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

Like Tree4Likes

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 296
What do you think of my setup?

Hi all,

So very soon to set off (around S.America), I thought I had everything figured and was feeling very clever I managed to get everything on the bike without any modifcations, until I realised I had to put 10lt of fuel somewhere...

Here was the bike before:-



My tank range is a feeble 200k (uphill), so I reckoned fuel, or lack of, was going to be a big issue. Given the frequency of fill-ups, I suspected constantly filling up coke bottles from the tank and stashing them here and there, and then having to refill the tank, might get a bit tiring after a while. So I bought a 10lt jerry can. After much headscratching, I finally landed on this setup:





So as you can see, got rid of the topbox and put the fuel there instead. It sloshes around a bit but don´t notice whilst driving, and figured will only fill it when necessary and then just siphon it directly out into the tank with a tube, rather than distangling it all the time. I have 4lt of water in my rackpack, and enough space for a few kilos of rice/pasta, and perishables can go in the tankbag or will just bungy them onto the side in a 9lt dry bag...

But, as always, any suggestions, tips or comments will be welcomed by a newbie!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Oxford UK
Posts: 997
What sort of mpg do you normally get out of the bike? I've not ridden round South America but I'd be surprised if you need more than a 200 mile range and then only occasionally.

I'd have thought a 10L can was overkill and you'll be hauling it around all the time just to use it once or twice. What would worry me most though would be the can in plain sight for every policeman able to issue the words "dangerous load" or "hazardous material" or something similar. Even without that I doubt it would last beyond your first lunch stop.

My answer to lack of fuel range on my 125 (although in Europe which I fully admit isn't the same) was two 2L fuel containers (one from army surplus and one from a Land Rover dealer) which went inside the luggage. Out of sight and out of mind. In your situation I'd probably start with something similar and also either take something like a roll up water container that will hold petrol or buy something locally when it looked like I might need it.

Other than that it mainly looks ok. I think you might be cursing the tank bag after a while though. A few bumpy roads or some side winds and you'll be holding it up with your knees - particularly if it's magnetic fasteners holding it on.



My ancient 125 set up for a winter trip
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Back home in the UK
Posts: 868
This set up included everything needed for a six month trip including tent, sleeping matt and bag plus petrol stove and cooking gear. As Backofbeyond said your set up does not look very stable and I think you will end up losing something soon after hitting the dirt, some rationalising is called for.


__________________
If gaffer tape doesn't fix it then you haven't used enough tape
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 296
Hi all,

Thanks for getting back to me!

Yeah, the fuel canister really is a bummer...

Backofbeyond, actually the tank bag as fasteners as well and seems to sit pretty snug once they are tied down. I did a few hours of dirt and it seemed okay.

As for range, I meant k not miles. Using google maps, I estimated that I´ve got three long-streches before Bolivia coming up, the largest being 500k, so even with the 10lt can I will need to pack a few litres extra. Whilst on highways etc, I would cover the can with a raincover to partially disguise it. Here´s more what it looks like now,



Mark,

A very neat and tidy setup. I´ve no idea what I have and need that you didn´t! What litre are those panniers? My rackpack is 31, and the NF rucksack stuck on the side is 35, those and the tent, and the tankbag is 20lt.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
mollydog's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: california
Posts: 2,202
Looks like you've done a "Shakedown" ride or two ... so guess you know what your'e dealing with and have a good idea what's working, whats not. Not a bad set up overall!

I do prefer your "Before" set up a bit more ...but have a few issues with both set ups.
On the Before set up:
I'm not fond of hanging an overloaded top box off the tail of the bike. On wash board roads both rear rack, hardware, and sub frame may get stressed and crack, bend or break (eventually). If you limit weight inside to about 6 kgs. you may be OK. don't put delicate hardware in a plastic top box, it will get beat up on rough roads.

In General
Having just ONE big pannier is a bit weird but if it works for you .. then all good! Are you carrying cooking and camping stuff? Honestly, I'd try to lighten the load just a bit where possible. Most riders do this once they get out there for a few weeks. So, no worries, it will ALL fall into place once on the road.

What is bike's total mileage range with stock fuel tank? Rather than mount your fuel jug on the rear tail rack, maybe build a little rack and mount it down low on the unused left side? Should be easier on rear rack and rear sub frame? By doing so, could create a bit more riding room for you once dry bag is moved rearward.

Maybe try to get away with just 5 to 6 liters extra fuel? The rule to remember is NEVER pass an opportunity to Fuel Up when in remote regions. Even if locals tell you gas it available "up the road" ... and you are only down to half a tank ... fill up anyway ... just in case.
Our Motto: Never Pass Gas!

I'm not a fan of BIG tank bags ... especially if doing more technical off road riding. But that's just me ... if it's OK and you feel in control ... then it's ALL GOOD! (mine often fell off on rough roads)

For water and for my "tank bag" ... I instead use a Camel Back. It holds 3 liters of water (only filled when going off the grid), also holds lots of odds & ends.

