Spending money like water!

Ever since I was young I’ve always got excited about getting new motorcycle clothing and never more so than now.

Getting organised for this trip has been a mammoth task spread over many months and I’m still not completely ready as I’m still waiting to hear about my Russian Visa application.

The last few days have been great as all my new gear has been trickling in.

The small stuff is just as important as the big stuff!

One thing that’s very clear is that the small stuff is often more important than the big stuff! Things like fuel and water filters will be critical to my health and the bike’s, without both we could come unstuck in some of the countries I’m going through.

A good set of paper maps and an old fashioned compass will certainly come in very handy when navigating across the Kazakh steppe, the wilds of Mongolia and Siberia, especially if all the electronics fail.

Tools are extremely important as I’m going to be totally self sufficient throughout the trip so I’m trying to ensure I can cope with most breakdowns but, without taking too many heavy tools.

SD cards aren’t a life saving item but a nice to have for the two Crosstour and Canon cameras I’ll be taking with me. Of course, the latrene shovel is to be considered a necessity these days when wild camping!

Since I already have a Trangia cooker I decided to stick with it and have purchased the multi-fuel burner for it. This new burner will allow me to cook using petrol for fuel, this means that I’ll only need to carry one type of fuel with me for all needs. I’ll be testing the new burner this coming weekend!

During the trip I’m going to need to be able to cope with extremes of temperature so I decided to purchase some new biking gear that has the facility to remove both the warm winter lining and the inner water proof layer. This will I hope, keep me relatively cool in the hot desert temperatures and warm in the below zero mountain climbs.

I’ve tried on loads of outfits over the last few months and not really liked any of them apart from the Rev’It! OffTrack jacket and trousers. The jacket is fairly light for a 3 layer system but also well put together. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a pair of matching trousers from anywhere in Europe and so have gone with the Sand3 trousers. These are made of a slightly heavier material but should be harder wearing. Again the trousers consist of a 3 layer system so should work well in both hot and cold climes.

My Nolan helmet that I use for road riding has now reached it’s end of life, it’s serviced me well over the years but like all good things in life, they never last forever.

Like riding gear, I tried many helmets but kept coming back to Nolan, they just tick all the boxes for me.

I finally decided to go with the Nolan N702X crash helmet. It’s a great design which allows the chin bar to be removed as well as incorporating a full face visor and dark sun visor. I find the Nolan helmets fit my odd shaped head very well and are comfortable enough to be worn all day without problem. The other big bonus is that my Sena headset will fit perfectly too!

The only other thing I’m waiting for now is the Hagon rear shock absorber for the bike, once I have it I can finally get the bike back together and on the road for some test rides.

Exciting times!

Biking Jeans

I’ve been meaning to write about my new biking jeans for some time but before I knew it, summer has gone and I’d still not put anything on the blog!

I’ve been wearing these jeans a fair bit over the summer months and have found them to be super comfy regardless of which bike I’ve been on.

I wanted a pair that obviously had some Kevlar stitched in to protect against a slide along tarmac and knee/hip protection was an added bonus. I’ve tried on a few pairs of biking jeans and found many to be tight and not have much give in them, making it uncomfortable when riding.

The particular pair of jeans I’ve ended up with were unique in that they had flexible panels stitched in that allowed them to give in certain areas, making them more comfortable.

Stretch Panels stitched into the legs of the jeans

Having the stretch panels in the jeans meant that when sitting down on the bike the legs aren’t pulled tight by the action of the padded knees being flexed round the curve of the knee. This made the jeans very comfortable for all day riding.

The jeans are made of quite thick material and aren’t light but they do protect quite well against the wind when riding. I was also surprised how well they handled very light showers not letting any water through to my legs.

Nicely stitched together!

The jeans are nicely put together with strong stitching throughout and don’t look too different from a normal pair of Wrangler/Levi jeans apart from the stretch panels. I didn’t find them too warm on the odd hot summer day either which was a plus as there’s nothing worse than riding in sweaty trousers!

Overall, I’m really pleased with the biking jeans and have enjoyed wearing them over the summer on both my Versys 1000 and my little CRF250 Rally, even when riding some gentle dirt tracks in the sun.

More info including the price on the Inpreda website: