Category Archives: Motorcycle

Essentials: Tool Kit

Every trip is different, every bike is different and every rider is different but everyone should have some sort of tool kit while they are riding.  Tool kits are a tricky thing because you want to be prepared but you don’t want to get ridiculous with the items you are bringing along when space is such a premium.  Some riders have condensed their tool kits down to just what can fit in the space beneath the seat while others have pounds worth of spares weighing down their rides.  It all comes down to what you think you need, what you are comfortable doing, how far off the beaten path you will be going and how much space and weight you have to spare.

Hopefully I will be adding a short video of my tool kit for this trip but in the meantime I have compiled a few resources I used to get a handle on what makes sense to take when bombing around on an adventure bike.  Pick and choose what works best for you and then get out there and test it.

First we have a great thread on ADVRider.com about a well stocked tool kit from hilslamer here.

I also really enjoyed watching videos of people walking through their kit because most of the time they also include the reasons why they did or did not bring certain items.

Rocky Mountain ADV put together a solid, well used kit here.

Wandering Beast has a video about tools specifically for the KLR but it is a great reference for getting ideas.

Once you get through all that you will have a solid start at building your own kit.  You can continue watching videos or just start and figure it out.  Ultimately, it isn’t an adventure if everything goes perfectly so have some fun and expect to be flexible.

Finally Off Road in the Honda CB500X

It has been just a little over a month since I first got the bike with the notion of being an adventure rider but today I finally got to ride on something other than asphalt. It was hard packed gravel and just as well manicured as any reasonable road. It did feel really good though to be expanding just a little bit.

As you can see in the video the environment was just gorgeous too which gave me a taste of what a real off road journey could feel like when the time comes. I cannot wait to start taking some longer trips into more landscapes like this.

Every Day I Ride

There is a big gap between where I am and where I need to be to complete the goals for Be Gone For Good.  I have big dreams but I am here with my feet on the ground trying to battle with the reality of my current situation.  The only way I can get better is to put in the work.

This is the thought too easily lost on most.  Lofty ideas and promises of future glory are simple to conjure up.  We do it all the time and with some of the most outlandish imaginary worlds.  It is only when the path to those riches is marked and we see the trials necessary to make our goals happen, do people back off.  When the realization hits them that success follows dedication and work long after the excitement has died.

Luckily, I am still very much in the beginning stages now so every moment on the bike is exhilarating and new.  I am breaking fresh ground with every minute under power.  I am learning at an amazing clip and I hope to continue doing so for many more weeks and months.

There will however come a time when it is just about grinding out the miles.  It will be about getting my body hardened for the long literal road ahead.  It is these moments where grit becomes vital.  I am no different from you.  You have this same grit.  You have this same resolve.  You just need to use it in an effort to bring your dreams to life.

Make the first steps in a bold way and follow the excitement in order to have the momentum to carry you through the muddy passes ahead.  You will find your passion increases as you put forth the work to achieve.  Start your own ride.

First Ride

The bike came home yesterday like a long remembered dream materializing directly in front of my eyes.  The excitement I felt manifested itself in a vibration in the joints of my fingers and a hand reaching through my belly button to squeeze and release my stomach like an Olympian’s grip strength exercise.

The mixture of elation and anxiety swirled in my head with each one threatening to overtake the other moment to moment.  My first ride began with a slow, deliberate dressing process as I donned more gear than would seem necessary for someone scared to go beyond 20mph.  I threw my leg over the bike the way every hero does in the cool biker movies and just like I had practiced in my mind a thousand times.  Once I was on the bike, I tried thinking about all the steps I need to get started and on the road.  It didn’t take long for me to familiarize myself with the bike.  Maybe it had something to do with the hundreds of videos detailing every inch of the bike I watched over the last two weeks.

My first ride felt like I was flying.  Moving, even at that speed, it is easy to lose the front wheel and the handlebars altogether and imagine, like Superman, you are driven by your own power.  It was exhilarating.