Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Almost Done Packing

I think that I'm pretty close to getting all my stuff together for the trip. Only a couple more things to pick up such as some food and maybe a couple of stuff sacks to keep things more organized. For those that carry laptops or tablets, what do you use to ensure that they stay dry?

To follow up from my prior posts regarding the top box, I decided to use it as I found some nice sturdy u-bolts to attach it securely to the rack and feel confident that it'll survive the trip without damaging the bike or add any unnecessary risk. It has really been convenient having it on the bike and in the last couple days of riding, I haven't been able to feel any difference with the top box installed.

I really need to spend more time in the morning checking out the bike before riding. Over the weekend, I noticed that my flashing brake lights, that I installed last year inside of my turn signals, weren't working. The electronic module gets it's power from the tail light and that's when I noticed that my tail light wasn't working. The fuse for the tail light and the "eyebrow" light above the headlight is inside the headlight shell. The fuse wasn't burned out and the process of checking the fuse must have cleaned the fuse contacts. It now works fine. The fuses aren't the modern blade type or even the cylindrical glass fuses but "bullet" or "torpedo" fuses which are little more than a ceramic rod with a calibrated wire draped from end to end. The contacts between the ends of the fuse and the socket are far from air tight.



22 comments:

Unknown said...

Richard:

What ! You're packed already ? I didn't think you were leaving until around July 3rd. Well, at least you can ride around with fully packed cases for more practice.

Just the other day my fuse for my GPS "blew". I didn't know why it shorted out but the power cable got frayed rubbing on the front forks (whilst steering)

bob
Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

RichardM said...

I'm anxious to get on the road but, nope, not packed yet. I just have everything piled up on shelves next to the bike and have "test fitted" the contents of each shelf into the appropriate case/bag. This weekend, I was going to pack up all the cases, weigh them, and take the bike for a test ride. This did force me to actually clean out the cases as they have accumulated a lot of junk over the years...

Where I have any wiring touching an edge where I couldn't zip-tie it down, I ran the wires through a short length of fuel line.

Erik R said...

On long trips, I carry a small notebook computer in my tank bag. I have a zippered case made out of something like a mouse pad. It fits in a 1 gallon zip lock bag. But, I've never had anything in my tank bag get wet, so I think the zip-lock is a bit of over kill. In bad weather I slip the rain cover over the tank bag.

Unknown said...

Eric:

I put my small computer in my top case. It is in a padded netbook size cover. My top box does not leak, I also have my dSLR camera in there

bob
Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

RichardM said...

Erik:
Thank you for the suggestion. I am still trying to decide whether to just take the iPad or small laptop. I'm thinking that since I decided to not bring the DSLR and just use my iPhone for a camera, I really don't need the laptop. But then, things are so much simpler to do on the laptop.

Bob:
My top case has a lot of extra holes in it. I think that it must have been used on a bunch of different bikes. At this point, the extra holes in the bottom are drains.

SonjaM said...

Your journey will be quite epic, so planning and preparing is half the trip. Anyway, you know Murphy's Law. The things you haven't prepared for will be the things most likely to happen.

And Bob has a point mentioning the riding around with the additional weight.

redlegsrides said...

hmmm, glad you found the issue...you're carrying spare fuses so you should be fine. Those are the same type fuses on my '87 R80....sometimes they can be hard to find.

Fuses for the Gerbing gear?

dom


Redleg's Rides

Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

VStar Lady said...

So this is what happens when you take time out from blogging to work. Everything gets organized and you forget to say, I'm coming too! So it's Joseph Oregon for the IMBC. Sounds like the perfect place for a ride (from anywhere).
You are packing and planning well in advance. It is a great idea to have a practice run with the weight.
I'll be throwing my gear on the day before for sure (alright, I've had it stashed away in an organized, already semi packed clump since last summer). I pack my net book in a Seal Line Baja dry bag. It's a 20 litre (a bit of overkill on size but I find, if it looks really nasty, I can throw a few other things in with it). My camera is packed in an Otter box - that also holds cell phone and extra memory cards etc. Have lost both a camera and a cell phone to wet weather and tank bags. My motto, unless it's in a certified dry bag it will get wet if it rains.
Hope I'm not too late to get a room - I was sooooooo looking forward to a cozy, dry bed for the weekend. Will have ask Bob.

RichardM said...

