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Old 10-10-2013, 09:51 PM   #4021
Beema Killa
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Originally Posted by XSoCal View Post
I think I'll try one too...btw you were faster PM'ing than me for the tires, and snagged the loot! You've run these for a while? I think I saw you on your b/w bike last year when I was still riding my XRR. You were flying down the south FTR and I though damn, that is some serious speed on gravel. The rears are good in the loose stuff?
I'm on my second Mefo rear. It's the only one I get any mileage out of. That may have been me. I think I'm the only B/W 990 around with no orange anywhere. That tire is the best durability/traction combo I've found. The 908 is far better grip, but I only managed around 1K on the last one.
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Old 10-11-2013, 05:35 AM   #4022
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Packing light and small is key. You'll hate life if you dont and if you don't you won't realize how nice it is to be packed light. Everything is quicker and easier. Most times you don't need the stuff you didn't bring.
This is great advice, but seldom followed. As dual sports become gargantuan Nimitz-class touring bikes, so does the luggage that gets attached to them. Those massive hard cases hanging off each side are just begging to be packed to the rim.

I think the way to go on this is to toss the hard luggage and replace it with a Giant Loop bag. That will be my MO when I hit the road for a long multi-month trip.
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Old 10-11-2013, 07:30 AM   #4023
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I'm surprised, I thought the UL7 looked good. Crazy how much these things cost, considering what you get. Right now I have a Thermorest for backpacking. It's OK but not super small

Look at the R rating of the mat. It matters huge, even in warmer climates.

A good mat lasts for a long time. My Thermorest Prolite (which I take on trips when I have room and camp on regularly) is 15 years old and still perfect. I hope to get the NeoAir as it's transformed the light market with keeping a very high R value and remain around 1-1.5lbs and pretty small. My UL7.5 was around 100$ weighs less than a lb, very small rolled up (Size of a Monster can), but has a R value of like .2. It's also got a small leak because of cactus...

Same goes for tools. When you work on the bike, note down which tools you used. Better yet, after spring tear down and rebuilt, write down all the tools you used. Then start limited what you won't or can't use on the side of the trail. Then when you have your "must haves", search out smaller and lighter alternatives.

Most of my tools fit in half a zip lock bag. This doesn't include extras, spares, etc but all the screw drivers, sockets, wrenches, (except tire irons), thread locker, valve feeler guages (I do it every 4,000kms), extra valve stems, some wire, electric wire, very small retractable razor, etc)

Tape Gorilla tape around your front fork tube or frame somewhere and forget the roll. Gorilla tape can't be compared to Duct tape. Leave that crap at home.

Limit clothes. Thermal layers can be shirts, use layers, not additional jackets / clothes. Ultralight synthetics or downs make geat layers that pack into the ~ size of a closed fist (those without sausage fingers). Use smaller bottles for toiletries, etc. I've even contemplating leaving underwear at home... that's yet to be tested.

Packing can be fun when you have goals of light and small. It takes time to figure things out.

Not sure what or if you are packing a computer, but I suggest leaving it at home. I took one on my trip (Macbook Pro) and although I used it quite a bit, it was both expensive (got damaged), space consuming, a constant worry of being stolen, and without need. Cell phones can replace most things computers can do. Memory cards are smaller than computers. Note book (on phone) can be a journal for memories / ride reports once you get back.

Wire bike for power. Have GPS and cell phone charger at minimum. Using batteries is wasteful and expensive.

Your ultimate goal is to pack light and small, but also to have room for optional stuff like snacks, food, beer, etc. Having a few liters of "give" is a godsent when needed.
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Eat. Sleep. Ride - The Great Divide: http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...4#post19193704
Go, Get Lost - Heading South: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=735690
Dirt Donkeys Do Baja: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=671095

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Old 10-11-2013, 07:38 AM   #4024
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Here's the little ratchet I use. Works great on most small to medium bolts. Functions as a screw driver with extension.

http://www.princessauto.com/pal/Mult...iver/8356149.p
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Eat. Sleep. Ride - The Great Divide: http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...4#post19193704
Go, Get Lost - Heading South: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=735690
Dirt Donkeys Do Baja: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=671095

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Old 10-11-2013, 03:38 PM   #4025
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A lot of great tips coming out here, thanks, and I think many will benefit from them. With the hard versus soft pack debate, I agree the cases are lame in many ways and I'd prefer to use a Giant Loop, but in some situations they are necessary for security reasons. Maybe I lived too long in the States, but I have the mindset that if it's not locked to the bike, it's gone. I got the ugly grey panniers with the bike, and they do ruin the handling, but if I have to go in to pay at a gas station, I want my gear locked up even for 2 minutes. Even at that, I carry the really expensive stuff like the GPS and camera in with me in my tank bag. Or, as you suggest Shibby, you just don't bring expensive stuff. It all depends on where you are riding I guess. In Mexico or South America, I'd go the dirt cheap gear route. Plus there the riding is challenging and a big part of the fun. Alaska you'd want all your good gear, and the weight of the bike is not as important.

And I totally agree, planning is part of the fun. Good thing too, since we have a long winter to do it in!
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Old 10-11-2013, 05:49 PM   #4026
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To that I agree as well.

