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  #1  
Old 04-10-2017, 09:09 PM
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Traveling Experiences

With the understanding that the most important touring tools are a cell phone, AAA card and credit card, followed by a tire repair kit and an air pump, I want to approach my question from a different perspective. It seems that many have wide ranging opinions of necessary tools. A search has resulted in a wide range of lists. Some are minimalists, some carry full kits.

There is no substitute for experience. Given that there are different tools that accomplish the same task and wide ranging opinions of the tools to carry, my question is this: What are the common mechanical problems you have actually encountered after departing on a trip? From your input, I will assemble my tool kit. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 04-10-2017, 09:21 PM
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Re: Traveling Experiences

In over 500k of riding, I've never broken down...I have run out of gas twice though....so that would imply you only need an extra gas can
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  #3  
Old 04-11-2017, 12:32 AM
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Re: Traveling Experiences

If you want to be a minimalist, buy a Cruz Tools (or similar) bike specific set for about $110 and be done with it (after your items you've already listed).

BeemerBoneyard probably has well valued sets available, and are the size of a 6" sub.

I too have never broken down, but if you have a minor slow speed fall or stopsign tipover, basic tools might get you home.
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  #4  
Old 04-11-2017, 01:24 AM
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Re: Traveling Experiences

I do a lot of travelling by much older bikes than most. When I'm on my BMW I have never had a single issue...other than losing my prescription glasses in Death Valley.
I put a lot of miles on my old Suzukis...and in a few weeks I will ride my 37 year old Cooley to Monterey...I plane to put close to 3000 miles on....I have not had many things go wrong...signal bulb went ones...headlight bulb once...I always bring MacGyver type stuff...electrical and duck tape, zap straps, crazy glue, JB weld etc....I might bring an extra clutch cable and brake cable and throttle cable...I'm pretty anal about going over every inch of my bike before a big trip, so surprises thank goodness have been minimal..

cheers
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  #5  
Old 04-11-2017, 08:14 AM
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Re: Traveling Experiences

My last trip across Oz, outside FD seal started weeping, not bad, but changed it anyway.
Last day of the rally, Uncle Fester's started weeping also.

I will probably carry a spare seal, from now on, plus nail & self taping screw for seal removal.
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:25 AM
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Re: Traveling Experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulmogs
My last trip across Oz, outside FD seal started weeping, not bad, but changed it anyway.
Last day of the rally, Uncle Fester's started weeping also.

I will probably carry a spare seal, from now on, plus nail & self taping screw for seal removal.

Just put a pic of your bike when you leave for the rally !!!
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  #7  
Old 04-11-2017, 08:33 AM
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Re: Traveling Experiences

A travel hairdryer. Invaluable for kickstarting the drying out process of wet gloves, helmet rims, collars, etc. Never leave home without it.
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:11 PM
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Re: Traveling Experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by trevorf
I do a lot of travelling by much older bikes than most. When I'm on my BMW I have never had a single issue...other than losing my prescription glasses in Death Valley.
I put a lot of miles on my old Suzukis...and in a few weeks I will ride my 37 year old Cooley to Monterey...I plane to put close to 3000 miles on....I have not had many things go wrong...signal bulb went ones...headlight bulb once...I always bring MacGyver type stuff...electrical and duck tape, zap straps, crazy glue, JB weld etc....I might bring an extra clutch cable and brake cable and throttle cable...I'm pretty anal about going over every inch of my bike before a big trip, so surprises thank goodness have been minimal..

cheers

Hmmm, your list sounds familiar. Oh wait, I quit riding my Norton P11 in 1969.
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:51 PM
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Re: Traveling Experiences

I also have a bike specifict Cruz tool set. Sometimes I think it's a bit overkill but then again it doesn't take up much room. I haven't used it much on the road on my bike, but have helped a number of others riders. Good investment.
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  #10  
Old 04-11-2017, 09:29 PM
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Re: Traveling Experiences

Also have over 500K miles on my resume and I've never broken down ... As for tools.. I usually carry only the following...

