Fiona

I've done a couple of long trips, and always wished I brought less shit. There's never been a side road that I've regretted taking, and stopping for any reason is always a good idea.

There is no secret to it, its just riding. Pack as little as you can, and then repack with about half that, and maybe even do it again.

No, you don't need 5 sources of fire starting and 3 stoves for cooking food no matter what the girlscout in you says, its North America every gas station has lighters.

  • Let the bike carry all the gear, with a backpack for small items etc
  • Stay hydrated, recommend a camelbak or similar
  • Take breaks, I usually did a break every 4-5 hours. Usually when I needed gas
  • Frog-togs are fucking awesome
  • Care a tire plug or patch kit, zip ties, basic tools

Don't overthink it. Throw on some fresh tires, change your oil, pack the minimum amount of stuff, take your time! If your going to be camping, ignore that motorcycle specific camping gear.

Check out lightweight backbacking gear.

Twice the quality, half the weight.

For anyone who's made long trips before(my longest is 6hrs), I'd love to hear any tips on packing, making the trip, or must-see spots.

Fiona

I've seen a few pretty good documentaries about going cross country but I feel like there are more out there that I haven't seen.

Every motorcyclist should watch these, even if you don't plan a long ride. You will want to after you see this.

  1. Doin' it Baja
  2. Long Live the Kings
  3. The Prohibition Tour
  4. It's Better in the Wind
  5. Revenge Run

The Adventure Prone is a great YouTube Series. I watch Adventure Prone every few months. It is mostly just two dudes carrying their own gear and cameras with not much of a time schedule. They ride all over with no money.

Moto Enduro is the first and foremost.

Production value is low and the movie is very old now, but it has the longest and most dangerous trip, and was the most realistic.

Fiona

I have a gold mirrored visor on my scorpion r410 helmet. It's looks the same if you were using a dark tint visor or wearing sun glasses.

The yellow clear visors, however, alter the colors. I haven't found noticeable distortions or changes in my vision when using either the clear or gold mirrored visor. I wear prescription glasses as well and it works great. The mirror visor also looks badass so yeah.

I have used several visors before and here's my take:

Mirrored Visors

Is actually a mirrored coating on another visor type, usually dark tinted or smoke, and from the inside functions exactly like they do.

Smoke/Dark Smoke

Your standard black sunglasses kind of visor, Smoke does not impact your vision that much, but it doesnt protect against harsh sunlight much either, it is okay visor that restricts night vision to a certain degree.

Dark smoke should never be worn at night, especially if you do not ride in a brightly lit city, as you can barely see without a external light source.

Colored Visors

These are basically clear visors but tinted in a particular color.

They look like pieces of colored transparent acrylic you can find in an art store. They do not impact night riding, and also help slightly against bright sunlight by filtering out some of the colors towards your eyes. However avoid using them if riding in a city or places where you need to follow colored signals like traffic lights.

Optical quality depends on the brand.

Mirrored or dark smoke shields will compromise night visibility. I'm a big fan of amber shields for all-light riding.

Colored visors would make certain things stand out more than others yet your eyes would adjust. I think oakley has something on their site where you can change the color and see how it looks in different scenes.

On another note I stayed away from the mirrored ones because of how easily they can scratch. You pay a premium for them compared to anything else and you have to be very careful with them. You can even rub the coating off or cause scratches if you clean it improperly.

I had a Speed and Strength SS700 helmet with the mirror visor, and the only difference between clear and mirror is obviously the darker shade. It looked exactly the same from the inside to me.

Regardless, you should not wear a tinted/colored visor at night because you can't see at all.

Fiona

I've been listening to Bruce my entire life and I'm very excited that he's finally writing a book that is going to give some insight into his song writing and his personal life, which he has kept hidden from the media.

My personal favorite song from Bruce is Jungleland, which is the longest song from Born to Run. I say that it's one of the best story song ever written, mainly because of the fact that there's so much depth to the characters and you actually find out what happens to them by the end of the song.

It's not my favorite song of his (still near the top, though), but this version he performed of "Thunder Road" will always be my favorite of any of his live performances. Just pure raw emotion in his voice, and it's beautiful.

He married Julianne Phillips and it didn't turn out too great, but he got his best work out of it. A more subdued, and extremely heartfelt work.

The best part of the album is that he dedicated it to her, which showed that he still loved her even though the marriage was over.

He doesn't perform it live very often, but now and then he sings it with his wife.

So with that, what's your favorite song?

Fiona

I used motorcycleshippers.com to ship my Thunderbird from Fort Lauderdale to Phoenix and then from Portland back to Fort Lauderdale this past summer as part of my west coast trip.

I used their "warehouse to warehouse" shipping option, which worked great and saves some funds (I think $50 each way). Bike came in when they said it would in the same condition it left.

Total cost to me was just under $1400 I believe, round trip. I definitely recommend the warehouse to warehouse shipping option, though.

Gives you a lot more flexibility while saving some funds.

Their prices aren't the lowest, Motorcycleshippers.com charges about 2X what some others do, but I think that is because of the service level they offer. If you want to hire some random guy with a van I am sure you could get it for a lot less.

Fiona

Wearing high-visibility gear is the best thing you can do to avoid getting clobbered by an ignorant cager.

Cager: A person who only rides in a cage
...a popular word among motorcyclists and bicyclists for four wheeled motor vehicle drivers. The term is often used in a derogative sense, because the car body effectively forms a cage, isolating the said driver from having to interact with other road users.
http://cruisethecoast.ca/biker-lingo/

From The Hurt Report (the most well known motorcycle safety study ever done):

6: In the multiple vehicle accidents, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcycle right-of-way and caused the accident in two-thirds of those accidents.
7: The failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is the predominating cause of motorcycle accidents.
14: Conspicuity of the motorcycle is a critical factor in the multiple vehicle accidents, and accident involvement is significantly reduced by the use of motorcycle headlamps-on In daylight and the wearing of high visibility yellow, orange or bright red jackets.