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Discussion Starter #1
First post here and after reading all of the threads I have a good idea as to what I need to do (at least I think).
AT the end of July I am heading out to Sturgis to meet up with family and after talking with a cousin he mentioned that while I was out there I ought to meet up with him in Northern Colorado and we could ride up through Yellowstone to Red lodge Montana then back to Sturgis. I am heading out from the east coast (Maryland) and any advice or help with packing would be appreciated.

My original plan was to head directly to Sturgis (1700 miles) now I think I want to experience the Rockies and other sights out west which will add another 1300 miles, now this is before I spend a week in Sturgis.

I have a 2004 Vulcan 1600 classic with Saddlebags, a luggage rack and the Grand Tour Bag from Kuriakan, a air hawk for the rear end and a break-a-way cruise control.

Also on a side note, I have been riding for awhile and have heard mixed things about taking a MP3 player because it takes your attention form the road..I would like thoughts on this as well if possible.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Ride Safe.
 

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The Bassman Rocketh
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A lot will depend upon your access to laundry-type facilities. If you're only gonna be on the road a couple days between access, that simplifies packing a lot. Make sure your on-the-road basics are in good shape (such as fresh batteries for flashlights, etc).

As far as MP3 players being a distraction, it depends on the individual. A lot of folks have to really listen to a song to hear it. Others can enjoy a song playing in their ear with no thought to the action... it's all part of "what's going on right now". Basically, if you can listen to music while you type, read or write, you're prolly cool to listen as you ride. But if tunes keep you from concentrating enough to do one of those, you might wanna rethink it :)
 

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Slow Guy on a Fast Bike
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Pack 1/2 what you think you need. Honestly, many people (including me) pack way too much stuff for a bike trip.

As long as you have an extra pair of jeans, a few shirts, socks, undies, and good warm sweater......and some decent rain gear, you will be fine. You can always find either a laundromat to clean your clothes, or a Wal-Mart to replace and dingy clothes.

I always take my mp3 when out on the road, I use it as background music....kind of a personal soundtrack of sorts.

The less you take, the more enjoyable the ride will be.
 

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A few things:

10-12 hour days in the saddle are sustainable, 14-16 hour days aren't. (edit: unless you're ispeed)

What trike said about clothes. 3 days of clean socks and underwear is enough. It only takes an hour in the laundry mat to make them clean again and you can do that while winding down from the day's ride.

If your riding boots aren't comfortable for walking include a light pair of tennis shoes.

Don't skimp on the wet/cold weather gear. You can get hypothermia riding 75mph for 4 hours in 70*F temperature.

Save space in the luggage for water and snacks. Drink lots of water and snack often. Riding sucks the moisture right out of you and it uses more energy when you're out in the wind.

I don't use music.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Mike: thanks for the advice, I can listen to music in the backround and multi task so maybe the mp3 is ok. I was just taught that you want to remain focused and on the ride so you always have some sort of out..so to speak.

Trike: I have the frogg toggs road gear for rain, so I am good with that. After reading your response I will definitely take less clothes. If I need more I am sure there will be a stor available :)

Jake: The riding boots are ok to walk around. I am currently looking for a good pair of riding boots that will become a multi tasker (walk around in as well become my riding pair). I agree with the amount of hours on the road..I am figuring on 4 days (average of 8-10 hours per day) to get out to Rock Springs, WY, a day to get to Red Lodge, Montana then make tracks to Sturgis. Anything over 10 hours just seems like suicide not to mention sucking the life right out of you.
 

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Slow Guy on a Fast Bike
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Mike: thanks for the advice, I can listen to music in the backround and multi task so maybe the mp3 is ok. I was just taught that you want to remain focused and on the ride so you always have some sort of out..so to speak.

Trike: I have the frogg toggs road gear for rain, so I am good with that. After reading your response I will definitely take less clothes. If I need more I am sure there will be a stor available :)

Jake: The riding boots are ok to walk around. I am currently looking for a good pair of riding boots that will become a multi tasker (walk around in as well become my riding pair). I agree with the amount of hours on the road..I am figuring on 4 days (average of 8-10 hours per day) to get out to Rock Springs, WY, a day to get to Red Lodge, Montana then make tracks to Sturgis. Anything over 10 hours just seems like suicide not to mention sucking the life right out of you.
I've heard that Frogg Toggs are great rain gear. Have fun!
 

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The less you take, the more enjoyable the ride will be.
I agree. On the flip side of that, it can get pretty miserable when you aren't prepared for the various weather conditions you are likely to encounter. I tend to pack for reasonable expectations. If I were traveling across country, I would probably prepare for everything from 110* to 35* temps, plus rain, which would actually add up to a lot of stuff.
 

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Slow Guy on a Fast Bike
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I agree. On the flip side of that, it can get pretty miserable when you aren't prepared for the various weather conditions you are likely to encounter. I tend to pack for reasonable expectations. If I were traveling across country, I would probably prepare for everything from 110* to 35* temps, plus rain, which would actually add up to a lot of stuff.
Agreed, though what we have learned is not to take 4 pairs of jeans, 20 t-shirts, and 3 sweatshirts. As long as you have a complete spare ste of clothes in case you get really wet, good rain gear, an electric vest (I love my electric vest), a pair of sandles to walk around in, and that sort of stuff...you should be ok.
 

