Looking into some new gear, does anyone use crash bar bags? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-29-2019, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Looking into some new gear, does anyone use crash bar bags?

After riding over 15,000 miles on my versys, and loving every bit of it, I've decided I'm lacking a few pieces of gear that will either improve my comfort greatly, or are seriously needed.

I'm planning a trip in April to California from Illinois, and I'm trying to cut down or improve on storage.

Here's a photo of my V before our last trip. We drove from IL > MO > KS > CO > UT > NV > CA > ID > WY > CO > KS > MO > IL.

https://imgur.com/a/ve7bXeE

I know, it looks rough right? Heavy for sure. I've mounted a pelican case on the back of the V. Mostly I used this for my laptop, hard drive, and a few other small things. On my upcoming trip, I don't plan on bringing the laptop, so I can utilize this space. On this trip I used an 70L dry bag and packed almost every bit of camping equipment I had into it. Since then I've got a 40L dry bag that I ROK strap to the rear seat behind me. It makes for a nice back rest but I'd like to get rid of the dry bag completely. I also had a very large tent this trip, and since I've gotten a smaller one, this one fits in the 40 L dry bag. I also brought a backpack, which you can see strapped ontop of everything. It held most of my camera equipment as well as my hydration pouch. I had a very small tank bag that was ruined with rain due to no cover, but it held my camera for most of the trip. And of course, I have the panniers that came with the bike.

I've done other small upgrades as well. I've got PIAA fog lights on the front, heated grips, power socket, and gear indicator. These made the last trip nice, but my butt was hurting, and the bike was top heavy.

Along the route we went through downpours in Kansas and Wyoming, heat waves in Utah and Nevada, and dodged a wildfire in Idaho near Pocatello. We also were able to drive through many national parks like Rocky Mountain NP, Arches NP, Yosemite NP, and Yellowstone NP. It was a great trip, but there was a lot of discomfort and storage issues I'd like to take care of before our next trip. We're planning on riding to the Grand Yanyon, and then to California to see Joshua Tree, and ride Big Sur and see the Golden Gate Bridge. On the way back we'll stop by Yosemite and Zion NP, as well as Sand Dunes in CO. Once again, we'll be facing the elements! We also camp every night, so we pack heavy.

Enough with story time, here are some items I'm interested in!

Also, is anyone using crash bar bags currently? I have the SW-Motech crash bars on my 2015 V and I'm wondering which will fit, and if anyone has used them. Are they worth it?

Tank Bag: I've looked at this one, and like the waterproof lining, I plan on putting most of my camera gear in the tank bag. https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/...k-15l-tank-bag

Jacket: Need suggestions, looking for 4 season, I have Alpine Stars 4 season pants.

Sheep Skin Seat: I've heard good things about these, and some of the posts on this forum mention improving comfort greatly. www.alaskaleather.com

Gloves: I'm in deep need of waterproof gloves. We rode the tail of the dragon in the Smoky Mountains, and went through some of the heaviest rain. My gloves were soaked, and my hands shivering inside, wet.

Tires: I've only ridden with Shinko's on my bike, but I'm open for suggestions. I like having a tire that I can go off road a bit with so I can ride to camp sites.

Crash bar bags: Givi or SW-Motech look very nice.

I'm open for any suggestions on gear, upgrades, and for stops along our trip!
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-29-2019, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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I must've double posted on accident, if the mods could remove this post that'd be great!

Sorry for that!
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-29-2019, 09:19 PM
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Wow! Is there a motorcycle under all that gear? Those are some epic trips.
I don't have much to offer but you may consider these for crash bars https://www.t-rex-racing.com/2015-20...p/n54-15eg.htm T-Rex makes great stuff and I really love my Tourmaster Transition 4 (now 5) jacket. I've ridden in low 30 deg and been toasty. Not sure of your build, Tourmaster makes stuff for full size Americans.
I use Icon Patrol gauntlets for winter commuting. A little thinner than some but I also pull a liner on when it get too cold. Scorpion Tempest gloves may be a good choice with a little more insulation.
A buddy at work uses a sheepskin and swears by it but I have no first hand experience.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-29-2019, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by MTingle View Post
I must've double posted on accident, if the mods could remove this post that'd be great!

