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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lessons that I learned that is...



I'd like to share some experiences from my last five days- I road from Lansing, Michigan down through Ohio and West Virginia- this was my first long trip and I had a few issues, so no, I did not cross the Appalachians yet, but here are a few observations that I made about equipment and the trip in general.

1. Xelement- Tri-Tex waterproof coat, fits and works great- vents in front rear and arms... well you can read the details, but it was an excellent buy I think, it fits well and work great in cold to warm temperatures with slight adjustments of the vents. Coat



2.Magnetic tank bag worked awesome, I could take it off and carry it everywhere with me with ease- map bag would have been an added bonus, but I was using a GPS as seen in #3. Bag



3. GPS holder worked awesome as well- could use the touch screen right through the outer protective cover on this. GPS



Now on to personal notes. I learned that it's easier to not have to come to an agreement when you go alone, but it's harder to come up with ideas of what to do next. I learned that when you park at a very odd angle and tip the bike over/slowly let it down (first time I ever did this) when it's fully loaded down that it's very heavy to pick back up again, but luckily a friend and another friendly camper rushed to my aid. I learned that the pocket mounted 12V accessory plug is priceless. I learned that even with foam grips and mechanix brand gloves, the vibration can still wear on your right hand if you ride the highway for extended periods. The most important lesson I learned is that people will go out of their way to talk to you if they see your motorcycle loaded down for the road and you're alone. I didn't buy fancy matching luggage, I threw on an old duffel bag and a tent and stuffed the compartments. It was a great five days, I wish I'd have gone with my original trip plan, but after I ran into a few problems, I lost my nerve, so I just explored what I felt comfortable with for five days. All in all it was a great trip, and I think venturing 300 miles from home or more was a big step since this was my first long trip, my first solo trip and my first really long ride on a cycle all wrapped into one. Next time I'll go bigger and longer on the trip plans!



 

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It sounds like you had a great adventure for your first time out. Thanks for sharing it, and the tips with us. I would say 300 miles is a great way to find out what you can deal with and what to adjust for the next trip.

Congratulations on a successful ride.
 

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Thanks for posting this, I enjoyed hearing a little about your trip and what you learned about yourself and your equipment. I also tour on a GL650I and I like the color of yours. I use a bigger tank bag and I don't have a gps, but I am thinking of getting a gps for when I am hopelessly lost.. As you gain confidence and experience you will take longer trips. I have found that there are few things I enjoy more than touring on my GL. About midway through the second day I suddenly start grinning and the miles just roll by.

I use a throttle rocker and a throttle lock to help my right hand. The rocker is especially useful. Try adjusting your valves and balancing your carbs; it cuts the vibration a lot if everything is really spot on.I could never get used to foam grips, I use gel superbike grips. I mounted highway pegs so I can stretch my legs, and use a gel seat pad and sheepskin when on long trips. My longest one day ride so far was 800 miles, but 300-400 a day is more enjoyable. AirWings help a LOT when the weather is warm, as does my prototype adjustable windshield. I am still fine tuning my gear, and probably always will. I still bring way too much stuff with me. By the time I retire I want to be able to fit everything I own on my bike! I did add a GL1100 trunk to get more space. Very handy but it must be loaded lightly or high speed handling is affected. Here is a pic of my bike on tour, on the way home from the BRMC rally earlier this year. I hope to see you at a future rally, and look forward to more ride reports from your adventures!.

 

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Great story....glad it all went well for you, wish I were able to just take off for a few days like that, but with kids it makes it difficult !



A question for you guys that have taken lengthy trips and pack down alot...do you take tools with you just in case ?
 

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Glad to know you made a big trip 'there and back' safely. I don't think I could bring myself to take a several day trip on my bike- so kudos to you for just doing it!



and agreed- I like the colors too... nice looking bike!

How do you guys ride with that much piled in front of you?
 

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Great journey and glad it went well.I couldn't do any distance riding without my Vista Cruise control,



http://www.aerostich.com/vista-cruise-control.html



It allows you to rest the throttle hand.You can also develop another riding technique by putting your thumbs on top of the bars when the road is clear but still gripping the throttle and clutch.

Even 10 seconds off the throttle will bring life back into your fingers on a long run and repeat as needed.



Balanced carbs and well set tappets will aid as will correct tyre pressures and good condition tyres etc.



The easiest way to fit the Vista is not to remove the grip but to remove it's grub screw and wrap round making sure NOT to lose the small spring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Tools, I took 8,10,12mm wrenches, test light, electeical tape, pliers, crescent wrench and a few other things, tucked them into the cracks of the trunk, then put a flat piece of wood above them to hide them and flatten out the trunk for packing other stuff
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I also carry a double ended scribe, works much better than little dental hooks for me.
 

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I used to carry more tools, but never used most of them, so now I carry the stock tool kit, a tire plug kit, a hand pump and air pressure gauge, spare bulbs for all my lights, some fuses, extra spark plug, a quart of oil, a multimeter, test light, some wire (hot wire kit), jumper cables, wire ties, a sewing kit, some epoxy and super glue, toilet paper, handi wipes, and a first aid kit. I carry all this in the fairing.



