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Old 17th June 2010, 18:07   #16
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more from Royal Enfield | Riding Gear

Riding Gear

Any riding gear has to serve the following functions:

Protection – from a fall (abrasion and impact) and from weather
Comfort – in fit and function
Style – an entirely personal subject

Abrasion protection

This has to be built in the outer layer of the garment both in terms of the material and the stitching. Currently leather is the best bet and many of the top brands feature good stitching, go in for at least double or triple stitched garments. The fit of the garment is very important as well.

Impact protection

Many a times this is a function of the protectors used and fit of the garment is important as well because it helps keep the protector where it’s supposed to be. Go in for CE approved Armour. Most jackets will not have CE approved Armour for the back and many a times this has to be purchased separately.

Weather protection

Cold impairs body functions and it’s as good or bad as being drunk or sleepy on the bike. However cold is easily overcome by wearing additional layers of clothing, but you have to be careful to see that it does not bind or inhibit their movement. Another problem for a motorcyclist is getting wet; once wet, the cold is bound to follow. Waterproofing can be integrated into the garment, like a waterproof riding jacket or waterproof riding pant or can be fulfilled by a dedicated garment over the standard riding kit. For example, a leather riding jacket and pants and a one or two piece raincoat that you wear only if it starts to rain.

Comfort

A rider’s safety is compromised if a rider is uncomfortable. While being hot might not impair you physically it can cause your patience and energy to drain at a much faster rate. Most of Indian riding conditions are very hot and even in Ladakh a jacket with a lining could become uncomfortably hot. While choosing a garment, ensure that you do not have to sacrifice too much protection for comfort. A mesh or perforated leather jacket can be used in combination with thermal and waterproof layers to give more flexibility to your riding gear.


Quality riding gear is hard to find in India and the best option is to order from international outlets. You can ask a friend to carry it for you or some outlets also ship to India.

In case this is not possible please follow the guidelines below to equip yourself locally.

Feet

In the absence of proper motorcycling boots look out for a pair of strong anklets preferably leather (canvas jungle boots are a big no), work boots or hiking shoes with a flat sole or a gentle heel can be adapted. Attention to the fit is important as you might be spending your entire day in them. We suggest you choose a slightly loose fit that can accommodate your feet comfortably even with heavy woolen socks. In case you are not wearing heavy socks, an insole can be used to make the fit snug. Chose designs that are likely to dry quickly and carry a spare pair of socks in case the ones you are wearing get wet. If the shoe is not so comfortable when off the bike, carry a spare pair of sneakers or floaters for walking.

Legs

For protection you could wear knee, shin and ankle protectors either over or under your pants. For protection from weather you could wear two pants or thermals under your pant. For rain you should be prepared with a pair of waterproof outer. Pay attention to adequate length/fit so that your pants do not ride up your leg when you sit on the bike. Some fastening system at the bottom could also be beneficial. You could also wear a belt or riding belt to comfort your back from the shocks and the cold.

Torso

It’s best to start with a sweat absorbing/ wicking material next to your skin. This could be simple cotton full/ half sleeves banyan or some of the more modern materials which allow your skin to breathe. The fit should be body hugging, yet not constricting or uncomfortable. Then could be a layer of insulating material to keep you warm, this could be cotton, wool, fleece, nylon, polyester or a mix. Then use a leather jacket or an extremely strong fabric jacket. Your torso plays an important part in heat loss so you could look at additional insulation here. You would finally require a waterproof jacket in case of rain. Try to ensure that your clothing catches as little air as possible when riding (should not flap or bloat up), this would involve proper fitting at the torso, sealing at the cuffs and the other jacket openings.

You could wear elbow, shoulder, back, rib cage protectors either between your layers or over your clothing.

Neck

In extreme cold riding conditions it is important to keep your neck & chest warm and protected. This could be served with various types of scarves, and neck warmers.

Head and eyes

A good quality full face fiberglass helmet with the right fit serves not only to protect you from impact but also the elements. You might encounter cold and dust, a scarf or a balaclava could serve to protect you from these and also provide a snugger fit for your helmet. It also keeps your skin fresh and protected and this in turn reduces your fatigue. Yes, on a long cross country trip like this it makes a lot of difference.

