a '69 Sportster. It got stolen and my next bike was a CB500 4, first year it came out, which I also took across the country. Then I owned an '80 CX500 and was a motorcycle courier for several years. The only trips I took on it were to Montreal (I'm in Washington, DC) and a few trips to Ohio to visit relatives.

Then I sold it and got married and now I want to travel the country again... on a CX500. I just loved that bike.

So... questions...

Should I get a bigger bike? I plan to stick to back roads and limit my days to around 300 or so miles so my thinking is the 500 should do the trick. Am I wrong?

There's all kinds of new stuff for motorcyclists these days that didn't exist back then - armor and such - anyone have any experience with this stuff? Any recommendations?

Anyone my age or thereabouts have any advice? I know at my age riding a motorcycle for hours on end can be tiring.

Anyone have experience with KOA? I plan on doing a hotel/motel probably 3 days a week just to get a good rest but still want to camp out as much as I can.

Thanks!
Shank
 

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'82 GL500 '83 GL650 '21 RoyalEnfield INT650
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Greetings!
Just joined the forum as I have my eye on an '81 Custom. Been reading through a bunch of threads and this seems like a great place!

I'm 72, been retired for 6 years, and haven't ridden a motorcycle in 40 years. When I was young I traveled across the country on a '69 Sportster. It got stolen and my next bike was a CB500 4, first year it came out, which I also took across the country. Then I owned an '80 CX500 and was a motorcycle courier for several years. The only trips I took on it were to Montreal (I'm in Washington, DC) and a few trips to Ohio to visit relatives.
Welcome aboard Shank!

Where are you located? Where will you travel?

I am 68 and just got into motorcycles 3 years ago. I've added one every year and am up to three now: A '82 GL500, '83 GL650 and a '21 RE 650 Interceptor with sidecar.

I plan on camping with my bikes and with my dog when I take my sidecar. I'll be documenting my travels (I am in Minnesota) and put them up in video on Youtube. Just added a drone to my action camera collection! Looking for warm weather for my first flights.

Lee in Minneapolis
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1978 CX500 "The Grub", 1983 GL650I "Nimbus"
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Welcome, Shank!
The CX500 is more than enough to do what you want. It will run at interstate highway speeds all day if you ask it.
The strategy I learned for distance riding is to stop every hour or so (some say every 100 miles) to get off the saddle, stretch your legs, and hydrate. Granted, I'm twenty years younger, but I rode a 10-hour round trip to eastern Wisconsin one Saturday last summer. I don't think I'd have made it if I'd tried to ride straight through.
 
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Greetings!
Just joined the forum as I have my eye on an '81 Custom. Been reading through a bunch of threads and this seems like a great place!

I'm 72, been retired for 6 years, and haven't ridden a motorcycle in 40 years. When I was young I traveled across the country on a '69 Sportster. It got stolen and my next bike was a CB500 4, first year it came out, which I also took across the country. Then I owned an '80 CX500 and was a motorcycle courier for several years. The only trips I took on it were to Montreal (I'm in Washington, DC) and a few trips to Ohio to visit relatives.

Then I sold it and got married and now I want to travel the country again... on a CX500. I just loved that bike.

So... questions...

Should I get a bigger bike? I plan to stick to back roads and limit my days to around 300 or so miles so my thinking is the 500 should do the trick. Am I wrong?

There's all kinds of new stuff for motorcyclists these days that didn't exist back then - armor and such - anyone have any experience with this stuff? Any recommendations?

Anyone my age or thereabouts have any advice? I know at my age riding a motorcycle for hours on end can be tiring.

Anyone have experience with KOA? I plan on doing a hotel/motel probably 3 days a week just to get a good rest but still want to camp out as much as I can.

Thanks!
Shank
 

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'82 GL500 '83 GL650 '21 RoyalEnfield INT650
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Welcome, Shank!
The CX500 is more than enough to do what you want. It will run at interstate highway speeds all day if you ask it.
I'm on motorcycle camping groups and I don't understand why people think they need plus 1000cc bikes for touring. The other think that gives me a chuckle is sidecar bikes 1000cc and bigger where they talk about changing the front end because the rigs are so hard to steer. My 650cc and sidecar are not at all difficult to steer. Not so for a +700lb. bike and sidecar on top.
 

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Welcome Shank, the cx500 will most definitely be able to handle the long road trips. I have a gl500 Interstate and have taken it on a few trips and it performed flawlessly. When in the desert area in New Mexico it would struggle to maintain 80mph going up hill or on flat ground while bucking wind. It’s at those times I really wished it had a little more power but at the same time the dang little motor just kept giving me its all without a complaint. On top of that, the bike is stone cold reliable. I would not think twice about riding it cross country right now if I wasn’t buried in snow right now! Good plan to camp some of the time while traveling. Pulling out the old backpacking gear is a lot of fun. I haven’t stayed at a koa in years so I have no input for that. As far as gear, I have a Tourmaster mesh jacket that has a removable insulation liner and a removable rain liner that I bought on ebay and it still does the trick for me. I also have a Widder heated vest for the cold days and I put heated grips on the bike. I actually have more than a few jackets with armor and pants and I bought them all on ebay. Buy used so you can try different brands and styles at an affordable cost. Happy riding!
 

