Preparations for my bike trip to the USA

Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic

Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic

This has been a little wish of mine for ages and now that I (seem to) have the money and the time I have decided to go for it. My mental plans started about a year ago when I realised I really needed to pass my motorcycle test n the UK. Not a really silly thought. I met a guy in the lake district, when I was doing my 3-peak challenge, who told me that you could, for an extra fee, just drive in the States on a car driving licence.
However I asked the rental people in the US who told me that many states are now closing this supposed loophole and that you will have to have a valid motorcycle licence for the type of bike you will be riding.

Last year I started the process to get my licence and completed the CBT and then did my theory exam, Module 1 and Module 2 tests.

Me at Motorcycle Training Wales OK, at stage 2 now and booked by ticket to Chicago through Virgin. I was advised to set off from Denver, Colorado by the author of a very useful biking blog, Guy Boutin. However the flight prices to Colorado seem to be very high and often involve an approximate 33-35 hour journey (not always) and with 1-2 stops and are quite expensive. BA has even a direct flight to Denver but would cost me about £760!! No way!! I found a return ticket by Virgin Atlantic direct to Chicago, Illinois from Heathrow for £520 – bargain! By the way, Virgin Atlantic is by now means a budget airline and the quality of service is very good as I found out when I used them for my skydiving trip to Florida.

I have now also booked my motorcycle with Eaglerider and I hope to get the Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic, similar to the bike on the photo. The second choice is the much larger (and heavier) Electra Glide that does have much more default luggage space but I would prefer something a little lighter.

Haven’t really planed a trip like this before so there will be a lot to learn, I have now also received some ultralight camping gear. Even though I will travel with a bike you shouldn’t overload it as it will elevate the centre of gravity and make the bike more unstable and difficult to manoeuvre. Basically get the lightest gear you can afford and something that will be easy to assemble. I found the Terra Nova tens pretty good, there are two quite light ones, the more expensive 1.25kg Laser Competition 2 ad the cheaper 1.79kg Zephyros 2. The price difference was £240 for the basically same design and slight weight difference.

Am am still trying to get my head around travel insurance but everything including the US is going to be more expensive as there is no social health care to speak of.