Long distance riding

bikesncats

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I am, and have been for decades, an avid long distance rider.

Just sitting here today, chit chatting about old stories of crazy stunts and insane trips over BBQ lamb and beer with some of my oldest and best friends...we can't but look back and say we did actually mellow over time...just a little...and most of the things we still do are still considered crazy by some and looked at in awe and called epic adventures by others, but what the general public sees as something out of the ordinary to us it is simply something normal to do!

Though I do feel that with age I am mellowing a little and 2,500Km days are becoming rather rare - hell the last one was over a year ago and was only 2110Km - I also feel that the experience gained over the years of doing this, as well as todays motorcycles and equipment, are making 1,000-1,500Km stretches involved in many trips I do a lot more effortless then the first times I was attempting such legs on a journey.

All this talk we had leads me to think that it may be time to actually share some of the "less talked about" experience that usually comes with what at times turn into hard lessons and maybe help some younger globetrotters avoiding some of the mistakes we made early on.

How many here are actually long distance riders and how many of you are planning longer trips? Would this subject actually be of interest to any of you? I am always open when it comes to helping as much as is within my ability to help and certainly share my experience with others...if of course there is interest. I believe this site has many great people and sharing experience is actually regarded as such (and not looked at as bragging in disbelieve by a bunch of wonabe's who couldn't find their way home without a GPS if you brought them out of the city).

In terms of less talked about experience I of course mean things like being properly prepared, clothing, navigation etc... My question is "Is anyone interested in me staring such a thread and sharing experience as well?"
 

bikesncats

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We could do it right here in this thread and just go by sections what you think? Like start...example with clothing - many people have problems choosing the proper clothing and many times end up spending enormous sums based on sales people giving them inadequate information. A section about accessories - what to bring on trip is always a complicated choise and most people tend to bring much more then they need, many times creating more problems then anything. A section about navigation - I know we all rely on GPS now days but what happens if the system goes down, equipment brakes or we simply run out of batteries? I believe having a basic notion of "stellar navigation" (which doesn't mean we need to learn the constellations), finding north and positioning oneself by the sun or the stars, is a must for anyone adventuring into great wide open - it saved my life once - but that is another story entirely.

Phil, Ally...Bob and anyone else please let e know if this approach would be ok

Sorry I am now going back to my guests who just woke up from their jet lag nap...or perhaps it was the beer LOL

Cheers :DD
 

LivinLOS

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2500 km days is a LONG day on a bike.. And in asia with its road conditions of questionable safety IMO..

I have done some long single drives in cars.. New Orleans to San Diego in almost one go (in a van that did about 60 mph !!).. Florida to Alaska overall in that that trip, the AlCan is a LONG road !!! Algeciras to calais in a single go back when the roads were a lot less quick was a long haul.. Multiple times easy stuff like Phuket CNX in a go, or CNX to Phnom Penh in a day.. After dark here tho the risk factor skyrockets. I really try not to ride after dark, in a car I actually like night driving as the roads are more empty and its you and your thoughts.

For years I was working much of my work time out of a car.. 20k kms a month was quite normal for my distance, lots of overnight autobahn trips, slapping your thigh with your head half out the widow to stay with it.
 

Winghunter

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Interesting discussion again. I am called in our Motorcycle Club - an Iron Butt. But to do more then 2000 Kilometer a day is nearly impossible. Look for example here in Europe the "Autobahn" get more and more crowded with trucks from the Eastern part of Europe and riding becomes more dangerous. Traffic jams allover.
I do at least two long distance runs over the year when I go to the island of Sardegna or when I take a ride to Italy. Around 1200 Kilometers is the average distance to go there but you have to stay a whole day in the saddle. 1200 Kilometers a day a more then enough. At the end you feel tired and boosted. The longest ride on one block, I have ever made, was a ride in the USA. That was a 2000 Kilometer ride. At that time I was 34 in age and felt nearly dead. Now I am 56 in age and believe me, such a distance I will never do again. My be, I am still able to do it but I think every Kilometer above 1000 Kilometer distance becomes more risky since you are getting tired and when you are getting tired, you will loose a lot of cencentration.
 

brake034

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Alex, please start these threads and personally I do not care where you do it. The forum coaches will guide you and move threads where needed.

What you need to bear in mind is that only a small part of the readers will actually be able to do what you have done and follow that.
Most others dream about it only and enjoy reading about of such overlander trips. Both groups are sincerely interested in what you write, to each their own.
Please respect both groups, the interested readers and the real iron butt's!
 

bikesncats

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2500 km days is a LONG day on a bike.. And in asia with its road conditions of questionable safety IMO..

I have done some long single drives in cars.. New Orleans to San Diego in almost one go (in a van that did about 60 mph !!).. Florida to Alaska overall in that that trip, the AlCan is a LONG road !!! Algeciras to calais in a single go back when the roads were a lot less quick was a long haul.. Multiple times easy stuff like Phuket CNX in a go, or CNX to Phnom Penh in a day.. After dark here tho the risk factor skyrockets. I really try not to ride after dark, in a car I actually like night driving as the roads are more empty and its you and your thoughts.

For years I was working much of my work time out of a car.. 20k kms a month was quite normal for my distance, lots of overnight autobahn trips, slapping your thigh with your head half out the widow to stay with it.

Nice going that is just great stuff. But more fun on a bike. Chiasso to Algeciras and to Chiasso on the way back has been a 1 leg journey most of the time when hitting the Sahara (and most trips to Africa)...the worse time is when I broke my arm (when the ferry was docking) with bone sticking out and everything - went back to place when I lifted my bike - tire irons, gauze and duct tape and off I was. Passed out after I kicked the sidestand out at home...my dad picked me up and drove me to the hospital where I got an earful (from the doc) before getting patched up LMAO

Here it's a bit different I must agree, and I do not like to ride at night in Thailand...when these four wheeled idiots hit the high beams and just pass its harder to judge the distance and speed...my last one was BKK-HKT (visa run) and back to Surin in 1 day...got the GPS pic

R1-bkk-hkt-surin.jpg

it goes a bit against what I usually preach about safe long distance riding and certainly against the roles of what these guys consider would qualify as a Bunburner ride

IBA BBG certificate nn.jpg


...BUT... it was a special day and a special bike :excuseme:


ohh and yes you see right, I took the pic while rolling down the road leading to my house :roll:
 

bikesncats

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Interesting discussion again. I am called in our Motorcycle Club - an Iron Butt. But to do more then 2000 Kilometer a day is nearly impossible. Look for example here in Europe the "Autobahn" get more and more crowded with trucks from the Eastern part of Europe and riding becomes more dangerous. Traffic jams allover.
I do at least two long distance runs over the year when I go to the island of Sardegna or when I take a ride to Italy. Around 1200 Kilometers is the average distance to go there but you have to stay a whole day in the saddle. 1200 Kilometers a day a more then enough. At the end you feel tired and boosted. The longest ride on one block, I have ever made, was a ride in the USA. That was a 2000 Kilometer ride. At that time I was 34 in age and felt nearly dead. Now I am 56 in age and believe me, such a distance I will never do again. My be, I am still able to do it but I think every Kilometer above 1000 Kilometer distance becomes more risky since you are getting tired and when you are getting tired, you will loose a lot of cencentration.

