Farkles - Needs and Wants
Like many bikes, there is much debate in regards to the whether each of the stock features on the bike are adequate, or do they need to be replaced with better farkles.
When setting up any bike for a long trip, I remember wading through the many discussions and thinking that there were a lot of conflicting opinions. Things that I didn't even know existed now had to be replaced. Eventually, I figured out that for every part, there is someone on the forums that is fanatical about that issue. Therefore, it is almost like the defacto common solution for many items is to replace. Taken as a whole, it is easy to get to the point where you think that the entire bike needs to be replaced. This is of course not true. The solution that worked for me was to approach everything slighty skeptically, first test the stock item extensively and if for my usage it came up short, I would replace it. I would recommend you do the same.
In that vein, many people have asked about some standard items and rather than get into a confusing debate about whether it really needs to be replaced or not, I'll try to summarize as to whether it is a want or a need from my perspective and assign a ranking of 1 to 5 (1 being a nice to have and 5 being a need to have). Don't get me wrong, I love buying new, cool stuff as much as the next guy but sometimes it makes more sense for me to admit that I bought someting just because it was fun, rather than necessary. Hopefully that information will be helpful to a fellow rider and will help him in his decision.
Ask way if there is something you are wondering about or have read about and think it should be included.
1 - Minimal Importance - (Only a Nice to Have)
2 - Sort of Important - (Mostly a Nice to Have)
3 - Half Important - (Half Nice to Have/Half Need to Have)
4 - Quite Important - (Mostly a Need to Have)
5 - Very Important - (Very Much a Need to Have)
Larger fuel tanks - two (2). On side to side comparison with a 1200GS on the way to Alaska, we had very similar ranges with the 800 coming up slightly shorter. I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing that extending the fuel range of the 1200 isn't brought up much. For some reason, the small tank has scared a lot of people. I ran the 17 liter tank (again, it's a liter bigger than indicated if you fill to the brim) in North and South America and used the easiest solution, I carried a 10 liter gas can, like almost everyone. I needed it once in Alaska, but a few times in South America, primarily southern Argentina. In Russia and Mongolia, the KLR had a 16 liter tank and I used the spare gas once, on the last day 2 km from town. I think the fear of running out of gas is real, but a bit too much time and money get spent trying to avoid it. Of course this depends on where you ride, for some it is a real concern, but for most, not really.
Items to reduce vibration - (1). Most people, especially if you have ridden a thumper, will find the vibration minimal. If you come from an ultra smooth big bike, then you will notice it but I felt no effects after many long days. Easiest solution is a set of grip puppies, that should pacify all but the most picky riders. Snakes, etc are all solutions for thumpers, not most average riders on this bike. Different bikes do vibrate differently though, depends on what is bolted to it etc., and people's sensitivity due to prior injuries etc. but in general a matter of comfort, not necessity.
Crash Bars - (5) as stated previously.
Skid Plate - (5) as stated previously
Seat Improvement - (2) fine for me as stated previously
Improved Wind Screen - (4), (5) for sustained highway riding.
Rear Lugggage Rack - (4) if you plan on strapping bags or luggage to it.
Anything else out there?
RTW Motorcycling screwed with this post 08-27-2008 at 06:25 PM