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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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Giant Loop Motorcycle Saddlebags & Motorcycle Tank Bags: Panniers, Soft Luggage for Adventure & Sport Touring

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  #1  
Old 23 Mar 2014
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Minimum for touring?

Hi all,

What is the absolute minimum of mods one should make to his bike before leaving for a long tour? I buying a locally made stock Honda here in Chile for a tour around S.Am. My idea so far is to have a 42 litre top box and my Ortlieb 31lt rack_pack and little else. The big top box would only be half full as the extra space is for jacket, etc when not riding. I've read here that hand guards can be a mixed bag, as are engine guards. But would perhaps a bash plate be considered essential? How about a windscreen? I am on a tight budget but have enough to stretch for a couple of accessories. My ethos is travel light.

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Rtw


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  #2  
Old 23 Mar 2014
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Here is my XR125 prepared for a trip to Central Asia. It has everything needed for the 6 month trip I had planned and would have been enough for a full RTW trip.
If your bike is in good condition, has a bash plate and luggage it is ready, perhaps a screen if you like one and plan cruising above 100 kph which won't be possible in a lot of places but I don't have one even on bigger bikes than this. This is about as minimal as you can get but everything is there.

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  #3  
Old 23 Mar 2014
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depends

well, it depends on what you're doing on this trip.
a bash plate is useful, on dirt roads, but has no use off of them.
sounds like you have more than enough luggage space, again, depending on how long you are gone for and if you are camping.
as for crash bars, i think you'll be ok without, usually only the bar ends will hit the deck.
hand guards and screens? i like them for the wind protection but havent came across any situations that there were absolutely needed.

pretty much any standard bike will do any trip, with enough gumption.
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  #4  
Old 23 Mar 2014
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You don't really need anything at all. Some throw over bags and a waterproof roll bag. 42L top box is BIG. Especially on a smaller bike. Pack light.. You need a lot less than you think.

Id be more interested in the kit. Tools, spares, etc...

If you want to go off-road, then things change a little and you start looking into protection for the bike.
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  #5  
Old 24 Mar 2014
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Depends how far you're going and how far your going to get off the beaten track.
Last trip the bike was loaded crash bars panniers, tank bag ect, the spares which took up about a quarter of my space including spare clutch plates and fuel pump, not counting water & extra fuel is as follows.

Tubes.
Sprockets.
Spark plug/s.
Headlight bulb.
Chain, link and breaker.
Air, fuel & oil filters + some oil & coolant.
Clutch, throttle, break cables, levers & fluid.

The tools to replace the above items and service it, feeler gauges, plus a few cable ties, duct tape, WD40, a couple lengths of wire insulated & tie, assorted bag of nuts, bolts and washers, fuses, bike specific prozocators, flangamedangers and a cliporis or 2!
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Last edited by Drwnite; 24 Mar 2014 at 05:53.
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  #6  
Old 24 Mar 2014
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I am buying a brand new Honda and sell it after 12,000k so hoping I will not have to do anything to it in terms of repairs at all. Just basic maintanence which will be done mostly by Honda if not myself. I suppose I just need enough to change a tyre and I hope that will be it! In India I just bought a bike with cash, asked how the gears worked and wobbled off. Now I find myself overthinking minute details. For a brand new bike, what sort of basic spares would you be looking at aside from cables and bulbs?
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  #7  
Old 24 Mar 2014
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Just take a puncture kit, pump, spare tubes and some tyre levers...

Then you just need a few basic tools for fiddling with it.
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  #8  
Old 24 Mar 2014
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What are your time and cash limits? Platinum card with no limit and no where you need to be: just hop on and go, you can get what you need along the way and pay someone to fix what you break (eventually). $50 a day and have to be back at work in a month : a tent and some tools are maybe going to help you stay within your means and on track. I would suspect you are somewhere between and have a list of useful things to put in the luggage you've selected.

