Originally Posted by Adv Grifter
Best of luck as you head South!
I see your DR is very heavily loaded. I'm wondering if you've actually weighed up everything? Mounting racks, Boxes and contents, tool tubes and tools, spares and everything else.
I found my DR got pretty weird with a lot of weight off road. I'm glad you've fitted a fork brace and steering damper. I need to do this too, but I will now travel with soft bags and with 60 lbs. less weight than before. Not easy.
I can't recall if you upgraded the suspension on your DR? From the pics, I noticed your DR looks like its riding just a bit "low" in the travel? I've got a Ohlins in the rear and heavier springs up front. I like it, handles luggage pretty well, even on rough roads (off road) at speed.
I will be following your reports to see how things go. My set up is not as complex as yours but I love the ideas you've got going with the Solar panels et al. I've only got 30K miles on my DR (this one is my 3rd) and its running like new. (fingers crossed!)
What tires have you decided on? If you're not doing much off road, I could recommend Avon Distanzia's. Long wearing and versatile tires. I got about
8500 miles on a rear in mixed touring. (on/off road)
May all the luck be with you! Hope to see you down the road somewhere!
Thanks, I'm going to need a lot of luck
I havent had the chance to weigh everything (do they still allow you to ride onto the truck scales on the freeway?) but with almost the same configuration on my Alaska trip, at the end of that I had to ship everything I mounted on the bike (luggage rack, boxes and all contents) and that came out to 150 lbs. I'm probably taking more tools now, but less food, but it's in the range of 150 - 200 lbs. I weigh about 155 lbs.
Yeah, I really wanted to go as light as possible and did my Mexico trip with saddle bags, but now that I'm going to be gone for a long time and need to depend on the bike to carry all my possessions, I have to live with boxes and the added weight. When I went on my Continental Divide trip last year, it was mainly to make sure that this configuration was ok in offroad conditions. The CDR isn't all that technical offroad but that's about the kind of roads I'll probably experience on my trip, lots of hard pack, some loose gravel, some small rocks. And the bike handled good through there, rear brake working effectively and I only dropped it once cause I was going too fast into an unexpected downhill and grabbed the front brakes, oops. But no damage to anything and I could even pick up the bike on a downhill, so no worries there.
I thought a lot about soft bags, but I'm thinking I need the secured safety of belongings in lands down south. Plus the additional cargo volume I feel is essential as I'm trying to be as self-reliant as possible regarding break downs and surviving (camping equipment).
Yup, my DR has progressive springs in the front with fork brace and steering damper and stiffer rear spring with Larry Roesler shock. Yeah, it was sitting too low, so I've cranked the spring up a bit and set sag. Feels better now.
I need to be on a tight budget in order to pull off this trip, so I'm going with Kenda K761's, they're a 70/30 tire and the rear lasts about 8K miles. I did my Alaska trip on them and it handled the Dalton and Top of the World highway no problem. I air down when needed and am quite disciplined about tire management. I've gotten 9,000 miles out of the Kenda K270's, a 50/50 tire that I did my CDR trip on and rode out to San Francisco on. Also, I know that Kenda's are available south of the border (got some in Mexico, hopefully should be available in Colombia or Equador).
Originally Posted by NoobIAm
Jay, the solar panel only produces 10W. Was it not possible to upgrade your generator to a higher output? That would give you extra wattage 24/7, as opposed to maybe 12/7 or less for the panel. Additionally, it probably would have upped it far more than 10 W.
Yeah, I know the solar panel seems like a lot more complexity and weight for just 10 extra watts, but the idea is also that if I'm camping in some remote place for a few days with no electricity, I'd still like access to my laptop and this will allow me to charge it and other gadgets (phone, camera, ipod) without running the bike.
Also, I'm hoping to spread the word about clean energy and living more sustainably and hope to get some discussions started with it.
I know it looks pretty crazy on a motorcycle, but I hope it works out, haha.