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Old 10-19-2014, 06:40 AM   #1
BirddogVet OP
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TMeditations on the Cost of Security

How secure are you? I asked myself that question while deciding on whether or not to put on a centerstand. I would have the security of wheel changing at the cost of extra weight.
What is needed to make your trip a reality?
I'm not talking about practical essentials like vehicle or medical evacuation insurance. The idea is about all of those other optional choices made when we decide to hit the road for 'the trip.'

How much is enough to pay for the trip? Kind of like getting married.

Will we ride solo or in a group? Sure there are comrades for some of us that make sharing the experience a delight. But the more in the group the greater the chance of dissent. Read David Bryon's "Riding off the Edge of the Map" or A.H. Rosenberg's "The First Ride," for some extreme examples. Will there be a mechanic and a translator in the group?
Solo allows you to get up and stop when you want to, at the cost of having a harder time sharing the day's ride and security if something goes wrong. Misery does love company unless its the cause of it.

How much stuff do you plan on taking? Less is more??
How big of a bike is needed to carry it all?
Are there sufficient dealerships to where I am going?
Will the warranty protect me? Bought in Canada may not extend elsewhere
New or used? Could I leave it , if I had to?
Hard cases or soft? Aluminum cases run about 20 lbs.
Stock, spare can or bigger gas tank? I hate to run out of gas.
Chain link, alarm or cover?
Center, trail stand, or rock?
OEM tools , picked and chosen, or titanium everything.
Drive or chain? If chain, 525 for longevity or 520 for local availability?
How many extra sprockets?
Wing it with a credit card, Slime, full kit with C clamp, or tubeless plug kit?
Hard long lasting tires/tubes or soft easier to change ones?
Stock or every farkle available? "If you cannot afford to lose it,...."
Map n compass, GPS, Spot, satellite phone, back up truck? Will I be able to ask directions in another language?
Firearms, bear spray, or a smile and a prayer.
Will I stay on the highway or do I plan to venture off the main thoroughfares?

This is just a sampler of the questions we ask ourselves. Kind of like pulling a pin on a grenade. Before we do it, how far can we throw it and how much of a bunker is enough to hide behind?
I am not so sure if advanced age is a benefit or a hindrance on making that pin pulling decision. Once we old guys reach a certain age, testosterone levels willing, it is easier to say,"@#$% it." The problem is, are we still physically able to pull it? No pun intended.
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Old 10-20-2014, 10:16 AM   #2
Mastery
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You forgot which to choose: Rock, Paper, Scissors, Spock...
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Old 10-21-2014, 06:03 AM   #3
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Addendum

This really all came to mind while trying to break the bead on a Trailwing 8k mile ridden rear tire. Under prime conditions, I was cursing, sweating, and having just a jolly ol' time of it.
While under pressure, on the road, necessity is the mother of invention. I get that.

Inspired by a friend who said that his best trip was when he took only a rolled up old army blanket and slept under the stars.

Finding harmony between rock and Spock.
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Old 10-23-2014, 07:25 AM   #4
madeouttaglass
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It depends on where you are going. If you're riding the Amazon you might need a bit more than if you're staying within the boundries of your home country. I carried a saddlebag full of tools and extra gas in Baja. I never opened that side bag. I've found that overthinking it or having too many others involved can be the dream killers.
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Old 11-01-2014, 06:07 AM   #5
BirddogVet OP
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The answer is ...........

So it comes down to essential, required, needed, or wanted.

To help with the decision, I watch Mondo Enduro and Long Way Round. My gear selection will fit inbetween.
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Old 11-02-2014, 09:49 AM   #6
xsPain
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How much is enough to pay for the trip? Kind of like getting married. [/QUOTE]
As much as you want to spend. So, yeah - just like getting married (or so I've heard)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BirddogVet View Post
Will we ride solo or in a group? Sure there are comrades for some of us that make sharing the experience a delight. But the more in the group the greater the chance of dissent. Read David Bryon's "Riding off the Edge of the Map" or A.H. Rosenberg's "The First Ride," for some extreme examples. Will there be a mechanic and a translator in the group?
Solo allows you to get up and stop when you want to, at the cost of having a harder time sharing the day's ride and security if something goes wrong. Misery does love company unless its the cause of it.
I love solo travel. Love. It. But I recently met a woman who, after a year, still wants to be around me. This might cause some adjustment.

