Well I am going to get moving here with a post about a recent trip to Baja California, Mexico on a motorcycle. What? Mexico? You are going to die! If you believe that then you also know we only have a two party political system. Come on sheeple, turn off mainstream media and the propaganda they are forcing down your pie hole. Sorry, small rant there.

Recommend the Baja atlas and E32 maps. Just remember if you purchase the maps for your gps it will take about 48 hours to get the download link. I procrastinated and waited too long so I was unable to eat the GPS download or the atlas in the mail. National Geographic also has decent adventure maps of Baja with gas stations labeled, these are the ones we used.

Prep the moto.

Oil change, fluids are topped off, chain is adjusted and the tires have plenty of tread left on them. If anything is suspect replace it. Hundreds of miles away from civilization in a desert is not the time to wish you had replaced the chain and hooked sprockets or the leaking final drive seal. The real step 1 is to get a bike. I am not going to get into the discussion of 'what is the best adventure touring bike'. There have been Holy Crusades, church excommunications and spawn removed from their inheritance because of views of the best bike. I will only say that this segment of motorcycles is exploding right now and the choices in America have never been better. One you “drink the Kool aide” you can never go back, I ride a 2005 KTM 950 Adventure. It is a big bike and, IMO, if your goal is difficult roads and single track join a supported tour or take a lighter bike and have a support vehicle.

Hydration Pack

Contents:

  • Rain shell
  • Maps
  • Toilet paper
  • Bladder

I used a 3L bladder in my pack. Every time you stop time is lost. Having fluids available while you are moving saves time and keeps you hydrated. I am not a fan of putting energy/electrolyte powders in bladders when running, biking, or hiking. They can leave an unsavory taste and when you are traveling for days the left over fluid promotes the growth of mold when exposed to the sun and heat. If you decide to sample local companionship this bacterial growth could help treat your ailments I guess.. Most places do not have toilet paper and if your bowels are acting up it is nice to have quick access and not have to unstrap a bag to get to it.

 

Right Pannier

Contents: left to right

  • Cable lock
  • Extra bungee cords
  • Siphoning tube
  • Camera
  • Tubes, even if your bike is tubeless it helps to have tubes in event of tire being sliced.
  • Extra energy bars and snacks*
  • Softshell*
  • Chain lube
  • Mineral oil for clutch
  • Funnel
  • MSR dromedary bag, a must!
  • Toiletry bag, not pictured, with the usual stuff in it.

My panniers are the KTM Gobi bags. Just before leaving the buckle on the left one started to fail. If I were to buy new bags I would spend the extra money and get Jessie bags or the aluminum KTM ones.

Left Pannier

Contents: Left to right

  • Light shoes, flip flops.
  • Inflatable sleeping pad, comfy and you don't feel the small undulations or rocks.
  • Emergency tarp. Use as shelter, tent footprint, etc.
  • Jetboil stove and fuel canister.
  • Collapsible bowl with interlocking spatula/knife and spork.
  • Poop shovel, bury your shit fool.
  • Very small camp towel.
  • Insulated cup with lid. Inside was a Multi-spice container in a baggie.
  • Book
  • Extra kitchen bags for trash and dirty clothes.
  • Knife
  • Matches
  • Solar shower
  • Large baggie contained freeze-dried meals, powdered milk, sugar, Starbucks via

I hate Starbucks but Via is the best coffee when space is a concern. The concentrates taste funky and 10 days of ground coffee takes up a lot of space. Not to mention the water needed to clean a French press. If you noticed I also tried to designate each pannier for a purpose. The right one was designated bike related and the left one food.

Dry Bag

Contents: left to right

  • Ortlieb dry bag
  • OR dry bag containing clean clothes*
  • Small Sea to Summit dry bag with socks and undies.
  • Sleeping bag with silk bag liner in compression sack.
  • Kelty Crestone 1 tent.
  • Crazy creek chair, works good without a pad in it.
  • Patagonia light weight puffy.
  • Extra dry bag*
  • Rev'it cayenne pro pants with rain liner*

 

Tank Bag

Contents:left to right

  • Compass
  • Beer coozy
  • First aide kit
  • Hat
  • KTM hard parts tank bag
  • Sunscreen
  • Food
  • Rain and cold weather gloves*
  • Pressure gauge
  • Batteries
  • Headlamp
  • String
  • Lenses for sunglasses
  • Extra earbuds and earpieces
  • Monocular
  • Also had small bag containing accessory charger for phone (wall and 12v)

 

Riding Gear

Items: left to right

  • Alpinestars Scout waterproof boots
  • Note pad
  • Firstgear Kilimanjaro jacket, older style
  • Zeus helmet, replacing after trip and not recommended.
  • Knee guards
  • Ventilated riding pants, pick from many manufacturers
  • Light riding gloves. These are light work gloves from Homedepot

 

All Loaded

Here is the bike all loaded down. Under the dry bag is a Roto-pax 2 gallon gas can. Before heading off road you should also install motor guards and replace/install a heavy-duty skid plate. Because we were planning on dirt roads my bike was shod with more dirt orientated tires. Front is Heidenau Scout and the rear is a Mefo Super Explorer.

* NOTE. Asterisk next to items are those not used or those that could be paired down. I could have brought less bars and extra clothes. My extra riding pants with a rain liner were never used and took up quite a bit of space. Rain covers for my riding pants would have taken less space and would have saved on weight. As with any outdoor pursuit, newer and lighter is always coming out. I have a Golite tent also but I would have to carry trekking poles so that was out.

You can also always add or modify your bike. My bike still has the stock front and rear springs. The front springs are too soft for unloaded touring and loaded down on dirt roads this was very apparent. I will be upgrading to heavier front and rear springs this winter from Slavens Racing, or having them rebuilt by him. I had him do the suspension on my KTM 300 and it is like crack rock, once you ride a bike with his work you can't go back.

Next will be day one.

 

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