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Offline Berber

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Touring - Hints and Tips
« on: May 28, 2013, 10:02:21 AM »
As promised, here is what we learnt on our first touring trip.

1.   Route Planning

Do not be too ambitious with the distances you intend to cover. Sarah and I had allowed for 160 miles max and wrote most of that into our plans. We quickly discovered that 120 miles was more than enough for us (with several long stops) and we changed our route early into the trip. Also we found that whilst small twisty roads mat be fun, they can be as tiring, if not more so, than motorways and fast A roads.   

We also took an atlas which I used to read the next days route. This was very useful allowing me to visualise the route instead of just watching the sat nav. 

2.   Clothing.

We took the advice on the forum and halved what we expected to take. In essence we took 5 tee-shirts, socks and pants, each person having a pannier bag. In the top box we had fleeces and rain proof jackets for cold weather and evening wear. The tank bag held cameras etc. We found taking small bottles of water useful and topped up at each stop. We were wearing textile suits and, in spite of the cool weather, found ourselves dehydrating slightly.   

3.   Bike preparation

Have a practice run for at least 10-20 miles with the bike loaded and the passenger on board. I found that whilst I had adjusted my main suspension, the bike was feeling light when setting off causing it to wobble slightly. This was cured by adjusting the steering damping (something my Honda had not needed doing). I also forgot to lower my lights and subsequently discovered I was being ‘flashed’ by car drivers.

Check the tyres. Stupid comment perhaps but I thought my tyre was fine until I discovered the beading exposed one morning at Braemar with the nearest tyre stockist some 50 miles away (it was a slow ride there I can tell you). Next time I shall change the tyre if it has 1500 miles or less to go. Also remember that roads differ. In Scotland for example, a lot of roads are built for the harsh winters. This means that a lot of the smaller roads had a hard wearing, rough surface with more stones in the road surface. This, along with the additional weight, undoubtedly contributed to the tyre wear.

Check the bike daily. After the tyre issue I religiously checked the bike each morning before setting off. That means lights, tyres, fluids, the lot. The bike is running at its maximum weight in all probability and the stress levels on it are higher than a local, one up run.

4.   Enjoy the trip.

Most of the roads on the route we took in Scotland were twisty and fun. I rode at about 40mph and we both enjoyed the scenery. Any faster and it would not have been much fun to ride. Some bikers however, shot past us treating the roads like a race track. Whilst I do not condone this, I do wonder how they can enjoy the scenery. We caught most of them up at each village as the Scottish police crack down really hard on bikers exceeding the villages 30mph limit. The day after we had ridden one of the best roads to Oban, a biker unfortunately lost his life.
'The farther one travels, the less one knows.......'

George Harrison

Offline john348

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Re: Touring - Hints and Tips
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2013, 10:44:36 AM »
Good write up.

Obviously it depends on scenery and destination and roads but when we go to France we have say 3 days to get to the house so the mileage every day is more like 350+ miles.  My pillion would like a lot less but the idea is to ride down to the location. Last year we tacked an extra day on for the trip down and this year all of us are going for the extra day.  We also do not use toll roads if we can get away with it.  I have done it on the tiger, the sprint and now looking forward to the trophy.  Well my pillion is looking forward to it. 350 to 400 miles is a long way.  I have air hawk and or sheepskin seat covers but the seat seems good so probably will just go with the sheepskins.

I will have to keep an eye on the rear tyre thanks for the heads up.  I will probably ride the sprint and trophy now before the trip to keep the ,miles off the trophy.  I have topped 2000 miles now but the trip to France will probably be another 3000 so close  to your limit?

Offline Berber

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Re: Touring - Hints and Tips
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2013, 11:10:55 AM »
John: I would consider doing the miles on the Trophy and changing the tyre before France. When I changed mine at 5,200 it was through to the beading! There is no indication that it has reached its limits either.

350-400 miles a day is a long run. That said, I guess it is up to the individual to know their limits.
'The farther one travels, the less one knows.......'

George Harrison

Offline Chaos

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Re: Touring - Hints and Tips
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2013, 05:45:43 PM »
Nice one Robin glad to see you enjoyed the Scottish trip. Touring and distance is a very personal thing  :087: Effects people differently, myself and the wife are used to 250 - 300 mile rides just for the day most weekends. This builds up major saddle time and if intending to go touring there is no way around this. You don't need to be travelling fast just be able to do the time and the distance covered will sort itself out. Planning is most peoples failure especially if times are to be met ferries etc.
The rule of thumb that I use is motorway and major highways average the distance to 50 mph and add 1 hour just in case. Our house to Dover 250 mile allow 6 hours, never takes that but you never know. You can always back it off or stop a little longer when you have a break, but trying to catch your arse gets you very tired and frustrated not worth it your safety and riding will suffer greatly. And if there are to be minor roads used then drop the average speed down even further. Good planning and preparation are the key factors and when ever you can ride your plan.

