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Old 08-09-2014, 02:29 AM   #1
EastRoad OP
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Gear List - multi-month trip, Questions. MINIMAL.

Well the thing is that I've got a longer trip from Switzerland to turkey, Azerbaijan, maybe Iran .. and back on a different rout in the planning.
Either next year (hopefully) or if I can't get all things sorted with work, money, etc. the year after.
Hope to be able to spend 3-6 month on the trip.

Can't shed too much details yet, as both the actual route, duration etc are still very much open to debate, depending on my work (self employed), time-frame, etc..
But the planning is at least starting to take place.

I have extensive travel (backpacking) experience and am used to living "on-the-go, on the road". As an example I've spent 8 month in Asia with all but a 35ltr. backpack...
One of my things is to take as little possible - gear wise.


So I was now wondering if anyone wants to share their Kit-List for multi-month cross-country travels on a motorcycle and maybe highlight what they have come not to need or found missing.
Basically - as with my non-bike travelling - I'd like to slim gear down to the absolutely minimum without sacrificing safety.
Thus I'm especially interested in light-weight /minimal gear ideas / inputs.

Btw. the bike's a BMW R1150GS Adventure.


thanks.
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Old 08-09-2014, 05:37 AM   #2
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Sheeit!! motherfucker..a 1150GS you can take the kitchen sink if ya want too, bbq rigs, holandause sauce makers, inverters, ghetto blasters, Espresso machines, deck chairs, camp tables.

Wanna go minimalist buy a GL125 honda, hahahaha.
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Old 08-09-2014, 05:41 AM   #3
EastRoad OP
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Originally Posted by bush pilot View Post
Sheeit!! motherfucker..a 1150GS you can take the kitchen sink if ya want too, bbq rigs, holandause sauce makers, inverters, ghetto blasters, Espresso machines, deck chairs, camp tables.

Wanna go minimalist buy a GL125 honda, hahahaha.
made my day ;) cheers.

But if I take all that ... I have to leave the 55" LCD and the satellite dish at home... not going to happen.
So minimalist packing....


and about a minimal moto...
well I've done Thailand a bit on a rented worn out Honda VRX 400 (ok, it was really worn out - and cheap).
... Whilst pleasurable enough for most parts (two people on that bike + some luggage!!) it was really lacking especially uphill.
And I constantly wished I had my GS ;)
So it will be a cold day in hell before I do several thousand miles on a 125 ;)



I might bring a handpresso 12V portable espresso maker and some coffee along though. ;)
(I love coffee.)

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Old 08-09-2014, 09:35 AM   #4
stephen.stallebrass
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You ask for advice about gear with a view to keeping it lite but then tell us you're taking one of the heaviest bikes available... bit incongruous don't you think? Anyway, if you can live for 8 months with only the gear in a 35L back pack you won't need much more by adding a motorbike to the equation: tools, spares & maintenance kit.

My advice is keep it simple, limit your kit to basic roadside repairs that will keep you moving. A good puncture repair kit is going to be essential and will be the foundation of your kit. Only take what fits your bike. Planning and preparation prevents piss poor performance so replace faulty or weak components before you leave.

Don't worry too much about breakdowns, you can't prepare for every eventuality, learn to see obstacles as opportunities. When things go tits up is usually when the adventure begins; they force you to rely on others and form relationships.

