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Alaska to South America: Two Moto Kiwis (page 27)

Gear Review
Gear Review

ARAI XD 4, mint, perfect for road, adv riding, keeping rain off.

The adjustable height peak making life easier, in the low sun pull in down as a sun shade, same in the rain, you can still have the front vents open in the rain with the peak down and you won’t get wet, great design.

Lift the peak up for better venting and looking at HUGE mountain tops.

The only thing I don’t like about the XD4 is having to take it off as that means we have stopped.

KLIM gear, Keeping Large Insistent Mozzies out, this gear is outstanding, the only grizzle I have is my Adventure Rally jacket does not have great inlet venting at the front so I had the two front pockets opening on the inside and meshed so I can use them for a pocket or vent, these work incredibly well now.

Across the board extremely happy with it and believe it will more than do the distance.
Icebreaker, the best, nothing short of excellent whichever way you look at it, we have 100 % icebreaker and for hot or cold it is a winner, wear a T shirt for 5 days straight rinse and wear again without stinking, perfect adv gear for the undergrowth.

Forma ATV boot, great boots but my right hand boot is coming apart, I wrote to Forma and nothing !!!!! not a sausage back from them so a little disappointing to be fair.

First Gear, Ellens, Kilimanjaro jacket and TPG Escape, very good gear and very nicely cut for female riders, they are waterproof so far and Ellen love the inner pants can be warn as normal pants so dual purpose. The only complains from Ellen is the black pans getting too hot in the sun, a lighter colored ones would be just perfect.

Barkbusters, a must, nothing more to say than they are the best, we had tortured them in New Zealand on my bikes and now Ellen has taken them to the end and back, her last spill she went down heavily, they are straight and although looking slightly second hand from being road bashed and rashed they are still fully functional and in remarkably good condition.

Screens For Bikes, again another mint product for ADV riding, the shape and height across the board makes these very nice to sit behind.

Having a screen is a subjective topic, when it is sunny and warm you don’t want one, when it is pissing down and blowing it needs to be twice the height and width and preferable with a roof attached.

All is all they work very well and we are stoked with them.

Garmin 660, we have had trouble with my GPS sending us down goat tracks that go no where causing us up to 1 hrs turn arounds, we have contacted Garmin and at first we given the brush off, I persisted with a stronger email and to be fair they are trying to sort it out, same GPS, same model, same firmware, same updates, same settings two vary different directions given, hopefully with the reinstalling of the new updates my will start to behave the way it should.

The Bikes, we after a big scrap (see above) with Alaska Pshyco Centre the bikes are running well, mine has a hesitation in the middle still but not enough to haul it all apart for, next service with tank off I will raise the needle a notch and think this will fill the hole.

Sargent Seats, bum saver supreme, they have softened up over the course of the travels thus have become more comfy, the shape is superb compared to the stocker shocker and after 8500 miles they are a pleasure to sit on.

Hilliberg, Keron 4 GT, nothing more to say other than get one, strong, quick to put up, great space and vestibule, my only grizzle is the pegs are poorly engineered, will email Hilliberg on this and give them some suggestions.

Coleman 508B, pooed itself three weeks into the trip, still heats ok but the lower or simmer settings have gone so it is all or none.

Yoda Star Wars Chair, kids chair and my bum fits in OK, very lite and looks cool as, compact to take on the bike, we have the power of the force with us so thatmust be a good thing.

Ellens Pink Walmart Chair, looks nice and girlie, small and lite and cheap which is what we want, not as cool as Yoda tho.

AME Heated Grips, we are both on our second set having both sets fail within a week of each other, love the feel and good heat but think the electronics is a bit fussy, I would recommend not six settings individually programmable but one central mounted decent switch with off, med, high on them. AME, you have nice feeling grips but I can’t help but think fussy electronics will survive the test of time, heat and vibration, watch this space.

