Mods for long distance touring on a 9?
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Thread: Mods for long distance touring on a 9?

  1. #1
    Active Member
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    May 2019
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    Sagle, Idaho
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    Default Mods for long distance touring on a 9?

    I did some searching and didn't find a lot specifically on this-and what I did find were old threads. I'm thinking maybe some new products are available.

    A little background. I do one long, 1 or 2 week trip a year on a bike. My brother lives in Alabama, I live in N. Idaho, we meet up and tour. As you might guess, this means some long days on the slab eating up big miles. I used to ride a Rocket III Roadster-it was very reasonable for touring-but not wonderful. Biggest issues (which I should have rectified!) were lack of cruise control and lack of a stereo. Not bad for 600 mile days, but when I had a couple 800 mile days I wanted something different and bought a touring rig.

    I currently have an Indian Roadmaster (think Electra Glide if you don't know it) for a touring bike. It's fantastic on the highway-great wind protection, comfort, stereo, cruise, heated seats/grips/storage. And really, overall a nice bike. Two issues. First-its really not that much of a FUN bike-more an old-man's bike and yes, I'm an old man... Performance is limited-and while you can spend a lot on "performance" mods, they really don't to much given the basic architecture of the bike. 2nd-it's horribly overpriced (as bad as a HD). I ride a fair amount (over 20k a year, unfortunately mostly 100 miles a day commuting) and with those miles it's depreciating quickly, and given the number of low-mileage used bikes I figure if I keep it another year or two I'll never be able to sell it. And I really want out from under the payments. So it's up for sale now with 30k on the clock.

    So, I want something different for my daily ride that can be pressed into touring duty. I have bad knees and have found that a "cruiser" riding position works for me-need to straighten the legs out to be comfortable. So nothing with fixed, mid-mount controls. Always loved the looks of the 109 and the performance of the Rocket (granted not the same but the 9 is the closest that there is) and love the sound and feel of a twin. So I'm planning to pick up a used 9 as soon as the Roadmaster sells.

    So, any of you that have taken long rides on the 9, please tell me what mods you'd recommend. I'm planning on a large windshield (is Rifle the best for protection/comfort?) that would likely come off when not touring. Maybe a set of Kuryakyn mini-floorboards and highway pegs. Seat upgrade (likely Corbin, but am open, I've heard great things about Russell and Ultimate. Really like the ability to pick color/materials from Corbin). Bags-either QD hard bags or a set of Vikings with EZBrackets. Tailbag (have a big one from when I used the R3). Aftermarket electronic cruise or at least a throttle lock. And some sort of stereo system (do you recommend a sound bar or something with separate speakers?). I have found a stereo to be a lot handier than a headset-used to use a Senna.

    Looking for any thoughts. Thanks in advance. Looking forward to this adventure! My "fallback" plan is the 9 for my daily/fun rig and maybe a used Voyager for slab if I the 9 is too painful. Getting old sucks! I can get a used 9 AND a used Voyager for way less than the Indian-and with liquid cooled motors, either will probably be longer-lasting.
    Last edited by IdahoRenegade; 05-21-2019 at 09:11 AM.

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  3. #2
    Very Active Member blacklightning's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
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    Apex, North Carolina
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    Sounds like you have thought things out pretty well, and you have a full list of parts that will definitely work for converting the 9 into a somewhat decent touring bike. The one thing that you didn't mention, that I would consider, would be handle bar risers. That will bring the bars back towards you and give you some relief for your back and shoulders. I had 2" risers on 2 of my M109's, and they were great. I also had corbin bags and a pretty good stereo on it. With a good seat, my 07 was set up for some good touring duties when needed. But I have a glass butt, and could never do more than about 80 miles at a time. As for stereo, I just had a cheaper Shark audio system, and it did pretty good for me. Keep in mind that a drivers backrest is also very handy.
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  4. #3
    Very Active Member
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    Nov 2008
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    Newmarket, Ontario
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    I have a Russell Day Long (RDL) seat on my 109 and it is freaking amazing....ride longer with that seat than any other.
    I plan on getting an RDL seat for my K1600B next winter, RDLs are the defacto upgrade on the K1600forum

    Instead of bags, if you can afford it, I would suggest a Third Wheel Trailer, single wheel trailer that hooks up easy and doesn't change the look of the bike....which bags do.
    If you want more info on the trailer, I can send you a link to my picture album, it was $2300CDN in 2013....

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