If you can't think of a reason to take anything, I would however suggest you've just identified the reason to leave it behind. Your kit as it is sounds good to me. ( I'm a top box hater though and would go for some throwovers instead, but that's just taste and preference).

Stuff like light bulbs I carry. Far easier to change one than start trying to explain to the coppers about travelling light. Same goes for a puncture kit if only to give the voices in my head something else to chatter about.

Andy
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  #9  
Old 24 Mar 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ridetheworld View Post
I am buying a brand new Honda and sell it after 12,000k so hoping I will not have to do anything to it in terms of repairs at all. Just basic maintanence which will be done mostly by Honda if not myself. I suppose I just need enough to change a tyre and I hope that will be it! In India I just bought a bike with cash, asked how the gears worked and wobbled off. Now I find myself overthinking minute details. For a brand new bike, what sort of basic spares would you be looking at aside from cables and bulbs?
I've bought many new Hondas ... I seriously doubt you'll need any Cables or bulbs, quite unlikely in 12K kms. of moderate use. Relax. Concentrate on safe riding and survival! Pack Light!

Are your planning a lot of Night Riding? If you do lose a bulb ... any auto parts store will stock the common H4 bulb you need. Cables? Not a chance on a new bike. Keep bike out of mud and rain when possible. Keep rubber cable dams in place. (they help)

Flats may be only real worry. With 2/3 good irons, 2 spare tubes, and a bicycle pump, you should be fine. I store one tube on front fender (in special pouch) another in luggage. I'd carry one spare spark plug ... just for laughs ... you'll never need it!

Keep eyes peeled for Llanteria (tire shops) (AKA "Llantero")
Ask where one might be if you need a flat fixed. Take care your tubes, patch them (have a pro do it) when you can and SAVE patched ones. Good quality tubes may be hard to find in remote areas. (especially Peru' / Bolivia)

Be careful about overloading that top box. If it hangs too rearward it can stress sub frame/rack and rattle the crap out of contents.

If me, I'd just use a medium duffel or two or soft panniers on a rack.
Lighter and lower, stuff stays more secure on rough road.

I would not worry about bash plates or bark busters. I would bring set of levers. (clutch & brake) ... and try not to crash or drop the bike!

Windshield is optional. I don't like them, but many do. Adds weight, expense and hard to look through if riding off road ... and it can decapitate you in a crash. (unlikely but has happened )

I would not carry chain tools on a brand new bike. Just keep your chain CLEAN, adjusted and well oiled. Clean and Oil daily, in 12K kms. should still look like new at end of trip.

If you're not camping then it's possible to travel pretty light. Keep an eye on your rear tire ... it will be probably be gone by around 6k kms. If you see a good replacement .. buy it and carry it on board till you need it. Rears wear out, fronts last for a LONG time.

¡que le via muy bien!
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  #10  
Old 25 Mar 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
You don't really need anything at all. Some throw over bags and a waterproof roll bag. 42L top box is BIG. Especially on a smaller bike. Pack light.. You need a lot less than you think.

Id be more interested in the kit. Tools, spares, etc...

If you want to go off-road, then things change a little and you start looking into protection for the bike.
I am with Ted on that one.

For my next trip in April (London to Mongolia) we rebuilt 2 old honda XRs but we only fitted a bash plate and frame to attach the soft panniers.

Apart from that our kit is minimal. We are not even taking spare tubes. They are way too heavy and bulky and we never used ours when we spent a year round south America. The fact it, if you have a puncture (we had two in one full year of travel with 2 bikes!) , the puncture repair kit should get you moving, then, if you must, stop at a shop to get it professionally repaired.

We are only taking essentials, what would stop us on the road: clutch cable, throttle cable, levers... we bet that we should be able to repair and find spares in towns (the XR125 is same engine than the CG125!).

IF your bike is local, (and new!) you shouldn't need to carry a lot of parts. And if your bike is little, less is better... Sod Law applying (always!) whatever you carry won't be what you need in the end....
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  #11  
Old 25 Mar 2014
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Maria, I like your pack light mentality..