Although the ride plan does not include any night riding, you might encounter night riding or riding in poor visibility. For such conditions, it is best to be prepared with a clear visor. You can even carry a spare visor if needed. Also in Ladakh the sun can be very bright hence goggles with good UV protection can offer a lot of comfort to your eyes and reduce fatigue. The goggles can be worn inside your helmet and visor and removed whenever needed. However you could encounter the problem of fogging on both your goggles/ glasses and the helmet visor unless your helmet is fitted with a really good breath deflector. Many of the anti-fog claims do not hold true. As another option to avoid fogging you could try a motocross helmet and goggles but this will compromise weather protection, and could be unsuitable at high speeds.

Hands

If purpose built motorcycle gloves are not available then do a mix and match. You could wear cotton or woolen gloves under your leather gloves, to protect you from the cold and impact. Choose a pair that has a long cuff so it allows for good sealing between your gloves and jacket sleeves. Some people use surgical gloves or other latex, rubber based work gloves in addition to the above mentioned, to tackle the waterproofing aspect, some use wax to seal the seams.
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Old 17th June 2010, 18:15   #17
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Again from the RE website: Royal Enfield | Bike preparation

BIKE Preparation

1. At ground level the most important thing is your tyres and your wheels. Ensure that you have adequate tread on them. We recommend you start the ride with a brand new set of tyres and tubes; you are less likely to face punctures etc...

2. Get the rims balanced (this will prevent breaking of spokes and unnecessary wobbles that could spoil your bikes ride and handling). When you are getting your wheels balanced make sure that the spokes are not protruding from inside the rim. If they are they could puncture the tube from inside. After this, ensure that there is a rubber strip (good condition) around the inside of the rim. When you disassemble the wheels check the wheel bearings as well.

3. Inspect and make sure that your bike has only genuine OE parts, especially hubs, spokes, rims and other engine components. Support for modified items are not available and in such case you are have to carry your own spares.

4. Get your shock absorbers inspected. They should be in top working order. Check the bushes for the rear shock absorbers and replace if necessary.

5. Check condition of front fork oil seals and replace if needed. Make sure that there is no crack on the fork bottom tube. If your springs have sagged or your main tube has worn out get them replaced.

6. Check the rear swingarm bush and replace if needed.

7. Check your chain and rear sprocket for wear. If you find that there are less than four notch adjustments to go on your chain adjuster cam, replace your chain and both your sprockets.

8. Your bikes clutch is really crucial for this trip, so make sure that your clutch is in good order and adjusted properly without the trace of any drag, slip etc. When you open your clutch cover, also check the primary chain and the adjuster. Do not use any kind of additional insert under the chain adjuster. If the adjuster has reached its limit replace the primary chain.

9. Check your battery and the earthing connections. If you have any history of electrical trouble, be sure that the problem is completely solved. The water, vibrations, dust and maybe snow that riders are likely to encounter on the route could further accentuate existing problems.

10. Check for play in the steering column and replace the ball race joints if necessary.

11. Check all the rubber components like carburetor hose, fuel lines, air filter rubber etc for cracks and tears and replace if in doubt.

12. Check all cables and if found bent of frayed, replace immediately. Do not use oil in friction free cables.

13. Finally tighten all the nuts and bolts and if it is found to slip or the threads are damaged replace the relevant parts.

Engine

This is a very crucial part.

If your bike is working fine let it be. It would be a good idea to do a weekend trip to try it out and see how it behaves. It would be a good idea to ride a new bike and make sure that your bike is up to the mark. If there is any doubt please visit your Royal Enfield showroom. Do not leave the fixing of your bike to the last min and start the trip with an untested bike.

