Our travels were completely self-funded and self-supported. We received no financial support or free motorcycles, equipment, accessories, apparel, cameras, printers, electronics, tools or supplies from any vendor, manufacturer or retailer.
The following is a list of products that proved to be reliable, rugged and suitable for extended travel in undeveloped areas of the world.
This may be considered an unpaid, entirely volunteer endorsement of these products, vendors and suppliers. We have received absolutely no compensation of any form for these endorsements. In that sense, they are probably more reflective of what actually works than paid endorsements given by famous, semi-famous, wish-they-were-famous, famous-in-their-own-minds or not-famous-in-any-respect people made in exchange for cash, or free/reduced-price products.
- Kisan Pathblazer Headlight Modulator This device flashes the high beam during daylight hours. Oncoming drivers will notice you and be less inclined to turn left in front of you.
- Hyper-Lite Brake Light This device adds very bright LEDs and flashing to your brake light. Increases your visibility to following drivers. As someone who has been rear-ended on a motorcycle lacking this device, the Hyper-Lite has my full endorsement.
DO NOT leave home without these two devices installed. I couldn’t begin to estimate the number of times they saved our lives.
- Aerostitch. Darien Jacket & Pants, heated fleece vests, various other great things (Full disclosure: we know the owner and have shared sake around campfires with him. Even so, it's still a great company with outstanding products and an entertaining catalog.)
- Touratech / Cycoactive Tank bags & pannier boxes. Outstanding equipment and industry-leading customer service from our retailer, Cycoactive
- Garmin GPS You'll see more of these on the road than any other brand, by a 10:1 margin, for good reason. Rugged, reliable, sorted.
- BMW Gore-Tex Boots. While some of BMW’s off-road riding gear displays humorous manifestations of German logic (you must take your jacket off in the rain in order to put on the waterproof liner to stay dry, never mind the things in your jacket pockets or the fact you are now soaked), their Gore-Tex boots were comfortable immediately, rugged and 100% waterproof.
- BestRest Products Cargo rack, back rest. Rugged, performed when loaded well beyond design specifications. Fantastic customer service and turnaround.
- Canon Digital cameras, DV camcorder, portable printers. Carried on over 20,000 miles of worldwide motorcycle travel, much of it over deplorable, unpaved roads. Zero equipment failures. Zero missed shots. Need I say more?
- Fujitsu Lifebook laptops. Carried on over 20,000 miles of worldwide motorcycle travel, much of it over deplorable, unpaved roads. A 2,500 mile ride down the Continental Divide of the U.S. on unpaved roads, with countless high-G-force impacts. Zero drive crashes (a testament to the Toshiba hard drive), zero laptop failures. Need I say more?
- Eagle Creek Pack cubes and packing supplies. Essential to organizing the load and incredible time savers while traveling.
- BMW R1150 GS Having endured many pedantic debates between BMW loyalists about the merits of their machines, I had inherent doubts as to the measurable differences between BMW products and those of other manufacturers. My opinion changed during the Continental Divide Ride somewhere in Colorado as I beat our GS down yet another rock strewn trail where it really didn’t belong. On that ride, I did things to the GS that are probably illegal south of the Mason Dixon line, but it never missed a beat, never missed a shift and never missed a morning. Our experience proves this bike is engineered and constructed to endure a year of world exploration, while cruelly overloaded, with minimal maintenance, and survive a brutal flogging down the Rockies thrown in for good measure. When I arrived home after the Continental Divide GS-torture Ride, all it needed to be ready for the tour of Japan was a wash and new oil, filter and tires. After countless bone and bike crunching landings, crashes and near-full-wads riding unpaved mountain roads and trails from Canada to Mexico, it required no parts and no repairs. Well engineered, well built and deserving of confidence when exploring the boonies halfway around the world from home.
- Horizons Unlimited and Adventure Rider web sites. Both are invaluable resources for adventure touring information.
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