my colorado trip ( long post ) - Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 06-08-2017, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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my colorado trip ( long post )

evening gents. bobcat here with a review/discussion of my colorado trip .i left n.e. fla on may 21st and returned on june 5th . total miles was 4,431 and i was 12 states . i also did three mountain ranges - the rockies , the ozarks and the appalachians . i was going to try and due a daily blog during the trip but my tablet was not co-operating and i dont like to use my phone for anything beyond texting so i decided to wait until i got home . my bike , a '16 n1k performed flawlessly . during the trip home i decided to break this thread into 3 parts . pre-trip . the ride itself and post-trip.
pre- trip . when i bought my bike in august of 2016 , i knew i wanted to take a multi state trip with it as it was being rolled out of the showroom into the shop for its post sale prep. right off the top i had 2 places i could go . first the finger lakes region in central/western new york where some of my family lives or out west to denver colorado to see my youngest brother . so last fall i opted for denver. so then the planning and bike upgrades began . the bike upgrades i made were the oem panniers , r and g radiator guard , sargent seat and a v-stream sport touring windshield . i also slapped a pair of michelin pr 4s on the bike a few weeks before i left . i was going to motocamp as much as possible and since i camped quite abit with my boys during boy scouts i had plenty of camping gear . im not going to go into what i took , just the basic camping supplies . if you want specifics let me know . i was told by a long distance motorcyclist that one should think of motocamping/ long distance traveling as if you were on a multiday backpacking trip . sure you can carry abit more weight but you are space limited as you are in backpacking . with that in mind i tried to keep my clothes and personel items to a mininum . yeah that didnt work so well . i knew i was going to be gone at least 2 weeks and the rule of 3s - 3 pair of socks , 3 shirts and so on just wasnt going to work for me . so i bumped up everything to 4s and im glad i did . the only thing i kept at 3 were underwear. i highly recommend the ex- officio give and go boxers . wash them in a sink or a bucket and they are dry by morning . i also had 4 pair of socks because i knew id be riding in the rain at some point . my toiletries i took were the usual one would take on a trip . thats it for now , its getting late here on the east coast so ill continue tomorrow . bobcat signing off
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post #2 of 28 Old 06-08-2017, 11:22 PM
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Congratulations on your successful epic trip.
I'm glad all the effort you put into preparation, paid off.
Thanks for sharing your experience.

2013 Ninja 1000 - White/Black "33"
2007 VTX1800C - Black/Chrome "Super Grom"
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post #3 of 28 Old 06-09-2017, 08:36 AM
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What a trip...will be waiting for part II.
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post #4 of 28 Old 06-09-2017, 10:58 AM
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Wow! I took a similar trip last year from here in MN to UT, WA, up into BC, then back to MN again on my SV650S. Can't wait to see the eclipse in August on the N1K. Strongly considering that Sargent seat and maybe a slightly larger windshield, but then again, wind doesn't bother me a whole lot. This year might be a little more SW than NW, but we'll see. Can't wait to ear more about your trip!

