| View Unread
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: Lessons of a half liter single in a three liter world  (Read 32921 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Chitza

  • Group Leader
  • Sr. Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1338
  • illegitimi non carborundum
Re: Lessons of a half liter single in a three liter world
« Reply #60 on: August 20, 2016, 08:04:23 AM »
Jeff asked for a review of the gear I took and what I would have done differently. Following Lincoln's example, here it is:

Bike: 2003 BMW F650CS @38,xxx miles when the trip began. Single cylinder Rotax engine, belt driven, dry sump transmission.



Maxima Extra 4 high performance synthetic oil 15w50.



Avon Storms were my choice for longevity. I can't say enough good stuff about these tires. Here they are with 5400 miles on them:



For the trip I added a repaired Cee Baileys touring windscreen and an adjustable rear shock.



Luggage: BMW OEM rear seat, tail rack and tank bag. I checked the parts catalog. Total is just under 48L of storage. The bags are canvas with an inner waterproof liner that is seam sealed. Plenty of extra pockets for quick access items and easy to mount and dismount. Other than failure of the seams(something I should have checked due to the age) and limited space, I have no complaints. Side bags were not an option due to access to the fuel port. My tank is under the seat. Cost for bags and supports that fit an out of date BMW was price prohibitive 8)



Riding gear:
Tourmaster Trinity 3 jacket - I love this jacket. It's a true 3 season jacket with good air flow when vents are open. There is a rain proof lining sewn between the inner and outer layers and vent zippers have a Velcro flap to make them water tight. I had a small amount of seepage around the collar, but that was most likely run off from my helmet. My only complaint is the Velcro closure at the neck. The edge of the Velcro is not well covered and it would scratch my neck and it roughed up the chin strap on my helmet. I will probably sew a strip of neoprene over this edge.



Fieldsheer mesh pants with liner that I bought 6-7 years ago. They keep on doing the job. For our mild winters they are plenty warm enough. Without the liner, they are a good summer pant with great airflow. I took a pair of snowmobile pants, hoping for cold and wet weather protection. They worked great for cold, but failed for wet weather after hours of rain. They do compress nicely so they weren't much of a burden after I abandoned them for a pair of cheap, rain overpants at Walmart. For $20 I'll keep using these.

Helmet - I bought an Arai Signet Q a little over a year ago. Lightweight and good vent function. The fact that I never think about my helmet when riding says it all to me. It does its job and doesn't cause me any problems. Ever.



Gloves- 4 pair...I love my Cortech mesh gloves that are falling apart. I knew they wouldn't last the trip but they are my glove of choice, so they had to go with me. The holes in the thumb and index finger proved to be irritating on the longs days, so they were stuffed in my bag and used when everything else got too wet.

I bought a new pair of Klim Savanna gloves. The Velcro wrist closure tab pulled off the second time I put them on. I didn't wear them again.

Fieldsheer winter gloves - warm and toasty but they didn't do well with the rain. I begged a couple pairs of latex gloves from the deli at a gas station and wore those under my gloves which helped keep my hands dry and warm.

My go to glove for the trip was a pair of Fox off road mesh glove. Good in rain when coupled with the latex gloves and they dry fast. They also fit nicely under a pair of neoprene ice fishing gloves I bought in Fairbanks. Those ice fishers know how to make a warm, waterproof glove!

Boots: I made a mistake here. Last minute, I put on my favorite pair of boots. BMW road touring boots that are 6 years old. They were originally waterproof but at their age and due to a compromise of the waterproof flap inside the zipper, they no longer deflected the rain. I have a pair of Daytona GTX Ladystar boots I got off eBay, but I chose my BMW boots for off the bike comfort. Big mistake.

Camping gear:
Tent- Alps Mountaineering Lynx1. I have the 2 man tent and love it, but I had to save space, so I got the one man tent and footprint on close out. It was easy to set up with a two pole cross over construction and a vestibule that kept my boots and camp shoes dry and dirt out of my tent. It packs down to 4"x12". Keep in mind I am 5'1", but there was plenty of room beside my sleep pad and at the foot for all the other gear I didn't want to leave out in the rain at night: riding jacket, pants, helmet, and shower bag. (Speaking of shower bag, I did take makeup which I never used. That would have saved me about a cup of space. Hey! I am a girl. Don't judge me :) ).



