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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am planning a nice late summer ride home to Bozeman, MT this August. Now i must do what i initially laughed at. I am going to do some modifications to turn the 09 into a miniature sport touring ride. Here are my plans:

I purchased a MRA double bubble from a forum member. I don't want the big touring windshield, i just want a little protection. If it does as described and works as a front spoiler thats a plus since will have more weight on the rear than I'm used to. It should also not ruin the badass nature of touring on a naked bike too much.

I'm considering some hand protection, I don't want any lights or anything just something to keep the bugs, rocks, and wind from tiring out my hands too much. Any recommendations on a economic solution would be appreciated.

I got a set of cortech universal saddle bags and tail bag FREE from a very nice man at a local dealership. He had used them previously on his old sports bike but had no use for them anymore. They were about a $600 value. Only issues with them were a bit of dust, some sun fading on the saddle bags, and a missing rain fly from one of the saddle bags. So that just means that one side will be all waterproof items, no big deal for free loot! Very nice individual, another reason why the motorcycle community is amazing.

A couple more items for baggage, i want to keep the soft bags one brand so I'm considering the Cortech Super 2.0 12-Liter Strap Mounted Tank Bag for the stuff i want easy access to like sunglasses, wallet, cell phone, maps, etc. I plan on doing the mapping old school, since a GPS on a bike takes away from the BA nature of the journey. I will have my cell if necessary.

I'm going to get a top case probably in the 40L range since its not too huge, but its big enough to house most large items. I will use the Yamaha rear rack since it seems to be the most readily available and most rigidly built IMO. I haven't decided on a top case yet, but I want to spend around $150 and i want to make sure its waterproof and has a backrest so it's useful for my wife riding on the back. Again any advice is appreciated.

So on to the camping gear!
I just ordered from Steep & Cheep an ALPS Mountaineering Foundation Sleeping Pad XL so its more than large enough for my 5'9 and its 3" thick so hopefully supportive enough for my bad back...probably not but thats what "roughing" it is all about. I also ordered an ALPS Mountaineering Extreme 2 Tent: 2-Person 3-Season tent, its not particularly light but its supposed to withstand fairly extreme weather and has a sizable vestibule for wet boots. Lastly i just ordered a 20 degree sleeping bag. Which might not be fully adequate, but its certainly going to be warmer than my 1 kilo bag and with some warm clothes should keep me warm enough. I also got my hands on a Steve Mcqueen shirt for 9 bucks :)
DARGN.jpg

I still need a small camp stove, and a drop cloth(i will probably go with a canvas oiled tarp) and a few other miscellaneous bits of camp equipment.

I have added a car charger connector to the bike already so i can keep my electronics running throughout the trip.

Now for the reason I'm posting for those of you who have done bike camping trips, what kinds of things have I apparently overlooked and what advice do you have for me? I plan on going up interstate 15 as a general guide, but i want to do more side roads as i near Montana. The desert regions don't interest me much for camping, so my first night will probably be spent in Utah then probably Idaho so i can check out the Tetons, and some of Yellowstone from the back of a bike. Being a local to the region i have seen them both many many times, so i want to experience them from the back of a motorcycle. Of course if there are any of you along the path of travel or even close to it i would greatly enjoy meeting you and getting some local brew.

Zach
 

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sounds like one hell of an adventure! I went to Montana back in 2008. Not on a motorcycle of course. I could not ride that far on my current seat. I have the seat concepts also with softer foam. Are you doing this trip two up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm hoping the seat concepts is adequate, I ride pretty far on it on the weekends. I might get one of those furry pads lol. No it will just be me. My wife graciously offered to stay behind and watch the animals.


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Hey Z:

I may be riding to Bozeman in this May. Depends on the weather but I've got a wedding in Boulder followed by a trip up to Bozeman to visit some friends. Im looking forward to riding through Yellowstone and Big Sky down to Bozeman. I hope I get to ride and not drive. It will be mainly up to the weather man.


