First mini-trip, looking for advice on improvements - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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First mini-trip, looking for advice on improvements

Did my first camping trip on the bike, 4 days/nights and about 650 miles total. Had a great time despite the rain and unseasonably cold nights and was hoping to improve my luggage mounting situation for next time although in truth it really gave me no issues. I didnít pack light but I knew the weather would be crap and wanted to be able to enjoy whatever time I got stuck in camp.

I am using Nelson Rigg 3050 soft panniers, the matching duffel and a pair of 15l dry bags. My panniers are almost always on the bike and have always sat a bit of an angle but with the added 15l dry bags strapped on top it made me even more conscious of the problem. I currently have only added a cross piece from the foot peg area to the reflector on the license plate holder... anyone else running these bags on a 15+ and get them to sit level without added pannier racks?

https://imgur.com/lYk77dp
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Some more photos attached
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 02:47 AM
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Posting the photos right side up would be the first improvement I can think of. 😉

I love that you seem to have everything that you might possibly need with you though. I like your style.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 06:11 AM Thread Starter
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For some reason the uploader on this site rotates and shrinks my photos, will grab some links and post full-size pictures when I get on a desktop later...
Yeah, old Boy Scout habits of being prepared definitely kicked in when packing. It always rained when we were kids and I rightfully expected the same luck as an adult.

I feel like I am going to end up buying a GIVI or sw-MOTECH pannier rack despite my efforts to save some cash by just using the crossbar I installed but have to find out if thy fit with the MOTECH steel top rack I have.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 07:21 AM
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You can see some of my packing techniques in the links in my signature.

My packing style on the versys evolved over time when I found out some of my gear disappeared.

Using dry bags that I accumulated from canoe touring when I was younger I would pack all my gear in there and strap it down. I have various sizes to accommodate what I am taking with me.

I also like to organize items in groupings and pack them together.

Stove, fuel, cooking supplies in one bag.

Toiletries, towel, etc. in another bag.

Food in another bag.

Gloves in another bag.

I lay everything out I think I need for a particular trip on the floor and organize it. If there is the possibility of hotel stay I will bundle my toiletries with hotel room items so I don't have to unpack the entire bike. It gets covered and parked at the front door of the hotel or in front of my room if the hotel has exterior doors.

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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 07:58 AM
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"Posting the photos right side up would be the first improvement I can think of"

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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Tcruarceri View Post
Yeah, old Boy Scout habits of being prepared definitely kicked in when packing. It always rained when we were kids and I rightfully expected the same luck as an adult.


I went on a 4 day camping trip a couple of weeks ago to south eastern Utah. Moab, Arches NP, Canyonlands, etc. The forecast was sunny everywhere. I checked the forecast at home, 2 intermediate towns, and Moab. So, with confidence, I left my rain suit at home to save weight. I did have my heated jacket liner and gloves for expected quite cool temperatures over the mountain pass.

Day 1 I got rained on, hailed on, and snowed on in both intermediate locations!

Night 1 I got rained on in Moab.

My general approach to moto-camping is to pack as if I were backpacking. Minimize weight as much as possible when it comes to clothing, food, and camping gear. But realize I need to carry a good tool set and riding gear. And many times I will have access to a real grocery store at some point in the trip.
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tcruarceri View Post
For some reason the uploader on this site rotates and shrinks my photos, will grab some links and post full-size pictures when I get on a desktop later...
Yeah, old Boy Scout habits of being prepared definitely kicked in when packing. It always rained when we were kids and I rightfully expected the same luck as an adult.

I feel like I am going to end up buying a GIVI or sw-MOTECH pannier rack despite my efforts to save some cash by just using the crossbar I installed but have to find out if thy fit with the MOTECH steel top rack I have.
You want better photos and free hosting, 60 photos per album and 1000 photos maximum in the gallery , use two browsers, one to read how to the other to set up. I rarely use Jpeg for anything on this site , all bb code now.
https://www.kawasakiversys.com/forum...otobucket.html
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 02:14 PM
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For some reason the uploader on this site rotates and shrinks my photos, will grab some links and post full-size pictures when I get on a desktop later....
I'm willing to BET that you have your camera set to AUTOMATICALLY rotate your pics to upright. DISABLE that and I'm SURE your problem will end.



As for "shrinking" - the site advises you to resize them yourself for best results.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Photos made easy...: https://imgur.com/a/1m46qNW

http://imgur.com/SCaHidD
http://imgur.com/AfZKEFH
http://imgur.com/qU6NkMG

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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
I'm willing to BET that you have your camera set to AUTOMATICALLY rotate your pics to upright. DISABLE that and I'm SURE your problem will end.



