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Adventure Riding Adventure riding, dual sports, and dirt bikes

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May 31st 2017, 11:00 AM   #1
  Jan 2016

  2011 Triumph Daytona 675, 1975 Honda CB550K1
First long distance trip, on sportbikes, to British Columbia

A couple other buddies and I are headed on our first multi day ride on a long weekend at the end of June. We are going to be on sportbikes and naked sportbikes, doing a loop, over 90, up 97 into BC to the Penticton area, over and through Hope, then up north and down through Whistler and Vancouver, then home to the Seattle area. The route is a little over 900 miles, that we plan to cover in about 4 days so we have time to see stuff, and time in case anything doesn't go to plan. Anyone who's ventured up to BC , especially if you've done so on a sportbike, have any tips, tricks, or things to see/avoid up there? One initial wonder is how you go about the border crossing on the bike. Is standard procedure to shut down and remove the helmet? one bike at a time? Do they send bikes into the office by default so we don't block the lane with the process of removing and refitting riding gear? Any morsels of wisdom before this trip are appreciated.

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May 31st 2017, 11:23 AM   #2
 Longrides's Avatar
  Feb 2016
  Skagit Valley

  2007 Ducati Multistrada
That's good trip into eh land. One at a time at the border, helmet off a few questions, then usually just paddle forward put my stuff back on waiting for the wife.

Oh watch your speed up there, they will take your bike for excessive speed I hear, there radar traps are on tripods with a copper standing there shooting radar.

Let your bank know your going up there or your cards won't work.
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Edited by Longrides on May 31st 2017 at 11:28 AM Reason: More info
May 31st 2017, 01:14 PM   #3
 MarvTravis's Avatar
  Jan 2016
  Kirkland, WA

  Kawasaki ZX-14
If you have a DUI on your record, you may be refused entry to Canada.

Crossing the Canadian Border With a DUI ?
May 31st 2017, 01:52 PM   #4
  Jan 2016

  2011 Triumph Daytona 675, 1975 Honda CB550K1
I'll check with my buddies but pretty sure none of us should have any legal complications for entry. Just hoping to keep the crossing smooth and easy so we don't look like newbies. Thanks for the tips so far! I've seen the Mounties before, using some sort of speed distance binocular device that does not use laser or radar (the Valentine One didn't get set off in the car). Good thing I want speeding at the time...

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Jun 1st 2017, 06:01 AM   #5
 MMcN49's Avatar
  Jan 2016
  Small Island Surrounded by Puget Sound

  07 Buell XB12STT, (Two) 12 Suzuki DR650 SE 72BMWR75/5 KIA @ 243K
Been to Canada a bunch of times, never had any issues. At several border crossings they asked if I was carrying a knife. My Swiss army pocket knife was no problem. Don't know what they'll allow but got the sense that knives with bigger blades would be confiscated.
Jun 1st 2017, 10:15 AM   #6
 Brassneck's Avatar
  Apr 2016
  Seattle, WA

  '79 XS650; '01 FZ1
Fun trip, done it (or variances of it) many times over the past 15 yrs!

I would go highway 2 vs. 90... such a better riding road, but that's just my opinion.

Crossing the boarder is simple...helmet off, passport and you're good to go.

If I recall correctly, Canada bans radar detectors...don't get caught with one.

As for speeding & tickets, well....the roads over there are AWESOME!!! It's hard not to speed...great twisties...not a lot of cars, decent pavement!

So back in 2010 I got pulled over doing about 90mph (that's like 140kph)... on my way to Nelson. I just got a fine, and paid it at the local court house in the town I was near. The officer/Mountie actually told me that if he'd known I was from the states, he would've just given me a warning and told me to slow down...but because he called it in, he had to give me the ticket. No lie, he said "you probably don't have to pay it...doubt it will be an issue on your record". But I paid it all the same, didn't want to have any issues coming back to Canada in the future. Ticket was $38 canadian. I'm not suggesting you'll get off with a low fine or warning, just saying if you're cool and aren't being reckless, doubt you'll be hauled off. Note: I was by my self...and this was out in the open road with almost no other cars around. He was the only car that happened pass me for like 20 min, and I had slowed down quite a bit upon seeing him.

Penticton is fantastic in the summer! Think Lake Chelan but warm water and everyone is there on vacation. Truly fun. Check out the festivals that they have...same with Kelowna, Kamloops, etc...all of those towns host a ton of events over the summer...and if your trip aligns, it's a great way to spend some time there.

For me, I've always found that there's just not enough time to see what you want in each town if you have a large distance to go...I've found that a 3-4 hour ride is just about right between spots...but you'll figure out your flow soon enough.

If you happen to get into the Canadian rockies and take the ferries across lakes (like towards nelson, etc...which are all free by the way)...make sure you know where fuel stations are. I have come SO close to running out a few times simply because they aren't as readily available...and the further you go, the longer distances there are between them.

Oh, if you don't have a canadian phone plan added to your account, you can forget gps/phone service...or be ready to pay a LOT for each and every text/search/call, etc... I usually print out google map routes for each day and put it on my tank bag.