Sorry for that!
Thanks for sharing your ride and on the same , I have deleted the other post ( double post), so we maintain all post and feedback here in this post.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 12:40 AM
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I have Pirelli Scorpion Trail 2 tires on my ‘15 V650. They are axcellent 90/10 tires. At 6500 miles on them I am starting to think about replacing them this summer, but they have quite a bit of tread remaining. Great on the pavement, very good on dirt. Not a mud or deep sand tire. I will be replacing them with the same Trail 2. These are very competent on basic dirt roads, water crossings, and moderate trails. Perfect for accessing campgrounds.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 10:00 AM
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Wouldn't take a trip without this. lay the whole skin on top of the bike. rounded end to the front. A few inches will cover the back of the fuel tank. this really helps when you are pushed into the fuel tank. On the other end of the fur the pieces sticking out on both sides are to be pushed down between the seat and the grab rails. These furs can be used when sitting on hard picnic table benches at camp sites. they can be rolled up and used as a pillow. can be put under sleeping bag for extra warmth and comfort. It's uses are unlimited, and it's easy to carry because you are sitting on it. https://www.etsy.com/listing/6586662...-4&pro=1&frs=1
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by MTingle View Post
...I'm planning a trip in April to California from Illinois, and I'm trying to cut down or improve on storage....
IMHO - You have WAY TOO MUCH stuff!

Here's a pic of my '15 V650LT set for a cross-Canada ride, summer of '17, when I got home after 25 days camping.



This is when set-up for camping,



and here's what was in each saddle-bag.









The left one carries THREE day's worth of grub, stove, etc, while the right has clothes (green sack), and WD40 & crutch (to lube the chain), and tools.

Ed
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 11:46 AM
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...Jacket: Need suggestions, looking for 4 season, I have Alpine Stars 4 season pants....
The jacket I wore is a FIRSTGEAR Kilimanjaro (supposedly waterproof) as were my pants, but I carry a rain-suit in my back-pack that I put ON if I suspect MORE than just a quick shower, as it's very difficult to get stuff dry while camping. I have a pair of waterproof gloves (from Harbor-Freight, for working w/ sewage) that I wear over a pair of MX gloves [WHEN it's raining] and waterproof boots.

Ed
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 11:59 AM
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...Sheep Skin Seat: I've heard good things about these, and some of the posts on this forum mention improving comfort greatly....
I had one on for a LONG ride to Alaska, but I can't REALLY SAY that it improved the comfort of the seat (I raised the front of mine by 9/16").


Ed
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 11:59 AM
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Just out of curiosity, is that picture taken in Eastern Utah??

'09 Versys
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 12:10 PM
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...Gloves: I'm in deep need of waterproof gloves. We rode the tail of the dragon in the Smoky Mountains, and went through some of the heaviest rain. My gloves were soaked, and my hands shivering inside, wet....
I ALWAYS have at least THREE pairs of gloves - waterproof (as I mentioned above), mesh (for HOT days) and regular ones, and use whatever's required.

In my tank-bag I have candies, charger for my camera batteries, Lemon Pledge (and rag) to clean my 'shield, my lunch snack (and a spoon), and maps in a waterproof bag.

My back-pack, as well as rain-gear, has a 3L hydration pack.

My stove runs on gasoline [and I carry a one gallon gas can, for the stove as well as IF I need it for the bike!], and I have a pot to boil water in, for breakfast, and "something" to have w/ supper....




Ed
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 12:14 PM
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Just out of curiosity, is that picture taken in Eastern Utah??
One of MINE?