Safari 30 L Tanks, simply the best for the Long Haul, with a theoretical milage of nearly 700 km these are a must, for the most of the time you could get way with less but the one time you don’t and having to push your house and contents to a petrol station would leave me wondering why.

For us it is one fuel cell, no extras or jerry cans, we have our Motion Pro fuel tap on the side to fill our cooker, perfect.

The only grizzle is the Acerbis locking fuel caps, again both of ours failed on the Dempster by causing a vacuum lock, my bike stopped right in the middle of a huge thunderstorm so I had to undo my cap to equal the pressure, they are also a sod to line up to avoid cross threading and these have large threads!!! very unimpressed with these to be honest so it is back to the std caps.

Happy Trails Highway Pegs, best $50.00 you will spend (other than on booze), to be able to rest the legs in a new position, also opens your trouser leg for venting on the hot days.

Very happy with these to say the least.

Delis Tools LED marker lights, through Delis Tools (bro), visibility is king and many people have commented on these, they are not driving lights, just marker lights on our Barkbusters and they are visible from a long way past the DR candle.

Kincrome Cases, (the big visible yello ones) these are great cases for strength, the full length hinge we believe is stronger than the Pelicans at two hinges, they are waterproof at this stage, all cases have had a beating so far and they are standing up well.

The Pelicans though we believe had better locking handles, not stronger but easier to use, the Kincrome Cases are sharply finished which has led to a coupla cut fingers.

Home Made Tool Tubes, Delis Engineering Wanaka Division, these have worked out great, they don’t hang below the bashplate line, they have had some pretty harsh conditions thrown at them and stood up unscathed.

I did make the end cap waterproof and the door has butyl rubber seal for waterproofing which is waterproof enough to let the water in and hold it!!! ... not sure how that works, so each tube now has a 6 mm hole drilled in the bottom on the left so it can drain when ever on the stand.

GP Custom Bashplates, a must and well made, very happy to be running these, seem to be better built with more protection that one you buy over here.

Wallmart 38 cent glue bottle, ditch the glue, used for daily chain lube, simply turn the top and lace the chain with a nice thin strip of oil, we are using chainsaw bar oil, nice and thick mixed with a combo of spare new engine oil from oil change leftover.

Motion Pro fuel tap, used for filling our multifuel Coleman cooker, makes it very easy to get fuel for the cooker, no spare bottles required, neat and simple, no pulling fuel lines off and on.

Ricor Intiminators, these are brilliant, we put in 5wt oil and 500mls per tube, stock spring and teh combo works very well with the intiminator reducing the dive and the 5wt oils allowing the wheel to be very supple over corrugations or washboard.

YSS rear damper, great shock, the stock shock is pretty soggy in the damping and this works a treat, I machined the collars to fit a factory spring, I have used my factory spring against some advice from other RTW travellers.

I prefer my wheels to do the dancing rather than the bike and me, Ellen at 52 kg this works out perfect for her.

We also have to remember we are not seeking 6ft jumps, rough single tracks and racing circuits so we need to hit the happy medium between weight carriage and a nice suple ride on the rough, I believe we have accomplished this.

Icebreaker, nothing else to say other than superb, the Merino Wool is an Adventure bikers buddy, we go for days at a time without a shower (uwh I know :evil) and the Icebreaker holds it own and simply does not smell, even after a few stinking hot days I simply dumped my shirt and gruds into the water for a quick rinse and bombs away .. good for another year :eek1 JK 

Also the warmth and also the ability to keep you cool on hot day we simply do not wear anything else.

Pictured here with Naomi and Alberto from Salt Spring Island, Vancouver, even they are total converts.

T-Mobile it would be fair to say the coverage we have had is very very good, even in Prudhoe Bay I rang home to New Zealand to tell family we have fulfilled the Arctic part of our trip and that we were in Deadhorse, the reception was very good, also on the Copper River near Chitina, I couldn't believe we were able to get out from there so T-Mobile get the huge thumbs up, thank you for a good usable product.

Author of this article: Twomotokiwis