Friday, 26 February 2010

Best Bike Touring Item?

I was just writing something about packing for a motorcycle tour and it got me thinking about what was the most useful items us touring motorcyclists take on our trips. I would like to know from you what your most useful items are on a motorcycle tour. I will start the ball rolling and say that I enjoy listening to music not just on my bike but also in the places I stop at overnight. I have been trying for years to find a good sounding but small speaker system that I can plug my iPod into for when I am in motel or wherever I am staying that night. I have tried a few over the years, but they either don't sound good or are to bulky for carrying on a bike.

Then out-of-the-blue, I found myself on Christmas day opening tiny present that my darling wife had just given to me. It was a speaker by Lifetrons and it is fantastic! It is very small sounds just great. It has about a nine hour battery life and is recharged via a USB so it is perfect if you are taking a laptop or netbook, meaning you dont need to take a bulky charger for it. Here is a link to the Lifetrons Website. I have to say that this tiny speaker is stunningly good to take on a bike tour.

What I would like to hear from you is what item do you find most useful on a bike trip. I dont mean common items like cameras or cell phones that we all take, but other things that are maybe more unusual.......?

10 comments:

Mr. Motorcycle said...

A compass. Maps aren't always right( or up to date on new construction areas, nor are G.P.S.'s, but compasses never lie about what direction they point you in. Regardless of where you are, if you know where you need to go, they can point you in the right direction. They even help you while using a map if you get yourself turned around.

bobskoot said...

Gary:

Not to talk about cameras, cell phones or electronics stuff but when you carry as many as I do as backups it becomes a chore to drag out the specific charger for each item, which is different. It's Murphy's Law or like tyres for a car, nothing is interchangeable. I was also thinking of a post about my universal battery charger which is capable of recharging nearly every battery for everything I carry in a small unit which takes nearly no room and comes with AC and 12V car adapter.
I also ditched my Nikon dSLR for two small compact cameras instead, with one capable of AVCHD HD video, which I used on my recent trip to Hawai'i

bob
bobskoot: wet coast scootin

bobskoot said...

Gary:

an afterthought to your previous post:

I am not sure if you will have a problem or not BUT my NETBOOK only has 1200 x 600 LCD display. I have the ACER one. I had problems installing imaging software as the program detects that the resolution is not great enough so aborts the install. While the Acer will display larger than 1200 x 600 you have to use an external monitor to "TRICK" the system . Once installed, it should work as normal.
I have edited video on my netbook using WMM (Windows Movie Maker) but nothing High Definition. I think if you can get the PREL7 installed you should look into Proxy Editing due to the limited resources of most Netbooks.

bob
bobskoot: wet coast scootin

motoroz said...

Make sure you have a good flashlight - something just in case you break down and it get dark. You will want to be seen by those other vehicles if you are on the side of the road. Get a good small LED flashlight.

I love the little speaker. I am going to check in to that.

Motorcycle Philosophy said...

Comfort is king on a long road trip. Best touring item for me is a soft comfortable seat. Second is something the stretch out my legs on. Third is cruise control.

Gary France said...

Mark - I agree, so I have already found one to take with me.

Bob - I need to sort this out because at the moment I will have too much precious space taken up with various chargers. I am trying wherever possible to find USB chargers for my gear so I can simply use my netbook for charging other items, but that isn't always possible. As ever, if you write about this topic on your blog, I will no doubt find it very useful.

Bob again - good point. I have been a little busy recently and haven't even opened the GoPro and Adobe Premiere Elements boxes yet. I will keep an eye out to see if this is a problem.

Oz - Got an LED one already and it is in the box of gear for the tour that is slowly coming together.

MP - I have 1 and 3 already. Not sure about 2 - I actually don't like highway pegs, so I just stop whenever I need to and take a short walk. That does it for me.

bobskoot said...

Gary:

I have a Lenmar Unisource charger. comes with 12V and AC plugs. It may also detect 240 AC, will have to go home to check. It has moveable pins enabling it to charge all my camera and cell phone with any liion batteries 3.7v or 7.4v also you can used the charger with 12v from the bike. It is about the size of a deck of cards and replaces all the chargers I need except for the netbook.

like this one:

http://www.thomasdistributing.com/shop/bcuni-lenmar-universal-charger-for-li-ion-nickelmetal-hydride-nickel-cadmiumcharges-aa-aaa-rechargeable-cells-cellular-phone-batteries-camcorder-batteries-digital-camera-batteries-and-pda-batteries-p-1737.html?SP_id=&osCsid=a98rm8a91donrsllit8gi3gna7

bob
bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Willy D said...

Can’t help much on packing the tech stuff. Just carry my camera. I can always find Internet access at motels or Internet Cafés. Toolkit, oil, sleeping bag and leathers. I’m set.

Chuck Pefley said...

Gary, two things come to mind right off: my Garmin Zumo 550 GPS and my heated jacket liner. Oh, winter and summer gloves, rain gear, bottle of water, high energy snacks and sun glasses, Plexiglass cleaner and soft cloth ... did I say two things?

Gary France said...

Bob - Thanks for the suggestion - I am still undecided about which way to go with chargers. I still like the USB route, even though I cannot do everything with it.

Willy - I like the simplicity of your list! I was wondering about internet access because I will be taking my small laptop. I am pleased to hear access is available at most places.

Chuck - I totally agree about the Sat Nav. What is the plexiglass cleaner for? I am guessing glasses and camera lenses, but it is not a term used over here in the UK, or at least, not by me.