I noticed there arenít any recent posts on this part of the forum, but I thought it would be worthwhile to put in some thoughts from the cross-country trip I did on my 2014 Daytona 675R a couple months ago. Iíll give some take-aways in the beginning and a very short summary, and put the story below, so you donít have to go through the whole thing if you donít want to haha.
Most useful items
This is not an extensive list by far, but these items were some of the most useful ones to have on my trip.
- This thing is a life-saver! Well, wrist-saver. Seriously, I would not consider doing such a long trip without some type of throttle lock. I didnít have it for the first part of my trip and I really wish I did.
- You may not wear them for short rides, but 10 hours of wind noise will be brutal on your hearing, and your mind. I had a pair that didnít seal properly for the first part of my trip, and the wind noise was driving me crazy by the end of Day 1. Cheapest investment, and worth far more than its weight in gold.
- Having items you might need close at hand, like sunscreen, a battery charger, spare ear plugs, a microfiber cloth, your wallet, etc. is so useful. More importantly on a supersport, it doubles as a pillow! I spent the majority of my freeway miles draped over the thing.
- Save your back and sanity and get a tail bag for a long trip like this. A backpack is fine in the city or on a short trip, but youíll be tired enough without having more weight on your back. The Kriega I got is also waterproof, which came in handy and was well worth it.
- I honestly probably couldnít have done this trip without my Cardo. Being able to listen to music for the entire day and hear GPS directions was a great QoL investment.
I decided to do this trip because Iíve been working from home since early March, and without the need to be in the office all I needed was my work laptop and WiFi to ďwork from homeĒ. Iíve wanted to do this trip for years, so being able to do it without having to worry about a timeframe was too perfect of an opportunity to pass up.
The days were long, both in miles and hours on the road, but surprisingly I wasnít as sore as Iíd expected! I think the key to that was stopping every 60 miles or every hour, whichever I felt was best at the time. Iíd use that short break to stretch, drink water, use the bathroom, and top off my tank if needed. Otherwise, while riding I always had the throttle lock on once I got up to speed and by basically laying on top of my tank bag I shifted my weight from my core/lower back to the bike itself. My legs became sore the fastest, since on the Daytona theyíre pretty scrunched up under you, and you can only contort your body in so many ways on a supersport to try to get a stretch in.
Typically for each day, Iíd book an Airbnb at my planned destination 1 night beforehand, leave around 9am, and get to my destination between 3 and 6pm. Airbnbís were cheaper each night than hotels wouldíve been, and I tried to make sure I found places that had both decent parking and a description of what extra measures they were taking to sanitize the place. I still use a disc lock each night for some more peace of mind though :)
I guess those are the main points from the trip, so for more details on the ride read on!
In terms of trip planning, there wasnít much trip planning. My plans were to leave NYC at the end of April when the weather was hopefully a bit warmer, and make my first stop at my sisterís college apartment in Ohio. I looked over potential cross country routes, but at this point I was only really planning on going to Ohio for a few weeks before heading back to the city. My company had just started working from home due to Covid-19 in early March, so I figured it would be nice to get away from the craziness of the city and hang out with some family, especially since colleges at this point had mostly fully transitioned to being fully remote, with video conference lectures and classes.
Prior to leaving I ordered a Kriega US-30 tail bag, since I knew there was no way Iíd want to be wearing a backpack for more than an hour or two. The straps were easy to attach to the subframe under the pillion seat, and the bag itself is great! I was able to pack a road tool kit, 4 days of clothes, my work and personal laptops, a liter-sized water bottle, and some casual shoes for hanging out off the bike. I also got some earplugs to keep from tiring out faster.
Day 1 - NYC to Columbus, OH - 600 miles
On the day I set out from NYC I left at 8am. It was chilly but not terribly so, which I was glad for. After having lived on the California coast up until last year, I have yet to fully acclimate to East Coast weather, so even the 55 degree weather got me shivering on the ride. I was able to get out of the city quickly without too much traffic, and once on the westbound I-80 traffic thinned out considerably. As I was approaching the first stop I was going to make for gas, I noticed my left boot felt unusually warm, and looking down I saw it was-shiny? The entire front of my boot was slick with oil. When I pulled over to get gas I saw that the footpeg was also covered, and the swingarm was splattered. It was not what I would call a confidence-inspiring start to what was to be a very long day of riding. Feeling a bit panicky I spent some time looking up anything related to oil leaks to try to figure out the issue, and decided it was most likely the alternator cover gasket that might be the issue. I had just installed engine case covers the previous week, so perhaps when dealing with the bolts the gasket became unaligned. I checked the oil level, which was fine, so I figured it was a small leak, and the constant wind just spread it out? Regardless, the bike was still working properly and I had a lot of miles left to go, so off I went. For most of my time going through Pennsylvania semi trucks were the only other vehicles on the road, so I was able to keep up a uhh...respectable speed.
As I got into Ohio, I was starting to really hate the road. A full day of interstate riding will do that to you! Originally I had thought I could make it all the way to Oxford, but as I got to Columbus it was clear it was not to be. As the sun dropped, shadows stretched into twilight, and my tinted visor turned from friend to foe as it became harder to see the road. I pulled over for the night and found a hotel room in a mostly empty hotel, with a parking spot directly in front of my window so I could easily check on my bike.
Day 2 - Columbus, OH to Oxford, OH - 120 miles
The second day was much more relaxing! I got off the I-70 close to Dayton and took smaller roads down to Oxford, which is in the Southwestern part of Ohio. For the most part, the ride took me through tons of barren fields that in harvest season are filled with corn. But it was a chill ride, and I saw many more motorcyclists, almost all of whom were on big cruisers and sporting SNELL/ECE rated bandanas.
After the previous exhausting day of riding, I was pretty happy to get to my sister's place and hang out with her for the rest of the day, especially since I hadnít seen her in almost half a year. Plus she gave me a small tour of the campus and college town which was fun to see!
Interlude - 3 weeks chilling in Ohio
So I actually spent quite a lot of time here! My sisters roommates had all gone home since classes were all remote, so I had my own room to stay in while I was there. For work I just need my laptop and WiFi, which made staying there for 3 weeks a non-issue. I also spent a lot of time riding around the area. Pretty decent roads with long, sweeping curves and little traffic made for some fun rides. This was also my first time in the midwest so the novelty of riding through farmland instead of densely populated cities never quite wore off! There were a couple thunderstorms and the crash of thunder accompanied by lightning that turned the night to day was absolutely awesome.
Towards the end of the few weeks my company sent word that weíd be working remote probably until the end of the year, so I made up my mind on travel plans. Why go back to the city when I can ďwork from homeĒ from wherever? With family to stay with in LA, this was the perfect opportunity to make the trip! I mean hell, I was already a fifth of the way across the country, I pretty much had to do the remaining portion, right?
So having decided on that, I ordered some more gear for the trip: a Cortech Super 2.0 12L magnetic tank bag, a Go Cruise throttle lock, a pack of Honeywell foam earplugs, a Rukka outlast shirt, and an Alpinestars tech neck warmer. The silicone earplugs I had just would not seal well, no matter how hard I tried. The first time I tried riding with the foam plugs was truly eye opening in how quiet and comfortable it could be. Plus I could actually hear my Cardo system better since the sound wasn't overridden by wind noise.
After waiting a week, and having a million chrome tabs open with weather forecasts for multiple cities along the way to California, I found a week with minimal rain, planned a few days of PTO, and was ready to go!
(Also sorry if the pictures come in way too big I'm not sure how to fix that)