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Discussion Starter #1
Add a windshield, saddlebags, maybe a luggage rack and go travel around the country. Before you bought your full dress continent cruncher, what did you travel on? I just got a feeling the "touring" crowd here didn't all start out on a full dress BMW, Electra Glide or a Goldwing Aspencade/Interstate/SEi/etc. Or Yamaha Venture Royale, (I almost forgot Yamaha's).

My first bike I traveled any real distance on was a 1982 Kawasaki CSR650. Just a standard, 4 cyclinder, air cooled, chain driven motorcycle. I found a fairing and windshield and somehow got it mounted, then a passenger backrest/luggage rack combination. It may have been one of the old J.C. Whitney "universal fit" items which means you make it fit. Or it might of come off someone else's wrecked bike. I've slept since then.

Anyhow, everything the wife and I needed, or thought we needed, was piled in to an old Navy sea bag and with a couple hundred bungee cords, it was stuck on the luggage rack. Our first long trip was from here in Northwest Arkansas to Warner Robbins Air Force Base in Georgia where my cousin was stationed at the time, and Six Flags over Georgia.

The factory seat wasn't the most comfortable, but the bike performed flawlessly. Our next bike was a Goldwing and we couldn't hardly wait to try it out, a 1982 GL1100 Goldwing Aspencade. The first of four. So what did you start with or was/is your favorite non-touring "touring" bike?
 

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Moderator - Like a crazy cat lady but with bikes!
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My naked Goldwing GL1100. All the fun of a big chonky Goldwing, but stripped down like a standard. :D
Second choice? My first bike: A Buell Blast. It's barely a sport bike, let alone a touring machine. And yet it was always fun putting down some miles on it!

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Discussion Starter #3
The "standard" or "naked" bikes are so versatile. Just add imagination, a little labor, a part or two and go.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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CB550 I put over 30k on it with nothing but a handlebar windshield and bungee straps to hold anything I needed
 

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On The Road Again!
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For 30 years I rode a 1974 BMW R90/6.
I had added all the stuff needed to turn it into a tourer.
It had a Windjammer fairing, Calafia saddlebags and trunk,
and a tank bag. I put over 170,000 miles on that bike, going
everywhere from the top of Cape Breton Nova Scotia to
South Carolina, and three times to the top of Mount
Washington in New Hamshire.
Yep, it toured just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Friend of mine had a BMW like that. I haven't seen him in a long time now. He rode to Alaska a couple times. He'd ride up to God only knows where in Canada and come back through Maine. Made his own "saddlebags" out of PVC pipe.
About every 2 years he'd take it all apart in his garage, repaint the frame and anything that needed doing, he would do it. He said it was a real easy bike to work on.

He told me this story about what happened to him in Alaska.
He came upon a spot where several bikes had stopped and put up their tents for the night. He decided to stop and stay also. You know, safety in numbers and all that.
He got to talking with a guy that was traveling without a tent. Since it looked like it might rain that night, he invited that guy to sleep in his tent with him just in case it rained.
Well late at night or early towards dawn, his "guest" got out of his sleeping bag, got up on his knees, and peed all over Mel's sleeping bag! Then he laid down and went back to sleep.
It was a darn funny story the way he told it.
 

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I thought I hit the 'Big Leagues' with my 1st touring bike. Like Critter, I bolted on a handlebar windshield, had a half a dozed bungees strapped over the seat, and built my own backrest. Yep, I was in 'Tall Cotton' with my CB450 Honda. I forgot how many miles I put on that thing, but based out of Los Angeles area at the time, my riding partner and I hit Las Vegas, Death Valley, parts of Or., Wash., Utah, and Mexico.....many times. When I finally traded it in for my CB 750, I can honestly say that the bike was pretty wore out.
 

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Swamp Rat Rider
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My FXR4 if wanted to do a Road my Saddlemen Sissybar Bag with Built in Backrest got the Job Done while missed a few Rides I either Sold or Traded in , this one is the only one truly regret selling even though got well above Book Value ..


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My Blackbird, CBR1100XX. Corbin Seat, Beatle Bags and Rear 44L box.

That said I am removing all the boxes so I can play without them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ever been questioned about your choice of bike to travel on? I was in Colorado a few years back and stopped to help a couple guys. One of their bikes had a flat tire. Turns out they had a pump and plugs so they didn't need my help.

But we got to talking about bikes (of course). They thought leaving home on a 20 year old bike, with over 150,000 miles on it was a little bit nuts. I was riding a '94 Goldwing at the time.

