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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 13 Jul 2011
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Top Motorcycle Trip Tech/Gadgets

I'm embarking on a trip from London to Turkey shortly (all on road) and want to make sure I have all the necessary tech/gadgets to make my trip as comfortable/enjoyable/efficient as possible.

What are the essential bits of tech, gadgets, software, apps that I should invest in and which are not worth the trouble?
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  #2  
Old 13 Jul 2011
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top gadget

1)GPS
2)netbook
3)tire repair kit with air pump

Anything else is easy to find on the road as you cross EU
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  #3  
Old 13 Jul 2011
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Personally I'd take as little unnecessary crap as possible but agree a GPS is handy, I got from Turkey to Scotland without any paper maps and just the basic Worldmap on my old GPS. A reliable & compact 12v pump as mentioned is essential.

If you are going to hit Turkey when it's pretty hot, while not that 'techy', I found those cheap, collapsible bottle cooler bags really great for keeping my water cool.
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Old 14 Jul 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeS View Post
collapsible bottle cooler bags
MikeS, more info on the above would be appreciated please.
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  #5  
Old 14 Jul 2011
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Anything like these things, if you buy the water cold, it will keep it that way much longer than if shoved in your pannier. Warm water is nasty when its hot. We had one that would hold 12 cans so I could get water in it plus some food I wanted to keep cool. It was collapsible so packed away easy.

One Bottle Cooler Bag | Bags - Picnic/Cooler | Bags & Cases

Quote:
Originally Posted by EMBEE View Post
MikeS, more info on the above would be appreciated please.
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  #6  
Old 15 Jul 2011
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GPS and a smart phone. Forget about the laptop pack less and you'll spend less time packing. A good smart phone can satisfy all your multimedia needs like skype, internet, picture sharing, mp3, movies and whatever you enjoy doing while sipping on a latte watching the world go by.
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Old 15 Jul 2011
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Accommodation

Are you camping or staying in hotels ?

If camping, I found a mini camping espresso maker to be a brilliant little morning maker. It was my luxury item and sooo worth it.

GSI Mini Expresso 1 Cup Aluminum

A fold up chair makes the end of the day a bit easier too if you can. We used kids chairs, lasted the trip.Just.
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  #8  
Old 15 Jul 2011
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Thanks for your replies and tips. I have now ordered a 12v pump and am on the lookout for a tyre repair kit (any recommendations for something suitable for a BMW, I assume tubeless, with tyre pressure monitors please).

Will probably stay in hotels. I'm more of a tourer than an adventurer (i.e. I'm soft and keen for a hot shower and confortable bed at the end of the day).

I have a GPS, iPod (with plenty of music loaded) and HTC Desire (with UK Vodafone sim) but will also take my laptop so I can plan/download routes from Mapsource as I go. I usually travel with this and it also lets me save video files from my GoPro HD - much cheaper than keeping on SD cards.

Roaming charges on the mobile are way expensive to I plan to turn data off and rely on free wireless in hotels, bars, cafes as I go to stay connected. Can always connect and pay thru the nose if nothing else is available I suppose.

Finding accomodation can sometimes be a challenge as I will probably not book anything in advance. The Trip Advisor app I have found to be ok for finding places to stay but you cannot tell if motorcycle friendly and secure parking.

Any there any other iPhone or Android apps that are essential kit for motorcyclists?
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Old 15 Jul 2011
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You will have your Hi-tech stuff as momentos of your trip.

If you can divert your eyes and ears from all the gadgets, what about scenery, places and people?

A camera perhaps?
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Old 15 Jul 2011
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Thanks for the tip Tony. I might try to look around also. The GoPro camera can also take stills - but I'm sure I will have plenty of hours of high quality video as a momento of the trip. My aim is to kit up so I can spend more time riding and doing those things you suggest. Good thing I just learned how to walk and chew gum at the same time!
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Old 15 Jul 2011
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I agree with Tony, the focus should be on the trip itself and your experiences, not 'stuff'. Bringing more gadgets with you is just increasing the hassle factor in that you have more things to worry about when you leave your bike unattended somewhere. Phones aren't essential as almost every town will have internet cafes with Skype etc.

Don't worry too much about researching all your accommodation in advance, part of the fun of travelling is not knowing where you are going to stay that night
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Old 15 Jul 2011
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I would like to offer up a differing opinion.....I think a phone is essential and some type of computer, or combination of both.
I've tried the internet cafe thing and frankly, if your butt is in a crack, you need access now. Not when the cafe is open, or they can convert your currency , or they can understand wtf you're saying.
I've tried it both ways.....the self reliant part of having your own electronics gear is a real plus. I can think of MANY occasions that I WISH I had a mini-netbook or such. I carry a smartphone and a roll-up keyboard. (Think I want a mini netbook instead). The phone can even be a pay as you go job, but the netbook is just a necessary item in these modern times. Believe me, I am NOT a tech kind of guy either.