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post #5 of 28 Old 06-09-2017, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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continuing....i brought 4 shirts with me . 3 short sleeve and 1 long sleeve t-shirts . i recommend bringing a long sleeve t-shirt on your travels . it came in handy when i had cool mornings on the way out and when i rode up in the rockies . pants/shorts - 3 pairs of shorts . one with a liner and one pair of pants , the convertable ones where the lower leg zips off and they become shorts .foot wear consisted of a pair of running shoes , flip flops and crocs . i wasnt a croc wearer before i bought them but because of a suggestion from a buddy of mine i bought a pair . well worth the money big time ! my riding gear consisted of an olympia airglide 4 jacket with the wind/rain barrier liner . alpinestars oxygen air overpants and smx plus riding boots . plus i brought 2 pair of gauntlet style riding gloves . one up grade i forgot to mention was a givi tank bag with the ring lock system . the tank bag model is the st602 . this tank bag became invaluable for the trip . its not very big - which is what i wanted . just big enough to store a few things .wallet , phone , phone charger , maps and a headlamp . i packed a tool kit with a multi size allen wrench set , a few sockets/ a ratchet , screwdriver handle with different tips , pliers , fuses and vice grips . also a roll of duct tape and cable ties which came in handy in new mexico - more on that later . i brought an extra set of keys for the bike and my wheel lock . my paperwork consisted of the original bike registration and insurance cards with copies of each stored in two different places on the bike . a copy of my driver license and a laminated i.c.e. card with phone numbers of family and friends . as far as cash / credit / debit cards go , i brought 200.00 in cash in small bills . 100.00 i hid under the fairings near the forks . the 2 credit and 2 debit cards were split up between my wallet , a zippered internal chest pocket and underneath the passenger seat . for directions i had google maps on my phone and two maps from AAA of the southeast and southwest be continued
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post #6 of 28 Old 06-09-2017, 06:42 PM
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That's some excellent info for anyone undertaking a long journey!!
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post #7 of 28 Old 06-09-2017, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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continuing....ok so the bike upgrades are done , paperwork tasks completed , the camping supplies , clothes , tools and odds and ends have been picked out and are ready to be packed up so what am i going to put all this stuff in ? from a suggestion from a forum member i got a wolfman expedition dry bag size medium . between my panniers , the dry bag and tankbag everything fit except for the cot which was lashed to the top of the dry bag . total weight was 73 lbs which was way under the recommend top weight which was 210lbs . i got the numbers from doing a calculation from a formula i found on the internets . with the panniers placed on the bike , the dry bag was placed on the rearseat . the ends of the dry bag were even with the handles on the panniers so it was a good fit with nothing hanging off . the wolfman bag came with its own set of straps to secure the bag on the bike with but i also had 2 pairs of rox straps which is another piece of equipment im glad i had which were used to secure the bag even more . i used the 1 inch wide straps . so the bike is loaded , the bike is good to go , im good to go , so the next big question is how am i getting to colorado from n.e. fla ? the previous months leading up to the trip i poured over maps , read countless trip reviews on .went to each state that i was going to travel through , their state park system and even our national park system for campsites and campgrounds and up to a few days before i left i still wasnt sure of what route i was going to take .i knew i wanted to stay off the interstate highway system as much as possible and use the federal/state highways . i also knew the southeast was going have rain for the next couple days . i did know that i was going to take back roads from my home in the st.augustine area ,head northwest to pickup highway 90 in lake city fla. and ride west to tallahasee where my son lived . tomorrow , the ride.....
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post #8 of 28 Old 06-10-2017, 09:44 AM
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On behalf of god,,and all of humanity...

If you had to go through Wyoming, we are all sorry. Apparently, God rested on the 7th day, and someone went into his office and created Wyoming...

It always makes me uneasy when I see where soemoen has to travel anywhere near the state. Its an area where you can see snow, in June, and 100mph winds, anytime.

