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Discussion Starter #1
the title doesnt say much i know, but...

so i am planning on riding up the coast of CA in the next couple of weeks, San Diego to Monterey area. i am not worried about comfort or anything like that, i am just worried about the bike failing or it getting stuck for 1 reason or another. ive rode it for 2k miles already and havnt had any problems, even through a wreck. i just dont know enough about motorcycles yet and can't figure out how reliable they really are. i keep hearing about all the maintenance required for it and it seems like the bike needs to be babied at all times. someone want to squash my issue with long trips and let me know that they are reliable and dont need to bring a can of chain lube and some oil to do an oil change half way through my trip. im learning as much as i can and have the maint. manual but i just dont feel like i trust the bike enough yet and i cant seem to get it out of my head that i am going to be stuck 8hrs away with no way to get back to work on monday.

wow, i just sounded like a girl there but whatever lol
 

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There's people that do very little maintenance to their bikes, and they last forever. There are people that do every little bit of maintenance to their bikes, and they fail prematurely. Sometimes it seems like luck of the draw, karma, whatever.

How far is your trip total? And what kind of driving? If it's mostly highway and country roads, you'll be fine, even if you do have a problem. now, if you're running the TAT or doing some serious off-roading in BFE, you'd obviously need a lot more planning.

So, you just have to ask yourself 'what would I need if the bike gives up on me and I'm at (insert 'worst possible place' here)' and plan accordingly.

(oh, and to try to ease your mind a little, these SV650's seem to have quite a good reputation for reliability...)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
just going up the coast, some 101 and some I-5 action. maybe try and find some curvy roads somewhere. its going to be about a 2k mi round trip. i plan on changing the oil before i head out and adjusting the chain and giving it a good once over.
 

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Shouldn't be too bad. I'd toss one of those small cans of chain wax your bag, and seriously, the on-board tool kit should be 'enough', I pulled my rear tire off on the side of the road with it. Otherwise, a cell phone and if you have it, a GPS, and you should be fine! Have fun, and enjoy the trip!
 

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Top up the oil and bring a small can of chain lube. You own an '05 with 3500 on it?

Go put miles on that bike!

Then post up an account of your trip.
 

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These bikes are meant to be ridden, not babied. They are FAR from maintenance heavy. Bring some chain lube, make sure your oil is somewhat fresh before you go. A tire patch kit would be a good idea...

Oil every 3-6k mi, spark plugs every 7,500mi (according to the manual - I've known many who have run theirs to ~15k mi with no problems. Hell, I have 8,500 and don't plan on replacing mine any time soon unless they look bad), valves every 12,500mi. That's about it for the major stuff... Don't think the bike will blow up if you don't follow this schedule. Suzuki's 645cc v-twin is a gem of an engine - the SV's main selling point for a lot people.
 

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Personally, I would take a tire plugger kit from Genuine Inovations or similar. They have some plugs and some CO2 cartridges to refill or partially refill your tire. If youy don't like plugs, it would still get you to a town where there is a bike shop and can buy a tire.

Otherwise, the SV is a runner. Have a great time.
 

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just going up the coast, some 101 and some I-5 action. maybe try and find some curvy roads somewhere. its going to be about a 2k mi round trip. i plan on changing the oil before i head out and adjusting the chain and giving it a good once over.
Hi JBag, Malibu would a great place to go. Also Hwy 33 from Ojai. Good luck!
 

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I've taken PCH a few times between north and southern CA. And what you're looking at is an easy day trip. I wouldn't sweat it. Do your normal checks before heading out and enjoy the ride. Take a cell phone and tire plug kit.* w/ you. The longest distance between gas stations is a hundred miles or so. They're usually closer together though. You'll be fine.

To build confidence, try Hwy74, from San Diego to Hemet, or even to Palm Desert. You wont need chain lube. Oil? That depends on the last time it was changed. Are you the original owner? Does it only have 2k miles on it? If so, it's past due for its first service. If not, oil changes are every 4-5k miles.

In Spring '08, I rode from Oakland out Park City, UT to meet up w/ my dad and brother. From there we went down to Moab and rode around for a couple days before doing it all again in reverse. San Diego to Monterey? Na'da problem.
 

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I would jump on my 05 in Wyoming and ride to CA without even thinking about it. Unless you have over 100K miles, like RandyO did. And as long as your tires are good.

The tip about the tire plug kit is spot on, though. For me. I carry one of those Victor kits in the yellow box they sell at WalMart, and a 12V Slime brand compressor, fairly compact and cheap.
 

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Plenty of people do cross-country trips on the SV. I am planning on one, myself. For a day jaunt, I've even ridden from SD to LA and back *twice* in the same day (long story, long day), which is 130 miles each way. In the rain and 44 degree weather, half of it at night in bad fog. I had no problems and wouldn't think of doing it again.

There's a lot of traffic along the coast, so you don't really have to worry about nobody being around if you get stuck or break down. I doubt you'll even be without mobile phone reception.

Take some chain lube if you want (Dupont Teflon Multi-use is great stuff), or just clean the chain and lube it before you go. Check the tire pressure, maybe overfill it a few PSI for reduction of freeway flatspotting (I run 36 front / 42 rear on my Metzeler M3s for commuting).

I carry a tire plug kit and mini compressor for extremely long trips but it's not always necessary, especially if you have roadside assistance on a well-travelled trip route.

For better peace of mind, join the American Motorcyclist Association and get free roadside assistance for motorcycles (and cars/trailers/trucks), or AAA membership with the added RV/motorcycle assistance.

