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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm taking a road trip from NY to CA and back this summer. I'll be riding with my girlfriend and a buddy of mine. We'll probably be going through, bryce canyon, grand canyon, zion, yosemite, vegas, utah salt flats, death valley, etc...and of course the smoky mountains and the dragon on the way.

We plan on packing VERY light. One SMALL back pack each, no tank bags, no saddle bags, no rain gear, just one change of clothes...it's just part of the experience for us.

Question: what tools are ESSENTIAL and must be brought? Keep in mind that we're trying to stay bare minimum, and it must fit in a back pack with other stuff.

Also, if you could elaborate on what they would be used for. I'm not a total newbie in terms of riding, but I've (fortunately) never had any major problems, so other than basic maintainance (oil changes, air filter, tire pressure, tightening the chain) I don't do much work on the bike.
 

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One thing to keep in the back of your mind, most of the places you listed have little or no cell coverage. If you do have a problem, you're hoofin' it. Which is a big part of the attraction of riding distances. No, I can't hear you now. It'll have to wait till I get back. ;)

Not so sure about tools, but you should have a first aid kit under your rear seat. preferably one geared towards hikers and riders.
 

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not taking rain gear is a bad idea IMO but back to your question. i'd deffinetly bring a pair of vice grips, an adjustable rinch big enough to fit all the bolts but small enough to be practicle. maybe a spare headlight bulb. can of chain wax. wd-40 couldn't hurt.

i dunno how light your going o pack but if this is going to be more than a one week out one week back thing i'd sugest on packing heavier. just my $.02
 

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This won't help any, but why just a backpack? I can't stand riding with a backpack on for more than about 10 miles. A tank bag would carry about the same amout of stuff and wouldn't make your back sweaty and hot the whole trip. The route your planning is around 6-7 thousand miles and will take you well over two weeks to complete. How many times are you gonna have to stop and wash your one change of clothes?

I've done quite a few road trips so far and each time I end up carrying more and more stuff to make sure I get back home with the bike in working condition. I carry a small air compressor, Slime, mini metric wrench set, mini metric socket and ratchet set, two 6-in-1 multi-screwdrivers, small cresent wrench, needle nose plyers, Gerber multi-tool, tweaker, zip ties (large and small), duct tape, electrical tape, service manual, extra electrical connectors and wire, extra nuts and bolts, a well stocked first aid kit geared towards motorcyclists, and some other stuff.

All of the above stuff has been used a number of times on various trips I've taken. It's just my opinion, but leeaving on a trip under-prepared is not a very smart thing to do. PM me if you want a more complete list of things that I usually take with me.
 

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Go to the announcements forum section and check out the sportbike road registry link they put there for me.

If you are going on this trip, make sure you stop and smell the roses.
It will be sad if you go by some of these areas without you checking them out.

Sounds like it will be an experience of a lifetime.

Don't ruin it by going into the mindset of going from point a to point b.
 

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gahdzila said:
if push comes to shove, you can fix anything with duct tape and zip ties. the sv tool kit has a few basics, too. tire plug kit, and some way to air up a flat tire.
Dr. Fil and enough CO2 cartridges for it.(4 for motorcycle tires) Walmart or Cycle Gear have them. These are a must for motorcycles or bicycles and will fit under the back seat or in your backpack and dont take up any room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the replies. To address some of the comments, I've done a similar trips before, only one change of clothes, one backpack or smaller, for 2 weeks or longer (I wash my clothes in the sink or an outdoor hose at rest stops, or even in rivers/lakes, sleep outside under the stars...etc). However, I have never done this sort of thing on a bike, I'm not so worried about myself as I am about the machine.

My vacations are more backpacking through Belize and Guatemala with only a passport and $200...with only 2 changes of underwear and no other extra clothes to see Mayan ruins and going cave diving (which I did last year, highly suggested - the best 3 weeks I've spent in recent years) , instead of the typical Miami spring break type of thing.

My question more is about any known and recognized common mechanical issues with the SV that may occur. Something that I might not know about since I'm new to the bike (kinda like how RX-7s are infamous for having cooling issues, but most new owners wouldn't know about it).

Basically any SV specific weakness one should be aware of before undertaking 35 days of riding?

btw, I really appreciate all the suggestions, even if I may disregard and ignore them  :p .

The primary reason I got the bike was so I could take little "adventures" when time is short and money is tight (I can't take off a month to travel through Asia or Egypt or elsewhere every year, I don't make much money) and I figured there is no purer form of road tripping than on a bike, after all, isn't that what they're about? Pure minimalistic road travel?
 

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is it a 1st or 2nd gen SV? If its a 2nd gen, then you should have no problems as far as the fuel injection and altitude goes. But if its a 1st gen and carburated, you can expierence some acceleration (hesitation?) from the carburator not being jetted for that altitude. But I wouldn't really call it a problem.
 

