Singapore doesn’t sounds like a country for adventure, but it can hold a loads of surprise for the keen rider. Singapore also an excellent entry and exit point for your South-east Asia adventure. Singapore has a small but dedicated adventure rider community.
We hope you are riding somewhere.
Here are a brief account and a few photos of the KLR Ramblers ride from November.
Ten riders gathered at the Pokeno Fuel Stop on Saturday. The weather was good and everything else did look promising. The first quarter of the ride was just as good as the pre-ride. The conditions on Klondyke Rd were on the challenging side slightly because the damage by the logging trucks and the not too fine repair works by the forestry company. Later at Port Waikato, we run into a road closure because of a car rally event further up on the road. Thanks to Adrian’s knowledge on the local roads we did find our way back to Onewhero, Wiramarama Rd, Baker Rd and finally we ended up at our pit-stop at Nikau Cave Coffe.
Because the first leg of the route was longer and took more time than we anticipated, after a good coffee and some food we broke-up and some of us headed back to Pokeno, but most of the group set out to finish the unridden part of the ride as it was planned.
I would like to thank Adrian to help us out with his local road knowledge, and Herman and Anton to take part in the pre-ride and leading this ride.
I believe we got the best what Waikato could offer on this Saturday.
This ride was the last in 2017 and we can meet again on 20 January 2018 for the first ride of 2018. We wish a very relaxing Christmas holiday to all of you with loads of fun time with loved ones, friends and on the motorcycle.
Here are a few pictures from the ride.
After the first “floating above the road” video, I did try to make a more lively video about the ride today. I hope it can make people excited about “adventure motorcycle riding”.
I know it isn’t a project which can compete with around the world documentaries, but I don’t want to do that at all.
It can still tickle the adventurer in everyone because all these, what you can see on the video is just at our door step. If you can spare 2-3 hours once in a month and put aside $3000-$4000 for a second hand motorcycle (it can be even cheaper if you are not afraid of doing some fixing and maintenance by yourself), you can ride the very same roads and much more.
I really hope you will enjoy the video.
We haven’t done a product review for a long time and this is right because we spent the time with organizing rides and riding together.I was eyeing with tank bags for a long time but didn’t take the effort to get to a higher energy level which results in action. Durin the motorcycle show, I could visit the few accessory resellers and find out, there is nothing available there what would please me.
I was eyeing with tank bags for a long time but didn’t take the effort to get to a higher energy level which results in action. Durin the motorcycle show, I could visit the few accessory resellers on the showground and find out, there is nothing available what would please me.
Since I wanted to stuff only some small things into the tank bag, like wallet, phone, camera, etc. I was looking for a small one. After doing some “research” on the Internet, I wanted the Kriega OS 6 with a tank adapter. Since all the nearby or accessible stores in NZ had only the old Kriega US 5 bags, I decided to order mine from Australia (MX Store). The Kriega OS 6 was designed to correct some design flaw of the Kriega US 5 bags, and funny enough, I could get it cheaper (including shipping) than walking into a shop in NZ and buy the old design.
So get down to the bag. I think the original design idea is following the MOLLE design line which was developed for the army and stands for “Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment”.
Since I was housebound for the weekend, I took my time to get things done properly.
The first thing what you need to do is secure two straps under your seat. It just did not go easy, the KLR presented a good mind-bending puzzle, to find not just a way to get this done, but get it done in the perfect way.
Finally, I got the two little plastic tabs sticking out from under the seat. Just in case, I put a bit of duct tape between the plastic tabs and the tank to prevent the paint being rubbed off.
Next item is to attach the tank adapter to it and drive two straps around the headstock of the KLR to secure it over the tank.
Yes, you see it correctly, it is covering the tank cap, and will need to be detached when I am filling up the motorcycle with petrol. I will find out later, how much trouble it is.
The Kriega OS 6 bag is neat and all the materials and the way of construction is convincing. It looks like something that will last, and this feeling is supported by the 10 years warranty coming with the bag.
After some wiggling and trial and error, I found the perfect place for the bag on the adapter and everything isn’t just ready for adventure now, but also looks good.
The summary of my experience is so far positive. Good materials, quality workmanship, and relatively easy installation. Let see how it will perform on the Northland Rally.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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?
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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?
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.