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Thread: SF Bay Area to Grand Canyon

  1. #1
    Kinda new round here
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    SF Bay Area to Grand Canyon

    Hello. I am a new member and my girlfriend and I are going to take a road trip to the Grand Canyon on our SV650's. I would like to know the most twistie least straight away way to get there. Time is not the big issue, turning is! Thanks for the advice.

    As a side note, I have been riding for 12 years on the dirt and track but have never gone over a day journey. Any absolute must bring along items for a multiple day trip would be great. (ie: what are the most important tools, etc.)

  2. #2
    Twisties Please Warrior's Avatar
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    Re: SF Bay Area to Grand Canyon

    Heading south from SF, you are going to encounter loads of opportunities for twisty bliss. But once you reach Barstow you are pretty much stuck with bland roads.

    An alternative would be to take the northern route into Arizona through Utah. Take 50 across Nevada, and then hit some National Parks on your way south towards the Grand Canyon. HWY 12 in Utah is supposed to be awesome.

    Looks like an opportunity for a long loop!

    As for stuff to bring, bring the essentials: Cell Phone, toothpaste, extra underwear, and of course a camera.

  3. #3
    Go ahead and pass me... Backmarker's Avatar
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    Re: SF Bay Area to Grand Canyon

    Essentials would also include boring practical stuff like sunscreen (even thru the visor you can burn) and a Camelbak. Like their ad says "Hydrate or die". Some small quick energy snacks to keep in the tank back or in the Camelbak pockets (non-melty stuff like Gu packs. Really helps to keep you going along those long boring stretches when there ain't much to eat or see. Gotta keep your energy up). A decent map. Maybe even consider joining AMA and getting MOTOW insurance. MOTOW is only $25 extra but can save you BIG bucks.

    Most of all, have fun! Sounds like a great ride!
    Some people just don't know how to drive... I call these people "Everybody But Me."

  4. #4
    Oceans bow at His feet Swell's Avatar
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    Re: SF Bay Area to Grand Canyon

    I see you made it from socalsv. Do post a pic of your sv's here too. You won't get lam-blasted here.
    Steven
    Life is short and the path is narrow. So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise.
    Ephes. 5:15


  5. #5
    Senior Member DaleC's Avatar
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    Re: SF Bay Area to Grand Canyon

    Your route would be largely determined by when you plan on taking this journey since many of the Sierra Passes you could also take and would fall into your list of wants are closed do to snow. I took a great trip one year ago over a long 3 day weekend that involved a lot of riding on some great and scenic roads, but I still had a terrific time and managed to still take about 350 photos so I'd do it again in a heartbeat.



    My first day I road up to Flaggstaff where I spent the night in a local motel, then headed up to see the Grand Canyon via the south rim, then continued on Hwy 89 further north (and then west) to go up to see Zion National Park, and up further to catch Hwy 12 to see Bryce National Park where I spent the second night at Ruby's Best Western Inn at the park entrance. After a tour there, I continued riding the very scenic Hwy 12 all the way around by Escalante and up to Torrey, where I decided it was time to head home. I manuvered my way over to Minersville and then caught Hwy 21 and Hwy 50 all the say home and thoroughly enjoyed both roads and the journey immensely.

    My little trip involved about 2235 miles so obviously I was doing a lot of riding, but I had a blast and saw some of the most incredible and scenic areas you could imagine. It was a great and fun motorcycle trip and one I'd do again in a heartbeat.

    My suggestion to you is to buy a 12 month National Parks Pass for $50. and plan a trip that incorporates as many National Parks as you can and you will not go wrong on your journey. Obviously many of these roads are not always twisty (which I also love), but they do a great job of entertaining and giving you the wow factor mile after mile after mile. If nothing else, I guarantee you it will give you ideas of areas you want to go back and investigate or other places you want to go back and visit and see again.

    Last thought, go with new or nearly new tires and replace them prior to your trip as you never want to have a bad tire on a long trip (trust me, been there and done that, and never again).

    Good luck,

    DaleC

    Trip photos of my journey here:

    http://www.dalecroy.com/TripPhotos/Southwest.html






















  6. #6
    AKA Gixxerdale G8ESCAP's Avatar
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    Re: SF Bay Area to Grand Canyon

    Wow! Nice, real nice DaleC.

