What Qualifies As A "Long Ride?" - Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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What Qualifies As A "Long Ride?"

For ME, at least at this stage of my riding time, a "long ride" is a 500 mile one way trip, is a ten hour day in a cage, or 1500 miles from CT to South Florida.

On a motorcycle, the most I've done in the saddle is a four-hour ride "one way."

I rack up miles daily, in a normal work week, but that's not "touring" of course.

I would imagine that, with the increased comfort of trips with the Ultra Classic, with a back rest, cruise control and so forth, that I will take longer rides now.

That said, I'd be curious to know how fatigue is experienced on a bike, over long distances? Is it different than fatigue in a cage, on a long trip?

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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 08:52 AM
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Fatigue will set in quicker on a motorcycle, since it is more physically and mentally demanding.

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 09:19 AM
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You also use some different muscles riding then you do in a car. It helps if you work those muscles before you leave and get in "riding shape."
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 09:47 AM
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As expected, a long ride is all perspective. I know guys that think a long ride is 100 miles. And I know guys that think a long ride is 500 miles. For me, I guess I never drew a line in the sand. I'm actually not coming up with a good definition of what is "long" as I sit here thinking. There are days I might put on 50 miles, days I put on 400, and a lot in between that.

One thing I do know, I define a "long ride" quite differently between my bikes. On the Ultra we did 360 miles this past Saturday. I consider that long. But if I did that on my Sportster or CB750, it would be really, really, really long.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Exactly! I can imagine 500 miles on the Ultra, but NOT on the Fatboy!!

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 10:42 AM
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I find 300-400 mile days, comfortable and not too fatiguing. When I was younger 500 was easy, 600 was a long time in the saddle.

Today I ride a lot slower and don't have to be anywhere at a specific time.


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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 11:00 AM
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The bike makes a huge difference, 400 miles on my Vstar 650 and I was exhausted, 400 miles on my Vision ( the day I bought it no less) and I got off feeling like I wanted to turn around and ride it back. I can tell that I would have no issue with a 600 mile highway ride and I'm seriously thinking about trying a 1000 mile in 24 hour iron butt ride on this bike.

My wife's experience has been exactly the same with her Indian Chieftain, her first long ride on it was last week, we stopped at around 200 miles (on side roads) for lunch near where we had ended a trip last year ( on the same road) and she commented that she had been worn out by that point on the Vstar and eager to get off, with the Indian she was happy, un-fatigued and actually admitted that I had been right to say we wouldn't mind riding 150 miles more that day. At 340 she was starting to tire but still not worn out, she had at least another hour or two she said.

I think besides the room to stretch out and move around it's also that the big fairing takes all the wind pressure and beating off your body, and the big, quiet engine turning slowly rather than the little one screaming it's vibrating heart out makes a big difference too.
Big bikes are more work around town but once they get rolling, they sure can eat up the miles.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 11:07 AM
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That's another variable that plays into the definition of whatever a long ride is. Highway or back roads? Since our rides are for pleasure, we stick to rural, scenic routes whenever possible. The 360 miles this last weekend was strictly on rural roads, doing 35 to 60 most of the way. It was an eight hour ride with stops. If we got on the highways and did 70 to 80, we could probably almost doubled the mileage we put on.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 12:35 PM
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500 miles was a long ride 15 years ago and it's a long ride today. Nothing has changed but the machine. If the saddle works for you then miles are really nothing to be concerned with. If it doesn't then 200 miles will get to you. I had to have my Ultra saddle reworked. Worth every penny.

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 12:48 PM
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Depends how hot and thirsty you are. 15 miles to the pub can seem like a long way.
Depends how much you drink. 15 miles home could be 15 too many.

Depends how hard it is raining. 30 miles might be okay, 60 is too many.
Depends how cold it is. Same as rain.

220 miles on a sport bike would be too many for most. 220 on a cruiser is okay. 350 on a cruiser would be a nice day.
If riding from here to Daytona, 500 mile days would be required.

A steady 90 can be more tiring than a steady 70, due to wind noise. Yet a sport bike is happier going faster. Most of the Harleys I see on the highways are doing around 70, and generally ride sensibly.

