Riding in Iceland Video #2

if you want to read more about the whole 500exc adventure, its documented on ADV rider, click this to go there

Finances, everything you need to know…

In this video I cover everything concerning costs and how to make the money to head out on the road and also how to make the money when you are traveling.

Adventure Riding Minimalism (YouTube Link)

How to pack less, spend less, see more and keep traveling longer.

The video that was most requested has just been released on YouTube (below)

I hope you find it – interesting and informative

please subscribe to the channel lots more videos to come…

Could You (Still) Pass A State Issued Written Motorcycle Test?

I often get questions from non riders who make statements like, “I want to do what you do!” Obviously the first thing is getting a motorcycle and a license.

If you have a bike already then you might be practicing your riding skills in closed areas until your local DMV reopens due to pandemic shut downs, but the other part of your license besides passing the riding test is the written test. Every state has multiple different ones and here is a site that has them all to test yourself for free…

or maybe you are moving and need to retest?

If you moved from state to state and a new state-required you to retest do you think you could pass that written test with flying colors? We could all pass the riding part, right? Right!

Do you think your state has made any changes to the questions they asked you a few years or a few decades ago and you just want to see if you could do pass now?

Maybe you are moving to America and need to get a license?

If any of the above made you wonder, and you are an inquisitive sort then you need to run over to a site called DMV Written Test it is a website that’s been around for 6 or 7 years where you can take that written test again, no fee, no registration, just the test.

They do have an option for very detailed cheat sheets to be bought for a nominal fee, and included with them is an explanation of each answer if you wanted to ace the test.

With the pandemic and how things are right now the idea of having to be in a DMV office for longer than necessary is not the best of thoughts. It would be nice to go in there with full knowledge of the questions, all of them, not just from how you tested yourself with the handbook, and not knowing if you fully understood what was being explained.

…not only are motorcycle written tests are available, but there is also one for car written tests and CDL licenses so if you have kids that are getting close to driving age or you are considering adding a CDL to your license, jump on DMV Written Test and save it your bookmarks for future reference.

***Paid Promotion

Do You Read Adventure Motorcycling Books? The Definitive List…

There are loads, literally loads of books written by adventure motorcycle riders, I have tried to compile the definitive list.

**(Please send me a message if you have a book you’d like me to add)

As Christmas is coming maybe your significant other might like to sit down and have a good hefty book in their hands and dream of far off locations.

For the minimalists amongst us there are Kindle versions of some of them available .

I’ll start with the most well known and work down from there in no specific order

Click on the photo to link you to Amazon to buy the books

Across America by Motor-Cycle: Fully Annotated Centennial Edition by [Mark L Hunnibell, C.K. Shepherd]

The Long Journey Home – Robert Fulton

The Man Who Would Stop at Nothing: Long-Distance Motorcycling's Endless Road
Investment Biker: Around the World with Jim Rogers
Home By Seven: One woman's solo journey to ride all seven continents on two wheels
Old Men Can't Wait by Simon Gandolfi
From Estonia With Love
The Hunt For Puerto del Faglioli by Paddy Tyson
Distant Suns by Sam Manicom
Tortillas to Totems by Sam Manicom
The Long Ride Home
The Amazing Adventures of Dorothy by Nathan Millward
Bearback - The World Overland
Long Way Round: Chasing Shadows Across the World - 9 to 5 Voyager
Long Way Down - Wikipedia

Rim Strips or Duct Tape?

A few years back riding the TAT I stopped at a large motorcycle dealership to get a new rear tire, they offered free fitting with the purchase and a soda. The manager brought me a cold coke and said one of his techs would have the tire swapped out immediately…I relaxed in the air conditioning.

15 minutes later a very young looking tech came in smiling, “your new tire is on, and somebody had put Gorilla Tape around your rim, I took it all off, cleaned it and added a rim strip!”

I looked at the manager and smiled, he smiled back…” you like that duct tape, eh?”

I nodded a yes and the tech went back and 15 minutes later he came back, “ok all done, again, with duct tape!”

Why do I prefer Gorilla Tape and why some don’t –

I ride a lot, therefore I change my tires a lot, I personally find that the duct tape adds a little more protection against the tube potentially rubbing against the spoke ends/ nipples on the rim when the tire is aired down. If, when I am changing a tire out and the duct tape is looking dried out, I peel it off and use a little brake cleaner to remove excess remnants of glue, then apply new duct tape.

I stopped using rim strips years ago as it can add time and annoyance on the trail if you get a flat, getting it to stay aligned with the center of the rim, getting the hole aligned and also them snapping.

I make a point of removing the duct tape from the wheels when I sell a bike if the new owner prefers the rim strip, I’ll spend that $2 to make the new owner happy.

Gorilla Tape, Duct tape, rim strips, a combination, some use electrical tape, if I can find it I have also used self-amalgamating rubber tape…all varied options

What are your preferences, and why?

My Bike Rattles Itself Apart! What Can I Do?

Motorcycles vibrate. It’s the nature of the beast, and with vibration come all kinds of issues. Maybe you have that one particular nut or bolt that just won’t stay tight, regardless of what you try – be it…

  • Loctite
  • washer
  • lock washer
  • serrated washer
  • lock nut
  • double nut
  • nylon insert nut
  • spring washer
  • safety wire
  • tab washers
  • or the correct torque spec.

