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hey everyone,
I posted a thread about touring as a rookie and my desire to start some roadtripping on the 620. Just found out about a wedding I need to attend in AZ. Looks like (grin) I'll be making the trip on my monster. 719 miles from Pacific Grove, CA to Tuson, AZ. I've been devouring everything on the forum about touring as far as gear, luggage, windscreen, etc. What I'm looking for now is everyones experiences with this kind of stuff. I wanna hear all the dos and don't and anything else I should know. As of now, I'm looking to get a sergant seat and some luggage before the trip in march. I know it's not as extreme a trip as some of the others posted but I'm hoping to take tons of pics and post them. Thanks for everything everyone!
 

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Wow. This is a huge topic. I keep telling myself I need to do a touring FAQ but it is a humbling prospect. There is so much to cover. Then again, if you keep it simple you'll be alright and have a good time. All the obsessive-compulsive stuff is there to get the last 20% of comfort and fun out of the experience.

So here are some random thoughts. Feel free to use what makes sense to you.

Firstly, spend time planning the trip, buy good maps or get Microsoft Streets & Trips. If time is short just get the maps since S&T has a steepish learning curve to use well.

Secondly, don't be afraid to throw all your plans out the window if they either aren't working, or something more interesting presents itself. A lot of the fun of touring is dealing with the unexpected pleasant surprises you get when you try something a little different.

Now you say you have a wedding to go to, so this means a hard arrival time. This can be both good and bad: you'll be tempted to 'plan' some hellacious days getting to the event and this will negate the advice above. You could probably do 719 miles in a couple of days but it would be a grind and you'd probably be stuck on a freeway the whole time. If you stretch that to 3 or 4 days then you leave yourself time to explore interesting side roads, linger in funky cafes and really soak up the experience instead of eating at a Subway in the gas station next to the freeway.

As far as equipment goes, pretty much most decent soft sided saddlebags will work well if you make sure they don't touch the exhaust (and melt) and are securely fastened to the frame. I use the RKA xPandable bags and the are fine. A tank bag is also quite useful for carrying your camera, shield wipe (wee willie!) and other miscellaneous crap you'll want to have handy. You can add a tailbag or duffel if you need more space, but that's probably overkill. (Or use a tailbag and no tankbag if the tankbag bothers you.)

The importance of good gear can't be over-stressed. If you're cold, wet, or chafed you're more likely to hate the experience and in the worst case get hypothermia and stack. Dress like it is 20 degrees colder than you think and you should be OK.

Here is my personal packing list. It is by no means comprehensive and doesn't cover camping. You can find lots of alternatives by typing "motorcycle touring packing list" into Google.

Clothes------------------------------
boot socks
underwear
jeans (2)
dress pants
jacket
t-shirts - synthetic
Polarfleece shirts
Travel shirt
Windbloc vest
Windbloc jacket
Windbloc pants
Kit bag / medications
Sneakers
Shorts/Swimsuit

Misc.---------------------------------
Reading & sunglasses
wallet
Cellphone, charger
Camera, cards, battery charger
Maps
Weather radio
Sunblock
Flashlight
Clothesline
Liquid detergent (Woolite)
Semi-synth oil

Riding Gear--------------------------
Helmet
Spare visor w/fog city shield
Neck-up
Darien jacket and pants
Riding boots
Reg. & waterproof gloves
Wee Willie
Earplugs
Bungee net
Cleaning rag
Tank bag and raincover
Saddle bags and raincovers

You may want to add a tux to that list. ;)

Have fun!
 

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'---really soak up the experience instead of eating at a Subway in the gas station next to the freeway. "

ROTFLMAO. Michael, how did you know? :D
Actually, the Subway was in a truck stop. Dining is a bit limited in Quartzsite....

If you can, take 2 days to get from your place to Indio. Then just ironman it from there to Tucson. There's really not much to see between Indio and Phoenix, you're pretty much committed to slabbing it.

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T-Vik, you can borrow my saddlebags and tailbag, but I need 'em back by the end of the month... ;D
 

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I don't know how the drive is because I never did it but you might try going south to San Diego and taking I8 across to I10, then I10 south to Tucson. Indio to Phoenix is boring.

If you get a good state Atlas for California and Arizona, you can probably find good smaller state highways that are a lot more fun to ride than the Interstate. Here in Texas, we mainly ride what are called "farm to market" roads (FM). Many of the good ones are not on state maps so you need the detail of a state atlas. I have one I disassemble and make copies on 11x17 paper of the pages I need for each trip . That way I can mark on them, get them wet, give them to somebody else, etc. and still have the original for the next trip.
 

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The only suggestion I have is to plan a route that avoids freeways as much as possible.

I haven't done any long trips on a motorcycle (300 miles maximum so far), but will be doing a few this year on the ST2. I took a two week trip in my S2000, though, and out of over 5700 miles that I drove, only about 300 was on the interstate, which I'm proud of. If any of you are bored and want to spend an hour or two reading, here's the link where I documented the whole trip: http://www.geocities.com/srnelson_s2000/Overview.html
 

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'---really soak up the experience instead of eating at a Subway in the gas station next to the freeway. "

ROTFLMAO. Michael, how did you know?
 

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Nick,

You're too kind. Now you're essentially forcing me on a trip... :D

-R.
Nah, no force involved. I'm just an 'enabler'. ;)
You have mail....
 
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Dreamse...I know you have received suggestions about going down to SD and then over to Tucson but I'm sure there are a few riders here in the Phoenix area that would make a daytrip down to Tucson with you!

There is a nice ride down from Mesa through Florence and on to Tucson. It's not a bad ride on the old highway. Tucson has some nice rides! Like SpeedDog mentioned, the Saguaro Nat. Monument is nice, The Catalins Mnts. and Gates Pass too.

Let me know when the time gets closer. If nobody else goes, my dad and sister live down there so I can visit them. "Slimp" from this site also lives down there and is always wanting find other Monsters to ride with. We could hook up with him.
 

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I agree with AZmnstr, if you go thru Phoenix, take the Florence road instead of I10.

Actually, you could stay in Phoenix overnight and do a loop north towards Payson and beyond and come back thru Miami-Globe then down thru Florence. I am sure you could get these guys to ride with you. ;D
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If anyone is really interested I'd be really stoked to meet up with some of you guys on my way to Arizona. Hey, maybe we could even make a little event out of this. Any excuse to ride with fellow monsters right? (BTW, I've never ridden w/ a fellow monster :'()
 

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There are hundreds of miles of great roads around san diego, too. If you can stay over in san diego, then there's some great routes in and out of town. Problem is that getting in and out of SD county can be booorrrrring. :) If you come up with ways in or out of town, I can help put together some routes for ya. :)
 

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I grew up in Tucson and I live in San Diego now. There is really no way (unless you go WAY out of the way) to get from Ca. to Tucson without some, O.K. alot, of boring freeway riding. I would suggest that you come down through the northern area of San Diego, by Palomar and take the great back roads past Julian out through the desert and then you will drop down onto the I-8 out in the middle of nowhere. You will still have to do alot of freeway riding on the 8 then the 10 into Tucson but there is really no avoiding that. When you are in Tucson be sure to take a ride up Mt. Lemon good road and great views. Let me know if I can help with more details.
 
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