I have everything on the bike now except the dry bag for my commute tomorrow. The dry bag is actually packed with the exception of my running shoes. And the right case has about ¼ of its volume free for food, the tank bag is mostly empty and the top box is about ¾ full but still pretty light.

RichardM said...

Yep, have two extra 10 amp fuses for the Gerbing gear. I'm somewhat tempted to replace all of those weird bullet fuses sometime. They always seem to want to be fiddled with.

RichardM said...

It's that "work" thing that keeps messing things up. I have not made a long motorcycling trip before so this is new to me. Plus I plan on camping whenever I can. The temperatures on this trip will range from freezing to triple digits so I need to bring appropriate gear for those extremes.

I'm headed down to a family reunion in Santa Cruz before the IMBC which is why I'm headed down early.

Trobairitz said...

Almost time. Two more weeks and you will be race ready.

If you need to leave anything in Corvallis on your way down let us know as we can probably bring it to you in Baker City. Since we aren't camping we should have lots of room on the bikes. That might make things easier for you as I know you were thinking of leaving gear and/or camping stuff on your way down, but weren't sure how to get it to Baker. Just a thought.

Trobairitz said...

Miss V-Star - are you confirming you are joining us for the IMBC? If so, that is way cool.

Troubadour said...

Buy a small tube of dielectric grease and dab the contacts at each end of the bullet fuse, that should keep the corrosion at bay until you can get them switched out.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Richard M:

I was looking at the detail of your fuses with great interest. I think you would probably benefit from a newer Centech, or FuzeBloc arrangement at some point in the future. I would imagine the vibration must play hell with the original fuses.

I never really got a vacation, and carried my 15" laptop in one of my side bags, packed in a special padded sleeve. This arrangement worked so well that the unit survived a catastrophic dismount, when I was run over by a car. Yet the following year, I made the mistake of putting the computer in the pannier over the exhaust pipe, and cooked it. Naturally, I got called to work while on the road and had to order a new Apple Computer delivered, via Federal Express, to my hotel room.

How exciting to be leaving on an epic ride this summer!

This is the year that everyone is planning some kind of an epic ride, and my left leg is still in bandages. The doctor has further grounded me for an additional 5 months, so I am effectively making plans for next season.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep
Twisted Roads

Unknown said...

Richard:

you are on a bike trip of a lifetime. I would bring the dSLR and laptop. Holes in the bottom would not get your contents wet, but you could also Silicone them before you leave and cover with a piece of cardboard

bob
Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

RichardM said...

Thank you for the offer, that would be really convenient as I don't plan on doing much camping south of the border. Would the dry bag be too much?

RichardM said...

You are correct that a complete rewire of the bike would be a good idea with more modern fuses and not have everything residing inside of the headlight shell. It's a pain to check the fuses as you need to remove the glass cover from the fairing, then remove the headlight then dig your way back to the fuse block buried under the tangle of wiring. Since a lot of the 30 year old wiring is losing its flexibility, that may be a great winter project.

RichardM said...

That's a great idea. I have been using that on the relays and connectors but didn't think of using it on the fuses.

RichardM said...

Bob:

I prefer to think of it as the first of many trips. I've made the trip by car/truck/suv/minivan/rv about 18 times and it is far from the "trip of a lifetime". Kind of like going across country without using the Interstates. I think it's farther for you to go from Vancouver to Key West or PA than to Alaska....

Conchscooter said...

Top boxes are wonderful tools much derided for some reason. In Europe and California where lane splitting is allowed top cases are invaluable. Iuse a cubic Emgo which has no compound curves and can't be locked with the key inside.
Since I got my iPad I rarely use the laborious laptop. I find blogging is simple with the camera card adapter and the Blogpress application. As usual I am out of step as what others find complex I find simple.

I have ridden motorcycles long distances in Europe Africa and several times across the US. I don't give advice as it is rarely taken, but I believe firmly in traveling light, enjoying the motorcycle ( not the camping) and exercising enough that riding the bike isn't torture. People seem to find endless reasons not to ride but it's only by riding you become proficient and touring is just riding again and again and again...all the equipment in the world doesn't make anyone a better rider. The trouble is it is easier to spend money than to go for a ride for most people.

RichardM said...

Thank you for your input. I am thinking of taking just the iPad (with the camera connection kit if I take a camera) just for simplicity. I must admit that I actually enjoy the camping bit and plan on camping through Canada. Once I hit the U.S. border, it becomes much more of a pain.

Even with my side cases on, the mirrors are the widest part of the bike.