Phoenix to San Antonio - 'Fall'ing in love with my first SS1000

I made this trip in September, heading to a long time friends house in New Braunfels for a rally - the wife and daughter followed the next day in the truck, so we could have a little fun in San Antonio while we were there.

As I've just received my IBA cert, I figured I should post something about it. :-D

We did the Alamo - we did the riverwalk - we did the natural bridge caverns - we did the national museum of the pacific war (totally awesome - well worth the trip) in Fredriksburg - we ate all the really good food and really enjoyed ourselves (wife and daughter both want to go back again)

This is my first SS1000, although I've completed long days (+800 miles) before - this is also my first long day/trip on this particular scooter. I bought this scooter just last year -

Pre-flight maintenance/work:

new tires, front and back
Rebuilt the (leaking) brake calipers front and rear
new brake pads, front and rear - never re-use old pads, under any circumstances.
Flushed the brake and clutch lines, all around.
Oil Change
Radiator coolant level check

In flight navigation/entertainment/systems:

Garmin Nuvi GPS in a RAM medium Aquabox 6000

Cell phone w/ bluetooth headphones for music/radio, back up navigation etc -

Ran a battery tender type (SAE) connection from the battery to a power tap - this supplies a connection to a 12VDC lighter socket in the left saddlebag. This ran a charger for my cell phone, as well as providing a connection in case I need to run either jumper cables in/out or needing to connect my air compressor.

Driving lights from Amazon: These were absolutely awesome...

Part # HGN-1047 - these are now $19.99

10 liter (2.5 Gallon) jerry can style gas can, metric socket set, phillips/slotted screwdriver, vise grips, gerber MultiTool, small funnel, slime micro compressor, zip ties, electrical tape, stock tool roll, stop n go tire plug kit, handful of granola bars, 2 liter camelbak... Paper map of Arizona, NM and Texas, along with a detail map of San Antonio and surrounding area.

The only thing I needed out of all of this, was the gas can. (see below) Lesson learned -

I departed home (San Tan Valley, AZ) at about 230am MST.

I arrived in New Braunfels TX, by way of El Paso, Pecos, Odessa and finally San Antonio at a little after midnight MST (about 220am local time).

Boy - I'm glad I brought that extra gas can... Here's the map of the ride (two separate maps, as google maps is stupid and won't allow all the stops...)

1070(+/-) miles - 22 hours (almost exactly) due to really bad traffic around El Paso and Wickett, and horrible, horrible headwinds on the way to Odessa. Intermittent rain, lightning, thunder, wind, cold (down in to the low 50's in spots) and also some of the best riding I've ever had while I was down there. Check out "the three sisters" when you have a minute.

But I made it.

Things that are noteworthy -

1) Next time, get an electric vest. It gets >cold< in the desert just after dawn...
2) Airhawk saddle pads are worth more than their weight in gold. I had zero issues with pressure points or posterior pain on this ride.
3) The camelbak made all the difference. I refilled the 2 liter bladder 4 1/2 times... Staying well hydrated kept me fresh and coherent through the whole ride.
4) Next time, don't do it on a V-Twin cruiser. I find that I prefer either an ADV style bike or Touring bike (Goldwing etc).
5) driving lights (even $25 ones from amazon - fricking amazing) are worth more than their weight in gold - I closely avoided a deer strike because I could see... and I saw other deer far enough away to slow down and let them do their thing. This also, I believe, contributed to higher visibility during the ride - there were a number of times that folks would start to drift my way, check the mirrors and notice that there was a blazing star behind them and get back in their own lane.
6) always bring spare gas... always always always. I was riding the 20 towards Pecos (horrible headwinds and intermittent deluge type rain), and thought... "Gee, I haven't seen a gas station in a couple of whiles"... not 10 seconds later, it starts to cough and complain at me... so I stopped, dumped my reserve into the tank, and kept going. 2 miles later, beyond a couple of tall hills, there was a gas station. "Really? you couldn't wait 5 more minutes to do this to me??" I'm still laughing about this... But I'm glad I had that reserve...
7) Make sure your GPS (along with all other electrical farkles) is actually charging, >before< you depart on your trip... My GPS died about 4 hours in to the ride when it said the battery was depleted... I was miffed... I was eventually able to get a different charger (almost no one on the road has a mini usb connector/charger any more) and have it charge in the saddlebag while riding... which came in handy for the last leg of the trip, in the dark and in the middle of the night... but I was peeved that my charging cable into the GPS holder, wasn't charging things. It was passing just enough current to fool the GPS into thinking that there was power...

I'll do this again - and more - but I'm getting something more... comfortable... for long distance riding before I do so.

And this is travelin' bloo... ready to go.

Hydration stop in Fort Hancock Texas.

I'm open to questions and comments - I don't know everything (just ask my wife)




Premier Member
I recently went to New Braunfels! (Though from NC) Almost the exact same issues ~ headwinds (no matter which way I went, the headwinds were stupid), fuel....hahah, and I didn’t have the extra lights but the deer are everywhere! Congrats

Brian Thorn

Premier Member

My first SS1K was also from San Tan Valley (Johnson Ranch) to Hutto TX (just to the east of Austin). It was also the wife's first SS1K. Welcome to the madness.

If you want to try your hand at rallying, there is a sorta-rally April 13th up in Kingman. Just google Kactus Kilo for the details. It's easy-peasy for a newbie... the route is pre-determined and you'll hit several Tour Of Honor locations and then back to Kingman. You can do 1000 miles or do the 1200+ miles route. Can you find a Wing by then? If so, you can bring the wife along. :)

ps. There is an AZ Beemers (open to all brands) ride up to the Payson Airport this coming Saturday for breakfast. Details here:
Thanks for the invite - I'm currently tearing Bloo down - I was on my way home last week, something >heavy< hit the radiator... I know Bloo runs on gas and is not steam powered - so I knew something was wrong immediately. The radiator is going to finish getting pulled this weekend then we'll see where we stand.