Riding Two Up; Across The Country

The Reason

Riding across country sounds like an item that should be on every riders bucket list. I have been to countless motorcycle shows and heard all sorts of stories about going cross country. It was about time I had my own.

The Bike/Gear

The bike I chose for the trip is a 2017 Triumph Bonneville T120. The bike has been decked out with a lamp guard, crash bar, and luggage from Hepco & Becker. I chose the Hepco & Becker 30 liter Xplorer cases in black and 45 liter top case to go with. These cases are 100% water proof, top loading, and most importantly; lockable. I chose to add the Hepco & Becker top bags to the cases which provide additional storage on top of the cases. Even though these top bags are not lockable, they do provide added storage.

The 45 liter Xplorer top case was used to house a DSLR camera along with other items that we wanted quick access to such as additional layers, rain pants, and bike locks. The top bags on the side cases were used to store less expensive items such as clothes in case they did get stolen. The side cases were used to hold clothes and an iPad.  

Riding Two Up

Riding across country sounds like a dream in its own right; the only thing that could make it better is sharing that experience with somebody else. The first step to this dual person trip was to make sure the passenger would be comfortable on the bike. The solution for this was to install a backrest on the top case. In addition to this, the top bags on the side cases acted as a sort of armrest which was of course envied at times. Now that the passenger was set; it was time to head off.

The Route

The route started off from Moto Machines in Sterling, VA with an arrival in San Clemente, CA. The default route for Google Maps as most map applications was to put you on the fastest route to destination with no regard for being on a motorcycle. Because of this, the route was adjusted to include more back roads and less of the heavily trafficked American highways.

From previous experience, riding on a motorcycle takes a considerable amount longer than being in car because of added stops for stretch breaks and of course; photo ops that only a motorcycle can offer. As a general rule of thumb, we added an additional 20% for the amount of time Google told me it would take to reach the destination. I mounted an iPhone to the handlebar using the secure Rokform mount and adjusted the route on the fly for motorcycle favorable roads. Roadsideamerica.com was used to find points of interest along the way such as a larger than life statue of Buffalo Bill and slightly out of place Windmills.

The very first day consisted of traveling through WV and making it to Charleston, WV where we decided to take cover from a fast approaching storm. The next stops consisted of Louisville, St Louis, Kansas City, Denver, San Diego, and then San Clemente. The trip took 10 days where 2 day stops were taken to explore new found cities. This trip is something I would recommend to any rider and let me wondering why this trip was not made sooner.

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