Daniel
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey Z:

I may be riding to Bozeman in this May. Depends on the weather but I've got a wedding in Boulder followed by a trip up to Bozeman to visit some friends. Im looking forward to riding through Yellowstone and Big Sky down to Bozeman. I hope I get to ride and not drive. It will be mainly up to the weather man.


Daniel
That's a great route! Highway 191 can be pretty sketchy, I think it's one of the most dangerous highways in Montana especially in the transition season like May-June because of the sand on the roads. Big Sky is open until mid April most of the time for skiing. They did some construction last year to widen some of the areas but it's one of my favorite drive/rides. From west Yellowstone, past quake lake, and all the cliffs with mountain sheep. No such thing as chains required like dear old CA. But yeah the weather will be a factor for you. Worst case scenario you could take 15 north to Butte then 90 east. If the weather got suddenly bad on your way.


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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Since the FZ is not equipped well to carry a lot of stuff, you might want to reconsider camping. One inexpensive alternative are the small family owned "Mom and Pop" motels found everywhere.

Mom and Pop Motels | Welcome
That's a good idea, I'm pretty determined to camp though. If it doesn't work out I will definitely use this resource since you are right the 09 has few options for cargo. That's half the fun for me, trying to get everything to work.


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That's a great route! Highway 191 can be pretty sketchy, I think it's one of the most dangerous highways in Montana especially in the transition season like May-June because of the sand on the roads. Big Sky is open until mid April most of the time for skiing. They did some construction last year to widen some of the areas but it's one of my favorite drive/rides. From west Yellowstone, past quake lake, and all the cliffs with mountain sheep. No such thing as chains required like dear old CA. But yeah the weather will be a factor for you. Worst case scenario you could take 15 north to Butte then 90 east. If the weather got suddenly bad on your way.


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Yeah I've driven 191 many times. We have been going to Bozeman a few times a year for the past 12-13 years to visit our friends and I'm sure I've driven every route possible into town at this point and I've been stuck in big sky while they cleared head on collisions on 191. I've got friends in Ennis too so may go in that way possibly depending on schedule etc. Incredible country up there! Gotta figure a way to secure my fly rod on the bike!

Daniel


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah I've driven 191 many times. We have been going to Bozeman a few times a year for the past 12-13 years to visit our friends and I'm sure I've driven every route possible into town at this point and I've been stuck in big sky while they cleared head on collisions on 191. I've got friends in Ennis too so may go in that way possibly depending on schedule etc. Incredible country up there! Gotta figure a way to secure my fly rod on the bike!

Daniel


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That's awesome! You are lucky to have a good excuse to go up there! Most Californians just go to annoy the locals. Only reason I'm not moving back for a while is the lack of decent paying jobs, but it will always be my home. Random thought have you made it up the beartooth highway? Definitely worth a visit if you make it down there during the warmer months, it's absolutely stunning even by Montana standards. You could always ship it up there! You gotta get a "Where the river runs through it" picture when you are fishing with the Bridgers in the background.


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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I like MSR stoves.

Keep the weight forward as much as you reasonably can. Personally I'd stay away from a top case, I'd use this: SW-MOTECH Bags-Connection EVO Cargobag motorcycle luggage system - TwistedThrottle.com

Oops, I reread your OP, your wife will be a passenger? I figured she'd be riding her new Kawasaki.
I like the MSR too, small and light and quite effective.

I might try to figure out a way to mount some gear on the front if it's at all possible. Probably not safe though.

I have a similar system with the cortech bags, I will have to add a pic to the OP to show them. I want a top case for the extra room, I'm afraid that just the tail bag and saddle bags won't be enough space for a couple weeks. I plan on doing laundry in MT but it's still a whole.

No the wife won't be coming on this trip. Somebody has to watch the animals while I'm gone, and she offered to stay and keep working. I just want the top case to have a back rest for traveling around town.

