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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm currently going to college in Louisiana and when I finish next spring I am planning on moving back to Anchorage, Alaska. Originally my plan was to sell my ninja 250r and just fly back and "upgrade" to a bigger bike when I got there. However, I can't help but think how fun it would be to ride there, and just keep my 250. I'm pretty sure a 250 would be a sweet bike to cruise around Anchorage on(seriously, its a nice sized city). Its about 4100 miles to go straight there or about 3000 if I make it to the coast and take a ferry.

So this leads me to some questions...I've read stories of people going coast to coast on a ninja 250 but I was wondering if anyone here has ever gone some pretty extreme distances on a 250; how did the bike do; how did YOU do; what sort of things did you bring on the trip ie tank bags/saddle/some sort of luggage device for clothes and a tooth brush; AFTERMARKET SEATS :p ; problems one might not consider; was it worth it?

One of my big worries is luggage, bearing in mind I don't mean my entire wardrobe, just the bare necessities, seeing as this is an 09 ninja 250 with minimal space for things. The most I've ridden straight with a few minute breaks for water/RR is about 7 hours before my shoulders started cursing at me, which is hardly enough to make the trip in a reasonable time, but I guess if I'm doing it to enjoy it'll be ok.
 

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Well, Ryan, you named your thread right. "Crazy travel idea"

But, hey, why not?!!?!!?!?? Just pack some good travel clothes that you can wash out at night and will be dry in the a.m. and take your time. I think what you'll need most is time. As you've experienced, you can't ride a 250 for very long at a time. I rode my 250 from 10 a.m. to 6:30 on night with an hour for lunch. Like to did me in. But then, I was fighting a really stiff side wind all day and it was my first really long distance trip. It was also really cold, all of which can quickly take it out of you.

Good luck!!
 

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My hat is made of tinfoil
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Hi Ryan,

buy a couple soft saddle bags, even used, or at a garage sale etc.
And a good backpack.
Strap a tent and sleeping bag onto the rear of the seat and across the soft bags, and you are set for exploring the roads home to Alaska.
Be sure to travel up through BC and stop and say hello to me.
Heck spend the night at my place, and change the oil in the bike, and do any repairs you may need if you wish.
A 250 is more than capable of the trip.

My biggest concern would be in high cross wind areas the bike blowing around a little is all.

I have done longer rides than yours, 2-up and a lot of gear, on less powerful bikes.

I will ride with you from kamloops north and west to smithers if you want some company part of the trip..........so long as its before may that is.
I leave mid may and am gone on a ride to southern Chile on my KLR after that.
 

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So I'm currently going to college in Louisiana and when I finish next spring I am planning on moving back to Anchorage, Alaska. Originally my plan was to sell my ninja 250r and just fly back and "upgrade" to a bigger bike when I got there. However, I can't help but think how fun it would be to ride there, and just keep my 250. I'm pretty sure a 250 would be a sweet bike to cruise around Anchorage on(seriously, its a nice sized city). Its about 4100 miles to go straight there or about 3000 if I make it to the coast and take a ferry.

So this leads me to some questions...I've read stories of people going coast to coast on a ninja 250 but I was wondering if anyone here has ever gone some pretty extreme distances on a 250; how did the bike do; how did YOU do; what sort of things did you bring on the trip ie tank bags/saddle/some sort of luggage device for clothes and a tooth brush; AFTERMARKET SEATS :p ; problems one might not consider; was it worth it?

One of my big worries is luggage, bearing in mind I don't mean my entire wardrobe, just the bare necessities, seeing as this is an 09 ninja 250 with minimal space for things. The most I've ridden straight with a few minute breaks for water/RR is about 7 hours before my shoulders started cursing at me, which is hardly enough to make the trip in a reasonable time, but I guess if I'm doing it to enjoy it'll be ok.
So lets see 4100 miles takes about 15 days of moderate rideing so you will need like two tshirts two pair of jeans and like 5 pair of underware, less if you turn them inside out.
 

