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Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, At the foot of the Bear Glaciers, eternal ice, British Columbia, Canada

Adventure is what you make it

Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, at the foot of the Bear Glaciers, British Columbia, Canada.

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Old 14 Apr 2021
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Chafing protection from bags

From my experience - paint, plastics and decals will show scratches after only after a few kilometers or a few on and offs. It doesn't matter what type of material the bags are made of, or which type of mounting they use. The materials and the bike itself will attract grit. Bike vibrations, bags shifting arround ever so slightly while riding, or every time you come in contact with the bags or mounting system - will cause wear. I've never seemd to care - except for when I get a prisitine bike - and until I know if I will keep it, or until battle scars start showing up.

  • Do you do anything to protect against chafing, and why or why not?
  • What have you tried, why this solution and not another, and what's your verdict?
  • What would you do the next time about?

Advice for me?
Two things have changed since last time I was to purchase soft luggage (including tank bag): The first being new innovative bags. The second being new innovative chafing protection solutions or hacks. The third, and most important - I now kindof care about chafe protection a little bit (where I previously didn't give a damn, because my bikes were not brand new).

One of the bike has side rack (T7 Rally) with aluminium panniers. The other doesn't as of yet have any rack or luggage(390 Adventure). I am going through the decision process of getting soft luggage for both bikes - but I am undecided wether to have rack mounted bags (i.e. Mosko Moto Back Country), or something to strap over the pillion seat - but I would prefer if both bikes could share bags.

As for tank bags, the T7 has an atypical filler cap and not the tank ring found on most bikes. If I was to go for a bag that locks to the tank ring, I would require a weird mounting system that I don't like. So for this bike. Also, for an adventure bike, I don't like the bags that seem to hover above the tank - which these quick connect systems involve. I prefer a tight fit - in other words the kind that strap.

I don't want:
  • A semi permanent solution - unless it is allmost invisible and is easy to remove
  • A solution which covers up the paint and decals (i.e. a leather tank cover).
  • I also don't want a solution where I will struggle with getting rid of ahhesives or that will ruin my decals when trying to remove it.

I have conscidered using:
...clear contact paper, tape, kitchen wrap, or any combination of these - then traced arround the contact points to make the protection invisible with the bags on top.

From what I have seen, the contact paper will look terrible with the bags off - but on the flip side it is easily repositioned or removed in less than a second after use - and could even be reused. I am also conscidering clear vinyl wrapping (semi permanent) - but don't know much about these - i.e. how my dacals would stand up to installation and removal, the costs, the durability, the looks???

It is a bit silly
I know it is silly to care about chafing on an adventure bike. But, since we've got two brand new bikes, I do want to care for the paint, plastics and decals - atleast until I am sure the bikes are keepers and not something I will soon sell something else. Also, it is kind of like having a brand new pair of shoes - that you try to care for, until those few first marks show up - upon after you don't give a damn.
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Old 14 Apr 2021
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No, I don't think it is silly to be worried about chafing or scratches on an adventure bike - or any bike, come to that. It's something I look at very carefully when considering how to carry stuff on any of my bikes, and particularly so when there's no easy factory or aftermarket solution.

Tank bags are my bete noire. No matter what I do, no matter how much care I take, sooner or later there will be scratches or some other paint damage. There's two right now on the tank of my ancient Suzuki 125. That paintwork survived pretty much unmarked from the mid 70's until about a year ago when a piece of grit must have got under the bag.

Throwover panniers are another pet hate. There's a kind of hipster marketing vision with these things where you swagger out of your penthouse apartment, stroke the cat on the front steps, smile at the pretty girl peddling past on her pink bicycle and head off for a weekend in the country with the throwovers flapping away on the back of your custom cruiser. It may look good in the adverts but it's a sure way to end up with no paint on the rear of the bike. Over the years I've hand made countless sets of pannier mounts (well, ok, about 15 or so) to either try and keep luggage off the bike parts or give it some kind of sacrificial part to rub against. I'm making something at the moment to try and keep a set of the said hipster throwover panniers from rubbing on the rear suspension units of my ancient Yamaha 250.