Consider the following:
  • Tow strap
  • Tubing
  • Metal weld (JB weld): can repair a damaged engine case in an emergency
  • Cable ties
  • Gaffer tape
  • Hanger wire
  • Jubilee clips
  • Electrical tape
  • Fuses & spare bulb
  • Nuts & bolts
  • Vice grips: can be used as emergency levers - no spare levers
  • Cable repair kit - no spare cables
  • multi-tool
  • Loctite
  • Hacksaw blade
  • Small file

Your puncture kit will depend on whether you're running tubed or tubeless tyres but a spare set of tubes is always handy to have. If you really want lite use a hand pump but I use a small ADV mini-compressor. The tubes are only going to useful though if you have the tools and the know how to remove the wheels and repair/install the tubes. Here's my tubed tyre puncture repair kit:
  • ADV air compressor
  • 3x CO2 cartridges & adaptor (back up)
  • Spare HD tubes front & rear (I'll usually just replace the tube and repair the punctured one later in the day to become the spare)
  • Combination tyre levers & spanner (front & rear)
  • WD40 (lube)
  • Talcum powder (this helps reduce friction & heat inside the tyre)
  • Gaffer tape (emergency rim tape)
  • 2 x rims savers (PITA but use them if you want to keep your rims looking nice)
  • Tyre pressure gauge
  • Spoke spanner
  • Patches
  • 4 x vale cores
  • Valve core removal tool
  • Vulcanising cement
  • Buffer/Stitcher combo tool (invaluable for repairing tubes and getting a good bond)
  • Your specific wheel removal tools (for me it's an E12 & T45 socket)
  • Bead buddy (makes things so much easier)
  • Valve stem puller (this makes the most frustrating part a doddle)
  • Valve stem nuts (Im always dropping and losing these)

I've eliminated a lot of things from my kit over the years that I didn't need and added things that I did or made jobs by the roadside easier. I used to carry spare serviceables (oil, filters, brake pads, wheel bearings, tyres etc). If you're going to need these buy them locally or if not available post them to someone in advance (use the various communities to assist you).

Everything you carry is a personal choice, the other stuff I routinely carry for such an adventure includes:
  • Toilet Bag: small folding shovel, pee bottle, tissues, wet wipes, hand sanitiser
  • Documents: (Passport, V5 & Driving License Insurance, Breakdown cover, Health Cover etc)
  • Dummy wallet (expired cards: credit/debit cards, old drivers license, old receipts and small amount of local daily currency).
  • Medical Kit: trauma, booboo & pharmacy
  • Emergency Field Dressing & Survival Blanket
  • Battery Charging stuf
  • LED Head Torch
  • 1L Platypus and Drinking hose
  • Maps & Recta Elite Global Compass
  • Garmin Zumo 660 (with the most up-to-date FREE and downloadable OSM maps)
  • SPOT2 Tracker
  • Bit & pieces: gum, lypsil, suntan lotion, Ibuprofen, bin bags
  • Mossie Headnet & 100% Deet Spray
  • Write in the Rain Notepad & pens
  • Hip flask with some Johnnie Walker Black (great to have a tipple)
  • Pipe & Tobacco or Cigarettes (even if you dont smoke cigarettes break the ice and grease the wheels, they can get you through borders quicker and help avoid speeding tickets)
  • MSR Hubba Hubba Tent, Poles, Pegs, gear loft and Groundsheet
  • Exped 7DLX Inflatable Down Matt & Thermarest Fitted Sheet
  • Large Thermarest Ventra
  • Trangia alcohol stove & cookset: Sea-to-Summit X-Bowl, Titanium Spork, Microbites Utensils, MSR Grater/Strainer, MSR Alpine Scraper/Scub, Tea Towel, Dish Soap
  • 1L Nalgene Bottle & GSI Mug
  • Balaclava & baseball cap
  • MSR Hyper Flow water filter & Chlorine Dioxide Steri-Tabs
  • Laundry kit: Exped waterproof bag, mesh bag, S2S 10L kitchen sink, S2S clothes line, S2S laundry wash
  • Netbook & Cables & Adaptors
  • 2 x 2L Jerry cans of fuel.
  • 4L Dromedary.
  • Tripod & camera
  • Knife Sharpener
  • Sewing kit
  • Boot kit: small brush, boot polish
  • Bike Rain Cover
  • Clear Visor
  • Chain Lube
  • 2 x Spare Rok Straps (simply the best straps you can get)
  • Disc alarm lock & Cable
  • Waterproof Trousers & poncho
  • Spare gloves
  • Bike Start Cables
  • Wash kit: micro-fibre towel, travel plug, shower gel, scrub, anti-perspirant, toothbrush, toothpaste & dental floss, tissues, nail Clippers, folding wash bowl
  • Clothes: 4 x underwear, 4 x socks, 2 x cargo trousers/shorts, 3 x T-shirts, fleece jacket
  • Trainers & sandals
  • Spare engine key key taped to inside of fairing
  • Cardo Scala Rider Q3 & Drift Ghost HD + remote
  • UltimateEar Sound Ears
  • Iphone4
  • Spare Keys
  • Owners manual with emergency credit card & $100 cash
  • Tool Kit & puncture kit
  • Trangia 1L fuel bottle
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:31 AM   #5
EastRoad OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen.stallebrass View Post
You ask for advice about gear with a view to keeping it lite but then tell us you're taking one of the heaviest bikes available... bit incongruous don't you think? Anyway, if you can live for 8 months with only the gear in a 35L back pack you won't need much more by adding a motorbike to the equation: tools, spares & maintenance kit....
Stephen,