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Welcome-For motorcycle clothing consider good Kevlar jeans-most have inserts for hip and knee protectors.
Some meet "race leather specifications" in terms of abrasion resistance-e.g. Draggin Jeans Holeshot, and (these) are somewhat more off-bike friendly compared to leathers.....

Edit: 2 pluses the CX/GL will have for back road trips, shaft-drive and tubeless tires...no chain adjustments and fixing flats by the roadside is easy....
You've already owned a CX...when touring don't be afraid to rev it....you wont miss the ccs(capacity)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi all,
Thanks for the replies. Lots of good information. I'm keeping notes on the gear recommendations, especially the clothes. I remember wearing jeans and t-shirts on hot days and a leather jacket on cold ones. Ah, to be young and stupid again! :)

Since the Custom gas tank is only 3.3 gallons I figure I'll be forced to stop every 100 miles or so and that's a good thing. I'll be sticking to mainly side roads avoiding major highways as much as possible so I guess a gas station every 100 miles or so shouldn't be a problem in the wide open spaces of the west.

I'm really enjoying reading the travel adventures on here!
 

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1985 Honda Goldwing Limited Edition - 1995 Honda Goldwing GL1500 SE - 2012 Suzuki V-Strom DL1000
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Welcome. Thinking along the same lines - 68 this year. This forum has lots of good info, even for us not having a CX500, I have an '85 1200 Limited Edition.

Thinking along the same lines regarding a smaller bike, my 1200 is my long term retirement project - keeping it. Picked up a 2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan 411 cc. It reminds me of the 2012 1000 cc V-Strom that I had, smaller and less to go wrong with it. Will do 5000 RPM at approximately 100 KPH all day long at 60/70 MPG.

Fafnir is correct, don't need a large bike to tour on. Just have to remember what it was designed to do.

When I got my first bike in 1972, 1972 Suzuki 250 cc Hustler, toured on it - seat was extremely uncomfortable. 750 cc bikes were monsters.

Enjoy your ride!
 

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Come to the Amish Rally in August, should be a couple hundred miles trip for you.
It's like this forum but live !
 
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i've commuted ~250 miles a handful of times on my '78 cx500 before for college, and about an hour in my spine felt like someone was trying to crush it x_x im not even that old, coming in at 26 y/o....

also i thought the cx500c tanks were 2.5 gallons with a .5 gallon reserve? my standard tank is 3, with a .5 reserve...
 

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i've commuted ~250 miles a handful of times on my '78 cx500 before for college, and about an hour in my spine felt like someone was trying to crush it x_x im not even that old, coming in at 26 y/o....
How many stops did you make?
 

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1982 GL500 81 BMW R100 2010 HD E-GLIDE
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Greetings!
Just joined the forum as I have my eye on an '81 Custom. Been reading through a bunch of threads and this seems like a great place!

I'm 72, been retired for 6 years, and haven't ridden a motorcycle in 40 years. When I was young I traveled across the country on a '69 Sportster. It got stolen and my next bike was a CB500 4, first year it came out, which I also took across the country. Then I owned an '80 CX500 and was a motorcycle courier for several years. The only trips I took on it were to Montreal (I'm in Washington, DC) and a few trips to Ohio to visit relatives.

Then I sold it and got married and now I want to travel the country again... on a CX500. I just loved that bike.

So... questions...

Should I get a bigger bike? I plan to stick to back roads and limit my days to around 300 or so miles so my thinking is the 500 should do the trick. Am I wrong?

There's all kinds of new stuff for motorcyclists these days that didn't exist back then - armor and such - anyone have any experience with this stuff? Any recommendations?

Anyone my age or thereabouts have any advice? I know at my age riding a motorcycle for hours on end can be tiring.

Anyone have experience with KOA? I plan on doing a hotel/motel probably 3 days a week just to get a good rest but still want to camp out as much as I can.

Thanks!
Shank
I am 84 with a 82 GL500. Start out in the spring with 100 mile trips (2 Hrs about). Once your body & the bike are comfortable with that you can extend the time & miles. When traveling I always check for fuel 2 stops ahead & adjust. 500 is fine for 2 lane hiway alto will work on freeway if necessary. Your plan of camping & motel is what I like to do. Paul
 

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i've commuted ~250 miles a handful of times on my '78 cx500 before for college, and about an hour in my spine felt like someone was trying to crush it x_x im not even that old, coming in at 26 y/o....

also i thought the cx500c tanks were 2.5 gallons with a .5 gallon reserve? my standard tank is 3, with a .5 reserve...
my 2nd cross country trip from Ny to Id was on a 78 CX. only took two and 1/2 days
 

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If you google "around the world with the bear Peter Thoeming" youll get a serial read on across the globe travel on a xl250 honda...so a smaller bike can take you everywhere..

My longest trips not on the cx were a regular commute between Sydney and Melbourne 900km with a 20 minute stop/stretch in between...id carry a 5L jerry can cause some smaller towns had fuel sellers that closed at 6pm ...when inTasmania the Cx and l would often do 300km (200miles) in a stretch.. the roads were interesting enough to do that in one stretch...never missed a beat, had a handlebar fairing..

A fairing is a plus if doing longer trips..
 

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My favourite will always be Mondo Enduro.
 
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