General Harley Davidson Chat Forum to discuss general Harley Davidson issues, topics, and experiences.
Sponsored by:
Sponsored by:

tips on planning multi-trips for 2018...

Old 12-14-2017, 09:27 AM
Magnum50 is offline
New Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Naples, Florida
Posts: 50
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default tips on planning multi-trips for 2018...

Hey, new rider here... 3 years learning on a 750, got a HD Ultra Limited beginning of this year.

Planning 10 trips next year, recently retired going to all the track races for the IMSA racing season. Living in Florida, the first 2, (Daytona then Sebring), will be easy... but trying to plan ahead for rides to Mid-Ohio, Road America, Watkins-Glen etc etc...

Most will be highway riding on these trips. I'm thinking 6 hour riding with stops every 2 hours for gas/break, that would make what, about 50 MPH give or take, (weather/break adjustments included), that's 300 miles a day, 6 hour ride??? that sound about right?

Got my camping gear, so looking to either camp or hotel for the night depending again on location, weather etc etc...

How could I determine approx. 300 miles on the HD planner to locate and reserve a hotel or find a camping spot in advance?

I see the total distance, and can see how to see the hotels but need to know which one to reserve...if you understand my question.

Any other tips or advise would be greatly appreciated... THX in advance.
Old 12-14-2017, 11:05 AM
Spartanden's Avatar
Spartanden is online now
Outstanding HDF Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Spartan Country, Michigan
Posts: 2,693
Received 524 Likes on 409 Posts

I would be a bit leery of reserving spots along the way.... my riding partner and I will ride until we are tired and want to rest, then find a place to stay. you might find pressure to ride until you get to your destination, or you may find that "I could have gone further..." Nothing wrong with either, I'm just saying ride your pace and see how things fall. If you're one who needs organization, then reservations will be fine. I would keep my options open. we usually get a good 8 hours riding in.... mileage varies on the roads/routes taken. two lane a bit nicer but slower...freeways fast and boring! we also seem to stop every couple hours to pee and stretch...gas is about 200 miles. You will vary.... just don't get too rigid. enjoy your travels!!!
The following 2 users liked this post by Spartanden:
Buck05 (12-18-2017), Magnum50 (12-14-2017)
Old 12-14-2017, 12:22 PM
cacomly's Avatar
cacomly is offline
Road Captain
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Philly PA
Posts: 707
Received 177 Likes on 145 Posts

I'm with Spartanden, for the most part I go with the flow. I ride all over, either cover lots of ground in a da rides (600-1000 miles a day) or flower sniffing enjoy the sites days (300-600 miles a day)

I rarely book a room in advance unless it is at a destination that I plan to be at and I want a specific hotel or location, or if I am aware of an event that will result in all the rooms being booked. I do typically have a distance in mind and while drinking my morning coffee find a location and use a site such as Travelocity or Expedia to get an idea of room availability and pricing. If I am certain I want to stay there or if there is any question of room availability I may book the room for that night. That prevents the dreaded "only smoking rooms left" or "only one Jacuzzi suite left" and I happen to be traveling with a buddy of mine. Once I have found a room I will use my GPS to see if there are any restaurants within walking distance since I don't normally like to ride to a restaurant while on a trip and eat in my riding gear especially if I am hot and sweaty.

However, barring something like that I typically will ride for 1/2 - 3/4 of the day and then decide about where I will stop, break out the cell phone and search for a room where I want to stop and book it then and there. I have ridden until 11pm and booked a room in a hotel parking lot, grabbed my gear, and walked into the lobby to check in. Just don't try to book with a phone after midnight as the rooms will be for the following night.

If booking in advance, remember that you can normally cancel up to 4 or 6 pm.

Now if you are the planning type and have to plan your hotels out there is nothing wrong with that either. Do what you are more comfortable with so you enjoy the trip. I have some friends I ride with who plan each fuel stop.

