I'm considering visiting some friends in Colorado this summer. I'm playing around with the idea of taking my '81 KZ 440 LTD Belt Drive instead of renting a car, but I'd like to get input from others. Would this be a terrible idea?
It's a 2,500 mile ride round trip, and I'm thinking I'd split it up as follows:
- San Francisco -> Reno [220 miles]
- Reno -> Salt Lake City [520 miles]
- Salt Lake City -> Denver [520 miles]
Rest and hang out for a few days in Denver, then make the return ride along the same path.
The bike has about 12.5k miles on it. I think the most I have ever rode it in one day was about 180 miles, and I did not have a passenger. With a passenger the furthest I have gone in one day is about 110 miles. I have yet to have any major problems with the bike.
I changed my oil and filter maybe 800 miles ago, so I figured the filter should be okay for the ride, but I may want to change my oil before going.
My tires have tons of tread left but they are 7-years old, so I think I would want to change those out.
I have a rear rack and me + passenger pack light. But with full gear on we are probably 375 lbs combined. With luggage and water, I'd estimate 400 lbs maximum. I've been able to get the bike up to ~70 mph with this much weight but it definitely had reduced mpg.
Obviously it would be an adventure. What do you guys think? Honest feedback is appreciated.
If the intent is to make it a fun road trip I would stay off the interstate as much as possible. that will add more time to your trip. but it will slow the pace down and be MUCH more enjoyable. Have you and partner done an 8 hour day in the saddle? I dunno about you but riding with a passenger on most small bikes is uncomfortable because you cant move around as much. Maybe do an out and back to Reno to test before.
Seen it done on 125cc bike by a pair young hippies in 1976 Cali to Michigan.
ASian guy 20 ish in flipflops and young girl in tennis shoes. They came in to the bike shop I was at with square tires and just wanted air LOL
We fixed them up with used round tires and sent them on their way.
BUT I wouldnt do it on any bike below 550 cc or really 1000cc
Big heavy bikes are better on long hauls for good ride and comfort
Just my 2cts
Original owner 78 1000 LTD
Mr Turbo Race Kit, MTC 1075 Turbo pistons by PitStop Performance , Falicon Ultra Lite Super Crank, APE everything. Les Holt @ PDM's Billet Goodies . Frame by Chuck Kurzawa @ Logghe Chassis . Deep sump 5qt oil pan. RIP Bill Hahn
If I read your posting correctly you have 4 days in which you will ride 520 miles each day. Those will be extremely long rides and extremely tiring (maybe dangerously so). The longest continuous ride I have taken on my KZ650 is a bit more than 375 miles. To me that was a very long ride, and I was not anxious to jump back onto the bike the next day - and I did not have a passenger onboard. Do yourself a favor - get the passenger on board and take a 250 mile test ride to see how you both feel. I seriously doubt that after that test ride you would consider riding twice that far on your KZ440 in one day and then doing it 3 more times, but I could be wrong. Keep in mind that the ride is suppose to be fun rather than torture. Personally, I would not even consider taking such a ride. Ed
This is all great feedback. Sounds like it might be doable, but not very enjoyable. My plus 1 has read this and has had second thoughts lol. I think we'll go in a car for this trip and try to get some 200 mile camping trips under our belt before trying something this intense. Thanks all!
Alone I would do 500 mile days on that bike, with a nice long stop every 80 mile. Mostly secondary roads.
2 up would be 300 mile days, 50 miles between stops. All back roads.
Oh, but to answer your question, yes, dumb idea.