Sleeping bag - Northface 20degree Kilo mummy bag and Thermorest compressible pillow. I have neck problems and a good size supportive pillow is a necessity. The bag and pillow fit nicely into a Sea to Summit eVent waterproof compression bag. They compressed to about the size of one and a half soccer balls.

Big Agnes Qcore insulated sleeping pad - man, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this thing. Pack size 3"x8" and is 4" thick when inflated. It is 24" wide and 6ft long. The insulated layer kept me from getting cold when many air mattresses transfer your body heat to the ground. I have never had good luck with the vinyl air mattresses. I always get the defective ones that spring a leak and leave me sleeping on the ground. Plus they can't compare with the pack down size of the Qcore. You can inflate it by blowing it up by mouth or using a 12v pump. I didn't want to blow it up because I was afraid it would leave moisture inside the pad, and it would take too long. I used a large plastic bag fit over the valve with a rubber tube.  Fill the bag with air, gather the open end to seal it, and roll toward the pad. It pushes the air into the valve. The first attempt took me 12 cycles of air, but by the 3rd or 4th night I was down to 2 1/2 bags full. Much quieter when you're setting up late and the plastic bag took up much less space than a pump.





Helinox camp chair: love my chair. I just didn't use it. Wasted space, but had we been somewhere without a picnic table or chairs, it would have been worth the space it took.

Camp stove: Optimus Crux Lite cook system. I prefer the performance of my JetBoil, but at less than half the space, I chose the Optimus. Fuel, coffee cup and stove burner pack down to about 3"x5". It doesn't work well when it's windy and uses more fuel than the JetBoil because it takes longer to boil water. I only used it for water to make coffee and oatmeal so it performed just fine for that. Had I been trying to cook meals at camp, I would have been less satisfied.



Miscellaneous:
Blue Fuel charging system -  priceless. I charged it before I left and 2-3 times while I was gone, but only from completely dead once. It has a USB charge port and a flashlight. I kept my phone, SENA headset and GoPro charged. It also served as a jump pack had anyone suffered a dead battery. Measures 1.5"x4"x8", (approx)



I joked that we were looking to send unused gear home and my inventory included a cork screw, bottle opener and a pillow case, but it was actually a little more then that....list of actual unused gear as follows:
Cork screw/bottle opener
Pillow case
Shovel
Helinox camp chair(it was out for 10minutes, one time)
Fuel bottle(which I wouldn't leave home anyway)
3 small cans of DEET(I only used one)
Mosquito head net

Total it would have saved me about 1-2L of space.

What I wish I had taken:
Real rain gear
My GTX boots
Better gloves
More LS shirts(I had one and a sweatshirt)
Fewer short sleeved shirts
Heated vest

All in all I am pleased with my luggage, how it performed and how easy it was to pack my necessities. I bought a few extras along the way(gloves and rain pants) but most of my gear problems were down to poor planning, last minute changes and lack of testing before the ride.

It took me over a week after I got home to feel "normal" again. I would go sit on my bike in the garage. That had been my norm. My first trip out on the bike after I got home was a 100mile trip to warm the oil so I could check it. Don't ask. It's the procedure. It really only takes a 20 minute ride, but I lost track of time. The hundred miles seemed like a trip around the block. I'm so spoiled now.

To be truthful, I have regrets. Not making it to the Arctic Circle Sign. Not making the whole trip. Letting my fear get the better of me. I learned a lot about my bike, what gear works, the gear I need(and what I don't), my abilities as a rider and me as a person. Next trip I will expect more. You guys were a great inspiration and support for what I did accomplish. Your advice and encouragement were the most important things I took with me.
Loud pipes make me hungry for Valium biscuits and scotch gravy. - kdtrull

Yeah....ham it up, crackers.   ;D -kdtrull
The politically correct term is "Saltine American". -KevinB

Offline Brian A

  • Group Leader
  • Sr. Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 627
  • Enjoy every sandwich.
Re: Lessons of a half liter single in a three liter world
« Reply #61 on: August 20, 2016, 08:51:06 AM »
Good stuff Karla.

