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Old 08-29-2012, 02:27 AM   #1
georgesk
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Houston to Montana and back on a Gsxr

I have not seen many ride reports on this website, but decided to write one anyways just in case anyone had been thinking of doing a long trip like this but wasn't sure about how feasible it was.
My original plan was actually to ride up to Fairbanks, Alaska; but i decided since this was my first long trip to take it a little easy. And try and stay on paved roads as long as I could.
The total trip was around 5200 miles, and to get ready I visited the guys at motorcycles unlimited who outfitted me with all the little toys i would need to make this trip just a little easier.
The bike is stock with the exception of a new brake assembly. I had also purchased a zero gravity sport-crusier wind screen, throttle lock, saddle bags,tank bags,tail bags but most importantly the best purchase of them all was the airhawk seat cushion. so big shout out to luke of Motorcycles Unlimited for recommending that product.

Im not going to get into the details of my trip unless people have any questions about either routes or places to see/visit.

Overall,
The Pros: Awesome on small country roads and scenic byways
The Cons: Wind, Back pain, Leg cramps, and other general soreness and pain
Now for some photos

This is the bike right before i left
563939 604379312599 784408417 n

Arches NP
384742 605061510469 217637906 n

Yellowstone NP
527194 605060672149 245734162 n

Glacier NP
552474 605061191109 931278099 n

268634 605267283099 1806631398 n

314385 605267193279 181805888 n

Grand Teton NP
268793 605061226039 1737449094 n

Scenic Byway 12 in WY, one of my top 5 roads to ride on.
405428 605061335819 2120376185 n
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:33 AM   #2
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Good to see someone traveling. If you decide to ride to Fairbanks look me up. Ive done that ride. There are some cool stops I can tell you about.
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Old 08-29-2012, 05:08 AM   #3
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epic trip man, congrats!
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Old 08-29-2012, 05:17 AM   #4
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Subscribed, and in for more pics and details! That is one loaded down GSXR! Was there any difficulty settling the payload with the bungee cords, and how was the handling?
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:13 AM   #5
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Excellent adventure! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:42 PM   #6
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Nice. I've only ridden as far as Big Bend and the surrounding area on my CBR1000RR with a "top case" and tank bag, maybe a 2000 mile week. The CBR was extra fun on gravel roads, haha.

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Oh, and we went to Mexico on the same trip, hah.

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Old 08-29-2012, 04:56 PM   #7
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I'm glad you had a great trip. I was on the road to northern Wisconsin at that time, but it was in the comfort of the Mazda 3.
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Old 08-29-2012, 05:34 PM   #8
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That's fuggin awesome, Sanjay. Glad you made it back in one piece
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Old 08-29-2012, 05:37 PM   #9
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Awesome pics, thanks for sharing them with us. I would love to cross the country on mine.
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:58 PM   #10
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nice report and sounds like you had a good trip.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:32 PM   #11
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Sounds like a good time.
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
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BigBend2010017
I can't figure out what kind of bike that is on the right...

Can someone please help me out..
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:29 PM   #13
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that!! I was in billings montana 3 months ago i drove, i can just emagine how crazy and painfull that is on your back on a 20+ hr ride..

I work in prudhoe bay alaska, i will not recommend you to ride a sports bike down the haul road!!! The dalton freeway is bumpy . On a truck going 45mph feels like .. On a bike w a reg suspension youll die..
I talked to some of the guys that ride up there on touring bikes or dirtbikes w offroad tires and they say it was an amazing journey but never again on a bike.lol
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I can't figure out what kind of bike that is on the right...

Can someone please help me out..
Yamaha 650?
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:37 PM   #15
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Yamaha 650?
Looks like and FZ8 to me.

Definitely a Yamaha.
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:40 PM   #16
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I can't figure out what kind of bike that is on the right...

Can someone please help me out..
its a r6.. 03-05 or 06+r6s
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:44 PM   #17
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Quote:
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its a r6.. 03-05 or 06+r6s
Quote:
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Looks like and FZ8 to me.

Definitely a Yamaha.
Quote:
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Yamaha 650?
See what I'm saying!

