Fruit of research, advice, reflections, interesting discoveries, this page could be useful to others. My choices are not yet definite.
Touratech sponsors me for bike, biker’s and camping equipment.
A semi-rugged dust-resistant notebook with a good screen for outside will be an important tool. It will need integrated 3G in order to avoid having something sticking out that could break, a back-lit keyboard for typing in environments with poor or no lighting and a solid state hard disk.
– Dell, offers two models: either the DELL ATG E Latitude E6430 or the XFR E6420. See the comparative video.
– The website ruggednotebooks offers a semi-rugged model. No need to take military grade equipement that has been tested on the war front weighing 25 kgs. It has also to be taken into account that in some countries, military grade equipment will be looked at suspiciously. Travellers are known to have sometimes landed in jail because of the suspicion of their being spies.
– Review of the top ten rugged laptops.
– Article on rugged laptops.
– Another alternative is to purchase a cheap laptop plan to replace it and have it sent whenever needed.
– Reinforced bags for computers: Bobblbee
– SONIM XP 6650 Bolt telephone, near indestructible (you can find on Youtube videos of such phones grilled on BBQ or hit with an axe, thrown from a building or driven upon… and that continue working) or Samsung Galaxy XCover S5690.Purchasing the Sonim on the web
– Dealer of rugged telephones with details and prices.
– SPOT tracking device with satellite messaging (with yearly subscription)
The ideal is “tropicalised” cameras that are resistant to dust and water. Sharing one’s experience is essential to a blog. According to adventure photographers, ideally, one would need a good camera plus a small compact one to slip in one’s pocket for discrete passing images and one on-board camera fixed on the helmet or the bike. (Some countries will not appreciate.)
– Amongs compact hybrids, the best seems to be the Olympus E-M5 with interchangeable lens.
– Among the on-board cameras, there is of course the GoPro Hero series which are bulky, but also the Drift HD Ghost, Contour 2+, Sony Action-Cam, CamSports Evo Pro and others like the TG Magic Cam.
– Compacts (research in progress). The Sony RX-100 is not rugged but is a tiny wonder.
The OEM aluminium luggage of the GS Adventure is a bit thin and warps easily. The support frame is bolted on flattened tubes. It does not look very solid. One might consider a luggage system with more resistant support, but not that strong that in case of a fall, the motorcycle chassis would be affected.
– Metal Mule (UK) is of high quality, 1575 € for left and right suitcases and the support. The metal is 2mm thick.
– A german craftsman manufactures luggage system for motorbikes which looks super strong, is 2mm thick. Its prices are very reasonable, i.e. 400 € for both cases with locks and supports.
– Därr in Munich also manufactures aluminium luggage, cheaper still. It does look less solid than the previous one though and is 1,2 mm thick.
– As alternative to metal, there is the super solid plastic of Caribou. It seems effectively heavy duty but with limited capacity.
– Another possible alternative is soft luggage. No problem with losing shape but difficult to protect against theft. Kriega Overlander 60
100% water, dust and sandproof packs. Constructed from double-stitched 1000D Cordura with reinforced sides and twin straps, which compress the load, whatever the terrain. 60L of storage (4 x 15L, 2 per side). Soft packs are the ultimate solution for extreme off road riding, with adjustable pack size and their flexibility on impact. Virtually indestructable CNC machined CDPE platforms, accept Overlander bags or Rotopax fuel/water containers. Overlander-60 comprises: 2 x ADV. platforms, 4 x 15L packs and all mounting hardware to connect to 18mm pannier frames (Touratech, KTM PowerParts, Metal Mule). Ultra-secure cam levers mount to frames with quick release for when the going gets really tough. $795.00
Giantloop: waterproof luggages
Tool box to fit between the frame and the pannier
– For the adventure biker, the luxury is the tent for bike and biker, which allows to work on one’s bike under protection, to un/load it away from rain, dust or curiosity etc. In Europe, the Mototent by LoneRider is becoming known and has recently been improved. Some will find it close to the Redverz by Kevin Muggleton which has some minor differences in accessories and options. In the end, these tents correspond to the tunnel types that are sold by in retail, but with practical differences for bikers, which justifies their higher price.
– Another tent (cheaper) for bike and biker: Bikertent
– What an adventurer advises on camping equipment
– Forum dedicated to camping on motorcycle
– Khyam – tent website
– In search engines, look for “ultralight camping“.
– Ultra light table and chairs: Helinox
– Light camping chair Rei
– Plan to take a hammock? Useful for naps, endless waiting or others…
BMW MOTO SPARE PARTS
– Arai Tour x4 (500 €)
– Shoei Hornet DS (400 €)
– MX Tourer – Suomy (410 €)
– BMW Enduro (390 €)
– AIRFLAPS: If you are riding with an enduro helmet and goggles, a very practical invention maintains the goggles lifted from the face to create a new airflow. Created by Stéphane, a biker (50 €)
The ideal boots are the best of off-road / adventure that are protective but also comfortable to walk with and visit sites. Boots with sewns soles can have their soles renewed. Ideally they should be waterproof and breathable.
– Forma adventure boot (more rigid sole better for standing on pegs, wide fit, glued sole, Drytex), 180 €. (The Forma Boulder are not waterproof.)
– Gaerne balance oiled drytech boots (the best for walking, with large feet and sewn sole), 252 €. (The Gaerne Explorers et Pro Tech are not waterproof.)
– Dainese Carroarmato Goretex (broad feet watch out; too rigid? ; glued soles)
– Sidi Adventure Goretex (sewn) 350 – 330 €
– Diadora stone (sewn but not waterproof)
– BMW GS waterproof enough under rain but not standing in water. Feel light.
– The absolute best 2-piece riding suit of the adventurer biker is the Compañero manufactured by Staedler, unfortunately sold for a very high price (about 1800 €). It is the only suit with external Goretex protection.
– Scott Dual Raid trousers and jacket grey / yellow 720 €
– Klim (not much known in western Europe)
– There are many more. Today, nearly all brands of biker’s gear have their own travel / adventure series. BMW, Dainese, Revit, Bühse, Spidi, Bering etc. Dedicated magazines occasionally conduct comparisons, like the French Motomag # 289.
– Other military standard equipment: Cobraheat
– Google search of light equipment for a round the world trip
– Offroadattitude: offraod specialist (mostly 4 wheels but some interesting items)