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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi Guys and girls! so i just picked up my new 2017 africa twin today from honda! and i now plan to ride it around the world, ill be leaving in 5 months time starting from London(uk)

the bike at present is completely standard.

could anyone advise on what needs to be done to make it a bit more robust for the trip?
engine mods?
any upgrades?

thanks
 

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I can't give any advice but would love to know more about your plans, what route are you thinking of going and what is your timeline.

Also to help others give advice some idea of the sort of riding you will be doing (% off road etc).

Good luck sounds like a great adventure.
 

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There are a lot of good examples of people travelling the world on advrider.com and what they bring with them. It's been an excellent reference for my adventures.

I'm also curious about your trip, distance, route and reason for travel.
 

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What to bring can get way more complicated than it needs to be.

I'd have robust panniers.

Tough tires. Your choice but I like the Heideanau Scout K-60's.

A jacket that can be worn in as cold a temperature as you will see and a second one for warmer weather. Maybe the same for pants. Many people get by with just one set of gear but a mesh jacket and pant don't take up that much more room.

Do you plan to camp or hotel? If the former bring good camping gear.

I know you are talking about bike prep, but the AT should be robust enough as is, assuming you don't abuse it. Ride it like an MX bike while packing 100 pounds of gear and it will take a tole. Tone it down a bit and you should have no issues. I read a book by Emilio Scotto, "The Longest Ride," (I think). He rode around the world a few times on a Honda Goldwing. He had some tough times but pulled it off. I also read, "Old Man on a Bike." He rode from Mexico to Ushuaia on a single cylinder Honda pizza delivery bike. He made it fine but he didn't push his bike beyond it's limits. I am currently reading, "The Road Get's Better From Here." This guy is riding from Magadan to Persia on what I believe to be a KLR-650. He has had many issues. But he doesn't ride the bike properly and it isn't the bike's fault. By his own admission, he enters soft boggy swamp land in Eastern Siberia and gets stuck repeatedly. He acknowledges having minimal off road skill and he proves it by frying the clutch. He has to wait for one of those Russian six wheel drive vehicles to get him out. The bike is broken so he has to wait for three weeks for a new clutch in Yakutsk. We all like adventure. I like adventure riding, not adventure pushing my broken bike. What point is it to ride the "Road of Bones," which is what this guy is doing, if you need to ferry the bike in the back of a truck half the time? The same goes for the Darrien Gap. Just fly your bike around it or put it on a boat. To claim you rode the Gap when you really had to winch it half the time and float in on a raft the other half doesn't prove anything. I read another book about a guy who crossed the gap in a Jeep of some sort. It took him many months and he winched it more than drove it. You can google for the guy who rode a moped to Alaska in the 1970's. He had to rebuild the engine along the way but brought the parts to do that. He made it. He had a plan. Probably not a robust enough bike but he knew it's limitations and planned accordingly. I have belabored this point enough.

The point is that any bike can make an RTW if you know the limits. If you insist on taking trails that are better suited for a 450 Enduro bike you'll really suffer on an AT or any big bore ADV bike. But tone it down a level and your AT should serve you well. Want to ride on the beach in the salt water? Go for it. Your bike will rust in less than an hour.

Anyway, I think you get the idea. Pack the spares you might want and for me that is an oil filter or two as well as an air filter and the ability to change them when needed. Check the bike regularly on the trip to try to stop any major issues from happening. Do this and you should meet with unbridled success. If, OTOH, you are one of those people who wants to cross a three foot deep mud bog cuz this bike should be able to do that, you won't get far. I know two types of riders, those that thrash their bikes, the bikes don't last long and that person would never complete an RTW. Then I know people like me who maintain their bikes properly, enjoy the rugged off-road "roads" that can be found on the way to Alaska and around the world but at the same time, don't expect to ride the bike on gnarly single track.

Enough said. Decide on your route, the spares you want to take and check your bike regularly. And remember people have ridden all manner of bikes around the world. It is up to you the rider to complete the journey, the bike won't make or break you. Everywhere you'll go you'll find people who live in the region who drive cars, ride motorcycles and they all get where they are going just fine. I think the real challenge won't be bike setup, but managing the long marathon where you are away from home for months at a time and may not speak the language. That is all part of the journey but I suspect most people find mental and physical fatigue as bigger issues than choosing the wrong bike.

Enjoy your RTW!

NC
 

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Think when I eventually go on a RTW trip I will go with you NumberCruncher! I will be looking up some of those books as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
that was a good read numbercruncher - thanks for the insight! its more to do with finding some decent protection for the bike, im using mosko moto reckless 80l system instead of panniers as i want to keep the weight down. think bash guard, taller screen and some decent suspensions tweeks should do the job, for anyone wandering - the route is uk to nordkapp, then back through europe to turkey - the stans - iran - india - aus - ship the bike to west coast america - alaksa - chille - brazil - ship from fortazelia - cape town - spain - home again! 2 years! on my larry!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
that was a good read numbercruncher - thanks for the insight! its more to do with finding some decent protection for the bike, im using mosko moto reckless 80l system instead of panniers as i want to keep the weight down. think bash guard, taller screen and some decent suspensions tweeks should do the job, for anyone wandering - the route is uk to nordkapp, then back through europe to turkey - the stans - iran - india - aus - ship the bike to west coast america - alaksa - chille - brazil - ship from fortazelia - cape town - spain - home again! 2 years! on my larry!
 

