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2015 CB300F
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If you are gonna do that trip from Ottawa to Thunderbay I wouldn't recommend taking the Northern route (highway 11) unless you have done the southern route a ton and are bored of it. Granted the last time I was on it was 20 years ago and it is likely better maintained now, but my memories of that stretch were unpleasant other than getting pulled over by a very nice and very attractive female Mountie or OPP cop (can't remember which she was). The southern route that follows around the top end of lake superior is more scenic and more fun on a bike. I also remember long distances between 24 hr fuel stations but as long as you stick to daytime only riding you should be fine. Tons of deer on/around the road all the way from Sault Ste Marie to Winterpeg too so be careful riding early morning and dusk.

Will be great trip though....well...until you hit the prairies anyhow (nothing against the prairies but exciting riding it is not). Another option is to cross the border at Sault Ste Marie and go through the upper peninsula of Michigan. I went that way once and crossed back into Canada south of Estevan Saskatchewan. Kind of a boring route and can't give a fair assessment of the scenery as there was a blinding snowstorm all through the UP, but at the time fuel was a ton cheaper in the states and I was driving a gas guzzling truck. Stay safe and have fun.
I've done the southern route a couple times... think I'll stick to it. The plan would be to ride daylight hours only. I've seen my fair share of moose and deer while driving that highway in the dark. Noooo thank you. I also don't mind the prairies. The trick is breaking it up by stopping for a wander in some of the towns. Brandon, Moose Jaw, and Swift Current are favourites.
 

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2015 CB300F
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9 Posts
So, I did it. Left Ottawa after work on September 9, arrived in Calgary Sept 15.

I'm glad I did it, but I don't recommend a trip like that on this bike. It's not what it's built for, but it's what I had :) Ontario was alright, with one day of torrential rain where I only did 400km. The prairies were a HARD ride with the crosswind from the north and a headwind from the west. But I can now justify a bigger bike purchase next year and have confirmed I'm down for and enjoy big trips :D I don't even mind the seat, and only had a sore butt on the second day. But I'm a relatively light rider... and maybe have a high tolerance for discomfort.

The Ottawa dealer I bought the CB300F from last year (used, 13,000km) had a non-o ring chain on it. The long rides on this trip had the chain stretched out to near 3 inches of slack after 1000km, so I adjusted the tension in a motel parking lot. Northern Ontario was chilly. I was super grateful for the heated gloves my husband gifted me at Christmas. I also started to have some battery trouble around Kenora (original battery, the bike's at 18,000km at this point.) Then the chain was baaaad once more at the 2000km mark, so I adjusted it again.

By the time I got to western Saskatchewan, it was time to replace the chain. I had that done at a great shop in Swift Current. Drove another 200km. Had to get a battery boost when it wouldn't start after fueling up. Drove another 200km (this time I stopped in Canadian Tire parking lot to see about a new battery.) Bike wouldn't start and this time it wouldn't run, even with a boost.

It was late, I couldn't get a battery in Medicine Hat, and the bike wouldn't start, so I finished the last 300km on a tow truck. Thanks, CAA. I replaced the battery 2 days later in Calgary and she runs like a dream again.

TL;DR
If you wanna cross the country and this is the only motorcycle available to you, you can do it. But it's not cozy.
 
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