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My hat is made of tinfoil
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Can the 250 handle the AlCan (sp?)? I've heard stories about that road. Maybe a cruise ship from Seattle to Alaska?
Its a little hard on tires......other than that fuel stops are a little far apart.
I have done it on bikes, in trucks, cars, etc. its really not all that bad.
 

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Honestly, distance isn't an issue, other than where potential comfort is concerned, most notably your rear end.

As long as you keep to the rural highways as much as possible, bring rain gear and some nice warm layers you can put on and you take your time, the size of the bike won't matter. In fact, you'll love getting close to 70PMG on a trip that long.

I would definitely look at bike luggage that will help you avoid carrying much on your back. Backpacks seem fine at first, but you'll be hating it after a few hours. Between a couple small saddle bags, tail bag and a tank bag, you should be able to carry most stuff. Limit the backpack to things like your rain gear and a warm fleece pullover for those sudden changes in weather.

Don't pack warm clothes - use outer layer daily wear items for that. In other words, use a couple light pullover or jacket layers to keep warm, rather than heavy shirts. That way, you can pack T-shirts to wear which will take up less space. However, don't skimp on socks - pack enough so you always have a clean pair even when your coming up on the need to stop and do a load of laundry. Warm feet make for a happy body. You can alternate a couple pairs of jeans.

Carry a bottle of water at all times. Stop every few hours and drink some, whether you feel thirsty or not. Don't ride more than 4-5 hours without stopping to rest. Of course, your gas tank will probably prevent anything longer than that, anyway. Be sure to eat a sensible meal. Stay away from fast food crap because that's how you'll feel with it in your stomach.

I'd call it a night when night falls, especially the further North you get. Deer are one thing - moose are another. Take it slow in the morning, especially at high elevations where frost can form. Stop and rest if something doesn't seem right.

Carry a few basic tools that will fit the majority or nuts, screws and fasteners on the bike in case you need to make a repair. A small amount of electrical and duct tape may make the difference in getting out of the middle of nowhere - which is where you'll be at times. Buy a tire repair kit and learn to use it prior to the trip. Be sure to carry a cell phone. Even more important: get the bike fully serviced before the trip to ensure everything is fine and to change all fluids. If you're tires are getting a bit worn, change them at least a week before the trip so you can break them in a bit. If wear indicators are showing, don't bother even starting the trip with them.

One more thing: don't push your fuel supply. No matter what, don't let yourself hit reserve. I believe the 250 has a little over 4 1/2 gallon capacity, so I'd be topping off at 150 miles or so to ensure you'll have enough gas in those areas where stations are few and far between. Don't pass up a station just because the price seems high - it may be high for a reason: the next station may be 100 miles down the road. Keep in mind that you'll use more gas once you get onto the main highway on the last leg of Canada and it's some pretty remote traveling up that way.

I'm sure others can chime in here, so I'll end it with: good luck and be safe.
 

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You are only young once, I say go for it!

That is something I wish I could have done when I was young. Once you are married and have kids and such, its hard to do those kinds of things.




Randy
2ND

I have only been in 30+ states by motorcycle, either a Harley Electraglide, old 1973 Honda 750, several Kawasaki kz 900 & 1000s & superglide Harleys plus a Triumph TT600.

when I was in my 20's my best friend did some traveling on an old 1972? Honda 350 he loved every minute of it. but complained about the seat.

but to have a chance to do an alsaka trip, by all means go for it!!!!

& for a serious side note, I used to be heavy into mopeds, & there are forums & groups that ride these things all over the USA & Canada, yes people have done the cross country & into alaska, 1 guy did it on a Motorbecane back in 1979, a couple guys rode from California to Terra Del Fuego the bottom tip of nort america way below Mexiceo 2 or 3 years back. also I think technically it was a motorized bicycle instead of a real moped.

as long as your back side can handle it you will have more fun and an adventure, plus it would help to use all back roads, plus to not make planned routes but just take a map for a guide & kinda of fell your way what roads feel right. it makes for more enjoyable trips.

if you need advice for packing for trips holler.


