Setup for the long haul... - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 07:00 AM Thread Starter
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Setup for the long haul...

Hi everyone!

Just developed an idea regarding the way to spend a holiday once I get my new V. Route from Moscow, via Finland and to Stockholm, Sweden - that's what comes to mind. To that end I'm gathering info on what to set the bike up with.

Safety bars (or similar devices) come to mind naturally. Should I install the skidplate beforehand? Not planning on offroad experience, but I tend to get a touch paranoid - things never went as planned in my previous hauls...

The Versys hardbags, something like a rear bag also... Any advice on that sort of gear would be welcome.

Also, as I plan on staying in hotels mostly, I'd like to enquire as to how it's best to prepare for it. Do I book hotels in advance according to the route, or can this be done on the spot?

Also, could any of you experienced V-riders tell me, what should I take in the sence of maintainance tools or some such...

Thanks in advance, guys.

Newbe out.


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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 07:41 AM
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That's an interesting route, I would love to visit those parts of Europe.
It's kind of pricy over there. From road tolls to hotels to bottled water.
I don't think there is a need to book hotels in advance unless you are aiming for down-town luxury ones. There is a neat iPhone application called Hostel Hero trough witch you can browse and book all sorts of accommodations from 5e a night to five star hotels. That part of the world is very much industrialized and civilized so you shouldn't worry so much about food, accommodation, medical help, fuel etc.

That also brings me to tools - Versys is a healthy machine when treated properly. Fuel and oil is almost all you need for 5-8000km. It comes with some (flaky) tools under the seat witch will do well in an emergency. You could carry a can of chain-lube but you can buy a can of WD40 for 3-4e in any gas station along the way. I do carry some basic tools wherever I go for peace of mind, rarely use them though.

Crash bars - I wouldn't say it's a must but it's another peace of mind. Available from Hepco & Becker and SW-Motech. Either will set you back around 150e.
Skid-plate on asphalt roads? Overkill. I did it so I know. Not many available for the Versys but that may change in near future. Mounting it on this bike is a bit tricky so they are more engine and exhaust shield then a proper skid-plate.
15e front fender extender will shield this part from mud and water being trown by front wheel.

A lot of luggage options for the bike. I don't subscribe to hard side bags so I can't tell you much about those but there are mountains of info on the forum. A nice GIVI set can cost up to 500-600e. (not sure about Moscow prices, I know that bikes are crazy expensive over there )

Hope this helps a little.


Cheers.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 08:24 AM
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I use my bike daily for work, which requires a lot of gear. I’ve used the Happy Trails panniers now for over a year and they have seen tons of rain and snow and two tip over’s. My gear has never been damaged or gotten wet. If your staying in hotels along the way get the large size and a tank bag and you should be good to go. I’ve had the full set of Trax boxes and still use the trunk box but I don’t have good things to say about them under heavy use and the cost is pretty crazy for what your getting. The crash bars are fine but what I have found is that with the panniers on the side cases of the engine never touch the ground if you tip over. Now if you go down at speed (40 plus mph) your going to have more damage and the crash bars could come into play if the bike catches on something and flips. A good set of barkbusters will keep you from breaking your clutch and break levers and if you get the storm covers they will keep the rain off your hands. Belly pans are hard to come by for the versys and one that works is not being made yet IMO. There is a guy here on this board that is working on one but it’s a slow process. Tools are a personal thing and yes your probably not going to need them but I carried enough to get me out of trouble. Full set of allens, light set of sockets with 24mm for the rear axle nut, chain breaker, drivers, duct tape, and a small and a large adjustable wrench. Have fun it’s a great bike.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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Hey, thanks man!

That does help indeed!

Regarding hotels, I plan for brief rests for 6-8 hours, then to resume the travel, and I'm deffinitly not too picky quality-wise... If it has a clean bed and a place to maintain hygene, it's fine with me.

Biike tools. Great news. I think I'll make do with what Kawi has to offer plus some of my own wrenches. I keep reading that the default tires on the V wear out after 6000. I hope I'll be able to get a spare in the North, should it come to that. I mean, I know I can, really, just never done this before. People seemed nice around those parts though, so I think it'll be ok...

I'd take your word on skidplate issue, but... Roads around Moscow & St.Petersburg are a murder, actually. I've plowed them with my '97 Vulcan occasionally, and it left me wondering why the hell am I not in the tank or at least an army-grade vehicle. But... Maybe you are right. I'll think about it, anyway.

Hotels... Well, I'm not an iPhone user, I'll be equipped with a Navigator + related maps. But if motels are not an issue, I guess it'll work.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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Douglasgraham, what are the panniers and the barkbusters?

Please excuse me, but I am unfamiliar with these terms...

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 08:44 AM
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Panniers are saddle bags (luggage mounted on the sides behind the rider).