Zach


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For my 2000 mile trip recently, I used a MotoCentric 19 tank bag that I wired for electronics SAE to USB with a mini USB cable with micro and iPod tips for everything. It fits well on the bike and has a built-in rain fly that pulls back and over in case of rain. Not matter how waterproof my bags are, I pack all of my stuff in bags. I use freezer bags for electronics and Large Ziploc Big Bags for my clothes. I sit on them to expunge the air after I pack them up. Last but not least, I carry AAA Plus Roadside assistance in case of emergencies. The MRA Touring screen saved my ass in brutal wind and rain, and I will keep it for road trips, as I plan on getting a smaller screen for daily duty. I carry a light pack just in case I pick up things along the way. I only pack for four days and wash clothes at a motel or laundrymat along the way.

MotoCentric Mototrek 19 Tank Bag - Motorcycle Superstore

Amazon.com: Battery Tender 081-0158 Black Quick Disconnect Plug with USB Charger: Automotive

SAE Tankbag Wall Electrical Cable Pass-Through - TwistedThrottle.com

AAA Plus Membership



 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
For my 2000 mile trip recently, I used a MotoCentric 19 tank bag that I wired for electronics SAE to USB with a mini USB cable with micro and iPod tips for everything. It fits well on the bike and has a built-in rain fly that pulls back and over in case of rain. Not matter how waterproof my bags are, I pack all of my stuff in bags. I use freezer bags for electronics and Large Ziploc Big Bags for my clothes. I sit on them to expunge the air after I pack them up. Last but not least, I carry AAA Plus Roadside assistance in case of emergencies. The MRA Touring screen saved my ass in brutal wind and rain, and I will keep it for road trips, as I plan on getting a smaller screen for daily duty. I carry a light pack just in case I pick up things along the way. I only pack for four days and wash clothes at a motel or laundrymat along the way.

MotoCentric Mototrek 19 Tank Bag - Motorcycle Superstore

Amazon.com: Battery Tender 081-0158 Black Quick Disconnect Plug with USB Charger: Automotive

SAE Tankbag Wall Electrical Cable Pass-Through - TwistedThrottle.com

AAA Plus Membership



Thanks Doug! Always a wealth of information! I will incorporate some of your ideas for sure, I have roadside assistance through my insurance, so I at least have that part covered.

Did you use the magnetic or strap base for the bag? I like the larger size and cheaper price. Did it get in the way at all? Thanks!

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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if you're looking for suggestions, as far as rear racks go, the new sw motech one looks good when not in use, and very useful when it's got my 45L givi in place.
Between that and my 25L tank bag (sw motech again) the fz tours very well indeed
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Time for an update! And I have pictures!

Here is the baggage so far, all i have left is to get a top case, and the most recent update is the MOTOcentric tank bag on DNFDOUG's recommendation. I got the strap base because i don't like the magnets, IMO they aren't good enough and they are more likely to scratch.

photo 5.jpg
photo 1.jpg
photo 2.jpg
photo 3.jpg
photo 4.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
More pictures:
photo 1-1.jpg
photo 2-1.jpg
photo 3-1.jpg
photo 4-1.jpg
photo 5-1.jpg

Problem i have run into is that my sleeping pad is huge. I may have to get a smaller one for motorcycle camping. I do plan on putting the tent and sleeping bag inside of a bag or the top case i plan to get. I used some random bars to simulate a rear rack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
And the wind protection:
windscreen.jpg
Works well, it gets the wind to just below my throat.
 

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I am so jealous. My wife and I have camped (MC) all over the US and Canada. I built a trailer to haul all my gear. It worked great. Unfortunately, age has taken it's toll and my wife won't travel with me anymore. That was so long ago the trailer, which was outside in the elements in my backyard, essentially rusted away. Good Times!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Got the Storm S-1 Handguards on! They look mean...much better than I expected. I haven't ridden with them yet but they are pretty big so I'm sure the improvement on wind protection and the protection from flying objects will be noticeable.
Front.jpg
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