One of things I do want to touch is being alert at all times...when one starts to be tired it is time to stop no matter how many kilometers were covered. Riding alert will get you far...fighting fatigue is a waste of time and energy, once people understand that and ride accordingly they get further.

I agree that Europe is not the same anymore. I also have to admit that I myself already fell asleep while overdoing it...coming back from southern Spain as just mentioned, instead of stopping home I figured I had enough in me to do another 500Km to my GF's house, since it was winter I took the then just brand new Gotthard tunnel and the combination of heat ad fumes got me...luckily I woke up from the horn of oncoming truck I was slowly going towards in the opposite lane...and was promptly intercepted by police on the other end who demanded I drink a coffee before heading on. So many things learned...in the what not to do department as well :RE
 

bikesncats

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Alex, please start these threads and personally I do not care where you do it. The forum coaches will guide you and move threads where needed.

What you need to bear in mind is that only a small part of the readers will actually be able to do what you have done and follow that.
Most others dream about it only and enjoy reading about of such overlander trips. Both groups are sincerely interested in what you write, to each their own.
Please respect both groups, the interested readers and the real iron butt's!

Absolutely I will...no condescendence towards those that can only dream about doing it...I apologize if my remark (directed at the Taliban&Gestapo duo to be honest) was misinterpreted, absolutely no mocking intended.
 

brake034

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I understood who you referred too and I knew you did not address the dreamers.
But it is important to understand the majority of forum members are the dreamers, the readers, the silent majority.
They too built the forum and make it to what it is.
 

Changnoi1

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Kawasaki Z250
My personal idea "long distance" riding is between 700 and 1000km a day, and that is riding in Thailand, Laos or Cambodia. With riding hours of 10 - 12 hours. For me that is the max, I think the road condition, the traffic conditions combined with the routes I choose to ride (smaller mountain roads) that riding more or longer is a danger to yourself and others.

Living in Khon Kaen the first & last 100 km is always a boring straight & flat road. And I remember twice coming home and being just 70-90km from home that I did still make a stop to rest because I was noticing that met attention was not 100% anymore. And it really does not matter if I come home 30min later.
 

bikesncats

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So I guess since I have a few minutes right now I start with what I believe is the least talked about, often the most ignored yet certainly the most important point when it comes to long distance riding...whether you plan just a 2,000km day o whether you're planning a 20-30 thousand Km trip, the one "secret" that makes it possible with the least effort required is comfort...yes...comfort!

From your bike set-up, your clothing and apparel to the accessibility of your "things"...it makes all the difference and I bet my right testicle that if you look at any experienced long distance rider's "comfort level", whether he consciously does it or just instinctively got to it over time, you will notice a significant difference from what we all did when we started off.

Truth is, if you look at my travel set-up...hell just see what I have in my tank bag alone...you would probably laugh and say I believe I was acting in an Indiana Jones movie. Truth is though, everything is thoughtfully placed and accessible when and where I need it, make my comfort level that much more higher. No time wasting, no distractions, no looking for things and later making mistakes because I gave up the search...ease of mind is also part of a good comfort level.

I believe I will make a post hereafter elaborating more in detail about what all the aspects are that should be included in the comfort level for a long distance ride...I believe some of things you would never think about...like your underware, that's right because just a little seem in the wrong place, which you only feel a bit when trying them on, will turn into a painful pressure point over hours of riding, will distract you and tire you out much faster then if you had chosen the right garment.

As I go into this I realize that I need to organize my thoughts, I tend to sidetrack too much and the subject requires much more expanding into details as I realize by starting so...let me gather my thoughts on how to best split the points up I believe are important...and how to go into details and how deep.

So Cheers for now and enjoy a great weekend. Alex. :DD
 

KMA

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Is anyone else just a little blown away by Alex's driving averages listed. top speed was 146 miles per hour and average speed was 106 mph? Wow! This was on a bike or in a car?
 

LivinLOS

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Yeah thats properly mental.. I have moving averages like his overall average, and I get up over 200 sometimes..

To put in a moving average of 175 you have to be doing continual sustained 2xxs over long distances. No slacking off.
 

bikesncats

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Yeah thats properly mental.. I have moving averages like his overall average, and I get up over 200 sometimes..

To put in a moving average of 175 you have to be doing continual sustained 2xxs over long distances. No slacking off.

You actually don't have to mate...it's the moving average, it's just a matter of being consistent. I have to admit that day was not a normal day...as I had mentioned it is not what I normally do on a long trip...it was just a day trip and everything just fell into place nicely.

It was with my lovely R1...the R1 - unlike most bikes which have a best consumption to great distance driving balance around 140Km/h - has it's optimal cruising speed at around 170 to 180 Km/h (well, that particular R1) ... but if you notice I never really pushed it as the maximum speed is only 236Km/h which is far less then what the bike is capable of...so overall I was keeping her tame and keeping it real. I usually ride around 180Km/h when doing long trips with the R1...the highway down of course is a bit different as police is almost inexistent and from Chumpon to Surat Thani one can let spurs loose a bit without having to worry about gas stations and traffic is always light in the early morning hours so 220Km/h can easily be sustained for the entire stretch, which of course helps the moving average (but not the overall average as gas stops become more frequent).

KMA...it was a great day for a great trip. I left BKK from soi20 and headed str8 down rama3, over the bridge (yeah I know but there are never cops around there and when they are I'm long passed by the time they realize it) hit the toll way from there and off I was on 4 south, then 41 to Surat Thani, 401 and 415 to HKT, did my visa stamp in Patong (with 500baht on hand it only takes minutes), then had a Guinness at the Jongceylon bar and after an hours rest, some muffins and an ice tea I headed off, up highway 4 towards Ranong then across to Pa To and Lang Suan, 4 north into 321 to U Thong, 329 to Saraburi then 2 and boring but treatorous 24 home.
 

LivinLOS

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You actually don't have to mate...it's the moving average, it's just a matter of being consistent. I have to admit that day was not a normal day...as I had mentioned it is not what I normally do on a long trip...it was just a day trip and everything just fell into place nicely.

Yeah but to average 175 you have to make up for every moment of decel and accel to every red light, every junction, every bit of traffic, every bit of time thats down to zero and all that under 100 kph time.. For every minute under 100 you need a minute over 250, or 2 mins over 210.

No matter how mental or what bike there always time under 100, so lots of time up over 200 just by the maths.

I push on up to 200 plus on rare occasion, but I still have moving averages more like your total average !!
 

bikesncats

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Yeah but to average 175 you have to make up for every moment of decel and accel to every red light, every junction, every bit of traffic, every bit of time thats down to zero and all that under 100 kph time.. For every minute under 100 you need a minute over 250, or 2 mins over 210.

No matter how mental or what bike there always time under 100, so lots of time up over 200 just by the maths.

I push on up to 200 plus on rare occasion, but I still have moving averages more like your total average !!