Things to avoid on the bike

1. Anything that is likely to take a beating from rough roads and vibrations, this includes
• Extra lights
• Extra horns
• Extra mirrors
• Heavy after market horns
• Side boxes
• Any other unnecessary add-ons

2. Non standard high rise or low handlebars

3. Alloy wheels

4. Some number plates fitted on the front mudguard are likely to break the headlamp at full travel

5. Smaller wheels if they drastically reduce your ground clearance

6. Imported street tyres, as these could puncture and suffer for grip on dirt surfaces

7. Extended front forks

8. Modified swing arms

9. Shortened or extended chassis, chain

10. You should either remove any non standard item from your bike or be prepared to service it on your own

Learn to service your bike

While you are preparing your motorcycle it is a good idea to learn some basic service, for instance: tube changing, chain tightening, cables adjustment/ replacement, cleaning spark plug & air filter, pushrod adjustment, replace fuse & bulbs and top up/change engine/gear box/clutch oil.


P.S.: I could have put all the previous info into one post, but it would have been lengthy reading. The information at the website is for the Tour of Spiti Valley and the links might be taken down after the trips, so have posted the relevant information here.

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Old 17th June 2010, 21:25   #18
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Why not just sit back and watch few good movies instead of doing all these?

Sorry no offence.

Few more to add:

1. Physical fitness - I had muscle cramping twice, made the trip hard.

2. Mobile phones, chargers, additional SIM from another network

3. Pain killers, paracetamol and Jelucil etc.
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Old 18th June 2010, 01:21   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreaseMonk View Post
Wear boxers instead of briefs, or ideally, wear professional cycling shorts as underwear to avoid saddle sore.
Yeah!! this sounds great to me, Uh! how could I miss this, I had a bad experience while climbing Shabarimala hills and getting down was eeeh!! so painful i still can feel the pain while describing this to you folks. A must and should thing, definately noted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jingaboysr View Post
You missed the most Important thing.
" DO NOT ride without protective gear, even for the pillion. Boots, jackets, helmet, gloves are a must for both "

I've had a bitter experience on one of my long rides, i was riding with my gloves on, but when I stopped and decided to sit as a pillion, I took off my gloves. Just 5 minutes later, thanks to a dog who decided to suicide, I had a patch of skin peeled off my palm in the same shape and position as the leather in the gloves!
Yes I had a similar experience where my denim jacket helped me not having ankle, sholders not getting sliced off, but the best was the helmet though the open face its got sliced of around 1 mm or more because of the impact on the road, just imagine had it been a bare face..OOoh!! thank god.

KA18 A B I G thanks man for the amount of information and time you shared with us, bhoy!! that's immense, I appreciate it buddy, I will go through it again. Not to forget each and every one for the vital information and guidance.

I do a 70 kms drive in and outskirt of city to my knowledge the bike behaves differently (may be I am feeling that way) if its a open high way as we have one connecting to Banglore the bike behaves silky smooth more than the routine within the city and I am simply loving it.

Having said this I shall not take up any mods or tuning as such now (if it continues till the drive is decided) except of replacing oil and oil filter.

I am also thinking of two boxes with carriage which usually found on bike in North left and right side. What do you say or is that I am I taking things more seriously than required. Just a bag, rope and other things would do.

AGBENNY If I had to watch movies only then what am I doing in TEAM BHP?. I want to live up my desire which is nothing less exciting than watcing a suspense thriller. LOL

How about some picture talks folks with your companinons (machines)

Last edited by chanu : 18th June 2010 at 01:26.
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Old 18th June 2010, 12:36   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chanu View Post
I am also thinking of two boxes with carriage which usually found on bike in North left and right side. What do you say or is that I am I taking things more seriously than required. Just a bag, rope and other things would do.
If you are serious on using the bike only for long rides and not in the city then the boxes make sense. They would add to the weight of the bike and also be cumbersome in city traffic.

You get very good saddle bags for the Bulls from Cramster. They would be better as you can fit them when you want on a long ride and remove it when in use in the city. I have one with me and its very convenient and easy. Give it a thought!
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Old 18th June 2010, 15:32   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.s View Post
If you are serious on using the bike only for long rides and not in the city then the boxes make sense. They would add to the weight of the bike and also be cumbersome in city traffic.