It acts as my "office" for paperwork. Also: glue, spare keys, whistle, small tools, maps, zip ties, air gauge, tire patch kit, Lighter, some First Aid, and many little odds & ends within various compartments. ALL IN MY CAMEL BACK ... I'm used to wearing it, weight never bothers me. YMMV.

My riding jacket is also used for various odds & ends. It has six pockets ... all waterproof, plus a big compartment on lower back. (4 front pockets, two inner pockets, big rear compartment)

Get out there and see how things work. I'm sure solutions and ideas will appear.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 296
Thanks all for the wise words!

Update: I took it for a spin with 8 litres in the gas jug and it felt like I was on a boat. What a silly idea, I literally feel like I´ve just been out at sea, the bike rocked this way and that, not one of my better ideas...

Back to the drawing board...

Mollydog, the stock range on a flat, sunny day, is around 280k, but with altitude and/or wind, I am basically factoring it as no more 200k, i.e. tank is 11.5lt and range 20-25k depending. As I said, got a 500k stretch coming up, so need to get creative!

Rtw
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
mollydog's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: california
Posts: 2,202
My bike feels the same if I put too much weight hanging off the back. Like the "Tail Wagging The Dog". I hate it, and consider it dangerous.

But, believe it or not, plenty of guys ride round like that for years. They just adapt ... and know no better. I've ridden several "travel bikes" that I would consider dangerous. Yet the rider's just gone RTW or to Tierra del Fuego and back. Amazing!

Getting that fuel jug down low and forward should help mitigate the "At Sea" affect, but a fully loaded bike is always going to change it's character. Stiffer suspension and a fork brace can help improve the ride on a loaded bike ... or add preload spacers in the forks ... and crank the rear shock pre-load WAY UP. It's a half measure ... but WILL improve your ride.

MPG
So, you are looking at around 150 mile range in the real world ... maybe 170 on a good day? MPG will improve slightly at high altitude but climbing steep mountains will balance that out. Head winds are killer. I go from 50 MPG down to 40 MPG in a strong headwind. Solution? Go slow.

That 500 km. bit in Bolivia sounds tricky. Are the locals doing any roadside Fuel depots out of Jerry Jugs? How are others handling this?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Oxford UK
Posts: 997
I've only just twigged that your side pannier is one side only . I've only ever ridden a few times like that where I've left one off for some reason or another and it hasn't made much difference except when at low speed when the one pannier is heavily loaded. Then the bike just doesn't feel right. I can't think of any serious reason why it wouldn't work on a trip but it is a little unusual.

The main issue I'd have with it though is that with two panniers - even soft ones like your NF bag, you essentially extend the seat sideways and it acts as a wider platform for the yellow bag to stop it falling off. My main concern would be the seat luggage gradually working itself off the no pannier side and you having to constantly remount it.

Here's an ancient pic of me restrapping luggage for about the tenth time when exactly that kept happening -



What sort of material is the NF bag made of btw - bike soft panniers by and large are made of stuff that feels military grade or better (to my non military eye anyway). Anything less than that is going to take a pounding and stitching etc may well be a weak spot. I'd keep an eye on it if it's consumer backpack grade - and take some sewing stuff with you (a good idea anyway) - a stitch in time might well save it vanishing into a ditch when you're not looking. I have had to sew so many bags, trousers, jackets, tents etc back together again on trips.

BTW re the topbox. Mollydog is right that if you just dump stuff in there the shaking and rattling will reduce it to kit form fairly quickly. With the white box on the back of my 125 I put a 1" layer of foam in the bottom, then "stuff", then soft things like towels on top and eventually more foam to fill the whole thing up. The idea was to stop breakable things moving around. Also, it depends what finish on the inside of your topbox is like but in the past I've drilled a single hole in the bottom of the box, plugged it with a rubber bung and used the empty box as a sink for washing clothes. It doesn't work if it's painted or flock lined or anything but bare plastic is ok. If you can do some sort of reliable quick release clamp for the box you can take it off and use it as a rudimentary table for camping.

Last edited by backofbeyond; 4 Weeks Ago at 19:55. Reason: added btw section
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
Steve Pickford's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Oxford, UK
Posts: 1,028
As others have said, you need to keep the weight down low and a bit more more forward otherwise it was have an adverse affect on the bike's handling.

I fabricated a mount for a 5 litre fuel can in to the left hand pannier frame on my partner's DRZ for her South America trip, worked well. have looked looked in to fitting an aftermarket tank meant for a different model of Honda? I know of someone who fitted an 11 or 12 litre Clarke tank from a CRF250R/X (or similar) to a CRF230L, provided an additional 4 litres or so.

I do remember hearing of one stretch in South America where a 400+km range is needed, others will know better than me.