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Originally Posted by BirddogVet View Post
How much stuff do you plan on taking? Less is more??
How big of a bike is needed to carry it all?
To quote Austin, take the smallest bike your ego will allow. Personally, I think anything over 250cs is ego, but always, always take the bike you have instead of buying another one. That's travel money you're spending. as for stuff, a stove, a pot, a sleeping bag and pad, and clean underwear.

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Are there sufficient dealerships to where I am going?
Will the warranty protect me? Bought in Canada may not extend elsewhere
Dealerships? No, but where there are people these days, there are people who fix machines. They'll get you moving again. Don't be attached to the warrenty, or expect much from it once you cross an international border. It might help, but it might not.

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New or used? Could I leave it , if I had to?
The one you have, but don't name it. Only hate mail I've ever gotten was when I said I was going to leave my named motorcycle behind.

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Originally Posted by BirddogVet View Post
Hard cases or soft? Aluminum cases run about 20 lbs.
I like soft, but it is true I don't have anywhere to put stickers.

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Stock, spare can or bigger gas tank? I hate to run out of gas.
No matter how much gas you have, it can run out. 200-250 miles range is plenty for anywhere in the world. I have 175 and it worked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BirddogVet View Post
Chain link, alarm or cover?
None, with some common sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BirddogVet View Post
Center, trail stand, or rock?
My bike came with a centerstand, and I kept it. Keeping that weight is worth it, the first time you have to change a tire (let alone chain maintenance)

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OEM tools , picked and chosen, or titanium everything.
Again, my bike had an excellent OEM kit, and I added tire changing tools. Pack what you need for regular maintainence. If you need to save wieght with titanium, you're carrying too much somewhere else.

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Drive or chain? If chain, 525 for longevity or 520 for local availability?
Stock, so probably 520. Ride long enough and you are going to need another one.

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Originally Posted by BirddogVet View Post
How many extra sprockets?
I carried none. Never needed one, and if I did was highly confident I could get one or have one made.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BirddogVet View Post
Wing it with a credit card, Slime, full kit with C clamp, or tubeless plug kit?
I have tube tires. I hate changing tires. I will gladly pay someone to do it for me. I carry tire tools because I don't always get flats near mechanics.

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Originally Posted by BirddogVet View Post
Hard long lasting tires/tubes or soft easier to change ones?
See above.

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Stock or every farkle available? "If you cannot afford to lose it,...."
Stock. Somewhere, far away, something will break. the more stock the bike is, the easier it will be to get the parts you need for repair.

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Map n compass, GPS, Spot, satellite phone, back up truck? Will I be able to ask directions in another language?
If you can get a back up truck, then do it. Those trucks have the best food. Unlocked GSM phone will handle everything else.

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Firearms, bear spray, or a smile and a prayer.
Bear spray for when there are bears around. It works for 'coons too (remember to leave the area once spraying, it actually attracts both bears and 'coons). Other than that, smiles. People are nice.

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Will I stay on the highway or do I plan to venture off the main thoroughfares?
Venture. Venture venture venture.

No, seriously. Venture.
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:05 AM   #7
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Now we're talkin'

Thanks for taking the time for writing up some thoughtful answers.
So let's discuss.

I like the analogy between a trip and marriage. In essence all you need to get married is a license. Then again, was there a wedding gown, tux, banquet hall, .........., involved?

I moved heaven and earth to make the day Vince Austin gave his travel talk near Chicago. I was not disappointed.
I questioned why he waited in a Latin American town for weeks waiting for a part. I said a bike is just a tool to be used accordingly. Sell her and get something else. He replied that they wanted to keep all of the bikes the same. There is some security in that, at the cost of time.
"Anything over 250cc is just ego." .........There have been some brave souls traveling on smaller bikes and I commend them. However, my girth and 15+ kg of gear tax the suspension limit of smaller bikes. .........Unavoidably riding through the expressways of large cities is above my risk tolerance......... I rode a rented 450cc Honda Falcon in Peru with minimal gear. I needed help raising her, when I had fallen in 'La Trocha.' Even filled with an adrenaline rush, I had to submit to help in the super fine powder. A smaller bike does not necessarily lend itself to ease of righting/pushing her. My 750 cruiser was easier to lift than my current 650.
At what cost? ...........less expensive, easier to abandon, more likely to find parts, better gas mileage, easier to maneuver, gear limiting, longer passing times.
And the list goes on, and on, and on.............:)

Bear spray is not allowed in Canada. Not allowed on a flight. Wonder if it is sold in Russia?

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Old 11-05-2014, 07:15 AM   #8
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It's personal?

I think everyone has to find their own balance between feeling secure that they have enough gear to survive and still feeling like they're having an adventure. I'm a big fan of the

Quote:
Originally Posted by BirddogVet View Post
So it comes down to essential, required, needed, or wanted.
way of looking at things. I'm definitely a less is more kind of guy, but when it comes to farkles I struggle some - I'm new to the whole idea of adventure riding and depending on whether you're riding the long way 'round or something more akin to car camping from a motorcycle your need for things like suspension upgrades change a lot. And holy shit some of these farkles are expensive...

Great thread, looking forward to more good advice.

Respectfully,
cmm
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Old 11-06-2014, 05:39 AM   #9
xsPain
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I actually bought my bear spray in Canada. I wanted to camp near Banff and they wouldn't let me without it - the bears were all over the place. I saw a dozen or so in just one day of riding. Never used it, tossed it later.

The weirdness is in the rules around bringing it back and forth over the border. There was a guide who gave a talk at the BC HU meet about it. I didn't take notes, but it was entertaining.
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Old 11-06-2014, 10:08 AM   #10
High Country Herb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirddogVet View Post

Bear spray is not allowed in Canada.
I don't think that's true. "Pepper Spray" for defense against humans is not allowed, but "Bear Spray" is OK.

I prefer to take the risk, and carry minimal stuff. I never take anything I don't actually plan to use. I can usually find a way to get by with the OEM tools under the seat, and a rock, stick, or whatever I find laying around. Worst case scenario I can walk out. and come back with more stuff. Of course I've never gone on a ride 1000 miles from the nearest help, so that would be another story.

I used to ride solo 95% of the time, but now that my wife got her license and a dual sport, we ride just the 2 of us most of the time.
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Old 11-06-2014, 01:35 PM   #11
Lizzard323
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AAA card. Ground pad, Tarp, underwear , snuff, and if out of AAA coverage a wad of cash.

IMHO, planning just gets in the way of going.
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:51 PM   #12
BirddogVet OP
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Taking the minamilist approach a bit further.......in a major jaunt to South America or Africa, which would you take? A centerstand with all of the tools or a wad of cash?
A SAT phone or a wad of local currency?
Knowlege of the local language or ride with a tour guide that does?

Damn, this Is getting deep. :*)
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Old 11-07-2014, 05:43 AM   #13
Mastery
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Quote:
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Bear spray is not allowed in Canada.
Not true. Properly marked spray is allowed.
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Old 11-14-2014, 03:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirddogVet View Post
Taking the minamilist approach a bit further.......in a major jaunt to South America or Africa, which would you take? A centerstand with all of the tools or a wad of cash?
My bike came with a center stand, but you should be able to manage all your basic maintenance tasks and deal with a flat tire. Excess tool and spares are silly (though you should have a spare for whatever your model eats regularly. For me it's rectifiers.

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A SAT phone or a wad of local currency?
What is this facination with SAT phones? Get an unlocked GSM and local SIM card. And local currency is always a good idea.

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Knowlege of the local language or ride with a tour guide that does?
I ride on my own and bearly speak English. Carry a manual and don't be afraid to look foolish. Sometimes it also gets you free food.

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Damn, this Is getting deep. :*)
Getting?
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