This isn't set in stone yet, and I'm just as likely to change my mind and go a completely different direction... or I may not even have the time to do a decent bike trip next year, but at the moment, I'm thinking very seriously of doing the Trans Taiga Road early next summer. For anyone that doesn't know what the Trans Taiga Road is, it's a 666km long gravel road to nowhere... So once you get to the end, you've gotta turn around and come back, so it's over 1300 kilometers of dirt. It's also the farthest (by road) from a town in all of North America once you reach the end of the road. Now, I've got a road bike. It's an SV650S. I'm planning on getting rid of the clip-ons for handlebars over the winter regardless of any trips I do next year. If I do the Trans Taiga, I'll also put on dualsport tires and get a softer shock and front springs. I may go on my own. I may go with someone else. My questions mainly involve bike planning for riding dirt roads. I've owned dirt bikes before, but I've never traveled any significant distance on dirt roads (a few miles here and there), so this would be a new experience for me. I carry a plug kit and a mini compressor. However, I'm thinking maybe I should go with tubes instead. What do you think? Speaking of tubes, if I go with tubes, I will have to break the bead and remove the tire from the rim (well, one side anyhow) to repair or replace the tube. I change my own tires and I've put tubes in dirt bike tires before... But my question is how do you guys break the bead on a tire in the field? If someone comes with me, I figure I can use the kickstand and it shouldn't be much of a problem, but if I'm solo, I'm wondering what methods you guys use for this. I won't be doing any offroading, just gravel roads. Do you think a skidplate is necessary? They don't make one for my bike (that I'm aware of anyhow), but I figure I could fairly easily modify a Vstrom skiplate to work. I'm leaning against this idea... But this is a remote road and major damages can be very costly. Anything else I should look at doing to a roadbike for tackling a long and remote gravel road?