The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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Was just thinking this evening that I might pop across town to the London motorcycle show this week to see if I can get various bits of kit on the cheap for my upcoming trip and was drawing up a wish list.
I've currently got a pair of Metzeler Tourance on the bike and thought about whether I need to maybe get a second pair to strap on the bike for the trip.
My question is this, is this really necessary or am i likely to find these same tyres along the way and for a fraction of the price?
This is quite often asked and I think as usual there are two groups of people- those who say yes, definitely carry them.
...and those like me who say, I don't actually like carrying tyres at all.
As you're using Tourance - which I love when travelling long distances as they last for bloody forever (and that's on my old heavy 800cc BMW fully loaded with two-up) I wouldn't carry them but if you want to, maybe get them sent out.
Or just see what you can get by on what's available along the way (a Tiffany Coates tried and tested method - which many people think is foolish, but, hey I always get there)
A Tourance can last all the way to Oz.
In the even older days (mid 70s) I did Oz to Uk without a spare, but did carry a spare tube and a can of Zssh!. The tube and Zssh! weren't required at all until I continued my journey into Africa.
I was in Niger - 20kms from the Nigerian border - when I felt the rear end start to wander. I pulled over, and within 2 minutes the ubiquitous African desert tribesman appeared out of nowhere and pointed laughingly to my flat rear tyre. I gave him my usual "no worries mate, just watch this" thumbs up grin and proceeded to empty the can of Zssh! into the rear tyre valve. He looked on astonished whilst the tyre re-inflated and I waved as I headed off into the distance only for the wandering rear to re-emerge 3 km down the road. It was a slow 17km ride done the road to the border where I found a local tyre repairer able to swap out the tube. That was the only flat I had in a 2 year journey.
As for carrying a spare nowadays it is clearly less important. On my trip in 2008 from Oz to the Uk I got 25k km out of a rear (and 40k km out of a front) on my 650. I carried tyre plugs and a cheap compressor for when I got a flat, but these were required only once.
to my experience carrying a spare tire is a plus in some area where you cannot find tires in the size you like or if you want specific tires, I agree that if you stay on road and travel from large city to another large city you will be able to get what you need but in some remote place of Africa or even Asia finding the TKC or KH you like will be quiet difficult. You may like to carry only the rear one as they do get use in half the time of the front one.
This really depends, and like others have said people tend to have either a yes or no opinion. Unfortunately it is not that simple.
Lets say your tyre runs low in Turkey, no problem at all getting new ones. Iran or Southern Pakistan it becomes a problem. The other thing to consider is does your carnet allow for spare tyres (mine didn't I had to blag it once) and, if you they are going to run out in Italy is it cheaper to buy spares at home first?
I always bought tyres when I had about 2-3k left on my old ones and then I would try to run them for 4-5k more. The laws in Britain don't apply elsewhere. No-one is going to give you a ticket in Pakistan for not having 1.3mm or whatever it is so you can ride the tyres until you feel they are unsafe.
Essentially, although I have heard of problems and it really depends on your route, you are unlikely to run into a trip crippling problem because of tyres. Just be aware when they are running low and check whenever you are in big cities. Remember that we follow in the footsteps of giants, there are plenty of shops selling what you need and someone here has used them and finally, DHL is worldwide.
Location: Vancouver, BC - now at large in the world
I carried a Turkish-bought spare and put it on in Cambodia just because I was bored one day. I will not carry a spare next time around. A total hassle. Even in Pakistan you can get all sorts of tires that will fit.
I too agree that there's no point in carrying spares. It's not like your tyre will disintegrate instantly without prior notice leaving your naked rim on the tar. There are plenty of places where you can find tyres enroute. If you think you might need an exotic size, then do some research where your size might be available. In the worst case, you might buy tyres enroute, and carry them for a bit and then slap them on, but there's no point at all in departing with a set of spares if your current tyres are good for another 15k.
If you don't think you can find tyres enroute, then post some ahead from home. The price will be well worth the savings in weight and hassle.
If you want to look hardcore at the ice-cream parlor however, then one, or better two sets of spares are a definate requirement
I carry a spare tube and rim tape. This could resolve a problem with either wheel whether you have tubed or tubeless tyres. You might want to carry a couple of large patches such as you can buy from Agricultural merchants. With this you could cobble up a bodge that would get you out of trouble. By patching the tyre to protect the tube in the event of a split tyre.
Before deciding on whether or not to carry a spare tyre it might be worth checking what is actually in use in the countries you are visiting. For instance through Russia if your wheels were the same as is used on Urals you wont have a major problem. On the other hand a big fat rear 16" may well be difficult to locate.
I dont think there´s one definite answer. It depends on many factors, like your wheel sizes, and the possibilities to fasten them on a bike.
We went that way 2-up on one DL650 with my girlfriend, and carried spare tyres almost all the time, about 30.000 kms. The bikes crashbars had some extra weldings, that made it easy to attach them to both sides of the fuel tank. First I thought they were a pain, but after a while I didnt even notice them. Also a nice and soft extra protection to the engine and fuel tank (and my feet!), had the bike gone down. Going off-road with them attached that way would have been a bad idea, though.
This way we were able to reach Sydney so that we were independent regarding tyres ever since we left Greece. These sizes (110/80-19 front, 150/70-17 back) would´ve been easily available in Turkey, and after that in Thailand and Malaysia (and in Australia of course). The rest of the countries I think we would´ve needed to search hard to find the sizes. May be it could have been possible to find them also in some big cities in India, or even in Pakistan or Iran (but if your an occasional tourist, the enormous big cities in Asia are not the nice st of places to go and try to find something!!)
All in all it wasnt 100% necessary, we never had any big troubles with the tyres we had on, and it could´ve been possible to order a new set in Thailand, for example. But if I´d go again, I´d still carry an extra set, as (contrary to what I also thought beforehand) it wasnt too hard to do it, and meant there was one thing less to worry about. But had we not been able to carry them on the front, I might not feel the same way at all.
I struggled getting the right tyres at the right time on my trip across Northern Asia in 2005. There are more internet outlets in places like Russia though, but plan ahead.
I would prefer sending some ahead to some nice hotel or tourist agency or something like that. Internet community members might be able to hold them as well. That way you don't have to go hunting for it. Less stress and that. Often in far flung places prices are inflated so it wouldn't cost that much more.
I was warned, that certain countries in Asia may add heavy (+100%) import taxes for goods that are sent there.
I havent sent tyres anywhere on the trip, so have no personal experience, if it is true or not - or if it depends on whether the customs will check the shipment or not, etc. But the possibility of this was among the things we though about, when we decided to take extra tyres with us.
That needs working out, but is still something I prefer over hunting down tyres. But as more and more online retailers are around, it becomes easier to source the tyres online in the country that you'll be looking for them, and waiting for you at the hotel you'll want to stay at. Changing it in the parking lot in the shade and get back on s. Easy.
Often those taxes are complete BS. We were hit with 'taxes' when I had a tent sent to Georgia but argued long enough for them to get sick of me and let me go. We kept saying that we're not selling it or anything locally and were going to take it out of the country right away.
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