As for "shrinking" - the site advises you to resize them yourself for best results.
Its a phone camera and this was what i was starting to think... thanks will try it out

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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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I went on a 4 day camping trip a couple of weeks ago to south eastern Utah. Moab, Arches NP, Canyonlands, etc. The forecast was sunny everywhere. I checked the forecast at home, 2 intermediate towns, and Moab. So, with confidence, I left my rain suit at home to save weight. I did have my heated jacket liner and gloves for expected quite cool temperatures over the mountain pass.

Day 1 I got rained on, hailed on, and snowed on in both intermediate locations!

Night 1 I got rained on in Moab.

My general approach to moto-camping is to pack as if I were backpacking. Minimize weight as much as possible when it comes to clothing, food, and camping gear. But realize I need to carry a good tool set and riding gear. And many times I will have access to a real grocery store at some point in the trip.
My rain gear, "compact" stove and gas, and flannel lined jeans + heavy duty sweatshirt took up like 50-75% of the room. Everything else was pretty compact/lightweight. Yeah i saw three seasons in four days this trip and none of them were summer.

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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
You can see some of my packing techniques in the links in my signature.

My packing style on the versys evolved over time when I found out some of my gear disappeared.

Using dry bags that I accumulated from canoe touring when I was younger I would pack all my gear in there and strap it down. I have various sizes to accommodate what I am taking with me.

I also like to organize items in groupings and pack them together.

Stove, fuel, cooking supplies in one bag.

Toiletries, towel, etc. in another bag.

Food in another bag.

Gloves in another bag.

I lay everything out I think I need for a particular trip on the floor and organize it. If there is the possibility of hotel stay I will bundle my toiletries with hotel room items so I don't have to unpack the entire bike. It gets covered and parked at the front door of the hotel or in front of my room if the hotel has exterior doors.
I was very much the same. The two pannier bags (Nelson Rigg 3050) had my clothes, a pint of booze and a hat and gloves for sleeping. the two 15Ls were divided up, one with any emergency/tool needs, an extra back pack and lighter weight gloves (that was optimistic) and my rain gear, one with all cooking and toiletries and anything misc, the duffel had my sleeping bag, blow up pad and pillow, camel pack (for water storage at the campsite), ground cloth, tent stakes and a soft cooler with some very basic food for the first day. Tent on top.
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 12:24 PM
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your "skewed" pics...

I just 'righted' them for you, altho' the last (of six) image is so small that I'm NOT SURE what it is, but did the best I could by 'guessing'....
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Fly-Sig View Post
My general approach to moto-camping is to pack as if I were backpacking. Minimize weight as much as possible when it comes to clothing, food, and camping gear. But realize I need to carry a good tool set and riding gear. And many times I will have access to a real grocery store at some point in the trip.
This is basically my approach, as well, but that's often because the trip is actually for backpacking. Because I often don't camp next to my bike, I have to be able to carry most of my gear with me. So, I strap my backpack down behind me with the SWMotech Alu-Rack and carry a bike cover, tools, and extra supplies in my side cases.

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post #16 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 06:29 AM Thread Starter
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Are those factory side case racks on your 1st gen or an aftermarket company? Been looking at the sw-MOTECH evo rack for a more secure mounting maybe. That might allow me to level out the bags more to my liking but Iíll be edging closer to the factory hard bags in cost.

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post #17 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 01:36 PM
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Are those factory side case racks on your 1st gen or an aftermarket company? Been looking at the sw-MOTECH evo rack for a more secure mounting maybe. That might allow me to level out the bags more to my liking but I’ll be edging closer to the factory hard bags in cost.
Mine is a 2nd Gen.

The cases are Givi V35 cases, but Givi made the factory side cases as well. I think the only difference is the badge ("Givi" or "Versys") and the factory bags were color-matched to the bike. They also use the same rack—different than their standard Monokey side case rack, which is what you would need for any other of the Givi cases.

Instead of a hard case rack, if you are only using it to support soft saddlebags, why not just use Givi's saddlebag supports, which are much cheaper?

https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/...-650-2015-2019

Currently out of stock at Revzilla, but they should have them soon - I know they had them within the last couple of weeks because I looked at them for someone else recently.
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post #18 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 11:20 AM
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Build your kit around your wardrobe - you will almost always be happier. We went from hard top cases to Drybags (stackable) and never looked back. What we wear and use fits perfectly in a Drybag 600. In the end, packing smart gives you so much more bang for the buck and dictates what your bags and kit need to be.

I can tell you that regardless of what you pack, you will miss something. That’s the nature of the beast. Like someone previously said, micro cookware like you can find for hikers at REI is a great place to start. Mini burners, stacking pots, cups, etc. that take up little room. We then prioritize tools. Don’t forget your tire pump and plugs!