Thank you for your elaborate reply!

About Bike Size vs. Stuff:
I use the bike about as much as I use the car, throughout spring - autumn, actually more than the car.
And travelling with the bike was high on my list of things too...
I bought the bike some years ago because I wanted STURDY & Reliable.
I wanted a bike that was long-range capable and wouldn't need to be refused every 150km give or take a few.
I wanted a bike that is street capable but wouldn't be shy to go off the beaten paths...
I wanted it to be comfortable, powerful, etc.
Etc... and well, I guess I got what I asked for with the R1150GS Adv.
The BMW wasn't my first bike either - by the time I bought the BMW I knew quite well what I wanted, and at the time the R1150 was my best option.
And to this day it has not let me down - hasn't offered me any troubles (aside from a faulty ABS rear sensor) and has been ridden over thousands of miles of tarmac, some offroad stuff, small mountain roads, gravel roads... in all weather conditions.
Or let me put it short: that bike is a pretty serious love affair of mine



That it can carry heavy loads for a bike is a bonus - quite certainly.
But travelling for me is not just about packing everything that I could potentially need - it often is also to go with a few limits and carry only what I believe I truly need (and often could do with even less).
To me this is part of the experience of being away.
So applying the same philosophy to my bike travels has so far served me well.

The reason why I ask none the less for a gear list focused on long distance trips, is simply because I haven't done a trip that as it looks will encompass 15'000 - 25'000km by the time I'm back if all goes as planned.
At the moment I'm trying to see if I can get me half a year to go with... that would enable me to do more distance and go about it a tad more relaxed.

Now with a long trip - and this is why the gear list is a question: I think I want to see what I would potentially have forgotten to take.
I also want to hear if people took stuff they never needed and left at home for the next adventure... stuff like that.
Also about experience with certain equipment.
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:14 PM   #6
catweasel67
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I'd suggest you take what you think you need, spend a week or two on the road so you know what you actually need and post the rest back home. I've done the same with souvenirs etc. Just have a chat with a friend before hand so they know to expect the occasional package :)

Takes away a whole lot of worry about what to, and to not, pack.
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:34 PM   #7
Mark Manley
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Here is what I took on a six month trip to Central Asia.

It packed into this luggage.

The onto this bike, yes a Honda 125.
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:41 PM   #8
EastRoad OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catweasel67 View Post
I'd suggest you take what you think you need, spend a week or two on the road so you know what you actually need and post the rest back home. I've done the same with souvenirs etc. Just have a chat with a friend before hand so they know to expect the occasional package :)

Takes away a whole lot of worry about what to, and to not, pack.
Done that... but for example:
Long term trips what kind of spare parts would anyone suggest to take?

