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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 30 Sep 2009
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which tank-capacity is needed for panamerica?

Hi folks,

starting on 01.05.10 I will cross Canada from east to west, Alaska and then go south to south-south-america (more or less the panamerica).

My bike has only tank-capacity for 300 to 350 km. Is that a problem? Who has experiences?

In which contries spare canisters are forbidden?

cheers
Panny
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  #2  
Old 30 Sep 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panny View Post
Hi folks,

starting on 01.05.10 I will cross Canada from east to west, Alaska and then go south to south-south-america (more or less the panamerica).

My bike has only tank-capacity for 300 to 350 km. Is that a problem? Who has experiences?

In which contries spare canisters are forbidden?

cheers
Panny
Hey Panny,

If stick to civilization and near the usual route, the longest stretches will be heading to Prudoe Bay and on Ruta 40 in Argentina. Your 300-350 km range range will be fine for the rest of the trip. If you carry a 5 litre gas can, that should do you fine for the few long hops. I doubt spare cannisters are forbidden anywhere, if they are, many people are ignoring that rule. Have a good ride.
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  #3  
Old 1 Oct 2009
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Hi Panny, do not buy an expensive container for the run up to Prudoe 'cos you will have to throw it away if you decide to fly from Panama, even those guys are a bit funny about loose fuel smelling containers, use dried out litre water bottles if you can't get anything else but decant them as soon as possible. (you may have to fill them up covertly in the US or Canada) Also for the deep south make sure that you get a container with a nozzle that will fit into the tank when the refuel needs to flow. Patagonian winds as well as increasing the bike's consumption also tend to distribute most of your back up fuel downwind if you try a refuel without protection for the liquid from container to tank, just upending the aforementioned bottles works if you take the screwcap off first and accept a small spillage. I speak from personel experience, trying to make a funnel out of a paperback cover 'waterproofed' with a Tesco bag on a breezy cone day could be fun, but it wasn't. Remember the old RAF aircrew code, when you are half full never ignore a fuel stop or a toilet. Enjoy your trip and ride safe.
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  #4  
Old 13 Apr 2010
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Hi all!

Thanks for this topic! I'm also concerned about that part of the South America. We're leaving for our RTW trip in August. Do you know any nice cheap preferably reinforced fuel containers?

cheers,
Andy
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Old 13 Apr 2010
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The standard 22L tank on the GS1150 was plenty for the Americas going solo. I only carried more fuel on the Atacama stretch and from San Pedro de Atacama to Uyuni. Going two up will use more fuel however.

I used a 5L water bottle from a garage which worked great but also bought a plastic 10L jerry can that pissed the fuel all over the place. Go figure.
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  #6  
Old 14 Apr 2010
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I used my extra fuel several times--mostly when gasoline stations were mysteriously without gas, a couple of times out of sheer laziness, once or twice when I really needed it and would have been totally stranded without. You can carry gas in any sort of container you want, limited only by your sense of aesthetics and, if applicable, safety.

When calculating fuel capacity and range, don't forget that a stiff breeze will cut mileage by at least 25% (and there are some breezes in Patagonia, along the Peru coast, and other places), as will riding on soft surfaces. My KLR has hit reserve as early as 135 miles compared to a more typical 210 or more, just due to headwinds. I've had mileage as low as 30/gallon. That's roughly 12.5km/liter, for you world citizens.

I'm currently carrying a 5 liter, code-approved gas can. Previously, a 10 liter, non-code, white plastic thing I bought used in Bolivia. No one cares.

Hope that helps.

Mark

(from somewhere nondescript in central Paraguay)
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  #7  
Old 14 Apr 2010
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I think I'm just gonna get a simple plastic container from a garage and hope that it gets the job done. They're not the best but good enough I hope.

Andy
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Old 15 Apr 2010
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I have the DL650 and like Mark(hows it going dude) found I needed it more often than I expected. My tank would normally get me around the 380-450km range area, but this varied widely due to terrain, speed, wind, etc.

