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Offline Slaine

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Touring in the Dolomites - what kit?
on: September 24, 2018, 11:55:02 AM
Next year I've booked up to go on a group tour round the Dolomites.  It's very much do your own thing but meet up at the end of the day for some beers with like-minded folk.

My dilemma is what kit to take.  I've been riding for 20+ years so have accumulated loads of different stuff but bearing in mind the likely changes in temperature and conditions what would people recommend?

I have a decent set of waterproof textiles but I'm guessing in June even with vents they'll be too hot...?  I've got a leather jacket and a set of kevlar jeans that are OK for decent days but not for wet weather.  I do have a very old set of waterproofs but I don't think that they're very waterproof anymore.

As we'll be doing lots of passes with potentially treacherous surfaces, safety is front of mind and I'm wondering about adding a set of leather trousers, taking the waterproofs and hoping that it doesn't rain too much.

I also have a mesh jacket for when it's really warm.  Add all that guff up and even with panniers, top box and a roll bag it all starts to get a bit much.

What have the rest of you gone for?  I'm going for a week and will be getting the overnight train from Dusseldorf to Innsbruck to avoid the tedious run down to the fun part of the journey.  So it's maybe 5-6 hours riding to Dusseldorf from home (Surrey), 2.5 from Innsbruck to our hotel and then as much as I can fit in and my saddle sore arse can take over the week before heading back.

Also if you have any suggestions other than European breakdown cover for what else to take (tools etc) then I'm all ears.

Online Skids

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Re: Touring in the Dolomites - what kit?
Reply #1 on: September 24, 2018, 03:13:00 PM
*Originally Posted by Slaine [+]
Next year I've booked up to go on a group tour round the Dolomites.  It's very much do your own thing but meet up at the end of the day for some beers with like-minded folk.

My dilemma is what kit to take.  I've been riding for 20+ years so have accumulated loads of different stuff but bearing in mind the likely changes in temperature and conditions what would people recommend?

I have a decent set of waterproof textiles but I'm guessing in June even with vents they'll be too hot...?  I've got a leather jacket and a set of kevlar jeans that are OK for decent days but not for wet weather.  I do have a very old set of waterproofs but I don't think that they're very waterproof anymore.

As we'll be doing lots of passes with potentially treacherous surfaces, safety is front of mind and I'm wondering about adding a set of leather trousers, taking the waterproofs and hoping that it doesn't rain too much.

I also have a mesh jacket for when it's really warm.  Add all that guff up and even with panniers, top box and a roll bag it all starts to get a bit much.

What have the rest of you gone for?  I'm going for a week and will be getting the overnight train from Dusseldorf to Innsbruck to avoid the tedious run down to the fun part of the journey.  So it's maybe 5-6 hours riding to Dusseldorf from home (Surrey), 2.5 from Innsbruck to our hotel and then as much as I can fit in and my saddle sore arse can take over the week before heading back.

Also if you have any suggestions other than European breakdown cover for what else to take (tools etc) then I'm all ears.

That sounds like a fun holiday! I rode the Dolomites twice a few years ago and yes, what to wear was a concern. I ended up wearing my vented jacket and armoured jeans and that was a brilliant decision. I took windproof undergarments and some base layers for cold days and a waterproof oversuit for wet days. Crossing the Alps, it got down to minus 1 deg but an hour later, in the Italian valleys it was nearer 30 deg. Wearing both my thermal gear and the oversuit I didn't get cold and was able to stay cool after taking it off so it worked.

I always take a small compressor with me and a tyre repair kit; I have a connector under the seat which powers it. I also have a portable phone charger in case. Euro plug adapters too. First aid kit. Duck Tape, tie wraps, fuses, bulbs, a small socket set with adapters for crosshead & fairing screws etc, small tin of chain lube, spare waterproof gloves (in case it's still wet the next morning), emergency contact details & any booking reference numbers, small road map in case the sat nag dies and a cheap overseas cash card (I use Caxton, others are available). Probably other stuff too but that's all I can think of.

We also use vacuum sealing bags to put kit in; it compresses them well so we can fit more in the panniers/topbox.

Hope that helps.
98 VFR800 - 130,000 miles (sold)
08 VFR800 - 76,000 miles (sold)
14 VFR1200 - 20,000 miles
15 VFR800X - 44,000 miles (sold)
18 VFR800X - 9,000 miles

Online voodoo

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Re: Touring in the Dolomites - what kit?
Reply #2 on: September 24, 2018, 04:27:17 PM
I've been from the UK to Poland and from Sweden to Spain (so basically almost anywhere in Europe) and I allways take the same gear: textile riding gear (waterproof, detacheble iso-layer, crash protection) and base layer, fleecesweater (for the colder days).
Tent, mat, sleepingbag, cooking gear, and never had any isues carrying all my gear on the bike.
I never carry any tools, except for a leatherman and some spare fuses.

Don't worry to much (it's a VFR!), just enjoy your holiday!
Stop making sense

Offline Slaine

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Re: Touring in the Dolomites - what kit?
Reply #3 on: September 24, 2018, 04:42:40 PM
Thanks both.

I'm probably overthinking some of this but the lists that you've suggested sound good.

