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Packing for an outback motorcycle adventure

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' at netrider.net.au started by Mouth, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. This video will be of interest to anyone wanting to do a long distance motorcycle camping trip.

    The Suzuki DR650 has remained unchanged since 1996. A dinosaur in the adventure touring world, this single cylinder ‘thumper’ with carburetor, harks back to simpler times. With a dry weight of 147 kg and a budget price, it has become a legend among RTW adventurers.

    My bike is a 2007 model I picked up 2nd hand with 3500km on the clock. Off the shelf the DR needs a few modifications to prepare it for long distance travel, and to help the torquey 644cc motor breath better and thus improve on it’s rather tame 46 HP.

    All up I’ve spent $8200 to both purchase my bike and prepare it for a trip around Western Australia. $3600 has gone into mods.

    I will be going offroad to remote locations so needed to take camping gear, enough water and food and tools and spares to repair any possible problems like flat tires or broken chains.

    As I work as a professional videographer, I will also need to be carrying enough production gear to do work for tourism business while on the road.

    This video goes through what modifications I have done to my bike and what I will be carrying on my trip.

    At the bottom of this write up I have included a list of my gear, but for now will give a brief overview of each section – bike mods, gear selection and what filmmaking gear I will be taking.

    I was lucky that my motorcycle already came semi prepared for outback travel. It had a rear rack added, bark busters, stronger renthal bars, a bash plate and performance rear suspension spring set to 100 kg’s.

    On top of this I have added a 30 Litre fuel tank, re-upholstered the seat and added softer foam, added a staintune performance exhaust, a screen, a usb charger, performance fork springs.

    There are further performance mods I would have done if I wasnt taking such a long trip (at least 8,500 km) I would have removed the exhaust baffle and airbox snorkle to help the DR breath better and thus improve performance. I would also drill a extra hole in the carb slide for better throttle response. My Dr will be a beast of burden, so the extra HP sauce from these mods may have effected fuel economy, not something I need!

    With regard to my camping gear, I am not taking any cooking utensils. I really enjoy cooking and I just find cooking on the road a little disappointing. So I will adjust my diet, eating raw veggies like carrots, salads and nuts. I will sometimes eat takeaway and sometimes find a public bbq to cook a steak or seafood. Given the dietary changes, I’m sure I will loose a few unwanted kilos!

    Camera Gear
    I wanted one camera with a small footprint that could do both video and stills. I purchased a Panasonic Lumix G7 for this trip. It is not the ideal video camera given sound restrictions, but the micro four thirds format is definitely going to improve my trip photos! I’m also carrying way too many sound options – a zoom H5 audio recorder, a Rode Ntg1 shotgun mic, a Rode videomic pro and a rodelink wireless mic kit. I made a budget $8 shoulder mount so as to get smooth shots with the G7. As you can see it is not exactly the type of camera you can hand to your dad – autofocus was crap and audio blew out, even at -12db!

    So here is the extended list, hope you find it handy if you are planning your own long distance motorcycle trip:

    2007 DR650 (currently 11,400 kms on the clock)
    Tank – 30L Safari
    fuel filter ( small carb filter removed)
    Seat – re-upholstered and softer foam added by Cam’s Customs
    Tank bag – Ajays
    Rear bag – Motodry
    pannier bags and racks – Andy Strapz
    New fork springs – teknik .54 with 70mm spacer
    Performance Exhaust – Staintune
    Front Screen – Screen for bikes
    Waterproof Phone Holder – Givi
    USB charger – third gear
    Metal Chain Guide – Warp 9
    Magnetic Sump Plug to counter NSU screws failing
    Countershaft Seal guard to counter oil spill
    throttle lock
    Custom led light number plate light
    New rear spring – teknik set to 100kgs
    Bashplate – B and B
    Hand guards – Bark Busters
    Rear Rack – B and B
    New Handlebars – Renthal
    sheep skin seat cover – old baby change
    Upper Drive Chain Roller removed to stop frame damage

