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Thread: Motorcycle Travel 101 from the Owners News

  1. #1

    Motorcycle Travel 101 from the Owners News

    Hey all - I wanted to post here and ask for your collected wisdom for tips & tricks you've discovered in your years of riding to do an eventual follow-up for the two-part "Motorcycle Travel 101: A primer for spending weeks or months on your bike" piece that started in the May issue of Owners News.

    I purposely kept the article general to allow for follow-up material later, and I'm positive some of y'all here know way more about the topic of long-term motorcycle travel than I do, so I thought this would be a good way to benefit from your experiences and create a good article (or two) at the same time.
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  2. #2
    skibum69 skibum69's Avatar
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    I haven't read May yet...
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    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool

    Just got my typical 4 copies in the mail today (I distribute the other 3 to area dealerships of competing brands). Awesome image of the R1250RT on the cover!

    Having ridden in all 48 contiguous states, I'll have to sit down with a chilled, long-stem glass of Red Sangria tonight after the marathon of "Last Man Standing" on CMT, and see what I can do better.
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    Motorcycle/High Performance/Teen/Winter/ATV Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Track

  4. #4
    Registered User
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    Like Greenwald, I've ridden in the lower 48 (several times), but I just got the May issue and have not yet read it. Will try to read it this evening--the TV is broken--as I relearn how to exist in a quiet space. Seems wonderful for the past couple of days.
    Royce
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  5. #5
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    .aq

    New to the forum: I would like you to detail the amount of clothing and riding gear you pack for a trip. I recently traveled from central Illinois( St louis, Mo.) to Austin Texas, for the Moto GP race. My biggest struggle is what cloths and gear to pack for a long trip. I had temps 45* to 90*, How do you fit, Blue jeans, Short pant's, tee shirts, long sleeves and jacket's, for several day's, with electronics in a side panner? Do you pack 2 day's of clothes, and do laundry every other day?

  6. #6
    Registered User jandhumphreyme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbird61 View Post
    New to the forum: I would like you to detail the amount of clothing and riding gear you pack for a trip. I recently traveled from central Illinois( St louis, Mo.) to Austin Texas, for the Moto GP race. My biggest struggle is what cloths and gear to pack for a long trip. I had temps 45* to 90*, How do you fit, Blue jeans, Short pant's, tee shirts, long sleeves and jacket's, for several day's, with electronics in a side panner? Do you pack 2 day's of clothes, and do laundry every other day?
    If I'm staying in Motels for a couple week trip, this is my kit. Understand I'm not a fashionista, not much for raw material to start with, so clothes to me are like lipstick on a pig; no matter how nice the lipstick it's still a pig, so I don't put much effort into this.

    Riding gear consists of Jacket (Motoport) with removable waterproof liner, Aerostich AD1 pants (waterproof), under armour or LD comfort shirt and shorts, wool socks. I also carry a fleece top which doubles as jacket off the bike and a merino wool long sleeve base layer shirt. Depending on season the electric vest and arm chaps will stay home or be part of the riding kit. The LD shirt and shorts are good for a few days before even I cannot stand myself, then they are washed in the evening in sink and will dry overnight, wool socks get rotated out and hang off the bike the next morning till dry. I dont mix day wear with riding gear. Merino wool and some of the synthetic clothing is quite odor resistant and can be good for a few days before washing is mandatory, your mileage may vary, cigars, black coffee, and bourbon have dulled my olfactory sense's to a level that a skunk would admire.

    Day wear, will consist of a single pair of jeans, pair or two of shorts depending on expectation. I can usually go a week with a pair of jeans if they only get worn in the evenings. Shorts are good for two or three days each pair. Tee's and polo's don't take much space so I will pack a couple pairs of each, again both will get a couple days each unless I decide to display a sample of lunch or supper. Socks, depend on footwear off the bike. Footwear, I usually go with covered toe sandals or boat shoes. I wear my riding boots with jeans, a quick spit shine and they're styling. The nice thing about staying in motel, is most have iron and ironing board and a quick pass over a worn tee or polo shirt will freshen it up nicely.

    As for jackets I usually bring a fleece top, doubles up as cold weather layer under riding jacket or off the bike jacket. As for rain jacket, I use my the liner from my riding jacket and pack a pair of rain pants, if I'm going to attend an outdoor event, if not the pants stay home, they will roll up pretty small and go in the tank bag.

    That's pretty much it, I can go a couple weeks with this kit sans washing. Most motels have laundry so if need be I'll take advantage and wash things up. Your mileage may vary, camping is a whole other ball game.

