As the saying goes “Gear up for the slide, not the ride”. I am of the mind safety is paramount when riding. I have had many accidents and come off the motorbike numerous times, on and off road. Good gear is important. I can guarantee you when the substantial amount of damage to your body is done because of an accident, you will pay anything to get well again.
Check out the bottom of this post for a gear video and my gear list!
Comfort and quality are the two main factors in choosing a helmet. I wear the Schuberth c2 flip top helmet, with tape on the visor to act as a sun blocker. The flip top helmet makes it easy to talk to people and cool down in hot climates, it’s less claustrophobic. Its also known to be one of the safest helmets on the market.
Africa is HOT, really HOT. I went for body armor then layered with a riding jacket and for off-road or hot climates, a dirtbike jersey. When riding with a motocross jersey, make sure you have an H2O reservoir to keep hydrated.
Jackets and pants
I used the Klim Traverse gear, lightweight gear with a high amount of protection, it has adequate venting for medium temperatures and after almost 100’000km riding it still looks and works like new. Both have a Gore-tex membrane so no need for a waterproof over suit.
The Batman onesie I wore to cross the Swiss Alps on the final day. temperatures got down to -3degs
Riding off-road a lot, a good pair of boots are critical. When you are tired, the boots are full of mud making them heavy it’s easy to drag a leg and get court up in the pannier system causing a break. I used the Sidi Adventure boots and super happy with them. There is a great article on Gear-Zilla.com going over the pros and cons of the best adventure riding boots available on the market. Check it out: http://gear-zilla.com/adventure-motorcycle-boots/
Use full-length high-quality gloves. And be prepared to replace them often. Most gloves don’t last long and need to be replaced or repaired yearly.
When choosing a tent, always add a person to store your gear. i.e. If you are traveling alone, take a two-person tent. It’s better to keep all your gear inside the tent, often packing up in the morning after a night in a West African Jungle, I was happy all the weird creepy crawlies were not in my gear.
Get a tent where you can remove the outer rain layer, leaving only the mosquito net part to sleep under. Temperatures can get very hot and just having the mosquito net system will let a lot more airflow through.
Take a silk liner for your sleeping mattress. Most air mattresses are made of plastic, in hot conditions you will sweat a lot and having this silk layer will make it bearable.
It is advised to use a multi-burner for cooking. You can always get petrol all over the world, no matter how remote. Another option is to siphon some from your motorbike tank. A full bottle of cooking petrol also acts as a backup if you run out of petrol on the road. A bit messy and fiddly, but a must. Gas bottles are hard to come by outside of USA and Europe.
Take a gravity fed system over a pump system. There are a few reasons why a gravity fed system is better. First, you can filter a lot more water in a shorter amount of time, often I would filter 3L (The side of my water reservoir) within 5 minutes.
Another reason why gravity fed systems are better than pump systems is hygiene. Often you must take water from a tap, with a pump system you must first sterilize the basin then plug the hole to pump, a pain in the ass and disgusting. With a gravity fed system, you only need to hold the bag to the tap and full. Another bonus is working parts, a pump system has many parts that can break and needs replacing, with a gravity fed system, there is nothing to replace and it’s easy to maintain.
Those are my main tips! Reach out if you have any questions about the gear.
I made a video in Ghana West Africa. You can see all my gear in this video:
Here is a gear list:
★★★ THE GEAR I USE ★★★ ★
On the bike and stuff ★
The baggage: http://enduristain.com
Pacsafe mesh: http://amzn.to/2tkM6Qq
Pacsafe gear bag: http://amzn.to/2hSqw0v
Riding Gear bag: http://amzn.to/2vvFLzM
Air Pump: http://amzn.to/2tkDV6H
Spot GPS bike tracker: http://amzn.to/2vMnTAs
★ Camping Gear ★
Camping Chair: http://bit.ly/2vYQyVm
MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Tent: http://amzn.to/2hSAdMn
MSR Hubba Hubba Tent Footprint: http://amzn.to/2vvlQ3K
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Mattress: http://amzn.to/2vzU0U1
SteriPen Adventurer Opti UV Water Purifier: http://amzn.to/2vNzNN2
★ Riding Gear ★
Klim Traverse Jacket: http://amzn.to/2vvbKQp
Klim Traverse Pants: http://amzn.to/2vNO7p1 (They don’t stock gray)
Sidi Adventure 2 Boots: http://amzn.to/2uOEuBU
Schuberth C3 Helmet: http://amzn.to/2vviC0g
BMW Rally Gloves: http://amzn.to/2vNvzoG
Dainese Body Armor: http://amzn.to/2vrrZQ1