Other things to think about (I know you said you don't care about comfort, but if you are not comfortable, you will not have the same attention level so it IS important):

- The most important thing is to STAY HYDRATED drink a little bit every so often. The wind will dehydrate you faster than if you weren't on the bike. By the time you feel thirsty, you're already dehydrated.
- Take short breaks every 45 minutes or so and stretch, walk around and get your blood moving again. If you do this before you feel stiff or sore, you will help prevent yourself from feeling stiff or sore at all.
- Eat a little bit at each break (not a lot), slow burning carbs, and you will keep your attention span better.
- If you find yourself zoning out, take a break fast. Drink some water and electrolytes and maybe a snack.
- Bring some thin layers of gear so you can be comfortable. Along the coast can be really chilly still, you may also have fog and mist set in. When the road goes inland a bit (e.g. about an hour North of SD on the 5), it warms up a lot. Adding or removing layers help you be comfortable depending on the weather.
- Wear earplugs, it will help reduce fatigue very noticeably as well as save your hearing.
- Bring something to clean your visor with. One good splatty bug can be real fun to see through, not to mention swarms of small ones. Not so many along the coast, but you may run into some. A little spray bottle of water or Plexus and a microfiber towel will do it.
- I like to take a thin balaclava because 80MPH in chilly weather for several hours can suck.
- Take and bring allergy meds or others if you need. Sometimes a preventative pain med can help reduce soreness and swelling as well.
- Sunblock! Even if you're ATGATT, you still probably have an exposed neckline between jacket and helmet unless you're wearing a balaclava or neck gaiter. I always end up having that wonderful mild tanline stripe around my neck in summer, even with sunblock, somehow. Sunblock helps prevent burns.
- Keeping your medical information and blood type on you somewhere at all times is a good practice in general.

My mechanics here in LA used to be motorcycle couriers. And guess what--they rode SVs because they were so reliable. One guy has 174,000 miles on his. Not all bikes are as reliable, but these are proven.
 

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Dude! Get off the 101 north of Santa Barbara and hop on Highway 1 towards Lompoc. You can run it from there all the way up past Big Sur / Monterey. I live 500 yards off Hwy 1 in Arroyo Grande. You'll see the cross street of Hwy 1 and Valley Rd just as you get to the bottom of the hill behind the Oceano Dunes. You need some help with servicing the bike by then, no problem. If you come through at the right time, I'll ride uphill with ya if you're looking for company....maybe you want to stay solo?

San Luis Obispo County has some of the most awesome motorcycle roads in the state if not the nation. Ya got your Hwy 1, we have Hwy 58, Hwy 229 or "Rossi's Driveway" as it's sometimes called, Tepusquet Rd in SB County. A bit north of the Monterey / SLO County Line we have 198, Hwy 25, Nacimiento-Ferguson Rd between 101 and Hwy 1 past Gorda.

You could spend a week just here in the county and surrounding areas riding a new and great road. I've got great ideas for good food destinations coupled with good rides, too!

Drop me a line, I'll give you my cell phone number and offer tour if you like! No tour, no problem, keep my number in case you run into trouble on your run up through the area.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
bike has closer to 6k now =D...bought it with 3.4k. i'm enjoying riding =D. "Oh My Sack" i will definately keep you in mind, i will be riding up there during the week but its good to know i have a stopping point if i need it, thank you. all these little roads i am writing down right now and gonna look more into them. my plan was to take the PCH all the way up till the santa barbara and take the 1 from there, just like you said OMS. and follow that up to monterey. i have 7 days off, leaving on a tuesday, may head back on a sunday just to go up all the windy roads you were talking about.

and thanks guys, appreciate the words of comfort, i do feel better about the ride now.
 

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I gotta flat bed trailer, wrenches, you name it if you were to have an issue. I doubt that will be a problem, though. One thing you might consider if you don't have it is Auto Club of So Cal membership. I have a Premier RV/Motorcycle membership with them which is more costly than standard membership but I can get a free tow up to 200 miles on a Car/Truck/RV/Boat/Motorcycle plus a bunch of other perks above the standard level of service. Just a basic membership is always a good idea because of the services they are able to perform in their offices and on the road. Make sure you get a Motorcycle membership, though because the regular does not cover your bike issues.

Also, check out www.pashnit.com for the California Roads touring info. It's a pay site to access the real in depth info and road reports but I think you can see some great info on the roads up in this area without paying. If you're at all into touring rides (which you obviously are!), it's $20 for the access and very much worth it for trip planning into unfamiliar territory.
 

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Just ride. Quit worrying.
+1.
If the bike breaks, it breaks, you get it fixed and are on your way. When you think about it, breaking in the middle of a pleasure trip is better then it breaking on the way to work or an interview, so why worry: adventure one way or another.
I just rode 2/3 the way across the country (2000mi). I changed my oil before I left and lubed the chain and that's about it. It rained half the time too. 2000 miles is a short moment in the life of an SV.

As others have said, just get a tire repair kit and some sort of pump. I just keep a bicycle hand pump under the seat. Also, I travel with spare levers (shift, clutch, brakes). Any problem you have is far more likely to be from a crash/ drop then random mechanical failure. OH, FUSES too.
 

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I've put over 5500 miles on my bike since last April and haven't ever had any issues with it. I take it in for routine maintenance and check the tire pressures and adjust and clean the chain.

I wouldn't hesitate to ride it up the coast for a weekend. In fact, I'm planning just such a trip for May or June.

Just ride it.
 

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Here's a better response than my simple one earlier:

Would you question driving your car that far? Do you really think your motorcycle is any different, mechanically, than your car?

It's all the same stuff; pistons, crank, injection, etc. Just smaller.

And sexier.

And hella more fun.
 
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