The tail section is throwing me off..
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:59 PM   #18
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Yea me too. But the handle bars gave it out.
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:07 PM   #19
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wow..thats a of a trip. congrats!
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Old 09-01-2012, 02:51 AM   #20
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Thanks guys for the congrats, it was a of a trip. I had a few people message me about the trip and some of the details so I decided to write a full ride report. I had gotten the idea to do a long trip from a guy I had met in Malaysia; only this guy had been on the road for about 4 years all over the world on a Honda Africa Twin. After hearing his stories and seeing his pictures I was dedicated to do something of that sort. The only problem was that I didnít have a cruiser/dual sport bike I could use, rent or purchase. Ideally, I would have loved to do this sort of a trip on a g800 gs or r1200 gs. But, since I couldnít get my hands on anything more comfortable I decided to make the best of what I had. A lot of people asked about my riding experience, and what not before I made this trip, truth is; in the US, I havenít ridden more than 200 miles on any given day. I have been riding for about 8 years, I learned in India, and rode a good amount while in the Philippines but in the US id have to say only 15k-20k miles or so. So when I told my friends and family I decided I was going to ride to Montana, they thought I was stupid for taking such a long trip, as my first true long ride. But, I really didnít care about; I figured I was young and healthy, so it shouldnít be a big deal. And it honestly wasnít that bad apart from a little soreness.

Before I left I went to the guys at Motorcycles Unlimited, to get a complete check up and order any gear that could make my trip just a little bit easier. If you are considering any type of trip like this, Motorcycles Unlimited is where you need to go. If I could recommend any particular product it is the Airhawk air cushion seat, it was worth every penny, it drastically improves comfort. I cant imagine doing this trip without that seat cushion. The throttle lock was also a good purchase bc it allowed me to lean back a bit and not keep my wrist locked down on the throttle the entire day.

I was never really big on planning for trips, I knew where I was and I knew where Glacier NP, Montana (my final destination) was. So I just figured get on the bike and ride in that general direction till I get there. However, my parents werenít really satisfied with that approach so two days before I left, I roughly sketched my route and called a few campgrounds and motels to check availability. I had just a little under 3 weeks to complete my trip so I had to make every day count. Throughout the trip I probably averaged around 350 miles a day, and if I could do the trip over again I would try to get nowhere near that. Not only was being on the bike that long somewhat tiring and at parts boring, but you donít have to time to get off and explore. I tried to get off the bike about every 50 or so miles, just to stretch and hydrate. It was super hot most of the time and I needed to get out of the sun and stretch every hour or so. Throughout the trip, I rode with jeans, textile padded jacket, helmet, gloves, boots and knee-shin guards.

My general route was Houston to Lubbock to Los Alamos NM to Moab UT to Ogden UT to Grand Teton NP to Missoula MT to Glacier. On the way back though I was in somewhat of a hurry because I had spent more time on the way up then I thought so I hauled home and got from Glacier NP to Lubbock in 3 days.

Taking a sports bike ended up being one of the best decisions i could ever make. Some of the roads in the national parks were absolutely amazing. I would just look at my map and choose the curviest route possible, because time went by so much faster when i am riding through twisties then on some two lane interstate thats a straight line for 200 miles. I road some of the same roads two or three times over because of how much fun it was. I also met a few guys outside a WY byroad that were doing a group ride through and they were kind enough to let me join. However, that day was one of my scariest as i came closer than i would like to some of the wildlife out on the road. As i was stopping to take a picture a guy on CBR in full leathers flew by me for the 2nd time, and as i was watching him through the corner a family of deer came out right in front of him and he clipped one of the deer and ended up low sliding but he turned up alright and in fact he told me that was the 2nd time that happened.

There were two major drawbacks of taking the gsxr; the first was wind. It was unreal how bad the wind got at times, on some of the two way roads, i would have to slow down as i passed every 18 wheeler because the gust would literally shake the entire bike and was scary as . But i didn't truly realize the winds strength till i got to WY and MT, there were 40 to 50 mph cross winds that would just blow me into the next lane into oncoming traffic. I would just ride the right shoulder than all of a sudden id be on the left shoulder and cars are coming right at me; it was no bueno. There was also a few patches of construction and gravel that was no fun, but most of time i just had to push through. The second drawback was comfort, but most of the time i was only sore because i had camped the night before and had not gotten the best rest i could have, had i stayed in a motel.

Overall great trip and i will probably do it again, sorry for the long post and thanks if you actually read it all. If i did not answer any questions that were pm'ed to me let me know and ill message you back.
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