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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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.
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We are 4wd across asia next year and would like to take a laptop.
I dont know alot about laptops and have a budget of £300. We would like to word process and down load our photos then burn them to cd or dvd. There are so many out there and the chose is baffling. So recomendations on make model and specification would be smashing
I just bought a Dell Inspiron 2200 from the Dell website. It was £399 and seems pretty good. It is not the fastest machine in the world but fast enough to run Photoshop Elements and fiddle with pix. Its got 40GB of memory on the hard drive and 256MB of RAM. It's also got a CD burner and a DVD drive (but it doesn't write DVDs). Dell's have a good reputation so I'm hopeful it will survive bouncing up and down in a pannier for a year. As it was £400 it won't be a total disaster if it goes toes up/gets nicked. (I just had a MAC worth £800 die after just over a years use, here's a tip: don't buy a MAC, expensive trendy sh*t, all hard wired so expensive and difficult to fix and and APPLE customer service really couldn't have cared less) I must say I didn't see any new laptops available for £300 but you might get something second hand which will fit the bill.
[This message has been edited by Matt Cartney (edited 17 November 2005).]
*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
I’m a real technophile and love gadgets!
When I started researching laptops for my trips I came to the conclusion that it will probably break down or get stolen somewhere down the line.
As much as I hate to admit it – buying second hand would be the better option. That amazing Sony or Toshiba with all the bells and whistles will only cost money that could have been better applied elsewhere.
IBM machines are not terribly attractive but they are reasonably tough. Make sure you have plenty Hard drive space 40Gb minimum (for all the pictures) and a cd/dvd burner (mail the discs home whenever you can).
Weight is obviously not an issue for you but ask around for a laptop that won’t get too hot (they become unstable when they do) and good battery life (3hours is not good enough!)
I would not touch a Dell as my one has been nothing but problematic, had 2 hard disks, I have rebuilt it more times than I can remember, the support is beyond a joke and read your warranty very carefully to ensure that you have worldwide cover.
IBM thinkpads with the centrino chipset are ugly, but as tough as they come, and with a nice battery capacity. Their harddrives also have a technology which gives protection to the drive if you should happen to drop it (sensors recognise the drop and stops the drive from spinning). Further, the think pads are thoroughly tested before released. And, they don't use the latest of the latest of the top of the notch hardware, meaning that most teething problems will not be an issue.
One thing you must take into concideration when buying second hand is that if the laptop is much more than a year or two old, chances are that your battery is either shot or on the brink of dying. Batteries are expensive and difficult to come by (unless you make your own). The only reason to buy second hand is a limited budget, like yours. Hence, battery capacity should not be a requirement. Remember that in general, most of the cheapest brand new PC's will outperform most used ones in the same price range (as well as many of the more expensive used ones). A used pc should therefore cost much less than the cheapest brand new one you can find, lets say half the price. A rule of thumb for PC's are that they loose 30% of their value each year, being close to obsolete its fourth year (unless your requirements are very limited).
For your needs, if you choose to go for a new one, I'd go for the most inexpensive one, if not, I'd look for a thinkpad (preferably with a centrino chip set). Remember, virtually any PC with a CD burner will cover your needs, making reliability and price the only issue.
Another option is to do like me, build your own. I wanted top of the notch everything but didn't want to get broke getting one, so I bought a barebone laptop, all the parts, and built it myself.
I also have a brand new think pad (a pretty good one), a two year old Fujitsu Siemens (Reliable, inexpensive and strong - but noicy and a poor battery), and a Dell (Hell). The previous two were Toshiba and Compac (both fairly unreliable). I've owned lots of others, and worked with even more. My personal experience is as follows:
Highest quality, excellent performance and highest reliability: IBM Think Pad
Most value for money: Fujitsu Siemens
Highest performance/money trade off: Self built
Good Luck... and don't worry too much
[This message has been edited by Wheelie (edited 21 November 2005).]
Someone mentioned the Panasonic CF-27 on another thread a few days ago. It's a rugged device meant for site use and looks perfect for rough travel. They are old technology so only available s/h or reconditioned as far as I can see and probably would struggle to run XP, but OK with Windows 98 or 2000. They've got USB ports, PCMCIA slots so I'd use one in conjunction with a portable hard drive. Should be ideal for GPS use, word processing and storing photos. Google for CF-27 Panasonic they are around £200 reconditioned. I've just bought one myself after hearing about them last week.
A few thoughts on laptops. On my last trip i purchased an IBM T-23 for $500. The battery was shot and it needed a new CD drive. These parts are available on E-Bay for cheap, and with a PayPal acct., you could probably talk the seller into shipping parts to an un-confirmed adress, like i did when i was in Reno.
If you choose to run a PC, i wouldn't settle for anything less than XP. It works, well, most of the time anyway, and accepts current software. Old operating systems will give you trouble when trying to load new software. PC is easily infected with vermin from the internet, use someone elses computer for surfing and use yours strictly for photo's, movies, GPS, etc... If you run it without anti-virus software, it is remarcably fast! When packing, place it on top wrapped in a shirt or you run the risk of breaking the display when running off-road. The IBM is a great choice and parts are cheap and available. Also, if you damage the harddrive, you can send it to any IBM office in the world where they will most likely retrieve your info, something most computer companies donot offer. You can find IBM in almost every major city in the world.
My laptop survived three months of hell, with dead batteries and a broken screen. It was a great computer...unfortunately it was a PC. I've recently gone the Mac route and sold every PC related item in my house with great satisfaction. Its simple, well build and WORKS over and over again...no more blue screen of death! If it survives my next trip...thats yet to be determined.
I can second the comment made about the Panasonic Toughbook CF-27.
I bought one of ebay. It indeed struggles with Windows XP, but is fine with 2000. I ran Oziexplorer on a trip, and it worked a treat.
It is a cheap option, and as tough as the name suggests. The batteries as new have enormous capacity, so even as an old used one it gives me more than an hour of runtime (but might have been replaced by previous owner).
Make sure you get one with extra memory, otherwise things might run very slowly indeed.
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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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