Riding to the end of the world, and beyond!

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Updated 5th December 2010, in italics Updated 16th April 2012, the latest updated notes are in red<;/span Chassis

Givi Crash Bars – I definitely need these and they work, trust me! Yep, they still work 🙂

Podia Belly Pan- Flexible but useful and suits the bike, has been partially destroyed by a rock, but did it’s job and protected the oil filter

REMOVED and replaced with a metal style as supplied by Chad at AdventureMotostuff, nice bit of gear But unfortunately the aluminium bracket cannot handle the Russian roads on a lowered bike.  This bracket needs to be made of Steel 

Radiator and Oil Cooler Guard – Home made, cheap but effective

ProOiler–  New chain oiler system, working very well at this time

CLS 200– Electronic Chain Lube system  Removed as it failed after 5 years and the company would not respond to contacts and a different method of purchasing a replacement online, they have a very weird system in Germany

CLS Heat – Electronically controlled heated grips – Failed after 5 years, no way of purchasing a new one from the company so replaced with a shop bought system, brand to follow

Centre Stand – Factory OEM, a must for ‘on the road’ service

Pat Walsh Radar Shelf – To mount GPS etc

Elka- Performance Rear Shock built for me personally, I probably will not buy this brand again, very expensive to repair, despite being a good shock

REMOVED now replaced with an original Suzuki shock modified by Suspensions by Sasquatch, seems to be robust enough and although it does not have as many adjustments, once it is set for the load, forget it 🙂

Speed Corrected Gauge Faces – Made for the DL650 by Austin Burge in LA


Standard wheels with Metzler ME880 Harley rated rear and TKC80 front for the South American leg

HEIDENAU K60 Scouts will be installed when I arrive Frankfurt, a longer lasting tyre, good grip, heaps of tread depth, and good in the wet, I will test them in the Alps , ****edit 7th July 2012–Well, these tyres are excellent, after installing them in Frankfurt I have clocked up 23,000 Kim’s with tread still on them. They did get a bit squared off which cause them to howl when I lean into corners(they screamed in the Alps). I have a new set to install which I hope to get me to Australia, that would be fantastic


Back Off – Brake light modulator for rear protection

TomTom Rider 2 – Waterproof Satellite navigation designed for motorbike riders, a crap unit, has failed multiple times, I will buy a Garmin Zumo 550 next time.

 I have finally given up on the TomTom system. I have now purchased a Garmin Montana, with Europe City Nav maps and a rugged mount for the bike. A nice unit, it replaces BOTH the TTR2 and the GPSMap76S. It also can handle paperless geocaching as well as turn by turn riding and quite a lot of other features. We shall see if it can handle ME 🙂 This unit is also crap, it has failed many many times when trying to navigate complicated road networks and freezes.  It has to be Master Reset all the time.  It has been replaced with a new  unit by Garmin Europe but the new unit is also showing the same systems.  Unless I have managed to find two faulty units, this system is NOT ready for adventure motorcycling 

Tyre Watch – Wireless tire pressure and temperature monitor, excellent system

NOT Working, Battery dead in sensors but may buy some more when in France. I still like this system, it would be nice to be able to change the batteries rather than buy new sensors.

Kisan Chargeguard – Battery monitoring system and charger – This has failed again, I do not recommend this product, it is not waterproof and I will be looking for a different unit suitable for a bike.

Crap Unit Dumped, I don’t have any type of battery monitor this time, I may add one on the road as it will be very useful when I have all the heated gear on when I am up high

Toshiba – Satellite Notebook with wireless adapter for updating this blog

SPOT – Personal tracker and satellite messenger so those at home can stop worrying 🙂 And it has a ‘Come Get Me, I Am Broken” button in case I go A over T and can’t get back up!!!

