Excellent report and very impressive ride! Well done.
- 4,692km total distance
- Dropped the bike 4 times
- tightened the chain 5 times (setting 2.5 to 8.5)
- 2 Oil Changes
- overtook 3 vehicles
My Bike and what I had with me
So here's what my 2008 TW200 was set up with for the trip;
- Cycleracks front and rear racks
- Makeshift panniers out of ammo boxes mounted to the cycleracks plates
- Left one held food and other camping supplies
- Had a Koplin 1G aux tank mounted to it as well
- Right one held extra parts and supplies
- Tool tube with various tools in case of breakdowns.
- Tusk Handguards
- Jimbo Shield
- Stock 14/50 Sprockets
- Stock skiplate (which is now mangled dearly)
- Stock carburetor jetting
- Wolfman Duffle Bag with all my necessities
So Here's the Plan, Drive my TW from Vancouver Island to Toronto. I've been wanted to head back east for a little while now. Originally I planned to leave about a month later then I did. Unfortunately that had changed and I needed to get back with family sooner than later. And since I was already planning on moving I had already gotten rid of most my items in BC. I decided in one day to tie up my loose ends, pack my bags and jump on my bike and ride out the following day. The Idea was to drive about 500km a day and then do some off road exploring to find a sweet campsite for the night.
Map of Route
Day One - Nanaimo, BC to Savona, BC
Wake up and catch the 8:30 AM Ferry from Departure Bay, Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay, Vancouver. Once I arrived in Vancouver I made my way to Marks work warehouse to grab some carhartts for the ride. stopped in to say bye to a few friends, and off on my way I went. Vancouver is a lively, beautiful city and it was somewhat sad to see it fade into the distance as I drove away. I'll be back someday though. Plus I had nothing but huge mountains in front of me the egged me on to explore. Once you've past the first set of mountains you almost hit a desert, I managed to get a few photos of the scenery here. I found a place to camp just outside of Kamloops, My plan was to go into Kamloops the following morning and find some sort of cushion. After that first 500km my butt was pretty sore and I didn't want that bothering me the rest of the trip.
Off the ferry In Vancouver and Into the city I go.
First nights camp in Savona, right beside 'Dead Mans River'.
Day Two - Kamloops, BC to Banff National Park, AB
Drove Into Kamloops in the morning and Visited a couple bike shop before getting to the Harley Davidson dealership and picked up an Air Hawk, and I am quite delighted I did, my butt thanked me almost immediately. This was probably the most mountainous day of the trip. Theres nothing like coming up to the rockies though. They're just towering above you. As I drove up into the rockies it was getting late I did a bit of exploring looking for a place to camp. The first trail i went down I came up to a group of elk. and wow, they are much bigger animals then I thought. I had come around a corner on the trail and there were three or four elk about 15 feet in front of me. Kind of just stared at each other for a while then they booted off. The males were definitely taller than me sitting on my bike. Getting back onto the main road a few km's down I found an old campground that had been shut down and decided the mounds of dirt blocking the entrances couldn't stop me. Drove through a couple sets of those and found a nice place to camp for the night.
Approaching the Rockies
Day Three - Banff, AB to Medicine Hat, AB
Drove out of the rockies and into calgary. Kept looking back at the rockies as I knew I wouldn't be seeing any sort of elevation changes for some time. Bit of a drive into Calgary where I found a shop and grabbed some oil and borrowed their oil pan and did an oil change in their parking lot. It had been a little while since my last oil change so I figured I'd do one near the beginning of the trip and another at the end. Other than that it was On to the great straight line through the prairies. Plugged in some tunes and away I went.
Last nights camp site.
high up in the rockies.
Good bye mountains :'(
Day Four - Medicine Hat, AB to Wolseley, SK
Another grueling day through the prairies, Honestly I don't even remember too much from these few days going through the prairies. I did almost a province a day and just rode the whole day through. I think it was this day that I had found a place to set up camp near some train tracks that I had thought were not in use, but I was pleasantly surprised as every hour or so the ground shook from passing trains.
Day Five - Wolseley, SK to Winnipeg, MB
Also the last day Driving through the prairies. I was chasing a storm the entire day, Caught up to it near the end of the day and just decided to grab a hotel for the night as I didn't want to hit the storm driving through Winnipeg. Took the evening to Relax and get some good rest.
Not a turn in sight..
Day Six - Winnipeg, MB to Dryden, ON
After a morning of driving through the last of the prairies I finally crossed into Ontario. Actually I stopped in for lunch right when I got into Ontario and met a fellow from NewFoundland that was driving all the way out to Vancouver. He said he was about 3 or 4 weeks into his trip as he was taking more time to really explore. He had mentioned he met two other TWers in newfoundland. I imagine this was 'Dubster' and his Brother on their Loop of NFLD/Labrador. I think His name was Tyler, He was riding a Honda XR650 Maybe?
Logging roads are fun places to camp.
Day Seven - Dryden, ON to Thunder Bay, ON
It was really surprising the scenery change once you hit Ontario. Almost immediately you're in the forest surrounded by countless small lakes. Even after driving through BC and the rockies, I think the most enjoyable part was Northern Ontario. I had no idea it was so beautiful up there. There were so many beautiful beaches it was hard not to stop at a few and explore. I dropped my bike here once. Just got the front end on an awkward angle over some big rocks.
