Overland to Japan

 London to Japan Overland


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Motorcycle Expedition Equipment

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In Detail... 

BMW Motorrad UK. The most important piece of expedition equipment is with no doubts the motorcycle and there is really only one bike for this kind of adventuring: the BMW 1200GS Adventure. When traveling to remote areas reliability is everything and the famous German quality is a must. Top of the line, the 1200GS Adventure is the essential companion for adventure traveling, such as going Overland to Japan. It features a very powerful 1.170 cc four stroke engine, producing 81 kW (110 hp) at 7,750 rpm. A very good thing about this bike is that it can take just about any petrol type you can find around the world, so you never have to worry about poor octane petrol in remote areas (unleaded super and premium, octane number 95-98 (RON), (knock sensor; rated output at 98 RON); optional extra 91 (RON) available). Some people will argue that this motorcycle is too heavy in off road conditions; it is undoubtedly heavier than others, but it does handle well. Watch this video for more on the issue.

BMW R1200GS Adventure 

Touratech UK. Touratech accessories make any adventure a much easier and pleasant experience. They work very closely with the BMW 1200GS and therefore they make a large number of optional dedicated to that bike (and many others) and therefore this is a great place to get all your expedition equipment. Watch this video to have an idea. Internationally recognized for being a key support company for motorcycle adventurers, Touratech is the leader producer of motorcycle accessories with a catalogue of 1.700 pages. They will provide anything from protective part for the bike to riding suits, to camping equipment, to navigation aids, instruments, bags, tents, communication devices, shoes, camping food, books, DVDs... anything! If it's expedition equipment you are looking for, then this is the place you will find almost anything that has to do with motorcycles.

Touratech Companero riding suit 

Lifesaver Bottle. Let's face it: there is no clean water on this planet. Even back home, the water coming out of your tap is not safe; so much so that most people either purchase bottled water, or use some sort of filtration system for everyday' s drinking water. Even if water at home is "clean" it surely is contaminated with a percentage of chlorine, which the City will add to the source to prevent bacterial contamination. Also after big and powerful corporations started Fracking (or Hydrolytic Fracturing) the ground to obtain natural gas, they started injecting a cocktail of thousands of gallons of harmful chemicals into the ground. A crystal clear paddle of water in the desert is notoriously poisonous, as all forms of life are made impossible by the life threatening agent present. When traveling, finding safe drinking water was a problem until Michael Pritchard invented the LifeSaver Bottle. This bottle uses a series of filter that totally and completely clean the dirtiest water. The main filter's pores measure 15 nm, which is smaller than the smallest virus (Polio virus measures 25 nm), so nothing can go through and what you get is pure water out of literally any liquid. See a video. This is an essential piece of your expedition equipment.

Lifesaver Bottle 

Abloy UK. The Abloy PL362 padlock is arguably the safest padlock the world has ever seen. Whoever travels around the world with a motorcycle, cannot afford to have anything happen to it's chosen means of transportation. Not only because it takes them around, but because it represents everything, just like a home. They sit on it everyday for hours and hours at a time; they sleep next to it, they care for it as if it was a baby and some people even go as far as giving them a name! Losing your motorcycle during a trip is like losing your soul; it simply cannot happen.
Total peace of mind comes with an Abloy padlock and I am not trying to please the sponsor... I really mean it. On top of the fact that this lock is case hardened and therefore really hard to break, it is virtually unpickable. As mentioned in the full article, nowadays thieves have evolved and they no longer spend much of their time and effort to break a lock, instead they will pick it. As you can see on YouTube, they are becoming more and more proficient in this new "sport" and the only lock that has never been successfully picked so far, is the Abloy PL362.

