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MagnaBagger 4 Jan 2007 23:14

Fully packed -> Bike overweight?
 
When my Yamaha XT600E 2001 is fully loaded, it seems a bit overweight. I have heard, that the longer people travel, the less they take with them. Is that true? The biggest things are my two sleeping bags, big tent roll, big self inflatable roll, 10L extra petrol in pannier, oil, cooking gear, mountain shoes and two spare tires. And this is how the bike looks like:

http://onderhoud.luiemotorfiets.net/...1627_thumb.jpg http://onderhoud.luiemotorfiets.net/...2233_thumb.jpg
(Click on the picture to enlarge)

How is YOUR bike packed? Could you post a picture of your bike fully loaded? I must do something wrong and am eager to hear how other people are doing it.

oldbmw 5 Jan 2007 00:58

could you manage without the tyres and petrol ???

quastdog 5 Jan 2007 01:07

Fully loaded?
 
I bet you didn't weigh the bike with all the gear, full gas tanks and yourself sitting on it in full riding gear with pockets full of stuff, a full hydration pack ( or water bottles ) - wait till you see that number!

pierresas 5 Jan 2007 05:11

Your pictures remind me of what our bikes looked like in Africa at the beginning of our trip. :-) My advice:
- Get rid of the spare tires (but keep some spare tubes) and plan ahead instead to make sure you can find replacement tires on the road (especially in Africa and Asia). Your knobbly tires seem to be a good compromise to go almost everywhere (TKC80?), so I'd leave the street tires home.
- Take only one good sleeping bag (it's much better than two bad ones). If it's too hot, you can zip it down.
- Look around for smaller/lighter camping gear (like tents from North-Face or Marmot, sleeping pads from Therm-a-rest, shoes from Columbia).
- Install a bigger fuel tank so you don't have to carry any in the panniers (anything as heavy as a 10L jerrycan in the panniers reduces the handling of the bike and increases the chances of breaking the mounts of the pannier).
- Connect a valve under the fuel tank so you can fill up your stove bottle at night and carry it empty during the day.

I also noticed you have an open-face helmet: it might not be a good idea on dirt roads where stones can fly, or in countries with elevated risk of fall and little emergency services. You might also consider installing better hand-guards (like Acerbis, in metal) to protect the levers, switches and cables in case of fall.

Voilà. Hope this helps,
Pierre (& Merritt too)
http://www.photobiker.com

MagnaBagger 5 Jan 2007 09:56

Indeed I did not weigh the bike! I think I will be scared of that number :biggrin:

But the bike handles quite well. I can still drive 70mph, and through rivers and easy sand. But I think when I notice the difference with a less loaded bike, I am addicted to less weight!

I am not traveling very far yet. BUT I am practicing for longer trips in the future. My trips until now are 1 month, about 10000Km each. Testing gear, and spirit and have a lot of fun! I am taking a survival course in April btw. And will take a EHBO course next year I think. So I would like to start a big trip later on with the right amount of gear, not to much ;-)

In Island I really needed the extra 10L, almost ran out in the highlands, also in Finland/Sweden. I ordered a 23L acerbis tank to solve this problem. But then I don't reduce weight, o yes, from the spare petrol tank of course. And the weight will be more to the front and center, in stead of back on the side.

The tires are TKC 80's yes. I drove to Island with normal street tires. And changed the tires in the Faeroe Island just before leaving to Island. That saved me a lot of asphalt miles. I needed all the grip I can have, I thought. Perhaps on a RTW I can plan ahead and arrange tires along the way. But now I have only 1 month a year. So until now I brought my tires with me, and really really needed them. Although I could manage to get a new rear tire in Hammerfest Norway (normal tire), because the spare tire was broken.

But are TKC80's good to get? Shipping them over sounds expensive and time consuming to me. I could make a deal with my local dealer, to have parts and tires on stock for me, and ship them over when needed. On longer trips that really is an option, because I have more time.

But OK, spare tires should go! OK, will try that in Romania this year. Spare tubes stays. Thinking of mounting them on the front fender.

