How can we prepare our motorcycle for an Adventouring/Discovering ride and what should we take with us? As the words indicate, we are going on an adventure, so we must be ready for anything and able to face the unexpected.
It goes without saying that if we are going on a Sunday ride near home we can travel lighter than on a trip that lasts a week or more, but we should be aware that glitches and accident can happen even at 5 km from home, the only difference is that it’s easier to solve them and “only” a “minor” ride is ruined.
For those who use a dual bike every day, the first thing to do is to modify ergonomics to make it suitable for off-road, i.e. riding in the standing position. This will involve modifying the position of all levers (brake, clutch and shift) changing their angle for easy use when riding in a position different from the sitting one; furthermore, motorcycle boots are much thicker than every day footwear, and your foot wouldn’t easily fit under the shift lever.
Once the levers are adjusted, tighten the screws leaving the ones on the handlebars slightly loose so that in case of falls the clutch and brake handlebar clamps can rotate without braking thus ending your ride. Obviously, the levers should rotate only if hit hard!
After the levers, check tire pressure. To have more traction riding off-road the tires should be deflated but the more you deflate the more you risk pinching the inner tube or bending the rims if using tubeless tires; except for very special cases, the pressure should never be belowthan 1.5 bar for heavy bikes (two-cylinder) and 1.2 bar for lighter dual bikes.
Deflating below these values would be very useful riding off-road but the risk of having flats increases, besides being useless and dangerous on transfers on paved roads.
After pressure, check the chain tension (for the bikes that have it), liquids levels (water andoil of engine, brakes and clutch), and, if the ride lasts several days, it’s good practice to check brake pads too. Now the bike is ready to roll, we only need to pack it up, but what to take?
Besides “plainclothes” to use off the bike and, if needed, a fleece jacket to be worn under the riding jacket in middle seasons or when wide temperature variations are expected, we need to pack a number of tools to solve any glitches that may occur.
The following is the list of things I usually pack: