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!
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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.'
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Trouble is a collapsed wheel bearing can stop you getting to a mechanics or shop for a replacement, similarly a broken rear shock, broken ignition coil, snapped throttle cable so where do you draw the line? Bearings need heavy'ish tools to fit them (hammer and drift) so I would be inclined to replace critical bearings before I go. Carrying a made for purpose solid bar with sleeves welded to each end to fit in place of a shock is a good idea. Electrical parts can fail at any time for no good reason but are more prone to failure in hot climates.
Carrying spare tyres: It's true that you can get them shipped to you anywhere in the world and if it is just to replace a bald tyre you can plan ahead. We had a 17" rear tyre that was damaged beyond repair in Malawi we spent a week searching for a local supplier without success and eventually had to get one shipped in from South Africa which took another week. If we'de had some large mushroom plugs we may have been able to patch it up but we'd have had to order a new one to be picked up in the next place on our route - Lusaka 450 miles and would would have been nicked before we got to it, Harare - 650 miles and not much chance of finding it there, so we would have had to detour to Johanesburg 1200 miles.
Would I carry spare tyres next time - probably not. Prefer to travel light and gamble as you meet some really interesting people when these breakdowns happen.
I'd go the 7P's route on bearings now (I did carry a full set round unused for about 100000 miles, all stowed neatly in a special foam lined compartment in my Touratech box lids, which then weighed about a ton. A really useful addition given I picked up the lids ten times a day, the bike only slightly less often and never actually changed the bearings using the spares. ).
Find the numbers on the bearings and talk to your local industrial supplier. The basic numbers are worldwide, but there are daft little variations from suppliers mostly related to sealing materials. The likes of Bearing Mart should be able to give you equivalents from three international suppliers. Get those and you can buy anywhere. Fitting is best done with a press, but be practical, at a push you can use any tube the right size and a house brick. Look in your socket set before you leave, I'd bet there is a socket that'll work? If you have anything like a nice big nut and bolt you can often knock up a bearing pusher with a bit of bar too.
A coil I do carry. This is because the UK one used by the Hinckley Muppets is worse than anything Lucas ever put out. I now have a German coil, but the habit of carrying a spare is going to take a while to break.
The thing I find helpful about carrying too many ignition spares, whether for two or four wheels, is you know that time when you have a misfire or can't start it but can't work out quite what it is - and then you just keep replacing stuff until the problem disappears?
You can't really do that if you haven't got any or have to keep ordering each bit at a time.
Shipping is ALWAYS an option just not always a viable one because of the prohibitive prices or because of the risk of theft or articles not arriving fast enough.
I knew that this thread would deviate to a discussion/dispute about which parts to take or not for your bike. And well the bottom line is that at some point somewhere if you travel for long enough, you will break down and you won't have the right part or the right tools to fix it. My view on this is that you need to be resourceful enough to find a solution, afterall if it was easy and you could plan everything then it wouldn't be an adventure, would it?
The more ressourceful you are the less you need to take along.
Back on the topic of the OP.
I wouldn't take so many expensive visas in my passport so far ahead of time until I was sure I would definitely enter the country. We tried to over plan our trip and got visas for countries we didn't go to in the end and it was wasted money.
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