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Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
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Old 27 Mar 2010
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Deciding what to take: how...?

I know that the packing topic has been done to death so apologies if this is an old issue, but I hope this is a slightly different tangent.

Thing is, I have read threads listing what people take but how do you prioritise?

After your tent and sleeping bag, other bits and bobs can easily present good arguements for why you should take them and some of us have not had 5 RTW trips to hone our choices.

So what criteria/principles/approach do you go by when packing you bikes?
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Old 28 Mar 2010
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Take the very basics, enough for a change of clothes and to keep warm or cool depending on where you go a good tool kit and essential roadside repair stuff puncture gear - gaffer tape, spare bits and bobs and if you need it some first aid gear - then just buy whatever else you may need along the way then you take nothing you do not need and what you buy you need and will probably be cheaper once out of Europe - remember people live everywhere so almost everything you need will be out there on the road.
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Old 28 Mar 2010
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A random thought occurred as I was reading this thread....I am a minimalist myself. I have learned that most everything is available most everywhere. (speaking in general terms) I was thinking that weight seems to be an excellent reason for the number of breakdowns and mechanical troubles one encounters on long trips.

My thinking is stick with the simple things and go forth.
Rule#2 "Never go ANYWHERE that YOU are considered a source of FOOD!
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Old 28 Mar 2010
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I like the 'buy it when you need it' approach. We plan to ride from Qatar to the UK, about 25 days riding plus whatever days for diving and drinking. No tents, no camping, 'flash packing' I believe it's called. Might even extend that to clean clothes, I just bought decent white T shirts for 1 Euro in Intersport, cheaper than washing them! (Well not quite but.....)
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Old 28 Mar 2010
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Engineer here, so I'm afraid I'd have the spread sheet out. List what you'd like to take. Give each item a 1-5 score (5 is best/hardest to get/most expensive) for it's ability to get you out of trouble, ease/cost of buying one as you go, how likely you are to use it, size and weigh etc. Multiply the scores and sort highest to lowest and you have your list. Try to be random in your listing (sort aphabetically) but consistent in your scoring, it gives a better result. Apply logic, the 2nd spare must have a lower priority than the first spare etc.

Again speaking as an engineer, you have a spec for the bike and maybe some of the add on items like the rack. I'm not saying these are infallable as I'm sure we can all name 650cc bikes with chains that shouldn't be on a 500, but you start with a number. Without a pillion you have 85KG plus, in which case I'd hope to run out of volume before hitting the first warning point. With a pillion it's tougher of course.

Now if I remember correctly Mr. Warthog is talking about a Ural. He has about 300Kg before he runs out of "official weight" and even with a passenger about 100 litres of space with panniers and a bag on the boot lid etc. Given what my wife would like to carry in the chair (****y Travel irons and ****) I can understand the question about how to prioritise , it is easy to carry way too much.

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Old 28 Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
Now if I remember correctly Mr. Warthog is talking about a Ural. He has about 300Kg before he runs out of "official weight" and even with a passenger about 100 litres of space with panniers and a bag on the boot lid etc.

True about the Ural: I initially thought "never a packing conundrum again!".... not so; in standard trim, with my partner sitting pillion and the dogs warming the tub, I really only have the rack and boot: less packing space than the two panniers on my ex-GS!!

But in this instance I'm looking at things purely from a principled point of view, especially as all the lessons learnt from our Argentina trip a slipping into my memory lost pile very quickly.

This is particularly poignant for me as I suffer from chronic "what if" syndrome where suddenly back-ups for the back ups seems like a good idea!

As you explained: I like to know what logic is applied, rather than the same tired lists of objects, particulary as the objects you need on one trip with a given bike may bear no relation to what is needed on another trip and another bike....

All good so far: keep 'em coming!
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Old 28 Mar 2010
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enough spares and tools to keep the bike going , and stuff to keep you clean , feed , and good night sleep , all the rest you can pick up on the road
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