Leatherman Multi-tool
Electric air pump
Tire repair kit
Extra headlight and blinker bulbs
Extra fuses
Flashlight
Beretta 9mm
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  #11  
Old 04-11-2017, 09:31 PM
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Re: Traveling Experiences

Since 1977 we have only had a few mechanical problems on the road. 2 stators on a 1980 Suzuki 850. Easy bike to push start until we found a dealer. I should say it was easy for Debbie to push start the bike
Alternator failed after 80,000 miles or so on one of our 91 K75Ss. Swapped battery from the other K75S until we made it to a dealer.
Busted fuel line disconnect on Debbie's 03 K1200RS. Had a replacement a few basic tools to fix it myself.

Sometimes we change rear tires on trips and I carry whatever tools are need for that. Never changed a front tire on a trip but carry tools for that just in case.

Use to change oil on long trips and made sure I had the proper size allen wrench for that.
Only time I changed a oil filter on a trip was Alaska.

I also carry a headlight bulb, fuses, tire repair kit with pump and jumper cables.




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  #12  
Old 04-12-2017, 07:14 PM
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Re: Traveling Experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee
I also carry a headlight bulb, fuses, tire repair kit with pump and jumper cables.

Light weight jumper cables from...? Homemade...? How long? What gauge wire? Thanks.
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  #13  
Old 04-12-2017, 08:00 PM
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Re: Traveling Experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by WPV
Light weight jumper cables from...? Homemade...? How long? What gauge wire? Thanks.

Had them too many years to remember where I bought them.
I think it would be better to have one of those battery jump packs.

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  #14  
Old 04-12-2017, 08:43 PM
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Re: Traveling Experiences

These can be split with another rider you're traveling with....

I have a mix of tools to take the wheels and fairing off.
So any Allen, Torx, socket or wrench needed for that.
Stop n Go tire kit with compressor
Genius Boost pack
GS911
JB Weld
Syphon hose
Duct Tap
Elec. tape, wire connectors and pieces of wire.
Valve stem
WD40 (mini can)
Tire irons
Small tarp
Fuses (not for my bike anymore)
First Aid Kit
Bottle of water
Snacks
5 Hour Energy Drink (sometimes you just get so tired, but have to keep going)
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  #15  
Old 04-12-2017, 10:51 PM
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Re: Traveling Experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by cousi
Fuses (not for my bike anymore)

I was looking in the R1200RS manual the other day and noticed there's 2 fuses.



10 A (Slot 1: instrument cluster,
anti-theft alarm system
(DWA), ignition lock, main relay
and diagnostic socket)
7.5 A (Slot 2: left multifunction
switch, Tire Pressure Control
(TPC), yaw rate sensor)
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Last edited by Lee : 04-13-2017 at 10:39 AM.
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  #16  
Old 04-13-2017, 06:55 AM
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Re: Traveling Experiences

QUOTE=Lee "I was looking in the manual the other day and noticed there's 2 fuses."

You had me going there Lee. I assume you're referring to your R1200RS? I looked in the K1300S Owners Manual and on page 146 it states:

"Fuses: All circuits are electronically protected, so plugin fuses are no longer necessary. If an electronic fuse trips and de-energizes a circuit, the circuit is active as soon as the ignition is switched on after the fault has been rectified."

Isn't it true, that in the beginning, BMW Motorcycles didn't have Fuses up through the ~1950 Models?

My Tools list is similar to others here. The one's that have gotten the most use on trips are a Roll of clear Boxing Tape for putting cracked plastic bodywork back together, Steel Safety Wire for a variety of uses, a few sizes of screw type Hose Clamps for holding things together, and finally a pair of Vise-Grips that can be used in place of a snapped off Shift/Brake Lever.

Oh and last nut not least, a 20 ft. length of Parachute Strap for towing another Motorcycle. Back in the 70s my Yamaha XS750E towed a Friends Yamaha XS650 for ~75 miles on I-15 north to Las Vegas NV. My Friend was a Dirt Track Oval Racer from Washington State and I had no doubts about his ability to control his bike at the end of a rope. He had bored his 650 up to a 750 and it was suffering from carb jetting not being correct. It blew a hole in the left Piston.
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  #17  
Old 04-13-2017, 07:24 AM
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Re: Traveling Experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee
.. Sometimes we change rear tires on trips...
Lee, you missed this one. Trying out recycled tires at THCR.