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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 12:41 PM
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Here's some waterproof gloves from Mark's... C$21. They work.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Waterproof gloves 20180915_100539_resized.jpg (20.0 KB, 11 views)
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 01:20 PM
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My other passion is mountain hiking and climbing. When you have to carry your overnight gear up a mountain for a day to camp at altitude you get righteous about size and weight of your camping "kit". If you dont mind spending a few bucks, you can get the whole thing down in weight and size alot , including your efficient clothes and food. For instance,my one man MSR tent weighs less than 2 lbs and packs down real small. I have the same basic kit for mountain or motorcycle,with obvious additions for one or the other activity.
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heywood View Post
Wow! Is there a motorcycle under all that gear? Those are some epic trips.
I don't have much to offer but you may consider these for crash bars https://www.t-rex-racing.com/2015-20...p/n54-15eg.htm T-Rex makes great stuff and I really love my Tourmaster Transition 4 (now 5) jacket. I've ridden in low 30 deg and been toasty. Not sure of your build, Tourmaster makes stuff for full size Americans.
I use Icon Patrol gauntlets for winter commuting. A little thinner than some but I also pull a liner on when it get too cold. Scorpion Tempest gloves may be a good choice with a little more insulation.
A buddy at work uses a sheepskin and swears by it but I have no first hand experience.
Thanks for the recommendations! I've seen the crash cages before, I'm not sure whether I'm wanting to fork out the 200 for them. The few times I have put the bike down have been stationary and the SW-Motech bars have done pretty good so far. Might have to look into the tempest gloves!
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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fly-Sig View Post
I have Pirelli Scorpion Trail 2 tires on my ‘15 V650. They are axcellent 90/10 tires. At 6500 miles on them I am starting to think about replacing them this summer, but they have quite a bit of tread remaining. Great on the pavement, very good on dirt. Not a mud or deep sand tire. I will be replacing them with the same Trail 2. These are very competent on basic dirt roads, water crossings, and moderate trails. Perfect for accessing campgrounds.
I have a hard time getting away from my Shinkos, just because of price and I've been able to test them. I'll have to look into these!

Thanks!
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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
IMHO - You have WAY TOO MUCH stuff!

Here's a pic of my '15 V650LT set for a cross-Canada ride, summer of '17, when I got home after 25 days camping.



This is when set-up for camping,



and here's what was in each saddle-bag.









The left one carries THREE day's worth of grub, stove, etc, while the right has clothes (green sack), and WD40 & crutch (to lube the chain), and tools.
Hmm for some reason I couldn't view for pictures, or they error'd out.

I've cut down a ton on gear since our trip to CA last time. I'm trying to really pack the least bit possible.
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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
The jacket I wore is a FIRSTGEAR Kilimanjaro (supposedly waterproof) as were my pants, but I carry a rain-suit in my back-pack that I put ON if I suspect MORE than just a quick shower, as it's very difficult to get stuff dry while camping. I have a pair of waterproof gloves (from Harbor-Freight, for working w/ sewage) that I wear over a pair of MX gloves [WHEN it's raining] and waterproof boots.
Good idea on the gloves from harbor-freight. I'm just really looking for one pair of gloves that will do everything, and be waterproof. Unfortunately I may need multiple pairs. You're definitely right about it being difficult to get stuff dry while camping
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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
I had one on for a LONG ride to Alaska, but I can't REALLY SAY that it improved the comfort of the seat (I raised the front of mine by 9/16").

I've raised mine as well with the 3D printed fix from this forum. I may try the sheep skin out and rotate it with the stock seat.
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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jmason View Post
Just out of curiosity, is that picture taken in Eastern Utah??
That picture was definitely taken from eastern Utah. I see you're from CO, so here's one taken from there.

https://imgur.com/a/ptDC8Em

And here's one from the Utah sign!

https://imgur.com/a/E1opILW

Check out my website as well as my Instagram if you'd like!

www.tinglestravels.com

www.instagram.com/tinglestravels
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