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2006 Burgman 400 - Silver - 8600 miles - and climbing !
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to outfit for my first regional tour - a 600 mile ride to Destin Florida from E Texas.

I want to add a set of universal saddlebags the kind that have a connector over the rear passenger seat, and am wondering if once loaded they make the underseat trunk area inaccessible ?

I've also wondered if that's so why not just throw a weatherproof bag and bungee it on the passenger seat ?

My goal isn't to camp multiple nights but to spend at most 1 night (can hotel) and spread the 600 miles over 2 days.

This is all new to me, have travelled tons in cars trucks SUVs but have
NEVER even done a long distance Hiway Cross Country trip.

I'm supposed to leave in about 6 days so gotta decide & order stuff Prime to meet my deadline.

Appreciate any & all suggestions !

David
 

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==> Regarding the use of the underseat storage vis-a-vis soft saddlebags, take a look at this pic I posted a couple of days ago:


You can see that the bags are tied to the passenger grab rails, in addition to being attached to each other, in this case underneath the seat. So, no, in this case, no major interference with opening the seat. Of course, this was on a 650, and you have a 400 -- right? -- and I'm not really familiar with those scoots.

But it's certainly possible, depending on how you configure additional ROK straps, etc., that you might have to do more than slide the saddlebags forward, to get under the seat. It's just part of motorcycle touring.

==> That trip -- the post above -- was a week-long two-up trip. Otherwise, e.g., my solo trips of a week or so, I much prefer across-the-back seat bags. Lower center of gravity, don't have to worry about hitting the exhaust, easier to secure in place, etc., etc.

As I wrote in this newbie-traveling post a couple of days ago ...


... I have high regard for the Rider Warehouse/Aerostitch MotoFizz Medium bag:


Mine was 15 years old, and after 13 or 14 years a snap broke through the fabric, and there were some other minor issues. As I wrote, I tried to get a new one for an upcoming trip, but they're back-ordered, so that leaves your trip out. Incidentally, this bag was so practical that I took it on several car or plane trips, i.e., not as motorcycle luggage.

Barring that, and after hours of research, I did get a similar Saddleman bag:


This came two days ago, and I put it on my new 400 Beemer, and cut off extra strap lengths (and did the cigarette lighter trick on the new ends). And it looks to be a nice replacement.

That took three days from order to delivery, by the way, from Revzilla. Their main store is in Philadelphia (been there), but I'm not sure if their warehouse is there. A year or two ago, they bought up Cycle Gear, so if there's a CG store near you, that might help you out (and they, too, have a lot of luggage there, if you don't like that one). Here's a way to look at gobs of luggage at Revzilla, for instance:


Oh, yeah, the strap-across-the-pasenger-seat luggage will need to be unhooked to get to the underseat area. So don't put your water bottles and snack bars under the seat, or be prepared to spend an extra minute to unhook the bag and then reattach it.

==> Both the MotoFizz and the TR3300DE come with throw-over rain covers, although I've never used the one for the MotoFizz -- both of these are pretty water-resistant without even using the covers. However, if you're looking for truly waterproof luggage, well, that's really not my field, but I do read a lot.

For instance, two days ago Motorcycle.com had a reasonably comprehensive review of Wolfman waterproof (i.e., no covers needed) luggage:


This is similar to offerings from a fair number of companies. One of the big players, for instance, in waterproof hiking and motorcycle gear is Kriega. Take a look at this page, for example:


Unfortunately, I know from having browsed through a few of those pics/links while I was doing my research for the Saddleman, I noticed that a lot of luggage -- Kriega and others, and the MotoFizz -- are not in stock. Probably one more supply-chain issue.

In any case, I prefer more rugged, if less submersible, luggage than the dry-sack type of thing. The former can stand up to light rain, or heavy rain by adding a cover; the latter are easier to rip, generally hold less, but may be better if you're going off-road, fording streams, etc.

==> I'm not sure why you'd need any of these for an overnight trip. As I posted yesterday ...


... I did 300 miles, and I wasn't even going anywhere. So I didn't use any luggage.

But okay, you want a fresh set of clothes, and maybe a tire pump, etc. My recommendation is to add a topcase, if you don't have one. Between a topcase and underseat storage -- I imagine the 400 has decent space there, even if the Gen I 650s have more -- you should be good to go, for a few days. And a topcase is lockable and rainproof, too.

In any event, that's my take on some of your questions.
 

