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Looking for suggestions and advice R1200S Road Trip

Hello,
I am planning a road trip from New Jersey to Florida on my 2007 R1200S. First time in a while that I'll be taking a road trip on a motorcycle.
After reading some of the posts here several members have done longer trips than what I intend to do. As of now I have an idea of what I need to take with me, however, experience is worth more than just making my own list.

I saw several members have put on the BMW saddlebags for me at this point they are way to overpriced so with that said looking for recommendations on saddle bags, tank-bag, and a tail-bag.

Any suggestions, recommendations will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Max,
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Old 07-03-2012, 01:47 PM
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Come down just west of Washington DC to Front Royal VA and get on the Skyline Drive. Run that south to Waynesboro and then it turns into the Blue Ridge Parkway that will take you all the way to Cherokee NC. You can do the whole thing in a day-and-a-half, 2 days at an easy pace.

Close to Cherokee, you can make a side trip to the famous Dragon at Deal's gap.

If you have the time, especially if you've never done this route, I highly recommend it.

I recently made a 1700 mile sojourn that took me on part of the lower end of the BRP.

Regarding equipment, those saddle bags sure worked well for me. Ditto the Corbin seat and throttlemeisters.


R12S on tour







Last edited by leafman60; 07-04-2012 at 01:34 AM..
Old 07-03-2012, 04:51 PM
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My iphone and wallet are about the only things I bring on a trip any more. I did a cross country trip on several years ago, the only time I used any tools or my first aid kit was to help somebody else out. I only bring it now because of my belief that if you bring stuff for emergencies you won't need it.

Unless you plan on taking I-95 to Florida (and I truly hope you're not) I suggest plotting a route to load on a GPS or at least get some detailed maps so you can find the roads in Virginia, Carolinas, and if you do the trip right, Georgia.

Florida will be a bore and I hope you don't have to go all the way to Miami. Sorry to offend those who live there (I did for 45 years) but it's a boring place to ride, even if you can ride the the flat straight roads year 'round.

Depending on when you go (summer?) it could be hot so dress accordingly.

If you don't spring for the BMW hard bags, try "Bags Connection" luggage by SW Motech. I've got one of their tank bags and like it a lot.

You might want to put on a fresh set of tires and change your oil before you start.
Old 07-03-2012, 05:06 PM
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Parkway is scenic-some sections fun. c no reason to do the whole thing. Many good roads in the NC Georgia Mountains. Still a very long way to Florida from North Georgia.Maybe give it two three days in one direction(The mountains that is, because that where the S will feel great). Hate the interstate but have used it a lot. Look at US 17 on the map you can make a lot of miles and its much less crowded than I 95. Do you have Cycle gear they have Bags for sportbikes.A small waterproof Duffel would serve you well..
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:10 PM
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Welcome to the forum.

Strapping luggage to the R1200S can be difficult if you are concerned about scratching the paint. I was afraid soft general purpose bags would rub through the paint on the tail section.

Are you bringing camping gear, or staying in hotels?

I had an R1200S for about 4.5 years, and went on a couple multi-day trips to Colorado, one to northern Utah, and one to Arkansas. I had the BMW bags for the last trip to AR and they were nice, but not a necessity.

I used a Hattech luggage rack and a North Face base camp duffel bag and it worked great. I could get my camping gear, enough cloths and a bit of food into the duffel bag and the luggage rack was solid. The best part was the luggage rack goes where the rear seat is, so no modifications to the bike were necessary.

Here is a thread with some pics.
Hattech R1200S Luggage Rack

Here is another thread with some other ideas.

R1200S Tail bag mounting point kludge

Good luck and have fun on your trip. Post a ride report if you have the time.
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:23 PM
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To add to what leafman said, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a great ride.

However, I would avoid the Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah Nat'l Park. Yes, I hear the screams, but let me explain. The BRP (Waynesboro to Cherokee) is 469 miles of great riding. The speed limit is 45 and you can push it to about 52-53 without raising any eyebrows.

The Skyline Drive is 105 miles, the speed limit is 35, and there are few places to pass. It is fairly heavily patrolled by the park police - these guys take a dim view of guys on bikes who see the park as their personal playground. If you're lucky you'll maintain 35. There are so many blue hairs, RVs, and Harleys struggling to do the limit and could very well go crazy. For all this enjoyment you get to pay $10or so. By the way, the food on the Skyline Drive sucks.

Instead, I offer this alternative: As leafman stated, head to Front Royal, but take US 522 thru Flint Hill to Sperryville. There a really good pub,the Griffin, in Flint Hill. From Sperryville take 231 (scenic byway) thru Madison and Gordonsville to it's end at US 250 just east of Charlottesville. This is a really nice ride and you won't miss the Skyline Drive at all. There a really good BBQ joint, the Barbeque Exchange, in Gordonsville. From 231/250, take 250 west thru C'ville (you might want to stay overnight, more great food) to Afton Mountain where the BRP begins. DO NOT even think about staying at The Inn at Afton, it might be the worse hotel in Virginia.

I'm only offering this advice because this is my backyard.

