Originally Posted by traveltoad
And "Tire Pressure" is a great conversation starter...
Uh yeah...the big bikes pinch tubes. If you drop 200lbs in bike you can get great traction with 15-18.
A couple more notes for prep...
Make sure you have the proper wrench to remove both wheels for flat repair. I know this sounds silly, but I have experienced first hand where the factory tool kit that comes with the bike doesn't have the right tool. Go figure.
Have an extra tube for front and rear, a patch kit, and a way to inflate - either a tire pump, 12V pump with power lead for YOUR bike, or CO2 carts. Something to lube the bead isn't a bad idea either, either tire change lube, soap, or a mini WD40. The latter is always in my tank bag.
If you're not real good at removing a bead and tube to repair or replace, at least have what you need. We'll help you but we're not there to do it for you.
Know the route distance you're going to tackle and make sure you have sufficient fuel range.
Carry at least a couple of liters of water and something to eat. In my opinion, you should have sufficient gear to be able to spend the night out in the dez, god forbid that something should happen and you don't make it back. This is less serious for this event due the numbers and that we are keeping track of everyone and riding in groups, but one needs to be sufficiently prepared.
First aid - I don't know what people carry, but I always have a sling, bandaids, rags, aspirin, and first aid tape. I wear contacts so I have spare glasses, a contacts case, saline solution, eye drops, and a spare pair of lenses, sunglasses, a hat, and reading glasses. Lip balm, benedryl (for bee sting reaction), antacid tabs.
If your navigation aid (reads: GPS) isn't hard wired to your bike then make sure you have extra batteries. I always have a LED headlamp thingy backpackers use, and extra batteries. If you get caught out after dark with a flat you'll be damn glad you have a way to task light. Lithium batteries cost more but last 8 times as long.
Although you don't need to, I have enough tools to practically rebuild a bike in the field. Wrench set, sockets, allens, pliers, cutters, screwdrivers, tire irons, plug wrench and plug. For spares, duct and electrical tape, hose clamps, a variety of bolts and screws, 20ga wire, chain breaker, master link, JB weld, super glue, locktite. A note pad and something to write with is always a great idea for any trip. Can be used for notes yourself, but more important, for details of an accident, or to leave a note for somebody else, a buddy or group.
A space blanket. Wind proof lighter, compass, whistle...you know, the 10 essentials. I even carry a snake bite kit. Oh yeah, and a spare key for your ignition. I keep one in my backpack or tankbag, some guys hide one on their bike.
In cooler weather, like we're likely to see at DV, my jetboil and coffee and cup a soup. If you get rained out or snowed on it's pretty nice. Even for a lunch stop.
Until this stuff comes naturally to you, a checklist is not a bad idea. Mostly it's being prepared for whatever, for you and your machine.