Planning a round the world motorcycle trip is an extremely exciting time, but also very stressful. Sorting through your equipment and making decisions on what to cut and keep can be confusing, choosing between manufacturers equipment will have consequences like extra weight or complexity that you may want to avoid.
Jenny and Dave from RideUnlimted share their RTW prep with TFX Suspension here, we hope you find it useful!
Which Tent To Take?
So starting at the basics, camping equipment. Camping from a motorcycle can be quite difficult sometimes, biking gear is bulky and takes up a lot of space. It is also very expensive and should someone pinch your helmet or boots in the middle of nowhere it could lead to the end of a trip.
Due to this fact we chose to take a fairly large tent for motorcycle camping known as the LoneRider Moto tent it not only includes a large sleeping area but also a large porch which is designed to park your motorcycle in. We never use the porch for its intended use but instead this space allows us to lay out all our smelly, damp gear away from prying eyes but also away from where we sleep!
Sleeping Gear To Pack?
Along with just a tent we also needed to ensure we would get the best nights rest possible so we chose our sleeping bags and camping mats carefully to ensure they weren’t too large but were also the best we could get in terms of warmth and comfort. Thermarest sleeping pads are hailed as the best self inflating mats available and do well to keep us cosy and insulate us from the cold while packing down small for transportation.
Cooking Equipment Choices?
With no access to gas bottles as used with most portable stoves we chose a liquid fuel burning stove. Although a trade off in setup time and complexity these stoves can use quite literally any available liquid fuel from cooking oil to petrol. We could just top the bottle up at any petrol station or even from our own fuel tank when the need arose. Our Stove is an MSR Dragonfly which is mountaineering grade and has already served us well for a couple of years.
Which Tools To Take?
Motorcycles are unfortunately quite complex and require many tools sometimes to even just change a simple service item such as a filter. We carry at least half a 35 litre pannier worth of tools and spares. We carry enough tools to hopefully fix or if needed practically disassemble the whole bike. Some people prefer to take the minimum of spares and tools and rely on local garages and parts supply. For us this is not an option as we usually stick to quite a tight schedule and travel to remote places that are unlikely to have spare parts for any motorcycles.
We carry at the minimum a spare clutch, generator, rectifier wheel bearings and seals and even a water pump. We would have been stranded on quite a few occasions had we not carried so many critical spares such as changing a failed fuel pump hundreds of miles from civilisation in Tajikistan and a failed water pump in Russia. On arriving to New Zealand we had to have our bikes tested for compliance and Jenny’s bike failed on the front wheel bearings. 20 minutes later we had the spare bearings and seals in and where passed as safe for the road! We also ensure we have multiple spare inner tubes so that we can fix any punctures that happen.
RideUnlimited Motorbike Modifications
✓ We set about crafting a system of auxiliary aluminium fuel tanks for each bike. Increasing the total fuel load to a whopping 27 litres each, compared to the stock capacity of 9.5-litre fuel tanks. This should be enough for 350-400 miles on road and 200-250 in the worst off-road sections.
✓ The bike has had extensive front-end upgrades with proper MX forks. We rebuilt the front XCountry wheel with an excel 21″ rim. Which then meant the need for a tall f800gs front mudguard. XChallange has a full KTM WP 48mm front end that just uses a KTM front wheel.
✓ Both lighting systems had to be significantly upgraded. As well as extras such as oil coolers and extended electrical systems. To power all of our navigation and charging requirements.
✓ With the trip taking up to two years, we would require a fair amount of luggage to be carried at all times. Due to the enduro nature of the single cylinder bikes. The rear subframes had to be significantly reinforced. As well as building custom tubular steel luggage racks to carry our soft pannier bags.
✓ We upgraded our motorcycle Suspension to TFX TYPE 141. TFX Suspension Technology 141 mono shock absorber has a remote fluid reservoir that is connected to the shocks body by a flexible hose! It worked perfectly in our bikes as we have limited space, the hose can be placed individually where there is enough space for example on the rear frame where air flow can provide additional cooling.
After 33000km our shock absorbers are still going strong, after making it through the Bartang Valley, M41, the BAM in Siberia and all of New Zealand off road. 11 months riding everyday and our shocks still feel amazing. The 414 is for a rider who wants high performance, durability, control and refined tuning options. Ideal for exactly what we did, and still have planned to do!
TFX Suspension Technology hope you found this blog useful, and if you have any other tips to add to this list leave a comment!
We build custom shock absorbers constructed and manufactured with heavy-duty materials, to guarantee you a shock you can rely on for many years. If you have any questions let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org or +31 (0) 495 750529 ☑️☑️