Jacket & Pants
If it had been up to me I would have left with a pair of jeans and my old enduro jacket. I reasoned that with a cheap plastic rain gear overlay I would be close to waterproof. For the cold long johns do wonders. Sorted!
Luckily the Zebra would have none of it and was adamant we needed proper adventure gear. That’s when Rev’it came to the rescue. 35000km I must confess we owe them big time. We ran into a range of conditions, humidity and temperatures (-10C to 45C) that would have turned my jeans into a mopping towel. The outer shells of both her Sand 2 and my Neptune jackets resisted close encounters with barb wires, cactus, rocks and dust. I was a bit skeptical of the thermal liners but in combination with the waterproof layers that act as great windbreakers, they kept us warm through the Cordillera Blanca and Patagonia. Two days of uninterrupted rain in Southern Chile triumphed over those waterproof layers and we finally got wet. Our salvation came in the form of two yellow fisherman’s outfits, $14 each.
Everyone insisted we needed off-road boots for safety. Two pairs of Sidi Vertigos and a pair of Alpinestars Tech 9s were sitting in my closet but I thought they would make terrible adventure boots. In my mind the ideal boot was something light and comfortable that would allow us to hop off our bikes and go on a hike without further fuss. A reasonable amount of ankle protection and water resistance were the other criteria. The Zebra reluctantly picked up a pair of Anhu hiking boots, a San francisco company, while I settled for some Adidas mid with a Gore-tex layer.
- Water resistance: Under a pouring rain our toes would sink into a puddle but we found out that my textile Adidas would dry faster than the Anhu’s leather.
- Dirt: Riding in the sand and dust the height of my Adidas was unable to keep the dirt out. A pair of Sea to Summit gators fixed the matter and provided in addition an appreciable wind proofing. The slighter taller Anhu did not need backup against dirt.
- Safety:With over 20 crashes on my resume I felt I had a good grasp of the many ways my ankles can be crushed between a motorcycle frame and a car bumper, a rock or any other hard object. Collarbones and wrists generally go first in a small crash, in a more serious one my ankles would only be another item on a worrisome list. Our hiking boots proved to be a good choice, saving the Zebra’s paws on several occasions while making the transition between rider and hiker much easier.
Cameras: We opted against bulky SLR cameras for convenience and cost reasons. The older Canon G10 and new Sony RX100 were always hanging by our sides ready to be quickly drawn to seize photo opportunities.
Intercom: I had never used a helmet intercom before this trip and quickly developed a love/hate relationship for those devices.
- Love first for allowing us to maintain contact throughout gnarly mountain roads where the tight corners make it impossible to keep your partner in sight
- Love also in the cities when you instantly know your partner got stuck behind a car or at a red light without having to constantly keep your eyes on the mirror
- Hate as you can’t help worrying when you get beyond the device range and feel like you are always on a short leash and can’t open wide through a few appealing twisties
- Hate how the earpiece position affects the volume. At speed if they are not perfectly aligned with your ear it is very hard to have a conversation. We can’t count how many times the Zebra chopped the throttle to slow down and try to hear what I said, or how often we said: “I couldn’t hear that, could you repeat”
Despite those downsides we would not think twice about using our Sena on a new journey
Locator Beacon: You will find a full report on why we chose the ResQlink over the more popular Spot on our Health and Safety page.
GPS: Check why we picked the Garmin GPSMap and how we plotted our route in our GPS Wizardry & Navigation article.