Of course you're right on the math...slower time needs to be compensated by higher speeds no question about it! On that we all agree...but it doesn't mean that you need to be over 200 for hours on end (when you do keep a consistent higher speed, like 170-180) that's what I meant. A great day with little traffic and the proper roads selected...what else can I say.

Mental? nahh...just fun :MJ
 

Winghunter

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Sorry, Mate, but when I read all this, my hair becomes grey in color. You go with top speed of 146 miles per hour and average speed was 106 mph? No come on, you are kidding...... If it is true you seem to be a person that has not much responsibility for yourself and others. You need to ignore all street signs and speed limits when you do this.
You keep this speed for 2500 Kilometers........and you do this on a R1. Sorry that sounds like fairy tale. I ride a BMW K 1200LT which is a bike that is designed for long distance rides but a R1.......???????
After 10 hrs at least you will looth your teeth and nails and other parts of your body.
It is not my intention to offend you but his story sounds a bit...........lets say, funny.
 

Lone Rider

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Well, yes it seems fantastic but looking at the rules of the Iron Butt / Bun Burner 1500 Gold (BunBurner GOLD Rules) it looks likes that Alex has ridden monster distances in the past. Certainly not my cup of tea but I know that some people here in Thailand have done Iron Butt rides so it does not seem impossible. Personally I have done Chiangmai to Bangkok (home to home) in less than 6 hours covering a distance of 700 km but that was in a car and leaving very early in the morning morning when there is not much traffic on the road.
 

LivinLOS

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Sorry, Mate, but when I read all this, my hair becomes grey in color. You go with top speed of 146 miles per hour and average speed was 106 mph? No come on, you are kidding...... If it is true you seem to be a person that has not much responsibility for yourself and others. You need to ignore all street signs and speed limits when you do this.
You keep this speed for 2500 Kilometers........and you do this on a R1. Sorry that sounds like fairy tale. I ride a BMW K 1200LT which is a bike that is designed for long distance rides but a R1.......???????
After 10 hrs at least you will looth your teeth and nails and other parts of your body.
It is not my intention to offend you but his story sounds a bit...........lets say, funny.

Look at the GPS.
 

brake034

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Let's step away from average and max. speed or huge daily distance covered and come back to the core of Alex thread here, how to cover large distance driving.
I do like the first bit, lay out everything so you are comfortable and await Alex further elaboration on the topic.
 

bikesncats

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Sorry, Mate, but when I read all this, my hair becomes grey in color. You go with top speed of 146 miles per hour and average speed was 106 mph? No come on, you are kidding...... If it is true you seem to be a person that has not much responsibility for yourself and others. You need to ignore all street signs and speed limits when you do this.
You keep this speed for 2500 Kilometers........and you do this on a R1. Sorry that sounds like fairy tale. I ride a BMW K 1200LT which is a bike that is designed for long distance rides but a R1.......???????
After 10 hrs at least you will looth your teeth and nails and other parts of your body.
It is not my intention to offend you but his story sounds a bit...........lets say, funny.

Winghunter...despite your horrible accent I don't believe you're German...because ALL my German fiends know a thing or two about speed, so you must be a fellow Swissman, only Swiss Germans are so anally retentive :lol. Keep on riding your 2 wheel camper and enjoy it...and leave the crazy stuff to us veterans who have been doin'it for decades. Ohh and please keep the lecture for your son when he starts riding...I know what I'm doing and my safety record proves it. No offense intended of course:jump...cheers mate. Talking about the "Gummikuh", I did 21,000Km in 21 days on an R1100GS crossing North America with a pillion who was on her first bike vacation, how does that sound?

Let me ask, no offense intended of course, have you taken your baby to the Elefantentreffen yet? I herd this year I missed quite a party...shame on me :DD

To hell with it...while we're at it let's get all the controversial stuff out and clear the air ok, here is my other crazy stunt because my best speed ever I did here in Thailand on an open road and not during all the track days I tried for it (nor the German Autobahn).

R1 TS garmin.jpg

My max speed, as recorded by Garmin (Navigator 3) in SaKaeo highway 33 heading into highway 359 with the same R1 of course (didn't I mention my lady 1 is special?)

So draw your conclusions now...some may think I'm crazy, some may think I'm irresponsible but some may think I know my shit when it comes to bikes, I hope to be right with the last one considering it's been over 40 years I'm doing it, over 36 with a (legal) license :cool:

Now we can listen to Marcel and move on, if you really feel the need to lecture me do it in a PM...just remember my dad gave up (lecturing) when I was 16 and started supporting me instead...
 

Winghunter

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Winghunter...despite your horrible accent I don't believe you're German...because ALL my German fiends know a thing or two about speed, so you must be a fellow Swissman, only Swiss Germans are so anally retentive :lol. Keep on riding your 2 wheel camper and enjoy it...and leave the crazy stuff to us veterans who have been doin'it for decades. Ohh and please keep the lecture for your son when he starts riding...I know what I'm doing and my safety record proves it. No offense intended of course:jump...cheers mate. Talking about the "Gummikuh", I did 21,000Km in 21 days on an R1100GS crossing North America with a pillion who was on her first bike vacation, how does that sound?

Let me ask, no offense intended of course, have you taken your baby to the Elefantentreffen yet? I herd this year I missed quite a party...shame on me :DD

To hell with it...while we're at it let's get all the controversial stuff out and clear the air ok, here is my other crazy stunt because my best speed ever I did here in Thailand on an open road and not during all the track days I tried for it (nor the German Autobahn).

View attachment 28770

My max speed, as recorded by Garmin (Navigator 3) in SaKaeo highway 33 heading into highway 359 with the same R1 of course (didn't I mention my lady 1 is special?)

So draw your conclusions now...some may think I'm crazy, some may think I'm irresponsible but some may think I know my shit when it comes to bikes, I hope to be right with the last one considering it's been over 40 years I'm doing it, over 36 with a (legal) license :cool:

Now we can listen to Marcel and move on, if you really feel the need to lecture me do it in a PM...just remember my dad gave up (lecturing) when I was 16 and started supporting me instead...


Well, you are the man ! By the way, I am Bavarian. May be, that makes a difference for your childish posting. Apologizes for my horrible accent........ Hope your German or any other language you speak, is half as good as my English. Looks like you have a massive ego problem, Mate...........
 

MartinThai

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I've been riding what I call long distances for years, but have never had a toy like an R1 to play/impress others with...... I like older bikes. So, my long distances have mostly been confined by geography (one day long blats in the UK and Thailand) intention (going to visit a mate for a few beers) and vehicle (old). What I consider a long ride, the Op may consider a trip down the shops, but I am more than happy to throw on a pair o' leather riding strides, cotton riding shirt and denim jacket, ankle boots, gloves and a full face lid and plod off from Chiang Mai to Klaeng (1010klm) in 10 hours on a 18 year old Yam XJR1200. Or back from Jomtien to Chiang Mai (the pretty route) 1050klm in 11 hours on a 16 year old Electra Glide..... works for me, and at 55 I am WAY too old to crunch my 100 kilos up on a crutch rocket..... or to care about doing it any other way than my own! Cheers!
 

bikesncats

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Well, you are the man ! By the way, I am Bavarian. May be, that makes a difference for your childish posting. Apologizes for my horrible accent........ Hope your German or any other language you speak, is half as good as my English. Looks like you have a massive ego problem, Mate...........

