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TRAVEL Hints and Tips Post your TIPS to travellers - all the interesting little tidbits you learned on the road about packing, where to get stuff, and how to cope with problems. Please make sure the subject describes the tip clearly!
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Old 10 Oct 2005
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Location: London
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two up travel

i've done a search and couldn't find any topics directly relating to the subject of travelling a long way two up. there seems to be a big difference in the way you need to approach things with a pillion as grant's box in chris's book about tyres points too...

to my mind- 2 up on r80st

tyres- with grant on this, main priority is that they last to the next decent place to get tyres, grip, off road ability is non essential with so much weight- plus heavy bike will eat rears scarily quickly on crap roads at decent speeds

tank- your range goes down too with all that weight a bigger tank IS a good investment, space is at such a premium a jerry can or whatever is impractical.

camping- i'd go for the smallest lightest tent i can. more space is nice, but a micro one that saves a few kilos and space is better for me. i lock everything to the bike overnight, so with just sleeping bags and mats in the tent a 1 manner can sleep a couple no problem- speaking of mats i prefer a light foam mat to a thermarest- you can use them for lying on outside the tent with no fears of punctures or burn holes when you're cooking and they're lighter!

i guess my summation would be that 2 up, weight becomes all encompassing, it seems to be my absolute priority outweighing almost everything else... the lighter you are the more confidence you have on leaving the beaten track...

any other hints and tips that might need to be considered?

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Old 10 Oct 2005
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Suffolk, England
Posts: 109
As all our long distance travel has been two up, this is a subject dear to my heart! We have probably broken every "rule" that anybody might have, starting with the bike we use - a XT600Z Tenere. To date our travels have been UK to India and around India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh over a 5 year period and 7 months UK to Timbuctu and back. As you can imagine, this has meant travel over all sorts of "roads".
Firstly, you have to accept that you are going to travel heavy - mind you many solo travellers carry as much or more than we do two up. It doesn't just depend on how many you are but also time planned. Also, you aren't going to travel fast - 80kph is usually my maximum on good roads, we aren't out to set records! As a result, average fuel consumption doesn't usually suffer too much - 20km/litre isn't bad. As for tyres, on our West Africa trip, I changed the rear in Gambia on the way back after about 15,000km and the front lasted the whole trip - again not too bad.
As for tents, we use a 2/3 man - yes it isn't the smallest but it fits on the bike and you welcome the space when, like us, you live in it through all weathers.
As I said, we probably break all the "rules" so don't take these views as "advice" but don't get too hung up on weight just because you are two up - it's all a challenge anyway!
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Old 11 Oct 2005
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: cardigan,wales
Posts: 251
I would be inclined to agree with greynomads on the 2-3 man tent theme.I know it's more weight to carry,but on the other hand when it's raining and there's two of you,a tent that you can comfortably get into,turn around,sit in,even cook in(not to mention where you put the personal gear/valuables) is a godsend.If you're riding an R80ST with paniers,carrying a 3 man dome tent should be no problem.I've been using a Gelert 3 man dome(cheap i know but still waterproof) for the last 6 years,and carried it on an MZ 250,BMW R65,and now an XL600.Even for solo trips i would'nt get a smaller one.
But whatever you take,enjoy!

Just going for a short ride on my bike....
Just going for a short ride on my bike....
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Old 28 Nov 2005
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Location: Middleham, Yorkshire, England
Posts: 8
Les and I did 2 up from the UK to Aus and never really thought about it as being unusual (BMW R100RS, with lowered compression, wide bars and no fairing)- we'd travelled 1000's of mile around Western Europe, so just got on with it.
Tyre wear/fuel economy were both less than my normal usage at home, probably because we were going much more slowly (never exceeded 4000rpm/72mph until Aus, then 5000rpm/90mph whilst there).
Tyres we left on our normal (brand new) Continentals, sourced replacement Metzlers courtesy of the Cairo Police who were using BM's (FOC too!!!) bought a Metzler knobbly off a fellow traveller in Madras, then a set of ??? in singapore - these were the right size but must've been a soft compound as they where goosed in about 2500 miles, once in Aus they were freely available.
Fuel - we had only the standard 22(?) litre BMW tank plus a 5 litre plastic can which we only filled when worried about the distance to the next garage (about three times in two years) and only ran out once - in the very centre of Calcutta! on one other occassion (Aus) we came very close and topped up from the camping stove - always keep it full, it takes up no extra space and saved us a 3 mile walk!
Tent - we used a very small peadpod (think nylon coffin) tent, but next time would carry the extra weight and use a bigger one - it's going to be "home" so needs to be comfortable. As some other posts have noted, we too on occaission came across solo travellers who looked to have a higher all-up weight than we did with the two of us!

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Old 2 Dec 2005
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: B.C. Canada
Posts: 214
We travelled two up on an 1984 R80Rt for a fast (1 year, 55,000kms) rtw. Weight is indeed critical, and we were at max weight all the time. Any decent tire run at maximum psi worked for us and usually lasted 8-10,000kms.
A 22 litre fuel tank was more than adequate, as fuel is available almost every 250kms.
A bigger tent is better, both for sleeping comfortably, and storing gear.
Lockable Hard luggage allows you to leave the bike without fear of theft, and can double as chairs or table when camping.
As for leaving the beaten track...we travelled on smaller secondary roads and ended up in some fantastic places that a "tourist" would not normally see, but two up limits your real offroad experience.
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