Melbourne – 0 km
February 29 February 2016
So, off to some more pragmatic stuff!
What kind of preparations does this trip require?
Well, how long is a piece of string??
The answer is: it varies.
It depends on your own preferences. Your own need to remove uncertainty, create facts and plans and contingency plans.
Some take off with a minimum of preparation. Others, and that’s were I fit in, like to indulge, even immerse oneself in preparations. It has to do with my propensity to fiddle with things. Being it the mechanical aspects of motorcycle preparation or how best to pack a small number of clothes in a confined space. I like this stuff!
I know, it’s worrisome …
To balance things a little, I am much the opposite when it comes to budgeting for such a trip, and, alas to organising my visas. I am a firm believer that “Things will take care of themselves” and “I will cross this bridge when I have arrived there ….” Although, my much better half tells me I live in la-la-land and that I believe god – or anybody else – will somehow mercifully provide, $$$ that is.
However, trying to focus on the pragmatic side of things, here is what I have learnt:
for me there were four ‘buckets’ of preparation:
- ze bike
- my luggage
- other travel-connected stuff
No rocket-science, but allow me to expand.
Self – is about my mental and physical well-being or sufficient preparedness. In this bucket I see tasks as doctors check-ups, insurance for health and emergency matters, up-dating one’s will, establishing Power-of-Attorney documentation, ensuring the fabrics of family relationships are healthy and well as you never know when and how you will come back. Mindset is another item, however I presume making these plans and progressing to an action-stage prerequisites a mind-set of wanting to travel and explore.
bike – a somewhat easier matter to record. My bike is a BMW R1150GS. I bought it new in 2001, well it was the demonstrator model, so the price was extra-good! From then on I always thought that one day I’ll take it abroad. So, very early on, bit-by-bit, after careful evaluation and elephant-like gestations periods, I assembled and attached various after-market improvements and modifications. You’d better go and get a cuppa and sit back:
- H4 Globe for improved light output
- acrylic headlight covers – affixed with Velcro – good investment!
- Miniblinker on flexible mountings, even though they are not as ‘mini’ as they sound
- LED spinning taillight – love ‘it! For much increased passive safety, worth the risk being stopped by cops as they are illegal in Australia
- MV Motorrad Verholen adjustable handlebar risers – great for long stints of standing in the pegs but still remain in control of all levers & switches
- extended stainless steel front-brake hose to accommodate the risers
- Speedbleeders brake bleed-nipples front& rear, also for clutch bleeding nipple, so I can take care of the brake-bleeding-task single handed
- Wunderlich Hand protectors, better than OEM
- Throttlemeister Cruise control – affixed a small screw into its knurled knob to have a tactile reference point
- ss Allen screws for brake & clutch-fluid container. OEM ones are easily ruined
- Carbon Forkbridge cover – Individualising’ my ride, others may call it ‘wanking’, or ‘bike-porn’
- Telelever alu-caps with BMW emblem some more wanking …
- GS Adventure screen fits my size better. Lower than OEM but wider.
- Motorrad Verholen Windshield spoiler top-mounted on Adventure screen. For my 187cm it is great! Reduces turbulences with my Open-face helmet a lot!
- Migsel GPS/RAM mount – a rather neat solution! Sits fully integrated around the speedo in the RID. Has a short stem with a mounting ball
- Zumo 390LM GPS hardwired
- Sigma MC1812 Computer mounted on RID
- QuadLock – a little doo-dah to securely attach my iPhone to the handlebar
- GSA 41 ltr tank, second-hand – feels better than anticipated even fully tanked
- Bagster Tankcover with small Bagster City tankbag
- Taped-off front of tank with heavy-duty tape, where Bagster-bra doesn’t cover
- drilled three small holes in tank-filler neck improving the speed of the fuelling-process. Rotated the filler neck by 180° for easier opening with tankbag
- set of blue bolts for petrol inlet ring – more wanking
- Fuel-line Quick-DisConnectors – keep the rubber O-rings greased! carry spares!
- UniFoam AirFilter + foam sock over air intake funnel, easy to clean & reusable
- Reyno Oil Cooler Grille protector plate
- Nautilus compact air horn – now I sound like a American Strassenkeuzer J
- Migsel Lightbar with two LED lights switched via the indicator-cancellation switch
- Shoo-Roo whistle – only Australians will know what I am talking about. They are called ‘Deer-whistles’ in the US. Do they work?? Well, haven’t hit a roo since …
- Touratech HardPart on for front fork protection in case of an off L
- R100R’s speedo drive with 2.875 ratio (OEM 3.0) more correct speed reading
- H&B Engine Protection Bars – I ground back the connecting plates at the front to enable easy removal of alternator cover and attached
- Hi-way pegs, so I can comfortably stretch my legs on long rides
- Rubber plug fitted into Alternator cover for easy access to timing bolt
- tamper-proof Oil filler plug
- Magnetic Oil-sump and gearbox drain bolts
- Deckelflug safety – Lemme explain: it’s a cheap way to avoid loosing the sparkplug covers. I drilled two tiny holes – side-by-side – into the cover, fed a Ziploc-wire into one hole, around the sparkplug cable and back through the 2nd Then lock it zipped! You’ll never lose these little buggers again ….
- New Odysse dry-cell battery PC680
- external +pole terminal to connect jumper leads much easier
- Ohlins Shockabsorbers – Replaced both springs with a stronger ones matching my bodyweight & luggage. The bike sits high, almost like a dirt-bike. I like it!
- Pivot Pegz foot pegs – highly recommended! Stand-up riding is a breeze.
- Rear brake footplate extension – easier to operate with clunky boots
- Rear-brake fluid container protection plate
- keyless Seat release – with panniers mounted I had to become a contortionist to get the key into the seat release lock. I took off the entire lock assembly, cut off the rear bit, leaving only a short piece for the front seat lock (tossed pillion seat). Attached a stainless steel fishing line to operate the seat release. Bingo!
- Exhaust bend cover as an ankle protection
- Removed rear-wheel mud-guard cover– it looked ‘wanky’ to me
- inserting Dyna-Beads into the tubeless front & rear tyre
- rear & front 90° angle tyre valve – makes access much easier
- Number plate safety box – a lockable box sits behind the number plate, therefore hardly visible. Good place to keep copies of important docs – laminated
- BestRest Tool box pouch – this snugs in the space under the pillion seat. It allows better storage of small spare parts
- MTD 38 ltrs. Alu Panniers – I bought these Queensland-made ones, coated inside and out, thoughtfully designed along the US Jesse pannier design
- Alu-brief case mounted on rear rack. I can flip this up to get access to the under-pillion-seat storage space. I keep camping stuff in there
Phew! That’s enough for today. I’ll see if I can bore you with the remaining two in a later post.