Richard recently made a comment about my riding my Vstrom when I take my trip this year. For the past few months I have been getting my Nu2Me BMW R1200R ready for this years riding season. I bought it for highway travel as I feel it is safer. It has Traction control (ASC), TPS: Tire Pressure Sensors and on-board computer system. It also has ABS and shaft drive so there will be less maintenance than my Suzuki. The items that I had serviced were just regular maintenance that should have been done by the previous owner, but I had a feeling that it was neglected. I have previously bought new Michelin Pilot Road2 tires and now I have my new battery. The brake pads are virtually new so I didn't change them and I have already had all fluids changed; including brake fluid flush, transmission flush, diff flush and spline lube. All of these items are just regular items that have to be done whether I go on a trip or not.
Now that my R is ready for the road, it will always be ready for the road as it will always be "highway and vacation" ready
My Vstrom needs nothing done and it is also "highway" ready but if I were to take a long trip with it I would have new sprockets and chain replaced. They look new as I am not a fast rider and I always keep it lubed up but with nearly 30k kilometers I would rather not have to deal with replacement "on the road". I would rather pay extra and have them changed out before I leave. It is not easy to find a dealer in an unfamiliar area and of course any failure would happen at the worst possible location, or on a Sunday.
Now I have two bikes perfectly capable of extended travel. Both are set up for touring with hard side cases and top box. My Vstrom, which I bought new has taken me to Montana, Idaho, Oregon & Washington. In fact I have ridden to Oregon the past 5 years since 2008 and this year I wanted to go somewhere where I had never been before. I trust my Vstrom, it is reliable and is able to eat up less than perfect road surfaces.
Most of my riding prior to 2008 has been within a 250 mile radius from home. I have ridden to Vancouver Island and Kelowna on my Maxi-Scooter. In fact I even rode my Kymco X500Ri as far south as Mount Hood for the Sound Rider Maxi Scoot rally. I have probably owned more than 25, 2 wheeled vehicles from Hondas, Suzukis and many scooters but all my riding has been within our Urban area. I bought a brand new Suzuki GS1100L in 1981 and I think the farthest I rode was to Bellingham, WA.
My limited range was mainly due to not wanting to selfishly horde all of my vacation time for my own pleasure. I was always respectful of Mrs Skoot's time and our desire to be together on road trips which we took in our sports car. For the past 30 years we always had a "spare" car, mainly convertibles. Mostly MGB's, Alfa Romeos, VW Westfalia, Firebird convertible, Sebring Convertible and a couple of Corvettes. I still have a C5 Corvette Roadster. Somewhere around 2005 I started to take 3 day weekends to go to out of town rallies. My first multi day solo ride to Oregon was 5 or 6 days (in 2008). My plan was to take one riding vacation a year and perhaps another couple of 3 day extended weekends. I also don't ride on Sundays so you notice that while I like to ride, it cannot be an obsession as I must be respectful to others around me.
I am past retirement age and I feel that I haven't really traveled anywhere on my bike so I am trying to make up for lost time now, before my health fails. You can grow old and have regrets about not doing something. You can dream but your dreams may never come true. You can wait for the perfect time then find that you are physically unable.
This year I have planned for a much longer trip which will take me to the far side of the Continent. This may be the first of a few so I have investigated the possibility of leaving my bike somewhere and flying home with the idea of flying there next year to continue my trip, and if I did this, I would rather leave my Vstrom, thus the idea that at the last moment I may change my mind and not take my R even though that is currently my plan. This is the reason that I have not yet sold it. The other idea is that I may not like my R after I return, thus I would have the option of selling my Beemer and just keeping my Vstrom.
My Vstrom is more fuel efficient, uses Regular fuel and has a much larger gas tank (nearly 23 litres). It also has ABS but has more storage with 40 L side cases and 44 ltr top case. I regularly get 500 kms per tank with city riding, more on the highway. Mr R only has 32 L sidecases but I bought a 47 l topcase but the gas tank is only 17 ltrs and it has to use Premium fuel. The R is more relaxed on the highway as at highway speeds it is turning nearly 2k RPM slower and has much more power on demand with brakes 4x better, with traction control. It is hard to decide which is better. The R is about 80 lbs lighter and easier to push around.
I have storage under the seat of my Vstrom where I can put wrenches, tire plug kits extra tools and also my small air compressor. The R is space challenged so I thought I could make a small tool tube so I could carry a ratchet with a few standard sized sockets. There is not much room anywhere to hang it
Here is a 1-1/2" IPS DWV ABS plumbing pipe which I cut down to size with end caps and the only place is behind the side case rack on the backside of the bike frame, near the tire. I just hope the suspension doesn't bounce low enough to dislodge it, or get jammed into the wheel rim
With the side cases mounted I don't think you will even notice it. I just have to figure out how to fix it there
I still have time to figure out what to pack. I have two small folding chairs but I think I can pack one with my sleeping pad in one of my dry bags