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Good article. I currently ride a 2012 Victory Crossroads with the hard saddle bags. With 21 gallon capacity per bag I have found I can travel for a nine or 10 days with no additional luggage. One big factor in that is that I wear full gear. I don't wear my riding pants as overpants so I only pack a couple pair of jeans. Definitely cuts down on packing.

Since you mentioned fatigue, I have also found wearing ear plugs cut down on the fatigue. I couldn't tell from your article if you use them. I resisted wearing them for a couple of years and now I use them all the time. One day last summer I hadn't put them in while riding Arkansas roads. We decided to try to make it home that day which ended up being a 575 mile day. Everything was OL until we got on a four-lane higher speed highway. After 100 miles on it both of us I had to stop. We were feeling really fatigued. We put our earplugs in and I hadn't ridden 10 miles before noticing a huge difference. I was good to go the last 200 miles!

Dixie Stayner
Prairie City, IA
Monday, March 3, 2014
Editor Response
Thanks for the feedback. I now use earplugs and yes, it definitely makes a difference. I even splurged on a pair of custom fitted earplugs after a few years of using the foam type. I swear by the custom earplugs and even wrote a review of them.

I recommend every rider who travels long distances get earplugs. It's kind of the "veteran" riders secret.
Genevieve Schmitt
We started back when with a 350 Honda (no bags), had a couple of other bikes (soft bags) including a 1500 Kawasaki with LeatherLyke hard bags before going to a 1500 Gold Wing with buil- in hard storage. I road for years as a passenger before finally getting a 400 Suzuki Burgman with built-in storage under the seat.

After more than 44 years of riding, hubby is now considering a smaller, lower bike than his Gold Wing, but has been spoiled by the available built-in storage of a touring motorcycle. He too uses the back seat for storage and back support when taking cross country or camping trips.

PS: On the Burgman I can get a 3-man tent, ground sheet and sleeping bag under my seat, and leave the dash for rain gear and use the back of my seat for soft luggage and a cooler. Not camping, the 2-full face underseat helmet space leaves plenty of room for my apparel and I put my first aid kit in the dash. Oh, an XL pizza fits under the seat :) That's another story.

Carolyn Overcash
Cooleemee, NC
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
I have been riding my '02 Yamaha V Star 1100 for four years now and would love to get another bike with some modern upgrades. My biggest dilemma is no matter what I look at (unless it is another cruiser), I will have to have it custom lowered. Even the BMW factory lowered is still a 30-inch seat height. I envy all you tall ladies. I will stick with my cruiser for now and happy to be riding. No complaints.

Lynn
FL
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Yes, this is an oldie, but goodie!

I wish more women (especially my wife!) would consider trading up to a touring bike, instead of going half-way with a big bike with saddlebags and windshields. There is SO much more comfort and convenience built-in to these motorcycles, it makes traveling via motorcycle a completely new experience. We need to get over our fear of how intimidating the big bikes look, and understand that they are engineered to be extremely well-balanced with rider control a number 1 priority.

In response to your comment about fatigue and the margin for error - this can be easily controlled by learning to not push it too far. You said it yourself, that you can go further on the tourers with less fatigue. So, DON'T go farther, and you'll have a reserve of energy for when you arrive at your destination. This applies to everyone on any motorcycle, anyway.

Lastly, I chuckled to myself in observing your pictures - no matter what you were riding, you had every available mounting place filled up with cargo. I do the same thing. If we have it, we will fill it up.

Tricia Szulewski
Bethel, CT
Thursday, January 30, 2014
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