I bought a cheap 1 gallon container in Fairbanks Alsaka for the run to Prudhoe Bay and needed it. I kept the approved container on the pannier lid all the way down to Ushuaia(not always full, but most of the time) and when the wind started around Chile I used it more, the fuel economy went right down, plus the fact the quality of fuel was not the best, so I used more crap fuel than normal anyway. BTW -As I crossed the Darian Gap by sea, it was not an issue. If you stay at the Universtiy in Fairbanks, ask and you may receive a can that some else has left there after their run up north.

I would use an approved container with the detachable(or non-detachable) nozzle so the fuel goes into the tank under extreme wind conditions rather than trying to pour it out of a bottle neck and having it blown away, right Mark? And also as Mark mentioned, sometimes where you think there is fuel, there isn't, keep that in mind.

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Last edited by TravellingStrom; 15 Apr 2010 at 04:18. Reason: spelling
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  #9  
Old 15 Apr 2010
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I travelled down through South America in 1984 on a Honda CX500 (with a range of approx 250km) and had very little need for additional fuel capacity. When I did it was as simple as digging in rubbish bins for empty plastic soft drink bottles, filling them up and then emptying them into the tank once there was spare capacity - I think this is called the red neck approach extended fuel tank in North America! , but I think I'm just a tight arse.

Please, there are far more important criteria for bike selection than fuel range - this is a problem which is easily overcome.
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Old 15 Apr 2010
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I agree!

It shouldn't be a big problem. I'll get 2x 5l jerrycans for the fuel i think. The only problem for me is - WHERE DO I ATTACH THAT TO THE BIKE?

Anybody else doing the trip with Givi panniers?

I'm thinking of getting some straps and nets and finding a good place for them on the bike to attach with the fuel jerrycans.

Cheers,
Andy
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Old 15 Apr 2010
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Originally Posted by farqhuar View Post
When I did it was as simple as digging in rubbish bins for empty plastic soft drink bottles, filling them up and then emptying them into the tank once there was spare capacity
I've just finished 27,500 miles through most of Latin America on a Honda Transalp (~320km range). The only time I almost ran out of fuel was on Highway 5 in Baja California, Mexico (at the very beginning of my trip) because a petrol station marked on my paper map was not open (it had been built but never been opened). I was lucky enough to bump into a group of American quad bikers who sold me a (full) 8ltr plastic cannister. I then carried this cannister on the back of my bike (sometimes full) for the rest of my journey. Trouble is; I found that because I knew I had extra in the cannister I'd find myself risking it to the next petrol station!

If you fill up whenever you can and don't go off into the wilderness too much you shouldn't have a problem. If you are going off into the wilderness just do as farqhuar did and bin the bottle after you've finished with it. If I hadn't had to buy the plastic cannister I wouldn't have lugged it around with me. Everyone uses plastic water bottles to hold fuel in Latin America anyway!

Ollie

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  #12  
Old 20 Aug 2010
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jou can always use 'sweet cheeks'

to carry soft drinks bottels.
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Old 22 Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by beat_ View Post
jou can always use 'sweet cheeks'
to carry soft drinks bottels.
good one.

water bottles always have a great seal, its a shame they dont last so long
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  #14  
Old 24 Aug 2010
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Pillion passengers work well for holding extra water bottles of fuel too.

I lost count of the amount that escaped from bungee cords and skidded down the road.

Birdy
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  #15  
Old 1 Sep 2010
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RTW tank range

Ahoy all. Seeing this thread is mostly panam specific, and general for other areas...I ask, would the 13L tank of a DR650 be suitable (with waterbottles etc of fuel extra) for a round the world trip.

This presents problems of filling waterbottles, strapping them on, fuelling in wind etc. What are your thoughts on paying $600 + AU for a long range 30 L tank?

Opinions most welcome as always.
Cheers,
Rossy.
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