Sunday, July 27, 2014

Reorganizing the load.

Today I took the time to dump out and re-organize my belongings in weight distribution order.  

The concept is along these lines:

Tank bag:   My tank bag has a transparent plastic upper section that is supposed to be for maps...  That faded long ago so I store only sun glasses, ear buds and side stand puck there.   I tape the directions on the outside, in a ziplock bag if inclement weather.   I have mounted an android tablet in RAM mount on the handle bars and use that for GPS.  NAVFREE or Google Maps.   Since viewing the screen in daylight is weak I use ear-buds to listen in.   Must build a hood to put the screen in the shade so I can see it.

Inside the tank bag are only items that I will need close at hand while driving.   

Bike registration / insurance card.  Check book and cash in ziplock in the zipper pouch.

Electrical inverter to 110 and USB.
EasyPass transponder.
Whistle (bears/distress)
pens, stamps, 
Cigarette lighter, sun screen, Spot Tracker, Sharpee
The Sharpee is to write turn by turn directions large enough to see at 70 MPH.
tire pressure gauge
small cleaning cloth
memory chips
batteries for phone etc


Top Box

I try to start out with my Top Box nearly empty.   The camera is up there so it's handy and in least likely place to be damaged if I get hit.   Otherwise it's maps, black bag with a towel, ball cap and scarf.


Everything else is stored lower and forward.    I have 6" x 24" PVC canisters mounted on either side of the engine guards and two 6" x 18" PVC canisters mounted on the passenger pegs.

Front left:  spatula, spoon, tongs, tent poles, onions and potatoes and sleeping bag.
Front right: innertube, engine oil, chain oil, wd-40, 5/8" siphon hose, 6x9 tarp, rain suit.
Left foot peg:  110V stuff.  50' ext cord, 30AMP to 110VAC plug, 3 outlet splitter, cheater plug.
Right foot peg: tool kit, air compressor, multi-meter, soldering iron, Micro Start jump starter.

Right side panier:  Laptop computer, keyboard, hotplate, 400mm camera lens, all related cords, chargers, tin cup with vitamins and aspirin bottles inside.
Left side panier:  Everything kitchen related:  mess kit, knives, aluminum foil (no box, folded flat), cooking oil, spices, rice, noodles, oatmeal (single servings), coffee (folgers singles)

Passenger seat:  Behind my riding position I place a 12x12 5/8 plywood piece,  Tent (folded to 18 x 24 in a cloth tote.   Wolfman Expedition duffle bag w/ thermarest pad strapped above duffle.  All this is sinched down with a pair of BMW shipping tie-downs.  

Compression bags:   I'm not sold on them.   They compress items to shape of bowling balls... every try to pack two bowling balls in a cardboard box?   I have my cold weather coat in a bag but not compressed inside of my dufel.   The summer sleeping bag is in a bag but not compressed.  It slides into the top of my left side canister.   Then tent is easier to place under the duffel and takes up minimal vertical height this way.

I have almost completely abandoned bungie cords.   Two hold my 2nd windscreen in place.

This packing arrangement gives me 314# on front wheel and #504 on the rear.  Handing is super with this arrangement.   If I could mount the duffel lower things would be perfect.  The only things in the duffel are clothes and important papers.

I hope this gives you some ideas...  the clue to packing is not to take ANYTHING that you don't need either often or in emergency.

Travel safe,

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