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If you are traveling light, and with others, I'd suggest not duplicating some items. Like do you really need a tire patch kit or tools for each bike? If they are similar, share tools or stuff like chain lube or oils. Leaves more room to pack other things. I'd also go for the expandable tank bag vs backpack idea. The desert heat can make for uncomfortable riding and out west there are sometimes wicked crosswinds.

For clothes you can always go to Walmart and pick up the cheap multi packs of underware and socks.. they get dirty, throw em out as you go; no need for laundry. Rain gear is a must, even summer showers can get really cold at 50mph.

Suff sacks w/ compression straps! You'd be surprised how much they compact your gear.
 

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Here's my preachy advice. You are going to be travelling over mountaintops and through desert basins. Temperatures could very possibly range between 115 and 30 degrees, depending on your route, and at times will change dramatically over the course of a few hours. At the continental divide in New Mexico I've been snowed on in the middle of summer. In the Mohave desert at 2 am, I've had to roll UP the car windows to cool down (no a/c). I applaud your mindset, but don't you think you'll need to shed/ add layers at some point? You will find stretches where gas stations are few and far between. If you're lucky enough to avoid heat stroke or maybe even hypothermia, you'll probably still be miserable. If you're not, your buddy probably will be and therefore so will you be. You obviously get a kick out of braving the elements, but I would do everything I could to guarantee my vacation would be an enjoyable one.

Suggestions: heated liners, a Camelback and some No-Doz... you WILL get road-weary. Warmth, water, wits. And, oh yeah, ride upwind of your buddy because you guys are gonna STINK!!
 

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Raspberry said:
Suggestions: heated liners, a Camelback and some No-Doz... you WILL get road-weary. Warmth, water, wits. And, oh yeah, ride upwind of your buddy because you guys are gonna STINK!!
Bwaaahahahahah! ;D

Nothing like peeling off all that "easyrider romanticism" and calling a spade a fooking shovel!
Good honest feedback ... I like that!

A vacation is not a vacation if one is miserable.

I decided to divorce my first wife on our last vacation together! ;D
 

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Iv'e done a few 2k trips w/my Sv, & the ONLY time the bike "porked" me was on my way to the "Parry Sound(Ontario) Sportbike festival", a couple yrs. ago, i was in the middle of Canada's "Algoqin Provincal Park"(see: middle of Nowhere)on a Sunday, when my chains masterlink decided to leave the bike.......what a PISSER...soo now i NEVER leave home on a long trip w/out my spare masterlink & my Garmin Gps.________5TOEZ_________a tube of RTV silicone can be your friend on a long trip also, ...i got caught in a monsoon rain in the Allegash (Maine) last Labor day & lost my ft. wheel weights , no prob. i got a motel rm. for the night & RTV'd a couple stones to my rim, just to get back to civilization the next day!........good luck on your trip!
 

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To answer your question...chain adjustment tools and chain lube are a must as well as a tire pressure guage. A set of plugs and a spare headlight bulb will not hurt either.
As for common sense items...rain gear, a good base layer, second and third layer of clothes as you WILL encounter extreme changes in temps possibly within hours (say 28 degrees in the am and 85 by noon). Do not let your sense of adventure overshadow common sense though.
I did a 6,000 mile trip Sept 2004 on my SV and was ready for almost everything...that is except for all 4 of my traveling partners HD's breaking down, or needing repairs at one time or another.
If you want a list of what I packed, send me an e-mail [email protected]
Have Fun!
 

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You are forgetting about a few of the most basic law of motorcyling physics:

He who does not carry a rain suit shall get rained upon, while the sun shines on the one who is prepared fo rain.

Easily will the air escape from the tires of those without flatfix

Those who are wrapped in the skins appropiate for 80 deg only shall  have experiences akin to riding all day in a heated parking garage

Riding a motorcyle is about the trip. It's a very bad idea to waiste the experience of traveling across the country by not being able to go to see fantastic scenery because you are too cold to go that route. Dress for the mountains and be prepared to strap the heavy clothes on the bike when they are not needed. Take a large tank bag at least and lots of bungie cords. Plastic bread bags take practically no space and can be worn outside you socks to keep your feet dry when your boots are soaked.

Zak
 

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won't repeat what others have said about being prepared motorcycle trips are different than hiking. Cold and tired while walking no big deal if you stumble a bit. Cold and tired while riding a stumble could be nasty.

Things to make a habit
Check tire pressure nothing sucks like low tire pressure and hitting a pot hole (good bye rim, good bye money for the rest of the trip)
Check chain
Check fuel
Check for no leaks any where
check to make sure bolts are still tight
Check your head
Get on the bike
have fun
take picture
post pictures
 
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