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Guys,

I'm planning a decent ride for about 6 days, riding about a total of 3500 kms and want some tips and tricks on what you think is best to pack.

Riding either July or August this year, so an Australian winter but heading up the northern areas... Not so cold during the day, should be nice. Sealed roads all the way.

Not planning on camping and only doing about 600kms a day. I don't want to overload for the trip but would like to get a heap of ideas about what you think are 'essentials' to pack and what are 'nice to haves'.

I dont really want to see the chat heading the usual way of a discussion of panniers vs top boxes vs soft bags etc.. But more around a list of things to take. I need new luggage anyway, so whatever is on the list i'll get luggage that suits. Not the other way around.

I'm interested in what LoS thinks, he's not too far from me.:cowboy:

Cheers
NAJ
 

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I'm sure the usual stuff will be discussed (Camelback, espresso machine, 6-person inflatable raft, etc.), but I like taking a few different pairs of gloves on a long trip. One reason is if the first pair gets wet, but I also like changing them out daily to avoid hotspots on my hands. Don't know why, but that really annoys me.
 

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I know you said you aren't going to be camping, but my riding group has put together a pretty good list of stuff:

Login - Meetup

I don't know if you need to be logged in to see the list. If you can't see the PDF when you click the link, let me know and I'll download the PDF and try to post it here.

Hope this helps!
 

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Planning tips fro long trip

Only too happy to pass on a tip or three, NAJ!

I now use the BMW ‘Soft Bag’ (at about 30L capacity it’s the smaller of the two sizes available). More flexible in use than hard panniers, and much, much cheaper.

Fits onto the rear rack and is secured with 2 x nylon straps to a frame member nearby – on and off in 30 seconds, very secure, and looks the part too: and doesn’t seem to affect handling, etc. Importantly for me too, it does not impede my getting on and off without high-kicks! My bag cost about $200 with discount from Motorline.

I have also successfully used ‘Ventura’ racks and bags on earlier bikes.

You ask particularly – ‘what to take’. It is a common practice to over-pack – and it is a law of nature that the bigger your luggage capacity the more you will want to take, or feel you MUST take! Rule #1 – put everything you think you need onto your bed: remove half: start again!

On a recent (April in fact) 2400km/ four day ride south (down to about 240km S of Sydney, and back) my all-up luggage weight was 8kg, including a spare L of oil (new bike), wet-weather gear, and some ‘warmer’ stuff such as long-johns and long-sleeved skivvy to suit the journey.

Heading north (to Cooktown and back) – as I too shall be a little later in the year, about Sept/ Oct – I’d carry much the same gear but would swap long-sleeved shirts for short-sleeves (or tees), discard the long-johns, and add in bathers and shorts.

And on a round-Oz ride of 14,700 km over 5½ weeks on my previous GS some time ago I carried a similar set-up with about 40L capacity, so you can see that with judicious packing quite lengthy trips can be dealt with.

Shoes can be a killer as they can be both bulky and heavy – choose carefully. Space can be gained by packing them inside with soft stuff such as sox, jox. Yes, spare gloves are a ‘must’ – I carry a spare pair in the rear outer pocket of my Rallye jacket together with a silk balaclava for colder parts.

Don’t forget to list must-haves such as daily medications (if you need such), camera, mobile, chargers. When heading interstate I also take parts of the RACQ Accommodation Guide to assist with finding a bed at nights.

Pack heavier stuff low down, lighter stuff higher up. And try to pack in layers so that you have stuff needed for the night’s stop on top and accessible rather than having to take everything out – then re-pack!

If you care to PM me with your home or work e-mail address I’ll be only too happy to send you my recent list of stuff carried – it lists everything. And/ or you are more than welcome to call on us at Redland Bay any time to have a look and discuss. And a cuppa!

Do enjoy the ride north – I may see you on the road!

L of S
 

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Looks like you do need to log in to that other website.

Here's the pages of the PDF as JPGs:
 

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Packing tips...

One other point that just occurred to me, NAJ.

Denim jeans for off-the-bike wear are heavy, thick, bulky, and can take up a lot of room. I prefer to take - especially if heading north - a very thin pair of microfibre pants - they resist crushing and fold up into a tiny space. Or a pair of light linen pants, except that they do crinkle up badly, so if you are planning any formal 'do's'....!

Pic attached of my bike at Bribie Island recently, with SoftBag fitted.

L of S
 

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Hey, LOS, like the blue

I disagree on jeans. I am not going to do anything formal on my rides, so jeans work fine. Yes they are bulkier, but they don't care if wrinkled. For the practicality of it, jeans.
I do take microfiber underwear and socks though, or whatever UnderArmor is. Readying for a 3 weeker and I will take for=ur pairs of underwear and socks, all washable in a motel lavatory, prob two pairs of jeans. For me, I am most indecisive about the number of shirts--and they are ALL T shirts, long and short sleeve. A light fleece jacket is very useful also.
Remember sun blocking chap stick.
 

