Preparing for summer

We are at the middle of the winter here in New Zealand and many of us, apart from the occasional weekend day trips, are preparing for the spring and summer time multi day tours.

It takes time to learn from our own mistakes, or from other other people’s mistakes, and plan and prepare more or less perfectly for the “big” summer trip.

I have collected a few ideas what worked for me. I hope these can help you as well.

  1. Have a packing list for every trip and save it for the future. I am an extreme example, I have all my packing lists back for almost ten years. When I am going to somewhere, I pick the last list from a similar trip and going through on it critically. What did I use from the list? Pack it again. What I did not use? Leave at home this time. Was anything I missed during the trip? Do not forget this time.
    Stuff for 4 days

    By know I don’t really need to think much about packing. Most scenarios were played over a few times and packing is brought down to the essential. You can ask, why I am not sharing my list? Simply because everyone are different. What works for me, maybe doesn’t work for you. I am sure, you will figure out things quickly on your own.

    Everything from above loaded
  2. Choose the right trip for the motorcycle you have. Yes, you can ride through gavel toads on a Kawasaki ZX10R, but there is a very slim chance, that you will actually enjoy it. Experts say, choose the motorcycle for the most challenging part. If you ride 5000 km and 1000 km is off-road and single track, you are better off with a 600 or 400 cc light dual-purpose motorcycle than a Versys 1000LT. At the same time the opposite is also true. For a 7000 km road trip a 250 cc single cylinder bike is not the best choice. I hear the voices saying, “I did it.” and “Yes, you can.” and it is true, but how much will you en joy it? Do you want to remember, and recall later the struggle from one day to the other, or the joyful riding?
    The right motorcycle for the right trip. (

    Many of us are having one motorcycle only and we don’t want or can’t change it frequently. I am certainly belonging to this group, and I rather plan my own trips to suit me and my ride than follow others’ path.

  3. Wrong riding gear. I am talking about “adventure riding” only now. Leathers are great on the track or on a sunny Sunday afternoon, but on a week long trip it is questionable. Here in New Zealand, you need to be prepared to all 3 seasons (1), in every season. Make sure your gear is layered and have sufficient protection all times.
    Atrocious situation, atrocious riding gear

    What works for me is a textile jacket with removable lining or a thermal jacket, MX body armor, long sleeve t-shirt or turtle-neck, t-shirt and a rain jacket what I can pull over all of this. These layers can be combined and changed easily even at the middle of a trip.

  4. Gadget mania. Do not take too much gadgets withbetween you. Multitude of special containers and boxes, phone, tablet, laptop, compact camera, SLR camera, action camera, 8 different charger, drone, etc. Are you going to use all these enough frequently to worth carry it? I see the point in using a drone at a certain spectacular spot, but worth it carrying it for 7 days? Do you really need a laptop and tablet?
    Gadget overload

    You are supposed to be busy with riding and at the end of the day enjoying the location and/or nature and not doing business, editing videos and photos. For me a smartphone is enough. Anyway, very likely on the country side you have no phone coverage and Internet connection on most places. On the other hand, if you can’t leave work behind for a few days or even for a couple of weeks, don’t go. Your mind will be constantly occupied with thoughts around your work, and can take away not just the pleasure of riding, but also present a safety concern if you are not turning 100% of your attention to the betweenbetweenriding on the road.

  5. Connected to point 4, too much weight. A lot of small things will come together to a humongous weight at the end. Be practical. On an adventure ride, it is really matter if you need to lift a 250 kg motorcycle, or one which weights “just” 200 kg. An overloaded motorcycle will be only “pain under your backside”. You don’t need 3 pots and 2 pans.
    Deep pan with a lid – universal

    One deep pan with a lid and a metal mug always served me perfectly. Be critical of your gear. There are very few things what is a must to carry. The rest will be maybe missed, but you can go on without it. Since you have your packing list, you can add the dearly missed stuff to the packing list of the next trip.

  6. Riding too much or too little in one day. It is hard to tell how much you should ride one day. It is depending on the rider and the road/terrain you travelling through. Know your limits, have frequent breaks and you will figure out what works for you. A good idea to keep your riding plan flexible as possible. If you need to rush to catch a plane, train or ferry, your holiday will turn into a crazy cannonball run.

(1) If I want to be honest, the NZ weather is going around an early spring – summer – late autumn, early spring again cycle, at most of the North Island.

Sync The Planet 2017

Here are the details of the KLR Ramblers ride for the Sync the planet 2017.

