Author Topic: Prepping my Steamer for a cross-country trip USA  (Read 152 times)

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April 05, 2021, 03:25:33 AM on

Offline ssevy (OP)

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I have done several rides of 10+ days with my buddies, but never solo and never coast-to-coast. My daughter lives in Los Angeles, and I have been planning a ride to visit her for several years, but the Covid situation changed all that last year. As I'm 62 and still in good enough shape to do a ride like this, I decided this should be the year.
While the Covid situation is still a big issue here in the States, I will be staying in my tent every night, well away from others, and keeping to the back roads as much as possible to lesson any contact with others at congested gas stations and quick stops. I got my 2nd Covid shot two weeks ago, and I always mask up in any shared areas not only for my own protection, but for anyone near me as well. While the Covid has made the planning of a trip more challenging, I am hoping that it will also mean less congestion on the roads and in the parks. (I am aware that RV use has skyrocketed, but hopefully tent sites will still be plentiful.)

Bike preparation:

I installed new Michelin Trail 5 tires instead of my favorite Shinkos because I'll be doing about 8000 miles overall, and while the Shinkos have lasted very well for me under my regular riding, the Michelin's definitely have a claim of longer lifespan (as well they should for the difference in cost!). Also, I'll be mostly paved on this trip, so I decided a road biased design and good wet weather performance would be more appropriate. I am very curious to see how they perform, as I have only run Shinkos?

Brake pads are in good shape, but I will install new ones before the trip so as to have the longest lifespan possible. That should put their wearing out to after I have returned home, and I can always switch back in the ones I am replacing since they have lots of life left. While I am addressing brakes, I will put in new fluid and I am also going to treat the metal areas of the new pads with a rust preventative. I'll post up some detailed pictures when I do that.

My biggest challenge when touring on the Tiger is my CPAP machine, as I have to run it off the bike battery if there are no outlets available. This means having a jump battery pack along in case the battery is so low that it won't crank fast enough (must be careful with the sprag clutch!). So far, I have had no issues, but it means extra wires coming off the battery, for a total of three external connections available:  battery tender (CPAP connects to it), heated gear cord, and jump start connector cord (big ass wire for lots of amps all at once). I did think about going with one of those eastern beaver PC-8 modules, but space under the seat is tight, and I didn't want to do such a big electrical wiring redo just before a long trip.

Space is always at a premium when on a long bike trip, so I watched many youtube videos to see how experienced riders pack, and I found lots of helpful info. One rider showed these really rugged, yet cheap, zippered storage pockets that he attached to his engine bars, so I bought a set, and they fit the Tiger perfectly. While they are not waterproof on their own, the items I place in them will be in their own waterproof bags, so no worries. Each bag has four very strong double straps with snap closures and webbing, and they attach very securely.

more to follow...

I may not be big, but I'm slow.

April 05, 2021, 11:04:01 AMReply #1 on

Offline mat-tiger1

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Hats off to you Ssevy, that's quite some journey you're planning there!  :bowdown  :notworthy Something some of us could only dream of.  :icon_rolleyes: (Especially in these Covid-lockdown induced times we are currently living in! :icon_frown:)

Will you be entirely solo or will you be meeting up with riding buddies en route?  :^_^

I'm sure i speak for us all when I say, best of luck on your journey, stay safe & ride safely. Please keep us up to date on your progress/whereabouts so we can all live vicariously through your endeavors!  :thumbsup
All the best, Mat-tiger1. 👍
2021 Tiger 900 RP & 1982 Yamaha XT550 (For old times sake) Bike history:- 2018 Tiger 800 XCA Korosi Red. 2015 Tiger 800 XCX Caspian Blue, 2005 Tiger 955i Lucifer Orange.

April 05, 2021, 04:29:09 PMReply #2 on

Offline Sin_Tiger

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, that's quite some journey you're planning there! 

Try spending 3 weeks on the road with Mr. Stenhouse  :mut  Mind you I'm sure he was just as fed up with me and my odd ways  ;)  solo travelling has always appealed to me  :thumbsup

It'll be interesting to hear how you do with the Trail 5's. That's a neat little pack, I used the Mosko Moto 5 litre bags in a similar way, the MOLLE stick fastening system is just so versatile
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April 05, 2021, 06:20:19 PMReply #3 on

Offline Nick Calne

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Well I'm looking forward to seeing this trip. Take loads of shots, everything is more interesting than you'd imagine.

Good luck. :rrr

April 07, 2021, 01:40:24 PMReply #4 on

Offline Lee337

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Looking forward to following your adventures & nice to see your preparations. I've seen loads about riders trips, who they meet, where they go & issues they encounter along the way, but rarely about the planning & prep pre-trip.
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