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Luggage Questions - To Tour on the Hornet 250

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by Stueh, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. Hello everyone!

    You may say I'm crazy, but I'm doing it :)

    I've always wanted to go touring. I did a lot of backpacking and when I was younger, and since I've gotten my bike license I've wanted to do it on the bike. Only catch was my partner. She loved being on the bike, but didn't want to go touring with me, and I hated being away from her.

    Well, she's left me, I need a holiday, and my tax return is coming through ... why the hell not? I'm planning to do a ride from Adelaide to Melbourne via Great Ocean Road, then to see a friend in Tatura, then on to Sydney, up to see a friend in Byron Bay, Gold Coast for some show rides, Brisbane to see another friend, Sunshine Coast for some piss, then back home to Adelaide. All in all, a good 5000km, perhaps 6000km after getting lost and seeing local sights. I'll probably stop in Sydney or Brisbane and get a service, too :)

    So, for a first timer preparing for his first time away, I have a few questions about luggage.

    Luckily, I pack light. Habit from my backpacking days. I don't need much, just clothes and toiletries. As the bike doesn't have much of a fuel range, I'll be stopping for fuel often, I'm planning on bringing along a small 5 liter container of fuel just in case, some basic "oh sh*t" tools, and perhaps a spare indicator or two, as they'll deff. break if I go down.

    I went to a bike store today to look at luggage, and the bloke there said that I shouldn't get panniers, as the right hand one will sit on the exhaust, and even though there's the heat shield, that I probably shouldn't try it.
    Is he right? It it a really bad idea? Are there ways of getting around this problem?

    So I was looking at the Ventura Bag Racks. I'll probably buy one of these, and from what I've heard I need to get the one for the Hornet 600. Looking at their fitments page (http://www.ventura-bike.com/fitments.aspx?manu=Honda). I've asked on the Honda Hornet forum, but might as well as this one here too, in case anyone knows, do I get the "CB 600 FW, X Hornet", "CB 600 FY Hornet S" or "CB 600F Hornet (07-09)"?

    And last but not least, tank bags. I'm planning on getting one of these, good for easy access, and I want it for the map holder alone. So, will pretty much any tank bag fit? I was looking at the Oxford First Time Expander Bag (see here: http://www.bikebiz.com.au/products/Oxford-First-Time-Expander-Tankbag.html) as it's both cheap, and several people have recommended it to me.

    A a side note, I wonder if I'll do a blog ... :)

    Cheers in advance, hopefully all my questions can be answered!


  2. cool, trip of a lifetime. people may poo poo touring on a 250 but jeez one bloke here did it on an URAL!

    Don't skimp on bags, Ventura look pretty cool.
  3. do it on whatever you own, forget tools,spare parts etc & fuel, you will meet people along the way that have gear you can borrow (post up here on nr) or if you are in melb pm if you want too borrow a spanner to adjust something/fix something...you are travelling between major towns so maybe at worst some zip ties, duct tape chain lube and the spanner required too adjust chain (imo i would skip on spanner as well and just post up here when you get stuck)

    Yep ventura racks come in handy, imo if you can find one at the wreckers/ebay online somewhere, (buy just the rack (if you buy in store you have to buy a bag too) so just buy the rack then go and get yourself a rjay exapndable bag, hold 55ltrs all folded up and 90ltr when expanded (this is basically big enough too carry full camping kit in..... I pack everything into dry sacks you can find in most camping stores about 20.00 some use garage bags, meh each too there own both work.

    Saddle bags never used them as the setup i have listed above covers all my gear but have heard stories of exhausts damaging bag, just depends on the bike setup from what i can tell, it also keeps the weight lower on the bike (some seem to think it's makes a difference) personally i find it no issue on the pillion seat (basically acts like a prefect pillion, that you can't kill)

    Tankbags are great for all your on the go stuff you need will want too access quickly, camera, sunnies, phones, wallet, neck warmers any snacks etc... i generally also throw my wet in there for easy access too

    Take plenty of pics and have a :woot: of a time, man i am jealous
  4. You can use saddle bags if you can bodge a couple of simple l shaped bars from the back of the ducktail area down towards the pillion pegs generally.

    Gearsack used to sell universal, expandable versions for their panniers but it's pretty easy to make something up.

    Having a rear rack is still useful however, just make sure you turn the bag around and sit it on your pillion seat not hanging out the back.

    You can put the light stuff on the rack (like your tent and a folding seat).

    I'd suggest a small tent, a ground sheet, a good self inflating mat, a decent sleeping bag, a basic set of cooking gear (trangia etc), a water bottle, a small radio, a small torch, a mobile phone (preferably Telstra Next G for best rural coverage) with a charger. You'll want to either wire in a socket to the bike or carry a car lighter socket adaptor with a couple of battery clips.