When: Meeting at 05/08/2017 9:30 pm. Starting the ride 10:00 pm sharp, because everyone all around the word start at that time. Would be silly not be in sync…

Where: We are meeting at the G.A.S. petrol station on Dairy Flat Rd near the Coastville-Riverhead Hwy intersection. See the map or the GPX file for the details.

Where are we going: Practically it is a ride around the Riverhead Forest, clockwise.

Here is how are we going around:

  • The start of the ride is the G.A.S petrol station on Dairy Flat Rd, near the Coastville-Riverhead Hwy intersection.
  • Left turn to Coastville-Riverhead Hwy intersection.
  • Follow Coastville-Riverhead Hwy then right turn to Riverhead Rd.
  • Keep going straight on Deacon Rd. This is a tricky intersection, pay attention!
  • Right turn to Old North Rd.
  • Right turn to Peak Rd.
  • Right turn to Kaipara Coast Hwy (SH16) and immediately another right turn to Kahikatea Flat Rd.
  • Follow Kahikatea Flat Rd and a right turn to Dairy Flat Hwy.
  • Heading back to the G.A.S petrol station on Dairy Flat Rd, near the Coastville-Riverhead Hwy intersection where we started the ride.

The map:

The GPX file:
Download the GPX file from here.

The ride will take approximately 58 km on sealed road, and need 1 hour to complete it.

Since we are going to ride in the dark, you must be sure, all your lights are working and highly recommended to wear a hi-viz safety vest if you have one. Even I will wear one.

This time we will ride as a group.

Obviously, if raining cats and dogs we will cancel the ride, but a light drizzle will not stop us. I will keep checking the weather and put a “no go” sign on the site if the ride is cancelled not later than 8pm. Check the website before you leave home for the ride.

You must read and accept our Legal Disclaimer before joining the ride.
Click here for the legal stuff.

Group ride on a bigger scale

I have seen the Sync The Planet  promo video off from Tyler’s (Everide) YouTube channel (or got there from his channel somehow). As we are enjoying our KLR Ramblers rides a lot, I was thinking, would be nice to ride virtually together with motorcycle riders from all around the world.

Sync The Planet is an annual synchronized motorcycle ride where riders
from all across the world unite to ride together at exactly the same time. All in support of each other as motorcyclist and Global unity.

This ride is on the first Saturday of August in every year. Since the ride is starting at Saturday, 12 pm (GMT+2) Paris time, it would mean a Saturday, 10 pm start in New Zealand on the 5th of August.

If you are interested, let us know through our contact page, and we can bring together a one hour ride in the Auckland area. For more detail about Sync The Planet, check out the website of the event and/or watch the video below.

KLR Ramblers ride – July

The details of the July ride as follow:

  • 15 July 2017
  • Time: 10am
  • Meeting point: The Caltex petrol station at the intersection of Dairy Flat Highway and Kahikatea Flat Road
  • Where are we going? See the details below.
  • How are we going to ride? We are expecting you to be able to navigate through the ride on your own by using a map or with a GPS if you have one. (Files and information for both means of navigation are provided below.)
  • The whole ride will take approximately 2 hours and will cover roughly 85 km gravel and sealed road.

There will be one auxiliary rider. He or she will leave the start last and will be the last in the pack. You can also contact the auxiliary rider on mobile-phone if need. We will select this rider later and share the phone number with you at the start.

Be prepared to ride on gravel (in various conditions) and sealed public roads. All kinds of bikes are welcome not just KLR650.

Save the date in your calendar and download all the information what you need.

The map:

The GPX file:

Click here for the GPX file.

You must read and accept our “Legal Disclaimer” before joining to the ride.

Click here for the legal stuff.

Dying breed

Are “real dual-sport” riders are disappearing and the big bore, single cylinder motorcycles, like the KLR 650, a dying breed?

Everide put together a short, but very informative video on this topic. I would be very interested what do you think. If you feel so, you can send your thoughts to us through our contact page.

Here is the video.

June – Ride report

We have got good weather, as it can be good at winter time. Started in a light drizzle, then some “proper” rain, some wind, sunshine and finally a drizzle again. The road conditions were just as “colorful” as the weather. We rode through on roads which were just enough wet to keep the dust on the ground, roads with pools of water, muddy roads and even some dry and dusty roads.

Finally, when we arrived to the coffee shop at the end of the ride, all motorcycles were covered with a healthy layer of mud, dirt and dust, and all five of us had an ear to ear smile.

We need to say thank you to John to recommending this route and being the road captain at this time.

If you missed out on this ride, you can join us on the next KLR Ramblers ride (15 July).

Here are a few pictures I snapped on the ride.

Click on the thumbnail images for the full size pictures.