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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Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
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Off the top of my head I can't tell you the max loading. You should have that info with the bike (GVW). You probably don't want to exceed that (though I have). The important thing about the panniers that they will unweight the front end reducing stability. Those old ammo cans may look cool on a KLR but they're heavy! I've opted for soft bags as they themselves weight nothing leaving more capacity for stuff. Also they don't stress the frame any more than a passenger would since the weight is supported by straps on the seat. I've had as much as 60lbs in them, off road and on highway and the bike's handling wasn't any worse than carrying a small passenger.
If carrying much larger loads or suspending the panniers from the frame, look into reinforcing the frame or at very least replaceing the bolts that hold on the subframe with bigger ones.
One thing I learned that tank panniers help balance the load. I try to place some of the heavy items like pots and pans there and strap them on as low as I can. It seems to improve the front end's stability especially at high speeds.
My side panniers themself weigh about 4 kg. each. When loaded they are roughly 14kg. I have loaded all the heavy stuff like hand tools etc. to tank bag to avoid uneven distibution of weight between back and front like Kurt pointed out. Tank bag weights about 7 kg.
I estimated this distribution will be sufficient but this saturday i will load the bike and go for a short ride to see the result.
Kurt, was that 60 lbs. for each pannier or sum of both?
I loaded the side panniers (15 kg/each, the top case (12 kg) and tank bag (8 kg) and went for a test drive.
* 15 kg is too much. On the corners bike tends to slide. I even had a crash.
* 8 kg tank bag doesnt improve the stability with that much load on the sides.
* The back shock absorber was at level "2" which seemed insufficient.
So as soon as my broken finger heals, i will take some measures to lighten the sides. I think its best to load the tank bag as much as possible while relieving the sides.
Just my 2 cents worth, but I have been on the road with my KLR for 2 months through Baja, mainland Mexico, and am in Guatemala heading towards Panama. The loads your carring are really heavey for the KLR. I am using 2 rear soft bicycle saddlebags that I´ve adapted to the bike and they carry about 15lbs each. I have a top case ( plastic lockable tool box ) that carries tools, gear and water 20lbs. On the rear seat section I have my tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad. I have a tank bag 10-12lbs and a small fairing pack that carries my spare tube, pump, and patches. I estimate that I carry no more than about 75lbs total gear and I have never lacked anything. No laptop, no Gps only maps and journals. I have the stock shock on the 5 preload setting and before I left I changed the fork oil. The bike handles as good as a loaded KLR can. I have pushed it through tight twisties along the Mexican mountains and the only limit was the Bridstone trailwings. In my opinion the worst thing you can do is over load the bike. Even with my conservitive load, the bike is heavey and slow. I have gone off road through rocks and hardpack and it handles OK, but anything soft and I´m in trouble. I upgraded the subframe bolts with 12.9s, but would say the best thing is to travel as light as possible. I have stayed at hostels that let me park the bike in the lobby or courtyard and this would not have been possible if I was carring wide big hard saddle bags.
You guys only take 15 pounds per box? What about all of the BMWs I see with Jesse luggage. How much do the boxes and frames weigh? I just bought two 61 litre ammo boxes for 30 bucks Canadian each and it turns out they weight 30 pounds each too. A buck a pound! A passenger weighs about 160 pounds if wearing gear so I don't see how a pair of bags would take you out but ofcourse I wasn't there so I won't dispute you. I am aiming for 140 pounds total including boxes, frames, and stuff.(yep, it's going to be 50/50 carrier/cargo! ) This is on a standard style Suzuki GS400 mounted really low, not a tall bike.
So, how much do the guys who are travelling for a really long time carry? I want to be comparrable. A laptop, a camera, and a video camera together in one box would weigh close to what you guys are carrying per box. When carrying the boxes with my new Sportster 883 shocks installed on my GS400 all I've noticed was that my springs actually compress a bit when I enter the road. Before they wouldn't squish, and I weigh 220 with gear!
There's a far cry from the R11GS and the KLR650. I don't have any exact figures but I would expect the GVW of the BMW's to be much higher. Also keep in mind that loading the bike effects not only the suspension but stresses the frame. Loading much beyond the mfg's limits can cause BIG problems not just in ridability but safety. The KLR is not a heavy hauler in stock form. To compete with the GS's some frame modifications are in order.
Finger has healed enough to pull the clutch, so i loaded the side panniers and made a trial.
My observations ;
* Limit for side panniers is roughly 8 kg. It doesnt bother you at all and you even dont know if they are there.
* But above this load, bike tends to slide under you, at the curves.
* Rear shock level of 3, for 8kg per side+12kg. top case, was found sufficient by me.
* If you decide for hard panniers, then i would recommend KAPPA K21. Its lighter and more compact and much more cheaper then GIVI sets.
The minimum would be larger bolts that hold the subframe. These can be had at http://www.dual-star.com/. Also, the racks that hold hard panniers that i've seen seem to consist of some cross-bracing that goes around the back of the fender and connect the left to the right racks.
I saw those bolt kits at dual-star also, but thought they were a bit pricey. I just drilled and tapped the holes out to 10mm from the standard 8mm, and haven't had any trouble. The 10mm is the biggest socket head screw that would go in the recess in the sub frame. You then need an allen wrench to remove them, but I carry those anyway, on trips. A KLR 650 I rented a few years ago had those upper bolts fail while I was using the bike, and I was not being hard on it, so I think this is one mod worth doing. Somewhere on the HUBB there is a thread about two guys travelling together who had their frame backbones break within weeks of each other, but that is the only time I have heard of that.
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