Well, Rudi from Bavaria…if you feel the need to apologize for your “horrible accent” I guess you didn’t get the meaning of my post...perhaps your English is not half asgood as you thought it was.
Mein Deutsch ist normalerweise besser als mein English...aussi mon Français est pas mal courrant. L’italiano é la mia lingua natale per cui non ci son disucssioni.

I do not have an ego problem and those who know me can attest to that…what I do have is a severe allergy to people that think they can lecture me about my riding or my choice of motorcycles…because if there is anything childish it is exactly that.

So now that we got this out of the way, maybe you missed it but I had mentioned that, for the sake of getting a clean thread here, I post the controversial shit right away so it doesn’t come and bite me in the ass later and if you have anything to say you can PM it to me...rather than being childish and making a fool of yourself here.
 

bikesncats

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I've been riding what I call long distances for years, but have never had a toy like an R1 to play/impress others with...... I like older bikes. So, my long distances have mostly been confined by geography (one day long blats in the UK and Thailand) intention (going to visit a mate for a few beers) and vehicle (old). What I consider a long ride, the Op may consider a trip down the shops, but I am more than happy to throw on a pair o' leather riding strides, cotton riding shirt and denim jacket, ankle boots, gloves and a full face lid and plod off from Chiang Mai to Klaeng (1010klm) in 10 hours on a 18 year old Yam XJR1200. Or back from Jomtien to Chiang Mai (the pretty route) 1050klm in 11 hours on a 16 year old Electra Glide..... works for me, and at 55 I am WAY too old to crunch my 100 kilos up on a crutch rocket..... or to care about doing it any other way than my own! Cheers!

Martin, that'sexactly the point...long distance riding is about what you feel comfortable doing...and foremost it needs to be fun.

Though one thing I must add...personally I see a HD as show ride to impress others (you certainly couldn't do any serious rides on it could you?). Maybe you missed it or maybe you didn't bother to read it in your hurry to name my ride a toy but as I said, I post to share...not to impress or brag. I understand that on a Harley you cannot venture too far from home or achieve any real speeds (maybe that is why Harley riders tend to call real bikes toys, to:MG compensate for their envy) but I see that you do have some real bikes as well and you do ride so congratulations on that and let's share experiences of our long distance riding, as Marcel mentioned thereare many people here that would like to know more to help them plan or at least learn what all the aspects involved are.

What you say? We let the R1 and Harley toys rest easy and get a decent thread going. I'msure people would like to know what you pack and how you prepare when you head out for 1000Km dayride.

P.S. I have been yanking your leg since I have several friends who have been doing more then impressive rides with their HDs, including the great north in Canada where other whimps on KLRs turned around :applause:
 

MartinThai

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'97 H-D Electra Glide, '91 H-D FXRS, '96 Honda XRV750 Africa Twin
P.S. I have been yanking your leg since I have several friends who have been doing more then impressive rides with their HDs

Well thank Christ for that then!! Coz I've been doing the North Thailand "twisty bits" for over 10 years on an Electra Glide, a Road King and an Ultra and no-one ever told me they were unsuitable! :lol3

By the way "Toy" is not derogatory....... man's gotta have his toys!

Hmmm..... what do I pack for a blat? Wallet, waterproofs and a spare t-shirt for a night out!

Our club does an annual "Toothbrush Tour"...... guys only, usually 7 to 10 days, no hotels booked, no itinerary, just a wallet, couple spare t-shirts, waterproofs and........ toothbrush!! :p
 

brake034

Senior Member
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Feb 1, 2013
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N/A
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Suzuki GD110HU, BMW F650GS
Yes, before this thread ends up in the dungeon I suggest to return back to what Alex intended with this thread, to share real experiences about long distance driving. I think Rudi will add a lot to that topic as I think he has some experiences to share with us too!

Guys, if you agree to disagree that is fine but please do not let that stand in the way of sharing true biking experiences!
Step over it, get back on track and let's focus on helping others!
 

Lone Rider

Blokes Who Can
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Jan 29, 2011
Location
Chiangmai
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4 Wheels
Well said Marcel. Here on RideAsia we don't shy away from a healthy and sometimes forceful debate but please leave personal attacks out of it as that does not add anything to the debate. If you don't agree with each other you can always agree to disagree on these things or use the PM function on the forum to "slag it out" between each other without involving the whole forum.

Please note that we do have the "dungeon" and threads which go "of the road" are moved there. The Dungeon is only accessible to members of the forum (you will have to log into it) so casual visitors will not see these posts.

And yes, I would love to know what and how you pack things for long distance riding. I am no longer riding bikes - did that when I was much younger then the 68 years I will be in a few months - and now stick to my truck to go on rides. In an hour or two I will be off again to the south of Laos (my 4th trip to Laos this year) and my packing is easy as I just throw it in the truck as I have plenty of space but on a bike you will be more restricted in what you can take so please "show us the ropes" on the WHAT, WHY and HOW.
 

MastaMax

Senior Member
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Apr 28, 2011
Bikes
19 ktm 300tpi 6 days / 15 Yamaha YZ250F / 08 Husky 450SMR / 13 ER6N / 13 KTM 300XCW(sold)
Everyone his own reason and definition of riding. Some like to cruise on their HD, others to be blazing fast and break speed records, others to ride 2k km in a day, others to ride in as remote locations as possible, others to have their wheels in the air more that on the ground...

At the end of the day we're all in the same team and I think a reason we all like riding in Thailand is that no one tells us what we are not allowed to do. If we want to ride at 200km/h without helmet it's our own choice.
 

bikesncats

Senior Member
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Location
Siem Reap
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TDM850
Everyone his own reason and definition of riding. Some like to cruise on their HD, others to be blazing fast and break speed records, others to ride 2k km in a day, others to ride in as remote locations as possible, others to have their wheels in the air more that on the ground...

At the end of the day we're all in the same team and I think a reason we all like riding in Thailand is that no one tells us what we are not allowed to do. If we want to ride at 200km/h without helmet it's our own choice.

Yesssssss...TIT :worthy:

Except for the HD (not old enough yet LOL...and 200 without helmet actually) I pretty much fit every category you listed ... I'll drink to that bro:DD
 

bikesncats

Senior Member
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Siem Reap
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TDM850
This one's for you Marcel...and Lone Rider, thnx 4 that.

Tips and tricks for a safe long distance ride.

Preamble
This is not meant as a bible for the rider planning an Ironbutt ride or the adventurer planning a long distance trip, rather a collection of tips and tricks learned over years of doing this myself and mostly on my own.

What is long distance riding?
Here the opinions of many diverge as some consider a 2,500Km day trip a long distance ride while others maintain that a trip of tens of thousand kilometers represent a real long distance ride.

