Exploring the Alps on two wheels
Last Updated: 21st March 2019
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Helmet reflectors (France)
Power cable Extension
First Aid Kit
Spare bike/alarm keys
Small roll of gafa Tape
Small tool kit
* Details below
** Travel size
Sunglasses & cap
Travelling kits are based on personal preferences and will vary due to what type of trips you are going on, overnighting in hotels or camping. I've tried camping only to find that it's not really my cup of tea. I enjoy a good nights sleep too much. So with that in mind, all the items listed above are based on sports touring adventures overnighting in hotels. This travelling kit works well for me and my current bike setup. My kit was created from scratch out of necessity, and over the years upgraded concentrating on quality products as well as weight and volume reduction. Your kit will most probably vary from mine, but if you're new to biking holidays, then the list above can be a great starting point, and you can adjust to fit your needs accordingly. Below I detail the products I have gone for and may even provide a link to where they can be purchased.
Rider protection is always on our mind, helmets, boots, back protector etc, but we have come across many bikers that simply dont think about ear protection.
Motorbike riders are prone to hearing damage caused by wind noise. Being subjected to a mere 15 minutes wind noise at motorway speeds is enough to start hearing damage. It's alikened to running an angle grinder without ear protection.
To combat this, we use ear plugs. We have used moldex plugs for quite a few years, and can recommend them and can be bought here. Normally they cost 35kr for a pair.
If you want something more serious, then moulded earplugs is the way to go. Send your molds to ultimate ear in the UK and they'll make some top notch ear buds.
Back in 2014 we experienced a travelling buddy losing his wallet with all his credit cards, tickets and driving licence. The lessons learned from that trip, we like to share with you.
Lesson learned: Don't keep all your eggs in one basket:
You'll need 2 credit cards and a small amount of cash, say €300.
1) Your main credit card you'll have in your wallet.
2) Your backup credit card is stashed away deep in your luggage together with your registration documents. This card will only see the light of day if you loose your main credit card.
3) The cash you put somewhere zipped up in your inner jacket. This cash is your emergency money, for emergency use only.
You will find that quite often, you will need to clean your visor. As you can see from the picture on the left, fly spats can over time can impair visibility. During the summer season, it is not uncommon to have to clean a visor like this 2-3 times during the day.
Wiping them off with a glove will sometimes smear them reducing viability even more, and you can also scratch your visor as you have to remember that most flying insects have exoskeletons.
Muc-off™ produces a visor cleaning kit which we have found to be invaluable. Simply give the visor a couple of squirts of it's visor cleaning solution and wipe off with the supplied cloth. Everything packs away neatly in a carrying case
If you're riding solo or with friends, BT intercoms breaks up the monotony of the boring parts. It's a great way to get your GPS and music in your helmet, and if you're thinking of riding in France, then you may want to consider some BT intercoms as since 1st July 2015 France doesnt allow the use of earphones.
Regardless if you're a Sunday rider or doing serious miles, you'll want to install a chain lubrication system on your chain driven bike. Admittedly we have only ever used Scottoiler for this purpose, as it does it's job so well.
Over the years on the chains that we didn't have a Scottoiler installed, even though we followed the manufacturers recommended lube guide lines, (500km dry/250km wet) the life span of those chains topped at 18000km/11000 miles. We've even met bikers that didn't know that they had to oil their chain and their chain was completely ruined by 4000km. With a Scottoiler installed we've had chains reaching the change marker after 58000km /36000miles.
In short you're prolonging the life of your chain with at least 250%
Lets get technical:How does it work?There are two parts to a Scottoiler. An automatic side and a manual side The automatic side works much like a relay does. A small pipe is connected to a vacuum point on the engine. Once fitted the engines vacuum causes a valve to open in the reservoir which in turn allows chain oil to flow. The higher revs the more the valve opens allowing more oil to be delivered onto the chain.The manual side:It would be nice to see Scottoiler change its claim from "automatic" to "semi automatic", as a lot of concerns we hear about this type of system is due to the "automatic" confusion. Oil splatter on your rear tyre is due to incorrect setup and should be a part of a pre-ride check. We have the "automatic" side, but there are a few manual factors need to be taken into account. 1) Correct oil viscosity: Hyper Sports bikes have a higher compression ratio, so you'll need an oil with higher viscosity (Red Scottoil) than your less "suck for buck" bikes (blue Scottoil). 2) Setup: After priming the Scottoiler, an adjustment period in dry conditions should be used to fine tune the unit to your bike. i.e. We set the lubrication dial to just over minimum and ride 50km and check the chain. What we're looking for is that the chain looks "moist" and that there is no chain oil splatter on the wheel. We keep turning up the dial in small increments, what we affectionately call "Dial and trial", until we start seeing signs of oil splatter. When oil splatter starts appearing, turn the dial back a notch. Take note of this postion as this will be used as a reference point from now on. One Scottoiler setup :-) 3) Pre ride check (Important Please read)When riding our daily ride, we take into consideration that the Scottoiler is setup for a certain ambient temperature, and dry roads. When these conditions change, the chain oil delivery needs to change. It is good practice to mark your original setup position, as we will use this as a reference point. Warmer conditions, the Scottoil will warm up, viscosity will fall and the you will need to close the valve a notch or two to compensate. The opposite is true for colder conditions. The oil will stiffen, viscosity will rise and you will need to open the valve a notch or two to compensate.Wet conditions the oil will be washed away, so as in colder conditions, you will need to open the valve a notch or two to compensate. Remember to always return the Scottoiler to its original setup position and always be on the look out for moist chain and oil splatter.
One way to power your gadgets on the go is to charge them from battery packs. Things like recording camera's have a short battery lifespan and its much easier to charge them on the go, rather than charging three in the evening. Same goes for mobile phones and any other gadget you may need charging.
For this reason, battery packs are a valuable accessory to your luggage. Buying "charge through" packs means that you can charge the first pack, which in turn charges the next pack, which in turn charges... and so on.
Puncture repair kit
I haven't had one of these as part of my kit for many years, even though I've often thought about the consequences of a flat tyre whilst riding through some really desolate places.
This all changed in 2014 where I suddenly experienced how invaluable a tyre repair kit was when my travelling buddy on a new VFR12 with no more than 4000km managed to get a flat on the weekend in Italy.
It was so easy to use the kit, and there are several videos on YT that can show you how to use them. In no time the puncture was repaired, which meant no waiting for international recovery, and we managed to find a tyre shop that was open. (Full story day 9 of the 2014 Alp trip). Since then it's a fixed itinerary.
On a European trip, you always run the risk of having a fuse blow on you. This could be anything from a small fuse for your GPS, or a main 30A fuse. Even a 12V power supply fuse can cause inconveniences that you would rather just fix on the go.
For this reason you should locate your fuse box and any other devices that use fuses and take 5 fuses of each size. The reason you take so many is that if you replace a blown fuse, it could just blow straight away. If this is the case, you need to isolate and rectify the problem. This process will use up the next fuse or two.
If your battery is on its third season, you may consider replacing it before your trip.
Highly efficient way to store, organise and protect all the cords, adapters, batteries, and other accessories that travel with your portable electronics. Keeps everything organized and gets rid of the "snake pit" in your carry-on bag, suitcase, or backpack.
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