It is 220 miles from Shirley's place to the track in Sheldon WA. I have been there on the XS11 and the SV1000.
350 is about the distance from Vancouver BC to Portland OR. Did that on a 68 350 Kawasaki.
250 from Vancouver BC over the mountains to the interior of BC. Much nicer riding the mountains than the flat freeway. Have done that on a variety of bikes.

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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 12:56 PM
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Another big factor is weather! I rode 90 miles on a sunny day on back roads in ideal conditions, and it felt like I'd scarcely gone around the block. I got caught out on the interstate at night in fairly heavy traffic, in a thunderstorm, and those 17 miles seemed like a LONG ride!

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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lurch77 View Post
As expected, a long ride is all perspective. I know guys that think a long ride is 100 miles. And I know guys that think a long ride is 500 miles. For me, I guess I never drew a line in the sand. I'm actually not coming up with a good definition of what is "long" as I sit here thinking. There are days I might put on 50 miles, days I put on 400, and a lot in between that.

One thing I do know, I define a "long ride" quite differently between my bikes. On the Ultra we did 360 miles this past Saturday. I consider that long. But if I did that on my Sportster or CB750, it would be really, really, really long.
I agree with lurch, when I was 25, I could ride my Sportster for 600 miles and shrug it off, If I tried that now..?? Yeah, not happening, on the other hand I can do 300-400 on my 2003 Heritage now and feel fine, If I had an Ultra ??? Maybe a Longer ride than that. Just my .02
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 01:42 PM
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I had to have my Ultra saddle reworked. Worth every penny.
That's my only real complaint about our Ultra. The seat foam sucks and I end up feeling like I'm sitting on the seat pan after 100 miles. I've already talked to a local upholstery guy with a lot of cycle experience. He's going to rebuild my seat this coming off season.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 03:52 PM
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A "long ride" is anything twice (or more) the distance you are USED to riding!

I did two 4-hour trips on the weekend - I usually ride no more than a couple of hours - and the 4 hour trips were physically exhausting.
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soupy1957 View Post
...

I would imagine that, with the increased comfort of trips with the Ultra Classic, with a back rest, cruise control and so forth, that I will take longer rides now.

That said, I'd be curious to know how fatigue is experienced on a bike, over long distances? Is it different than fatigue in a cage, on a long trip?
--

Not to presume that all options make riding less tiring. I find that using a backrest, for example, shortens my comfort period since it prevents my back from flexing. I can ride longer with less pain without. (In fact, the pain isn't in my back, but on my "sit bone" which gets pinched differently on the seat.)

Cruise control can increase monotony on long stretches, so that may or not be good. But the description of "long day" to me is the time riding, not the distance.

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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 09:13 PM
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For you I would think a "long ride" would be down the aisle and over the threshold?

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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-06-2016, 04:12 AM Thread Starter
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My "Ultra" is going to feel hard ass because of weak or thin seat foam?????

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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-06-2016, 08:37 AM
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For me it is my tail bone that tells me "too much". I found 6 hours is about good for me. I stop every two hours or so for stretching, water and restroom.
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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-06-2016, 09:03 AM
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My "Ultra" is going to feel hard ass because of weak or thin seat foam?????
Seats are a matter of opinion. I'm a tall guy, and weight 240lbs. The seat doesn't work for me. But I know a lot of people that are perfectly content with it. You'll know.
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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-06-2016, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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I can tell you that the Test Ride was like.........incredible!!

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post #21 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-06-2016, 10:48 AM
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Mine is actually real nice in the beginning, too. It doesn't start bothering me until 50 or 100 miles into a ride. Like I said, you'll know after a few good rides if you like it or not. Most guys are fine with it. If you don't, the nice thing is there are hundreds of aftermarket seat options out there, as well as custom seats from upholstery shops.
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post #23 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 11:35 AM
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Dang bar hoppers. Leave the garage just long enough to go around the world to sit at the bar.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lurch77 View Post
Dang bar hoppers. Leave the garage just long enough to go around the world to sit at the bar.

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post #25 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 09:51 PM
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Dang bar hoppers. Leave the garage just long enough to go around the world to sit at the bar.
Yep....burp.........
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