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KevinWoods

Moving a bike 800 miles looking for ideas

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A few months back I got a new job and moved to Atlanta (from Kansas City).  The move was sort of last minute and I ended up storing my bike instead of moving it with me. 

 

I am trying to find out the best way to get the bike to Atlanta now.  

Here are some of the options I am investigating: 1)motorcycle transport. 

2)renting trailer or truck and driving towing/hauling it back 

3)cheap 1 way plane ticket and riding it down over a weekend.

 

The trip from Kansas City to Atlanta is about 800 miles and the longest bike ride I have done was maybe 150 miles. 

 

My bike is a completely stock 2014 VFR800.

 

Thanks!

 

kevin

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It seems to me the simplest solution is #3. It would be an opportunity to see what a couple of back-to-back 400 mile days are like. 

I rented a one-way enclosed truck to haul a mc back from St. Louis, MO to Minneapolis, MN. (Don't ask!) I think the truck cost $500 and gas was A Lot.  

 

Another idea is to find someone (a professional driver) to haul the machine from KC Atlanta. Or perhaps a KC friend has a pickup truck that would haul the machine in the load bed.

 

Does your new employer help with moving expenses? If so, that may inform certain options.

 

Good luck.

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If every dollar counts you could take a bus to KC but that's a whole day of travel.

 

Air fare from ATL to MCI doesn't seem very costly.  The ride back should be nice if you have warm enough gear.

 

Given your comments about seat time, you'll probably want to take two days to make the trip back.  Depending on how much [dis]comfort you want, choose a hotel, motel or truck stop.

 

If you don't have warm enough gear, a 400 mile day could kick your ass.

 

Do the math (airfare and buses/taxis, lodging, gas, maybe electric clothing) and you may discover that shipping the bike could be a toss-up.

 

Of course your sense of adventure may figure into the calculations.  😉

 

Be safe!

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Ride it! Rain, hail or shine you will enjoy every minute. It’s meant for it! 500 mile days are not a problem.

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I’ve not shipped a bike but have a few horses. It worked out cheaper every time. Planes, hotels, fuel and meals add up quick. Now if you need a trip...that’s a different story. Good luck with it.



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I shipped a car across the country NY to LA for $1000. I can't imagine a bike would be anywhere near that cost? A lot cheaper than gas and rentals!

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1.  I had a great experience with HaulBikes https://haulbikes.com/ and wouldn't hesitate to use them again.  I THINK it may cost you around $600 (double check that with the company).  I'm guessing you will also have to be there in person to grant them access to the bike.  Also, their policy is to ship the bike only (no additional parts/accessories unless it's attached to the bike).

 

2.  How much would renting a pick up and a ramp/makeshift ramp cost, considering 1600 worth of mileage, gas, food, lodging, and how many days would you be planning on getting there and back?  A buddy would come in handy too.

 

3.  I think if you were planning on doing more touring/longer rides on your bike in the future, this might be a good opportunity/excuse to plan one out and buy whatever gear you would like to have for such an adventure (and future adventures).  That being said, it might be a challenging time to undertake a trip from KC to Atlanta weather-wise... 

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Plan A:

1) calculate the cost: flight, hotels, gas, fuel.

2) buy whatever gear you’ll need for the weekend (rain, heated, etc,), remembering to rationalize the purchase based upon years of future usage.

3) plan “flexible” weekends - and keep an eye on weather patterns for the route(s) you plan.

4) when the 5-day forecast looks survivable, buy the plane ticket and DO IT.

As my bride and I often say about traveling in other countries: if you don’t die, you’ll have memories and stories to share. If you do die, well you were gonna die someday anyway.

 

Plan B:

1) if your longest ride to date is 150 miles (and it probably wasn’t in the dead of winter), is it realistic to think you can do three times that distance (10+ hours, with breaks/day, in the dead of winter?

2) have the bike shipped instead.

3) when you get the bike in ATL, take it out for 5 hour/200 mile rides every Saturday & Sunday, pretending you’re training for a longer excursion.

 

Enjoy!

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Trying to wrap my head around longest ride maybe 150 miles, does not compute.

 

I would pick a good day for weather fly up stay the night and ger up early and ride home. 

It's a vfr made to eat miles. Take 2 days if you don't have that in you.

 

On the other hand a motorcycle trailer from u-hall is very cheap.

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I bought my 2000 from a forum member and rode it home from Portland to DC area in 4 1/2 days.  3000 miles...you can do it...in your case, I'd ride South then east!

 

Matt

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Ride it back. 

 

150 miles is the same as 1500 miles. Just longer. Nothing to fear - I promise. 

 

You'll have an awesome adventure and bond with your bike like never before. Just wrap up warm and stop whenever you feel - no pressure. 

 

It will plant a huge smile on your face and you’ll feel smug and contented for having done it. 

 

Do it! 

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I've done Atlanta to Topeka in a day on a '91, but I was much younger then. Not a bad ride, all Interstate, daylight would be the issue this time of year, going to be dark on one end of both.  But I might vote for shipping, done that with cars, always went well.

