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Old 16th June 2010, 00:59   #1
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Default Travelling long distances on a Motorcycle

There is a long time desire supressed in my heart to free flow one day by road on my 350 STD to chennai. It's long time desire which I want to accomplish this task one day and I want to have a bag full of memories to cherish in my old age however I am not sure hence this thread.

I am sure there may be few of us who want to do the same as me, for everybody's benifit please write in you experience, advices etc post pictures. Let's us conquer the desire one day with safety first as priority and atmost satisfaction.

Please do contribute you part (pictures and writeup) however little it may be or elobrate it could be it is valuable to me or rather us. To start with my initial questions to give a head start to the discussions.

1. How do we take up the things/ prepare us for the trip (mentally & physically)

2. what are the do's and dont's
3. what kind of mods to be taken (engine & body) as it will be a Bullet STD machine.


Mods: Hope I have not started a thread/topic which might have already been existing if so please do merge this.

Happy riding folks!!

Bala.
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Old 16th June 2010, 12:11   #2
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My 2 cents...
- Where ever you ride (read it ride not drive), ride in a group of more than 3 & be assured there's no fun to make the ride better.
- Do physical exercise for few days before you start the actual ride
- Never service the vehicle & take it out immediately on highway. Most importantly, never do a mod unless you know what the mod is & how to put it back
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Old 16th June 2010, 12:57   #3
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Firstly, where are you riding from? That would give us an idea of distance, time, preparation required, etc.

Secondly, I personally think you should enjoy the ride, as opposed to setting any land speed records. Always wear a helmet, cruise at 80 or a little more when you find a good road, stop once an hour to stretch and walk around a bit (and also give your bike a bit of a breather). Make sure you stretch your back properly as a long, non-stop trip can give the unsuspecting city-commuter back and neck problems.

Otherwise, enjoy the ride, stop and smell the flowers when you feel like it, allow yourself to let go and stop trying to control things. Its the true pleasure of a road-trip
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Old 16th June 2010, 12:59   #4
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From my experience:

Preparing the bike is very important:

Stage1, atleast 15days prior to the ride start ironinbg out the issues, take it for few short rides...

Few things which can go wrong, check the tubes, wheel bearings, wheel truing, cables, electrical...check if the tappets are not too tight, many mechs love over tightening this can be dangerous on hiway...make sure all nuts and bolts are tight...

Plan how you carry the luggage and how much, bungy cord etc...

prepare yourself, get the seats done up. if the seat is not comfy you will have a bad time/back. do some short rides so that you get used to the long rides..

hi speed/hiway riding is different compared to city rides, so few short rides will help.

riding gear is important, jacket ,good helmet, pair of gloves and boots, again these you need to try it out in short rides and make correction if required..

few cents fro me hope it helps
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Old 16th June 2010, 13:03   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
- Never service the vehicle & take it out immediately on highway. Most importantly, never do a mod unless you know what the mod is & how to put it back
It is best to run the bike for a few days before taking it on a long ride after service.

Though i am not used to touring on RE, i have done a fair share of trips on the P220.

- Ensure both you and the pillion are well protected from the elements. A good thick jacket, good quality helmets, protecting gloves, thick jeans and good thick shoes which cover the ankle are a must have for the rider and the pillion

- Keep yourself well hydrated. Have water at regular intervals.

- Though breaks in the ride are important don't take too many as you will get fatigued easily and lose the momentum. Time in the saddle matters when on long rides.

- Know your routes and the towns that you will encounter on the way before hand. Keep a note of the towns and their distance from each other. Will come in handy in case of an emergency.

- Take a break at a safe spot on the road side with maximum visibility to the other vehicles plying on the road.

- For RE, have a few spares which you would know are most important with you on the long ride. If yours is an old RE, then the things that spring to mind are accelerator and clutch cables, spare bulbs, spare tubes. I don't have much knowledge on RE motorcycles so the experts can contribute here.

- Ride at a speed that you are comfortable in. If you are comfy only in 80kmph then stick to it. If anyone in the group wants to ride in 100kmph and forces you to do the same, don't give in unless you are confident of riding at 100kmph.

That's it for now. Will chip in with more if i recollect them.
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Old 17th June 2010, 00:48   #6
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Thanks friends for the valuable feedback its very usefull and hard to forget. Thanks to you all for taking time for me.

I am from Hyderabad and have a taste for Classic bikes and cars and do have few with me. I learnt driving though on a TVS but I would call it just moving on a machine but the real refined driving started when I had my first British motorcycle a 1957 Royal Enfield which I traded in for a 1954 BSA plunger frame BB31/32 type (though not a good deal when it is compared to the value of RE to a BSA way back in 2004) then I realised and corrected with a 1962 Royal Enfield. Now I also own a 2009 Royal Enfield Standard and in all respects I'm loving the machine for its smoothness and handling abilities.

I plan to drive from Hyderabad to Chennai sometime in the this year after monsoons along with a pillion rider (male).

I do and did few short rides ranging from 120 kms to 600 kms in different scenarios but on a new Pulsar DTSI. What I experienced/learnt was driving without proper planning is dangerous and the pillion rider also plays equally prominent role in the ride.

Ride shouldn't be just moving on and on the road till the destination. Ride should enjoying the bike, nature, surroundings etc. Yes short breaks for let's say 80-100 kms gives you & the bike a breathing space. I am planning to take up some short trip for atleast 150 kms shortly to know my RE. I am confident that my adventure should be safe and happy when I take up.