As for distance, that is up to the individual rider. Plan the ride for the distance you are comfortable with. 300 miles is a good place to start for planning purposes. I suggest plan a trip with the mindset that you will be loose and flexible and see how it works out. As time goes by you will find the distance that works best for you. You will likely find that distance generally increases for a period of time and also that some days you want to keep going and others you want to quit after 200 miles.

Now camping throws in a twist, you may need to do some advance planning if you want to camp due to the location of camp grounds and the varied conditions. I have not looked to see if there is a phone app for campgrounds but there likely is. While I like to camp I personally don't camp on trips as I need a bed to rejuvenate myself for the next day. But I have been known to do so for some events

Any questions ask away!
The following users liked this post:
Magnum50 (12-14-2017)
Old 12-14-2017, 02:54 PM
GRWHD's Avatar
GRWHD is online now
Road Warrior
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Everett WA.
Posts: 1,475
Received 169 Likes on 148 Posts

What kind of riding are these 10 trips going to be/have?
Are you going for the riding or the destination (or both)?
If I don't know the area or the roads I like to do a little research with sites like:
Once I have a destination road (or place) I try to pick as many good/great riding roads I can find to and from.
Then I do the math taking into consideration what kind of day I want to have.
Pick a place to stop that has what you want (food,bed,drink...).

I planned a trip for four of us that work together two years ago.
Three of the four like to toss a few back after a day of riding.
So I picked locations were the bar was close to the hotel so they did not have to worry about it (walking distance).
The rides were not to long (for the most part) and lots of fun, we had a blast.
I also turned my wife loose (she likes to plan) and she checked out the reviews on the hotels/restaurants/bars.
Keeping in mind the guys I went with like to drink.
So she made sure every night's hotel was close to local establishments.
Worked out great, every night, no complaints from the three guys that went on the trip.

When I am on my yearly ride to visit my father, kids and grand kids (riding by myself) I like to crank some miles on some of the legs.
So I plan it that way then I get to spend more time visiting and doing some local rides.

Once I retire I have allot of country I want to see.
Old 12-14-2017, 03:46 PM
son of the hounds's Avatar
son of the hounds
son of the hounds is offline
Outstanding HDF Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Idaho Panhandle
Posts: 2,896
Received 663 Likes on 431 Posts

a. 350 is a go max for daily riding if you are riding for more than a week.
b. Sometimes I book ahead, usually to save money if places that are busy in season. It also locks in low rates. If I don't book ahead, about 1PM I figure out how far I want to ride that day and call a motel or use a discount app to book a room. I've arrived many times to find the motel fully booked, but my room is waiting for me at a discounted rate. About the only motel discount now is Vet or gov or coupon, but on the Oregon coast Monday I got a $ 15.00 discount just for asking, twice and nicely.
c. I like to leave early and get off the road by 4. That way I am fully rested for the next days ride.
d. We use the pools and hot tubs when available, especially in places that get hot.
e. I don't always stay hydrated enough, but I try to be aware. I watch my caffeine intake (One big good mug) as it makes me want to stop a pee and stay away from colas at lunch.
f. I use the doppler weather app. Many times I delay my departure and totally miss a big thunderstorm. We got over beartooth dry when bikes that left before us and after us got hammered. We saw the gap in the cels and realized that staying put in Red Lodge of an extra 50 minutes let cross even with new snow on top, the road was almost bare. Bikers we talked to who had raced out had to stop 3/4 of the way up in 3" of hail. They had to follow a truck's tire depressions into a parking area. 50 minutes later the road was mostly bare and an hour after that is was hailing again. In the mountains or in areas with severe weather, a doppler app is a great tool.
g. Take great, not good, but great rain gear and a helmet with a face shield.