    Good luck enjoy your trip, best thing you can do is experiment, as others have posted before pack what you think you need, and when you get home take inventory, what didnt get worn? Don't take it next time.

    How was the race?
    So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
    And we never even know we have the key

  7. #7
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Rain Suit

    Wes says (page 64) that he puts his rain suit in the left - a.k.a. "lower", if on the sidestand - saddlebag.
    I have to disagree with this one.
    Maybe he's never been "caught" by a storm, whether it be from trying to out-run it or just didn't see it coming, or "it's only a light drizzle, I can still ride a bit more", maybe he's never had to wait to get to a safe place to put it on (underpass, wide spot, etc.), but when you NEED the rain suit, it needs to be EASILY and QUICKLY accessible!
    I have a one-piece Tourmaster (and like it); if you're careful, it will roll up to about the size of a football or a little smaller (including a plastic grocery bag in the pocket to slip over your boot as you shove your leg on down).
    I could see putting it in the "upside" saddlebag due to weight, but mine lives in the forward part of the trunk. Quick and easy to access, and it doesn't matter if I'm on the side- or centerstand; nothing else to fall out when I open the lid.

    I usually wear my camera by its cord, around my neck and hanging down to an inside pocket of my leather - too many cases of it taking too much time to get a pic of that critter/mountain/etc. Insurance and registration live in the glovebox, in their own baggie.

    As for the computer, cell phone, and related accessories - sorry, I'm out on a road trip: those things do NOT go with me!

  8. #8
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Sample List

    Here's a list I put together a while back; it is not gospel and is always subject to change and adaptation, depending on where I'm going, why, and how long I'll be out.

    L = left saddlebag, R = right saddlebag, T = trunk, US = under seat, GB = glove box

    Tools
    Standard toolkit + any special specific wrenches US + L
    Sockets (specific), ratchet, extension US + L
    BIG tire irons, tube(s); and/or patch kit, valve stem w/core, inflation methods US + L
    Fuses, tail & brake light bulbs, wire, jumpers, tie-wraps, JB Quick US & GB
    Oil (in zip-lock), funnels (paper disposable); filter & special wrench optional L
    Cables – clutch, throttle, brake US (w/alt belt)
    Flashlight (2) – same AA batteries as camera – one in glove box, one in toiletries
    & Spare batteries GB (and R) - also have one clipped in tent, even when Packed
    Spare bungees (AFTER all packing), assorted T
    Duct tape, black tape GB and/or US
    Rope (ski 15’ melt ends) US
    Fuel line don’t carry but should…
    Harley riders only: Cell phone; hammer N/A
    BMW Riders: Anonymous Book GB
    Compass, Road Atlas (recent Full size) leather; T
    Spare face shield for helmet don’t typically carry
    Canteen or bottled beverage (vitamin water 0 cals, electrolytes) R
    Kickstand foot for dirt GB (need easy access)
    Security cable and lock don’t typically carry, it’s a BMW – used to in R
    Pepper spray (keep handy in outer right jacket pocket)
    Survival knife or equivalent T
    HandiWipes (good for first aid too) GB
    Disposable gloves for dirty work/repairs US
    Lighter for campfires, cigars, etc.

    Cash, MC + Visa/ATM cards, Travelers’ checks (optional nowadays)

    Sleeping Bag, bag liner, stuff sack + Outer (kayak) bag, Thermarest pad, tent (& bag)/poles/stakes, ground cloth (7’ sq. tarp or shower curtain) on rear seat; block for hammering stakes (L)

    Toiletries R in kit except as noted
    Tooth brush (in holder), paste (in zip-lock), floss, toothpicks; Listerine (in zip-lock)
    Soap (in plastic holder), shampoo (in zip-lock), “camp” towel (large; dries faster than terry), washcloth (in zip-lock)
    Toilet paper; Kleenex T
    Hairbrush, comb
    Q-Tips (ears)
    Nail clippers (finger + toe) & emery file; mini scissors; tweezers
    Eye drops (natural tears lube)
    Sunglasses (and/or spare glasses) GB

    Clothing
    Jeans (wear one, roll one) L
    Shorts R
    Underwear (depending how often you plan to change; bring “worst” and just toss instead of adding to camp laundry) R
    Tee shirts (light + warm) R
    Socks asst, ski R
    Long johns – 1 set knit, 1 set polypropylene R
    Bathing suit (in zip-lock) R
    Flip-flops (thongs) – necessary for camp & showers T
    Sneakers L (when not in use)
    Leather jacket L (when not in use)
    Denim jacket L (when not in use)
    Sweatshirt L (when not in use)
    Gerbing’s liner & gloves, controller L (when not in use)
    Gauntlets, rain gloves, winter gloves, skins T
    Scarf, bandana, and/or apple warmer (ski shop, REI, etc.) T
    Rain suit (stirrups) T
    Ball cap (sun), knit cap (for cold) T

  9. #9
    skibum69 skibum69's Avatar
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    Mine changes too but fairly light.

