Saturday, September 28, 2013

Moab Prep: All Dressed Up And Ready To Go

OK, if you take a good look you'll see some of the cool little additions I've made to my bike. Starting at the front I added the tool tube just under the crash bars. It's a 3-inch PVC tube with screw caps on the end and it holds all my tools.

Also attached to the crash bar on the left side is my sons GoPro camera. It's a cool angle and I can grab some photos and video without looking like a kook with a GoPro on my helmet.

Up on top I picked up a Nelson Rigg tank bag. It's nice and small and fits all my stuff perfectly. It's a suction cup attachment and I added a little bungee cord in front just in case. It also allows me to plug in my iPhone charger.

Moving back behind the seat I've attached my Wolfman dry bag. I can fit all my clothes, tent, pad and sleeping bag inside. And it straps down easily. Since everything fits inside I don't have to bring my side panniers. This cuts 25 lbs of extra weight and I feel skinny. Stoked.

Behind my bag you'll see my Pelican top case. I bought a motorcycle luggage net which hooks on top and holds my mandolin perfectly. All my camping gear, stove, propane, food and water fit inside my top case.

And I bolted a fuel canister to the back which I can easily remove, fill up with some gas and take along when we head out into the desert. It's not a lot of fuel, but it will get me an extra 15 miles in case I run out of gas.

And that's it!! All my gear, light and tight. Can't wait to hit the road.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Moab Motorcycle Trip: Gearing Up

In the final week before our trip I've been working on the details. That means little things like hand grips, tool storage, water storage, etc.

I took a trip to Home Depot and made a tool tube from PVC pipe. Then I strapped it across my crash bars. It fits perfect and holds all my tools plus a rag and my CO2 cartridge tire inflation kit.

I also dug up my comfort grips and slid them on. Feels nice and squishy now. This should help with the long distance riding.

Finally, I went to REI and picked up a fuel bottle and a water bottle. Plus, they had some cool bottle holders that I'm going to bolt onto my panniers.

I put everything in place for a dry fit just to see how it would look. I might put the bottles in a different spot. But it's looking pretty good. I can't wait to hit the road next week and put it all to the test!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Motorcycle Camping Checklist for Moab Trip

Well, it's coming down to the final week of planning and prep. Next week we are heading off on our Moab motorcycle adventure.

On thing I really love when planning a trip is to use a list. I make lists for everything and it helps me stay focused. Lists also prevent me from forgetting important little things in my rush to get out of town.

I found this great Motorcycle Camping list generator at that works great. I created a custom list and printed it out. Check it out if you're planning a moto camping trip:

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Moab Camping Gear

My brother and I keep texting back and forth whenever new gear shows up. It's pretty cool to see it all come together. I have to admit, I'm falling behind. He picked up his tent, sleeping pad and chair at REI and strapped it all in for a dry fit. Looks pretty slick with that Giant Loop bag and top case. Seems to fit just right on his Vstrom.

OK, I better get moving this week and get my gear together. I still need to pick up my tent and stove. Plus I'm going to grab some canned good and some dried foods for dinners.

On another note, I've been fine-tuning my f650gs and getting it dialed in for the trip. I'm pretty happy with the way it's riding now that I have the CalSci windshield and the Saddleman seat. I tightened up the rear shock adjustment for a heavier load and dialed back the dampening screw a half turn for better rebound. It's feeling nice and tight.

Just a couple more weeks and we will be heading out to Moab.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Moab Planning: How To Pack A Mandolin

Well, my new mandolin case arrived and it's awesome. I fixed up some tie-downs on my Pelican and used some surfboard deck grip for traction. It fits perfectly and I can still open my pelican top box. Mission accomplished. Now I can bring along my mandolin without affecting anything else I pack. Sweet.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Moab On My Mind

It's fun ramping up for a trip. You spend time thinking about all the little details. How you'll pack. Where everything will fit and how it will tie down.

I've been thinking about how I can bring my mandolin. I like to have an instrument wherever I go. It just helps me chill out and relax at the end of the day. I usually play guitar but that's just too big for my bike. The mandolin on the other hand is pretty small. I have an old bluegrass mandolin and they make a tight little case that's just about the same shape. So in my idea is to strap it to the top of my pelican top case. And since there are not tie down anchors on the pelican I had to get creative.

After spending way too much time online looking at images of tie down anchors, I jumped on my bike and headed over to Orchard Supply Hardware. I didn't find exactly what I was looking for but I did find something better—stainless steel strap loops.

A couple screws later and my top case tie down system was in place. They claim it will hold 100lbs in place, which should be plenty for my little bluegrass mandolin.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Moab Diary: Giant Loop Bag

I'm going on this Moab trip with my brother John. Our last trip was a weekend in the mountains around the central coast and it was a blast. But we stayed in a hotel and ate in restaurants.

This Moab trip is all about camping... Closer to free the better. So we are gearing up for nights in the BLM (bureau of land management) and cooking our meals. This means more gear for our bikes!! Yipeeeee.

Here's a look at Johns bike after his most recent purchase, a Giant Loop bag for all his stuff. I guess these things are bomb-proof. They fit everything and loop right over the seat. Waterproof, tight and easy to fit on and off, that's what you need where we are going.

I have to admit, I'm a little jealous looking at this setup. It looks light and fast and rugged... Can't wait to hit the road in a few weeks!!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Bike Maintenance Weekend

This weekend has been all about bike cleanup and maintenance. I got all the dirt bikes out and fire them up. My son Ethan and his buddy came out and motored the little Kawasaki 110's around the yard. I picked up my BMW from Bens in Watsonville, too.

My wife, Kimber, and I took a little cruise up Old San Jose road to the little store at the top of the mountain where we had a great lunch. I'm trying to figure out the little details that make riding more fun and less butt-breaking. My observation so far is that the little F650GS is a great bike for one person and short 2-up rides, but if you want to make the wife happy you might be better off with a larger comfy cruiser... I guess that means I'll be adding another bike to my collection next summer ;)

And then I pulled the KTM out of the garage and dropped in a new battery. A few months ago I left the lights on and killed the battery. After that it would never hold a charge. So I snapped some photos with my iPhone and headed out to We All Ride. I take a lot of pictures with my iPhone and it really helps me when I'm looking for parts.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Lunch at the Alpine Inn

I met up with a family friend and we took a winding route up past Palo Alto to the famous Alpine Inn. Great burgers and good chatter about moto tours. Thanks Bob!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Moab Trip Planning Update

So we are now officially one month away from the Moab trip and its coming together nicely. We have set the dates for October 1-6. We are meeting day one just outside of Vegas at Logondale Trails OHV.

In prep for the trip I took my bike to Bens Motorcycle Works in Watsonville. He is the best BMW mechanic around here. Great guy, too. But I can't wait to get it back and start riding again. It's been tough sitting in a car in traffic.