Later,
Randy
 

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Not crazy at all. I say definitely go for it. You don't need a BMW GS to do your trip. The best adventure bike you can ever own is the one in your garage. This by no means was a difficult trip, but we rode our Suzuki DRs over 1300kms just for a bbq. Jodie's is a DR200. Little bikes rock!



as others have suggested, stick to secondary highways or back roads and enjoy the trip, stay off interstates. Check out this thread on ADVRider, lots of good tips and examples of touring on smaller bikes....

Minimalist Touring Thread (250cc and under)
 

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Slow Guy on a Fast Bike
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Oh yeh, if you find yourself travelling up Hwy 97 through the Okanagan in Southern BC........drop us a line and at the very least we can offer a warm bed, a hot shower, and a cold beer...........nd possibly a couple riding partners for a few miles.
 

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You said you did seven hours once and your shoulders were starting to feel it. What if you were looking at seven hours the next day, and the following day, and the day after that?
In preparation, why not take one long trip (about 400 miles), spend the night in a motel and go home the next day?
 

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You said you did seven hours once and your shoulders were starting to feel it. What if you were looking at seven hours the next day, and the following day, and the day after that?
In preparation, why not take one long trip (about 400 miles), spend the night in a motel and go home the next day?
Try this, some good idea's...

Master Yoda's Riding Position
 

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So lets see 4100 miles takes about 15 days of moderate rideing so you will need like two tshirts two pair of jeans and like 5 pair of underware, less if you turn them inside out.
I read my husband this thread and he whimpered. You're young and have a wonderful opportunity. You likely won't be able to do this when you're 50 and tied to a job in order to survive. He traveled all the time on a 2-stoke 250 single and doesn't regret a second of it. If you're heading up after graduation and have the summer and time, forget the highway except when necessary and see what you can.

The quote above may make many laugh but it's not off mark. As my husband and I now ride two up on long distance, multi-week trips, packing has become a fun challenge in creative selection and has instilled the realization you don't need a fresh outfit every day (picture back seat, bungie net, and a 45-70mph air freshener) or gadgets. Limit the luggage (side bags, tail pack/bungie net, and ziplock bags if the luggage is not waterproof) and avoid the backpack. Your funds may not allow for optimal wide weather range gear but a good rainsuit (not one that will shred in high winds) will offer both protection in rain and wind blockage if it gets cold. "Training" with some longer trips before then is also an excellent plan.

Good tires and a pre-trip tune up is required since since a full-faired bike won't offer you a whole lot of MacGyver repair opportunities. Stop and see the people who have offered.

Do it. Ride it. Get everything you can from it. Our best wishes for a fun and safe trip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Can the 250 handle the AlCan (sp?)? I've heard stories about that road. Maybe a cruise ship from Seattle to Alaska?
I want to take a ferry from Prince Rupert or maybe Washington, its SO **** expensive though(400+ for a person 450+ for the bike, and an optional 500 for a bed that I probably wouldn't get anyways). Hopefully I will have a nice job lined up before I head there so the $$$ figures won't deter me from doing this.

As for the shoulders, they were fine the next day, I'll prolly stop to stretch them a heck of a lot more next time. A couple of hundred mile trips are in store so I can definitely get a feel for it.

My concern has moved to mechanical problems because I have zero experience in fixing a bike. I was gone less than a month and went through "sitting" procedures and can't even get my bike to stay running now and its boggling my mind. Who knows what I'd do if something went wrong a couple thousand miles from home.

Also thank you to the people that are offering me places to stop by and company, if I get really serious about this I am considering setting up some sort of contact system so I don't get left in a ditch out in the middle of nowhere for a week before someone even realizes I'm missing heh.
 

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So lets see 4100 miles takes about 15 days of moderate rideing so you will need like two tshirts two pair of jeans and like 5 pair of underware, less if you turn them inside out.
Wow thats the secret to packing light. I am gonna have to remember this one for my next trip. ;)
 
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