Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear?

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.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

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

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 23 Apr 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 2
Riding with a Lot of Gear

I'm a total newbie to lengthy travel via motorcycle, so excuse me if I sound laughably ignorant. A friend and I are planning a 2 week motorcycle trip in Iceland this summer. We both have 65 liter backpacks that we use to travel with. Is it possible to secure these on our bikes while we ride? I have a lot of experience riding in Africa and Asia, but it's always been day trips or weekend trips so I never had to ride with a big pack like this. I'm assuming the bags won't fit in the metal boxes on the bike. Do we just bungee-cord them down onto the bikes? Should we completely forget about bringing these large bags? And we plan on bringing tents and maybe a stove. Any suggestions in regards to securing so much gear on our bikes? Thanks in advance!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 23 Apr 2009
steved1969's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Yorkshire UK
Posts: 110
Depending on the bikes you may be able to strap the rucksacks on or across the pillion seat. Use straps rather than Bungee's though, much more secure. Halfords do a range of various straps at pretty cheap prices.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 23 Apr 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 237
Yeah definitely use straps rather then bungee cord. Watch out for the remainder of the strap once secured; it may come loose if tucked in and catch around your wheel. It happened to me last year, so I decided to cut the straps down to the size I needed; removing the potential for disaster.

Also remember that arranging your luggage so as not to affect the center of gravity is massively important. The weight needs to sit behind the rider, in line with the bike.

My theory; imagine you have a top box on the back of your bike, and your looking down on it. Along its length, divide into thirds. The weight wants to sit in the second ‘third’ (the middle), close to the rider.

Keep your tires up to pressure, tighten your chain (if needed) and check the rear shock and all will be fine!

Luggage often put me off doing a long trip, but as soon as you start organizing your weight distribution everything starts falling into place.

Best o’luck
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 23 Apr 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Somewhere west of Laramie...
Posts: 479
Are you planning on using these bags off the bikes (ie for hiking) too? or is it just because you have them already?

Personally if they aren't going to be used away from the bike, I would look at something slightly more bike specific in a similar capacity - either Ortlieb duffle bags or Wolfman particularly do a nice expedition bag that sits over the rear seat and extends slightly down each side, and will strap on more securely? Both are proper waterproof, and likely to be more robust in the event of a spill?

Wolfman Motorcycle Luggage

Otherwise as others have said, positioning the backpacks well and securing with decent 1" webbing straps ought to be sufficient...

xxx
__________________
JennyDakar.com
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 24 Apr 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Sydney
Posts: 40
Hi

I'm planning a 6 month trip from Sydney to London at the end of the year and am going to be using aluminium panniers. But, recently did a 2 week trip of around 4000km in Australia. It was at fairly short notice, so didnt have time to buy much.

I had a 35 litre back pack that I strapped to the pillion seat. The base of the backpack against my back (acted like a back rest too) and the top at the back of the bike. I used a pacsafe to padlock it to the pillion grab rail, so it was secure. Just strap it up and use diagonal straps on each side going forwards and back to stop it sliding. You won't even notice its there and can leave it on the bike when you stop.

That being said - you mentioned using panniers - if you already have them, just buy some removeable pannier bags and it will be way easier than having to strap it on each morning. It only took about ten mins, but would be a lot easier using panniers.

Hope this helps.

J
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 24 Apr 2009
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: bellingham, WA, USA
Posts: 1,990
Like Jmo I'm not sure why you're planning to bring the backpacks. If you've got panniers, that's where your baggage belongs--for security, for waterproofness, for balance and handling. If you don't have panniers, maybe you should. If you don't have any other way to carry your stuff to and from Iceland, maybe you should invest in a duffel or two.

On the other hand (there is always an "other hand"), maybe you need to use the backpacks during your trip. I've put about 40,000 miles on my bike with a backpack bungied (yes bungied: the heavy duty black ones, never less than two) behind me on the seat. This works fine as long as you don't ever want to ride two up. I set out from home without a backpack, figuring I was on a motorcycle journey and had no use for one. While waiting almost two months for warranty repairs on my bike (a story for another day), I found I suddenly needed a backpack in order to keep traveling. I bought it in New Jersey(!).

Some considerations: Mine was about 35 or 40 liters: bigger just weighs more and gets in the way. Usually I carried it empty, wrapped in its raincover and strapped tightly together; since it looked easily stolen, I wanted to make sure it looked ugly. Towards the end of my trip I put it into a Packsafe mesh bag and cabled it to the bike, but most of the time I just trusted my dumb luck. Successfully, in this case.

On another occasion, I traveled around West Africa on rented bikes for a couple of weeks. These had no panniers, so I carried the same backpack, wrapped in the same ugly raincover, strapped to the seat behind me. This was less than ideal in a lot of ways--lack of security, bad balance, shifting load, etc., but I didn't have any other obvious way to work it. If you need to, you'll make it serve your purposes and carry on with your trip.

There is no question that a backpack is perfectly designed for carrying on your back, and that it makes a poor substitute for any of the many forms of luggage designed for bikes. This being the case, if you don't need a backpack, bring a light duffel instead, or a waterproof duffel, or a giant roll-top bag, or almost anything without a frame and a lot of useless straps and belts and other extraneous stuff.

Hope that helps.

Mark
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 24 Apr 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Hollywood, Northern Ireland, UK
Posts: 64
Not a bonus for non uk residence but many surplus stores are selling the current british army deplyment bag for about £10-20. this is about medium ortlieb sized, has compression straps and rucksack straps that can be tucked out of view and is pretty rugged.


The Outdoors - UK Army Surplus Shop - Rucksacks

May be worth considering?

38
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 24 Apr 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 2
Wow, thanks for all the responses. Really, we were just going to bring the large backpacks merely because we have them. Also, we are renting bikes over there, so I'm not sure if they will have the panniers. It appears that some do and some don't. Maybe I will make it a requirement and just bring a couple small school-sized backpacks that will fit in the panniers. We will be doing some hiking, but we won't be away from the bikes for more than a day. While security is always something to consider, it is Iceland, so I'm not that concerned.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 21 Jun 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: petersfield, england
Posts: 17
Sounds like a lot of good advice to me. I travelled down through the Americas with my backpack on the pillion seat. I´d like to add three things.
1) if you do this make sure you have a rain cover - water will get in otherwise, these packs are not designed to be laid down in the rain! water will form pools and get inside via the zips.
2) if the pack is heavy, make sure you use at least some straps and NOT just bungies, because otherwise when you have to manouvre in an emergency, the pack will destabilise your bike and the subsequent wobble will magnify very quickly causing you to lose control or get thrown off!!
3) don´t leave any strap ends flapping about on either sides. Whilst weaving through traffic in Rio, Brazil one such loose strap got caught up on the hooks of a passing truck! I had to keep up the truck whilst at the same time trying to unhook myself - fortunately we were not going fast, but never the less, very scary!!
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Best riding gear RTW HendiKaf Camping Equipment and all Clothing 22 4 Jan 2010 15:04
Best all weather riding gear Xander Camping Equipment and all Clothing 84 15 Jul 2009 16:02
best all-around riding gear? tee Camping Equipment and all Clothing 37 24 Aug 2005 20:10
riding gear/clothing roadrider TRAVEL Equipment for Sale / Wanted 0 18 Jul 2005 09:37
heated riding gear Mr. Ron Equipment Reviews 7 16 Feb 2004 06:28

 
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

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.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 07:45.