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Hey, LOS, like the blue

I disagree on jeans. I am not going to do anything formal on my rides, so jeans work fine. Yes they are bulkier, but they don't care if wrinkled. For the practicality of it, jeans. A light fleece jacket is very useful also.
I eschew jeans purely on the basis of bulk. Instead of a light fleece (handy, I agree) I carry a (pure) silk zip-front jacket which is ideal for an additional layer under the riding jacket if it gets cold, and also off the bike on (say) a cool evening when that additional bit of warmth is welcomed. Silk is like micro-fibre of course in that it folds up into a tiny volume.

If possible, stuff should have a dual-purpose, as with tee-shirts! Tks for kind words about 'blue' - it is rather nice!

L of S

PS - spent a week in your town some years ago - fascinating place!
 

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not to belabor the point, but i choose the less bulky denim material. The silk liner/jacket is a good idea, but dry clean only, right?

and...I searched the entire site to see how many times the word "eschew" came up. Once! ^^^^^

You are now a finalist in the Dickens Competition of the R1200RForum.com awards.
 

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The silk liner/jacket is a good idea, but dry clean only, right?.... You are now a finalist in the Dickens Competition of the R1200RForum.com awards.
Wow! My 15 minutes of fame! Thank you!!

Just checked - silk jacket has label 'handwash do not wring'. Of course, it may NOT be silk, but I bought it in a reputable shop in Singapore and trust the label somewhat, as the very strict authorities there ensure that vendors, by and large, eschew the making of false statements.

I guess, reading this thread, that I might take the 'pack light' principle a shade too far, but I enjoy the challenge (it's all part of the fun!) and touch wood have never yet been seriously caught out!

BUT - what's this nonsense about washing-out gear in the motel lavatory? Don't motels there have a laundry for guests to use??
Aghaaaast!

L of S
 

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Six days? A couple of changes of socks and underwear, rain gear just in case, spare pair of gloves, and a credit card.
 

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...what's this nonsense about washing-out gear in the motel lavatory? Don't motels there have a laundry for guests to use??
Aghaaaast!

L of S
I know that there have been several hotels I've stayed in where the laundry is broken, and several motels that have no laundry at all. Good to have options, after all :)
 

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Motels do have laundries usually, but my experience with them makes me wary of putting anything fine--meaning fine in texture and good stuff, too-- in them. Almost always something emerges with a hole where there was no previously existing hole. On long trips they are a necessity though
The underarmor stuff usually can go a couple, three days (or more) before associates eschew my nearby presence. And, although I mentioned lavatory, I usually do the washing out in the shower. They will dry overnight.
 

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Six days? A couple of changes of socks and underwear, rain gear just in case, spare pair of gloves, and a credit card.
Remind me not to stand downwind of you after about day three, Larry!

L of S
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi guys,

Great positive response and some good tips I hadn't tried before and others I had forgotten about.

I'll put a list together based on what I had and add some of these in..big thanks to all.

Cheers
NAJ
 

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I travel a lot on the bike. Weekends or 3 days and a week once or twice a year.

SPACE. Leave a little room on the bike so if it HOT you can take out the liner of your riding jacket and have a place to put it. You may see something to purchase to take home. Space needed for that.

I wear riding boots most of the time. When its really hot or when I am off the bike I like sneakers (tennis shoes?) so I pack them. They take up a lot of space.

Waterproof gloves and balaclava in a plastic bag under the seat at all times.

This year I bought a waterproof riding jacket and pants. They have the armor in them so If I wear them, I do not need to pack a rain suit. This is only if the ride is going to be cooler or it may rain.

I also keep tire plugs and a small air compressor under the seat at all times. It has saved me 3 times. Remove the nail, plug the tire, inflate and ride away. When I get home I remove the tire and make a proper repair from the inside.

Best of luck and enjoy the trip
 

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I average 4 big trips a year on my bike. 1500 plus miles on each one. I always carry 3 changes of socks,underwear, undershirts. 2 pair of riding gloves. Travel size body soap and tooth paste. MP3 player and earbuds. I wear good,solid leather boots. Cash and a couple credit cards. Tire plug kit and tire slime to pump a flat tire up till I can reach a town and get a new tire.And last but not least, at least 1 handgun with extra ammo.

Ed
 

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I average 4 big trips a year on my bike. 1500 plus miles on each one. I always carry 3 changes of socks,underwear, undershirts. 2 pair of riding gloves. Travel size body soap and tooth paste. MP3 player and earbuds. I wear good,solid leather boots. Cash and a couple credit cards. Tire plug kit and tire slime to pump a flat tire up till I can reach a town and get a new tire.And last but not least, at least 1 handgun with extra ammo.

Ed
No long pants for off-bike wear? Shirts/ tees ditto? Shaving gear? Tooth-brush? Cell-phone? Camera? And if you're not kidding about the handgun - no body armour??

L of S
 

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3500 miles in 6 days? is that correct?
That's a lot of miles in that timespan. Bring along a Plan B
In my experience and ymmv, to do that kind of mileage you are counting on everything going just right. And mostly just stopping for gas.

And it will still be long days in the saddle. You may be seated so long that you'll get edema in your shins

Ed. Do you always travel with a handgun? That is a controversial subject I know and many proponents pro and con. Pistol or revolver? How much ammo do you carry? Have you ever needed it--not asked facetiously.

Thanks

John
 
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