The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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Travel BooksMotorcycle and travel books to inspire and inform you!
DVDs - Watch and Learn!
Horizons Unlimited presents!
Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
Collectors Box SetAll 5 DVDs with a custom printed slip case. "The series is 'free' because the tips and advice will save much more than you spend on buying the DVD's."
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Should I pack my laptop vertically in one of my saddlebags, or horizontally in the trunk? I plan on wrapping it in foam at least an inch thick and putting soft things, like clothing around it. Does this sound like a good plan/ Or am I going to destroy it?
We pack ours vertically in the pannier on the inside wall, sitting on 1/2 inch shock absorbing foam, back of it against 1/8 inch s.a.f. Then toss whatever in on top. Never had a failure en route, including rtw with one laptop. Toshiba, not a clone. ymmv.
Laptops are fragile, but assuming you're not going motocrossing with it, the shocks aren't that huge. We've never had a problem,and most people don't. Main problem is hard drive failure - due to shocks and vibration, but it's not common. Back up your data.
We've had 5 Toshiba laptops since 1986, and all have been brilliant. One charger failure in 86, and one hard drive failure in 1999 total problems.
RE PanEuropean's comment 2) this may or may not work for you - on ours, the exhaust is on the left - therefore the left saddlebag is very warm, the right stone cold. So the clothes are on the left, the laptop and film and med kit is on the right, none of which is great for padding. So we use special foam as noted above to protect the laptop. The foam takes up very little space and does a great job. I also find that wrapping stuff with clothes, and any other complicated packing methods are a pain. I keep it very simple. ALl gear is in a stuff sack or padded bag as needed, and it all just gets stuffed in. ymmv......
Good point, Grant. On my motorcycle, the exhausts are under the saddlebags, and exhaust heat never seems to affect either saddlebag.
What I was trying to say is that (IMHO) we carry sufficient clothing, underwear, socks, etc. with us that we can make this stuff do double-duty as computer padding - thus eliminating the need to carry additional, bulky, purpose-specific computer padding.
The comments are encouraging me to take my laptop on the road. But, what kind of roads are you all talking about. I'm about to travel Brazil for a year and wondering if jungle roads will bang the laptop around too much...
The humidity may be more of a problem than the shock loads. Main thing is to keep it dry.
As noted, the shock loads aren't that high - if they were, you'd know it!
Ours had hundreds of miles of EXTREMELY bad corrugated road, on two separate continents, so bad that I was getting blurred vision and could barely hang on to the much expanded handlebars. Smoothest at 70mph, still very bad - but no problem. ymmv!
Consider a toughened laptop such as the Panasonic Toughbooks.
Also PanEuropeans comments about cd-rom drives are I think correct. Fragile beasties. Also small is good. Our laptop has always been a sub-notebook, around 2 kg, not a full-sized laptop. Half the weight, which I think makes a difference in the shock loads. It won't stress the shock absorption system, whatever it is, as much as a heavier laptop.
Reasons I dislike using clothes for wrapping/protecting laptops:
Customs guys dig through the stuff at the top if they are interested, and we have lots of small stuff above the laptop - they lose interest before they get that deep. Of course I know people that wrap laptops and cameras in her dirty laundry. Embarrasses and repels customs guys nicely.
Also, every time I want to change clothes, I don't want to have to fiddle with the laptop - I'm lazy and like efficient methods - one thing, one bag, less hassle, no need to be fussy wrapping clothes just so in order to protect the laptop. Also, we don't carry enough clothes to do a decent job of protecting the laptop!
What works for us doesn't work for someone else - PanEuro has a different method which works well for him and he's happy with it.
Finally, think about whether you really NEED a laptop. There's a lot of internet cafes out there, even the smallest towns have them. A Palm or small / big PDA can do a lot these days.
Good luck whatever, and be sure to keep us posted on your trip, I'm sure lots of people will be interested in a story about a year in a Brazil. See the Travellers Stories page for info on how you can have a blog here for free.
Panasonic toughbooks are good, I had a w2 before it was nicked in Santa Cruz - then bought a Fujitsu lifebook 5020d. Ace little machine, tough little cookie - and v small so can fit in tank bag - usefull as I take that bag EVERYWHERE - but its a pain on the shoulder sometimes when wondering around town, esp when you screw your neck up like I did the other day....just by drying my hair, not too herioc.
I digress, DO insure the notebook - I spent an extra $100 doing this, and just got my insurance cheque through for my stolen notebook. DONT put it in a GIVI box as mine was stolen (or it fell off - still dont know what happend).
Cheers mate, and yes, do consider if you really need one. Cant belive how many net cafe's are out there in Mexico for example. Every tiny dustbowl of a town seems to have a net presence these days!
I'm leaving soon for interior Venezuela and Brazil and am sure to hit lots of rain and humidity. On a recent test run, noticed lots of condensation inside the boxes. I was planning on wrapping the laptop in freezer bags, then have padding and styrofoam to protect it.
The quick change of temperature, as going into a dry hotel room from having been out surrounded by heavily humidified air will condense humidity from the air you packed the laptop in.
Buy humidity absorbers, in professional photographer stores you´ll find them for example.
Pack laptop in an air proof material, and put some absorbers with it.
In south America you´ll need some !
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Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
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