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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 22 Nov 2002
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Now much should I put into bike?

Hi guys,
I bought a 1981 Suzuki GS1100, not a BMW 1100 :P and was wondering how much you guys usually spend on a well outfitted ride.

Here's my list so far:
-900$US for bike (I got a steal of a deal)
-1000$US for Jesse luggage (if he will make a left side without the exhaust cutout)
-250$US for extended swingarm, chain and brakeline
-200$US for frame struts and skidplate
-300$US for Dyna 2000 Ignition so that I can change ignition timing for <80 octane fuel, has rev limiter as well which is good
-500$US for extra fuel tank or bladder
-400$US for crankshaft and clutch basket mods
-GPS and mount but I plan to use Marco Polo map most of the time (Rand McNally has no idea whether Mexico even exists...)
-steering dampner if swingarm causes trouble

Okay, that's a total of 5000$US with minor cost overruns but does not include shipping or taxes.

What does everybody think? I figure I should spend 7000$US on the bike just to make sure it's ready. Where should I spent the other 2 grand?

The problem ofcourse is weight and I only have 250lbs to spare for a girl and our gear. Any more than that and I will be over the limit of the bike which is 1000lbs...that and I'd be rivalling Grant and Susan for the biggest overlander on the planet, OOPS
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  #2  
Old 23 Nov 2002
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Just curious why you are fitting a longer swingarm? The gs1100 should be fine with the stock timing, I know my '78 GS550 say to run 85 octain or higher. 85 is pretty low, and if you don't lug the engine you should be fine. If you havn't already, you may want to upgrade the Regulator/Rectifier with an Eletrex unit. Apparently the stock setup is faulty, wich leads to burnt stators. You can get more info on that and just about everything on your bike at:

http://www.thegsresources.com/

Other than the regulator, the old GS's are supposed to be bullet prof.
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  #3  
Old 25 Nov 2002
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Hi,
I am a regular at The GS Resources and have learned a lot there. You're right about the electrex equipment, I will install it if I haven't already got it on my bike. I don't know if I need their setup yet as I haven't taken delivery of the bike.

As for the longer swingarm...I would like one so that I can get more clearance. I need more clearance because I want to go off road and as it is now I have a 4-into-1 exhaust that is way too low on the bike. I may have to change it out as well as the swingarm. Instead of stretching the bike I would get a longer swingarm that is only a few inches longer and raise the bike. It shouldn't be hard to find one although I've only seen used ones that are 6" extra or more.

Steve
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  #4  
Old 27 Nov 2002
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Dunno much abou GS suzis, but DO NOT buy an extended swing-arm TO RAISE GROUND CLEARANCE. You will most definitely upset the handling quite a bit by raising the bike at the back only ánd extending the wheel-base. Will do you a power of no good loaded up!

Just get spring pre-load both front and rear to maximum to set up the sag to the load.
You may need to buy a stiffer spring for the rear and bushed for the front. Both are cheap. Unless you are planning to do real off-roading in stead of just dirt road, ground clearance should be no problem and the exhaust will protect your sump.
Do fit the corsest and highest(100%) tires that fit the rims. Use HD inner tubes.
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  #5  
Old 27 Nov 2002
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Hi Steve,

Just curious were you are planning to go with the bike, how long and what kind of roads you planning to take.
Unless you are going on a long RTW trip 7000 $US sounds like quite a lot of money to me to spend on a bike.
To answer you question: I spend about 3500 Euro's (I think thats about the same in Dollars) to buy and prepare a XT500 for a half a year and 20.000 km trip in southern Africa (thats including spares and overhauling the bike, not shipping to AFrica). After that I made a couple trips to west Africa on the same bike with ussualy tyres, chains and spare's being the biggest costs: about 600 Euro's for a 10.000 km trip (a little more if an overhaul was needed).

