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Old 08-13-2014, 08:38 PM   #1
Motomochila OP
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Location: N 34 22.573' W 118 34.328' Jes North of LA a few.
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Pain in the Backpack

Hola mi amigos. Gringo from the left coast here. Recently stepped down from a GS Adventure to start longer adventures on a KTM 690. After doing the AZBDR last May, I decided to give up my luxury liner BMW, ( I hated the bike part of the experience), and opted for lean and mean adventure travel on a much lighter and stealthy KTM 690, so long distance adventures are now planned. Longer as in more than the 5-7 days I rode on my last 690. Now that I don't have all the space in those BMW aluminum bags, I need to wear a bigger pack than the camelback mule or the other brands I've tried. Problem is- my backpack sucks. All of them. I'm 6' 2" and 230 with broad shoulders and wear body armor. Shoulder width between the straps beats the crap out of me on a long ride. I wore a "mule" for 60 days last summer while riding solo through Europe with only water and a few items. That killed me.

So..who makes an extra wide shoulder width backpack that can hold about 20-25 lbs of water, tools, and stuff needed to do 20 plus days of travel at a time? If you wear a backpack, what do you carry? If you don't, how do you manage long distance without panniers and bags. (I also have a giant Loop Mojave but that is full of camping gear).

Motomochila...loosely means motorcycle backpacking, and that's what I like doing most.
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Old 08-13-2014, 10:20 PM   #2
Mark Manley
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I sometimes travel with just a backpack and tank bag but always strap it on the rack or back seat, partly because I find it more comfortable and partly for my own safety, I was once knocked off of my bike while wearing one and landed on it, there was no harm done but it made me think about the possible consequences for my back.
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Old 08-14-2014, 12:17 PM   #3
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I Like your nickname.

I did a ride one time for 700 miles stopping only for gas, with a backpack, it killed me and have not done anymore, now I usually strap the backpack between me and the top case, and serves sometimes as a backrest when getting tired.

in your case, maybe strap it next to the giant loop?

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Old 08-14-2014, 06:44 PM   #4
Roland44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Manley View Post
I sometimes travel with just a backpack and tank bag but always strap it on the rack or back seat, partly because I find it more comfortable and partly for my own safety, I was once knocked off of my bike while wearing one and landed on it, there was no harm done but it made me think about the possible consequences for my back
Same here, I always strap mine on the rack or back seat as well. It's way more comfortable.
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Old 08-16-2014, 06:42 AM   #5
catweasel67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motomochila View Post
Hola mi amigos. Gringo from the left coast here. Recently stepped down from a GS Adventure to start longer adventures on a KTM 690. After doing the AZBDR last May, I decided to give up my luxury liner BMW, ( I hated the bike part of the experience), and opted for lean and mean adventure travel on a much lighter and stealthy KTM 690, so long distance adventures are now planned. Longer as in more than the 5-7 days I rode on my last 690. Now that I don't have all the space in those BMW aluminum bags, I need to wear a bigger pack than the camelback mule or the other brands I've tried. Problem is- my backpack sucks. All of them. I'm 6' 2" and 230 with broad shoulders and wear body armor. Shoulder width between the straps beats the crap out of me on a long ride. I wore a "mule" for 60 days last summer while riding solo through Europe with only water and a few items. That killed me.

So..who makes an extra wide shoulder width backpack that can hold about 20-25 lbs of water, tools, and stuff needed to do 20 plus days of travel at a time? If you wear a backpack, what do you carry? If you don't, how do you manage long distance without panniers and bags. (I also have a giant Loop Mojave but that is full of camping gear).

Motomochila...loosely means motorcycle backpacking, and that's what I like doing most.
I think you need to be a tad realistic here. There's just no way you need stuff for 20 plus days at a time. Once you acknowledge that simple fact you can adjust your packing accordingly.

Water, petrol, food and laundry are gonna be your limiters so unless you're carrying 60kgs of water, 400 litres of fuel, 20kgs of food.....well, you get the picture.

I rode down to southern Portugal (from the UK) with nothing but a tank bag, a seat bag and my tent strapped across the back seat. I did 5 weeks in North America with the same get up plus pannier and I've done an over-night with a backpack strapped to the back seat.

If I were you, I'd get a hydration pack (I use, and love, a 3l Kriega), put your clothes and crap into your giant loop and strap your tent to the back of the bike. If you still need more space then get a tank bag and if still need more space then get a duffel bag (I use a waterproof 60l Northface). Get one of those elasticated cargo nets and a mesh bag and you're away. Once you accept the reality that is having to do laundry, the world is your mollusc.

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Old 08-16-2014, 11:14 AM   #6
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[QUOTE= stuff needed to do 20 plus days of travel at a time? [/QUOTE]


Whoa Fella, stop right there. I often am on the road for 20-30 days biut I never pack for more than 5 days at a time, if that. You can pack the same stuff for a week trip that you can for a month long one...just stop and do the laundry once in awhile. replenish items as needed. No way you need to carry a whole 20 days worth of gear.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:20 PM   #7
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Backpack contents:
2-pair microfiber convertible pants
2-microfiber riding shirts
1- bike shorts ( wear one, swap out the next day)
3-pair riding socks
2- microfiber riding shirts.
2-front tubes, 1- heavy duty, 1-standard
1- rear tube heavy duty
Misc snacks
100 oz. water
canon G15 camera
Toiletries

Total weight- 26 lbs. I've been doing this for eight years riding off-road excursions for 5-9'day stints on dirt only oriented rides, now after doing the AZBDR on my BMW GS1200 Adventure, I realize less is more so I've downsized to a KTM 690 for all my road/off-road adventures. Now placing most everything into the Giant Loop Mojave.

