Join Date: Jul 2011
Thanked 38 Times in 13 Posts
What I learned after a 9000 mile tour on my Daytona
In rough order of importance:
1. Buy or make some sort of cruise control / throttle lock. This is not optional unless you are some sort of genetic freak.
2. Get a cramp-buster or equivalent for those times where it is impractical to use a cruise control / throttle lock. For example, the Blue Ridge Parkway. Almost 600 miles long and rarely a straight bit.
3. Do not embark on a long trip with a marginal chain. I had to cut my trip short because it is nigh on impossible to find anyone with all the stuff in stock to do a chain/sprocket job on a Daytona and when you do they want big money. Like $500... Side point... If you pull up to the gas station, spray chain lube on, and it boils instantly, your chain is too tight.
4. Mount some touring-oriented tires. I started out on a set of Pilot Powers that were already 6000 miles in. I had to replace the front once and rear twice on the road where I get no friend-hookups.
5. Rope plugs are not a viable solution. I had great luck with these things until I was 100 miles from nowhere in the Nevada desert, then they wouldn't last for ten minutes.
6. Bring tools to dismount, patch, and remount a tire if you are going to be out in the great wilds of nowhere for any length of time. This is not as much stuff as you think. Pair of 6" spoons, patch kit, and a small electric air pump will do it. I had CO2 but it doesn't work if some jackass at a random bike shop that you were forced to stop at takes pliers to your aluminum valve stem for no comprehensible reason and squashes it oval. My backup for the CO2 was a bicycle pump. It worked but boy does that get old fast when you have to do it three or 4 different times on the same flat on a three foot wide shoulder with 18 wheelers going by at 75mph.
7. Guard your phone with your life. Mine fell off the bike at night. I got it back but the battery took an odd bounce and was nowhere to be found. You don't realize how useful a smartphone is until you're 4000 miles from home and don't have it anymore.
8. Get some gold bond powder for your ass. Yeah, it's venturing dangerously into old-man territory but it will help you push through those long days when there's no scenery and you just have to get 800 miles of highway over with.
9. Always have somewhere to be, even if you really don't. Twice I had random people latch on to me and talk to me for, no shit, 6+ hours. Stuff like that will cost you a night's rest and throw your schedule off terribly.
10. Wear a CamelBak or some other sort of hydration pack. It's so nice not having to stop every time you want a drink.
11. Announce your trip on the forum before hand and line up crash-pads along the way. At 50mpg every $60 hotel day is worth about 700 miles in gasoline.