All things considered, I truly think what you did is as much an accomplishment, if not more so, than what the others did. Not take ANYTHING away from their accomplishments, but, let's be real....

Your first ever big road trip.
You made it to Alaska on a 650 single, without proper luggage storage options.
You managed The Denali with said setup, on street tires (the level of accomplishment MUST be weighed in relation to the bike and rider's prior experience and skill set)
You rode many miles on the return, solo.

You did well. Better than many others might have done - male or female.

And you are correct. Once you do trips involving 500, 600, 700 mile days...... 100 miles seems like nothing.

Good job. If it were flying, I'd say you have certainly "earned your wings".
« Last Edit: August 20, 2016, 10:45:58 AM by Brian A »

Offline Chitza

  • Group Leader
  • Sr. Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1338
  • illegitimi non carborundum
Re: Lessons of a half liter single in a three liter world
« Reply #62 on: August 20, 2016, 09:05:13 AM »
Thank you, Brian.
Loud pipes make me hungry for Valium biscuits and scotch gravy. - kdtrull

Yeah....ham it up, crackers.   ;D -kdtrull
The politically correct term is "Saltine American". -KevinB

Offline Nice Goat

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 2175
Re: Lessons of a half liter single in a three liter world
« Reply #63 on: August 20, 2016, 10:13:17 AM »
Please don't feel regret.  Keep in mind that a large portion of motorcyclists never ride more than 100 miles from home.  You have done something which most people only dream about.  Personally, I will not be able to ride to Alaska until I retire, so for me, at this moment in time, it is only a dream.  For you, it is a fond memory.

All of you guys who went to Alaska this year have got my wheels turning.  My wife and I are having our 15 year anniversary next year, and we have started talking about flying to Alaska and renting a motorcycle for a week.  Her only requirement is that we take a day cruise into the fjords.

So you can see the impact that you guys have on others.  Your adventures have already inspired others.  That is special and meaningful.
IBA #63019 - 2019 Africa Twin - https://nicegoat.smugmug.com/   - Deep thought: "Pie and coffee are as important as gasoline."

Offline Yankee Dog

  • Contributor
  • ****
  • Posts: 253
Lessons of a half liter single in a three liter world
« Reply #64 on: August 20, 2016, 12:06:41 PM »
And don't say you will never do it again.  You learned enough that the next time will be a cake walk. 

And you had a grand adventure.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2016, 08:55:44 AM by Yankee Dog »

Offline IceCold4x4

  • Event Planning
  • Sr. Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 527
Re: Lessons of a half liter single in a three liter world
« Reply #65 on: August 20, 2016, 04:54:43 PM »
After starting your story I was thinking hell I could do it on the ZRX, then after finishing it I honestly don't know. But if you want to try it again, I think I'll have to see how a 1 liter street bike does. But then again I'm a glutton for punishment.

Offline Chitza

  • Group Leader
  • Sr. Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1338
  • illegitimi non carborundum
Re: Lessons of a half liter single in a three liter world
« Reply #66 on: August 21, 2016, 02:15:26 PM »
Ice, I wouldn't say you couldn't do it on the ZRX. You absolutely could. I'm just saying it would be more enjoyable on a bike that will take something other than 100% street tires and with a little better suspension for gravel and rough roads. You can avoid roads like Top of the World and Denali Hwy, but you can't avoid the construction. Most of that wasn't too bad. It all depends on what you're purpose in the trip will be. If you are wanting a comfy, see the sights ride, take a bike that does the tough stuff easier so you can take your attention off the road long enough to look at the mountain views :)

And if you are an experienced off road rider, those highways will present NO challenge to you. If not for the views you may find the actual road to be boring.

Also, keep in mind, we're talking about 2 roads I rode that totaled less than 300miles out of a much longer trip ;)
« Last Edit: August 21, 2016, 02:58:19 PM by Chitza »
Loud pipes make me hungry for Valium biscuits and scotch gravy. - kdtrull

Yeah....ham it up, crackers.   ;D -kdtrull
The politically correct term is "Saltine American". -KevinB

Offline Chuck A.