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2022 Matte Deep Blue Kymco AK 550
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500-600+ miles is a trip I have taken on both my Burgman and my AK a few times. I go the dry bag route. I do camp half way on those longer trips and also at the end destination but I pass by many motels. I use more than one dry bag. One is for my clothes and misc stuff. And another for my tent. And another for my extra riding gear and rain suit. I keep tools and food and cooking gear under the seat.
This is how I pack bike ready for a 600+ one way trip (2 days to get there). Took that trip last May and will do another similar distance in September.
Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Motor vehicle


If you don't tent camp or don't cook your own meals you won't need this many dry bags and more will fit under the seat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Awesomely detailed replies Gentlemen TY !

So much I'll boot the PC to read it all !

Quick Q: what about "dress for road trip" I'm meaning it's roiling hot in sun so how do we ride in this Southern heat yet stay cool & not Sun crispy, while having a minimum of road rash protection ?

I'm such a dang newbie at this I scare myself but I think: there is no time like now - jump in but ask advice lol.

Even a simple thing like: how do we mount a water bottle on bike for easy access.

In my car I keep a half gallon jug on seat next to me.
 

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I do wear all the gear even when temps get up over 100F. Like I did a few days ago when the temp was 102F. Carry lots of water and stop often to drink it. You will loose lots of water riding in the heat.
A BMW rider/engineer (I think) did some research many years ago and what he wrote has stuck with me. The air layer at your skin is 93F. If the air passing over your skin is cooler than that then heat is drawn away. Your body is designed for this to happen since it continually generates more heat. BUT if the air passing over your skin is warmer than 93F then heat is ADDED to your body. Plus your body continues to generate heat as well. See where this is going.

There needs to be some way to cool your skin but also protect it from direct air blowing over it at motorcycle/scooter speeds. The faster warmer air blows over your skin the faster heat is added to your body, and to your core temp. It's all about transfer of heat. Heat always always ALWAYS transfers from warmer to cooler regions, even if those cooler regions are only 93F. So I wear my gear to slow the air flow over my skin. Yet vents to control some air flow are important. To get the cooling effect in extreme heat get your shirt wet with some of that water you carry. Evaporation will happen that will act like natural air conditioning. Personally experienced that several times. Even got chills while the air temp outside was around 100F. In the southern states with humidity so high the evaporation doesn't happen as fast or efficiently but it does still happen. Ever hear of swamp coolers. Same thing. Cooling by evaporation. Another option is what are called evaporative cooling vests that you dunk in water and they hold more water longer as it evaporates and cools you. And yet another option is another vest called a phase change cooling vest. These cost more but cool by chemical action that changes the phase of the substance. Kind of like how ice changes from solid to liquid... and will cool while it does that. Disney and Universal parks in Orlando uses these for some of the characters to stay in costume and not die of the heat.

But leave your skin exposed to the air flow and the sun while riding through the air making for a faster air flow over your skin at high temps is just asking for heat stroke faster than if you wore that jacket even without being wet under it.

Oh, as to how to carry that water bottle... or bottles. When I travel I usually keep 2 large water bottles in the same dry bag where I keep my rain suit. I keep that bag easy to get to. Some like to fix some kind of "cup holder" or bottle holder hanging from the dash but I'm fine with it being in that dry bag. I prefer to stop and get off the bike to take a drink. A good practice anyway.
 

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I guess I missed the point about having "easy access" to the under seat storage. When I pack my dry bags I make sure to only pack stuff under the seat that I don't usually need to get to in a hurry. That stuff goes in a dry bag that is packed on top.
 

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When traveling on the bike, I wear/pack this type shirt and these pants. Over the shirt I wear a cooling vest and over that my mesh armor riding jacket. I keep a T-shirt handy so when I stop at a restaurant or store I put the t-shirt over the nylon shirt so my nips don't show. The nylon shirt and pants can by washed in the motel sink, hung up and will be dry by morning so I only need about 3 each for a week trip. They also roll up tight and don't wrinkle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
When traveling on the bike, I wear/pack this type shirt and these pants. Over the shirt I wear a cooling vest and over that my mesh armor riding jacket. I keep a T-shirt handy so when I stop at a restaurant or store I put the t-shirt over the nylon shirt so my nips don't show. The nylon shirt and pants can by washed in the motel sink, hung up and will be dry by morning so I only need about 3 each for a week trip. They also roll up tight and don't wrinkle.
Ok, so the mesh armor riding jacket has protection for critical areas but lets air flow thru ?

The Magellan shirt & pants look good and would probably be cool even in hot summer.

How about gloves ? Almost forgot about those....

TY - David
 

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David (@BackOnABikeAfter40years!), let me just reiterate part of my earlier post #2, this time with pics.

Bob (@rjs987, post #3) is perhaps the most hardcore rider among us. I mean, he rides in temps that I might consider too cold to even drive in. And his camping-prep pic is certainly informative for other campers and camper-wannabes. It is certainly something that such folks can aspire to.

