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Discussion Starter #1
I'm hoping to take a ride out from SoCal to the GC next week and plan to be in the area for two or three days of riding/exploring. I've never been there...its my 60th birthday ride and on my bucket list. I want to be prepared...What's the weather like during that time? Where's a good place set up homebase (motel/hotel) where I'd be able to maximize my touring tourist time there? Thanks!
 

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If you're going for the touristy junk and to spend money, go to the south rim, if you're going to see the canyon and some nice riding take a look at the roads on the north side. A bunch of us were there 2 years ago for SWIII, most went to the north side.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What's the weather like in mid-May? Where's a good place to stay nearby where I can get to the north rim areas but not take all day to get there?
 

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The Grand Canyon offers two very different experiences. The North Rim offers better riding, much less traffic, higher elevations with more forests. The views are completely different from those from the South Rim. In July, 2013 I based in Kanab, UT with a friend to visit the North Rim, about 80 miles. We stayed at the Best Western Red Hills. This was after visiting the five National Parks in Utah, finishing up with Zion. Temperatures were good at that time of year, but we had rain during late mornings, early afternoons on several days.

In February, 2009 I rode to the South Rim from Scottsdale where one of my kids lived at the time. The weather was perfect. Flagstaff would be a good area to base from on that side of the Canyon. The South Rim is more touristy and crowded, does not offer as much fun riding, but the views and trails are incredible. If seeing the magnificence of the Grand Canyon with the Colorado River below is your goal, the South Rim will offer that. If you want better riding with more roads to check out the Canyon from the less visited side, go to the North Rim. Neither side will disappoint you. If you're planning two or three days, you could actually see both sides of the Canyon. It's about a 4 hour ride from the North Rim Lodge to the South Rim Visitor Center via Highways 67, 89 and 64. Ride safe and enjoy your trip!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)

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Discussion Starter #9
Be careful here, they told us to plan for HOT, a few people nearly froze to death in their cool vests.........
I usually ride in a perforated/armored leather jacket (proven crash-worthy once with not a scratch on my torso!:D), thick logger jeans, DOT helmet, armored gloves, and moto-specific boots. I like to stay cold to cool. If it gets too cold, I'll slip a windbreaker over my jacket. If it gets hot, I soak my skull cap in water and swamp cool my head. I plus-minus my layers as needed. But you'll never, ever catch me riding without some kind of layer/protection head to toe no matter how hot it gets ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The Grand Canyon offers two very different experiences. The North Rim offers better riding, much less traffic, higher elevations with more forests. The views are completely different from those from the South Rim. In July, 2013 I based in Kanab, UT with a friend to visit the North Rim, about 80 miles. We stayed at the Best Western Red Hills. This was after visiting the five National Parks in Utah, finishing up with Zion. Temperatures were good at that time of year, but we had rain during late mornings, early afternoons on several days.

In February, 2009 I rode to the South Rim from Scottsdale where one of my kids lived at the time. The weather was perfect. Flagstaff would be a good area to base from on that side of the Canyon. The South Rim is more touristy and crowded, does not offer as much fun riding, but the views and trails are incredible. If seeing the magnificence of the Grand Canyon with the Colorado River below is your goal, the South Rim will offer that. If you want better riding with more roads to check out the Canyon from the less visited side, go to the North Rim. Neither side will disappoint you. If you're planning two or three days, you could actually see both sides of the Canyon. It's about a 4 hour ride from the North Rim Lodge to the South Rim Visitor Center via Highways 67, 89 and 64. Ride safe and enjoy your trip!
Good info....I hope to ride/see both rims/areas...THANKS!!!
 

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It all depends on what part a CA your coming from but if you are going down I-40 I would just stick with the south rim.
The Flagstaff area would be a good place to stay while doing this ride but it is still going to be in the 30's or 40's in the morning and in the high 50's to mid 60's in the day so take some warm riding gear, also there is going to be a chance of rain /snow in the area so take rain gear.
When in the Flagstaff area you have a nice 200 mile round trip ride to the south rim of the Grand Canyon, I always liked going north on 89 to 64 and go in the east entrance of the GC and this is going to a all day adventure.
Flagstaff has a nice downtown district that has a lot of taverns and restaurants and there is plenty of lodging available.
You are also close to Williams which is a nice little town to visit and if you want some warmer weather to ride in you can head down 89A through Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona then you could head over to Cottonwood then Jerome which is a cool old mining town, a lot of bikers go to the Spirit Room in downtown Jerome also the ride from Jerome to Prescott is real nice too.
If you are going to do the north rim of the GC it will be a 450 to 500 mile round trip from Flagstaff so it doesn't give you much time to enjoy the ride unless you plan on staying up in the north rim area for a night.
 