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I have just completed a 12000 km return trip from North Eastern Australia to the south west of Western Australia covering both gravel secondaries as wel as black top.
Whilst this does not constitute a RTW trip, it would be indicative of what you might expect.
My suggestion would be for the bike: better tyres (standard Dunlop’s won’t cut it), bash plate, engine bars, side stand expander ( a must), centre stand if doesn’t have one ( for tyre changing), Bark Busters, 12volt Power outlet capable of running a compressor NB the standard Honda dash Mount is fused a bit light for this so I have two, the one on the dash for my GPS, and have fitted on straight onto the battery wi 15 amp fuse for the compressor. Also rear rack and pannier racks. I recommend a Black Hawk seat cushion and a throttle lock ( I have a Go Cruise approx. $20)and a first aid kit.
For yourself, learn how to pick up your bike, and do a basic first aid course.
Good luck, enjoy the ride, a keep the rubber side down.
Travelling man
 

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I too have not gone RTW but have done long distance touring. My general suggestions include:


~ Get the suspension right for you and your load.
~ Great tires......Heidenau, Mefo or Motoz
~ Lower crash bars and a real skid plate
~ Strong pannier racks that will serve as both racks and rear crash bars. Tourtech and Happy Trail SU both have multiple frame mount points and they're strong.
~ Unless you're planning to do extensive off-road, I would go with hard cases. Several excellent options. Since you're in the UK, Metal Mule would be my choice.
~ Critical spares including tubes, fuses, etc.
~ I would highly recommend a very high quality suit and for RTW I would opt for a one piece. The Aerostich Roadcrafter or R3 are excellent quality. They'll protect and keep you dry. I also have Klim jackets and pants. They're great too, but for RTW, I would take my Aerostich gear. Their gear is not as pretty, but it is bulletproof.


I'd highly recommend that you pack lighter than you think and take a credit card. Ted Simon has written about how he over-packed for his first trip. When asked about the most important things he took with him he said things like some wire, tape, etc. Most pack way too many tools. Pack light, low and put some of it in tank panniers. I have Wolfman Tank Panniers....they work great.


Most importantly....pack several cartons of Marlboro's. When you're crossing borders they'll be light-weight gold. :grin2:
 

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that was a good read numbercruncher - thanks for the insight! its more to do with finding some decent protection for the bike, im using mosko moto reckless 80l system instead of panniers as i want to keep the weight down. think bash guard, taller screen and some decent suspensions tweeks should do the job, for anyone wandering - the route is uk to nordkapp, then back through europe to turkey - the stans - iran - india - aus - ship the bike to west coast america - alaksa - chille - brazil - ship from fortazelia - cape town - spain - home again! 2 years! on my larry!
Sounds awesome. In the picture thread someone posted an image of a French rider who was in Oregon. Sounds like that will be you in a year to two. If you get to Washington State, look me up via a PM, unless I am on an RTW myself.

So if you have good protection for the bike and beef up the suspension it sounds like you are prepared. The best advice someone one ADV rider gave to those who wanted to ride to Alaska (but it applies to any ADV trip) is to put a date on the calendar and make it happen. Way too many people wait for tomorrow and that never materializes. I am reminded of a line in a Tom Cruise movie, "Knight and Day." Somebody wanted to do something, "Someday." The Tom Cruise Character's response was, "Someday is dreamer's speak for it's never going to happen."

Glad you are making plans. Oh and bring a pretty good camera with you. Camera phones have a fixed focal length which spoils anything other than really wide shots. And digital zoom doesn't work. You need a little bit of an optical zoom. PM me when you are about to leave and I can make some recommendations. My current favorite non-SLR camera is the Canon Powershot G7XMKII. The sensor is way larger than on a cell phone and the optical zoom goes from the 35 mm equivalent of 24-100mm.

Now I am getting excited.

NC

Edit: It looks like I should upgrade my skid plate. What do people recommend for one that is better but not obnoxiously large and will mount with a center stand and Touratech crash bars.

I brought an REI first aid kit for my trip to Alaska but had to laugh out loud the first time I saw a Moose. If I hit a moose at 100 kph a tube of Neosporin won't do much good.
 

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I'm a little late to this party. I have not done a RTW, but the setup should be similar to any long distance adventure touring.

Definite skid plate, center stand and engine guards. Plus some sort of luggage setup. I have 75L total in my hard aluminum paniers, plus a waterproof 50L duffel from MEC as a tail bag and a 9L tank bag. It is more space than anyone should need! (Although I always seem to fill it up..) And all your tools and the ability to diagnose problems and fix them.
 
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