What kind of tents do you use? I have specially bought a Robens Hard Rock tent. In this tent I can cook inside, very good in rain and wind. Is very strong, it survived a sand storm in Island, while 4 other tents did not survive. I really like this tent.

http://onderhoud.luiemotorfiets.net/...2828_thumb.jpg
(Click on the picture to enlarge)

I have two sleeping bags. One for cold weather, and one fleece. When warm, I sleep in fleece, when cold I sleep in other, when very cold I sleep in both! Used every situation until now. And used fleece for sitting at campfire, as 'carpet' on the floor to sit on inside the tent and outside. True, it takes room and weight. Hmm, will look for 1 replacement sleeping bag.

Sleeping pad! I have 6cm self inflatable from Trial. Very big package, bit it sleeps very well. Perhaps 2cm thick will do?

I noticed that riding with Sidi trial boots is very comfortable. Dry feet, good protection. But then I need to bring normal shoes as well. What do you recommend?

Yes I have an open face helmet. Drove about 100.000Km with that kind of helmet. Crashed 2 times with no problem. I have read a lot of discussions about safety of open helmets. And I am a bit in doubt on travels far away.
[edit] I continued discussing helmets here: http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...hich-one-24883 [/edit]

I take extra levers with me, just in case. Better hand guards sounds like a good idea too.

Thanks for all the good input! keep it coming :thumbup1:
greatly appreciated by a newby traveler

Mick O'Malley 5 Jan 2007 10:43

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by MagnaBagger
How is YOUR bike packed? Could you post a picture of your bike fully loaded? I must do something wrong and am eager to hear how other people are doing it.

Hi

The thing that struck me looking at your pictures is that you don't have tank panniers. I find them extremely useful, as well as greatly aiding good weight distribution. I have Aerostich, which were very expensive, but Touratech has the VP45 zip off type which many travellers use. Or you could make your own from army surplus webbing bags for even greater economy.

I wouldn't bother with the tyres, you can always renew them part worn when you find a good source, or just buy whatever's available when they wear out. If the locals can ride on them, so can you!

Other than that, there's only really one way to find out.......................

Regards, Mick

MagnaBagger 5 Jan 2007 11:32

I looked around for the tank panniers earlier. But actually I thought I did not need more space for small stuff. I can put all the small stuff in the panniers on the back! When travailing more and more I noticed myself already that I take less stuff with me. So last year I put both sleeping bags AND 10L patrol inside the panniers. But I can put my mountain shoes in tank panniers on the side.

But I also have to take a tent, and inflatable. And those two are BIG.

http://onderhoud.luiemotorfiets.net/...6580_thumb.jpg
(Click to enlarge)

My Robens Hardrock tent weighs 4.5KG and dimensions are: 58cm long, 20cm diameter. The Trail 6cm thick inflatable weight 2KG and dimensions are: 68cm long, 20cm diameter. Quite big I think.

I do not see any tent and inflatable on your bike! Hoe did you pack those?

[edit] When searching through the HUBB, I found a good alternative for my sleeping padd: 'Exped Mattress':
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...Exped+Mattress
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...Exped+Mattress
What a wealth of information there is on this site! :thumbup1: [/edit]

jkrijt 6 Jan 2007 08:22

tank bag
 
Adding a tank bag is not to have more storage room but for better weight distribution.
Also, it is nice to have room for a map or your notes about the route in front of you in the tank bag.
The disadvantage of a tankbag is that you can't lock it like the panniers in the back so don't use them for expensive equipment.

PatOnTrip 6 Jan 2007 09:52

Think again about having Tank panier
 
hi All,

During my trip around all the Americas, I wished I had tank panier! Not to carry my gear but to put food, wine, things that you don't mind if they get stolen.

Since I had no tank panier, I had to carry my food and wine on top of my bag on the rear seat. It just put the weight higher in the end.

Next time I will have tank panier!

Patrick

MagnaBagger 6 Jan 2007 10:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by jkrijt
Adding a tank bag is not to have more storage room but for better weight distribution.
Also, it is nice to have room for a map or your notes about the route in front of you in the tank bag.

True, distributing more weight to the front is good. I ordered a 23L petrol tank specially for that reason. Especially for my XT600 I think, who has not much weight in front anyway. Notes and maps are in my tank bag already. As my camera and stuff.

Nice ride btw, through Africa on a Harley!

Quote:

Originally Posted by PatOnTrip
During my trip around all the Americas, I wished I had tank pannier! Not to carry my gear but to put food, wine, things that you don't mind if they get stolen.
Since I had no tank pannier, I had to carry my food and wine on top of my bag on the rear seat. It just put the weight higher in the end.