Like you I've dismissed anything that involves glue, so no stick on patches or wear strips or anything like that. I have got through an awful lot of yellow dusters over the years though where the luggage hasn't quite worked how I'd intended and shoving one of them between the parts is the best I can do with a tight ferry schedule to meet.
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Old 14 Apr 2021
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For short term use you can buy "low tack tape" which as the name suggests isn't very sticky so it comes off without leaving residue. It's often used while servicing business jets to make sure none of the expensive woodwork inside gets scratched. The downside is that it isn't very durable - intended for single use, and would probably wear through on a bike after a little while. The only other option is clear Fablon (sticky backed plastic film). This is thicker and stickier but of course looks bad when it starts to wear and get dirt embedded. But at least it'll protect your plastics.

Honestly though, if you're going to be doing high mileages through all sorts of terrain you'll get wear and tear on the bike anyway, may as well accept it.
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Old 14 Apr 2021
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Helicopter Tape?

Does anyone have any experience with helicopter tape?

I hear that transaprent "automotive protective film", originally known as "helicopter tape", is some really great stuff... as long as it is from a good brand.

I have never seen or tested the stuff, but it is supposed to be a bit elastic so that it conforms well to contours. Some brands can be applied on wet-on-wet or dry.

This stuff was invented for helicopter rotors. Upon take off and landing, a lot of debree gets blown through the rotors - causing the lead edge to deteriorate fast. To reduce the frequency of rotor replacement, this tape is applied to the leading edge - and simply replaced every now and then. I guess it must be pretty tough.

It seems like a really good product to use on bits of the frame where bags and straps would contact (and similar smaller surfaces). Puting it on a tank or on large plastic parts - it would probably be an eyesore. What do you think?

Has anyone here tried it? Applying the tape to simple convex contours seems easy from the videos I have seen. I have not seen it applied in sheet form nor to more complex contours - i.e. convex shapes. Would complex contours require applying heat, and if so - how much, and would the original stickers or the plastics fare from the necessary heat? Or does it simply not work well with complex contours?

Also, I have no knowledge yet as of how easy this stuff is to remove? Does it peel off easily, and with very little effort? Or, will I need to use tools, heat or chemicals? Does it leave stubborn glue residue after you have peeled it off?

What will happen to original stickers if you put this stuff on top and then remove it a year later? Three years later?

If this stuff peels off easily - then this is something I think I would really like to try out. If it doesnt take my stickers with it, then I can see it being used many places on the bike.

I have my doubts putting it on large visiible patches of this stuff to the tank or any other large surfaces - except if it comes off extremely easily - so easy that I would conscider using it on a trip by trip basis.

Does anyone know if this stuff only comes in tape form, or does it also come in sheets?
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Old 14 Apr 2021
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Large bags chafing..

I know it is silly to care about chafing on an adventure bike. But, since we've got two brand new bikes, I do want to care for the paint, plastics and decals - atleast until I am sure the bikes are keepers and not something I will soon sell something else. Also, it is kind of like having a brand new pair of shoes - that you try to care for, until those few first marks show up - upon after you don't give a damn.[/QUOTE]

I had a laugh at the title of large bags chafing, but thats another story not for here. I have a 21 Brothers Rogal bag, a Polish version similar to Giant Loop bags, and I put an old bike inner tube around the straps, just cut the inner tube and thread the straps through the centre, perhaps it helps. I have also Kriega OS 32 panniers when I am feeling really adventurous, my bike is 3 years old and its going to get scuffs and scratches and I don't really mind.
Kind regards
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Old 14 Apr 2021
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Helicopter Tape

An exampe of Helicopter Tape

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Old 14 Apr 2021
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I have in the past bought some secondhand panels to replace the original ones when there is any chance of chafing and I want to keep them looking good, I keep my bikes for so long that I inevitably end up not caring but do make an effort when they are new.
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Old 15 Apr 2021
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Good idea on the plastcs - maybe even put on second hand panels before going on a long trip. There are no second hand for my T7 Rally - and probably not for a long time.
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