In terms of your original post, however, since:
  • You're new to multi-day touring ...
  • You won't be camping on this trip ...
  • And you'll be staying only one night ...
Bob's camping pic is not appropriate in this case.

I continue to recommend a pillion bag for your needs. Slung crosswise, it has a nice low center of gravity, so will have no noticeable effect on handling. And is easy to securely attach, and easy to remove. And is sufficiently rain-resistant, if not submersible. And unlike, say, throw-over saddlebags does not require very careful fastening (lest they separate, or touch the exhaust) and probably has more room, anyway.

Here is a double dose of Medium MotoFizz bags, during a ride in 2009 with my buddy (whose black Exec I bought years later, after selling my red one), on our way from Albany, NY, to Indy, to watch the MotoGP races:
Tire Wheel Cloud Vehicle Sky


Another double dose from 2013, when we were riding to the MotoGP races in Austin. Okay, there is already plenty of storage on his sport-tourer and my bagger, but it's easier to have clothes and toiletries and suchlike in a luggage bag, so you can just carry it into a motel, as opposed to stuffing clothes, etc., in hard saddlebags. This was at the Barber Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham, AL, the only planned stopover of the trip, because I wanted to spend half a day there (not enough time, though). The trip was, as I recall, four days down from Albany, three days there, and four days back, with more than enough storage:
Cloud Tire Wheel Sky Automotive tire


The MotoFizz bags are cleverly designed, with features such as outside elastic straps on top (e.g., you might want to tighten down rain pants there, when not in use), an outside bottle holder sack with drawstring, and so forth. But backordered is backordered.

However, the Saddleman case I cited looks very good, too. I have a trip from Albany to Asheville, NC, with a total out-and-back duration of about a week and a half, in the on-deck circle; I'm just waiting for a decent week's weather forecast.

Here are a few shots of my new TR3300DE, test-fitted on my C 400 GT. Okay, there's a topcase, too, as I also recommended; especially nice to be able to lock away a helmet during lunch stops when touring, as opposed to carrying into a lunch counter. This particular topcase is BMW's OEM case, and isn't actually all that large. That new bag has a capacity of about 54 liters (the 3,300 cubic inches part of the name), vs. about 52 for the Medium MotoFizz. So if I can do a week or two with that storage, it will certainly take care of one night for you, and be ready for future longer trips.

From the back of the scoot, where you can see that I'm using two of the many D-rings on the bag, and two of the four attachment straps (the excess of which I cut off) provided;
Tire Automotive parking light Wheel Fuel tank Plant


Close-up of one side. Those are squeeze-to-release buckles, so you can get this off the bike in a few seconds:
Automotive tire Hood Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Vehicle door


Here's a view from the front, looking back. I have the shoulder strap attached to D-rings that I wouldn't use if I were actually carrying the bag -- it's meant to go on upper D-rings for that purpose -- but here I'm using it as an under-the-seat backup mechanism, were either of the two straps out back to fail. Note that if I didn't have a topcase, I would have attached the other two included straps to those D-rings, and secured the front of the bag the way I have secured the back of the bag. In any event, removal is, let's say, a four-second process, i.e., two seconds each to squeeze two buckles:
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive design Fender Automotive exterior


For your gear, yep, always wear a jacket, and a mesh one will do nicely in the heat of the southern summer. It's cooler than a T-shirt, which puts your skin exposed to the sun. And for the life of me, I don't know why some companies sell black mesh jackets. And you should be able to find reviews of cooling vests and that sort of thing. And like @rjs987, I prefer not to use cup-holders or camel-back pouches and so forth, and just stop and stretch, and have some Gatorade, at least once an hour.

Oh, by the way, I found years ago -- and there's a lot of articles on this, too -- that ear plugs not only save your hearing, but leave you less tired out at the end of the day. That droning wind noise really will get to you eventually, especially if the whole day's ride is on a superslab. Me, I wear custom-molded silicone plugs from my hearing-aid office, used custom-molded but lesser plugs from motorcycle shows for many years before that, but any plugs -- disposable or reuseable -- are better than nothing.
 

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@BackOnABikeAfter40years!