Abloy Padlock 

Redverz Gear. To the serious motorcycle traveler there is only one tent: the Series II Expedition Tent. Kevin Muggleton is the one responsible for the invention of this wonder tent, who named his company after his little boy. When you travel away from home it's important to have some comforts and in this case they come in the form of a safe environment for you and your motorcycle. Leaving an expensive piece of expedition equipment to the eyes of the curious and the less honest isn't the best thing to do in some parts of the world. Bottom line is, if they can't see it, they don't know it's there. Even in the ever so safe Mongolian steppes, things are known to have gone missing during the night, so this tent really comes as a revolutionary piece of expedition equipment for any serious adventure motorcyclist. As a nice little extra you can have the Awning Kit, which will transform one of the garage doors in a splendid awning to have protection from the elements while taking a well deserved break.

Series II Expedition Tent 

Canon UK. I have learned photography on a Nikon camera back in the 80s and until now that was all I knew, faithful to the brand and to whatever they produced. My last camera (a Nikon D200) was a disappointment and tired of the generally lower quality of the lenses (mind you that I have never spend thousands on lenses) and the desire for a change, pushed me to move towards Canon. I have not had a chance to test this camera yet, but all I hear about it is positive, so I thought it was time to try what else the world of photography has to offer. I am not fully aware of all the features of this model, but what attracts me very much about it (among the notoriously good Canon lenses) is the artificial horizon visible in the viewfinder. At times when shooting landscape images, I tend to tilt my camera and this feature would undoubtedly help me in this area. It might sound silly, but I also like the very low noise shutter. Nikon's one is relatively noisy and closer to the traditional mechanical one. Canon's one is... different and in the blink of an eye it clearly communicates you speed, precision and discreetness. I think I am going to love this camera. Of course a camera like this should be only used with the high quality performance lenses by Canon, which are easily recognisable by the red rim around the front part of the lens.

Canon EOS 7D back 

Adventure Motorcycling Handbook (Trailblazer) by Chris Scott. This is the bible for the adventure motorcyclist. There are no other publications worldwide that will give you more pertinent information about traveling around the world with a motorcycle. Chris Scott has done it himself and has delivered a comprehensive book that is a lot more than just a book. This is THE expedition equipment item you must have. It answers all sort of questions you might have on the topic. I have never travelled by motorcycle before and therefore most of my questions were in the most unthinkable areas and they were all answered, including what tires to use, what bike to choose, how to prepare your bike, when to go to certain countries, what luggage to use and there are even extracts of books that other people wrote, to give you an idea of what it's like to travel around the world on a motorcycle. The help and advice obtained with this book are invaluable and every serious adventure motorcyclist will tell you the same. Also check out Sahara Overland by the same author, another bible of 600+ pages that has no equals worldwide.

Adventure Motorcycling Handbook cover page 

Horizons Unlimited is "the" website for any motorcycle traveller. Why travel by motorcycle? Watch this video by Horizon Unlimited to get the clearest answer.
Grant and Susan Johnson run this website with a passion that is unique. If you are not a motorcyclist you probably don't know that the world of motorcycling is a very big family. When you are on the road by yourself you are never really alone. No matter in what corner of earth you happen to find yourself, you will find a fellow motorcyclist that will treat you like their own family. Horizons Unlimited brings this family together with meetings, a way of staying connected and most importantly with a wealth of searchable information at a fingertip. Wherever it is that you want to go, you can be sure that someone has either been there and left useful information, or has enquired about it and a wealth of information is at your disposal, all completely free of charge. Visit the HUBB to see for yourself.

horizons unlimited logo 

CouchSurfing represents another big family of interesting and adventurous people willing to help each other. No matter where you will find yourself in the world, there you will find a CouchSurfing member willing to take you in his/her home free of charge, just to meet new people and share time together. This is another invaluable tool that enables anyone to travel virtually all over the world with very little money. CouchSurfing brought the world a bit more together. You will be surprised at how many amazing people you will get to know around the world. People that not only are willing to share their own home with you, but that also want to be your tour guide around their town. What better way to visit a place than with the local? Watch this video by the BBC to see exactly what's like.

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