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ZAMM Fanatic
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Seems like what you MUST CARRY on your motorcycle depends on how far you're going.

Cross country, ya gotta have tools, tire kit, etc.

Cross town ya GOTTA carry yer leather jacket.

Somewhere imbetween you need rain gear.

So with my Concours, it's always....bags on? bags off?

I prefer riding, and swinging my leg over WITHOUT the saddlebags cause realistically I'm an inch or so shorter than a rider of this bike SHOULD be.

So bags off, I always carry a cargo net for groceries, thrift store finds, fold the jacket under if it gets too hot...

And the tools, mini-compressor, rain gear generally get left at home.

The Vespa, with it's top box and big underseat storage, I always have room for rain gear. I even carry a bottle of real maple syrup for those stops at Waffle House, lol.

The glovebox on the Concours is worthless, someone on a Kawasaki forum measured it at over 125 degrees which will quickly shut down an Iphone. In fact, the only KNOWN use for the Concours "hot box" is to pick up a flank steak, marinate it or apply a rub, wrap in foil, and put it in the Connie's glovebox for two tanks of gas and then you've got a good lunch.

(They moved it away from engine heat in 2010+ models)

But it would be nice to have a glovebox that could actually accommodate a set of gloves, sunglasses, have a charging/USB port, put your cellie in there to charge while headed down the road.

The old Honda Elite 250 scooter I rode for over a decade, with the rectangular (not square) milk crate FIRMLY BOLTED on the back, well, I could haul ANYTHING on it, up to and including TWO 12packs of Dr. Pepper AND a gallon of milk...with bags of groceries stacked on top. it was the pickup truck of scooters. Mule.

But it was so doggone reliable I never hauled tools, and only ran around town, kept a thin rain shell in her "glove box."

Motorcycle AND scooter manufacturers, aside from baggers/panniers, just seem to ignore the fact that when we ride we haul stuff with us. (Vespa DOES include a convenient hook for plastic or recyclable grocery bags)

Is adding some simple storage space, maybe a fold-out wire-rack, decent hooks for a cargo net (like on the older Ninjas), so much to ask?

With the saddlebags in place the Concours offers next to ZERO usable places to put cargo hooks.

IMHO bike mfr's are too worried about making their bikes"look cool" and not nearly enough about practicality.
 

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Just adding a few discreet hooks where bungee cords could be attached would be a blessing, but my last few bikes have all had saddle bags which I never take off, and this solves most of the gear issues. I find that the amount of stuff I routinely have with me starts to add up to a sizable amount, the bulkiest of which is two rainsuits (I often ride two-up with my wife). Even in a "compression bag" the two suits take up the bulk of one large saddlebag. A small vinyl bag with all the other essential gear fills up about half the other saddle bag. So I recently added a small "barrel" bag on my handlebars, tucked down by the lower part of the windscreen, as well as a small luggage rack with a small tail bag). I use the detachable tail bag as my off-bike carry bag for my personal gear, like my phone, sunglasses, as well as GPS and I-pass that I never leave unattended on my bike.

Even with the two good sized saddle bags, and the other storage areas I've mentioned, even a weekend getaway requires me to remove the tail bag and attach a much larger piece of luggage. For longer than a weekend, I would need to leave my wife behind so that I could add yet another soft luggage item on the passenger seat. Sometimes I think that I should have bought a real touring bike instead of a bagger but the reality is that 99% of my riding is for no more than an overnight or day trip.
 

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On a sportbike while touring here! I built my own template to hold two hard saddlebags in the rear and cross the rear seat and rear deck to hold a soft travel bag. I think every bike should have access to panniers!

If you just need the necessities find a way to bring the tools you put the bike together with. The emergency kits usually won't untighten a bolt you torqued over-spec with your torque wrench :).
 

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Justa anutta Human......
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728 Posts
Right saddle carrys rain gear n some tools, chain lube, n a few other items....
Left side is for camera stuff n lunch...n....what every else i can get in there for the day.
Have a smaller river duffle to put across saddles if i need more stuff....
Also can wear a light backpack if needed, but it has to be quite light so it don't bother my screwed shoulder.....
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Eating GSXRs, Sh***ing CBRs
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On the bobber, I carry just enough tools to replace/fix the throttle cable because I've gone through 3 of them in 2 years. I also carry a quality 5mm allen wrench because I could possibly disassemble 50% of the bike with that tool alone :D. I don't carry much on the Ninja but I'd like to find a very small 1/4" ratchet set with a wide range of sockets to keep under the seat.
 

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The 43rd Poser
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440 Posts
I carry a full tool kit, could damn near take the bike to nuts and bolts on the side of the road.

A full first aid kit, including a full pocket mask and alergy / cold medicines.. and Imodium.

Rain gear, chaps, extra gloves, extra jacket... bugslide and a few microfibers, electronic device chargers...



 

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Troublemaker
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I have the standard Victory tool kit, a 6mm allen wrench on one end and a phillips screwdriver on the other. I also carry a cell phone for more extensive or emergency repairs. On long trips there are tire plugs and a small compressor.
 

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I was going to comment on your post, but I decided that I am probably not the best qualified to offer advice ... Enjoy! (Yes, I tow a trailer)

 

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Wow!

What is up with Anna? She trying to sneak into your tent for a little bow chicka bow wow? :coffeescreen:
Actually, I believe she was an ax murderess.

