First Overnight Motorcycle Trip

First Overnight Motorcycle Trip 1

Last week, I took a motorcycle trip with a friend in the New Jersey and Connecticut area. It was not just a fun adventure, but significant for me in that “touring” (luggage, overnights, etc.) is a big dimension of motorcycling for me.

Oddly enough, when not doing a trip, I like to ride alone – more often than not.

I certainly have the right motorcycle for it: a 1993 Suzuki GSX1100G standard-style bike. Upright seating position. I mean bolt-upright, like sitting in a chair (not laid back like a cruiser, and not laying down over the tank like a sportbike). Being a large-displacement inline four cylinder plus a shaft drive, makes it one of the last of a style called UJM or ‘universal Japanese motorcycle’. All four major Japanese bike companies copied each others ideas ‘quite thoroughly’ on this. I went with the Suzuki.

Suzuki Logo

Its a heavy bike (~600 pounds) with a significant seat height (~31 inches). I’m 5′ 6″ with a 30″ inseam. You do the math. I’m on my toes at a stoplight and the bike isn’t light. Having said this, it’s quite awesome on the highway. Being in the left lane of the super-slab with 53′ long trucks passing by is no problem. The engine is tuned for low-end torque and passing ability. It’s quick, but it’s not like a sportbike.

The sad part is while the bike was made for a hard-luggage option, the bike and the options were discontinued soon after I bought it. Now at this point, years later, I made a big effort hunting down a quality aftermarket set, but all told it would cost around $1,000. An email to the German manufacturer I looked at had some leftover inventory for this bike. But, I decided to go a different way by using soft luggage (strapped all over the bike).

The soft luggage worked quite well, actually. All of it is from Rapid Transit, and it’s really good stuff. Tank bag, saddle bags, tail bag. Nice.

Rapid Transit 659-5001 Motorcycle Tank Bag (Automotive)


  • Wind and Water Resistant 1000D nylon construction; Scratch Guard rubberized contact fabric
  • Magnetic mounting system; Integrated tank protector
  • Backpack convertible; Hydration Ready (optional bladder); Rain cover
  • Audio Ready built-in cable port access; Map window; Cell phone and Eyewear storage
  • Reflective stripe

List Price:$57.60 USD
New From:$57.60 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock
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Rapid Transit (859-5060 Commuter Saddle Bag (Automotive)


  • Bag maintains shape, has a lined interior; Rain cover included
  • Attaches using Velcro straps and quick release buckles; Side pockets for storing smaller items
  • Heat resistant bottom panels
  • Protective material prevents slipping and marking; Reflective logos
  • Main compartment measures: 18.5″ L X 7.5″ W X 10.5″ H; Holds 23.87 Liters per side

List Price:$70.04 USD
New From:$70.04 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock
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Rapid Transit (859-5070 Platoon Expandable Tail Bag (Automotive)


  • Bag maintains shape; Has a lined interior; Rain cover included
  • Attached with Heavy Duty Elastic Strap with Hooks; Optional Shoulder Strap available
  • Protective material prevents slipping and marking
  • Side pockets for storing smaller items; Reflective logos
  • Main compartment measures: 16″ L X 12.5″ W X 8.75″ H Standard, 16″ L X 12.5″ W X 11.75″ H; Expanded and Holds 28.67 Liters, 38.50 Liters expanded

List Price:$86.98 USD
New From:$86.98 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock
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Yes, I set up my battery-operated, weather- and shock-resistant GPS (a Garmin eTrex Vista HCx) on the handlebar.

Garmin eTrex 30x 010-01508-10 Handheld Navigator (Wireless Phone Accessory)


  • UPGRADED DISPLAY – Features a 2.2″ 65K color sunglight readable display offering increased resolution (240 x 320 pixels). Physical dimensions: 2.1″ x 4.0″ x 1.3″ (5.4 x 10.3 x 3.3 cm)
  • LOAD MORE MAPS – Large 3.7 GB of internal memory and microSD card slot lets you load a variety of maps, including TOPO 24K, HuntView, BlueChart g2, City Navigator NT and BirdsEye Satellite Imagery (subscription required)
  • PRELOADED BASEMAP – Includes a worldwide basemap with shaded relief
  • BUILT-IN SENSORS – eTrex 30x adds a built-in 3-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass and a barometric altimeter which tracks changes in pressure to pinpoint your precise altitude, and you even can use it to plot barometric pressure over time
  • WIRELESS – Wirelessly share your waypoints, tracks, routes and geocaches with other compatible devices -simply press “send” to transfer your information -also wirelessly connects to compatible Garmin devices, including VIRB and accessory sensors.

List Price:Price Not Listed
New From:$198.58 USD In Stock
Used from:$198.58 USD In Stock
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This was emphatically setup up just as a guide, with a nice bunch of “waypoints” (pins in a map) programmed it. We weren’t led-around by it!

Any, yes that is beer on ice in the sink. We couldn’t pack a cooler on the motorcycles; how else was it going to be kept cold?

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