The preparations for a trip can be almost as exciting as the trip itself. They can also take longer.
In reality, I don’t have much to do, even though this will be my first overnighter with the R12ST (I know… WTH have I been doing all this time???).
- New tires two weekends ago (with pictorial evidence - on the way to get them swapped in) Continental Road Attacks. They rock. They’re also broken in. I’ve got about 500 miles on them. Great wear so far.
- Rewired the Givi tail-light to use a continuous wire instead of the funky spring connections that have only worked intermittently for the last year or two.
- Finally got the headlight modulator installed and working. While I was at it, I swapped an Osram Silverstar that I had lying around into one of my headlights. The removed bulb was carefully packaged and placed into my onboard tool bag as a spare.
- Applied a 3M reflective sticker kit to my saddlebags and trunk. I now have something like 4 square feet of rear reflectivity at night. These sticker kits are really neat. They are black in daylight, but reflect white at night.
- My cruise control is not currently working. I’ve been intensively troubleshooting it for the last few weeks, but no dice. I’ve pretty much resigned myself to not having it for this trip. I guess it’s not so bad. Most motorcycles on the road don’t have cruise control. I keep reminding myself that if B12Bill could go cross country without a throttle lock OR throttle rocker (as he‘d tell me whenever he heard me whining about cruise control troubles), I’m not so bad off.
Sidenote: I’m truly glad that I’m far past the death grip stage in my riding career. I vividly remember riding my CB350 from San Jose to San Luis Obispo (3 hours) with a death grip keeping the throttle pinned. That was painful. I don’t know how newbies do it.
I also bought a few new accessories for the road.
- Battery powered toothbrushes have really come down in cost. I picked up an OralB for $5. I used to hate the feeling of using a manual toothbrush when on the road, instead of my deluxe rechargeable. Now my teeth should be squeaky clean morning and night.
- Adapter cord for charging electronics. BMW uses a funky power socket, so while I have one built in on the bike, I couldn’t actually use it. Until now. I’m thinking that my old Giant Tank Bag ™ is going to get strapped to the rear seat and get used as a charging station for all my various goodies. With the ST’s giant saddlebags, the tent and sleeping bag should no longer take up seat space.
- I also acquired a cheap bullet camera for taking onboard video. I’m not going to hype it until I see how it does.
Among the stuff that will have to wait for last minute:
- Business cards with rocketbunny information to hand out to people I meet. I’ve been meaning to do this for a few years. I have a design in mind and the pre-cut cards to do it with. I just need to sit down at my graphics computer and do it.
- Refresh my ebook collection. I carry a Ipaq loaded with ebooks for night and meal reading. I usually load at least 5 books. The pda is smaller than a paperback, so using it for this really helps save space.
- Load a backup MP3 player. I’ve been meaning to raid Dad’s classic rock collection. This will be for those times when the XM craps out due to canyon or tree cover.
- Oh, and my Givi trunk? It’s a mess. I gotta go in with a trash bag to make space for clothes and the laptop. Of course, nothing in there is really “meant” to be there, it just migrated through repeated use. At least the saddlebags are relatively neat right now.