The wind always blows, and you never have a clue as to what may happen.
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post #9 of 28 Old 06-10-2017, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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part 2 - the ride . im going to break this part down to regions . the southeast , midwest including texas and the west . i was using the wrong terminology for the roads i would be using . i should have said u.s highways instead of federal highways. federal highways are considered the national interstate system . so on sunday morning at 6:00 on the 21st of may , one of my sons help me load the bike , we went through my checklist one more time , checked to make sure the dry bag , panniers and tank bag were secure , shook his hand and said good bye and i was off . first stop - tallahassee . ive made this run to tallahassee before and i had good weather ahead of me so i settled in for the next 4 to 5 hours on the first leg of my trip . i took back roads up to lake city and picked up u.s. 90 and headed west . u.s. 90 like many of the u.s. highways parallel interstate highways . u.s. 90 parallels I-10 from just outside of jacksonville all the way to pensacola and beyond . the ride to tallahassee was uneventful , passing through small north florida towns along the way . my typical seat time averaged between an hour and a half to two hours . with my sargent seat , seat beads and moto skivvez my kester was good for a max of 3 hours but i usually got off the bike way before then to gas up and take a break . i must say when you are running our bikes at 70 - 80 mph for an extended length of time , the gas mileage suffers abit . so i arrived in tallahassee around 1pm and rode to my middle sons house . he has been a motorcyclist for almost 10 years and is a pretty good bike mechanic . he is the one who encouraged me to get my motorcycle license and ride bikes . so the following morning , i left tallahassee around 7 and headed out for northern alabama . from here on out ill just use the road numbers i took . if there something particular about a road or if i jump on the interstate ill let you know . so i took 90 west to 231 which would take me north into alabama . 231 took me into dothan then montgomery . from montgomery , i picked up 82 and headed northwest to tuscaloosa which was going to be my first stop . soon after i left tallahassee the rain was on and off until i got to montgomery where it became more frequent to the point i donned my rain gear and pushed on . my destination was a state park - lake lurleen . the park is on the western side of tuscaloosa . nice park too by the way . so i pulled up to the ranger hut , paid for my campsite and was about to leave when one of the ranger ladies said to me " you better hurry up " and preceded to show me the weather radar . there was a mass of greens oranges and reds on the radar and it was headed my way . so i headed to my campsite , i was the only one there , unloaded the bike , set up camp . covered the bike . and the rain started . and boy did it rain ! lashing wind driven rain . so i crawled into my cot , grabbed a book , put on my headlamp on and settled in for the night . it rained all night and into the early morning . i got up around 530 , packed the bike up and headed out to find a cup of coffee and breakfast . so i got back on 82 , stopped at the first gas station , fueled up , threw down a cup of coffee and headed west to a cracker barrel just over the mississippi border . i had a wonderful breakfast and had a nice conversation with a man from starkville miss. we talked about my trip , where i was from and where i was heading . he told me he had been to colorado many times and if i could , try to make it down to durango . we said our good byes and i was on my way through mississippi . now i have never been to mississippi . i thought it had rolling hills , much like the northern part of alabama where i had spent the night . but once i passed the natchez trace parkway overpass it became very flat with farm lands on both sides of the road . i mean florida flat . i was surprised to say the least . so at one of my stops , being the geography nerd that i am i googled why that part of miss. is so flat . come to find out that part of the state is in the mississippi alluvial plain . that is why there are so many farms because of the rich soil . the run through mississippi was uneventful but i was looking forward to seeing the mississippi river which i had never seen before. 82 took me into the town of greenville where i picked up 278 to take me across the river into arkansas . so i arrived at the bridge which was quite big , as i am crossing over im looking down at this huge mass of water moving under the bridge as i went over . i understand now why its called big muddy . so im not far from the foot of the bridge and there is a restaurant with gas pumps outside , l pulled in and contemplated where i was going to head next . so i decided to head north into arkansas . i found 65 and headed towards pine bluff . the ride to pine bluff went without a hitch . i knew i would be spending the night in a hotel because i needed a good nights sleep since the previous night i didnt sleep that well. so i arrived in pine bluff circumvented the city on I-530 , got off to pick up 270 west to the town of sheridan where i would stop for the night . i found a local hotel with the ground floor doors facing out so if i had reservations about leaving my bike outside i would just haul it in my room . i unloaded the bike , then went off to find something to eat . i found a grocery store , bought a few things for dinner and went back to my room to eat and catch up on my sleep . with the bike covered and wheel lock placed , i had a quick dinner ,a shower then sleep . tomorrow , the rest of arkansas , oklahoma and texas....
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post #10 of 28 Old 06-11-2017, 11:12 AM
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I remember being a kid,and our family was spending way too much time camping at Flaming Gorge, national park. My dad kept us there for weeks at a time, and I hated it. I was 12 or 13.

We settled in for the evening, and some guy, like you, came pulling in on a new kz900. Im thinking "heres a guy who understands what a lake is for...its for overnight motorcycle camping, and you get up and ride away."

His bike was trick. Dual disc conversion, rc engineering exhaust, and an rc engineering big bore kit. S and W shocks, and some sort of fork work. The bike was good for 120hp, which was a massive number for its time.

So, I approach him, and we started talking. He was impressed when I knew what all the mods were about, and why he did them. He had recently left the military, and he spoke of things that were still haunting him. He was a former sniper. I did not get into any of that, I wanted to know about the bike.

He had a ton of money with him and he was going to visit every state. Todays ride took care of Utah, and Wyoming. Tomorrow was going to be Colorado and Nebraska.

I think I ride streetbikes, today, because of this guy. The conversations we had lit up some sort of fire, in me, and its still going today.

Its crazy, but for the most part, every streetbike Ive owned got the same mods as this guy did.

Keep going with the story, and thank you for sharing it.
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