I mean aside from the usual suspects:
- 1-2l of Oil
- some tubing
- Break Fluid
- Sparkplugs
- Some electrical wire / quick clamps
- Set of Fuses
- maybe compact diagnostic tool
- steel flat bar pieces (10cm) & steel hose clamps in case of a broken frame part until it can get welded
- any other suggestions?

Does anyone take spare tyres on trips of that length?
maybe a set of proper offered tyres once you're off the well beaten macadam ...
Or in case of a more serious damage?
I guess one set wouldn't be a bad thing... especially if you wear one set out.

Or do you think they're easy to come by in every slightly larger town?

So far I've only taken tyre milk, CO2 cartridge pump and a basic tire fixing kit and it has served me well - but those were simple punctures, nothing more.




Camping gear wise I'm pretty well set up, from Hilleberg 1-Person tents, light weight down-mats, sleeping bags, cooking stuff... all trimmed down for alpine stuff. so that kit doesn't take much space either or is problematic...

But anything Bike specific? anyone found that certain parts are important to take?
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:42 PM   #9
EastRoad OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Manley View Post
Here is what I took on a six month trip to Central Asia....
The onto this bike, yes a Honda 125.
Nice setup (kit)...
But you're are brave man with that 125 ;)

so no bike spare parts? etc?


What was the route / distance?
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Old 08-09-2014, 02:44 PM   #10
catweasel67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastRoad View Post
Done that... but for example:
Long term trips what kind of spare parts would anyone suggest to take?

I mean aside from the usual suspects:
- 1-2l of Oil
- some tubing
- Break Fluid
- Sparkplugs
- Some electrical wire / quick clamps
- Set of Fuses
- maybe compact diagnostic tool
- steel flat bar pieces (10cm) & steel hose clamps in case of a broken frame part until it can get welded
- any other suggestions?

Does anyone take spare tyres on trips of that length?
maybe a set of proper offered tyres once you're off the well beaten macadam ...
Or in case of a more serious damage?
I guess one set wouldn't be a bad thing... especially if you wear one set out.

Or do you think they're easy to come by in every slightly larger town?

***text snip***

?
A heck of a lot depends on where you're gonna be, and how far from a decent parts store you're gonna be. In practically all of Western, Southern and Central Europe you're better served by joining the OAMTC or whatever the Swiss equivalent is.

Bike specific spares - I'd hit the bike specific forums, find out what fails and replace them before the trip - eg on ATs the OEM Regulator/Rectifier and fuel pumps can be dodgy with replacements taking a while to source.

Tyre irons + cable ties are gonna double up as frame braces - but as long as you don't over-load your bike, or crash badly, it's doubtful you'll ever have that problem.
Tubing is great to carry for all sorts of reasons
Fuses and some wire makes sense but I'd not bother carrying sparkplugs,
Oil only really makes sense if you're burning through more than you can easily replace from garages etc - in which case you've got bigger problems

I reckon as long as you can take off your wheels and repair (either permanently or temporarily) a puncture, have the tools to change your oil and filter , maybe replace sprockets & chain (best done before you leave IMO) then you're set.
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Old 08-09-2014, 03:15 PM   #11
Warin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastRoad View Post
Done that... but for example:
Long term trips what kind of spare parts would anyone suggest to take?
As someone said above - bike specific.


Quote:
Originally Posted by EastRoad View Post
Does anyone take spare tyres on trips of that length?
No! I've done it .. never again. A PITA... Your tyres will last distance X. Get new tyres at distance X-Y. Where Y = 0 to X/10 ... you chose this to be some place that has tyres. Contace them and order in the tyres you want say 2 weeks before you get there. The key is organization and planning. You should have a list of dealers/mechanics along your route with contact info (phone + email). Yes you do see photos of people carrying tyres .. but not for a European trip! Tyre places arn't that far apart!