Sermon for today over  :821: :821:

Farther Chaos
Ride long & prosper.
Live to ride. Ride int rain.

Offline Berber

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Re: Touring - Hints and Tips
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2013, 05:59:15 PM »
It is interesting to see the large amount of miles some of you are doing. If I am on my own then that sort of mileage is achievable. We found 230 miles Nottingham to Dumfries tiring. It is a personal thing I guess.
'The farther one travels, the less one knows.......'

George Harrison

Offline Glenn

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Re: Touring - Hints and Tips
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2013, 06:33:19 PM »
*Originally Posted by Berber [+]
As promised, here is what we learnt on our first touring trip.

1.   Route Planning

Do not be too ambitious with the distances you intend to cover. Sarah and I had allowed for 160 miles max and wrote most of that into our plans. We quickly discovered that 120 miles was more than enough for us (with several long stops) and we changed our route early into the trip. Also we found that whilst small twisty roads mat be fun, they can be as tiring, if not more so, than motorways and fast A roads.   

We also took an atlas which I used to read the next days route. This was very useful allowing me to visualise the route instead of just watching the sat nav. 

2.   Clothing.

We took the advice on the forum and halved what we expected to take. In essence we took 5 tee-shirts, socks and pants, each person having a pannier bag. In the top box we had fleeces and rain proof jackets for cold weather and evening wear. The tank bag held cameras etc. We found taking small bottles of water useful and topped up at each stop. We were wearing textile suits and, in spite of the cool weather, found ourselves dehydrating slightly.   

3.   Bike preparation

Have a practice run for at least 10-20 miles with the bike loaded and the passenger on board. I found that whilst I had adjusted my main suspension, the bike was feeling light when setting off causing it to wobble slightly. This was cured by adjusting the steering damping (something my Honda had not needed doing). I also forgot to lower my lights and subsequently discovered I was being ‘flashed’ by car drivers.

Check the tyres. Stupid comment perhaps but I thought my tyre was fine until I discovered the beading exposed one morning at Braemar with the nearest tyre stockist some 50 miles away (it was a slow ride there I can tell you). Next time I shall change the tyre if it has 1500 miles or less to go. Also remember that roads differ. In Scotland for example, a lot of roads are built for the harsh winters. This means that a lot of the smaller roads had a hard wearing, rough surface with more stones in the road surface. This, along with the additional weight, undoubtedly contributed to the tyre wear.

Check the bike daily. After the tyre issue I religiously checked the bike each morning before setting off. That means lights, tyres, fluids, the lot. The bike is running at its maximum weight in all probability and the stress levels on it are higher than a local, one up run.

4.   Enjoy the trip.

Most of the roads on the route we took in Scotland were twisty and fun. I rode at about 40mph and we both enjoyed the scenery. Any faster and it would not have been much fun to ride. Some bikers however, shot past us treating the roads like a race track. Whilst I do not condone this, I do wonder how they can enjoy the scenery. We caught most of them up at each village as the Scottish police crack down really hard on bikers exceeding the villages 30mph limit. The day after we had ridden one of the best roads to Oban, a biker unfortunately lost his life.
enjoyed your write up mate. Glad you enjoyed your trip and got back safe. Thanks.

Offline K6gad

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Re: Touring - Hints and Tips
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2013, 07:10:26 PM »
Thanks for the write-up! I am puzzled by this comment... :155:

"This was cured by adjusting the steering damping (something my Honda had not needed doing)."

I didn't know the steering damping could be adjusted. What did you do?
Gary

Offline john348

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Re: Touring - Hints and Tips
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2013, 09:00:32 PM »
I think it also depends on type of roads and 'reason'.  We have to do the miles to get to the destination.  Some of the people we go with actually take even longer routes as they want to ride further.  It is quite annoying to get near the destination only to go for a further 50 miles!  The main one that does this is a class 1 police rider and just rides 8 to 10 hours for fun???

When we are at the destination most people then go out for a couple of hundred miles each day just to see some of the countryside.  We don't go on all those days out.

 



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