You get very good saddle bags for the Bulls from Cramster. They would be better as you can fit them when you want on a long ride and remove it when in use in the city. I have one with me and its very convenient and easy. Give it a thought!
Saddle bags Sounds good to me, and boxes are only convenient for highways. By the by how do they look as of now I have got the cloth taurpalin (usually used to cover the goods of a truck) stiched like a bag and its very useful to me rather carriying a backpack to my office every day and it just costed Rs 200/-. I am thinking to get my bike look like this for the D day:
Attached Thumbnails
Travelling long distances on a Motorcycle-royal-3.jpg  

Travelling long distances on a Motorcycle-royal-5.jpg  

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Old 18th June 2010, 15:34   #22
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Nice Bags on your bike.
I followed the same idea and here is how I made mine.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...-yourself.html (Saddle bags. Make it yourself.)
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Old 18th June 2010, 15:54   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
Nice Bags on your bike.

I don't think that is his bike.Thats what he wants it to look like.
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Old 18th June 2010, 16:38   #24
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@Chanu - Though no harm, I think the discussion is reaching Ladakh ride levels, which in itself hasn't remained what it used to be now.

I completely agree with ac_427. Those would exactly be my tips for you. And the boxers of course. You seem to have sufficient rides under you but just not on a bullet. So keep it simple and have fun.

Just hold a +ve attitude, do not get bogged down in case things dont go as planned. Murphy's law always holds true on such rides hence too much planning means too much deviation from it anyways. Will result in lot of luggage, little focus on "few" key things and little time to enjoy the uncertainties of such long rides. Imagine having a day-to-day plan and then trying to stick to it no matter what! So you avoid staying that extra time at nice places, extra fotographs, detours towards what looks like a nice spot a few kms away! Just no flexibility so stress over a 5-6day ride.

My learnings from Ladakh & Sach Pass rides. Over prepared for Ladakh and then learnt sense for the Sach ride which was far more difficult. Just go out there with whats really required and have tons of fun! All the best!
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Old 18th June 2010, 22:26   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.s View Post
You get very good saddle bags for the Bulls from Cramster.
No offence to anyone, but you might be interested in reading this:
Bad experience with Cramster. - xBhp.com : The Global Indian Biking Community
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Old 18th June 2010, 22:30   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KA18 View Post
No offence to anyone, but you might be interested in reading this:
Bad experience with Cramster. - xBhp.com : The Global Indian Biking Community
Could not open the link as its blocked in office. But I have one from Cramster used for my P220 and now the same will be used on the RTR in one of the rides i am planning. It has been good so far and have had no issues.

Not sure if it was an issue with delivery or online order etc. I went and hand picked what i wanted from the Cunningham road shop.

Based on that I recommended Cramster.
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Old 18th June 2010, 22:38   #27
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@abhinav.s

But one thing's for sure, I'll never buy or recommend Cramster to anyone.

Actually I had decided to go in for Cramster before. I replied to Cramster (or the guy representing it) on that thread (yes, I'm there too with the same handle) with the intention of helping him out with his mistake and his reply was disgusting to say the least. Was too put off with his attitude.
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Old 19th June 2010, 10:32   #28
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Not sure if I can post this link here. But here you go. I had this one bookmarked sometime back and I think is a pretty good guide to safe driving on our roads.

The Art of Safe Riding

Ride safe!
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Old 19th June 2010, 12:07   #29
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Yes Nilesh you are right! the planning should be according to the distance, though I am planning to start with Hyd-Chennai with around 700 plus however I am trying to understand the concept of long drive and Bullet is one of the means and at the same time assuming these discussions would be helpful for others with their bikes.

I know the bonus we get apart from the joy of riding (the nature, weather, people, places) sometimes is aweful and out of world. Thats why i wanna drive not just transport myself as this journey would remain in my heart and mind for years to come.

Did anyone do HYD-CHENNAI trip, if so can we discuss the route best suitable. Still awaiting for some pictorial guidences for me and others benifit.

Thanks Folks!

Last edited by chanu : 19th June 2010 at 12:09.
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Old 21st June 2010, 22:40   #30
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[quote=agbenny;1941768]Why not just sit back and watch few good movies instead of doing all these?

Sorry no offence.

Few more to add:

1. Physical fitness - I had muscle cramping twice, made the trip hard.

In addition, to maintain your physical fitness, please maintain an upright position while riding. I have done close to 600 Kms (into two) once and the crouched position almost ruined my back for 2 months.

regards,
adg_andy
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