Later that same day, I met a man out of,...one of the New England states, (can't remember which one) riding a Goldwing only 1 or 2 years newer than mine but with similar mileage. We had both stopped to eat at that John Wayne restaurant, True Grit.

He was older than me, come further than I had, was traveling alone and he talked funny, but was good company for the half hour, 45 minutes we were together. He saw nothing wrong with riding an older bike long distance. :)
 

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Visionary
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I put 40K miles in just over a year on this Vstar 650, rode it all over the place, had some great times, I loved that bike. I had a big soft bag that tied on the rack that I used when we traveled.
Once I bought my Vision though it just never seemed the same, I sold it to a co-worker when i realized it was just sitting in my garage.

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My first UJM, standard bike that I converted to a touring mount was our new 1974 Honda CB750, that I put a BATES batwing fairing on and a large luggage rack and big backrest for my wife to lean up against. We tied all kinds of small luggage onto each other and the luggage rack was WAY overloaded but we put 6,561 miles on the bike, from Southern Calif, to Missouri and back through Kansas, Colorado, Utah and Nevada and had a ball! I changed oil and filter about halfway through the trip and checked the valve clearance once. I did carry a can of quality chain lube and soaked the chain about every 3rd tank of gas. No problems with the bike whatsoever.

In 1981 we bought a new Yamaha XS1100 UJM and I put the Craig Vetter Windjammer 3 with lowers on it and another luggage rack and backrest combo and a year latter we had a beautiful URAL sidecar installed on it. We only made a lot of 300 mile weekend rides on it but it was the perfect long distance comfort touring mount, especially for my Wife:)

After that, we had a whole series of big luxurious touring bikes but by then we had a young child and she didn't really want to be gone long, on extended rides and leave our Son, so I bit the bullet and did it solo, all over everywhere west of the Mississippi, North-south-east and west.

Sam
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I can't remember the brand fairing I mounted on my Kawasaki, but it was a frame mount and I had to wire up the signal lights and headlight that was already mounted in the fairing. Dad helped me figure out how to mount it to the bike frame.
I hope I got a picture of it around somewhere, I can't really remember what it looked like.
But I do remember its suppertime! Later,
 

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Trying to make my Vulcan more touring friendly. I've added a mustang seat, a Kawasaki backrest and windshield and a viking sissybar bag. My next add will be some saddlebags.


Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
 

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I'm thinking soft bags but I'm not ruling out hard ones. I've got some shopping to do. I'm also open to any suggestions.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Each type of bag has it's good and bad points. From security to style to how water resistant they are, how much they cost, are just a few considerations.
I'm on a tight budget, so cost is a big consideration to me. When I came up on a shop that was going out of business, offering half price on soft bags, to me, that was a sign. For $44 and change, I got my bags for less than half price!

Yeah, they're a cheap bag, but they look okay and if I get a couple years out of them, it's worth it to me. If they last longer, even better!
 

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My current Kawasaki Z650 makes a pretty darned good little tourer. I added a short flyscreen to smooth the wind a bit, an Airhawk seat pad for butt comfort, and I have a large Saddlemen rear-seat soft bag that holds enough for a long weekend, plus a 40-liter waterproof duffel that straps neatly on top if more capacity is needed. Early in the Fall I took about a 700 mile, 3-day trip from home up to the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway. I took the Interstates up, then rode the BRP back to Asheville, NC, and Interstates again on back home. I stayed comfy, had plenty of power for the several hundred miles of high-speed riding, plus more than sufficiently sporty handling for the twisties.

40 or so years ago I did comparable rides on a Kawasaki 250 LTD single. Even in my youth, the bike stood it better than I did, and today that little thumper would probably break me on such a trip, but with the Z650 I held up as well as I would have in my Corolla -- and had a heckuva lot more fun!
 

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Couldn't do that buckboard seat any more, but my Norton P11 took me all over the south-east, across the gulf states to Texas a time or two, Carolinas, to Ohio and up into the Montana/Dakotas (in the snow, no less -- oh to be that young and crazy again...) and out to Washington state and Oregon (although it was trailered out there -- just semi-local riding). A touring bike is more a state of mind, than the mechanics will ever be I think.

Most of us have a bike we wish we'd never sold -- mine was that P11 :confused:
 

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Way back when, I put many highway miles on a 68 350 Kawasaki. Prior to that it was a 650 BSA.
My current sport touring is a 96 Triumph Trophy 900. Soon for trips not to long, I will run an 80 Yamaha midnight special naked. Have soft canvas bags. Will put a window on only if I think it necessary. Going to run it in its original rusty state. No time to clean it up this year.

UK
 
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