In my opinion, having been enjoying both for decades I believe both represent long distance rides. In fact, whether one does a 1,000Km daytrip or an extended tour, choice of motorcycle, apparel and luggage required may differ significantly but the basics remain the same, and so does the minimum of accessories and a safety and emergency kit which should always be present.

I call this my basic pack and mine is ALWAYS packed and ready to go. In fact, I do happen to just spontaneously hop on the bike and head out for a 1,000Km or more trip, be it to visit friends or just a spur of the moment idea to visit some place.

Having my basic pack with me puts my mind at ease...and let's face it, one of the best ways to be alert is to be free of distractions, like not having to worry about the area I'm about to cross because I forgot my tire repair kit and if I have aflat it will take days until someone passes...and my phone battery's empty. Let's face it, being prepared is essential and a basic pack is supposed to do just that, keep you prepared.

What the pack contains may differ significantly from rider to rider based on the areas being travelled, riding style (following safe roads or crossing through unbeaten trails etc), type of motorcycle, daytrip or long haul.

What all trips and experienced riders have in common is one and the same, the least talked about, the most forgotten subject yet the most important: Comfort.

So I will try and brake things down - starting with comfort.


Comfort
A good comfort level is essential for a safe and relaxed and foremost enjoyable long distance ride. I cannot tell you how to set up your bike or what underwearto use.
Comfortis what all long distance riders have in common but there is not a one fits all tip or a single recipe that covers the entire subject. Comfort is of course subjective like so many things...what I feel comfortable on and with is likely quite different then what the very person standing right next me finds comfortable.

One issue is absolutely clear, to feel comfortable it includes having your mind atease, free of unnecessary distractions.
This means knowing your bike, knowing it is well suited for the planned trip and ina condition to undertake the distance.
For many the ease of mind stops there. That is a conscious choice. To me there are other points I need checked on my list before I set out entirely at ease.

To me it means I have my basic pack (we will touch the subject in more detail later). It also means I know my route, I compared the map with the GPS maps and remember in general cities, directions and where safe zones are should the unexpected happen.

I also know what I'm wearing for long distance rides differs from the way I sometimes dress, even to ride, when around home. Clothing must be comfortable...for a long distance ride. This means fairly "tight" underwear without seams that can cause pressure points. Tight underwear will allow you to sit longer without your butt starting to hurt. Loose underwear can move and bundle up forming creases that again form pressure points, the same goes for socks and T-shirts. Your jacket and pants should not be too loose but need to ensure freedom of movement and enough space around the armpits, waste and knees, again to avoid any tight spots where pressure points can form.
This is important because any pressure point, even just so small, will turn into a painful spot over hours of it pushing on the same spot. This pain will in turn cause a serious distraction and wear you out over time...your concentration lacks and you tire a lot faster...this is absolutely not a way to ride long distance.


Comfort though starts with your ride in my opinion. This of course includes your choice of ride. Don't buy a motorcycle you cannot feel right on just because of hype or because it fits your budget...or because its cheaper or sexier than the alternative. If your knees hit the tank the bike's too short for you and with a little time and work you can find one that will accommodate your longer legs. Vice versa, if you need to stretch yourself way out there, beyond what the handlebar can be adjusted to, chances are you are too small for the bike you like and better move onto something that can accommodate you better. Not being able to touch the ground is a smaller issue once you find a ride that fits your stature, a seat can be lowered and footpegs can be adjusted and, let's face it, if you plan on riding long distance you're unlikely to be sitting in traffic day in and day out so, being able to plant both feet on the ground with your toes bent is enough.

Once you have your ideal bike take the time to set it up right for you, adjust the handlebars, grips, brake and clutch lever and commands so they are best suited for you. Adjust your footpegs, brake lever and shifter. Once your bike is setup for you, you should be able to head out without having to look for that turn signal or high-beam switch...gears shift almost on their own and braking does not become a search operation for the proper measure.

Most people will tell you that the best bikes for long distance riding are Tourers...others will tell that big Enduros are the way to go. I say it's what you like and what you feel comfortable with and on but foremost, what you do with it.
It is true that a nice Tourer or Sport-tourer will give you a relaxed seating position and protect you from wind and weather, making long distances almost like watching a movie in a couch. It is also true that these kind of bikes come with a serious compromise in weight and limited ability to be manoeuvred, resulting in serious restrictions about the roads that can be safely travelled on them.
Some will tell you that crotch rockets are not suited for long distance rides because they do not offer the necessary space. Truth is, a properly set-up sports bike can be comfortable enough for the fit rider to cover long distances as safe and swiftly as any tourer with the extra benefit of added handling and lighter riding on twisty roads.
Modern big Enduros offer a combination of relaxed seating position similar to tourers and a fairly sporty ride, also offering the versatility to chose roads the tourer can't access and the sports bike only limited and with extreme work, opening a stride of further accessible destinations.
Samller Enduros present a compromise between relaxed seating position and spaciousness, long hour comfort in the saddle may be somewhat limited, but a properly set up bike can become a good alternative and allow further access to places where big enduros would require serious work even for the experienced rider...allowing to cover long distances with more ease.

In the end, what most tell you is the best suited motorcycle for long distance rides may only be the most comfortable on the autobahn but also the one with the most limitations, vice versa, the one that people tell you would be least suited for long distance rides may well turn out to be the most flexible, witha lack or only small wind and weather protection and perhaps a compromise of spaciousness and seating comfort...but the go anywhere and do it all choice.

I believe the choice of motorcycle is a very personal one. The first question to answer is "what do I like" and the second is "where am I going with it". Answering these 2 questions will give you an idea what category or categories apply to you. Now you need to look at your stature, posture and weight, this will further delimit your search. Even more subjective is brand...what do you like, combine that with your budget and you have a workable choice of motorcycles that should fit your personal requirements. Once you bought her it is time to accessorize, adjust and trim to your comfort.

When buying your clothing you need to answer the exact same questions without letting any pushy salesman talk you into something you don't really need or not even like. Buy your clothing based on where you go. Remember that layering is often better than a "do it all" suite (and less expensive).

So now that you have your bike, your all dressed and ready to head on your first long distance trip, there are a few more things to keep in mind.

Planning and preparing, I believe, should be our next subject, because planning properly is as important as being comfortable. Planning properly doesn't mean your journey cannot be flexible...or spontaneous. In the contrary, the better planned and prepared the more spontaneous and the more flexible one can be.
.......
 

bsacbob

Administrator (Retired)
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Jul 1, 2012
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Chiang Rai
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Honda CRM-AR 250, Honda CRF 250-L, Suzuki V Strom XT 650 Honda XR250 Baja BMW F650GS
Good to read the thread is back on track the only thing I would add to what Alex has just said is to expect the unexpected but sometimes shit happens :-)

Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk
 

bikesncats

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Location
Siem Reap
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TDM850
Thnx Bob.

I was told that the subject of buying a bike and clothing should be expanded further as many who have little experience could profit from some extra information on bikes and clothing available today and where these may be best suited.


