ADV Gear and Mindsets
Let’s talk about motorcycle gear. But, more importantly, let’s talk about the gear needed for extended traveling when you’ll be spending a few days...or weeks...or months...on the road, and hopefully camping most nights.
These extended two-wheel trips require not only the proper gear, such as waterproof everything and a tent that delivers ultimate relaxation when the days/nights end, but also some mental prep. Remember, most things in motorcycling require 90-percent brain and 10-percent physical doing.
If you’re prepping for a trip, and don’t want to waste any time bouncing around multiple websites, we’ve decided to make things a bit easier. Following are the top 10 vital essentials of not only ADV gear, but having the correct mindset before your next big adventure. And if you’re reading this while on the road, well done!
First, The Gear/Accessories
Why would you think about traveling anywhere without waterproof gear, or at least waterproof protection? That’s the equivalent of awaking with no coffee...or sleeping without any vino.
Waterproof motorcycle gear is vital for happiness on the road, or on the trail. Unless you’re lucking it out in the Chile’s Atacama Desert, or Aswan, Egypt, wet conditions will likely happen. Think about the Pacific Northwest of the US, or December in Australia during the height of the wet season.
The lesson for all? Go Gore-Tex. It proves itself over and over, allowing your body/under layers to remain dry while keeping the air flowing.
If you don’t have waterproof motorcycle apparel, use anything else that breathes or provides comfort in wet conditions, but always pack a rainsuit, which can be found for minimal expense. Also remember that rain is not necessarily the only force for wet conditions. Morning dew and nighttime mist can provide just enough wetness to slow comfort.
Also, remember that it’s not just your jacket or pants; gloves and boots must be waterproof also. Actually, the first thing you’d want to get cold is your chest and legs; once your hands and feet get chilly, your comfortable ride will end much sooner.
So, we talked about how vital it is for waterproof motorcycle apparel, especially on your hands and feet. We said the hands and feet go first; this is further supported once you learn how to use base layers.
There is so much technology from base layers that spilled over from Soccer and the NFL, and now we motorcyclists have this all from many manufacturers. These help create a microclimate between your skin and the jacket, allowing sweat to absorb through and dry in this microclimate, keeping you dry and comfortable. Find good base layers, and never ride without them. Remember, also, that some are made for colder weather, and others hot weather.
Ventilation is obviously important for hot-weather motorcycle travel, but it’s equally important for the coldest of weather - especially for your head. You sweat, regardless if it’s 90 degrees (F) or 30 degrees (F). The best thing you can is get this sweat cooled or off your body; that’s where ventilation comes in. Even when it’s cold ride with your rear helmet vents open, and if you have a non-breather jacket fabric that’s well vented, keep at least one of the rear vents open to allow any moisture to be released.
Being hot and sticky can annoy, but a foggy visor can quickly create dangerous situations. Do whatever is needed to keep your helmet’s visor clear. And if a Pinlock system is available, use it. Remember to have the chin vent open when any fogging occurs; even in the coldest of temps a tingling face is better than no vision.
Think warmth when accessorizing your adventure motorcycle. Even in the middle of summer you can use some warmth. For all seasons, handguards and heated grips are vital to comfort. For cold-weather riding, a bigger windscreen can help protect your body from the elements and brisk air.
Second, the Mindset
Leave Troubling Thoughts for the Campsite
What you focus on is where your energy will flow. So when you're riding, keep your mind clear of troubling thoughts. Forget about that fight with your significant other, boss or friend. Forget about knocking a mirror off on the trail or any financial stresses...leave them all out of the head while riding; it can help distract and prevent serious crashes. Save those troubling thoughts for the campsite where you can vent without distracting your riding.
You’re a Better Rider than You Think
As some racers say, it's 90% mental and 10% physical. Well, the same goes for any type of riding situation. Many riders stray from extended travel because they don’t have confidence in themselves. This in itself is a distraction, so always tell yourself you’re a better rider than you think. Continue your riding education by practicing and learning from respected riders, but always know you’re a better rider than you think. And of course we don’t mean an ego maniac here; just having confidence in yourself to ride at the top of your skill level.
Home is Really Not That Far
Another mindset that distracts many riders is distance from home. When camping closer to home, some riders’ minds are at ease knowing the secure feeling of the indoors is not far away. But when things are pushed, and your hundreds or thousands of miles away from home, some riders can get nervous. Again, this is the brain going into security mode, which will cause huge distractions and take loads of energy away from your trip. You're simply likely worrying too much.
You May Not Have a Signal
Yes - our phones are basically part of our hourly existence. In a SmartInsights study, the average American spent 87 hours on a mobile device during the month of August 2016. But when camping in the more remote parts of the world, whether the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Vietnam or Lyseboth Road in Norway, the last thing you’ll find is a strong signal. Some riders have fear due to no contact with the outside world, but there are now plenty of emergency devices available for campers that work off satellite data, such as SPOT. Others just get freaked out because they can’t upload their latest adventure picture to social media; the Instagram and Facebook posts can wait until you get home.
Remain Trouble-Free Before Next Morning Depart
Whenever you pull into camp for the night, make it a duty to give your bike a once over. Do this before you even set up camp; if something is wrong, and needs addressing, you’ll now have a time reference in mind, and may forgo setting up the campsite with the remaining daylight hours to fix the bike (this is why a headlamp is crucial for motorcycle camping! You can use it to set up anything at night with ease).
Check tires for any leaks or damage; your brakes; your chain; and all fluids. This simple task also puts the mind at ease when you’re taking off in the morning. Last thing you want on a trip after a great night of camping is to have your bike packed and ready and suddenly realize your have a hole in your oil pan or your tire has a screw in it.
Start prepping for your next Motorcycle Adventure with www.lonerider-motorcycle.com
- July 02, 2018
- Frederic SCHEFFER