Motorcycle Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been riding for a little over 2 months now, and have put on over 2100 miles. Getting to the point where I'm quite comfortable - I believe I've started to develop that sixth sense about traffic, and I'm far more confident. I always focus on proper technique - instinct is good, but I never let my instinct or gut take completely over, and I always try to stay locked on and deliberate. My starts from a stop are better - I haven't stalled in a long time, haven't found myself in neutral by accident, and am overall a lot smoother than when I started. I've been working a lot on my low speed maneuvers too, and can consistently make a U-turn in under 24 feet (the standard width of a 2 lane roadway in the US) and handle parking lots with confidence.

I've taken some longer single day rides, but starting Sunday, I'm taking my first extended, multi day ride. I'll be heading from my home in the Denver area south to Colorado Springs (taking the scenic route, of course) and overnight with a friend, probably catch a movie and dinner. The next day I'm hitting up Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods, then continuing west through Eleven Mile State Park, and going north to Frisco (ski country, though it's not quite the season yet). Another overnight, then I'm heading north to Laramie, having lunch, and cutting back south to meet up with another friend for dinner and then back home.

3 days, 2 nights, roughly 600 miles with frequent stops to enjoy the sights. Weather should be fair, and I've got a route planned with periodic stops for checking in with my loved ones. Hoping my Barkbusters handguards arrive before this weekend so I can install them - it can get chilly on the hands in some areas, even in August!

I'll be on my 2018 BMW G310R, which of course is my only bike right now. Small, not the most comfortable over long distance, but it's fun to ride and can keep up even on the interstate. I have a 46L top case and a couple of small Kriega tail bags in case I need more space. Just a change of clothes or two, some toiletries, and other basics. I'll be eating at restaurants and staying in actual built up areas - not quite ready for the camping yet!

I do have a tire repair kit, and understand the basics, though I've never actually used it in the field. I will probably clean and lube the chain just before I leave as well.

Any other advice for the first time multi day tourer?
 

·
Gone.
Joined
·
17,857 Posts
Before you go, practice riding on a relatively straight section of road and looking around a little. Get used to turning your head and grabbing a glimpse of what's around you and off to the side without letting the bike drift off the road. That skill gets even more important when you're riding on curves in the hills and mountains.
 

·
Registered
2015 BMW K1600GTL & 2008 Harley Davidson Dyna Super Glide Custom
Joined
·
1,458 Posts
Really practice looking through your turns. Those roads can be challenging and it's easy to over cook a corner and have a serious accident.

Make sure you bring layers of clothing. I do a lot of multi-day rides and you just have to be prepared. Especially gloves.

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
 

·
Driftless Rider
Joined
·
1,554 Posts
600 miles in 3 days. Gives plenty of time for exploring and doesn't make you want to push to make destinations.

As noted, bring layers. Raingear would be nice too, just in case. And a extra, dry pair of gloves.

Have fun, and ride safe
 

·
SUPER MODERATOR
Joined
·
9,161 Posts
Thank you for your service and all that you do 1ADAM12:grin:

Practice, practice, practice is my best advice and you have lots of beautiful geography to do so on:wink2:

Ride Paranoid is another thing I recommend to stay alive. THEY really are out to get ya:surprise:

Sam:nerd:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just got back from my trip. Mostly stuck to the original plan, though I modified it slightly, and I'm pretty happy I did. This was a great learning experience, and I'm definitely looking to do more. A quick rundown of my experiences, and some takeaways.

Day 1. I started from home to meet a friend in Colorado Springs. He was working an overtime shift, so I had some built in time to kill. I got to Highway 285 from Morrison, and rode to Pine Junction (at the junction with Jefferson County Rd 126). Met a motorcycle mechanic there who ogled the G310R's design, raving about how well designed it was. I honestly don't know too much of what he meant, but it was nice to have a stranger telling me the reasons why it was a good first bike. Ended up dropping one of my earplugs out there. The kit I got had 3, but I only brought 2. Lesson learned, bring spares - ended up buying the orange foamies, which work, but weren't as comfortable. Went down 126 to Deckers, had lunch, then took Highway 67 to Woodland Park. While in Woodland Park, it started to rain. The detachable liners that came with my Scorpion Drafter II pants and BMW Airshell jacket worked like a charm - I stayed completely dry, though it's honestly a PITA to stop and put in liners. May get a rain suit. First time riding in real rain as well - but honestly, nothing changed. I just slowed down, tried to stay in the drier patches left by car tires, and increased following distance. As a new rider I was terrified of the prospect of rain, but now, I'm okay with it. Stopped in CO Springs, browsed a local Cycle Gear, then met my friend where we watched Mission Impossible Fallout - great movie with an excellent motorcycle chase.