To be honest, being a bit of dinosaur set in my ways in many things and maybe too far ahead of times on others, I will need to look into what the clothing industry offers overall (other than leather and Belstaff wax)...just kidding, but there are more options out there then one single rider would know right on top of his head, the same concerning bikes really. And frankly, we wouldn't want to limit an expanded subject solely on what I chose. So...I believe we should start a separate thread about clothing and bike selection and hopefully many of you have lots to add to it. Fair enough?
 

bikesncats

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Location
Siem Reap
Bikes
TDM850
Planning and Preparing

Planning and then preparing for a long distance ride is an essential step. To insure a maximum level of safety, preparedness is the name of the game which starts with laying out your trip and preparing your bike accordingly and pack based on your needs for the planned trip. This can take as little as a few minutes for a one day long distance ride or as long as several months based on the topography, remoteness and distance to be covered, availability of required components and budget of course.


Planning your long distance trip

The first question is:”where do I want to go and what route do I want to use”. Any travel plans you lay out will most likely be limited in the amount of time you will have available, whether you’re expected back at work or whether only the length of your visas limit the timeframe, to be able to complete the journey safely and on time, without ending up trying to complete the impossible within the last few days, one should plan the trip with different loops that can be changed or left out in the event serious delays hindering progress.

I believe that “planning your route in loops” is most likely the best and most important advise I can give you when it comes to planning. Something as simple as unforeseen and unusually bad weather out of season can put a serious dent in your progress. Whatever the reason, being able to set out a leg or two of your planned trip by short-cutting a loop, or several legs, can put you back on track without asking to accomplish the impossible.

An example comes to mind the year my friend and I headed down to Africa again. Now being seasoned veterans, having at least 4 months time and a pocket full of money with two bikes just waiting to hit the trail, we decided to do something awesome, head from Tangiers str8 down the middle Atlas, take the Tanzerouff into Niger, Nigeria, Cameroun, Congo and across Zaire to Rwanda where we wanted to meet up with a friend and together ride along the Nile down to Giza and from Alexandria follow the coast to Tunis and ferry back to Genoa.
The plan was...well...feasible, but we bit off more than we could chew when we decided we would go from Kinshasa to Kisangani via the Northern route which had already been abandoned for almost 2 decades – but the accounts of a mission worker who had talked to us in school when we were still young kids had impressed us so much that we had to see it – so off we went along the Zaire river and into the jungle, set in our minds that we would follow the river all the way to Ubundu and head to Kigali from there. A “short” trip that should have taken “days” by the normal southern route took many weeks instead to complete, putting serious demands on our bikes as well as our skills and inventiveness, presenting us with situations we had never even heard of before.- Ever built a raft with 2 XT500 rear wheels set in the water as drives, using a guide line extending across a mile of crocodile infested water that...well had probably been left behind and abandoned for decades? We met some of the nicest people in the world, shared meals made of things that we would have never thought of as food, along of course with great wild pigs and awesome fish- the first time I had crocodile meat – we made it to Kigali almost 3 months after leaving Kinshasa, on time to spend a few days with our friend and help him crate our bikes to be shipped back home after we hopped on a plane back towork.

Apologise for the side-tracking but it should give you a clear idea that planning your trip route, especially the timing of each leg, is a serious and demanding part of your preparation. Having loops in your travel plans can seriously reduce the risk of having to abruptly brake off your travel.

Another example on how I plan now days is my trip through the Australian Outback. If everything goes to plan I will be leaving Perth and head along the coast to Adelaide, from there head north to Alice Springs via the Great Central, take the Gunbarrel Highway (GBH) west and head north by the Canning Stock Route (CSR), then back to Alice Springs via the Tanami desert. From there Great Central north and head all the way to Darwin, a must see stop I've been told, back to the west coast through the Gibbs River road and down the coast back to Perth.

As you can see by looking at an Australian map there are several “bail-out” points along my route, from Alice Springs I could leave the entire loop of GBH and CSR out, go the Tanami track in reverse of plan and back down the westcoast. Alternatively I could go onto Darwin from Alice Springs and onto Gibbs river road as planned. I could bail out in Wiluna where the GBH meets the CSR and head the short distance back to Perth. Another alternative I would have is head back to the west coast from Halls Creek (after completing the GBH and CSR) and back to Perth.

The trip is surely going to be amazing and there would be a “hundred better ways” to do it and see it all without having to loop around...but it’s exactly this “loop” planning that leaves me the flexibility to change my route, whatever the reason, in the event I need to cut it short or if my planned timing is seriously off.


Preparing for your planned trip

Preparing for your planned trip starts with having the right bike and making sure it is properly set-up for the terrains and locations you are travelling.

On a Tourer one finds plenty of room with spacious coffers that allow packing all sorts of creature comfort accessories and supplies for a long vacation, however, you would have to forget about heading out on serious off-road trails and use the bike for remote touring accessible through the road system, limiting your off-road activities to unpaved but well maintained roads.

Some bikes of course are set-up to offer the best of both worlds...but you need to be seriously asking yourself, before spending an astronomical sum on a bike that might not be able to go where you plan to, if the selection is just helping the pushy salesman or if you would really be able to ride those 400Kg of GS adventure through kilometers of fech fech, up the narrow rocky trails in the Ahggar to Tamanrasset, through the deep sands of the Ténéré...sure it looks great on a brochure, awesome even, as long as you can do it.

You don’t need to buy a big sized pre-packaged Adventure to have an “adventure bike”. The true adventure bike is the one you set-up by yourself, for yourself...not only will you have something you can be confident will work toyour expectations, you will also know your bike inside and out...and let’s faceit, the most important aspect when heading into remote areas is a healthy dose of bush mechanics and knowing your bike intimately to apply it where needed.

Bigger and heavier bikes require more fuel, which is again something you will have to carry with you, making your already heavy load even heavier. It all boils downto that one initial question again: “where am I going?” Answering this question will allow you to choose your bike. Please keep in mind that - the XYZAdventure you can buy off the shelf is as far in weight and set-up including ongoing support (while you service your machine they sleep) - as your abilities are from those of the factory rider using the purpose built racer.

So if exploring Cape Nord or heading along the Silk Road is your planned trip then looking into a GS Adventure or an 1190 Adventure is certainly a great option. If on the other hand you plan to hit the Sahara, or detour through the Amu Darya then chances are those bikes will be too heavy and too thirsty to be a good choice and perhaps something a little lighter and with an engine offering lower consumption and thus a better range may be more appropriate.

As we just mentioned in another thread I believe we will start a separate section outlining how to chose a properly suited motorcycle and then how to prepare it, and to do so right in these forums I will prepare my Australia trip bike...which is probably one of the more challenging ones based on the topographical diversity and condition of some of the trails, various areas and least but not last the great distance that will be covered. This will certainly become the build of the ultimate adventure bike. Only on Ride Asia...

One thing to remember is that, whatever vehicle you choose, you need to consider the costs of a carnet de route which still today is required for many countries. Myanmar and India for example are countries that will not let you travel across their border unless you do have a carnet de route – or Carnet de Passage en Douane (CPD) as it is properly called.