There are two kinds of riders, those that have a destination and those whose joy is the ride. We prefer to make the ride the most important thing, taking back roads we have not been on before and getting lost. But in places near National parks and destinations, we book ahead. Usually we get a great motel at very attractive rates even in places like MOAB.When we camp, we frequently camp off the grid. Out west, this is still possible but getting more difficult as access roads and abandoned farms get gates.
The following users liked this post:
Magnum50 (12-14-2017)
Old 12-14-2017, 05:21 PM
NORTY FLATZ is offline
Extreme HDF Member
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 10,005
Received 1,565 Likes on 1,247 Posts

Traveling via motorcycle isn't like a car. You'll spend more time in the saddle covering the same car/truck distance. Plan on 7 hours to cover 300 mlles. Maybe even 8.
The following users liked this post:
Magnum50 (12-14-2017)
Old 12-14-2017, 06:06 PM
Magnum50 is offline
New Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Naples, Florida
Posts: 50
Received 1 Like on 1 Post

Thx, all good info... ya, these 2018 trips are actually more the destination then the ride, almost all highway to get from Florida to my race, stay (camping) a couple of days, then back home, 3 to 4 weeks later...repeat.

Next year, 2019 or 2020 will be my four corners tour around the US, with the ride being the objective, the destination is just 1 or 2 night stays with old army buddies all over the US of A.

What worries me about not planning... is ending a ride with no where to stay or go for the night. I will have my tent and sleeping bag but still, kinda got to know where your allowed to stop and stay the night.

Thanks again for the info.

I did a small 2 hours away, Sebring, practice run last weekend for the historic 12 hour race... learned a lot for my IMSA tour. (tried to do it without a tent, sucked, bought a small 3 man tent once I got home., lol)


Last edited by Magnum50; 12-14-2017 at 06:10 PM. Reason: picture
Old 12-14-2017, 06:22 PM
HenryT's Avatar
HenryT is offline
Road Master
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Kane County IL
Posts: 795
Received 73 Likes on 61 Posts

Yeah good input from others so far. For me when younger and in better shape 500 mile days was not too bad. Now in my mid 50's and in less than stellar shape I try and plan on like 250-350 mile days.

Me I'm the kind of guy who pretty much needs a plan. Sometimes this works out well but can sometimes backfire if you find there are better places to stay once you get to you destination that day. I don't want to get to my stop and find no rooms available at the good places and have to stay in some bed bug infested s*it hole. I'm not big on camping on the road at least in tents anymore so hotels are my choice. Some research here, I like Trip Advisor should steer you in the right direction. To me, I'm on vacation so spending some extra money on a nice hotel is worth it.

Last edited by HenryT; 12-14-2017 at 06:25 PM.
The following users liked this post:
Magnum50 (12-14-2017)
Old 12-14-2017, 06:50 PM
giacomo56's Avatar
giacomo56 is offline
Road Warrior
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ft Myers FL
Posts: 1,520
Received 169 Likes on 134 Posts

I like the's the ride not the destination.....when I am alone, in groups it's nice to plan ahead and as everyone said 300-350 miles a day is plenty. Although, we did a six week european vacation and never had a hotel booked till we got to the destination, it worked really well.....only time it didn't work was durimg the saturday we found ourselves in Omaha during football hotel for 100 miles of that damn game.

We usually made reservations while we stopped for lunch....give us enough time to look and feel the amount of time we had to stop for the the way...see you on the road.....SGS from Six Bends HD
The following users liked this post:
Magnum50 (12-15-2017)
Old 12-14-2017, 07:50 PM
jbfb's Avatar
jbfb is offline
Road Captain
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 572
Received 113 Likes on 86 Posts

Lot of the good stuff has already been said.
On top of all that, you look a bit young to be retired. God bless ya! Glad you made it out.

Pay special attention to big event weekends or holidays when you're riding through certain places. In those cases it's probably better to book ahead and cancel if you need to vs finding out when it's too late that everything in a 10 mile radius is booked because of the Battlestar Galactica Convention.
Maybe join the bigger hotel chain loyalty programs. Using it will get you points and sometimes they make it easier if you have to cancel.
The following 2 users liked this post by jbfb:
cacomly (12-15-2017), Magnum50 (12-15-2017)

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: tips on planning multi-trips for 2018...

Contact Us - About Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: