adventures in packing - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-11-2007, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5
adventures in packing

I thought I'd share some of the dilemma's and general thought processes I have going on for an upcoming KLR rental and ride in alaska. In the process I hope to uncover things I might be missing.... like, oh yeah, I should pack a dabof liquid detergent for that flat tire situation...

The KLR is probably not the best choice for this trip. I want to hit as much gravel as possible, with a priority being the Dalton Highway to the arctic circle (which is getting paved more and more as time goes on, but there should be some adventure left in it) The positive is that I have a KLR, am comfortable with it, and can practice packing it. Also, the KLR is the cheapest to rent.

The BIG issue : Packing for two on a KLR for 10 days. We are at the GVWR with just the two of us on it. Camping is out of the question, even if my wife liked to camp. it can't be done. I'm probably packing too many tools and spares. Here's a fairly accurate list:

sockets and wrenches 10, 12, 14 and 17mm
6mm hex driver
wratchet and extension
pliers/needle-nose/wire cutter
tire tools/two tubes/tube repair kit/detergent/pressure guage
manual tire pump
factory spark plug tool /axel wrenches

spare parts and other:
halogen/other lamps/fuses
wire/wire nuts
electrical/duct tape
JB weld
hose clamps
spark plug
siphon hose
break/clutch and shift levers
clutch and throttle pull cable

other travel gear:
toilet paper
emergency survival kit
space blankets
first aid kit
flashlight - even though it won't be dark much
camera, cellphone and chargers
no-see-um face nets
bug spray
spare reading glasses
Book: The GuidePost
One day food and water

Things I'm him-hawing about:
KLR service manual
chain link and breaker
spare face shields

The rental has an auto chain oiler.

I saved a lot of space by by using the spare tubes (two worked better than one) and creating a vibration absorbing camera support in the tank bag,
but I'm now down to having a weekend sized bag on the luggage rack for all of our clothing and hygiene necessities. I had to consume my
entire tank panniers with the heavy tools and water to keep weight off of the rear end. (I couldn't bring myself to leaving my good camera behind
in favor of something pocket sized.) Additional storage is in the Kaw soft saddle bags

The weather can range from 40 degrees, and raining, to 80 degrees. I will have to wear my one-piece suit all the time, as there is no place to pack it, while I plan on giving my wife more versatility. (This will be the end of june, first of july). She has two different types ofGORE-TEX gear, and should be able to shed the pants if it's too hot. I have not yet properly tested the GORE-TEX in a full sustained downpour, but in conjunction with packing light, I'm taking no cotton clothing and going with materials that will still keep me warm if they get wet. We get no spare shoes, but maybe flip-flops. I figure on two pair of pants, three shirts, one base-layer type pants, and three each socks and underwear. My wife should have room for the same and a little more. I've had issues with gloves, and we will have four pair which can be mixed and matched for a variety of conditions. I'll have a fleece vest for the 40 degree scenario, while my wife will have
to layer up and hide behind me.

We've packed and ridden around with this configuration, and it works pretty well. We have about two months left to iron out any details.
I keep finding little things that I've neglected.

Another issue... Airline losing everything. I'll probably ship most everything ahead of time.

I've not considered bears, 'cause I'm sure I can out run my wife!

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post #2 of 4 Old 04-12-2007, 09:45 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 28
Where did ya rent the KLR from? (no thoughts, btw, on yer packing dilemma - other than you might want to relook at the tools and water assumptions you made and see if you can't adjust).
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-12-2007, 11:11 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: St.Marys wv
Posts: 603
It's hard to pack for extended trips.Everytime I go I try and take a spare klr. I have narrowed it down considerably thru the years.I always plan for the worst case senario of being stranded overnite.You can do a dry run on this in your back yard.I found out what I needed and could toss by doing this a couple of times.If you have to (go to the house) you need it.Traveling light is always hard.I use alot of multi use tools to take place of specific tools.For example,cresent wrench and channel locks.Takes place of two axle wrenches,can also be used to tighten steering head nut,motormounts etc.The one thing I do carry is a spare qt. of oil on extended trips.If you can find a surplus army canteen,it's better than the plastic bottle the oil comes in.Do you have a tube bag front the front fender?It's always a brain strain to figure out packing.Here's a couple of links that might be of use.Good luck on your adventure you lucky dog.

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Last edited by klrmike; 04-12-2007 at 11:14 AM.
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post #4 of 4 Old 04-12-2007, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5
I'm renting the bike from Alaska Rider Tours: They may actually provide a front fender tube
bag.... I'll have to check on that.

I like the dry run idea, the quart of oil, and rethinking of tools and water ideas.

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