Friday, 8 May 2015

Packing For A Weekend Solo Trip

An impromptu video recording, while I was packing for a solo motorcycle trip for a long weekend. Made the recorded clips into this video and hoping it to be of help for new long distance riders to identify and pack the essential items for their rides. A bit of dubstep thrown in, to make it as much fun to watch as I personally had while making this video. Enjoy!!


Few points to remember while stuffing your things in the saddle bags. If you are like me and enjoy cornering and leaning on, in the twisties, then the bike must be well balanced at all times, especially with the luggage tied to it.

A bike without luggage is well balanced for the most part and is aerodynamic to some extent. However, when we add things like big saddlebags full of stuff or even a tank bag, we are not only affecting the center of gravity of the motorcycle, but also changing the vehicle's dynamics. Without going too much into technical details (like direction of shift of center of gravity, aerodynamics, etc), if you ensure the following things, you would be just fine:

1. Keep heavier items (e.g. tools, spares, filled water bottles, Engine oil bottles, foot pump, etc) as low in the saddlebag as possible and split evenly on both sides.

2. Keep heavier items towards the center of the bike (i.e. towards the bike/wheel instead of outwards) as much as possible.

3. If you use a tank bag along with saddlebags, then its a good idea to keep frequently accessed items (e.g. Camera, sunglasses, spare gloves, small towel, tissues, mobile charging cable in case you have a charging point on your bike, etc) in it. This will help you avoid opening and shuffling items inside your neatly organised saddlebags, while on the road.

4. Ensure that saddlebag and tank bag are completely secure and firmly tied to the motorcycle and there is no possible play when the bike leans to the sides or pushes up or down on suspension. Also you wouldn't want the belts/buckles to get into the motorcycle spokes/alloys when you are rolling, that would be dangerous. So make sure there are no loose ends. If required use additional bungee cords to secure the bags on the motorcycle.

5. Try and not let your saddlebags bulge too much laterally, as that may touch other vehicles while maneuvering through tight space and especially in the traffic in cities in India. If you slot in the items smartly, the shape of the saddlebags will remain symmetrical (rectangular) in shape from top to bottom. Use the compression straps on the saddlebags to tighten them, after you have put them on the motorcycle.

6. Double check your bags setup from time to time for your peace of mind and safety. Be attentive to any change in the handling after every sixty to hundred kilometers or so, as something might have come loose. If you get such a feeling, slow down, pull over to the side into a safe spot and do your check. Tighten any strap/cords as necessary and then continue with your journey.


Hope these tips saves your time and keeps you safe on the road, so that you can focus on enjoying your rides.


Now lastly, I am not an expert. The tips and tricks shared above comes from my limited experience of riding my motorcycle. Every single day, I too am learning something new about packing and motorcycling in general. So if you have any suggestions for me as a fellow rider, or want to discuss something, or have any questions on this post, feel free to leave a comment below. I shall get back to you as soon as possible.


Until then..


Ride Safe & Ride Far,


Sid
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