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Thread: Cost to Coast ... to Coast on 1977 GS750 and GS550

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Default Cost to Coast ... to Coast on 1977 GS750 and GS550

    I'm taking a leave from work until September to ride around the country with one of my friends, leaving in a week and a half. I've gone on a few weekend/week long motorcycle trips on my GS450 but nothing like this before. Starting in the northeast, the plan is pretty much south, west, north and back over.
    I'm buying an America the Beautiful pass ($80) and we plan to go to as many national parks as possible and do us much camping as possible to save $$. It also turns out that the single pass is good for one car or TWO bikes!

    As for the motorcycles, I have a 1977 GS750 I got back in the fall and my friend got a GS550 about 2 months ago. I'll post pictures later but here's what we've done to get them both in shape.

    1. Valve adjustment.
    2. Carb. dunks and cleaning.
    3. Fresh oil/filters.
    4. New SS brake lines and MC for my GS750.
    5. SH775 charging upgrades.
    6. New tubes and tires arriving this week.
    7. New chains and sprockets going on when we do the rear tires
    8. Sonic Springs up front going on when we do the front tires.

    We went on a 250 miles shakedown ride last weekend where I noticed the suspension was pretty soft (hence the new springs) - besides that we're feeling pretty good about the condition of our bikes.
    I'm busy making a bunch of our travelling gear including saddlebags, tool rolls, dry bags and some camping accessories (pictures to come) that we'll be `testing' along the way and we're just waiting on some tire levers and tubes to arrive before we can get to work with fresh rubber, chains/sprockets, tires and fork springs... so lots of work to do in the next 10 days.
    If anybody wants to meet up and go for a day ride and show us your favorite roads it would be great to get in touch! We're leaving our `schedule' pretty open to accommodate any detours or `extended rest stops' and so if anybody has recommendations for really cool places they've been definitely let me know.

    Pictures to come.
    1980/1981 GS450 - GS500 Cylinder + Piston Swap - "De-L'ed", custom seat, CB350 bits, 18" rear, etc.
    1977 GS550
    1977 GS750 - Cross country trip thread

  2. #2
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    You should bring Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Ghost Rider, or Jupiter's Travels with you.

    What a great trip you are about to take! Stay safe and have a wonderful time.
    "Thought he, it is a wicked world in all meridians; I'll die a pagan."
    ~Herman Melville

    2016 1200 Superlow
    1982 CB900f

  3. #3
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    Sounds awesome, and with enough time not to be in a crazy rush.
    Ill be leaving for a family vacation right around the same time, or else I'd have liked to meet up.
    Have a fun and safe trip.

    When consulting the magic 8 ball for advice, one must first ask it "will your answers be accurate?"

    Glen
    -85 1150 es - Plus size supermodel.
    -Rusty old scooter.
    Other things I like to photograph.....instagram.com/gs_junkie
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  4. #4
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    It sounds like you're on your way to making a bunch of memories. Keep us posted.
    1982 GS1100E "Jolene"

  5. #5
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    Sounds like a great road trip! Definitely keep us updated along the way. The one bit of advice I'll give you is, Bring a Spare Clutch Cable. If for nothing else it will give you peace of mind.
    My Motorcycles:
    21 Triumph Tiger 900 GT (coming to a town near you)
    16 Yamaha FJR1300 (Probably been to a town near you)
    82 1100e Drag Bike (needs race engine)
    81 1100e Street Bike (with race engine)
    79 1000e (all original)
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by storm 64 View Post
    Sounds like a great road trip! Definitely keep us updated along the way. The one bit of advice I'll give you is, Bring a Spare Clutch Cable. If for nothing else it will give you peace of mind.

    Haha I was following your recent thread so yes I'll have a clutch cable and spare throttle cables routed along side my existing ones.
    1980/1981 GS450 - GS500 Cylinder + Piston Swap - "De-L'ed", custom seat, CB350 bits, 18" rear, etc.
    1977 GS550
    1977 GS750 - Cross country trip thread

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    I would think that if you installed new cables before the trip, they should certainly last for the entire trip. That will be my plan of attack for our trip next year. A clutch cable is the only one that would worry me to any extent, but a new one should last. To save some packing space and time, in the event of failure, route your new cable alongside the old one and zip-tie it into place. In the event of failure, it will already be routed under the tank, you will only have to do the work at each end of the cable.