As long as the gear doesn't dominate your focus it's a blessing.

I don't agree that it is an unnecessary extravagance. I think you could be just as over the top about tubes and wrenches. ( I say this based upon the style of travel you say you enjoy.)

Just my .02 pennies...
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Old 15 Jul 2011
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Hi,

>> for a BMW

First thing: get a travel bike wich can be repaired in less developed countrys as well. Even the team of charley borman could not repair there computer GS on there long way round...

>> ordered a 12v pump

Rather take a smaller bicycle pump and a adapter. You will not need it much and the electric ones are to big.

>> and am on the lookout for a tyre repair kit


If you dont own one and dont know how to use it its not worth taking it. If you need to pay someone to to the job for you anyway he will have his own stuff...


>> Will probably stay in hotels. I'm more of a tourer than an adventurer (i.e. I'm soft and keen for a hot shower and confortable bed at the end of the day).

So why dont take the plain and book a all inclusive hotel trip?


>> I have a GPS, iPod (with plenty of music loaded) and HTC Desire (with UK Vodafone sim) but will also take my laptop so I can plan/download routes from Mapsource as I go.


Get the maps ready before you start. I used tracs4africa & Garmin worlmap all around africa Transafrika - Riding on a motorbike through africa part 1

>> I usually travel with this and it also lets me save video files from my GoPro HD - much cheaper than keeping on SD cards.


And what about some gravel roads with strong vibrations that will destroy your hard disk? Rather save everything on sd cards that you can switch to read onely if you are in a internet cafe with lots of viruses.

>> Finding accomodation can sometimes be a challenge as I will probably not book anything in advance.

No not at all you will find people who are interesdet in your money and offer you acomerdation everywhere in the world.


>> Any there any other iPhone or Android apps that are essential kit for motorcyclists?

No there isnt any need to take expensive nonsense stuff like that anywhere in the world. Leafe them at home and enjoy not to have to worry about them.

Enjoy the experience, Tobi

Edit: Whater bottles you will get 4 free with every coca cola...yes you can even get them in congo

Last edited by ta-rider; 15 Jul 2011 at 20:18.
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  #14  
Old 15 Jul 2011
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Thanks to those who have contributed. I have invested in a pump, tyre repair kit and water bottle - all as a result of the feedback and I am most grateful - but not exactly hi-tech here. The rest of the stuff I have had for some time and found it suits my style of high mileage but 'soft' sport touring (about 30,000 miles in Western Europe over the last 3 years including several organised tours).

It is always good to canvass opinion and it may even be worth opening up a new thread about the merits of technology in the context of biking. Each to their own I say and good luck to the adventure junkies who want to light a fire by rubbing two sticks together and fix their bike with chewing gum. It's not my thing and I am envious of those that have the time, skills and confidence.

My interest, although poorly worded, was more to get a feel for what types of technology rather than kit that others had found useful. I do appreciate that none of this is needed and much of depends on personal and travel preferences and interests. My experience is that technology can achieve greater levels of safety and efficiency. I have a new bike, with roadside assist, and little knowledge on how to fix it if something goes wrong (and it is way too complex anyway). If I'm in a pinch I want all that is available to get me out of it in as little time as possible and get back to the major focus which is to visit new/different countries and ride some of the best and most scenic roads I can - provided they are good, sealed surfaces. An app on my phone adds no extra weight on my bike nor takes up space in my luggage but can save precious hours in certain circumstances.

I also like to keep in touch with what is going on and don't like to line up but hey that's just me. Nothing wrong with not being able to be contacted for a few weeks.

This is a great community and I very much appreciate being part if it. It is even stronger for the depth of experience of the members and their breadth of views. I'll keep my eyes and ears open and let you know of any new gadets/tech I find that make life easier just in case anyone is interested. I'll be sure to have researched them even if I don't have them!
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Old 15 Jul 2011
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Hi,

How come you first talk about high milage and then onely about 10.000 per jear in the same sentence? But what i realy would like to know is in wich certain circumstances a app on a iPhone (which will probably not even surwife strong vibrations, dust and moisture while realy traveling) can bring you out of trouble while there is no reception? Doesnt people use motorbikes insted of cars because they want to go back to the roots with not more then one engine and two wheels?

All the way from the UK to turkey will be tarmac and no problem at all so the onely thing special you will have to take is a first aid kid and spare bulbs if you legaly want to cross austria. Onely remember to tell your GPS not to use the highways but rather travel slow, winding roads through little villages to enjoy the beautifull side of europa. The insurance for turkey you will get at the border for about 5 Euros per week.

Have fun even with all your high tech Tobi
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