The new pack Mojave pack list:
Two man tent
Sleeping bag
All the personal items from above
Tent pad
Bag air pad
Small backpack stove
Mojave is completely filled, so backpack is next.

Tubes- weighs 5.3 lbs.
Tool kit - weighs 6.5 lbs
Hand pump
100 oz. water - 6.5 lbs
Snacks
Camera
Spare bolt/lever/misc part kit
Backpack weighs 24 lbs. One pain in the back. If the pack was wider at the upper strap connectors, the problem would be greatly reduced. Reducing as low as possible without sacrificing needed items. Downsizing for better performance and ease of off-road navigation apparently comes at a price.
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Old 08-18-2014, 06:31 PM   #8
gmk999
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Fwiw

ever concider tank panniers . I have a set from Quadboss that are great for heavier items like stove and fuel.Klymit mattres pad. it even has a bottle holder I put my stove fuell in (gasoline). tubes etc. It's nice to get some weight foreward on the bike when you are carrying a lot

Similar to this;http://www.powersportsplace.com/part...type/sport-atv
They are cheap and easy to put on and take off. Here is the one i have.
http://www.bikebandit.com/riding-gea...tank-saddlebag
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:17 AM   #9
jonz
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You carry a lot more stuff than I do but that's personal choice. I carry 2 standard weight tubes which are lighter and pack much smaller. The heavy weight tubes are in my tires. For 2 months in South America, my off-the-bike clothes were one long sleeve shirt, one pair of zip off pant/short combo, 1 pair walking shoes, a hat, 1 pair of underwear, and 1 pair of socks. All clothing was easy wash and quick drying stuff. Look at the tent/sleeping bag/pad combo. Really lightweight versions can get that total weight down to 6 lbs. Look at long distance hiker websites to see how low you can really go.

That being said, on my South America trip I met a German rider and we traveled together for 5 weeks or so. He carried a huge backpack. Part of the secret for him was the pack was sized just right so when he sat, the pack just rested against the seat taking most of the weight off his shoulders.
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Old 08-26-2014, 05:34 AM   #10
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Modify the pack

If you have a pack like the mule that carries everything then try altering it to fit you better. Find a shoe and leather repair place or even a saddle shop with the equipment to do it. Might not be pretty but it would fit.
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:55 AM   #11
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The bike should carry the weight, not your body. So everything gets strapped on to the bike. I also use a "kidney" type belt around my lowere back and gut. Like the one you might use in dirt riding. Makes long times in the saddle much more comfy. Remember, you are on a "backpacking" trip, only doing it on 2 wheels. So limit what you carry.
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Old 08-28-2014, 05:18 PM   #12
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I would never carry anything on my back except a camel back and I don't do that routinely. It isn't safe and besides that, you've got a bike to carry that stuff. Strap it across the back or better yet, use a good quality set of panniers.
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:00 PM   #13
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Recently returned from doing the UTBDR. Although the ride was only 5-days. Did the route on a 2014 EXC500 with a Giant Loop on the rear, and a Camelbak Adventura. 14 lbs. and sore from the straps after 200 miles on the trails. (the bouncing around due to the trails causes movement regardless of how tight the straps are).


Here's the basic set up.

The problem lies with the straps being too narrow for most motorcycle applications if the rider is wearing any kind of armor or heavy riding jacket. (see photo below). The shoulder mounts are way too narrow.


Even if I add in water, a few items and two MSR bottles of fuel, the pack cuts into most riders neck.

Tossed this back into my bag on day one of the trip and bought this pack in Moab. Cost was $150.00 and change, less than the Camelbak. A bit larger and far more comfortable.

Osprey Stratos 36 Liter backpack with hydration system.


The shoulder mounting is further apart and the mounting keeps the pack off my back. Still not great for a longer trip but better than the Camelbak set-up. I'm looking for a durable 35-40 liter pack with side pockets and hydration system.

My goal is adventure touring on a smaller bike so the "strap everything on the back" doesn't always work. The ultimate goal is 4-6 weeks on a KTM 690. Because I'm 6'2" and 230, everything I bring is larger, leaving less room for stuff except in the backpack.
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:07 PM   #14
Motomochila OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acejones View Post
I would never carry anything on my back except a camel back and I don't do that routinely. It isn't safe and besides that, you've got a bike to carry that stuff. Strap it across the back or better yet, use a good quality set of panniers.
I regularly ride 7-10 day 100% off-road rides in Baja and Copper Canyon Mexico with only a backpack and a tank bag. Absolutely no issue with safety, just the standard pain in the backpack. Many Baja racers wear backpacks during the 1000 to carry spares, tools, lighting, emergency, etc. My Baja race pack was 16 lbs including water.
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:15 PM   #15
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Have you thought about a Giant Loop Coyote instead? They're expensive, but after using one, I wouldn't want to ride without it. Its a little bigger than your Mojavi, but would strap down tight and would keep the excess weight off your back.
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