Planning for Required Documents

You will require a valid passport so make sure your passport does not expire during your trip to avoid the hassle of visiting embassies abroad for extensions or even having to wait for a new passport.

Many countries will require a visa and while it is true that most countries today will issue a visa at the border crossing, some countries will require you to apply in advance and have a visa issued before you travel. Please take the time to verify which of the countries you visit will accommodate a visa at the border and prepare yourself with the proper documents.

A CPD is basically your vehicle’s passport and it is highly advisable to have one issued if you travel to South America, Africa, Middle East and/or Asia. This is a document that can be purchased from the National Automobile or Touring Club depending on the country of origin of your vehicle. Don’t Google the information, to be safe talk to your Touring Club and explain your itinerary to them, they will be able to advise you for which countries you absolutely require the document and for which countries it is advisable. Many countries today do not necessarily require a CPD anymore BUT you will be required to pay a cash deposit based on your vehicle’s assessed value at the border, an expense you will be able forego if you do have a Carnet. Besides, many third world countries will not reimburse you promptly on exit, good luck recovering your deposit “later” from home.

The cost for a Carnet can be fairly expensive but will save you time, hassle and money at border crossings. Now days most Touring Clubs will charge you the cost of insuring your fee which is calculated based on the most expensive fee you may be charged (if memory serves me right we are looking at 800% of the assessed value of your vehicle for countries like Egypt and Iran). So if you were to leave your vehicle valued at 5,000USD in Egypt for example, the Touring Club guaranteeing your fee with the CPD would have to dish out 40,000USD. Usually the insurance costs are 10% of the fee and a portion may be returned to you after you return the Carnet properly filled out and stamped by the countries you travel through. Details vary from country to country and so do delays to issue a Carnet so please check a few months before setting out.

Also make sure that your insurance is up to date and that it covers all the countries you are travelling through. Some of these countries may be requiring to be listed on the insurance document, insure that your documents are properly issued as many companies just issue a general document and only list excluded countries.


Packing for long distance riding

We already mentioned that long distance riding can mean a one day extreme trip or it can mean a long travel across what many times are tens of thousands of kilometers.

Each instance requires a different selection of accessories, emergency articles,replacement parts, clothing and other necessities to be packed. One rule all of these have in common though is to keep to necessary articles, as light and as compact as possible.
One major problem I have observed over and over is people setting out on the adventure of a lifetime and try to pack half their household onto their bikes, ending up totally overloaded with a bike that is too heavy and difficult to maneuver...and many times causing the rider to be stock and breakages that could have been avoided simply by limiting the amount being packed. As a matter of fact, most people I have met with broken bikes on remote trails could have avoided the problems by leaving at least 100Kg of unnecessary luggage at home.

My friend and I ran into Arne, a German heading down the Tanzerouff and to our surprise, he had 2 weeks’ worth of food and fruit preserves packed but only 10Liters of water. This of course on top of tent, sleeping bag, clothing and enough parts to open a bike shop, including 2 sets of tires. We slowed our pace to ride with him and did share our water with him for a couple days but when we started running short (I did not touch my emergency water ration until the last day, it is an emergency ration) he had to start drinking the fluid from his cans,ending up with a serious case of the “runs”. We made it to the safety of Bidon Cinque where I gave my old goat bag to the dude as I procured myself a new one as having had a few years of experience with it I didn’t really mind. We “ponded him off” to a couple of fellow German riders who looked equally overloaded and we parted ways the next morning as we wanted to get back to riding our usual pace.

For my friend and myself it had been several years we were riding to Tamanrasset, or down the Tanzerouff and into the Ténéré desert...experience taught us how to pack. While the German fellow riders we met were certainly prepared for any eventuality, one crucial rule they ignored is packing in a sensitive way based on the terrains being tackled.

When I go on a long distance day ride with an R1 or even a week’s joyride to cover 5-6 thousand kilometers near and around civilization, my basic pack is small and simple. It covers any possible issues to get back to a shop or to wait for assistance without bleeding out.

My basic pack for such outings contains the following:
-Map
-Swiss army knife
-Matches and lighter
-Small first aid kit covering treatment forburns, compression bandages for serious cuts and bleeding, gauze, plasters, disinfectantand surgical glue with steristrips.
-Small pen like pressure gage
-Small tire repair kit including glue,plugs and CO2 bottles
-Zip lock bag for my cell phone
-Double tube cigar holder with 2 Davidoff#1

This entire “pack” fits in the BMWs rear rack pack which is pretty small...even withmy light raingear, without raingear it fits in the R1 as well so no excuse fornot having it. One thing I keep forgetting to fit into the small first aid kit is a pair of latex gloves...luckily I haven’t had to regret it so far but it did hit me when I drove up to an accident and scraped my hands open as I was helping an injured fellow rider who was bleeding severely...he was nice and concerned enough about my safety to immediately tell me he was HIV positive.This is something that now days we all need to keep in mind when proceeding to assist injured people...so please, add latex gloves to your pharmacies and first aid kits.

For long travelling through remote areas I have quite a different set of basic necessities that I always carry with me usually in two bags, my tank bag and a water proof dufflebag borrowed from the sailing industry and slightly adapted to accommodate easy fixing onto the rear rack. The items in my “basic remote travel” pack are the following:

In my tank bag -
-Maps
-My Small pack
-Leatherman tool
-Buck knife
-Prince Pocket Torch
-Water tight bag with my emergency kitcomprising a set of dry socks, underwear and T-shirt, small waterproofflashlight, 2candles, matches and lighter, dried meat and chocolate.
-Rain Gear (light for warm areas andheavy duty for cold areas and winter rides)
-Cell phone, Compass, flash light
-On top I have military chocolate ration,sun screen and aloe Vera cream, 4 bottles of drinking water, a few bottles ofGatorade and green tea
-Sunglasses

In my rear rack bag (or in the coffers depending on the bike and places I ride to):
-Pharmacy kit including carbon tablets,water purification tablets, pack of latex gloves, saline water solution, suturekit with melting stitching thread and normal thread, several small bottles ofBetadine, a small bottle of denatured alcohol, Bacterigras, a tube of Ichtolan,3” and 4” adhesive gauze bandages and plaster of paris bandage to make a cast,a vile of general antitoxin, a full pack of electrolyte bags (to be added towater) and an emergency water ration.
-Full tire repair kit including extraplugs, glue and different sized patches including a 4”x1ft patch roll, extraCO2 bottles, a pump and 3 tire irons
-A full roll of nylon fishing line and a50m roll of braded steel fishing line
-A Tarp (water proof)
-Set of 5min setting 3ton epoxy glue,90min high strength epoxy and 3 stick sets of epoxy paste, a tube of highstrength flexible polyurethane glue
-A second Prince Pocket torch
-Tool bag including the few open keys, Allankeys and socket wrench (measures my bike requires), wise grip, pliers, vinylelectric tape, duct tape, spare fuses, small role of assorted copper cables andbrazing cable, insulation shrink tube, spacer gauges for valve clearance etc. assortedmeasures of Zip ties as well as replacement gas cable and a cable repair kit, {extrachain and chain links with a tube of chain grease (when on a chain driven bikewhich has become very rare as my off-roaders are all shaft driven)}
-Assorted Military chocolate and cookierations, dried meat and drinking water
-Sleeping bag when heading into coldareas


The Bacterigras is a gauze with antibacterial drenching which prevents infection when applied to scrapes and burns and helps the area heal faster.
Ichtolan is a black tarry cream that can remove foreign objects from small wounds, like infected splinters, insect stingers, small parasites and heads of ticks and leaches etc.
People like us, practicing a sport that can, in a worst case scenario, lead to bleeding injuries, should at all cost avoid taking aspirin and similar compounds because aspirin inhibits the blood’s coagulation ability which can, in the event of serious cuts or bigger areas of scrapes, lead to sever bloodloss. In remote areas this could lead to a life threatening situation that can be easily avoided through the use of alternative pain killers such as diclofenac sodium (not the slow release kind which will make you drowsy) or Ibuprofen etc, please talk to your medical practitioner for advice.

