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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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  #1  
Old 28 Nov 2003
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What spares should I take?

I am riding a R1150GS from the UK to OZ in January and would welcome on comments on what spares to take.
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  #2  
Old 28 Nov 2003
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Take your credit card!

Seriously, there's not a lot you can take. It's not like you can take a spare driveshaft or engine, and the GS runs tubeless tyres so you can't even take a spare inner tube. Maybe some spare light bulbs and a bolt or two, but that's about it.

Iain
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  #3  
Old 28 Nov 2003
usl usl is offline
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Hi ;

Other then standart ones (spark plug, oil filter, couple of links for the chain- which you dont need ) personaly to all my trips i always take ; clutch and brake lever, clutch cable, shift pedal, brake pads, lamps, gasket paper to cut the gasket you ned and clutch plates.

Clutch plates may sound "too much" but last year on my way to Nepal it came very very handy when i had to replace it.

Definetly note the contact numbers of the BMW service in Tehran (in repair shops-Iran topic of HU) and drop in even just to say hello if Tehran is in your route. They are wonderful people. And if you do my buckets of complements to Hamid+Mehmed ... Mr. Ali Nouriani and his assistant ... they and all the rest in Nouriani Entr. were beyond words.

Have a nice trip.


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  #4  
Old 29 Nov 2003
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In addition to the above, I always take a small selection of metric stainless fasteners, insulating tape, cable ties (zip ties?) & a ratchet strap with hooked ends, useful for towing & holding on broken or overloaded panniers. Especially useful for restraining the bike on ferry journeys where the operator only provides a pice of string or similar. Couple of spare bungees are also useful. A mechanical pencil type pressure gauge is useful, takes up less space & is more resilient to vibes than a digital version, a fact I found out the hard way....

I also take film canisters filled with grease, also useful for storing spare tail light bulbs. A couple of metres of Stainless lock wire takes no space & is very useful. Once held a loose split link in place on my GSX-R's chain at the Bol d'Or. Lasted until we returned to Oxford.

Steve
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  #5  
Old 29 Nov 2003
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lots of good suggestions above.
i'd like to add:
2-pot 'plastic metal' (i had some south african stuff, forget the name)... was excellent for sealing hole in rocker cover after slide down road. also good for rest of engine or radiator.
cheers
ChrisB
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  #6  
Old 1 Dec 2003
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I swear by JB Weld - surely the best cross-bonded polymer resin around. A few sticks of hot melt glue are useful too - melt them with a lighter for temporary repairs to water and petrol tanks (though don't go too close with the lighter to the petrol tank....). Stig
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  #7  
Old 3 Dec 2003
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To put the cat amongst the pidgeons, let's review some of the suggestions thus far. (Indulge me on this one, I just want to see if I'm completely missing the reasoning behind some of these posts.)

* Spark plug - in 13 years, 10 bikes and I dunno how many thousands of miles I've never had the need to replace a spark plug. What is it that people do to these poor things?

* oil filter - why not buy one when you need it? You're going to come across a bike shop between major service intervals, I guarantee it.

* levers - fit brushguards and loosen lever mount bolts. If you wipe out big enough to destroy those then you're gonna need new limbs, etc. as well.

* clutch cable - the 1150GS comes with a hydraulic clutch.

* gear pedal - most gear pedals bend and can be hammered back into shape with a rock, they don't tend to be cast and therefore don't snap on impact.

* brake pads - see oil filter. Fit new ones before you go, pick up replacements as and when you need them.

* lamps - okay valid point, but I wouldn't be surprised if BMWs don't come with a spare set of lights and an emergency triangle to go with the hazard lights!

* gasket paper - the existing gaskets can be used again, at least until you reach civilisation and a mechanic can undo the bodge job you did on the trail.

* clutch plates - c'mon!

* fasteners - take a roll of duct tape instead.

* insulating tape - take a roll of duct tape instead.

* cable ties - take a roll of duct tape instead.

* ratchet strap - not sure how many ferry journies there are between the UK and Oz, and Simon didn't elaborate. Seems like a bulky item to carry for the amount of use it'll get.

* Bungees - not really spares, but a couple of bungees stowed behind the dash take up no room and add no weight, do it.

* air pressure gauge - useless without a pump to go with it. Check your tyre pressures at fuel stations.

* grease - what are you going to lubricate? Fit new wheel and head bearings before leaving, and get them repacked with grease at the major services if you're worried about them.

* lock wire - take a roll of duct tape.