As for tools, on our first cross country trip I carried a cell phone, empty Mastercard, and the title. Our little K75s performed flawlessly under that kind of pressure.
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:48 AM
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Re: Traveling Experiences

I have a couple of accessories on the bike that require fuses... Radar detector, PIAA lights, and maybe my heated vest.. FYI..

Quote:
Originally Posted by R111S
QUOTE=Lee "I was looking in the manual the other day and noticed there's 2 fuses."

You had me going there Lee. I assume you're referring to your R1200RS? I looked in the K1300S Owners Manual and on page 146 it states:

"Fuses: All circuits are electronically protected, so plugin fuses are no longer necessary. If an electronic fuse trips and de-energizes a circuit, the circuit is active as soon as the ignition is switched on after the fault has been rectified.".
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:55 AM
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Re: Traveling Experiences

Roadside Assistance.....doesn't take up any room at all.....
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:18 AM
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Re: Traveling Experiences

Thanks to you who have offered excellent suggestions so far. The reason I asked about breakdowns or problems vs. tool lists is to get a reasonable idea about the tools used in the past vs. the carried but never used tools. I gathered up all the nice to have tools and the weight of the group was more than I want to carry. Years ago, an essential item was a spare ring antenna??????

For those of you so inclined (for the public, I own no firearms) I highly recommend a book, Traveler's Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States. I don't carry it on my motorcycle, but I review each state before I travel (just so I can offer educated opinions to others). You can go from being a prepared citizen to being a felon just by crossing a state line.
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:41 AM
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Re: Traveling Experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by cabnfvr
Lee, you missed this one. Trying out recycled tires at THCR.



I was looking for that picture
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:45 AM
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Re: Traveling Experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by R111S

You had me going there Lee. I assume you're referring to your R1200RS?

That's correct and I edited my post. I figured Mike's Liquid Cooled R1200 would be the same as my RS.

I didn't think the RS has fuses and was surprised to see them in the manual.
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  #23  
Old 04-13-2017, 01:22 PM
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Re: Traveling Experiences

Probably the two most versatile items for minor emergency fixes are a good Leatherman tool, and a survival strap bracelet. The Leatherman is self explanatory, and it is especially versatile if you carry the extra bit set that is available for it. (both fit in a single sheath).

For those of you who are not familiar with survival strap bracelets, they are woven bracelets made out of approximately 15 feet of paracord (usually 500 lb.+ multistrand line). You wear it on your wrist like any other bracelet, but if needed you can quickly unweave the line and have a usable quantity of strong line to lash almost anything together (except your exhaust system). It can be particularly useful if you damage the fastening of any accessories on you bike (e.g., panniers, tank bag, tail bag/case, etc.).

I always carry both whenever I ride, no matter how short the ride. Since you wear them, they take up no space on the bike.

For anything more than a short ride (hour or so), I do carry a tire repair kit and a cruz tool kit in a saddle bag. Since larger or more sophisticated repairs often require larger or specialized tools on these bike and/or computer diagnostics, most other tools would be surplusage to me. However, I would consider a GS911 if I had one.

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Old 04-13-2017, 04:39 PM
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Re: Traveling Experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by WPV
my question is this: What are the common mechanical problems you have actually encountered after departing on a trip? From your input, I will assemble my tool kit. Thanks.

Hmm. Blown rear tire on K1300s in Aspen last year. My repair kit and tire pump were useless. Had to be picked up in a truck and delivered to dealer in Denver.

That's the only mechanical problem I've had (other than minor hot start issues) with the 2015 KL1300s.

My1985 K100RS gave more issues, but then I had it for 30 years. Two failed fuel pumps (around town), a broken ground wire that killed the bike, and a gearbox that slipped out of 2nd gear under any power. Basically nothing that a tool kit could deal with on the road.

Other bikes - had a flat tire once due to failed tire valve. Go figure. Spare tire valve would have been nice to have, and doesn't take any room.

By far the only thing I worry about stranding me on the road is a flat tire. Happened twice since 1976 - one failed tire valve and one blown tire (ran over something).

Stuff I carry is: tire repair kit and pump. Various cold weather goodies/different set of gloves. Tire pressure gage. Radar detector. Some faceshield cleaning and defogging stuff. (Pinlock setup on the current helmet eliminates fogging, yay!) I also added an allen wrench so I can remove/add my backrest from the Corbin seat. (Switch between it and the BMW small Softbag). Small bike cover.
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