The tank bag is only noticed when I fuel up, when I have to move it out of the way. It is a magnetic bag, and I carry light things in it, a water bladder with bite valve for hydrating while riding, a toiletry kit, a small towel, some extra socks and underwear, shirt and trousers, camera, phone, some snacks, a flashlight, lighter, a small radio, and whatever paperback book I happen to be reading at the time. This way I can stop at a rest stop or motel and get cleaned up and change my clothes without having to unpack my hard bags.



In the hard bags I carry all my other stuff. Camping gear, clothes, rain gear, etc. I try to leave the GL1100 top case mostly empty while under way. That way I have a place to stash my helmet and riding gear when I park.



I know a lot of riders have a lot more touring experience than I do, and I am learning a lot from them, DaveF in particular. DaveF has a very informative and helpful website with a lot of tips for the intrepid traveler. DaveF's web site
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I reviewed dave's website when packing very helpful in my decisions. I do however need to back up a bit. It's been 27 hours off the bike and my hands are still tingling. Bike is tuned to perfection, so I assume carpal tunnel is the issue. Any suggestions of grips, locks, and rockers for the throttle? Also what about those bar end weights? I'm sure everybody uses different, am curious what they use as I MUST fix this part of it.
 

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I reviewed dave's website when packing very helpful in my decisions. I do however need to back up a bit. It's been 27 hours off the bike and my hands are still tingling. Bike is tuned to perfection, so I assume carpal tunnel is the issue. Any suggestions of grips, locks, and rockers for the throttle? Also what about those bar end weights? I'm sure everybody uses different, am curious what they use as I MUST fix this part of it.


BUMP(Bring Up My Post) Vista Cruise Control.



As for bar end weights I've never found them much use.I don't like the soft foam grips but these type aren't bad,



http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Moto...9717398QQptZMotorcyclesQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories



Can't got wrong for that price+ free shipping.
 

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"The most important lesson I learned is that people will go out of their way to talk to you if they see your motorcycle loaded down for the road and you're alone"



Ain't that the truth. One of the best part of a trip on a motorcycle is all the interesting people who will talk to you. Especially if you don't go out of your way to try and look tough. It's really fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It was truly an experience I will never forget, and I think if I can deaden some vibration in the handlebars, there will be many more to come. However... I've been off the bike for a day and a half and my hands still tingle like your foot waking up after falling asleep. I hope this goes away soon. I'm thinking better grips, bar end weights and the above mentioned vista cruise might be the best way to go.
 

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However... I've been off the bike for a day and a half and my hands still tingle like your foot waking up after falling asleep. I hope this goes away soon. I'm thinking better grips,




Think pinched nerve in cervical vertebrae as well. Prolonged posture that you're unaccustomed to can create a situation where the peripheral nerves to your hands can become bothered. Increased also by the bumping and jarring.

It will likely go away with the passage of time. Unusual thought because I found the GL500i to be one of the best postures of all my bikes. I once had a laid back cruiser and drove 1200 km in 3 days. Ended up with pinched nerves in my neck affecting my flanks and hands with tingling.

Do you have the stock handle bars?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes, and foam grips. Thinkin kuryakan iso grips with weighted ends may be the upgrade to go with.
 

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Great, man ,,, i wish i could just go, i have the time ,,money? well just could go not that far,,,,, just dont like to go by myself,,,, there are allot places i could go, the furthest I've been was south to Ensenada Baja Ca. a couple of time to Rosarito Baja.... would like to go to Ramona or Julian in here in California , you have better rods, one of these days i'll just DO IT
 

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Next time if you head west come this way. Then I won't be the only Michigan plate parked at my apartment. There is a lot of information out there on long distance riding. It can really test a person's ability and the willingness of their ass. I learned on the last trip that there is a style of pants that I cant wear because it puts my wallet in the wrong spot and things get uncomfortable quick.
 

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I've found that a throttle lock or cruise control is essential if you're riding long distances. It allows you to remove your right hand from the bar and change the position of your arm and shoulder.

I've also found that it allows you to just rest your right hand on the grip without having to hold the throttle pressure on it.

I reckon a set of highway pegs are good as well, as they allow you to straighten your legs to relieve your aching knees.
 

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As per other post.Don't get caught up in Hype about grips.There are some expensive ones around that are no better than cheap ones and with cheap ones you don't mind experimenting to find a set you like and of course all grips wear.Same with bar-end weights.I have a pair of high mass steel ones,luckily there weren't expensive,but they do bugger all except move the vibrations to a different rev band.



Remember our bikes are 7/8"(22mm) diameter so there's loads to choose from.



Also no one has mentioned and it's often overlooked,sit on the bike in you normal riding position and adjust the angle of the bars to suit you and your build and style.
 

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Also no one has mentioned and it's often overlooked,sit on the bike in you normal riding position and adjust the angle of the bars to suit you and your build and style.




That's probably something I'll end up having to do, with this new seat on the bike- it adds roughly 2 inches to overall height, so I'll see if I can pull the bars up a little more.... the mental pic I just had in my head of a GL500 with the full fairing and ape hangers made me laugh a little though... haha
 
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