TIPS
Reports about
Kevin Basso's
cross-country
offroad motorcycle trip.
 
lessons learned
 

Kevin Basso
Eagle Scout
Boy Scouts of America


Random Tips

I decided to add a tips page to help answer peoples questions on what I would have done different and what to expect along the route. I hope they are helpful and give you ideas to make the trip more enjoyable.

Entire Adventure Bike Camping Checklist, bring only what you need! (excel file, right click and save as)

  • Learn how to change your tires and patch a tube using only a flashlight, you can turn all the lights in your garage or better yet, on a rainy night on the outskirts of town. Go here for tire changing tips.
  • Load up your entire bike and learn how to unpack in a hurry, you never know when you will have to cross unknown areas, don't get lazy like me and think you can cross muddy sections without a problem.
  • Boots - Army issue boots with off the shelf gel insoles work fine, and are easier to walk around in than motocross boots. However you do loose shin protection, which was not a problem for me. Coat the tip of the boot in Shoe Goo to protect it from wear.
  • Chain sliders - There are 3 plastic chain rollers,
    • one is below the rear sprocket (use White Brothers 45-769B)
    • the next is behind the kickstand bolt (use an MSR® chain roller, may have to drill the slider bolt hole to 5/16) MSR roller lasts a long time, but may squeak.
    • the third wraps around the upper swing arm (use White Brothers 45-717). White Brothers is much harder than stock.
  • Chain - Learn to check the slack with your eyes closed, you need to know how much 1 3/4 of slack is, see manual. Lube the chain every 500 miles with Honda dry chain lube. 110 links DID - 520VM
  • Oil - Any ASI approved 10/40 or 20/50 oil will work fine, but knowing how to check your oil is something you need to do. Here are the following steps that I learned while after running down to a half a quart one day in Oklahoma.
    • start bike on kickstand and idle for 3 minutes
    • turn off bike and hold upright
    • unscrew dip stick and wipe clean
    • put dip stick back in but don't screw in
    • Check to make sure it is to the top. You are about 3/4 quart low if it is on the lower level
  • Clutch cable - Bring an extra one if you have over 5,000 miles. You cannot do anything with out it, you are on the clutch a lot in the tight mountains. Lube it weekly, and learn how to do it with a cable lubing tool and practice. Lube the cable/lever pivot points as well, they tend to bind and sheer in this area if not maintained.
  • Ear plugs - The ear plugs with string work well, they are usually labeled non-disposable.
  • Fuel Filters - Put fuel filers on both your fuel lines if using larger tank. Any kind are fine.
  • Gloves - I like the Mechanix gloves found at hardware stores, they are leather on the palm and lycra on the back of the hand with a hand protector.
  • Odometer cable - if you have more than 15k on your bike, replace the odometer cable, the extra weight sags the front end and causes the cable to wear faster.
  • Seat cushion - Get 2, 6 inches of 2 inch wide velcro. Go to a camping store and get a inflatable seat cushion, kinda like a stadium cushion, but it has to be inflatable by blowing it up, the self inflating ones may work, but cost much more. The trick I learned is to stick the soft velcro on your seat, then the ruff side on the cushion. You fill the seat cushion with only 10% of air, it conforms and does not raise you much off the seat. Play around with amount of air to your liking.
  • Shirt - Get two motocross jerseys, long sleeved. They are about $40, but they are perfect for keeping the sun off you, and keeping you cool as they whisk away sweat.You will just need two of these as you will wash ever 4 days. They dry overnight.
  • Tail light - Do not use the tail light from Acerbis for this trip, mine was constantly vibrating as it does not have any suspension as the stock one does. I am still looking for an aftermarket tail light that is better than stock.
  • Water - If you wear a backpack, get a camelback and put it in your back pack, they make 20 different versions, so go check them out at your local camping store or at www.rei.com
  • Weight - Carry no more than 10 lbs on your rear rack, carry no more than 30 lbs in your saddlebags. I shipped back about 3/4 of my stuff after my rear sub frame kept cracking. It is a rough road and trust me, you can always buy stuff on the way, you can get to cites if you take to the highway and head into town.

More tips coming as I get a chance to update, if you have any questions, please contact me.