  • Contributor
  • ****
  • Posts: 349
Re: Lessons of a half liter single in a three liter world
« Reply #67 on: August 21, 2016, 08:35:22 PM »
I just want to say thank you girl for taking us along with you through this ride report. A lot of time has been put in to the words and it is well written. As for you as a rider, I am amased by your stamina to endure the mileage and weather on a motorcycle. I for one am proud to say I know a lady that made the trip. Hat is off to you. You are one determined, tough girl!
"There is no substitute for laminar flow in which a helmet is the primary disturbance.'- kdt

People's beliefs are a culmination of their experiences.  Belittling one's ideas is very close to an attack on that person. Ideas make the person who they are. JRobinson

Offline RubyRider

  • Contributor
  • ****
  • Posts: 125
  • Love the smell of 2 stroke smoke!
Re: Lessons of a half liter single in a three liter world
« Reply #68 on: August 21, 2016, 09:31:20 PM »
 ;)

Most "EXCELLENT RIDE REPORT." Thanks for taking us along.

You are certainly a determined young lady. What an accomplishment.

No longer can you claim to be a novice. "Experienced" is a more proper definition now!
If you aint smokin, you are eatin dust!

Offline klaviator

  • Group Leader
  • Sr. Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 2809
Re: Lessons of a half liter single in a three liter world
« Reply #69 on: August 24, 2016, 06:25:58 AM »
Awesome report Karla

Just a few random thoughts.

I have been riding for 35+ years and around 450,000 miles.  I have never done a trip as strenuous as what you guys did.  I have ridden some long days but never multiple long days and camping.  Only a small percentage of the riders out there have done rides like that. 

Regrets?  I think that is normal.  When I do a long trip I always have some regrets because there is always stuff that I wish I could have done but didn't.  There is never enough time on a trip to see & do everything.  You're still young.  Don't count out the idea of going back again some day. 

Thanks for posting this report and good luck with your future dual sport adventures.


Offline Chitza

  • Group Leader
  • Sr. Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1338
  • illegitimi non carborundum
Re: Lessons of a half liter single in a three liter world
« Reply #70 on: August 26, 2016, 07:19:47 AM »
I was going to put together a video from my GoPro footage, but alas, that was another piece of equipment I didn't test before the trip. I never did figure out the right combo of buttons to push so most of the videos are when I didn't know I was recording and none of when I thought I was. This one is Melony's and the only footage I have worth posting!



Thank you all for your kind words and I'm glad you enjoyed the report.
Loud pipes make me hungry for Valium biscuits and scotch gravy. - kdtrull

Yeah....ham it up, crackers.   ;D -kdtrull
The politically correct term is "Saltine American". -KevinB

Offline Al Goodwin

  • Event Planning
  • Sr. Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 741
Re: Lessons of a half liter single in a three liter world
« Reply #71 on: August 26, 2016, 05:23:15 PM »
I was going to put together a video from my GoPro footage, but alas, that was another piece of equipment I didn't test before the trip. I never did figure out the right combo of buttons to push so most of the videos are when I didn't know I was recording and none of when I thought I was. This one is Melony's and the only footage I have worth posting!



Thank you all for your kind words and I'm glad you enjoyed the report.

I was there....if I'd known you were having issues with it we could have had a tech session....sorry.

Offline Chitza

  • Group Leader
  • Sr. Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1338
  • illegitimi non carborundum
Re: Lessons of a half liter single in a three liter world
« Reply #72 on: August 27, 2016, 08:02:54 AM »
Thanks, Allen. I didn't really know it wasn't working until I uploaded the videos lol
Loud pipes make me hungry for Valium biscuits and scotch gravy. - kdtrull

Yeah....ham it up, crackers.   ;D -kdtrull
The politically correct term is "Saltine American". -KevinB

Offline MrBlueSky

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 12
Re: Lessons of a half liter single in a three liter world
« Reply #73 on: December 09, 2017, 10:09:08 AM »
I'm loving this ride report.  Hope there is more to come.
MIKE
KLX250