Depending where and how remote I may travel the amount of water and food rations may vary based on the distance between wells and/or water holes and available supplies.

When it comes to food though I usually do find my own food when travelling seriously remote and the rations are kept for cases of emergency or when stopping becauseof severe weather issues when these rations come in handy as one does not need to head out looking for food and can take the required time to set up camp properly.

Also when travelling to or through areas with serious cold temperatures and snow and ice I do pack extra warm clothing as well as chains prepared and set up to fit onto the rear and front tires of my bike without having to take the wheels off. For these events I do have a HH thermal gillet that fits under my Rukka GoreTex Suite, woolen Ts and long johns, thick socks and winter boots lined with lambskin and Kanuck over coat made of thermal polyamide. I wear face protection developed for mountain climbers.

One needs to remember that by riding in extreme cold the temperature alone is not biggest the issue, it’s the speed at which one travels as moving air will add what is called a wind-chill-factor. If travelling at 70 to 80 Km/h in temperatures of-20C with the wind chill factor your body will be cooled as if temperatures would be in the -60C range. At such temperatures exposed skin will burn in seconds...if unprotected serious freeze damage can occur in only minutes.

I have a pair of Furygang winter gloves who do an excellent job at protecting my hands (nowdays many bikes offer handgrip warmers and plugs to use electric vests) and the Schubert Concept is a pretty good helmet for such temperatures as well.

When travelling through serious desert distances and extreme hot regions I usually have my goatskin water bag which holds about 30Liters. The advantage of using such a bag are multiple, firstly the evaporation that occurs through the leather cools the water, the bag can be placed pretty much anywhere on the bike and as water is consumed the bag, unlike tanks, doesn’t leave empty spaces by which water would wobble around as you lean into corners, brake or accelerate, making the ride much more comfortable, especially off-road.

Drinking enough water to avoid dehydration is essential, even if you do not feel thirsty you should have a regular drinking schedule. If you feel thirsty you are already dehydrating...the next symptom is a headache, then muscle cramps...at this point you are seriously dehydrated and should stop and get some electrolyte fluids like Gatorade or Sweat or use some of your electrolyte packets from the pharmacy. Riding in a dehydrated state will result in a lack of concentration, quicker tiring and sleepiness. I do have a 2 liter dispenser in my hot climate jacket with a tube going under my helmet and a mouth piece that allows me to drink anytime I feel like it. Today there are several options available including backpacks with similar drinking tubes. I strongly suggest one of these be considered as a must expense when purchasing your gear.

I was heading down the Tanzerouff trail in a section where the track is miles wide and seldom anything happens, but I fell asleep on my XT500 doing 140Km/hand managed to hit the only rock sticking out of the sand on the trail, sending me tumbling over quite some distance. This was only my second Sahara trip...and it was the result of me ignoring signs of fatigue and dehydration and pushing on over my limits in a heat that finally got to me. Besides having had to stitch my thumb up I had serious gasoline loss, a broken front wheel and shredded tireas well as a bent fork. There wasn’t much to do about the fork but it was in a ride-able condition...it took both of us to get the front wheel back to something vaguely resembling a circle, after using wire and epoxy paste for the spoke repairs I then“stitched” and glued my front tire back together with the fishing line and rubber glue I had and added some duct tape over it, Kisag bottles (back then we didn’t have CO2 to inflate tires but the same bottles were used to make whipped cream, all we did was machine an aluminum adaptor and pair it to small hydraulic hose to use the bottles the same way they are used today with the little plastic adaptors) worked like a charm to re-inflate the tire.

Sorry for sidetracking again, back to water...the goatskin water bag is best experienced the first time with one that has been used for some time as the smell passed from the skin to the water can be somewhat nauseating for the first-timer.

Again, if I would have been as seriously overloaded as many are the incident would have most likely been a lot worse and possibly leaving the bike in a state it could not have been repaired.

The best advice I can give you on this subject is only pack what you really need...your personal comfort when riding is important, but if creature comfort articles for resting times are a requirement then perhaps you should think about a Tourer and forget remote trails. Camping chairs and dome tents the size of a palace with mosquito netting and all, do not go hand in hand with travelling remote off-road locations on a motorcycle. Your rest time is important but a well made hammock can be as comfortable as a bed.

If you traverse different weather zones including extreme cold and extreme hot weather it may be better to provide the extra space and bring separate gear rather than incur the high expense of a do-it-all versatile suit that in the end may prove inadequate and leave you uncomfortable in both extremes. Again, the best advice I can give you here is think onion...layering is always best. You can remove layers as you go remaining comfortable and alert throughout your journey.

I hope anyone setting out on a great journey, whether it is the first of many or whether it is the trip of a lifetime, I wish you a successful and awesome voyage and I hope it will, foremost, be a fun trip. We all endure hard times, setbacks and incidents during our trips, some small some less small, the important thing is to look at these as just another bump in the road and do not let them spoil the fun because in the end, when home again and looking back...you will find that it was all worth it.

Ride safe. Alex.
 

brake034

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Location
N/A
Bikes
Suzuki GD110HU, BMW F650GS
Alex, this is really informative writing, all the makings for an E-book! :applause:
 

bikesncats

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Location
Siem Reap
Bikes
TDM850
Alex, this is amazing stuff, had to read it twice

Thank you, and thnx Marcel and TBR.

One thing I forgot to mention is that, when working with one hand on the other, even though more difficult and painful

IMAG1761s.jpg
Stitching yields far better results (and looks better too)

IMAG1762s.jpg
then the easier to use surgical glue and steristrips!
 

crs

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2012
Location
Chiang Rai
Bikes
KTM 250 EXC-F
Interesting reading the prep', planning, packing stuff...


Re. that visa run, from what I can figure, your moving average speed is faster then a 3 rider team can manage at Le Mans 24 hour Moto(cycle)!

3532.140 km / 24 hours = 147.17kph - Moto News - 24 Heures Moto - Records broken at 24 heures Moto 2012 | The official website of 24 Heures du Mans

Obviously lots of differences but you must have been in top physical and mental condition to pull that off, whatever...
 
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