Still a good system, and I have re-activated this unit for my travels, the price has gone up $30 in two years(FYI)

Olympus- μ720SW Digital camera, waterproof and drop proof, that means ME proof. Well this one died, lucky I had extended warranty as it has now been repaired but is back in OZ, I have broken two cheap cameras since and now have an 850SW, a later version of the same camera

Still have the 850, as a bonus my iPhone has a camera for backup and also my GPS has a camera as well. I am also taking along a helmet Cam, POV, Point of View called Drift Innovation Stealth 170. With the extra batteries and SD cards, I should be able to record all day, just in case something happens, like them moose and bear up in Alsaka


The above camera started to fail with many artifacts and lines giving crap pictures.  Two cameras with failures is not a good record so I have now dumped Olympus and just bought whatever I could find in a shop, as it happens it is a Fujifilm N705 GPS waterproof shockproof


iPod Classic 160GB – Personal music player, plus movie storage and probably photo backup

PIAA 510 Series Auxillary Lights – Excellent for roo spotting, and now deer.

These were sold with the US bike and I have not replaced them. I only rode in the dark twice and have no real intention of doing so again.


REMOVED I am now and have since the US trip being running a CAMOS Bluetooth headset. Never bothered with the mic, but happy with this product. The battery has lost a bit of life and needs charging after 8 hours instead of 14, but until I can source another, I can live with it


Happy Trails – Teton cut aluminium panniers with lid racks, powder coated black

These were left with the US bike, but purchased the NEW quick release ones of the same style as above. There were too quick to release and kept coming off the bike when I crashed, HT have since modified them and by adding a top plate, they now screw in like the older style and should protect my legs in an off

Pacsafe – Tank bag, can lock it to the bike and is lined with steel mesh  Remove3d and replaced with a HELD as PacSafe could not supply a zipper or new base system, they have now removed this product from market

I love this product despite two small issues. The base zipper(that holds it to the tank) fails and also the zipper that closes the top cover. I have had EXCELLENT customer service from PacSafe and they have over the past two years replaced the base twice and replaced the whole bag once. They no longer make them and the zipper is hard to find, but once again PacSafe managed to source one so I can take this bag OS with me, good on em, hopefully they will come out with a replacement system soon

DMH C96 – Waterproof bag for all the extras needed for camping

 Custom Aluminium top box, it is massive and can hold two full face helmets, looking forward to see how it handles being upside down 


Coleman – Exponent 550B725 Multi Fuel stove, excellent simmer control- an essential feature

Roman – Lite Trek Advance sleeping bag, opens right out and 0° capable, if it gets any colder I am not going

Tent – Just a cheap 3 man dome tent at this stage.


11 Responses to “Modifications”

  1. Alfonso said


    Those tubes behind the paniers…how did you attach them to the frame?…

  2. Matt said

    I assume you went with 9″ wide panniers?


  3. Lisa said

    I’m looking at the pacsafe tank bag – are you happy with it? When stopped do you remove it or leave it locked on the bike?
    thanks – enjoying your posts!

    • Hi Lisa and thanks for reading the posts 🙂

      This version is the 25lt and it has at times been a bit big because I tend to fill empty spaces with stuff, but I have learnt to live with it. It also is my storage for my 3lt water bladder, so until I finbd a better spot, it will always be there. There is a 10lt one which would probably suit you and probably me better.

      Most arvos I just unzip it and take it off, it has my documents in it. I rarely lock it to the bike now, unless I am parked in a suss looking place, or plan to leave the bike where I cannot see it or for an extended period of time.

      Cheers Richard

  4. Michael Dawson said

    Hi Richard,
    I note that you used the PIAA series 510 lights on your trip. How did you mount them? Did you use the PIAA lightbar as well, for example?

    • Hi. From memory I used the Pat Walsh light bar but there is a better one to be had from Chad at Carson city it is easier to mount. I don’t use lights now as I don’t ride at night

  5. Michael Dawson said

    Sorry, one more question! What brand of heated grips did you use after the CLS type failed after 5 years?

    • I honestly cannot remember. I bought them from a shop in Switzerland. The grips are Oxfords the controller I don’t know. I would have to look for my trip day back in July 12 after the Vstrom meeting when I stayed with simon

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