Day 2. Rode out in the morning and stopped at the Garden of the Gods. Picked my way through the park for a bit, then took 24 to the Pikes Peak Highway. As I approached the summit, I got hit by some serious wind. Not a comfortable feeling, being buffeted by wind on a light 300 cc thumper as you come around corners - not all of which have guardrails. I did make it to the top though, and had lunch and took photos. However, I did have trouble starting the bike. Engine would struggle, but wouldn't turn over. Eventually I got it by revving the **** out of it the moment I heard the engine make any noise. It sounds like the altitude (14,114 feet) was making things difficult, but I'll need to be careful on future mountain trips - I'd hate to be stranded with no phone service with a bike that is unable to start at all. Went back down the mountain, and traffic was light. I challenged myself a bit and got more lean angle than before - and for the first time, I scraped footpeg. Surprised me, but I know the limit of my lean angle and how it feels. I don't want to make a habit of it, but I do feel I'm gaining confidence on the bike. Of course, I was humbled not even 15 minutes later - I hit a patch of gravel and nearly lost it. Luckily, I recovered - or more accurately, the bike recovered itself and I held on. Honestly, I should not have hit it - I saw it coming and knew what it could do, but I was getting fatigued, kept going when I shouldn't have, and made an error in judgment. Lessons learned: take more breaks. I actually thought I was going to crash, but didn't. Another lesson: never take anything for granted. I got lucky, but I can't rely on luck.

Took Highway 24 to Highway 9 and made a stop in Hartsel, where I met a German man who was bicycling from San Francisco to New York. That guy was a ton of fun to chat with - in fact, meeting him was the highlight of my trip. Here, I did encounter long, straight stretches of highway, averaging over 65 mph. I had a pretty good headwind, and while my G310R is no slouch, it felt pretty high strung and uncomfortable at that range. I definitely wished I had a more powerful bike there, though having never ridden one, I don't know how much difference it would make.

Ended the day in Frisco, CO.

Day 3. I took Highway 9 north until the junction with Highway 40, and took 40 west to Kremmling. Again, long open stretches of highway, with a lot of wind. Really not as fun as I thought. Made it to the junction of Highway 14, and went east to Walden. Originally, the plan was to go further north into Laramie, Wyoming and hook back down south, but with the sheer amount of wind I was getting, I changed my mind. Southern Wyoming would be even worse for wind. So instead, I continued east on Highway 14, which just happens to run along the Cache La Poudre River. I was treated to some amazing views and even got a decent lunch in at a small roadside gas station/restaurant. After finishing this route, I went back south to Longmont and met another friend for dinner, before finally coming home.

Altogether, a great trip, and I definitely want to do it again. I did overpack on clothing to be quite honest - previously, I wore regular street clothing under my gear, thinking I should doff it before going to a restaurant for a quick meal or whatnot. But frankly, no one cares, everyone knows you're on a bike, and that alone is a pretty good conversation starter.

Great experience and I'm definitely hooked. This writeup was long, but I hope it can give a bit of insight to someone else.
 

·
SUPER MODERATOR
Joined
·
9,161 Posts
Thank you for a nice report:smile_big:

I've ridden the area many times and it brought back memories.:smile:

" I definitely wished I had a more powerful bike there, though having never ridden one, I don't know how much difference it would make." Quote

A lot actually as more torque and an engine not straining itself AND a bike that is heavier makes most riding so much easier and enjoyable.:wink2:

Stay safe!:wink2:

Sam:nerd:
 

·
Registered
2015 BMW K1600GTL & 2008 Harley Davidson Dyna Super Glide Custom
Joined
·
1,458 Posts
Great write up and sounds like a great ride.

Big bike touring and small bike touring are two totally different trips. On those long stretches of road with wind, high speeds etc. having a big powerful bike is great. However, riding the mountains on your bike would be a blast. Each type of trip (small bike or big bike) has it's positives and negatives. I've taken trips on my Ultra Classic and then done the same trip on my Triumph Bonneville and while they were technically the same route they were totally different rides.

Congratulations on your trip and welcome to one of the greatest experiences you can have.

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
 

·
Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
Joined
·
15,550 Posts
Sounds like a great trip with some lessons learned.

Observations on your day 2.

You saw the gravel and then you probably stared at the gravel until you finally hit it. Target fixation it's called, you see something, stare at it and run into it. You managed not to go down, so you learned your lesson without paying a big price. Next time note the gravel and look where you want to go, the bike will follow your eyes.

Scraping a peg. Do not know if you are shifting your body in your turns, if not try it, you will find you can take tighter turns without scraping. Continue to practice and learn, soon it will be muscle memory and you will discover it just happens you don't have to even think about it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Porky

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sounds like a great trip with some lessons learned.

Observations on your day 2.

You saw the gravel and then you probably stared at the gravel until you finally hit it. Target fixation it's called, you see something, stare at it and run into it.
I think you're right. I remember in my head thinking "yeah, that's gravel, I should probably move around." I always preach "head and eyes" to myself while riding and usually do well.

But I was physically exhausted and didn't move - not necessarily out of fear or anything, but out of laziness and complacency.

It was low speed, less than 20 mph, but humans were not designed to go that fast. I've seen people hurt and killed from less.

Multiple lessons learned that day. If you're tired on a bike, it's probably an indication you should have stopped to take a break several miles ago.

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top