I agree that you should raise the bike on both sides, not only the rear. The easierst way to keep the weight down is to make your lugage volume small: if you have the space you sure will fill it even if you intended to take little.
Is the ignition modification nescessary? My experience is that as long as you just take it (very) easy and pay attention to noise from the engine, low actane fuel is not a real problem. Really bad or low octane fuel is getting scares, even in Africa.
And a tip on how to spend the other us$ 2000 : i would spend it on fuel! Just extend the trip!!

Have fun.

Peter
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  #6  
Old 29 Nov 2002
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Hi Peter,
I would be setting the bike up for a PanAmerican trip for the first tour. I think that is a 60,000km trip or more depending on how much wandering I do. If I tour Canada and America on the way it will easily be 100,000km. These bikes are good for over 300,000km before rebuilds as long as you don't miss a shift and blow it up (mine has 77k on it so it should be fine). The ignition module has a rev limiter to prevent this although I could buy a seperate rev limiter for a lot less. The crank and clutch work will only be needed if my bike has been modded for something like 120hp. I won't know if it has until I take delivery and dyno it.

When putting that price together I showed some of the work I was considering doing to the bike. This would still be much less than a new bike although it would never be recoverable if I had to sell it during the trip. Since then I've dropped the extra fuel tank for racks that I could mount on paniers. The paniers will probably end up being made by me unless I can find something as good as Jesse luggage but for half the price.

As for raising the bike, I figured I would have to get longer forks as well but I forgot to put that in. I'll need all the clearance I can get because I'll take any road I can find. I don't know about desert crossing unless since I have no experience with them...I'll just take roads as far as I can and if I have to turn back I will.

Cheers, Steve
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  #7  
Old 29 Nov 2002
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Hmmm... the distance sounds lika A LOT OF LOT!!!

Anyhow - for a trip of that length - and if you still want to enjoy it - you need a reasonable amount of time (AT LEAST half a year)...

20tkm in half a year is quite easily spend, but everything a lot up is a little like a rush - especially when the roads aren't exactly roads - anyhow - I'm sure you will be fine as long as you can call it a road - if it's not I wouldn't take a Suzuki GS - because that's just not, what it's made for...
And I'm sure you won't make it good enough with the improvements...

But try it out - there's always a first time and first place things have been done...

"Normal" alloy cases should suit you - just browse the international dealers and find out, what you prefer - like lockable, detachable when packed, waterproof, table included, lid able to be taken off etc...

...and the go and make it yourself - it's not only cheaper - it fits your bike...

If you want to reuse them on another bike you should think about it before you weld them...

Anyhow - 7000 USD seems quite a bit - I spend not quite double on a whole trip including bike, gear, flight, accommodation, food, drink, tours, spares, souvenirs and EVERYTHING on the way for almost 9 month!!!
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Old 29 Nov 2002
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60.000 kilometers would take you two times around the entire world (as you'd do huge stints by boat). The Pan-Am cannot be that long. I guess you've got the conversion from miles way out. Dunno how much it actually is, but from pole to pole would be about 27.000 km. I guess...
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  #9  
Old 30 Nov 2002
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I thought that most people took 40,000km to travel from Alaska to Argentina and then a bunch more if they go back up the east side of South America. You're probably right though, I traveled from Ottawa to Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala last year and that was 16,000km for the round trip (we could have made it to Panama no problem but we used up 3 extra days in Cancun and Acapulco instead). Unfortunately we did it in 14 days by van so we missed out on a lot so I have to do it again by bike. I figure I would take a year to complete the trip by bike.

My new figure for setting up the bike (including buying it) is now 4000$US. This should be plenty from what you guys say. I was going to do it on a FJR1300 but it would take too long to save up for the bike...as someone else also stated, I would rather spend the big bucks on travelling and not on a bike so I got the GS.

Thanks for the tips guys, Steve
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  #10  
Old 4 Dec 2002
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Have a look on www.easygps.com for up- and downloading waypoints to your PC.
On www.oziexplorer you will find how to plot routes on scanned maps; thé tool to plan a route, then download to your GPS and just follow the arrow :-)
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