Hard luggage gives some versatility. They can be taken off to sit on while you wait for a tow truck cause the fuel pump stopped working!

In truth, they have easy access and can be locked. Those are huge features.

The soft luggage can be locked too. I locked my zipper, but they could easily be cut open. My Wolfman had wire mesh net over it because that's where my laptop was. Once again, they could cut the straps and take the whole thing. I'm sure a wire cutter would cut the mesh holding it onto the bike. They could have also stole my bike... as it has no ignition or lock. They tried it once on one of the few days I locked it to something though! hahah. Luck was on my side that day.

I didn't have any issue with my bags, but I did have my gloves stolen... They love gloves down there. Some kids on bikes. I knew it was them, but whatever. I was pissed and then realized there are worse things to be worried about and 40$ klim gloves can be replaced (in this case by Autozone mechanics gloves).

You'd have to go with a Giant Loop Great Basin to fit that bike. I think they are 100-120liters?

A good camera is a must. I need to get a better one. My trusty G10 is crapping out on me. It's taken a serious beating. That being said it looks well worn and so it's unlikely to be stolen.

When do you plan on leaving? Alaska takes on some unique challenges. The biggest I can see is bugs followed by fuel stretches. I'd love to do it but I'd need to time it where the skeeters aren't too bad.
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Eat. Sleep. Ride - The Great Divide: http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...4#post19193704
Go, Get Lost - Heading South: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=735690
Dirt Donkeys Do Baja: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=671095

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Old 10-11-2013, 06:11 PM   #4027
dirtydeeds
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Apparently the strikes are over so hopefully in a month or 2.
Likewise, I'll be there mid November.

When were your papers submitted? I'm told the strike didn't slow down applications too much.
Dirtywife just had a little problem with her process. Work permit is probably delayed until late nov/early dec.

dirtydeeds screwed with this post 10-11-2013 at 06:40 PM
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Old 10-11-2013, 06:39 PM   #4028
tmotten
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Likewise, I'll be there mid November.
sounds great. Can't wait to put the bindings on. I'll be a big shock temps wise.

Security is a myth. Those hard cases are opened with a screw driver relatively easily so the supposed benefits of hard don't really balance out the benefit of soft, the performance.

Whilst waiting for my visa I've worked out a design for a "proper" adventure soft bag. Proper to means ideal weight distribution, rackless, zipperless and uses 2 levels of slash resistance and 1 of stab resistance. Nothing is properly slice resistant though (This is the testing procedure), except for the exomesh. But those guys weren't interested. I'll try and work out ways to bring it to market but not sure how yet.
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Old 10-11-2013, 07:48 PM   #4029
dirtydeeds
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sounds great. Can't wait to put the bindings on. I'll be a big shock temps wise.
Do you ever ride with these folks?

http://yamarider.com
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:13 PM   #4030
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McLean Sat 12 noon

Some awesome travel and tool tips on here. I will be looking to solidify my travel kit over the 'off-season' too.

Looks like Pieter and I are heading out Sat morning, 99% to McLean. Pick him up at 10 am; hope to be on the trails by 12 noon. Weather will be cold in the AM anyway! We might park at the main area on the RHS after the entrance since we haven't tried there yet. If anybody is going tomorrow, post up or PM and I'll check by 9 AM. Easy to moderate pace - it will be new territory for us. Hope to ride till about 6 pm, then have a beer at his friends camp. Will be in either a silver/grey Toyota 4Runner or grey Dodge Caravan with trailer - two green bikes on it!

Not sure about Monday's dual-sport ride yet. Will know more Sunday night. Fingers crossed for decent weather, and time to get out for a few hours. (Usually last minute plans as I am juggling the family and coaching...!)

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Old 10-11-2013, 09:37 PM   #4031
tmotten
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When were your papers submitted? I'm told the strike didn't slow down applications too much.
Dirtywife just had a little problem with her process. Work permit is probably delayed until late nov/early dec.
Not to sure. My wife's employment is taking care of it. The lmo is causing the long lead times.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:38 PM   #4032
tmotten
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Do you ever ride with these folks?

http://yamarider.com
Nah, first I've seen that one. I tend to go trail riding through the forrests more
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:56 PM   #4033
XSoCal
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Originally Posted by Shibby! View Post
...When do you plan on leaving? Alaska takes on some unique challenges. The biggest I can see is bugs followed by fuel stretches. I'd love to do it but I'd need to time it where the skeeters aren't too bad.
Targeting the last half of August, maybe a bit into Sept.; I can only take large blocks away from work at certain times, but from what I've read that is when the mosquitoes start to let up (some say the start of July is the worst). It might start getting cold and rainy then, but not too bad. Going to have to make it short, 2-3 weeks. But it should be worth it.
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Old 10-12-2013, 04:27 AM   #4034
dirtydeeds
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Not to sure. My wife's employment is taking care of it. The lmo is causing the long lead times.
Employer is doing the LMO? I can see why there could be a delay.
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Old 10-12-2013, 04:29 AM   #4035
tmotten
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Employer is doing the LMO? I can see why there could be a delay.
How's that? They use an agent for it. I thought there is no other way as they have to apply for one.
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