    Helmut – O’Neal Sierra Adventure Helmut
    Leather jacket – Torque with elbow, shoulder and back pads
    Jeans – draggin black combat with kevlar and knee and hip pads
    Motorcycle boots – RST adventure boots
    Gloves C & R sport T-Lite
    Dress boots – Blundstone
    Sandals – Crocs
    khaki cotton slouch hat
    7 x jocks
    7 x socks
    2 x shirts
    3 x t shirts
    swim trunks
    2 x shorts
    warm beanie hat
    wool jumper
    rain poncho
    rain overpants
    ear plugs

    2 person tent – outerlimits starlight 3 season 1.9 kgs
    Sleeping bag – Microsmart 90, 5 degree min 1 kg
    Self inflating mat – hi country 1 kg Hi Country
    3 x 1 litre Aluminium water flasks Hi Country
    1 x 750ml Aluminium water flask
    Travel Towel – medium size Hi Country
    Cotton youth hostel sheet – Aurora
    Spork – spoon, fork, knife Sea to Summit
    head torch

    Camera/Video Camera – Panasonic Lumix G7
    -14-140 lens
    -On camera mic – Rode Videomic pro and dead cat
    -25mm lens
    2x extreme pro SDHC cards
    Filters – UV, Circ-pol, ND4, ND8
    Radio mic kit – Rodelink
    gopro Gimble
    On camera Led Light – Metz
    Audio recorder – Zoom H5
    rode ntg 1 shotgun
    3m xlr lead
    Laptop – Apple Mac book pro 15”
    Tripod – Velbon CX480
    GoPro hero 4 silver
    USB solar charger – Bauhn
    LG G2 Phone
    shoulder stabiliser homemade
    camera bag
    hard drive
    in ear headphones
    various chargers – phone, camera, batteries, laptop
    rechargeable batteries x 8

    DR650 tool kit
    multitool – leatherman
    3 x tyre levers
    spare rear tube
    puncture kit
    spare fuel hose
    spare chain link
    Prop Stand – homemade 50 cm
    spare cross brace for tank
    mtb air pump
    gaffer tape
    zip ties
    electrical tape
    spare rear sprocket
    new hand grips
    one man brake bleed kit
    feeler gauges for valves
    plastic gloves
    various rags
    tie wire
    chain wax
    prop stand home made
    ice cream container for storing liquid e.g. oil, brake fluid

    first aid kit
    toiletry bag
    toilet paper
    soap container
    brake disk lock

    Ref: Packing for an outback filmmaking trip- Budget RTW Motorcycle, DR650
    Mark Shea is a video producer and trainer and specializes in documentary and travel/tourism related content. His youtube channel is one of youtube’s most successful travel partner channels.
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  2. Good work Dad!!!!
  3. Great write up. Do you pack a GPS tracker if you're going remote outback so someone at home knows where you are?
  4. Damn, feeling very envious!

    Hope you have a great trip.
  5. Enjoy the land of sangropers & swan beer laddie. Riding over & back ? Solo ? When is planned departure?
    Had the pleasure of riding the length & breadth of WA in the early 70's, over 4 years mind you, when I lived in Perth & Margaret River as a low life student.
    Nullabor was bulldust & corrugation dirt as well back then.
    Have carried a spare master chain link with me ever since & over so many clicks I've lost 'track'. :oldman: P1050761.JPG

    Give my kind regards to HRH Prince Leonard please. (he used to ride an Enfield from memory)
  6. Top stuff mate, best of luck!
  7. Fantastic video mate, all the best :)
  8. This may be a bit of a silly Q, but I've never ridden with panniers before (only a seat bag/rack) and my next road trip will have panniers.

    How is it best to pack? Eg. Heavier stuff in the panniers (lower centre of gravity), or
    Put the heavier stuff in the seat bag since it is in the centre and over the bike frame?

    I do know the heavier the stuff should be closer to the bike's frame...

    Any tips most welcome!