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Not sure what route you're taking, but if you're gonna be on I90 from Sioux Falls to Sturgis, you're gonna want an IPod. That is the longest drive on Earth. If you haven't seen Mt Rushmore, it's a nice ride up there too. Hop off I-90 in Rapid City (Rushmore Road exit I believe) and it's a straight (yet crooked) shot into the hills.

Don't forget a pair of cargo shorts and a couple of t-shirts for when you're stopped. July in SD and WY can get quite toasty. And don't leave home without the WD-40 and hammer!

Have a great trip. Went to the Sturgis 50th years ago...what a madhouse. A fun madhouse.
 

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We're going to Sturgis also this year, and then coming back through Colorado.

I only listen to my ipod when on the back roads with not much traffic. In town and busy interstate superslab through big cities demand full attention and listening abilities.

As long as you have an extra pair of jeans, a few shirts, socks, undies, and good warm sweater......and some decent rain gear, you will be fine. You can always find either a laundromat to clean your clothes, or a Wal-Mart to replace and dingy clothes.
This is also what we (or at least I) plan to do for clothes... not sure about the other half though :tongue:

We'll also take both warm weather and winter gloves, leather jackets and chaps. My boots are comfortable to walk in all day, but will probably also take tennis shoes.

We will also be taking a small 2-3 person tent (we're staying at a campground about 5 miles from Sturgis), and only the necessities for camping. We do have two bikes though to help spread the load.

Next month, we're going to the Grand Canyon then on to Vegas, so that'll be a sort of a good test to see what we need/don't need for the longer trip to Sturgis (except for the camping stuff).
 

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The Answer Is 42
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I've heard that Frogg Toggs are great rain gear. Have fun!
Gotta love Frogg Toggs. Just be sure to pack them where they are easily accessible. The last thing you need when it starts raining is to be digging through everything because they are at the bottom of the bag. (Don't ask how I know. :))
 

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98' 1500 Classic
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use ear plugs to cut down on noise fatigue, skip the mp3 player or take it along but at least take ear plugs too. a can (or two) of fixoflat, homemade tool kit and first aid kit. drink water - lots, dehydration will be a battle. i would dotto the 'just one extra set of clothes' not 4 sets of everything. besides you'll pick up tshrits along the way. oh, and common sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
There were allot of things mentioned that I did not think of. I am thinking that the way to go is to pack things that are universal and can be used more than once. I have ear plugs. I thought I would be fine on a long trip without them. Recently I went for a all day ride and realized that I should have worn the plugs..chalk it up to experience. The only thing that I am not used to wearing the plugs is my ability to hear someting coming. It kind of freaked me out when to sport bikes raced by (never heard them coming).

I was thinking of getting a small 2-3 person tent and a compressed sleeping bag to camp while I head out west. I have heard that I should just pull into hotels on the way instead. Of course this could get pretty costly. Any thoughts on whether to camp or stay in a hotel?? Anybody?? Maybe KOA Camping Kabins..

Does anyone know or have any good walking around, riding wide foot boots?? Any advice or recommendations?

I have also thought about buying a pair of mesh riding pants so I can wear shorts underneath and still be some sort of protected.
 

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I read what sounded like a good piece of advice a while back about long trips on motorcycles. It said take 1/2 the gear and twice the money...which some others have already talked a bit about on here. I've seen as probably most have, motorcycles loaded down and stacked so high with gear it looked like a two wheeled version of The Grapes of Wrath...ridiculous.

Another idea that some do if they know their destination is to UPS the things they can't do without...lol ahead and then do the same when they return. Might be handy to do if you are the souvenir collecting type.
 

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I vote for the motels. Camping out can get rough if the weather turns on you. You're not likely to get much sleep if a storm rolls through and tries to blow you away in the middle of the night. Rest is important if you're going to be riding all day. Map out some Motel 6's along your route and get some good rest so you stay alert.
 

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humble pie consumer
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You will always be able to find a laundry so don’t over pack, but pack for all weather situations. I ride with my I-pod 90% of the time; it save my hearing and concentration isn’t an issue. I just focus on what I need to focus on. The big issue is staying rested. Don’t push so hard that you’re overly tired because that’s when you make mistakes
 

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Camp vs Hotel? tried 'em, prefer hotels
IMO Camping doesn't save enough money to be worthwhile on a road trip. Burns up an hour of riding or more on both ends of the day. Takes up room in the luggage. Campgrounds still cost $12-15, showers/restrooms are public, which we've has some unpleasant experiences with. I don't get a good night's sleep on the ground.

My preference is cheap hotels with outside doors to the rooms, on the ground floor and a restaurant within walking distance.
 

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My preference is cheap hotels with outside doors to the rooms, on the ground floor and a restaurant within walking distance.
Yup. Me too. My idea of "roughing it" in my old age is no room service or free Internet. When I am traveling, all I really want is a comfy bed, a working bathroom, and easy access to breakfast.

I stay at Days Inn as much as I can anymore. Almost all of them have a decent free continental breakfast, their prices are very reasonable, and they are everywhere. They also give AAA discounts. Not exactly swanky, but I am not the type to be turning my nose up at Rasin Bran in a styrofoam bowl for breakfast either.
 
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