Gear and equipment performance review after 1000km - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 08-12-2011, 06:26 AM Thread Starter
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Gear and equipment performance review after 1000km

I'm trowing this out there for whom ever may find it useful.
A few weeks ago I took a 1000km trip in a variety of whether conditions (heat, rain, cold, wind, sea level to 2000m etc.) and this is how my equipment and I faired.

To start from the top:
  • Helmet: Schuberth S1. Perhaps the best bit of kit I have. I've been using it for two years now and it even saved my head in a collision with a car. I wear it for 5 hours in complete comfort. No fogging and not a drop of water penetrates it.

  • Neck warmer/scarf: Buff. Nice and simple. A lot of uses. Never leave home without it.

  • Jacket: Rev'it Sirocco. Very comfortable, well vented and usable from 0℃ to 40℃. It's a bit tight with liners (thermal and waterproof) in place and loose without them. Reasonably water-resistant but not water-proof. My shoulders were wet after two hours in the rain. After a year and half of use there is a little fraying and velcro is getting weaker in a few places. Overall feeling is that it would not excel in a heavy crash.

  • Back protector: Dainese Back Shield. Whole day comfort and it keeps my kidneys warm. Velcro adjusters were completely worn after a year. I don't intend to crash test it.

  • Gloves: Richa GP. I was never mad about these but they are comfortable and appear protective. They have a lot of airflow and hands become cold bellow 20 ℃. After two years they still look fine. I use rain over-gloves with them when it's wet and cold.

  • Pants: Rev'it Turbine. My least favorite bit of kit. Also usable from 0℃ to 40℃ but they don't have thermal liner. I bought them according to Rev'it size chart but what I got was two sizes too large in waist and one size short in pant leg. Not even slightly waterproof. My crotch got wet after 5 minutes and water progressed from there.

  • Knee protectors: Dainese V Knee. I wear these because armor in my pants doesn't fit well and isn't very large. They are comfortable and can be worn under jeans all day. I think I found their fault when I landed on my knee once and too much energy transferred to my patellar ligament. There are better knee protectors on the market.

  • Boots: Rev'it Apache. Good value for the money (especially if you find them at the discount). Completely waterproof with decent protection. Easy to take on and off. They don't fit me that well for walking but are ok on the bike. With good pair of socks I wear them in all conditions.

  • Tank bag: Enduristan Sand Storm. It's actually waterproof! Rugged and rock solid when attached. A bit large but I'm not complaining. It can early fit enough stuff for a weekend trip.

  • Saddlebag: Giant Loop Great Basin. I mentioned this before on the forum. It's a great bag. It holds a lot of stuff and when secured I don't even know it's there. It's narrower then handlebars so I can lane split in full touring trim. While water didn't get in on this trip (hours and hours in light and heavy rain) seams and main zipper aren't waterproof so it will ultimately leak. It benefits that it sits right under my back so I shilled it from rain. I pack important stuff inside waterproof stuff sucks just in case.

  • OEM Top Box. You all know this, right? I only carry it because I can and to store the helmet. There is enough room in the bags I mentioned.

Some bike bits.
  • Givi windshield. I hated it from the first ride but it is useful in wet wetter. No thought went into designing it, they've just enlarged the stock screen. It produces a lot of turbulence around my head (I'm 190cm tall or 6'2'' I guess). I cut it to accommodate (Zeta) hand guards and I guess I'll stick with it for now.

  • Peg lowers. Best thing I've put on the bike. Last year I did a similar trip and my thighs would constantly cramp and I would have a lot of fatigue in the legs after the ride. None of that now. Only comfort for hours without putting the leg down.

  • Sheep skin seat cover. It adds a bit of comfort but it's terrible in the wet as it holds water.
  • Throttle rocker/ cramp buster. Useful little thing on long rides.
  • DIY rear mudguard. I'm very pleased with this. I would worry constantly about water thrown on electric components and engine bay if it wasn't there.

  • OEM tool set. It actually came handy when friend's bike broke. I'm going to replace all items with better quality ones.

  • Dunlop Road Smart tires. I just realized how good they are after one year and 8k km. There is hardly any wear and I don't have a single complaint. They were excellent in the wet and I almost didn't have to slow down.

This is, more or less, what I carry:

What I've learned:
Rain overalls are a must.
Carry some winter gear even in Mediterranean summer.
I can always carry less stuff.
Bike averages 4.75 l/100km (50mpg?) of hard riding. (It didn't skip a beat btw.)
Always take alternative/scenic route instead of quicker and congested one.
Stop more to take pictures. Memories fade.
Same area will appear vastly different depending on weather conditions.

I hope you can extract something useful from all this.


Last edited by Ivan V; 08-12-2011 at 06:36 AM.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 08-12-2011, 09:01 AM
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Nice report

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