    You can pick up food for eating each day easy enough in most locations.

    If you're intending to stay in hotels/motels then it's even simpler!

    A couple of pairs of socks, underwear, t-shirts and maybe a pair of pants is enough clothes, mostly you'll be wearing bike gear but you'll probably need something else on occasion.

  5. Just get the ventura and a tank bag; take the essentials, and if you really need something you can probably buy it on the road; you're not going anywhere far from civilisation..

    and if you need a bed in Wollongong, there's always one marked 'Vagrant Netriders' at Chez Hornet :LOL:
  6. Just offering my approval and supportive words - I did a fair bit of sport-touring on my lil' VTR250, 500-850km days, all that. Don't fuss too much about repair gear. A tubeless-tyre repair kit maybe, and some chain lube is a must if you're planning to go 1000+km roundtrip, really.

    One lass here on NR did a heap of touring on a tiny 250 cruiser. The diaries should still be in the Touring Advice section.

    I had a huge 50-85L expandable Ventura touring bag, turned around to sit on the VTR's pillion seat. That should be more than enough space for a tonne and a half of gear. (Alternately, you could get a Tailbag which clips/lashes around your pillion seat, if you don't want a rack. Here's a few tailbags for example)

    I later added a tank bag for mobile phone/MP3 player/camera/candy and other random small crap. :)

    Entirely do-able on a little 250, though the buzzy handlebars and cramped legroom is a bit un-fun.
  7. Thanks for the advice and words of encouragement guys!

    I'm planning on staying in backpackers hostels, as this is what I'm familiar with, and it'll cut down on luggage for my first trip.

    Some of it may get interesting, as the only major city I've ever driven in other than Adelaide was Melbourne. And that was just the outskirts. So I'm well sh*tting myself at the prospect of riding through the three big ones and being lost, but that's all the fun of it I guess :)

    It turns out I won't be going alone too! A mentioned it on facebook, and a friend of mine who rides a CBR600 asked if he could come along. I told him not a problem, as it would probably be nice to have company (I've never traveled with someone else before). He reckons his CBR600 might not make it though, it's an old baby with a lot of kms and not in the greatest of conditions, so he will probably be doing it on his fathers VTR250! Huzzah!

    So, after reading suggestions and looking at costs, I've pretty much settled on a tank bag and a rear bag (the one that hooks on the seat). While I love the idea of the rack, it does seem a bit costly, and I'd have no idea where to start with making my own (I work in IT :p )

    I'm also a bit unsure about some of the twelve hour days, but I'm the sort of person who doesn't exactly travel on a plan. I make a loose plan, and then end up going to an entirely different place and coming back two days late (last time I went to Byron Bay to see a friend, I ended up on the sunshine coast and got home a week after I was meant to!!!)

    So, any other suggestions? On gear or otherwise? Gear I'm looking at will probably be clothes and toiletries, sleeping bag and pillow (some backpackers you have to pay for linen, and if I get caught out with nowhere to stay it's helpful), chain lube w/ some rags, etc.

    The usual tidbits like camera, phone, mp3 etc. of course.

    I'm hoping to be able to find street directories of the three big ones, as well as a road map of Australia /eastern states. Cheaper than buying a GPS.

    And, I'm still thinking of taking perhaps just a 5 liter container of fuel. The Hornet 250 has a range of about 180km city riding and 220 - 240 country. Best not get caught out?

    Sad thing is, I still have to take my laptop! even on holiday, if it hits the fan at work, they can ring me up and I have to dial in from wherever I am and fix it. *Sigh*

    So ... don't hesitate in complimenting, correcting, helping or even flaming me. Throw it all out there, the more ideas the better! :)

    Thanks again guys.
  8. Sounds like an awesome trip, i just came back from a 4 day 3000km trip and it is deffo one of the highlights of my life.
    If you need a riding or drinking buddy or just a place to stay on the Sunny Coast then let me know.
  9. there are very few places you can't get fuel every 150km or so, and where you are heading will be no problem

    as for gear take things you can use to double up with ie big fluffy jumper, at night stuff that inside your pillow case and you have a jumper and pillow with half the room etc
  10. didnt a guy go to perth on a hyo 250?
  11. Jealous. Pack light ( never got home froma tour yet that I didn't dig out stuff I never used), Stop often. Take lots of pics. Most towns have an internet cafe where you can update your blog each night. And have fun (I know, I would) Grrr.
  12. Forget about taking spare parts.. who packs for a crash?

    A shifter, two screw drivers.. one flat, one Phillips.. and the puncture kit...

    Be very very careful on the great ocean roads and AREA... most motorcyclist in victoria die on the GOR ... careful of wet roads that have leaves on them...

    Buy a cheap GPS... not a proper motorcycle one where they rip you off... get something like a tomtom one and you’ll thank me... i think they are only about $150 bucks... i took one all the way to Darwin and back just stuck to the windscreen... it’ll be ok in that tank bag too
  13. Have a think about an i-phone or ipad with built in 3G. Would be easier than a laptop
  14. To the people who've mentioned a place to stay / a drinking buddy, I'll take the last :) I've always prefered staying in Backpackers Hostels, to meet to people i f anything else. I even have my best friend from Primary School who lives in the Gold Coast and I'm not even staying with him :)

    The only other person I know about who's done similar on a 250 was a girl who went from Adelaide to Perth on an RS250 (yes, a 2 stroke!) in only two days. Said she had to stop for a service several times. As she said to me "f***ing punishment, but I'd do it again!".

    I'm confident that I'll make it without needing to fill up from the jerry can, but I still want to take it. The leg from Adelaide to Tatura isn't too populated, and it being my first time, this is my most nervous point.

    For those who are jealous, you're always welcome to join me for one or part of the legs! :)

    I'm taking the camera, as many pics as I can, I'll probably even be asking complete strangers to take them so I can get me and the bike!

    A blog, is it really worth it? That's the question. Thoughts?

    And in response to matti-san's comment about the i-phone or ipad, I would love to be able to use something like that (I actually have a HTC Touch Pro 2), but it simply won't be able to do the job. But, I will see if I'm able to borrow a friends eeePC and test. If it can do what I need it to, I'll see if I can try to take that.

    The route has changed a little. I'll now be going from Adelaide straight to Tatura, then straight to Sydney. Sorry to the Victorians out there! You won't be graced with my prescense :) Anyway, then from Sydney to Byron Bay, onto the Gold Coast, Brisbane (fortitude valley ftw!) and then Noosa Heads. On the way back home, I'll pop down to Newcastle, then somewhere between there and Tatura (yet to be decided) and then back home.

    Oh, and I bought my first bit of luggage today. An oxford First Time Expadable Tank Bag. Damn happy with it.

  15. Heya Everyone,

    So, I picked up the tank bag I was planning on, the Oxford First Time Expander bag. I went into Peter Stevens to see if they would price match from another store that had it going for $94.95, and found out that my cousins partner works there. He did me one better and got me mates rates: $69.95! :D

    Anyway, got it home, and I hadn't realised it's expandable. Bonus! It also comes with some other funky attachments etc.

    I put it on the bike today and went for a ride. It's almost perfect. Only catch is that, as far back as I'm willing to put it without it being uncomfortable, it will obstruct the steering the slightest big. The bars only just tap the bags when going from lock to lock. It's not enough to worry me, and there's nothing to get caught on, so all good.

    I also bought a Xena alarmed disc lock, a small can of chain lube, and a small spray bottle of plexus (small is an understatement, it's the size of my thumb). All these I was planning on buying anyway, but while I had a discount going :)

    After looking around a bit, I decided to get a tail bag. A combination of don't have to install a rack and big price difference. I decided that something around 44 - 50 liters would be good for me. I'm planning on taking my spare helmet, as I now have a friend who will be riding with me from the Gold Coast to Brisbane, as well as the possibility of meeting people who might want a "ride". :)

    After looking at tail bags, I'm still unsure on what to choose. Something expandable may come in handy. There's no tie down points on the bike, except the sissy bar, so tieing down the bike I'll have to have some straps on the sissy bar, and the others going either around the seat, or (and this I"m unsure around) around the whole tail. The unsure thing about the latter is if I hit a nice bump, there's a good chance the tyre would rub on the straps which are around the small wheel well.

    And on the last note, a blog. I mentioned to a friend of mine that I was thinking of blogging the travels. 10 minutes later he pops up in MSN and points me to a section of his site ... I now have my own blog :)

    I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post a link to it. I can't copy post by post to here because I'm not a netrider member, and as the rules states, no no.

    So, um, advice? Opinions? Does anyone have any recommendations on the tail bag? I'm currently leaning towards the Ventura Rally Euro Touring Pack (here: http://www.bikebiz.com.au/products/Ventura-Rally-Euro-Touring-Pack-.html) but unsure still.
  16. when you planning your trip mate
  17. A long way off (leave probably November 19th), but I have a slight case of the woots. Also going for a ride to Tatura (near Shepparton) and back in mid September, so was planning to do a proper road test on everything then.
  18. Yeah, it's a great idea to do a bit of a "shakedown" test of new luggage before the big trip, just to make sure it all works and you've figured out how to secure it, etc.

    Might look a bit weird taking a tankbag and tailpack to the local twisty-road pie shop, but you'll just look extra hardcore. :D