Day Eight - Thunder bay, ON to Sault Ste. Marie, ON
Again a great day of riding. Beaches galore. I actually spotted a beach that went way out on the water where you were surrounded by water at the end. So I decided to take my TW all the way out and stop there and relax and swim. I dropped my bike three times on that expedition. Loose sand is really fun yet really challenging to drive on. I had a blast. Also mashed up my skidplate again going over some logs on the beach when my rear wheel dug in a lot further than I expected.
Gotta love beaches.
Day Nine - Sault Ste. Marie, ON to Manitoulin Island, ON
This seemed like a longer day. A lot of driving with a few breaks here and there at lookout points and picnic areas. Unfortunate planning on my behalf but I drove the most interesting part of Manitoulin Island at night. I knew I was near my destination so I Just wanted to get that last leg of the trip out of the way.
Drove through a few giant fog patches, the whole lake was just fog.
Day Ten - South Baymouth, ON to Fergus, ON (Home for now)
Took the ferry around noon and drove straight to Fergus. It’s so surprising how the scenery seemed to just come to a stop. I was back in the ontario I knew of prior to my trip, Flat, Straight roads. to some extent it felt like I was back in the prairies, except there were tree’s here. Regardless though It was nice to see family and to be back somewhere that felt like home.
Lined up for the ferry from the Island. These guys thought my bike would be uncomfortable compared to their Harleys.
So I did this huge drive, Loved it, But heres what I would change.
Sprockets, I want to be able to cruise comfortably about 15km/h faster. Right now its comfortable at 85km/h getting that closer to 100km/h would be ideal. A couple times big rigs scared the crap out of me with how close they followed. I don't want to Loose the low end though. I think I'll be looking into a dual sprocket setup. 15T front would be the first to change and then maybe a 52T outter (should act similar to the stock 14/50 which worked for me, Input anyone?) and then get a lower maybe 44T sprocket for primary use. I'd upgrade my chain to a nice O-ring chain as well, especially as mine is old, and stretched to the 9's.
Tires, The TW203/204's are looking nicer everytime I look at them. More comfortable on road, and I'm sure they'll manage for the off road I do. I'm not one to tackle giant hill climbs or anything. My friends KLR has the same style and he doesn’t have a problem for what we tackle.
Front rack, Barely used the cycleracks front rack as I didn’t want to block my front light being on the road so much. I want to get one that sits above the light like the Manracks or TCI one. This way I would have an excuse to grab a supermoto front fender too.
Skid plate, So its official, I've scratched my engine through the stock skid plate. I'm not impressed. I used my wrench to fix the skid plate a couple times on the trip, it really is like tin foil. Thinking about grabbing a Ricochet as it seems pretty functional and affordable.
Rear shock, I'm interested in the idea of a slightly stiffer rear shock. It got pretty low there with my gear (approx. 70lbs) and myself on there. Mind you I’m only 150lbs but I think a slightly stiffer rear would be fun.
Excellent report and very impressive ride! Well done.
Only a fool would attempt it, and God help me, I am that fool!
Very very nice ride report! Thank you so much!
That is an impressive ride! Thanks for the write up.
I read every word of your report, and thanks for sharing.
Well, that's one way to get to know your TW a little better!
Very impressive, I enjoyed your write up.
2011 TW200 - Sold - after 9700 miles and 1,000,000 smiles. So long Tee Dub!
2012 KLR650 - Sold
2013 Tiger Explorer XC
2014 CB500X - RRP L3
Awesome ride and report! Beautiful pics!! I like your sense of adventure!!! Thanks for taking us along on your ride, I really enjoyed it!!!!
My handle is B-dub, I ride a T-dub, and drive a V-dub.
Great report, anything you wanted to bring but didn't have enough room for? You did such a big stretch without a ton of gear. Glad you made it home safe. Thanks for the great reading.
Cycleracks Rear Rack, Tinman Tim's Side Racks [THANKS!], Action Packer Rear Trunk, Texsport waterproof luggage, 20w LED Spot Beam headlight, LED Bulbs for Rear Brake Light and Dash/Speedo, 12v marine auxiliary port, Coleman Seat Pad, Alloy Boltz kit.
"I will prepare and someday my chance will come." -A. Lincoln
This is an incredibly impressive trip! I am impressed by both you and by the TW.
Not many have done rides that long on a stock TW. And with stock gearing! Thumbs up!
In distance, this ranks up there with and Lizrdbrth & Ronnydog’s Ironbutt and Michael Kraus’s Washington to Minnesota ride.
It sounds like the TW performed great with no problems. Not bad for 196cc’s and considering it was probably revving along pretty well for a good part of the trip.
Stock front tire plus sand =
Nice job on the photographs as well.
Thank you so much for sharing the trip with us and providing the details.
Great ride report! Overtaking 3 vehicles in 4692 kilometers on a TW is very impressive. In 6000 miles, I've only passed one elderly couple on a Harley trike doing about 35 mph.