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  1. #1
    p13 Guest

    Default Bike trip, coast to coast


    My name is kevin, i just registered here a couple of minutes ago.
    I am planning (very early stages) on a road trip through america.
    The plan is to take the boat from where i live to somewhere along the US's coast line, and ride to the other side, then take another boat and go on to australia.
    We are two people thinking about this atm.

    My bike is a big kawasaki zx10 (1000cc, 140hp), so it can take a beating, it's VERY reliable.

    Any comments, suggestions, etc ?

    Thanks in advance,

    - Kevin

  2. Default But the question is...

    Can YOU take a beating? Have you made long distance motorcycle trips before?

    Kevin, welcome to the RTA forum!

    It's a great way to see a country, but it is hard on a body. Does the second person have their own machine, or will you be riding tandem? How will you transport what you need?

    If you really want to do this, I'd plan short days. Do your riding in the morning and stop early for the day to relax. I don't know where you can disembark from a transatlantic ship -- perhaps NYC or Miami? The southern route is great in the shoulder seasons and winter (maybe Miami to LA via I-10) -- what time of year are you thinking about?

    You'll need a windscreen of some sort -- America is the Land of the Bug. And protective clothing -- a June Bug on the knee at 70 mph hurts like hell, so prepare for that.

    You should be able to find service facilities for the bike all across the USA -- Kawasaki is a major brand here although not as common as some of the others. (I ride a ZR7S).

    What else would you like to know? Bob

  3. #3
    p13 Guest


    Hi Bob,

    Yeah i've taken long bike trips before :)
    He has his own machine but hasn't decided what to take yet, they are both old.
    One is a honda vf750f but i strongly advised against that because they are VERY high maintenance and i'm sure the camshaft problem will arise.
    He also has a honda cx500 (tittybike) which would be a much much better choice although a lot slower.

    I would like to know about things such as licensing. I have belgian plates and belgian insurance, i'm insured in the US, but i never paid any US road tax, nor am i certain that my license plate is even legal in the US.
    Do i need to bring my bike up to your road code ?
    What is the current fuel pricing ?
    How is traffic for bikes in the US ?
    Are people friendly towards riders or not ?

    etc etc

    thank you,

    - Kevin

  4. Default

    I would like to know about things such as licensing. I have belgian plates and belgian insurance, i'm insured in the US, but i never paid any US road tax, nor am i certain that my license plate is even legal in the US.
    Hmm. Our road taxes are charged by the gallon -- with your gasoline purchases. Other than that, I'm not sure about the legalities of the Euro bike on the American road. As a visitor, you'll probably be OK as is, but I'm not sure about that. I'd start with Embassy personnel for those answers -- or possibly the American Automobile Association -- perhaps they have an "international" desk.

    What is the current fuel pricing ?
    Gas is on the rise -- and at about $2.35 USD per gallon at the moment. Still cheap by European standards, and the exchange rate is good for you right now... :)

    How is traffic for bikes in the US ?
    Are people friendly towards riders or not ?
    If you're a careful rider, and stay ahead of things, no problems. Most motorists are friendly if you're friendly toward them -- although many cast a wary eye on a bike-person. I've been riding for more than 35 years, and aside from an occcasional encounter with an idiot or two, have been able to ride safely and without trouble.

    Traffic is tolerable most places -- especially on the secondary highways you'll quite frequently have wide open pavement with little traffic -- although the interstate highways (controlled access roads) are usually busy and congested. The farther west you come, the less likely that will be until you get to LA, then those roads typically run at 75 mph, bumper to bumper! It's an adventure!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Fuel Cost

    Quote Originally Posted by p13
    What is the current fuel pricing ?
    Be sure to look at our fuel cost calculator -- we also list the fuel prices found around the USA and Canada on a daily basis.


  6. #6
    p13 Guest

    Default Fuel prices

    Thank you, this is very useful information.
    The fuel prices you have compared to what we have here in europe are DIRT CHEAP hehe.

    Also, what is the speed limit on most roads i'll encounter ?
    It is 120 km/h here, 130km/h in france and ... well ... as fast as your car/bike can go in germany.

    Any practical tips for if or when i run into the law ?
    (It is a bike after all, and it does 145 mph after all, ... i know myself, at some point i'll be feeling like doing stupid things :) )

    Also, what about exhaust noise ?
    I have a 4-2-1 with an open van hasselt muffler ... which doesn't muffle very much at all.

    Thanks a lot

    - Kevin

  7. Default You have questions, we have answers

    Also, what is the speed limit on most roads i'll encounter ?
    Highway speed limits range from 55-65 mph on secondary roads, 55-65 on city freeways, up to 75 mph on some stretches of interstate roads. Some interstates are less -- sometimes posted at 65 or 70.
    Any practical tips for if or when I run into the law ?
    First of all, if you get stopped at over 100 mph, the officer will likely take you to jail. You would not be released until you appear before a judge. That takes days sometimes. As a foreign citizen, you'd probably be deported immediately after. At lower speeds, 10 to 20 over a limit, since you are not a US citizen, some jurisdictions would demand payment of a fine before you are released, others might release you on your signed promise to appear. Officers are typically polite -- if you are the same you'll likely be treated fairly. I don't recommend riding at speeds much over speed limits. As a guest in our country, it would be viewed fairly critically. After all of that, people here DO speed of course -- many take their chances figuring the odds are small they'll be the one that gets nabbed!
    Also, what about exhaust noise ?
    On the open road, no one will bother you much probably. However, in cities you could be stopped as many have noise ordinances. Be especially careful in California (very strict) and anyplace where you see a sign prohibiting trucks using "compression braking." These are places that are very sensitive to noise. If you take care not to get on the throttle too much, you may not get bothered. Many American bikers have very loud pipes as well.

  8. #8
    p13 Guest

    Default speed limits and noise

    Wow, those speed limits are pretty slow compared to euro limits, but okay, i can live with that i guess.

    Hmm, i'm working on a total budget ... i'll be camping most of the time i think.
    We both have good tents and an appetite for adventure.
    Currently, i have a stage 3 dyno and run at high compression (13:1), so i'll have to jet it light and try to get the compression back to stock using thicker gaskets to tone down on fuel consumption.
    It's currently at 8 litres/100 km, i should be able to get that down to 5 on the highway or even less given the relatively low speeds.

    This is all pretty damn exciting :)

    PS: Bob, thank you for the EXCELLENT support so far and the fast answering, this forum rocks, you rock

    - Kevin

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by p13
    Also, what about exhaust noise ?
    I have a 4-2-1 with an open van hasselt muffler ... which doesn't muffle very much at all.
    All I can say as a fellow rider is - Please don't bring that thing here!

  10. Default Recent motorcycle experience

    I finished up a 3,000+ mile journey by motorcycle last week.

    Items I found indispensable: Advil (ibuprofen), deep heat liniment for muscle soreness, sun screen and water proof boots! I had raingear, but neglected to treat the boots. I had wet socks at times.

    Bugs: my earlier comments on bugs need to be restated emphatically! I stopped several times each day to wash the bugs off my visor. Thank heavens for full-face helmets. Also, my riding clothes are permeated with bug-remains!

    I took two rocks in the face (flipped off the road by trucks or cars) -- both of which made a big noise but failed to do their job of killing me because of my plastic face shield (which thankfully did not break or shatter -- I was surprised and have a new respect for the manufacturers of these devices).

    Note to motorists in automobiles or trucks -- PLEASE give a motorcyclist lots of extra space before returning to the right lane after passing! Rocks routinely get flung from your tires when you cross the "bumps" that make up the centerline stripes on lots of highways. These can be very painful.

    Finally, get off the interstate controlled-access roads and ride the two-lane federal or state roads. Riding interstates is not comfortable -- you get buffeted continually in turbulent air stirred up by the heavy trucks, RV's, SUV's, even cars. This is an almost constant battle. AND, the two-lane roads are where you'll find the best riding -- fun grades & mountain passes, curves, river canyons, pastoral valleys. Interstates can be pretty too (such as I-70 across Colorado), but two-lane roads are the reason to ride! Bob

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