    One set of riding gear, pants, jacket, gloves. One spare set of light gloves. Mid layer riding jacket for on and off the bike.

    Cold weather gear, down jacket, thermal pants, winter gloves. Down doubles as camp jacket.

    One pair light off bike pants, 2/3 pairs riding socks, 2 pair off bike socks, 2 t-shirts, 2 pairs bicycle shorts for riding, 2/3 pairs of gitch.

    Tool kit, mostly stock KTM kit with a few extras. Tow strap or rope. 2 spare tubes. iPod, custom moulded earphones.

    Tent, down 4įC sleeping bag, sleeping pad, Kermit chair.

    Other odds and ends but thatís pretty close. For Siberia we will be travelling on light bikes with light setups.
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  10. #10
    Douglas Williams
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    One slight difference in my packing to that listed in the article is how I pack my clothes. Rather than pack underwear, socks and shirts separately, I roll up one days worth of clothes in a shirt. If a five day trip or less, I'll have five or less rolls, each consisting of a shirt, underwear and socks. More than five days and I'll plan a laundry stop. I lived out of a suitcase for 29 years and never arrived somewhere having forgotten to pack a particular item.

    Doug
    Sent from a Galaxy, far, far away

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls1150 View Post
    Maybe he's never been "caught" by a storm, whether it be from trying to out-run it or just didn't see it coming, or "it's only a light drizzle, I can still ride a bit more", maybe he's never had to wait to get to a safe place to put it on (underpass, wide spot, etc.), but when you NEED the rain suit, it needs to be EASILY and QUICKLY accessible!
    Probably should have specified that my bike is a nice, tall GS and I have top-loading Jesses on it. Both panniers are quickly and easily accessible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls1150 View Post
    As for the computer, cell phone, and related accessories - sorry, I'm out on a road trip: those things do NOT go with me!
    I have three jobs, one of them with an IT startup that runs a small crew and a tight ship. There's no such thing as being inaccessible for more than 24-48 hours. Travelling sans electronics would be nice, but it's not a reality for me, at least not at this stage of my life.
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  12. #12
    TravelsWithBarley.com
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    Most of the responses have centered on what gear to take. I'll take a slightly different course...

    I use a helmet with a retractable tinted shield and a dual sport-style visor. For me that's the Schuberth E1, but others with those features work as well. I find sunglasses uncomfortable after a few hundred miles, so never wear them while riding...hence the tint. And that dual sport visor more effectively blocks early morning or late afternoon sunlight than any strip attached to the helmet visor. I also time my breakfast and dinner stops so they happen when the sun is directly in my eyes; no sense squinting into that fireball and sharing the road with cagers equally handicapped by glare.

    I drink water and eat a light snack at every fuel stop, more often in hot-dry conditions. Over the years I've identified which muscles need stretching. I connected with a yoga instructor to learn stretches easily done at the roadside that keep those muscles happy.

    If I'm startled by a hazard that I should have seen coming I pull over and take a break to restore my situational awareness.

    I smile a lot at breaks. It makes me more approachable and locals often start conversations that yield valuable information: local scenic roads, construction or weather ahead, good diners, etc

    Pete
    Last edited by glenfiddich; 05-12-2019 at 05:31 PM.
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  13. #13
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Thanks for the clarification, Chiba (is that you on page 62?); the article didn't specifically say what bags the author has, but that's such a variable anyway...

    Another point is that with side-loading bags, if one's suit is in the "low" bag and you stop on a shoulder to put it on, not only do you have to deal with the possibility of stuff falling out, but you are now on the "traffic" side of the bike. Not safe, especially if the rain has started (visibility, tire spray from the 4-wheelers, wind from the trucks).

    When I was working for one of the huge aerospace/electronics/military outfits, they asked me to carry a cell phone several times. The phone would be mine, but they'd actually pay me One Dollar extra every day (woo-hoo!) for having it... um, no... I lived close enough that if there was an "issue" at night or on a weekend, they could call on the landline (and they did, several times) and I'd be there in minutes anyway. On a road trip - sorry boss, I'm on "vacation", get it?

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