* plastic metal - fit crash bars before leaving. If you then wipe out big enough to hole the engine you're not going to be fixing it with a dab of epoxy.

* Blue Peter badge - not recognised outside of the UK.

Okay, to summarise then it's a just few spare bulbs. Not spares, but worth packing, are a roll of duct tape and some bungees.

It's my experience that the more spares you take the more you will need.

In my own travels I've gone from taking no spares at all, through to enough spares to rebuild the engine in the desert, and back to a few bulbs and a spare tube. If you load up with 50kg worth of spares and tools, then when your fork seals blow you'll realise you didn't bring any of those! Preparation is a good thing, but all in moderation.

Iain

'02 Africa Twin
'00 XR400
'88 Westie Club Joker
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  #8  
Old 3 Dec 2003
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Iain, some great points - and I just have to throw in my 2 pennies worth, - since you asked if you're missing something

Quote:


* fasteners - take a roll of duct tape instead.

* insulating tape - take a roll of duct tape instead.

* cable ties - take a roll of duct tape instead.

A half dozen cable ties weighs nothing and can do stuff that duct tape can't do well.
Quote:


* air pressure gauge - useless without a pump to go with it. Check your tyre pressures at fuel stations.

You don't really actually believe :

a: the fuel station gauges are accurate
b: that they HAVE such an advanced technological gadget in the third world stations, and if they did that they'd allow you to use it, OR see a: above.
Carry and use your own.
Quote:


* plastic metal - fit crash bars before leaving. If you then wipe out big enough to hole the engine you're not going to be fixing it with a dab of epoxy.

* Blue Peter badge - not recognised outside of the UK.

Okay, to summarise then it's a just few spare bulbs. Not spares, but worth packing, are a roll of duct tape and some bungees.

It's my experience that the more spares you take the more you will need.

In my own travels I've gone from taking no spares at all, through to enough spares to rebuild the engine in the desert, and back to a few bulbs and a spare tube. If you load up with 50kg worth of spares and tools, then when your fork seals blow you'll realise you didn't bring any of those! Preparation is a good thing, but all in moderation.

Iain

'02 Africa Twin
'00 XR400
'88 Westie Club Joker

Bikes are getting a LOT better, and the eternal spares question is getting easier. With the advent of telephones and internet and Fedex DHL and UPS almost everywhere, carrying a lot of spares just isn't needed anymore. SOME spares specific to the bike that you will almost certainly need are usful, and bodging tools such as stainless wire, duct tape etc are always worth carrying.

Your own bodging / repairing skills are also worth taking into consideration - a skilled mechanic can do alsmost anything with minimal supplies, but if you know nothing you're better off just waiting for a truck to come by.

One traveller from Italy - name escapes me, unfortunately he recently died - said he knew NOTHING about the bike, never changed the oil, never added any, never did anything to it, and carried NO tools or spares baecause he wouldn't know what to do with them if he had them! And never had any problems...

Whatever you feel comfortable with is what matters in the end.


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Grant Johnson

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www.HorizonsUnlimited.com


[This message has been edited by Grant Johnson (edited 03 December 2003).]
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  #9  
Old 3 Dec 2003
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With the exception of the ratchet strap, most of the items I listed fit in to a small plastic food box 8"x6"x3". I defy anyone to repair a chain with a cable tie. Most of these are for peace of mind as much as anything. As Grant said, if you have good bodging skills, you can accomplish much with very little.

A friend lost an exhaust bolt on his Guzzi en-route to Le Mans, blowing very badly - fixed in 10 minutes with an Allen bolt & washer I was carrying. No amount of Duct would have worked here.

It seems to me that you,re basing your "cat amongst the pigeons" posting by assuming that fully equipped fuel stations are located every 50 miles? My posting was based on experience, I carry what I've found I've needed in the past & discard those items that I've never used, a contant ly evolving process. I had to replace a plug last on my partners bike in France & yes, the bike was fully serviced pror to leaving. In nearly 20 years of biking, on at least 3 occassions I've bought spark plugs (of the correct grade) that were either duff from new or failed after a few miles.

I also carry a few crimp-on electrical connectors, once again taking up no space. On the way to Le Mans (again), a connector snapped off a wire leading to coil - managed a good repair in under 30 minutes. This was on a 4 cyl. bike - cover any amount of miles on 2 cyl. & the unburnt fuel will wash away the oil residue on the bores, causing premature wear......

To sum up, My posting, along with others, was not meant as a definitive guide to the 1150gs but more as a general guide based on experiences.