    However, you might want to arrange a tire stop some time after the half-way point. A very BASIC route from Boston to Jacksonville to Los Angeles to Seattle back to Boston is just over 7800 miles. It sounds like you are not planning any type of direct route, so it will be longer than that. Not too many tires are going to last that long, so plan on shipping a couple of rear tires, at least, to a member out west somewhere and have a tire-changing party when you stop by.

    I have learned a few tips from reading the accounts of several Iron Butt riders over the years. One of them is to NEVER install anything within a few days of departure. Always install it beforehand, so you have a chance to verify that it is working properly. This would include things like GPS connections, cell phone chargers, luggage rack for your gear, etc. If you are going to rely on electronic gadgets, consider a back-up plan. Have a spare GPS. Use your phone instead of a GPS. ALWAYS carry paper maps, as well.

    For all your camping gear, again, take it out, set it up, USE IT. Camp in your back yard for the weekend to make sure your foam pad feels OK. Make sure you have all the cooking stuff you will need, if you plan on cooking out. Test EVERYTHING.

    Make a list of things you think you will need to pack. Use the list to 'pack' stuff for your weekend in the back yard. Checkmark the stuff you use, make another list of stuff you 'forgot', so you can add that to the first list. When you have made a couple revisions to the list, save it, print it out, use it. That way, you will be sure to bring everything that you need, and you can run down the list to verify that you have it. If you want to be anal about it, separate the list into areas, like "Left saddlebag stuff", "Right saddlebag stuff", etc. Yes, it really does help.

    Above all else, HAVE FUN and take lots of pictures.

    .

    mine: 2000 Honda GoldWing GL1500SE and 1980 GS850G'K' "Junior"
    hers: 1982 GS850GL - "Angel" and 1969 Suzuki T250 Scrambler
    #1 son: 1986 Yamaha Venture Royale 1300 and 1982 GS650GL "Rat Bagger"
    #2 son: 1980 GS1000G
    Family Portrait
    Siblings and Spouses
    Mom's first ride
    Want a copy of my valve adjust spreadsheet for your 2-valve per cylinder engine? Send me an e-mail request (not a PM)
    (Click on my username in the upper-left corner for e-mail info.)

  8. #8
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    post up your progress, so any members can find you/help you/give you a bed for the night

    Since you're heading south and will spend a week or more in 100 degree temps, cooling vests are advise
    1978 GS 1000 (since new)
    1979 GS 1000 (The Fridge, superbike replica project)
    1978 GS 1000 (parts)
    1981 GS 850 (anyone want a project?)
    1981 GPZ 550 (backroad screamer)
    1970 450 Mk IIID (THUMP!)
    2007 DRz 400S
    1999 ATK 490ES
    1994 DR 350SES

  9. #9
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    If you don't want to invest in the cost of a cooling vest, a chamois shirt and a windbreaker is a good substitute.

    I have used that in temps up to about 105, it makes the ride quite a bit more tolerable.

    .

    mine: 2000 Honda GoldWing GL1500SE and 1980 GS850G'K' "Junior"
    hers: 1982 GS850GL - "Angel" and 1969 Suzuki T250 Scrambler
    #1 son: 1986 Yamaha Venture Royale 1300 and 1982 GS650GL "Rat Bagger"
    #2 son: 1980 GS1000G
    Family Portrait
    Siblings and Spouses
    Mom's first ride
    Want a copy of my valve adjust spreadsheet for your 2-valve per cylinder engine? Send me an e-mail request (not a PM)
    (Click on my username in the upper-left corner for e-mail info.)

  10. #10
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    Location
    MA
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    Yup I'll be doing the `parallel' routing trick for the cables, figured I might as well bring the old ones since it won't take up any extra space. We've already gone camping a couple of times this year so know our way around that gear. We will be cooking out, I have a fold out grill top if we are somewhere we can make a fire otherwise I have a little Esbit stove that I've made eggs on before and is good for making a cup of coffee.

    I've been trying to fit as much stuff `on the bike' as possible. I stashed our first aid kit under the left side cover and have a fair amount of space under the right one, too:


    Tool roll I made over the weekend:


    and the saddlebag I made last week:
    1980/1981 GS450 - GS500 Cylinder + Piston Swap - "De-L'ed", custom seat, CB350 bits, 18" rear, etc.
    1977 GS550
    1977 GS750 - Cross country trip thread

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