Cheers,

Dave
Old 07-03-2012, 05:30 PM
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There are many good roads to take in VA but, again, the Skyline Drive is so iconic (why do you think everybody goes there ) that missing it would be a shame. It takes you high above the Shannandoah Valley with twists and turns and impressive overlooks.

Yes, on weekends, during mid-day, especially on the northern end close to the metro area nearby, it gets crowded. If you pick a weekday and get started early, your experience will be very different.

Yes, they say 35 mph but I have not been harrassed on there during the times I suggest riding it. If you jump cars on the yellow line too much, you may get in trouble but I have always been able to proceed along at a speed I find satisfactory. The curves are tight and 40-45 mph will often have you leaned-over pretty hard.

This should be viewed as a sightseeing stretch, though, and not a racetrack. You will still have fun and see some fantastic overlooks on the Shannandoah Valley. Try it, you can always get off of it and take another route. The road that runs through the bottom of the Valley is also nice.

I have to say ditto to what a previous poster said about riding in Florida. You can, however, have a pleasant time if you get away from the coast.

If you go inward to some of the older towns, especially up on the panhandle, you will be greeted by spanish moss and shady oak trees, quaint couthouse squares with confederate monuments and friendly people. No, don't expect to be scraping the pegs on that 1200S but you can have a good time and see some very historic places.

Be sure to visit Old Town St. Augustine. Check out the Marion Motor Lodge downtown that is owned and operated by my friend, Hank. It is reasonably priced and within close walking distance to everything.

Last edited by leafman60; 07-04-2012 at 02:02 AM..
Old 07-04-2012, 01:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricochet Rabbit View Post
If you don't spring for the BMW hard bags, try "Bags Connection" luggage by SW Motech. I've got one of their tank bags and like it a lot.
+1
I had great luck with the Bags Connection Cargobag before I bought the OEM side cases.

http://www.twistedthrottle.com/trade/productview/7289/340/

I strapped it to the passanger peg brackets fore and the license plate bracket aft (where it screws into the bottom of the muffler). Secure, plenty of room for a week trip, and easy on/off the bike. The waterproof cover didn't stay on well at speed so I packed my stuff in waterproof bags then into the Cargobag.

Enjoy the trip!
Old 07-04-2012, 03:01 AM
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BRP on the weekend will be frustrating this time of the year. Mid-week will be much better. There are so many side trips along the BRP, you may reconsider going on to Florida. South of North Georgia, it will feel like you just left a banquet to grab a Krystal burger.
Old 07-04-2012, 05:04 AM
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Aptly said Bubba but he probably has no idea what you mean.
The roads are fun in North Georgia is part of the translation.
Krystal Burgers are cheap and lead to stomach upset.


Back road in Braselton, Ga.
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:54 AM
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I highly recommend a 2,200 mile trip up through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, swing over east at Minnesota, then futilely attempt to navigate the roads in Wisconsin. Come down the west side of Illinois, stop and take a tour of SW Chicago. Most of all, the trip across Iowa will bring tears of joy to your eyes before you swing down thru western Missouri and marvel at the rush hour traffic in Kansas City, where you have to figure out the difference in Missouri and Kansas road signs. Of course, the most interesting ride is from Dallas to Big Bend Natl. Park, about the same distance (seems like it anyway).
Old 07-04-2012, 03:09 PM
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Old 07-05-2012, 03:08 AM
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Where's That? Tennesee?
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:25 AM
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Nelson Rigg has some great universal sport side bags. Have a set and they have worked excellent on R1100S, Suzuki GSX 1000, and ole '73 Triumph. They would work fine on a R1200S. Pick up a nice big tank or rear seat bag and you will be set to go.
If you do search, may find Nelson Rigg on clearance somewhere. Take a look at NewEnough.com.
Old 07-05-2012, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
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Where's That? Tennesee?
US129 just over the NC/TN state line. Don't those runoff areas look inviting?
Old 07-05-2012, 05:31 AM
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Yes, that's 129 Deal's Gap, The Dragon etc. If you go there, try to make it in the middle of the week. Avoid weekends.

Hell, forget Florida. Spend all your time in Western NC !


129 Deal's Gap



129 south of Deal's Gap


Cherohala (cherra-hayla)

Last edited by leafman60; 07-05-2012 at 06:30 AM..
Old 07-05-2012, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nail24 View Post
US129 just over the NC/TN state line. Don't those runoff areas look inviting?
Actually, they look much more inviting than California's Hwy 1. You go over and you may not stop til you splat.

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Old 07-05-2012, 06:46 AM
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Hwy 1 in CA is spectacular. Been there too.

Anybody ahve a pic of that southern part showing Bixby Bridge?
Old 07-05-2012, 07:06 AM
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What's going on with this site? Can't upload a photo larger than 100k, but the info says less than 2Mb.
Old 07-05-2012, 07:54 AM
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Isn't there a T shirt that says:

Deal's Gap - 318 turns in 11 miles.
Florida - 11 turns in 318 miles.

If there's not, there should be.
Old 07-05-2012, 07:56 AM
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:56 AM
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