Clothing is critical! Most get this wrong. Because we’re cinema people we find ourselves in more remote locations. We are also bikers. The two are strangely linked in many ways. We use expedition-style clothing that’s light, packable, compact, durable, and easily cleaned. It makes life on the road much easier. You would not believe how compact our clothes truly are and how perfectly matched to our lifestyle they’ve become.

We use North Face Paramount convertible pants ($80) - dream pants! They’re convertible - the legs can be zipped off! We don’t use the new “space-age” fabrics like on UnderArmour stuff. We opt for cotton when possible and build layers when it gets cold out. We love our North Face fleece Tekno Ridge ($99) to provide warmth over light tees or long sleeve shirts. It is water-repellant, breathable, resistant to wind, moderately warming, and light weight mid layer.

As far as rain jackets are concerned, there is no single perfect choice - but there are damned good ones. Your cycle jackets are okay on the road, but hell on land. Here is where you’ll spend some bucks. Because our form of entertainment is fly fishing, we’ve found wading rain jackets are almost always perfect choices in the field. Our Paramount pants are water-resistant and dry quickly. We all use the Orvis Men’s Ultralight Wading Jacket. It’s somewhat pricey at $249, but is about as good as it gets. It’s light, tough, rain and wind proof, has dry watertight pockets, durable, light, compact, hooded. If you like a bit longer jacket, many of us do, try the Orvis Waterproof Rain Jacket ($129). Is has fleece hand warmers too, but a bit bulkier. Still a great choice.

You’ll find socks are crucial. There is no other sock but a real merino hiking sock - even when it’s 120 out there! These socks keep your feet dry and cool in the summer and toasty when it’s cold out. We use REI for these. Get at least middleweight socks. REI co-op socks and SmartWool, are the only ones we use here. $15-$20 a pair. Easy to wash - air dry inside out. Comfy. Our best friends on location.

As far as boots and footwear are concerned, we prefer Lowa GTX Renegade mid-so hiking boots $240 at REI. They need no breaking in, are comfy, water proof, and gave REI’s guarantee that if you’re not happy, bring them back within a year and they’ll replace them. We’ve never returned them. I am not a fan of biker boots - we never use them. I know I’ll get hate mail for that - so don’t, please.

As far as underwear is concerned, tres important. If you’re a guy, we recommend Hanes Ultimate X-Temp Comfort Long Leg Boxer Briefs. ($26/3 on Amazon) These keep your man bits dry (critical) and happy in tne harshest temps and coolest weather. Nothing else we’ve found compares. As for the ladies, it’s Ex-Officio Give-N-Go Bikini and Bikini Briefs for all of them. You can get them at REI. They’re pricey at about $18 a pair, but they are good at keeping the lady bits happy, dry quickly, and manage odor (yes it matters out there) better than most. Most women buy dark colors because dirt and mud stains are hard to get out of these.

Oh yes - bear spray! You may never need it, but it’s a lifesaver when you need it. We have used it on bear, mountain lion, and some drunk idiot we named Scooter in Idaho. It works and is cheap insurance - and it’s legal!

If you need any clothing insight, I’ll be happy to provide what we know.
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post #19 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 06:15 AM Thread Starter
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Mine is a 2nd Gen.

Instead of a hard case rack, if you are only using it to support soft saddlebags, why not just use Givi's saddlebag supports, which are much cheaper?

https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/...-650-2015-2019

Currently out of stock at Revzilla, but they should have them soon - I know they had them within the last couple of weeks because I looked at them for someone else recently.
Iíll look into these. Have to see if they will mount correctly with my swmotech top rack. They are certainly better priced then the MOTECH evo side rack, although I do like the fact that the evo rack can be adapted to many different luggages down the road.

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post #20 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 06:22 AM Thread Starter
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Oh yes - bear spray! You may never need it, but itís a lifesaver when you need it. We have used it on bear, mountain lion, and some drunk idiot we named Scooter in Idaho. It works and is cheap insurance - and itís legal!

If you need any clothing insight, Iíll be happy to provide what we know.
Thanks, Although, My vacations/wardrobe seems to be much more budget minded then yours, lol. But bear spray was the one thing on my list I hadnít picked up in time for packing last time I would like to add, for insurance. My$20 on sale flannel and Thinsulate lined blue jeans kinda set the tone for the clothes I wore and they did fine but do to some personal physical limitations (bad knee/leg) I keep the hiking/adventuring down to a mile or two a day if Iím going to be on the bike for a trip so the clothes donít see extremes either. No good be stranded because I blew out my leg at camp.
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