    So when's the next date for that ride?
    "The key to life is to die young, at a very old age"

    "Ride like you own the road, and one day the road will own you"

  7. #7
    Senior Member DaleC's Avatar
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    Re: SF Bay Area to Grand Canyon

    Quote Originally Posted by Gixxerdale
    Wow! Nice, real nice DaleC.

    So when's the next date for that ride?
    That's a good question. I wanted to do it this spring again, but there was just too many things going on so I haven't made it yet. Some of that area can get pretty warm so my preference for this trip is either the spring or fall prior to the weather turning winter. Keep in mind that when you travel Hwy 40 over to Flagstaff and going up to Bryce you climb up to over 8000 feet so it can get quite cool. My first venture over by Flagstaff and headed east in February last year the tempertures got down to 22 degrees and that can get pretty cold on a motorcycle after a few hours (I promptly went out and completed my Gerbing heated gear set including their heated socks after that extreme, for me anyway). The above trip I did a month later in March and it warmed up some. Days were in the pleasant 70's and 8000 feet elevations got down to the low and mid 30's with some snow on the mountain tops and road sides, so much much nicer. Just be prepared for wide weather and temperature fluctuations depending upon the month.

    Utah is a motorcycle paradise to explore, and the travel to and from can be interesting and fun too. If I did that same trip again I would probably go Hwy 178 from Bakersfield up past Lake Isabella, then Hwy 395 to Hwy 58 and east on I-40 east to Flagstaff.

    DaleC

  8. #8
    The Lost Tourguide kluts's Avatar
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    Re: SF Bay Area to Grand Canyon

    As Dale points out, lots of things to see and make note of to come back and re-explore. There are some diversions pointed out in the latest Friction Zone (discover Arizona) articles that will also keep the boredom down. Pick up a copy at shops now. One of the things I spotted in it was an old section of 66 that is not too far from Flagstaff. Also, in returning from Utah if you choose to go through Nev, Hwy 25 (I think) out of George and across to 95 ain't half bad. Drive by Area 51. Buy the T shirt or the video game? Hook up with Lee Vining and Monol from Nev. it's a hoot. Beware of speeding within 10 miles of any Nevada town. Depending on when you go, Sonora Pass may be open. Check it at CalTrans online. Recommendation of 178 and Isabella good too. Try to fit in HWY 12.

    Equip: Polarfleece sweaters for under your jackets. Balaklava for helmets in cold mornings. Bandanas to soak wet and put around your neck & dribble down your front and back, also to keep sun off neck. Really Good Sunglasses and SPF 45 grade sunscreen. Tire repair kit with punch and goo cords, and a couple of CO2 cartridges. Leatherman tool. Decent socket wrench with 10mm, 12mm 14 or 15mm sockets and 6 and 8mm Allen bits for those things you wrench most, check your owner's man. for typical sizes, to compliment your onboard tool set. Inspect and torque down major bolts before leaving, such as axle mounts, engine mounts even if you have to take off the tank, brake mounts (unless paint- marked and secure). Tighten gearshift adjusting bolt to spec lest you lose your shifter (experience tells me to do all of this! I once lost the latter AND an engine mount bolt). Pocket knife, band-aids, small tube of neosporin and other things you think a 1st aid kit should have (I use telfa pads for road rash). Fuses and xtra bulbs, keep under seat with tools. Electrical tape and 4 zip ties (handy for repairing bodywork too, use leatherman to bore holes). Soft cloth and small spraybottle to wipe bugs off your face shield. Convertible quick dry light hiking pants (the kind you can convert into shorts). Comfy off-mount shoes. Small day pack. A fold up hat (REI has some good ones now) to shade your soon to sunburn ears when out of helmet. Chapstick. Chewing gum to kill boredom. And don't laugh, a lycra pair of padded bicycle shorts (doubles as a swimsuit, comfy on the pelvic bone, trust me!) Maps! None of this stuff is burdensome and should fit in tank-soft bags.

    Bring back pitchures we all wanna see em.

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