Of course, I forgot! I put the foot in a backpack on the back of the bike! Like bread and stuff. Now I am really convinced, I just added the tank bag on my wish list.

Mick O'Malley 6 Jan 2007 10:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by MagnaBagger
I do not see any tent and inflatable on your bike! How did you pack those?

Everything is in my panniers; I even had the tank panniers (folded flat) and tank bag in there before I started camping in national parks and had to carry a week's food. My tent's a Coleman Cobra 2, which stood up to everything that Patagonia could fling at it without problems, and I have a Thermarest, which can be folded in half lengthways before rolling up, so it packs fairly small. However, my panniers are vast, 66 litres each, so it's not that difficult to get everything in them. I was away for seven months and didn't ever wish that I'd brought along more kit.

Regards, Mick

Frank Warner 7 Jan 2007 23:39

Tyres
 
Normally I get almost two rear tyres to one fornt tyre .. so if needed I'd take a replacement rear tyre .. but only when needed .. same with the petrol.

Other than that .. most of my 'adjustable' weight is in the water and food .. that can be 'adjusted' to suit the forth coming bit of the trip ..

The tricky bits of weights are
shoes,
clothing - the non cotton stuff is about half the weight of cotton stuff..
cooking gear .. not much you can do about this other than the backpacking shops
camping gear - again the backpacking shops ..

MarkLG 8 Jan 2007 00:01

[quote=MagnaBagger]

But I also have to take a tent, and inflatable. And those two are BIG.

http://onderhoud.luiemotorfiets.net/...6580_thumb.jpg
(Click to enlarge)

My Robens Hardrock tent weighs 4.5KG and dimensions are: 58cm long, 20cm diameter. The Trail 6cm thick inflatable weight 2KG and dimensions are: 68cm long, 20cm diameter. Quite big I think.

/[quote]

You can easily halve the weight of both these items. There's plenty of good quality 2 man tents around 2-2.5kg, from North Face, Terra Nova, etc, which will handle all the conditions you're likely to encounter on a bike tour. You can go even lighter, but these ultralight tents are usually a bit on the small side, and the materials used aren't durable enough for regular use. Take a look on ebay and you'll find plenty to choose from - expect to pay about £100 (150 euros) for a good quality secondhand one.
Similarly the Thermarest matresses are available in various thicknesses - I've got the lightest 25mm thick version which only weighs around 750g. Thicker and slightly heavier models are available depending on your needs.

Redboots 8 Jan 2007 07:51

Overweigh?
 
The reason most people think their bikes are overweight and handles like a sock of hot poo when loaded is SETUP. Do you carry a pillion ever? How much does that person weigh? More than all your kit?(!)

Each bike has an optimum sag setting for the rear suspension. You can get the actual figure from your dealer.

How to get there:
Unload the bike but fill it with fuel/oil/water. With the bike off the stand and no one sat on it, measure the distance betrween the center of the rear axle (point A) and a point on the frame as near vertically above the axle as you can get (point B).

Record that distance as UNLOADED.
Now, assuming you are an "average" weight and the shock is set for that "average" rider, sit on the bike with feet on the pedals (enlist some help to hold the bike upright) and get someone else to measure the distance between points A & B again. Record that distance as LOADED
Subtract this figure from your first measurement and you have the amount of SAG. On a road bike it will typically be in the 40-55mm range

Now, load your bike with ALL the gear you will be carrying, (and in the position you will be carrying it), including your riding gear/helmet and then measure the distance between A & B again.

Now adjust your rear shock(s) until your sag measurement arrives back around the original LOADED figure.

This will restore the fore and aft balance and make the world seem round and flat and friendly again.

You may need to add a bit thicker oil to the forks (plus 5w) and or maybe progressive springs but they are cheap enough.

J

Quasimoto 6 Feb 2007 23:25

What I pack.
 
1 Attachment(s)
I probably pack to much but here is what I pack:

-39L fuel max(seat tank + left & right Touratech tanks)
-GPS on handle bars
-Glasses, maps, camera in tank bag
-Gloves, boot gators, jacket & pants liners in seat bag
-Sleeping bag, fleece blanket, sheet & pillow in dry bag on rear rack
-Air matress on left pannier
-Tent & ground sheet on right pannier
-Tools, tubes, empty water bag, cooking gear & 3 days of food in left pannier
-Cloths & spare bike parts in right pannier

I try to keep most of the weight low.


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