__________________
My photos: www.possu.smugmug.com
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: East Anglia
Posts: 313



you are taking far to much crap try get it down to the side bags and the yellow roll bag.

worst case fit the north face bag and the green tent bag on either side on top of your side bags and secure with racket straps around your side bags

The rear fuel can is to high but unless you can buy/fit a bigger front fuel tank well i guess its a case of needs must then but if i was you i would also ditch the bungees holding it and use a racket strap going through the handle as well

bungees snap after constant fretting.

But main thing you really need to do is ditch the airbag on the fuel tank thats gone off

i would also buy some wrap around hand guards also with metal reinforcement that fit it the end of your grips £30 ebay

A few offs and your levers and plastic guards will smash off
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: East Anglia
Posts: 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark manley View Post
This set up included everything needed for a six month trip including tent, sleeping matt and bag plus petrol stove and cooking gear. As Backofbeyond said your set up does not look very stable and I think you will end up losing something soon after hitting the dirt, some rationalising is called for.


Is this the new one mark, whens your next trip and where to?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 296
Cheers for the advice Wesley! I´m getting a rack welded on to the pillion pegs tomorrow to accommodate a 5lt gerry can, this gives me my topbox back which houses the tent and some other lightweight stuff. I´ve reduced the tankbag to half that size, but want it to put a small bottle of water in, and some snacks, etc. As for the handguards, I didn´t like the idea of having a metal bar there that could possibly catch my hand and break my wrists, so the current guards are just to keep the wind of my mits. Will post a pic once finished. I liked your post over at ADV by the way - are you still on the road?
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
mollydog's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: california
Posts: 2,202
Good move on the rack for fuel jug Much tidier set up, should help balance things out.

Bark Buster rant ...
Getting fingers caught and broken wrists in bark busters is 99% myth.
Ask any long time dirt rider/racer ... get opinions.

Here's the thing about Bark Busters:
They not only protect your levers, perches,, cables, brake reservoir, they also really protect your hands, wrists, arms.

Keep in mind where your hands are when you're riding. Gripping the hand grips, right? When you fall ... or are about to fall that should not change. I've fallen off a race bike at 40 mph ... BAM! hard down onto a smooth dirt road.
No damage on the hit as the bark buster took the hit.
Once on the ground, I held onto the bars an slide sideways down the road, the bark buster digging and nice trench ... but my hands were perfectly safe all the while.

Once I slowed down, I popped back up on the bike and TOOK OFF. No damage to me or bike, and did not even lose a position in the Hare Scrambles I was racing in.

I've hit all kinds of stuff with my bark busters over decades of trail riding ... without them I surly would have broken a hand/fingers. Trees (most common) rock walls, Cactus, other bikes in head on collision (very ugly) car mirrors (Whoops! ) and more.

When you DO come off the bike ... it is very unlikely your hand will be stuck through your bark buster. Honestly, would be very hard to do ... even hitting something head on and flying forward UP and over the bars. Your hands are on the grips, not threaded through past levers inside bark busters.

But ... on very rare occasion, it HAS happened ... but honestly I've never seen it or heard of it in my experience ... over 30 years racing/ riding off road. Only heard of it online ... lots of stories on line.

Bark busters also help to strengthen your handlebars and prevent bending if bar is hit HARD. The bark buster stiffens the bar.

So, many positive attributes to them ... and that is why just about everyone uses them, even big BMW GS's, big KTM's and even V-Stroms. Most riding KLR's, DR's, XR's, most all use bark busters.

Are they strictly required? No. But if you don't use them ... be sure to pack a set of spare levers. Before bark busters or on street bikes ... I've broken dozens of levers even in 0 mph tip overs. It happens.

Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
AliBaba's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Norway
Posts: 1,350
I don’t use barkbusters on my traveler-bike, but I use them for enduro.

Personally, I think there is a risk by using them and I’ve seen major accidents twice and have had some small problems myself.

When you fall, try to separate from the bike, many people are injured by their own bike – racing is different.


However, it looks like most people prefer the barkbusters. Accidents do happen:
Husaberg Jump - YouTube
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: East Anglia
Posts: 313
Yes i am still out and about still, will find time to update that blog soon as just been to busy so far

With regards to metal bar full wrap hand guards, i dropped my bike just before my trip and smashed the clutch lever which is a show stopper

As you said you read my blog, i dropped my bike most days in one way or another and the hand guards saved the levers

I would really condenser putting them on and i fitted a £30 cheap copy of bark buster, if not then at least consider smaller levers that fold back when dropped

never hurt hands once also

here is a couple of small falls i caught on camera,

Romania
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDW0kbo8TKw

Georgia
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQ6e9PHApSk
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
Need a new chain/sprocket setup in Punta Arenas & a mechanic in Ushuaia arooni South America 5 23 Mar 2013 15:04
Switzerland, a setup test for africa Surfy 4 Wheels Travel Reports 5 26 Feb 2013 21:12
2007 KLR650 with touring setup in S. America Franki TRAVEL Bikes for Sale / Wanted 0 13 Jan 2013 04:52
Advice on choosing bike setup for Morocco bluesman Morocco 6 12 Mar 2012 09:06

 
 


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' 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 13:46.