Barkbusters are a brand of handguards. These are attached to the handlebars to keep your hands out of the wind and provide some extra protection from road debris.


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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 08:53 AM
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Panniers are saddle bags (luggage mounted on the sides behind the rider).

Barkbusters are a brand of handguards. These are attached to the handlebars to keep your hands out of the wind and provide some extra protection from road debris.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! That'll be useful...

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 09:34 AM
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Lot's of good suggestions. Maybe it was mentioned but make sure to take along some chain lube and a way to lift the bike at the end of the day to spray that chain.
Sounds like a great trip, have fun.

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 01:29 PM
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Add a 12 volt outlet for the heated gear.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 01:36 PM
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Highway pegs would be a good addition. It's nice to be able to get your feet off of the main pegs and stretch your legs a bit while on a long ride.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 04:40 PM
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It's November, you're running out of time if you want to do the trip this year
As has already been mentioned, no need to book hotels in advance.
I don't know about Finland, but Sweden has a lot of highways which are good for quickly getting from A to B.
Good thing about that is... it'll take you about 10 hours from Stockholm to the Atlantic coast of Norway
I've got Trollstigen and Atlanterhavsveien in my neighborhood, so send me a message if you pop over here
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 08:41 PM
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Regarding tools, I'll note that I bent the large wrench that came with the kawi tool kit for removing the rear axle nut. That may have been due to ovetightening the nut by the guy who mounted that tire, but nonethe less, you might add a beefier wrench capable of fitting that nut. I've got over 32k miles on my Versys with mostly highway riding, but a fair smattering of off road and never needed a skid plate, (many of which as noted above are not really that useful due to the points they're attached to). Have a great trip!

Michael
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-02-2010, 07:10 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandnes View Post
It's November, you're running out of time if you want to do the trip this year
As has already been mentioned, no need to book hotels in advance.
I don't know about Finland, but Sweden has a lot of highways which are good for quickly getting from A to B.
Good thing about that is... it'll take you about 10 hours from Stockholm to the Atlantic coast of Norway
I've got Trollstigen and Atlanterhavsveien in my neighborhood, so send me a message if you pop over here
If I'll make it in 2011, it'll be summer, closer to August. I can't afford the trip now - I am still missing a bike itself! I hope maybe to get the bike in february (if I'm lucky), then ride to St. Petersburg as a test run (740+ km one way). Then have all tools at the ready, book the ferry from Stockholm back to St.Petersburg, validate a Shengen, and THEN - rock and roll...

Thanks for the tip - if I find myself in the neighborhood, I'll give you a buzz.

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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-02-2010, 07:13 AM Thread Starter
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Good advice guys! Thanks everyone! I better have a shopping list at the ready.

By the way, anyone has an estimate of the hotel expences around Scandinavia? I plan to travel around 700-800 km daily, and I really would like to get an estimate on the numbers. At least approximately.

Thanks again!

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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-02-2010, 07:26 AM
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regarding hotels all over europe you can book them in advance through www.booking.com
You may be able to grab awsome promotions wherever you wish to go, plus you will access user reviews on a particular place as well as locations and photos

We do plan every hotel stop trip on this site

rgds
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-02-2010, 07:31 AM
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Hi Alexei.

Instead of doing the Euro route why not turn east and head to China-Cambodia-Vietnam-Laos-Thailand-Malaysia and finally Singapore and ship you bike back to Moscow.

It will work out much cheaper on this side of the planet and no snow to worry-but got rain and flood.

Just my 2cts thought.

East or West wish you all the best.

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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-02-2010, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Alexei.

Instead of doing the Euro route why not turn east and head to China-Cambodia-Vietnam-Laos-Thailand-Malaysia and finally Singapore and ship you bike back to Moscow.

It will work out much cheaper on this side of the planet and no snow to worry-but got rain and flood.

Just my 2cts thought.

East or West wish you all the best.

That's a good idea in general, but...

1) To get to China, I'd have to travel through Kazakhstan, and I'm not a big fan of these parts... Roads suck, bigtime, and I'm not a off-roader just yet.

2) Cheaper - yes, but the quality, at least on the Russian side of the border, leaves me questioning the value of economy.

3) Safety issues. I doubt tourists have issues in the North, whereas we have heard of many cases of banditism and violence down south. I wouldn't risk going solo there. Or unarmed for that matter...

4) China and Asia in general are not my cup of tea tourist-wise. Singapore and Japan excluded - these spots I adore. Been there, enjoyed every bit of it.

In general, the journey seems a challenge, true, But... I'll head north, at least as a start.

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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-02-2010, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ninogui View Post
regarding hotels all over europe you can book them in advance through www.booking.com
You may be able to grab awsome promotions wherever you wish to go, plus you will access user reviews on a particular place as well as locations and photos

We do plan every hotel stop trip on this site

rgds
I nearly forgot about that site! I book my business trips there. Hey, thanks for the reminder!

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