Try not to take stuff that is specific to only one repair eg the frame repair you mention using scraps of metal .. as some one above suggests - use the tyre leavers (or spanners etc.).
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Old 08-09-2014, 03:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warin View Post
As someone said above - bike specific.




No! I've done it .. never again. A PITA... Your tyres will last distance X. Get new tyres at distance X-Y. Where Y = 0 to X/10 ... you chose this to be some place that has tyres. Contace them and order in the tyres you want say 2 weeks before you get there. The key is organization and planning. You should have a list of dealers/mechanics along your route with contact info (phone + email). Yes you do see photos of people carrying tyres .. but not for a European trip! Tyre places arn't that far apart!

Try not to take stuff that is specific to only one repair eg the frame repair you mention using scraps of metal .. as some one above suggests - use the tyre leavers (or spanners etc.).
Tyres: well within europe I totally agree with you - but leaving europe, possibly up to china... well I guess it would make a difference?
I doubt I'll be able to arrange for a set of spare tyres - quality at that - somewhere in east russia, etc? in ADVANCE.....
Or what's your experience?

As mentioned, I'm hoping to be able to be AWOL for about 6 month if all works out ... if it does, I can leave europe well behind on my route.

Tyre braces - good thing.
...

I can fix most everything - I work as a machinist ;) (not specific to bikes - but repairing stuff, ... no problem - I can take about everything apart and put it back together ...
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Old 08-09-2014, 03:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by catweasel67 View Post
A heck of a lot depends on where you're gonna be, and how far from a decent parts store you're gonna be. In practically all of Western, Southern and Central Europe you're better served by joining the OAMTC or whatever the Swiss equivalent is.
Sure thing - but I'm not worried about south/Central europe...

as mentioned - if I can max it out (duration) I will cross far out of central / southern european territory - and there those services you mention (swiss equiv. of OAMTC like TCS, ACS, etc.) aren't worth a pair of dirty socks - because they don't service there. At least last time I've checked.

Don't get me wrong - if all goes down shit-creek... and it's about survival only, I don't care that much - I have enough experience getting out of trouble ;)
But I'm more concerned about what it takes to enhance the chances of keeping the bike going on a 15'000-25'0000 km trip.
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Old 08-09-2014, 05:55 PM   #14
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The world is full of heavy machinery for farming, mining, tranportation. Someone has to maintain it.
Almost anything can be fixed on the road.

Tires last 6-10 thousand miles. You should be able to locate a tire shop in that distance.

You're on a BMW. As anal as BMW riders are, there has got to be a list of every repair shop in the world.

I probably carry too many tools. I carry stuff to do crash repairs, so I can get to the next town. Some wire, plumbers strap, a few bolts, nylon reinforced tape, that kind of stuff. Doesn't take much room, and I've used it a couple times. Or you can always flag a truck to drag your bent bike to the next town, take a room, and go to fixin'.

If you have the funds I can be bought as a guide - back up crew.
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Old 08-10-2014, 12:05 AM   #15
EastRoad OP
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Originally Posted by thetourist View Post
The world is full of heavy machinery for farming, mining, tranportation. Someone has to maintain it.
Almost anything can be fixed on the road.

Tires last 6-10 thousand miles. You should be able to locate a tire shop in that distance.

You're on a BMW. As anal as BMW riders are, there has got to be a list of every repair shop in the world.

I probably carry too many tools. I carry stuff to do crash repairs, so I can get to the next town. Some wire, plumbers strap, a few bolts, nylon reinforced tape, that kind of stuff. Doesn't take much room, and I've used it a couple times. Or you can always flag a truck to drag your bent bike to the next town, take a room, and go to fixin'.

If you have the funds I can be bought as a guide - back up crew.
Thanks.


Adding crew members? Not going to happen - for two reasons:
Lack of funds (so, unless you consider slave labour fair ;) ).
I'm not very pleasant ;) (I ride a BMW... do I need to say more).
(honestly though - I prefer to travel alone...)
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