And what @wspollack said about not camping is why I put that last sentence in my post 3 above. When I rode my Burgman to the dealer 400+ miles away to buy my AK and then rode the AK back home I stayed overnight half way in a motel. Since that was a 2 day trip with a motel stay and no camping or cooking I didn't need nearly the stuff I showed in the photo I posted above. My pack looked like this for that trip. Just a single change of clothes for the second day and there were scooter parts I bought at the dealer for future maintenance that filled the storage box under the seat. If I was planning to be out longer I would have packed one or two more changes of clothes (shirt and under garments only since pants can last the entire trip and motels have laundry facilities). So a slightly larger dry bag would be used. But only slightly since clothes pack small. This particular bag fit in the under seat storage in my Burgman riding down there since I didn't have the maintenance parts to fill that space yet.
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Plant Automotive lighting


As to gloves. I used to wear summer mc specific gloves. Sometimes they were mesh, sometimes perforated leather. Those didn't have any hard armor but did have thicker leather layers where it counts. Currently I am wearing these Alpinestars Copper gloves that do have a hard armor plate over the knuckles and are also a dense mesh on the back as well as thick leather layers on the palm. They keep my hands cool yet protected while riding in the heat. I don't recall them costing as much as they are now when I bought them but then my memory is not what it used to be. I think I searched on Google Shopping to get a better price.
https://a.co/d/fkgM1Fq

BTW- in that photo here those are my Tour Master Polar-Tex gloves since that ride from the dealer was while the daily high temp those two days was around 55F. So the stock heated grips were nice when starting out when the temp was closer to 45F in the morning and the temp warmed up during the day to that 55-56F.
 

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When Marilyns Prince made his road trip from Redding CA to Fairbanks Alaska on his 650 he did camp every night in big camp grounds. He packed everything including a Tent Cot. He did about 8,000 miles in two weeks. Car tire on the rear. His gear was about 150 pounds.
Wheel Tire Vehicle Automotive tire Light
 

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Ok, so the mesh armor riding jacket has protection for critical areas but lets air flow thru ?

The Magellan shirt & pants look good and would probably be cool even in hot summer.

How about gloves ? Almost forgot about those....

TY - David
I thought gloves along with a helmet were a given. The mesh in the jacket let's the air through, but not so much that the vest dries out too fast. You can get short sleeve shirts like that, but I hate the feel of sun screen and have stained many a shirt with it, so I found a solid sun screen for my face cheeks, nose and back of the neck and the long sleeves to be good. I need to come up with a solution to keep the arms damp for the evaporative cooling effect and to help shield the tops from direct sun light heating them up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Fabulous info & advice guys.

I'm reading every post & making notes.

Just shopped Academy for that SPF 50 Fishing long sleeve & pants.

YES they keep sun at bay & wick sweat away !

I have a 50L mcycle dry bag on order, that's easier as you say versus saddlebags.

I'll refine gear as I go & needs are clarified.

I DO need gloves before departure.

Ironically I'M SURE Destin Florida has some serious Cycle outfitters vs our almost total lack thereof in East Texas
.
So, I'll shop there, Lord willin, next week.

Keep the ideas coming....

David in Texas
 

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ScootinKev:

Can you describe the cooling vest ?

TY David
That would likely be what I was describing in my post 5 above. Evaporative cooling vest. Most who use those carry a large, maybe 2 gal or 4 gal, ZipLock bag to "charge" the vest by putting the vest and several quarts of water into the bag and letting that soak for 15 mins. Then you're set for another few hours of cooling. Oh, and you do want to wear at least a common T-shirt under the cooling vest. Not so good for that to be right on the skin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok got makes sense.

I had not seen those before.

But boy dehydration happens Q U I C K L Y
on a road cycle....I'd never ridden as hot as just today...I'm blasted.

To be fair I played Pickleball (tennis / ping pong / racquetball combo) hard for 3 hours both after my 45 min ride, then rode back 45 min.

But I will drink 2 gal today to recover.

My daily intake is about 1 gal + 1 quart.

Do you find wearing this vest minimizes how much / many hydration stops you make while touring ?

Sorry for the zillion questions...

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
On punctures / flats, can anyone say is the preferred method of reinflation to use a 12v inflator plugged into the glovebox 12v outlet ?

After pulling nail etc & plugging hole with available means ?

And:

Is tire normally undamaged in the few seconds it takes to pull over ?

I've had car flats but not on a motorcycle.
 

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Do you find wearing this vest minimizes how much / many hydration stops you make while touring ?
keep in mind those vests aren't very effective in high humidity.
On punctures / flats, can anyone say is the preferred method of reinflation to use a 12v inflator plugged into the glovebox 12v outlet ?
if you have an SAE connector on your battery, IMO, is better than pulling the current through the ignition switch. YMMV
Is tire normally undamaged in the few seconds it takes to pull over ?
if you feel/realize it in time. only motorpickling flat I've experienced, was at relatively 'low' speed. turned a corner and it felt odd as I accelerated. let up on the throttle and leaned back and forth a little and could feel the rear 'wallowing'. pulled over very quickly and plugged the leak.
 
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