Sometime last year, I stumbled across the website advrider.com. It’s a forum for adventure riding, an activity I wasn’t familiar with but was instantly drawn to. Basically, I’d some it up as the better points of motorcycle touring, hiking, and camping. The idea is to try to get off the main roads as much as possible and try to get off pavement as well.
There are some motorcycles that are specifically made for this task, and others that are close but require some modifications to get there. And within the world of adventure riding, there is a spectrum of bikes depending on how rough of terrain you plan to tackle.
I decided I wanted to do one of these trips as it sounded like fun and a personal challenge, and I settled on doing the Trans America Trail (http://www.transamtrail.com, https://sites.google.com/site/gpskevin/adventurerides/trans-america-trail) from east to west. Rather than ship my bike, I also decided to ride from Texas to the start of the trail in North Carolina, then from the finish in Oregon back to Texas, effectively driving coast to coast twice. I’ll have to take a small break at about the halfway point in Oklahoma for some Navy Reserve training, but other than that should be fairly uninterrupted.
At first I thought I’d take a Yahama WR250R that I purchased in December 2013, but I ended up buying a Suzuki DR650SE in April 2014 that I thought might be better for the long stretches of pavement I’d have to tackle on my trip. I welded up some side racks and fashioned a way to attach some dry bags to them. I also put a folding chair, a Navy ‘sea bag’ with some smaller bags in it, and a backpack on top.
I suppose you could call this ride the small towns and country roads tour, plus the Trans America Trail. I hope to stay off of interstates and major highways as much as possible, and see some pretty country, meet some interesting people, and have some fun along the way.