a motorcycle journey 2up

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


There are certain number of “things” that will be encountered during the trip. Since space and weight are a concern, we will have to leave the kitchen sink at home. Everything else however, we will try to attach to the bike. Not really though. I am actually being a Nazi about the whole packing thing, limiting quantities on clothes and excluding luxurious items such as pillows. However, I feel I may lose a few battles on that front – you try telling your wife that she is only allowed 2 pair of underwear for a month long trip, not gonna happen.

Here is a brief and entertaining break-down of some things/situations we are preparing for.

Things we are potentially prepared for:

1. Bears – Bear mace
2. Weather (cold and rain) – Heated grips, heated liner, many layers, and waterproof gear
3. Camping – Plenty of quality camping gear (tent, sleeping bags, etc.)
4. Mild mechanical Failure – On board tool kit
5. Moderate tire failure – Tire plugs, slime, air compressor

Potential short comings of above mentioned preparations:

1. Never actually used the bear mace. Always stored in an un-easily accessible area.
2. Haven’t really tested the statements made by gear manufactures of “water-proof”.
3. On board tool kit will probably not have what I need to make a repair.

Things we are potentially unprepared for:

1. Bears
2. Cougars
3. Weather (heat, rain, really cold)
4. Catastrophic Mechanical Failure
5. Wheels falling off bike
6. Meth-heads

It may not appear so, but I have actually done a lot of prep for this trip. There are just a lot of bases to cover, and how fun would it be for you all (y’all) reading this if all went smoothly?

Bike Modifications:

I have bought a ton of quality aftermarket modification parts for the bike. To offset the cost of those, I have also fabricated some of the ugliest pieces (although extremely functional) to complete the total Frankenstein-ing of our V-strom. I have made a few labeled picture diagrams to help illustrate my achievements!

A. Happy Trails Aluminum Panniers (side cases)
B. PVC Pipe Storage tube w/ eye catching red pressure valve cap for some sort of plumbing application.
C. Fuel storage containers for bike and cooking stove, also serves as possible pyrotechnics in the event we are rear ended.
D. Attention grabbing, yellow mystery box - securely mounted with old clip-on style snow board boot bracket.

E. Super Furry Butt Pads (all about the comfort, not so much the style).
F. Engine and Body protection for when the bike takes a nap.
G. Homemade hand grip warmers.
Exhibit “A” - If you look closely, you will notice that I was neglecting my Manly duties to mow the lawn. That is Nikki on the mower while I am taking pin-ups of the bike.

H. Homemade radiator guard.
I. Bootleg Highway Pegs.
J. New chain and sprockets.
K. Fender extender made out of plastic paint bucket.

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L. GPS Holder
M. 12v power outlet to recharges necessary items like ipods and camera batteries.
N. Digital Voltmeter - keeps us from drawing too much power on our accessories. Lets me know if the alternator takes a crap.


This is Bowser trying to pass through his new doggy door with a bone that is slightly larger than the opening.

And of course, DIY tire changing. We are starting the trip with new tires. I figured I should know how to do this myself, given the remoteness of some of the areas we will be traveling through and the potential for the earlier mentioned "catastrophic tire failure". The process was a bit like this:
Break the bead:

Spoon off old tire.

Spoon on new tire.

Bam! done. With only minor back-aches and a slightly marred rim or two.


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