I'm staying at a hotel so that takes care of the camping stuff.  I'll take as few clothes as I can get away with and take travel wash to get double use from them, and leave plenty of space for bike kit and a few tools. The wick away stuff is always a good idea, it's just down to what combination of stuff to wear.

@skids - your list of extras sounds like a really useful crib sheet.  I'll go through what I think I'll want/need.  Thankfully the satnav is powered from the bike so that's one less headache, though the people that I'm going with use MyRouteApp, so I need to get my head round getting those routes on to my old TomTom.  Lots of time to learn thankfully!

Online Skids

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Re: Touring in the Dolomites - what kit?
Reply #4 on: September 24, 2018, 06:24:22 PM
Now I'm home; here's my usual list which I vary depending upon where I'm going (it wasn't fully relevant biking in NZ last year).

Bike & kit:
Estimated mileage vs next service
Check Puncture repair kit
Check/replace tyres vs estimated mileage
Bodging kit: bodge tape, Super Tool, tyre pressure gauge, fuses, bulbs, tie wraps, rubber gloves
Disc lock
Check visor
Route maps
GPS loaded with pertinent waypoints (hotels etc)
Waterproofs if wearing leathers/jeans
Torch
Spare key & immobiliser fob
Fluro bib in case of breakdown
Spare levers

Admin:
Passport & E111
Cash + credit card
Check insurance, tax, MoT
V5 registration document (take with)
Photocopy all docs and take copies too.
Check breakdown cover
Travel insurance
Next of kin details shared amongst all riders
Ferry tickets
Hotel & crossing phone nos
Collins local lingo dictionary
Utag/dogtags
Tell bank countries planned to visit
Move cash onto Caxton card

Packing:
Hand wash?
Spare gloves (if first pair get wet)?
Mobile + charger
Plug adapter
Camera + charger
Shades
Sunscreen & lip salve
First aid kit (incl plasters, insect repellent, paracetamol etc)

98 VFR800 - 130,000 miles (sold)
08 VFR800 - 76,000 miles (sold)
14 VFR1200 - 20,000 miles
15 VFR800X - 44,000 miles (sold)
18 VFR800X - 9,000 miles

Offline Lars

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Re: Touring in the Dolomites - what kit?
Reply #5 on: September 24, 2018, 06:42:35 PM
Hello,

I have just returned from a longer tour across the alps and a couple of other mountains.
I do not know about your style of riding but if you push the engine to higher revs, get into the VTEC range and out of it quite often and use the engine brake a lot as it happens in mountainous areas your engine WILL use oil.
My runner used up to 300ml in a day of admittedly hard riding. ( that's the difference between the max and min oil level on the engine )
Just as a heads up, of course that completely depends on your style, if you gently cruise along it wont use any, just check the oil level every day and top up if necessary.

Offline Spock

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Re: Touring in the Dolomites - what kit?
Reply #6 on: September 24, 2018, 09:19:52 PM
Lars,
my 2015 Crossrunner does NOT consume Oil. Even when pushing her over the Alps a few 1000 kms there is no need to fill up.

Online Skids

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Re: Touring in the Dolomites - what kit?
Reply #7 on: September 25, 2018, 06:31:46 AM
*Originally Posted by Spock [+]
Lars,
my 2015 Crossrunner does NOT consume Oil. Even when pushing her over the Alps a few 1000 kms there is no need to fill up.

Same here.

Over 1/4 million miles on VFRs and none of them have burned oil, even on track days.
98 VFR800 - 130,000 miles (sold)
08 VFR800 - 76,000 miles (sold)
14 VFR1200 - 20,000 miles
15 VFR800X - 44,000 miles (sold)
18 VFR800X - 9,000 miles

Offline Slaine

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Re: Touring in the Dolomites - what kit?
Reply #8 on: September 25, 2018, 08:02:18 AM
*Originally Posted by Lars [+]
Hello,

I have just returned from a longer tour across the alps and a couple of other mountains.
I do not know about your style of riding but if you push the engine to higher revs, get into the VTEC range and out of it quite often and use the engine brake a lot as it happens in mountainous areas your engine WILL use oil.
My runner used up to 300ml in a day of admittedly hard riding. ( that's the difference between the max and min oil level on the engine )
Just as a heads up, of course that completely depends on your style, if you gently cruise along it wont use any, just check the oil level every day and top up if necessary.

Thanks Lars, that's a good shout as my Crossrunner does use oil.  I think that as mine was a demonstrator it wasn't run in as well as it could have been and so it does use some oil.  The 10W30 oil isn't the easiest thing to find either.

Did you take a one litre bottle with you or how did you manage?

Offline Lars

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Re: Touring in the Dolomites - what kit?
Reply #9 on: September 25, 2018, 08:50:30 AM
Hello Slaine,

I got a one litre bottle from my dealer and took it with me. I have also used oil from petrol stations on other trips before as long as it meets or exceeds the other specs you are good. quote form the manual:

If you use non-Honda engine oil, check the label
to make sure that the oil satisfies all of the
following standards:

JASO T 903 standard MA
SAE standard: 10W-30
API classification: SG or higher

Its normally not a problem getting oil like that anywhere, normally petrol stations carry the premium MA2 SL 10W40 at a premium price

 



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