Steve
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  #10  
Old 3 Dec 2003
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Thanks for reasoned posts Grant and Steve. My intention was never to offend, but you can never tell how people will react through the emotionless medium of the BBS. I hope I didn't. However I would have liked to think my posting was made from <u>experience</u> as well, but maybe that didn't come across.

Cable ties are an amazing invention, and a handful live behind the clocks of my Africa Twin. Indeed they're a good alternative to bolts and fastners (for an exhaust for example). I was just on a roll with the 'roll of duct tape' theme!

Whilst there isn't a new Shell/BP/Esso station every couple of hundred yards from London to Sydney ... there are cars, mopeds and lorries. All of which need air in their tyres and fuel in their tanks. And where there is demand there will be supply. Point taken that you may not get to within 1% of the manufacturers recomended air pressure, but that isn't going to leave you stranded.

My posting was driven by Simon's posting in which he stated the model of bike and route he was taking. If he was riding an Enfield across Africa then the spares recomendation would have been completely different. My own bike, the Africa Twin, has a notoriously unreliable fuel pump, so I would have loved someone to give me that sort of info on request. A general spares list including parts (e.g. clutch cable) that can't be used didn't seem to fit the bill.

I agree compeletely with Grant's point that you should take as many spares as you feel comfortable with.

Iain

ps What does happen to spark plugs that stops them working? I'm an engineer, so a technical explanation would be most welcome.
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  #11  
Old 4 Dec 2003
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No offence taken at all!

It's obvious that you've had your share of experiences. I could not agree more re: credit cards, they got me out of a difficult situation in Germany only a couple of months ago. In fact, I'd recommend carrying two different cards in addition to local currency. I've had my MasterCard refused in Spain, yet my partners Visa was accepted. In Luxembourg & Switzerland recently, all four of our cards were refused (after filling the bikes up....)We managed to scrape up enough coins etc to pay.

Steve
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  #12  
Old 4 Dec 2003
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Hi ;

I wont believe someone will try to offend someone in HU, so no offence at all. As a matter of fact, i LOL for your comment to clutch plates....

I believe , the lesson you learn from an incident, heavily depends on your character.

I rather have the parts, tools or anything that i think i might need on the road with me, even if i dont know how to change or fix it. I will either learn on the spot or have all the necessaries ready for the one who knows. But this is becasue i am a cautious person.

But after coming back from a trip with so many spares unused, sometimes i which i could do the same as "dont worry-be happy" philosophy.

But sometimes when something happens and i have whats needed with me, i say "hehehe"

So, the spare parts you need doesnt only depend on your route or your motorcycle but your character as well.

Like Grant said.... Whatever you feel comfortable with is what matters in the end.

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  #13  
Old 6 Dec 2003
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Have read this thread with interest and amusement, as a person who carries very few tools or spares..
Think probably the most important thing is to "know" your bike, i dont mean an intimate knowledge of how everything works or is fixed, but the bikes characteristics. I recently bought a Gsx-r1100 to go to N Ireland on, having only owned it 3 days before departure i didnt have time to give it a thorough check over. Needless to say, a piece of insulation tape over the lights wiring came adrift on route shorting the lights out through the brake hose... NOthing major, 1st garage, one roll of insulation tape later and all fixed. That is right up untill i pulled into a garage 200 miles later for fuel and the brake hose burst!! 1 cable tie later(to crimp the brake line) and away again...
The point is, had i had owned the bike longer and had chance to give it a thorough going over, none of the above would have happened. But on the other hnd, me mates brand new ignition switch disintegrated on route!!
So only you really know what spares you need to carry because only you really know your own bike well enough to decide, and even then you cant carry enough for every eventuality!
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  #14  
Old 19 Jan 2004
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Hello. Just my 2 cents here, but there are three things you will always find on either my bike or in my jacket:
-small roll duct tape( the real 3M brand!)
-Leatherman multi-tool
-Scorpion flashlight (Maglight is acceptable)
I generally don't drive at night, but, as we all here should know, don't get caught in the dark without a flashlight!It sucks!
...oh-yah, dont forget your common sense and intuition ...
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  #15  
Old 30 Jan 2004
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My two cents worth

I know of a GS1150 that has has the final drive oil seal fail at 16000kms and it happenned twice to a long term 1150RT on test for a mag in germany within 25000ks.

Spark plugs suffer badly on 72-76 octane heavily leaded fuel. I had to change mine on the way....but had spares.

The major problem I had was visas expiring before parts could be recieved.

http://users.netlink.com.au/~asimpson


[This message has been edited by simmo (edited 29 January 2004).]
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