I pulled into a campground and the ranger assigned me a space. I rode to look at the space and there was a car parked in it. I returned to the ranger and said someone was already there. He told me to go back and tell them to leave, since the space was rented to ME.

So I returned and waited for the car owner to return. When he got back with his girlfriend a short time later, I told them that they had to leave, since I had paid for this space. They were just walking around the campground.

NEXT TO ME, in the space to my left, was "Anna." I first saw her as I backed my bike and trailer into the parking space. She was on the road in front of me, standing there, perfectly still, with her head cocked steeply to one side. She just STARED at me without a smile.

I turned off the radio and shut the bike down. She walked toward me in several quick steps and stopped abruptly. "Why are you following me?", she asked. I was puzzled by the question. "You came here and made those people leave so you could camp next to me."

I told her that the ranger gave me this spot and her being camped in the next space had nothing to do with it.

Then she looked at me with a face that would make Jack Nicholson shudder and said, "You're one of the bad people, aren't you!"

I told her to return to her own campsite and we would just be neighbors for the night. Looking at her car, it was obvious that she was living out of it.

So it came time to take a shower. I grabbed my bag and walked off in the direction I THOUGHT the showers were located, but I was turned around in the park. As I left she was RIGHT THERE. "Where are you going?!" she demanded. I held up the bag of toiletries and the towel, and gave her a "Duh!" look and walked away.

Several minutes later, I returned to my site, not having found the showers. She said, "You lied to me. You said you were going to take a shower, but the showers are in that direction!" (pointing in the opposite direction of my initial attempt.) "What were you REALLY doing for all that time?"

I told her I got lost and thanked her for pointing me to the showers.

The showers were a brick building with metal doors, a small light inside of each shower stall and a coin meter for the HOT water. Damn! no quarters. Back to the campsite to get quarters from my toll booth cup.

"You're back again, and you still haven't showered. They sent you to watch me, didn't they?!"

"No ... I needed quarters for the shower. Have a nice night."

I returned to the showers and thought about it. Only ONE of the doors LOCKED, but there was no window and no light in that shower stall. I pulled out my Harbor Freight Tools LED flashlight and pointed it at the ceiling. After my eyes adjusted, I could see well enough to shower. I locked the door and put coins into the meter. The water was SCREAMING hot! No way to add cold water to it, so I stood off to the side of the steam blast and spritzed and soaped,and rinsed as best I could.

When I returned to the campsite, Anna was standing at the entrance to my tent. "Are you clean now!?" she barked. I told her that I had absolutely no interest in her, or who she was, or why she was there, and it would be best if we both just crawled into out tents and went to sleep. Her face ... I cannot describe it. Pure EVIL.

I went to the ranger station and reported the psychopath in the campsite next to me. He promised to drive by "once or twice" during the night.

I laid in the tent with my loaded Glock 27 right next to my pillow all night. I hung a couple of aluminum cans on a string inside the door, to warn me if it was disturbed. I barely slept that night, wondering if Anna would burst into my tent with a butcher knife screaming, "I ... DON'T ... TAKE ... REJECTION .... WELL!!!"

In the morning, she was standing there at the road in front of my space, staring at my tent. I broke camp, never taking my eyes off of her, and pulled out. I purchased those two battery operated proximity alarms later that day.
 

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Gone.
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I was going to comment on your post, but I decided that I am probably not the best qualified to offer advice ... Enjoy! (Yes, I tow a trailer)

I usually carry a cell phone somewhere in a saddle bag, a charging cord that hooks to the battery, and a little flashlight in the windshield pouch.

I'm not sure what most of that other stuff is, so I guess I don't need it.:)
 

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Troublemaker
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I just took my saddlebags off last night, decided I was carrying too much stuff I never needed. It's back to biking, if I need a screwdriver, I'll just call the towing company and have a nice ride to a shop somewhere.
 

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I MAY ride to CommieFornia in September once again, to support a friend who is riding the coast to raise money for a charity.

I will STRIVE to go without my trailer. This will be difficult, as I tend to pack "Boy Scout Style" (Be Prepared!) and heading across the country with only what fits into my Wing's three tiny compartments will be a real challenge.

I thought about mailing a box ahead with "stuff" knowing it would be there when I arrive, and then mailing it back home again. That may be my best option.
 

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Gone.
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Break free from your bonds, Joe. C'mon my man, you can do it! Get out and enjoy the freedom of the road, unfettered by all the impedimenta of every day life. :71baldboy:

I made it to within a day's ride of LA from Daytona and back this year, (a little over 6k miles,) with just the cell phone, charger, and flashlight I mentioned above. And clothes too, of course.

You don't need all that electronic stuff, Joe! (I did kinda like the perimeter alarm though.) Okay, so you spend a few weeks on the road, and you're not posting on the 'net, and you're not documenting every thing you do, and you're not answering e-mail in your tent at night...so what? That's the point!

Freedom, Joe. It's whispering in your ear. It's calling you. Hear it? It's saying, "Joe, Joe! Leave the Asian made crap behind (other then your bike, of course,) and come ride! Ride with me! Soar with the Eagle! Roll across this great country of ours with your feet on steel stirrups, your butt on a leather saddle and your face in the wind and towards the light. Let your heart be on fire and your soul be at peace." :biggrin:

(Okay sure, some people think that Freedom call's and says, "Be safe! Don't take chances! Stay in touch! Stay connected!" Pfft. Whatever.)
 
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