However, I would pack at least one front inner tube as a spare between you. You can use it in the rear in an emergency.. I'd had plenty on punctures where the tube could not be repaired... Those rough tracks will surely earn you punctures...



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Old 25 Mar 2014
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
Maria, I like your pack light mentality..

However, I would pack at least one front inner tube as a spare between you. You can use it in the rear in an emergency.. I'd had plenty on punctures where the tube could not be repaired... Those rough tracks will surely earn you punctures...



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Ted, it's still heavy and bulky. (And we have different riding styles if I remember ..for me it is "slowly but surely").

I don't even know how we are going to pack all the camping gear... forget about spare clothes almost!
I have not started filling the soft panniers but they seem tiny!


So the plan is, if we get a puncture than cannot be repaired, we have 2 bikes! I am sure that, for a price, one of us can ride off and get some inner tube. Remember that with those small bikes we will be able to find locally that sort of thing. Even in Mongolia, herders these days all have little chinese bikes. We should be able to get help and buy a tube if needed....
And after all, it's supposed to be an adventure! IF the trip is trouble free we will meet no one and it will be boring!

When are you off to BAs?
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  #13  
Old 25 Mar 2014
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Wow, great advice all! Will print this off and make note!

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  #14  
Old 25 Mar 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
Maria, I like your pack light mentality..
However, I would pack at least one front inner tube as a spare between you. You can use it in the rear in an emergency.. I'd had plenty on punctures where the tube could not be repaired... Those rough tracks will surely earn you punctures...
Thanks for pointing this out Ted ... agree 100%. Not carrying a tube IS something that will STOP YOUR RIDE ... right now. I've seen many tubes ruined from just one puncture or a pinch ...both street and dirt. Maria, you've been very lucky in the past. If you go with no spare tubes ... you may just be "pushing your luck"!

Sometimes a tube splits for no obvious reason, sometimes a nail (or whatever) is stuck in there and tears up the tube ... not repairable. Sometimes, like in my pic below, bloody valve stem pulled right OUT!

Try fixing that one! (the green stuff is SLIME)

As Ted says ... at least one 21" tube. (YES .. it will work in the rear) Use front fender pack for your tube. But if me, on a Mongolia ride? I'd take at least 2 tubes, maybe 3. They won't be for sale at every other Yert.

Note 21" tube mounted to front fender. Has never come off ... keep it tight.

In years of off road riding, lots of Baja riding I've seen many problems regarding tubes. Having a tube mailed in would take probably two weeks.

If cables are closely checked pre-trip ... I would opt for no spare cables.
i've not broken cable in 30 years ... since the "bad old days". No spares needed if cable routing is correct and no stress points exist and no wear shown upon inspection. If any doubt, replace with BRAND NEW cable PRE TRIP.

Packing camping gear is a challenge. Any way to leave it behind?
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Old 25 Mar 2014
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Maria, like you.. I never had a single puncture in all of South America in over 7 months... I think there is something in the water there

However, during the same period of time in Africa I had over 50 punctures and went through over ten inner tubes. I'm not even exaggerating (for a change). I had the same tubes, same kind of bike etc....

What you pack is your own decision of course and everyone had different priorities. You have to do what makes YOU happy.

But.....Could you not tie one up in a bag and stuff it under the rear subframe of the bike ??? Puncture kits will only fix a SMALL hole and even then there is no guarantee that it will hold. Your trip to Mongolia is going to involve a lot of rough roads. Puncture heaven.

Whatever you do.. DON'T put slime or any other puncture sealant in your tubes. Even though I used it in South America and credited my lack of punctures to it (mistake), It will guarantee that you will never be able to fix that puncture. I got a small puncture in a 'Slimed' tube and it didn't seal it at all. The coating can not be cleaned out and it will stop any patch from sticking to it even if you are sure you've cleaned it away from the area.

South America in December... Can't wait to see old friends again
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