Well, I know there's a ton more I could share. Let me know if you have any specific questions...and good luck and have fun!
Jun 1st 2017, 10:31 AM   #7
 MarvTravis's Avatar
  Jan 2016
  Kirkland, WA

  Kawasaki ZX-14
If I recall correctly, Canada bans radar detectors...don't get caught with one.

Radar detectors are legal in the Canadian provinces where you'll be:

Canada Radar Detector Laws

Not Legal in the following: Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, the Yukon Territory, the Northwest Territories
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Jun 1st 2017, 11:39 AM   #8
 Willow's Avatar
  Jan 2016
  Silverdale, WA

  848evo, DRZ400SM, XR100
Great roads in Canada for a sport bike, but since the ticket laws have changed up there, I have no desire to sport bike up there. Too temping to speed.
Read this regarding excessive speeding:
Excessive Speed and Careless Driving - Province of British Columbia

They will impound your bike 40km/h over the posted. That's about 25mph. I was talking to someone a bit ago that did get pulled over on his bike, it was impounded and he had to call his brother from the states to come and pick him up. Then had to wait the 7 days to get his bike. So beware....

Edited by Willow on Jun 1st 2017 at 12:51 PM
Jun 1st 2017, 11:57 AM   #9
 Brassneck's Avatar
  Apr 2016
  Seattle, WA

  '79 XS650; '01 FZ1
Yikes! Sounds like the laws have gotten a bit more strict since I last got a ticket there. or perhaps more enforced at least?

I have to assume there are areas that are way worse than others...for example, if you're near or around heavily traveled places (Whistler, Vancouver, etc) it's going to be more likely to be less forgiving, than out on the eastern side of BC. I'm not saying it won't/can't happen out there, nor am I suggesting you speed...just that it's more likely to occur and be severe where there's more traffic.

When I was there last summer, the traffic I was following from Kelowna up to Revelstoke were all going 130-145kph on average on (I kept a I was trying to gauge my fuel consumption after re-jetting/new exhaust). The posted speed was 100kph... I didn't see any who knows?

Good luck either'll have a blast.
Jun 1st 2017, 01:32 PM   #10
 larsvons's Avatar
  Jan 2016

  '15 KLZ1000, '03 SV650S
FWIW, a buddy and I are doing a similar trip to BC at the end of June! Check it:
Jun 1st 2017, 04:37 PM   #11
 liberpolly's Avatar
  Jan 2016

  Ducati Diavel, Aprilia Scarabeo
Contrary to the popular belief, it is possible to not exceed the speed limit on sportbikes. Not easy, but possible.

Have lots of fun! I am jealous!
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Jun 1st 2017, 05:33 PM   #12
 Bald Guy's Avatar
  Jan 2016

  KTM SAR Husqvarna Strada, Ural Patrol and a shit load of BN125
Canadians are nice in person, but turn into butt holes when they get behind the wheel.

Improper use of the word "Eh" will get your ass kicked at Timmy's.

Jun 1st 2017, 06:01 PM   #13
 ZXtasy's Avatar
  Jan 2016
  Moses Lake, WA

  2013 Kawasaki Concours C-14, 2005 ZX-10R Kawasaki (Nekkid), '99 Yamaha TW-200
As mentioned, the speeding laws are tougher up there now and the folks from BC sportbikes say you are nuts to come up there if you like to ride spirited. Mostly an issue west of the cascades, but my last two nightmare trips up to BC made me decide not to go back. To long to elaborate, but my advice is cross alone, only alone! You are not with any other bikes/ riders, if they happen to be a couple of car lengths back and are from the same town, it is just coincidence!! You are not with them!! unless you like to be held up for 2 hours In the hot sun and then another hour on a steel bench because of what your buddy had on his record 20+ years ago.... Use cash, had 3 credit cards jacked within 4 hours at a reputable chain hotel and restaurant..then it rained and I got a flat, but those last 2 are not Canada's fault.
Jun 1st 2017, 09:23 PM   #14
 cgt1229's Avatar
  Feb 2016

I got hassled once at a remote crossing in Idaho (Kings Crossing), when I missed the junction for Hwy 2 East, due to 2 large semi's blocking the junction sign in the pouring rain.

The road narrowed and traffic dwindled, but I had that moment where you think maybe it's just ahead, but it wasn't. I told the custom agent my mistake, that immediately through a red flag, passport confiscated, sitting on a bench outside, soaking wet for half an hour.

Got called into the little room where a rather attractive female border agent in her bullet proof vest with pretty eyes interrogated me...asked me if I had any scars or tat's. Only scars I told her, then they sent me back outside to the bench, while I waited for a guy to inspect my tankbag and tailpack. All he did was dig through the tailpack, didn't even bother looking in the tankbag where all the 1000 tablets of MDMA was. Joking.

I got the passport back, then decided traveling through Alberta was too far out of the way to where I was going- Michigan, so I turned around back through the same crossing. They took my passport away again, but only for 10 minutes this time, and another gal came out with my Passport mocking me about being kicked out of Canada, I told her I just merely changed my mind.
Jun 2nd 2017, 07:49 AM   #15
 HalcyonSon's Avatar
  Apr 2016

Originally Posted by larsvons
FWIW, a buddy and I are doing a similar trip to BC at the end of June! Check it:
That looks like an amazing trip.
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