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Thanks for all the suggestions. I think I am going to wait a couple months and just fly up and ride the bike down.   Maybe March or so.

I can go either through St Louis or down south route so I should be able to avoid too many heavy showers.

I’m sure 2 400mile days should not be too much trouble, if I make many stops.

I usually park my bike once it gets below 40 degrees because I haven’t invested in a good seat of cold weather gear, yet.

 

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That's the spirit! After all these machines are made for eating up miles. Be sure to find some twisties on your way. I'd be willing to guarantee you'll have a grin or two on your face along the way. In fact, my experience is that the grins last longer than just the actual trip.

 

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Be careful around StLouis. The roads are not very good for bike travel. Lots of construction and large pot holes.


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27 minutes ago, KevinWoods said:

Thanks for all the suggestions. I think I am going to wait a couple months and just fly up and ride the bike down.   Maybe March or so.

I can go either through St Louis or down south route so I should be able to avoid too many heavy showers.

I’m sure 2 400mile days should not be too much trouble, if I make many stops.

I usually park my bike once it gets below 40 degrees because I haven’t invested in a good seat of cold weather gear, yet.

 

 

I'm all for this. Just take frequent breaks if this is your first big trip. 

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Hmm...

 

I've done all three methods. They get more expensive the higher the convenience level. Shop around on the internet for the best deal. I bought a 2004 VFR on e-bay and had it shipped to me from Colorado to Massachusetts. (So check eBay for recommended MC shippers.) Couple of phone calls and it was (slowly) on its way, I was hot for the machine, and it frustrated me that I waited two weeks for it. My conclusion was: "I could have flown to Colorado, and ridden it back for less, including hotel, and gotten it to my residence faster."

 

Renting a trailer. I've transported MCs in a covered trailer, using a couple of 3/4" plywood "handy panels" from Home Depot as a quick and dirty ramp. Don't plan of unhitching the trailer once you've put the bike in it. I've also rented U-Haul's open trailer with ramp. Not much more, and the built in ramp makes getting the bike on a breeze. But its unprotected and visible. So I always parked the towing vehicle and trailer where I could my eye on it when stopped. I owned the SUV that pulled the trailer, which helped defray the costs.

 

Riding it back. A couple of 400 mile days will do the trick, and you'll probably really enjoy it. I was really impressed with how comfortable the stock VFR seat is over an 8-10 hour riding day, despite all the comments about getting aftermarket. I did, however, wear a pair of padded bicycle shorts under my gear, which included armored over pants. 

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I bought my bike from this dealer in north east Iowa and hauled it back to Kansas City.  I got it home on the back of a rented full-size pickup truck.  Loading was easy at the dealership and for unloading I stopped at my local bike repair shop and they let me use their ramp for unloading.   I might try that again if I don’t want to wait until it warms up.

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Were it me, I would ride it back on two lanes only, make a fun run through the Ozarks and not get in a hurry.  One of the keys to long distance riding is to stop often even if only for a few minutes to get off the bike.  Make it an adventure!

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20 minutes ago, Bent said:

Were it me, I would ride it back on two lanes only, make a fun run through the Ozarks and not get in a hurry.  One of the keys to long distance riding is to stop often even if only for a few minutes to get off the bike.  Make it an adventure!

 

And might as well snap a pic when you stop :) never enough pics on road trips......

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And share them here. Winter is here.


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I bought my bike in Northern California when I lived in San Diego.  I flew up in the morning and rode it home that day.  The ride was about 500 miles, but the flight was short.  Still a long day.  It was fun.  My profile picture is from that ride.

 

The bike got shipped to PA with household goods.  Not as fun.

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6 hours ago, Bent said:

Were it me, I would ride it back on two lanes only, make a fun run through the Ozarks and not get in a hurry.  One of the keys to long distance riding is to stop often even if only for a few minutes to get off the bike.  Make it an adventure!

Listen to Bent. He knows of what he speaks. +1 on Arkansas; Tennessee has many fabulous roads and you can pass through territory that included The Dragon, Cherahala Parkway, Moonshiner, and others I've either never been on or forgotten. This last area could produce a year-long smile.

 

I'd predict you'll be revisiting this fabulous area frequently from Atlanta. You are so close. I'm from Minnesota and ride ~ 1200 miles nearly yearly just for the grins.

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On 12/27/2018 at 4:34 PM, MaxSwell said:

Listen to Bent. He knows of what he speaks. +1 on Arkansas; Tennessee has many fabulous roads and you can pass through territory that included The Dragon, Cherahala Parkway, Moonshiner, and others I've either never been on or forgotten. This last area could produce a year-long smile.

 

I'd predict you'll be revisiting this fabulous area frequently from Atlanta. You are so close. I'm from Minnesota and ride ~ 1200 miles nearly yearly just for the grins.

 

Holy Cow!  Didn't notice the OP is in Atlanta.  Yep, not going to N. Ga. and W. NC is unacceptable for those in Atlanta!!  Those are such great places to VFR around in and I may be there next Springtime again just wearing out tires and burning gas on the fast color VFR.  It's been too long since my VFR has been on Hwy. 28, etc. etc. etc.   :goofy:

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