One of the main problems on a motorcycle is most of us don’t check our bikes often enough, and to be honest that fastener might not be easy to see, reach, touch, check or adjust. It is a rare occasion that a fastener will come loose and cause a significant issue, but everyone has read about an instance that their model of motorcycle had a failure due to a bolt coming out somewhere. And if you read about another non-related bike, but again the same model and the same issue arises, do you double-check yours?

One thing every failure seems to have in common is it never appears to happen at a good time or in a great location where a fix is readily available.

On one of my bikes, there is a bolt holding the subframe to the main frame. It goes into a threaded hole and is tightened down. Logic says to add a little Loctite and it’s good. Well, it isn’t, and there are multiple instances of failure and that bolt going missing. One solution is to use a longer bolt, Loctite and then add a Nyloc nut on the other side. This all but eliminates the problem. This is on a KTM; it vibrates and even though this nut/ bolt combination now has three forms of fixing – threaded and tightened with specific torque/ Loctite/ nylon insert nut – it can still fail.

It’s not just the KTM, though. Every bike seems to have one of those issues.

So if you are headed out on the road for a long period, say a RTW or Alaska to Ushuaia or Nordkapp to Capetown or across Russia to the Road of Bones and want to not have to worry about anything coming loose or have to carry a lot of extra hardware for ‘just in case ‘scenarios, here is another solution. It’s one not used on motorcycles, but the question is why not?

Nord-Lock is just an exceptional product that a lot of companies I know of have used and since implementation had zero failures.

As a former motorcycle shop owner, motorcycle builder, mechanic, manual lathe, CNC machine operator and welder I find this another very good option for your Adventure Motorcycle arsenal of knowledge.

Watch the attached video and form your own opinion of Nord-Lock washers

Adventure Motorcycling Minimalism

Are long-term adventure motorcyclists minimalists?

This isn’t a piece about small bike vs. big bike, that decision is entirely yours – this is just another way to look at it if you are on the fence about what Adventure Motorcycling possibly is or isn’t and where you can get to or not get to…

Having some spare time I have been reading about minimalism and wonder how it could be integrated into Adventure Motorcycling. Think of it as an alternative way to look at your set up ‘before you head out’ on that big trip. At absolute worse it may help you pack a little less.

It’s obvious that some don’t understand ‘less is more’ when it comes to riding and travel when some bikes are packed to excess – we’ve all seen the photos

This got me asking myself a question, if less is more and it can potentially make an adventure even more of an adventure why don’t more riders do it and embrace the minimalist lifestyle on the road…have a read and see what you think and then ask yourself some questions about your rational and your set up for what you want your adventure to be.

When I was thinking about this, I was thinking of trips at a minimum of three months, but longer trips will make a lot more sense of what you’ll read below.

Less is more – do you pack for every eventuality?

Less is more – can you pick your bike up by yourself?

Less is more – does the size of your motorcycle determine where you go?

Less is more – do you like to fill up more than once a day?

Lightweight adventure riders are traveling minimalists just taking what is required to get the job done and survive. Every single thing that is required to live life to the fullest is on the bike. If anything is missing it is sourced when required.

On the other hand, the riders on the big behemoth bikes (I’ve done both so I can comment) have everything and more on the bike, don’t expect to have to buy a single thing besides fuel and food for the whole trip.

For me, every subsequent trip I take, I take less as I learn more about what I need and don’t need regardless of the length of the trip.

So, the question is – if you were a minimalist adventure rider –  would you have MORE of an adventure.

Why would this help you as an adventure rider? Here are those four questions I asked at the start, but now they are numbered. If you answer YES to any or all of these, you might be having a negative effect on your adventure without really realizing it –

  1. Less is more – do you pack for every eventuality?
  2. Less is more – can you pick your bike up by yourself?
  3. Less is more – does the size of your motorcycle determine where you go?
  4. Less is more – do you like to fill up more than once a day?

Number 1. If you pack less, it is obvious you have spent less because you have less. Therefore it means more money in your pocket, which means a longer adventure.

Number 2. That crazy dirt road you pass that looks interesting but on a big bike, you might just have to tell yourself no. No, because if you are alone it’s an unknown and if you get in trouble who knows if or when someone would find you stranded with a dropped bike, or worse an injury because coming off your heavy bike has physically hurt you. If your bike goes into a ditch with handlebars down/ wheels up, are you stuck if you are solo? Can you drop your bike 10-15 times a day and pick it up, can you do that day after day…in sand/ mud/ bulldust/ pea gravel/ altitude etc. If the answer is no then are you riding an adventure bike or just a bike that the manufacturer said was an adventure bike…did you just find out you were sold on advertising and maybe a sports tourer would have been just as good and probably cost you less?

Number 3. Big bikes are great but once you leave the first world countries are you shoving your wealth in people faces, you might be more likely to be looked at like a cash machine. Can you ride that big bike on a consistent basis offroad day after day? Adventure, I mean real adventure isn’t on a paved road is it?

Number 4. Fuel, I hear some riders filling up more than once a day, are you giving yourself chance to immerse in the cultures you have created this once in a lifetime chance to come to see (if that’s your goal) or are you are just riding. Try riding less distance, 200km a day is a lot – leave late, arrive early, travel slowly, spend less, which in turn means – more travel and adventure.

My conclusion which I actually realized and many others do too; bigger is not always better! I am going smaller and lighter with both bike and luggage and going back to being a motorcycling minimalist and seek out more adventure and ride to more remote locations.

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