Now to my understanding these are the dont's:

A. Do not modify untill and unless its required and should be able to revert back

B. Do not take the bike for the trip immediately after the servicing.

C. Do not overload with unnecessary baggage which not only add up to the weight but dis comfort in the ride.

D. Do not ride at the speeds unknown or not experienced.

Did I miss any thing else here...please feel free to add up on to this above list.
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Old 17th June 2010, 09:59   #7
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You missed the most Important thing.
" DO NOT ride without protective gear, even for the pillion. Boots, jackets, helmet, gloves are a must for both "

I've had a bitter experience on one of my long rides, i was riding with my gloves on, but when I stopped and decided to sit as a pillion, I took off my gloves. Just 5 minutes later, thanks to a dog who decided to suicide, I had a patch of skin peeled off my palm in the same shape and position as the leather in the gloves!
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Old 17th June 2010, 10:10   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chanu View Post
I am from Hyderabad and have a taste for Classic bikes and cars and do have few with me.
In that case, your best bet for tips will be with bblost; take a look at few of his long rides with his TBTS.
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Old 17th June 2010, 10:22   #9
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few simple things i try to do.
  1. get proper sleep the night before riding.
  2. know your route properly
  3. get basic info about highway helpline no. before hand
  4. start early, avoid night driving.
  5. NEVER OVER TAKE ON CORNERS
  6. NEVER OVERTAKE ON THE LEFT SIDE
  7. take breaks every 2 hours
  8. and the obvious wear protective clothing helmets
  9. am not very big on protective jackets and all but its your prerogative
  10. and yes if a long journey, then please check the thread in which everything is discussed in details
safe riding.
cheers,
ac
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Old 17th June 2010, 12:06   #10
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Wear boxers instead of briefs, or ideally, wear professional cycling shorts as underwear to avoid saddle sore.
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Old 17th June 2010, 12:30   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
In that case, your best bet for tips will be with bblost; take a look at few of his long rides with his TBTS.
That is a TB not a TBTS.

Full face helmet.
Gloves, and keep a spare.
Boots. I prefer the Army boots. Cheap and strong.

If trip is less than 8 days
As many T Shirts and Underwear as the number of of days you are out.

If trip is more than 8 days. Keep atleast 8 of them.

You must be used to your riding gear. Nothing must be brand new.

Money. And have the option of getting more of it enroute if needed. ATM cards etc.

2-3 riders make the best company.

Avoid having a Pillion.
If left with no choice, remove rear seat and say sorry.
If married to pillion, sorry you have no choice.

Keep a print out of the intended route. Use google maps etc to identify alternate routes.

Learn how to remove your tire. Keep spare tubes. The Bullet tire size is not the most easily available one.

Learn how to replace accelerator cable, clutch cable. Keep spares. Learn how to ride without using the clutch. I once rode about 40 kms in traffic with out a clutch cable. It just takes some practice.

Be careful where you eat and what you eat.

Invest in a good helmet and keep a spare visor with you.
I use a dark visor for day and a clear one for night.
Only use a microfibre cloth on the visor.

Be nice to locals. In fact be nice to everyone.
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Old 17th June 2010, 14:14   #12
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It would be a good idea to carry a GPS enabled mobile phone.

You can always confirm your location and route in case of a doubt.

Rohan
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Old 17th June 2010, 15:28   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
That is a TB not a TBTS.
Well, sorry, I know how its looks, but not the missing TS. Thanks for correction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
You must be used to your riding gear. Nothing must be brand new.
Is it because of the fact that you never know how the riding gear hurts when used for the first time in long rides? Pls help me understand.
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Old 17th June 2010, 15:47   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Is it because of the fact that you never know how the riding gear hurts when used for the first time in long rides? Pls help me understand.
Exactly.

New shoes, Jackets etc have a break in period.
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Old 17th June 2010, 18:02   #15
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You might find this information useful.

It is available on the RE website: Royal Enfield | Things to carry


List of things to carry

The things you might need on a trip like this is unlimited. However, the things you will end up using is limited. While packing for the trip, use weight vs utility ratio to decide whether or not to carry a certain item.

The best combination to have is a small haversack which you can carry on your bike and another bag in which dump things you wouldn’t need immediately.

Luggage on person

You should be carrying the following items with you on your person all the time:

1. Tools
2. Torch
3. Pocket knife
4. Matches, lighter
5. Basic first aid kit with essential medicines and your prescribed medication if any
6. Sunscreen
7. Hat
8. Sunglasses
9. Electrolytes
10. Vaseline
11. Mosquito repellent
12. Water bottle with water
13. A light, high energy snack
14. Spare pair of socks
15. Piece of rope to tie down luggage, parts or dry clothes
16. Spare bike key (you could also keep this with us or a friend)
17. Spare spectacles, lens cleaning and carrying solution, if you wear glasses or contact lenses.
18. Camera/phone and spare power supply, chargers, memory storage devices films, tapes etc.
19. Change of clothes, socks, sandals as required
20. Standard Toolkit
21. Anything else you would need between the time of your reaching the destination and the arrival of the support vehicle.

Satellite luggage

Individual needs will vary but we have found the following list to be sufficient for our preferences (apart from the clothes you wear, riding gear, and bike spares and tools):

1. Five pairs of underclothes
2. Five pairs of socks
3. Two pair of shorts
4. An additional trouser
5. Two/three additional T-shirts or shirts
6. Sweatshirt or sweater
7. Sneakers or floaters
8. Towel
9. Soap
10. Tooth brush and tooth paste.
11. Free luggage space if you intend to shop/carry memorabilia from the trip

(Note: this is for a 5 day trip and may vary according to duration of the trips)

Last edited by KA18 : 17th June 2010 at 18:17. Reason: See Note
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