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Old 08-06-2008, 05:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cross country trip on a sportster

I am new here and posting for the first time. I have been posting on the xl list for some time and have p[osted the same topic.
I am going from Norfolk VA to San Diego CA on a stock '01 883 XLC. I am looking for advice and tips. I have relatively new tires and am going from Norfolk to Houston to Grand Canyon to San Diego. I plan on maybe replacing the tires in TX. I also planm on having a mechanic look at my bike for a "once over" before I leave. I asked on the XL list and am now asking here.
What kinds of things should I look for or ask my mechanic to do? I am having a chase vehicle because my family is coming with me. We are doing about 6 hours a day and also aren't too concerned with stopping or not. If things look interesting then we'll stop to check things out.

Any and all suggestions are welcome. This is my first really really big trip and I am a little freaked out by it.
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Old 08-06-2008, 05:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Make sure the breaks aren't too close to wearing out. Give it a fresh oil change. Make sure the drive belt looks good.

I would buy a windshield if you don't already have one.
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It will go as far as you want it too. Changes the oils, check the belt, adjust primary chain if needed, ck tires and go. Wear a full face helmet or get you a good windsheild. My son and a freind of his rode theres to Sturgis and back when they first got them. I follow them on the FLHTC I had at that time.
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Old 08-07-2008, 06:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome to the VTF! What an exciting trip you have ahead of you! Wish it was me, but I've ridden 7000+ miles already this summer so I guess I'll have to stay home

Anyways, I would have the local H-D shop do a regular service and if the tires are close to wearing out I'd have them replaced also. Doing it on the road can take time depending on whether the dealership where you're stopping are busy or not.

I would definitely want a windshield on, otherwise you'll be pretty worn out each day. Be sure to bring a set of good rain gear and waterproof boots, as you will most likely get wet a few times.

Sun screen is also important. I use factor 55 whenever I'm riding and it works great.

Check your tire pressure every other day (cold) and re-inflate as needed.

To beat the heat try to get started before dawn each day. I usually try to roll by 5:30am.

Other than that have fun and enjoy, take lots of pics and post them here!

Have a safe trip,
MM
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Last edited by MountainMan; 08-07-2008 at 06:06 AM.
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Old 08-07-2008, 06:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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claydbal is reading this now saying WTF is this?
mountainman makes a great point about the tires--replace now.
what if's can and will screw up a pleasant trip. and its the new model year release for HD, so getting dunlops will be tough for a couple months. (gets this way every year at this time).

you can also save lots of money now as opposed to replacing on the road.


shiny side up!
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Old 08-07-2008, 06:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I did a X-country in a car a ways back - made me want to buy a bike to 'experience' it more! You will love it, especially when you get close to the Canyon - so beautiful! If you're driving thru the Rockies, that will be like a religious experience for you. I did my trip in early Dec, so it was snowing there, but will surely be picturesque this time of year as well.

I think most of the imortant things have already been hit upon. Having a car following certainly won't hurt! I hope you have good weather and enjoy the ride!
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Old 08-07-2008, 07:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by vincentpghpa
I have relatively new tires and am going from Norfolk to Houston to Grand Canyon to San Diego.
I'm not sure what "relatively new" means, but I got 11K+ on my first front tire. Couldn't tell you about the back because I had to replace it at 7K because I rode over a screw. But I agree with the others that, if you're going to replace them, do it before the trip and not during. Have a safe trip.
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Old 08-07-2008, 04:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have over 35,000 miles on my 1995 XL 1200. For sure get a windshield. The HD sport model windshield worked for me. Think about getting a cushion for you saddle. I use an Airhawk. It was pricey but worth it. I also carry my gear in T-bag attached to my sissy bar. It makes an excellent backrest.

Ask the folks at a good Harley dealership to go over your bike as if they were the ones taking the trip. Of course you will pay for it. I've had breakdowns on the road twice. It's no fun waiting for a tow truck.

I have my Dyna set up the same way as my Sportster. I am just back from Sturgis -- 11 hours on the road and I can still walk. Not bad for an old guy who is 65.

Oh, for change of scenery don't stick close to the chase vehicle. Pick a place "down the road a bit" to meet and enjoy the ride by yourself.

Tom
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Last edited by tguil; 08-07-2008 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 08-26-2008, 05:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Road Trip - suspension

Sounds like a great road trip. Methinks one of the best feelins of bikin; 2000 miles out, wonderin where you're gonna spend the night. Nothin like it!
I'm not sure about the suspension on the newer models, but on my '96 1200C, with stock suspension, I could bottom the front shocks in a sitting brake dive, . My first mod was progressive tension fore & aft. Makes for more enjoyable evenin, once you park it for the day. As already stated, a windshield is a MUST.

Have fun,
Brad
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Old 08-28-2008, 03:05 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I wouldn't want to ride that far on a stock seat...get a Mustang, Sundowner, or something!
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Old 08-28-2008, 02:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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What about highway pegs. Was looking at the Kuryakan(spelling) mustache type bar.
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGray View Post
Make sure the breaks aren't too close to wearing out. Give it a fresh oil change. Make sure the drive belt looks good.

I would buy a windshield if you don't already have one.
How do you wear out breaks?
Too much coffee?

OH, you mean the Brakes, as in what stops the bike.
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Old 10-24-2008, 05:11 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Here is some inspiration;

http://www.niia.net/~leduc_mike/

http://www.xlrator.com/alaska/
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