More Prep and Gadgets


I have heard many times that riding today’s bikes are way too technological and we as riders bring too many gadgets. I guess it’s partly true in some sense but I also believe as an ADV rider (all rides are an ADV to the rider BTW), that we can choose how we want to travel at all times.

I mean isn’t that the beauty of taking a trip in any shape of form as you will and make it what you want? Some like single cylinder engines with no techno gadgets, to get away from the crazy world we live in….solitude. I can find solitude even riding with others on my bike. To me there is no real argument to judge or be judge how one defines an adventure. I say do whatever you want as long as you come back in one piece.

On this trip being SOLO, I am more confident that using my SPOT Connect is a great way for my family/friends and the public to keep an eye on me. I will have tracking set up and with this little device I can send a LIVE text message at the end of the day to say where I am and all is OK up to ten emails.



My bikes dash-board looks like a 747 jet. Well, not really but it looks like a lot of stuff is going on there…

My SPOT has its own cradle, facing up for the satellite signal and so I can see if the batteries need to be changing. Half the time when SPOT does not work it is my error. Batteries dead or I forget to reconnect the Bluetooth. This works with a subscription you pay annually and can add extras like text message bundle, emergency assistance coverage etc. Not totally cheap but in the bigger picture for me some peace of mind.

Right next to the SPOT cradle I have a mount for a Contour camera. I have two, the Contour +, so if I want to add an external mic I can and the Contour Roam 2. Very simple device, on/off and totally waterproof without a housing. Contour went out of business but I hear they are back with new owners, see here. Above my gauges you can see where I place my GPS. For me it is the perfect location to see the route.

Even have a mount that I can move around the bike and one on my helmet. I don’t record everything and often stow the ram mounts away while riding but it’s nice to have to option the take videos or stills while riding to capture
what I see as the rider.

I suck at video editing even though I try so that deters me a bit from taking too much video recordings but I am sure I will have some from this trip.

I use the BMW stock canbus plug to power my iPhone. That’s about all it can do on my 2013 BMW F800GS. I used to be able to use this plug to power my tire pump but no longer. So, it’s permanently used as my iPhone cable plug which I run into my tank bag.

You can get any cable from POWERLET you need and it really comes in handy.

I added another plug from POWERLET on the other side of the ignition and this one can indeed power my tire pump with no issues and I use this to plug-in my inverter just in case I have no access to electricity to recharge my essential batteries, like for a camera or my intercom head set.

All my electronics are hooked up to a PDM60 which you can’t see because it’s tucked away under my faux tank. Just a fancy fuze block without using any fuses. Click the PDM60 link and you can read all about this device. It’s pretty cool.

Because when I travel long distance I usually run into a lot of rain and cool weather especially over night I always bring my heated liner and gloves just in case. My plug for this gear just lays outside my seat all year-long for easy access. If I do not have to use the gear great but I hate being cold even if it’s for a few hours in the morning while riding. I have turned into a spoiled wimp having heated gear that anything below 10 degrees C, 50 F I use heat.

I installed a tool tube behind my Jesse pannier non can side yesterday. I will use this for my MSR fuel bottle which is for my camping stove. I like this idea, some on my FB page reminded me of this option when I was trying to figure out what to do with the bottle. Cheryl was the one that would carry this fuel in her TT holder. So, for $20 I zipped tie it to the frame and it seems secure. I can always adjust it on the road.

I have a glove fetish and always take too many on trips…even in this pic I may change a few but I never can decide and they don’t take up too much room. I think one might start to think I am a KLIM freak but i do like their gear and I am really looking forward to wearing the New Altitude for this trip.

As far as cameras? I have a Panasonic waterproof point and shoot

I use to take pictures on the fly. I am used to riding with Cheryl and she never would really want to stop. I compensated by getting used to left-handed shots from the bike. I may still do this just to keep up with time but will stop and “smell the roses” if I see something really interesting. If I need more zoom I will use this…

As well as my iPhone. Too many gadgets so far? Too many cameras?

I also bring my laptop. Changing my oil today and adjusting my chain. The bike has a little over 13,000 KM’s on it so all fluids and bike itself should be okay. I put new brake pads on about 2,000 KM’s back. That’s it for maintenance and prep for this trip. Someone asked about the tools I am taking. I will post a pic of the tool kit…still wondering exactly what I will take.

I am not a mechanic but can do some roadside fixes. In the end any real issues I run into I always have my phone.

I decided to go on this trip in February after my heart was torn a part when my partner/wife left me on January 30th. I see this trip not just about getting away to think and heal but I am really trying to just view this as another “normal” trip to explore and have a great time. 3 days to go.

8 thoughts on “More Prep and Gadgets

  1. I think you hit the nail on the head. Everyone takes their own trip so take how you are most comfortable. Enjoy the ride and do it your way.

  2. So jealous. I have a 2 week trip planned for the Eastern States in about 6 weeks and can’t wait. Wish I could take more.
    You have a new GPS. (Montana?) Can you comment on how it follows routes that you have planned. Does it sticks to them?
    Does it follow your avoidances?

  3. Just in case you get bored (like that could happen), Neil Peart (of the band Rush) wrote a book called “Ghost Rider” several years ago. It details his solo ride to heal. Might be interesting to flip pages when not riding.

  4. Looks like you’re well prepared for the trip. I’m looking forward to your posts on your new adventure. I’ve been considering the “spot” for my trips and I’m curious to see it in action. Ride safe.

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