I suffered from terrible 'numb bum' on the ride to India. Not so on the Bantam or Matchless, thanks to a Supreme Comfort Seat gel pad. Made from medical grade gel and easy to fit, these pads really make a difference. The one on my Royal Enfield 500 Twin is made to suit classic bikes with a single sprung saddle. However, they are also available for dual seats, pillions and modern motorcycles.
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I used a bike cover from Specialised Covers on all my rides. They are superb. The company produce excellent made to measure bike covers but the Twin easily fits inside one of their standard size designs. The cover is waterproof, lightweight and clips under the bike front and rear for added security. I consider it an essential as when covered, a motorcycle effectively disappears from sight and is no longer an attractive traveller's machine to be played with or stolen from.
Another success from my previous overland journeys was the 49 litre Ortlieb Rack Pack. Ortlieb make superb outdoors equipment, tried and tested by travellers for over 25 years. It has a full-width roll closure which allows fast access and keeps water and dust safely on the outside. It has never let me down.
Rok Straps are unquestionably the best when it comes to securing luggage onto motorcycles. i used them extensively on all my previous overland journeys, strapping awkward and heavy luggage onto my forward crash bars and rear rack. Rok Strapsare very versitile and I have used them to secure spare tyres, fuel containers and tool rolls as well as the larger rack pack and soft panniers. They're easily adjustable, have no dangerous hooks and are very strong. Truly excellent kit for any motorcycle journey.
Securing your motorcycle, especially at night, is crucial, yet it's simply not possible on this journey to carry a huge, heavily armoured chain. A good compromise is a hardenend steel cable lock. Mine came from Brendan Layton of SS Direct, a regular trader at all major UK motorcycle shows and autojumbles.
There's nothing like having the right tool for the job! After years of fiddling around with second hand tools of average quality, I now have a set of the best, thanks to British manufacturerBritool. I also used these superbly made tools on my 3 previous overland rides and they feel like they will last a lifetime. Britool are now kniown as Expert by Facom.
I usedExpedition Pannierz by Andy Strapz on the ride toi Vietnam. They're as tough as old boots and carried at least 10KG each side. I used them with liners and not a drop of water or speck of dust penetrated them. They're also great in a spill, absorbing some of the impact. Once you have done it a few times, they're relatively easy to take off and on the bike. I'll also be using them to ride to Cape Town.
I used Ortlieb Dry Bags extensively on my previous overland journeys. In them I carried tools, camping gear, waterproofs and motorcycle cover. Ortlieb make superb outdoors equipment, tried and tested by travellers for over 25 years. They are fully waterproof in the toughest oif conditioins yet incredibly easy to access.
Being an old British motoircycle, my 500 Twin needs much more frequent oil changes than a modern bike. Consequently, carrying lots of oil becomes an important consideration on a long journey. I'm taking 1 x 2 litre and 2 x 1.5 litre containers from German Compoany FuelFriend to help distribute the weight of that oil around the bike. They are simple but very well made.
Carrying spare fuel is often a consideratioin on overland journeys. In the past, I have strapped on a small plastic jerrycan but have never been satisfied with the arrangement. I now have a 1.5 gallon Fuelpax from Rotopax, which securely mounts onto the bike with it's own tough mount. I'll use it for carrying oil during the European leg of the journey and when necessary, for carrying spare petrol on the African leg.
I used a Wolfman Enduro tank bag on the ride to Vietnam and it did everything I needed. I'm using the same bag on the Nordkapp to Cape Town ride. Mine came from UK motorcycle accessory supplier Winding Roads.