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Old 09-23-2008, 09:13 AM   #300
stickfigure OP
Fiendish Fluoridator
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Please don't call it 'Frisco
Oddometer: 523
Originally Posted by hetman
How happy are you with all the gear that you brought along so far? Anything you'd absolutely recommend, and anything that you'd change if you were to do the ride again?
I will make a post about this when the trip is over. Most of the gear has performed brilliantly. I'm disappointed with the reliability of the Zumo (especially the cradle) but there doesn't seem to be an alternative that comes close to fulfilling that need. I would choose a larger tankbag. The happytrails luggage rack has been a major disaster, shearing (at latest count) seven bolts in the subframe. The pelican cases are awesome. I love the pac-safe net on my tailbag (peace of mind) and the BMW Rallye suit is absolutely worth every penny. I do wish I had spent the (rather outrageous) price for thin silk baselayers instead of the inexpensive synthetic stuff I have. The plastic isn't really that comfortable and it gets stinky fast, especially in hot weather.

The most important thing I would take, were I to take the trip again, is a second cylinder. I was waffling between a 640A and a 990A and decided that I'd rather have more fun on dirt and merely tolerate highway travel. It turns out that actually getting places in Central America nearly always involves asphalt - most countries have one or two paved arterials and lots of dirt spurs. I managed to spend a fair amount of time on dirt in Mexico, but south it becomes a lot harder.

In retrospect, a 990A (or possibly S) is probably the perfect bike for me. But I say that now that my dirt skills are 100 times better than they were at the beginning of the trip, and I can now enjoy a big bike offroad. Also the longer maintenance interval (7500km instead of 5000km) is a big deal. The 690E is awfully tempting though...
San Francisco to Panama and back... eventually?
How I Nearly Killed My Friends In Baja
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