My first time getting the Himalaya loaded up for a weekend trip, in this case the always great Madison BMW Club's GR3 (Great River Road Rally), this their 44th event. A couple of years ago I joined the girls for a weekend up on the South Shore of Lake Superior. Last year, I had the KLR and on Friday it worked flawlessly. Going to the bike's Reserve fuel tap was a big mistake to the point that Mrs. Coop had to come down and rescue me.
There will be no more of that foolishness.
Informed again by the folks at NH4 Motorheads that my RE accessories were indeed still on the way (International Clearance), I could have found some sort of compromise to use one of many sets of soft saddlebags that are on the stack. Then I remembered the set that I've never used before, the Ortlieb Sport Bike saddlebags that arrived here courtesy of the Gift Certificate that I managed to score at one of the rally's a few years ago (Thanks Andy!). I had tried them once or twice on other bikes, wasn't satisfied with how they fastened, hung, made room for, etc. and then put them back on the shelf.
The other night I put them on the Himmi, really thought they fit well and decided to give them a try this weekend. There's a thick internal plastic panel providing some support, that inside wall bearing against the seat and edge of the luggage rack looks like it should provide enough of a barrier to keep the bags from swinging in where they don't belong. Flexible for load and capacity, both sides could stand better organization and have some reserve capacity, something I've found myself needing on my way home more than once.
There is capacity in the bags that I'm not using because as I've said for years now, I'm still getting good at this, refinement continues and actually is part of the fun.
I've packed the Moto Fizz bag like I always have, my "household" things for in the tent. Tent, related tent, tools, my chair, odds and ends that don't need to be inside go in the bags. The setup works great for our rallies; once the tent, footprint, fly, poles and stakes are out, lots of room for Misc. to take along as we go out and explore. The 'Fizz comes off once the tent is up and stays there until it's time to break camp.
A revelation last year was using compression sacks (3) which has almost made the Moto Fizz duffel roomier than it needs to be. I've long since given up on packing the tent equipment in the original bag. Broken up into smaller parcels allows for more freedom of placement and the ability to fill corners that the larger, all-together tent, poles and stakes would not. Now the tent itself and my large industrial black garbage bag (my rug in the vestibule so that I don't have to kneel or sit on the grass) get compressed in one bag, the fly and footprint in another and finally my sleeping bag in one of the higher quality, absolutely waterproof compression sacks. I buy tents that have short poles and normally, the poles will fit in either the 'Fizz on top or if done just right, in my other soft bags. With these (now redesigned and distributed solely by Touratech) Ortlieb Waterproof MOTO Speed Bags I have room for even longer poles.
I can get on, which is important, I can get off, there's enough room for even I to move around a bit and standing is still a viable option.
We'll put them to the test starting early tomorrow.
On another note, this week I had some time so stopped in at GoMoto on the off chance my engine guards might have arrived. Out front was a black Himalaya, one with some miles, there I learned for its first service. Keith, the first owner of a Himalaya in Minnesota was there and a chance for us to meet and discuss the bike and plenty of 'other'. We both had knowledge of various accessory suppliers in India, found equal frustration in the cost of shipping from half way around the planet and I learned that Keith gets over to Bangalore numerous times yearly on business. His next Indian accessories are coming home in his suitcase. It was a pleasure Keith, keep in touch.
Finally, the Ducati is gone.....
Josh kindly sent a check weeks ago, toyed with the idea of a Fly-N-Ride, solicited ideas from numerous sources on ADV's Hacks thread (many helpful, some satirically not) from enthusiasts potentially traveling this way and that, finally deciding to accompany his mom, deadhead a trailer from eastern Washington for a Road Trip. Offers of help, schedule syncing, willingness to go out of their way......those ADV Hack folks are a dandy lot....and appreciated. Heading west by first traveling to NE Wisconsin to retrieve some more 2 wheel'd merchandise, the Washingtonians will hopefully arrive home safe, sound and in great weather to put some more solid miles on the ST2.
Josh, Colleen, it was a pleasure to meet you both. All the best on this journey and those that follow.
Really looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow!!