Saturday, March 3, 2007
How things looked starting the trip! (what gear we are taking)
Here is a picture of us on Constance Street in New Orleans right before we left. Clara's Red 2006 BMW 650 GS is on the left, and Kevin's 2005 Blue BMW R1200 GS is on the right.
Clara's bike has been outfitted with Touratech rear panniers, engine guards from A&S cycles, Acerbis hand guards which we got from our good friend in England Bob Wylde of Wylde's Motorcycles in Leeds (thanks, Bob!), an aftermarket windshield, a crampbuster, and is otherwise stock.
Kevin's bike has been outfitted with Touratech panniers, BMW engine caseguards, and also a crampbuster (the best $9 bucks you will ever spend for a long trip)
We have disc brake locks to deter theft, we hope!
We both have chicane tank bags with their custom water bags in side the case. So far we are not too impressed with the suction nozzle's as they don't work with full face helmets. If I scrunch my head to the side and suck on the nozzle with the side of my mouth and squint down the road sideways I can occasionally get a trickle to refresh my spittle. Needless to say Clara doesn't try those head spinning tricks while riding down the road.
We have purchased Chatterbox HJC-FRS helmet mounted intercoms. We tried them a bit in Boston and they worked barely OK, maybe a 3 out of 10 on the desirability scale. I'm putting mine on the new helmet today and we'll see if we can dial them in better. We've already custom
mounted the earpieces and I can imagine other modifications to make them better. A work in progress that I can imagine being shipped home at some point.
Clara has done a great job of packing the clothes which we keep in her bike. I carry the tools and other junk. I have a toolset that should be able to do most roadside repairs on both bikes, including an air compressor that runs off the battery and other tools to fix flat tires which seems to be the most common world traveler problem. A Leatherman wave has already come in handy, as well as the hacksaw blade! I have gear oil to lubricate Clara's chain, WD-40, tire irons, zip ties, duct tape, a lighter, and special tools to do oil changes and remove the wheels. We have a couple medial containers with basic first aid and medicine.
We have a garmin $150 dollar GPS which I'm still trying to figure out how to use. We have Maps of central and south america and a couple travel books. In a funny story which we will relate later, we won enough money to buy a tiny computer at the Craps table and so we brought that along. Thanks to radio shack we can drive along and charge the batteries of our computer, or blackberry, or Chatterbox's by tapping into the BMW accessory port. We have cheap sleeping bags and a tent, and a nice backpack which rides on the back of Kevin's bike. That way if we stop and want to go hiking or visit a site, we can lock up the panniers (I purchased and installed the touratech locks) and Clara can carry one tank bag, and I can carry the rest of our stuff on my backpack. We each carry a complete set of keys for both bikes.
I also have a beat up Red Sox hat!