So what do I use for gear?

BIKE: a frankenstein 2005 DRZ-400-sm (Nov/Apr 2016), this bike has had a hard life… but it was all my tax return would cover. It has the inverted SM forks and 17″ rear rim, but the S front wheel. The stock headlight fairing and instruments are gone.

(The bike is slowly being rebuilt. It now has the front and rear suspension from a 2000 kickstart DRZ, so basically an S with a lighter rear spring. The subframe was apparently damaged and has been replaced, I’ve returned to the stock headlight setup with an LED bulb. I’ve replaced the wiring harness so I could return to a stock ignition. Some of the engine components are being replaced with parts from that kickstart bike.)

And prior to that, a beat up 2008 Kawasaki KLR 650 (the poor man’s adventure bike). It had a lot of km’s (82k km – been to Chile) on it, but it has been pretty solid. The only times it has let me down have been my fault. (Camshaft bearing/journal went and I sold it cheap.)

GPS: a used Garmin GPSmap 78 (the 60cx died). This helps a lot, both with riding, and during the analysis afterward. I download the local openstreetmap (OSM) maps onto it via . I use OSM because the price is right, and I contribute data to it, so the trails I use are fairly accurate. I didn’t bother wiring it to the bike for power as 2 AA batteries will cover a long day’s ride.

PANNIERS: I had a pair of used pelican box (1550) based panniers from a fellow rider, those were good on the KLR, but IMHO too heavy for a light bike like the DRZ. Messing around with home-made “holsters” for dry-bags … worked out moderately well… Now moved to the Nelson Riggs panniers.

RIDER: a fit, 50+ year old, mechanically inclined, overconfident, newbie (as of Oct 2015) to motorcycles.

CAMERA: Subject to change. A GoPro, my Nexus 5 cell phone. I was using a a cigarette box sized old Panasonic Lumix that goes in a breast pocket, but it didn’t care for the dust. I don’t like tank bags (I’d rather be able to jump the bike).

Other stuff. We all need our basic repair tools, e.g. start with enough to be able to repair a flat and add from there. I carried (on the KLR) a “self rescue” kit… 75 feet of rope, and some pulleys etc to make a “Z-drag” system. That got done promptly after I nearly lost the KLR off a bank while riding in the snow (solo). As of late I was carrying a hatchet and a “folding camp shovel” (KLR panniers). Both of those were for allowing me to get over/around stuff that might otherwise have blocked me… but are less relevant with the change to the DRZ. (I do need a small saw.) I have a GoPro mount on my helmet, which after software stabilization produces usable footage.