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That 89A is a nice area. Liked the town of Gerome.
They have a building there that use to be an old car dealership. They would raise the cars up and down in an elevator to get them up to the service and show room area.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I've done a test-secure load on my dry-bag onto my solo rear rack. I can get ALL of my clothes, toiletries, etc. in this BILT medium-sized dry-bag...and I still have space for things & t-shirts I might pick up on this solo adventure.

I made up some cinch straps with nylon webbing and fastek fasteners to secure the bag onto the rack...its not going anywhere up to my RGS's indicated top-speed should I decide to run it at Bonneville (ok...just kidding...not going there...but bag's not going anywhere, either ;))

One saddlebag is for non-moto footwear and dirty laundry. The other saddlebag is for "incidentals" (whatever that may end up being lol).

I think it might be prudent to bring some essential tools and spare parts.

So far I have:

2ea. sparkplugs and a thin-wall spakplug socket (just in case I need to change the plugs and get past the vanity head-bolt bridge I had recently installed lol).

1ea 3/8" and 1/4" stubby ratchets and extensions

1ea. a self-storing multi-bit ratcheting screw driver

1ea. roll black electrical tape

1ea. space-saving 1/2 roll duct-tape

assorted zip-ties

1ea. mechanix gloves

1ea. led flashlight

1ea. first-aid kit

1ea. flat-kit w/2ea. large CO2 cartridges


I own a set of box-end ratcheted/open end wrenches, common size torx, and allen sockets for the stubby ratchets...assorted crescent wrenches...the only question I have is which of these to add to the kit without taking the WHOLE set and only add unnecessary weight and bulk? I'm placing these in a roll tool pouch low in one of the saddlebags.

What spare fuses should I bring? ALL of my headlights, taillights, and turn sigs are LEDs, so I imagine I don't have to take spares for them. I guess what I'm asking is what are HDs known to occasionally break and need on road-trips to get going again down on the road? Hell...I might even bring my aluminum gasoline-approved cylinder that carries 2-quarts, just in case I goof and end up on the far side of nowhere near a gas station! :D

LOL...I'm laughing at myself thinking that maybe I'm over-thinking this for a 7-day solo trip...and I do have Premier RV/Motorcycle service with AAA, so its not like I'd be stranded for very long and have to fend off wolves and bears on the route I'm taking (got my super-light Ti .38+P buddy and great defensive ammo with me ;))...and I imagine there'd be HD dealerships along the way just in case. I just want to be as self-sufficient/efficient as possible in the event I run into mechanical problems. I don't know for sure if there'd be cellphone reception in an area I might happen to unfortunately break down. I'd be really SOL if its a majorly electrical breakdown :(. Its a great thing that my RGS has been trouble-free for the past 7500-miles since new! :D

Let me know what you think...any help and advice from the more experienced will be noted and appreciated. THANKS!
 

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I think that you could just about open your own dealership with what you are bringing along. You got it covered well.

Only two dealerships that you may run across. Zion Harley in Washington, UT on the north side, and Grand Canyon Harley near Flagstaff, AZ.
 

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Don' worry you and your bike will be fine.
Don't overload the bike with a bunch of stuff you will not need.
I have the tool kit that came with my bike from HD and I also carry a tool kit from Cruz Tools http://www.cruztools.com which is a nice tool kit. The good thing is I never had to use any of the tools when riding the bike at anytime.
I also have a Leatherman multi-tool http://www.leatherman.com that I carry all the time and I carry a few zip ties and some electrical tape.
Other then that you just need a cell phone and money in what ever form you decide on, cash/credit/debit will help you more then anything.
I put riding gear in my right saddlebag such as jackets and hooded sweat shirts then all my clothes go in my T-bag, the left saddlebag is reserved for items that I would need to access more often such as a camera, disc brake lock, gloves, snacks & water etc.
 
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