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Offline DJ

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Help a new guy get ready for a moto adventure
« on: May 07, 2019, 05:51:21 AM »
Hello CB500X members! 

My name is Derek, I just picked up a 2018 with 1,070 miles on it.  Was considering a 2019 but couldn't pass this up for the price.  Having a little 19' envy with their fancy 19inch wheels and new display!

A little about me, 35 years old.  Past bikes:  DR650, before that a Ducati Monster 696, TW200, WR250F.  Started on a Honda 50 way back, CRF100/200.  Always been into single track trails in the woods and ontop of mountains in Idaho.  I've never spent more than 5-6 hours on a bike at a time so I need some direction.

Recently been wanting to try camping off a bike.  CB500X seems like a decent platform.  My first trip will be in July with my cousin and two of his friends. They all ride KLRs.  They are telling me it will be mostly 2 track fire roads so I think the X should handle it ok.  A little worried about the tires, it took it up a powerline roads and got scared off by some of the sharp rocks.  Can these tires really handle it?

I'm looking for advise of how to equip the bike and myself.  Want to keep luggage simple like the big Wolfman beta plus rear bag with legs.  No mounts, less weight, anyone have experience with this one? I would think it's plenty big for an 8 day ride.  Will probably get a small tank bag also and I've got a day backpack with a water bladder I will be taking.  Backpack isn't ideal but it's small and I like having water on tap.  My cousin says to get a hammock not a tent, I've never slept in a hammock but willing to try.  Plan on a small stove and some packaged food. 
What essential tools should I carry?
What kind of tire repair kit is best?  These are tubeless tires?

And then me.  Like I said, I've never spend extended periods on a bike.  Riding the 160 miles home after buying the bike I noticed a few things.  Wind buffeting was horrible, after I got home I moved the windscreen up.  Helped a little. Wind noise was horrible, had to stop and get ear plugs, probably won't be riding extended high speed miles on the trip. Seat comfort was ok, I need a tougher butt I'm sure.  What do you guys wear for underwear on long rides?  Boxers didn't cut it, get bunched up and tend to not stretch enough.  No bueno.

If you can't tell I'm a bit all over the place. And thinking outloud here...   Still not sure about the stock tires. Do I need crash bars, bash plate?  Kinda want to get in and try it with as little invested as possible to get a feel for it all.  But at the same time I want to be comfortable, safe and not destroy my new bike.  I would like some protection, all around mid high boots, comfortable pants/Jean's and a light jacket good for summer is probably best.   Oh and SIX THOUSAND RMPs at 75mph ! What was Honda thinking.  Ordered a 16 front and 39 rear when I got home, like holly 6k hell batman!  :005:

I will be hitting some fire roads over the next month and will hopefully get a better idea of what I will need.  Took it to the top of a powerline road on Sunday.  The bike is pretty comfortable and smooth.  Made me smile all day. 

Please share your thoughts and experiences!

Offline woody

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Re: Help a new guy get ready for a moto adventure
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2019, 07:42:40 AM »
Best colour choice  :152: alot recommended rallyraid stuff for off roading - personally not brought owt yet from them yet! I would get a bash plate at least the Rally Raid one is the must substantial.

Can't really help anymore than that, look forward to hearing recommendations from others.

Offline CB500X

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Re: Help a new guy get ready for a moto adventure
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2019, 10:33:28 AM »

Welcome to the forum  :401:

Lots of questions in there, as a word of advice you mght be better splitting it up into smaller topics relevant to the subject  :038:


Offline nbsdave

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Re: Help a new guy get ready for a moto adventure
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2019, 01:32:15 PM »
Welcome to the X world.
You'll realize you made a good decision.
Many questions for sure.
If you take an hour or so to do a search on each of your question topics you'll find a lot of information.
Each of them has been written on a lot.
The only one I can comment on is the windshield. Have you raised it to the high position? It helps.
Seems windshields is a big issue on any bike. What works for some won't work for others. The helmet you use has a large effect on buffeting also.
What has worked for me on several bikes is adding mirror extenders. They move the mirrors out enough to let the wind off the shield go between the mirror head and not bounce off of it back into you.
There will be some who will soon say that's nonsense. But if you haven't tried it, that comment is invalid. Try it, and raise the shield.
As for your other questions, again, try a search. You will get an awful lot of info for sure.

Offline UKJeeper

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Re: Help a new guy get ready for a moto adventure
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2019, 03:03:14 PM »
Welcome. TKC80 tyres and an engine guard (preferably Rally Raids), and you're pretty much good to go. You won't have the clearance of the KLR's, so watch out for some of the rockier sections, but the (RR) engine guard will protect you from most of the mistakes. You 'could' look at Rally Raids (slightly) taller suspension, but it'll be fine, stock, with a careful hand.

Barkbusters are good idea. Both for protecting your hands, and also protecting both levers, and the bike, when it lays down, on the trail, as they touch before the engine.

Yes, the stock wheels are tubeless. Take a look at Safety Seal plug kits. Had mine 20 years, plugged car, 4x4 and bike tyres, never had one fail yet. But get a small 12v compressor. I picked up a Slime branded one, from Walmart, worked fine when I needed it, in Idaho, when I picked up a huge fence staple in the rear tyre.

Here's my write up, of the TAT, last year, to give some idea of how the CB does on, and off the roads.

Offline JMo

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Re: Help a new guy get ready for a moto adventure
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2019, 03:28:09 PM »
Hi Derek - yes, following on from what Tim (UKJeeper) has said, I suggest some decent all-terrain tread tyres - Continental TKC80s would the ones I recommend, as they make a dedicated front 17" size; some strong backbone style hand-guards (Barkbusters), and some kind of skid-plate at least - the Rally-Raid Adventure engine guard being far the strongest in that regard, but you might get away with more of a skid-plate if you're only running on rough roads.

Then get some miles on the bike and see what else you might want to do to personalise it - you'll appreciate better suspension than stock for sure, but as you say, you don't necessarily need to invest too much too soon in this new bike - unless you know exactly what you want of course.

As for luggage - I've used a Wolfman Beta on my XR a good number of times, it's a great bag if you're disciplined enough to pack light, although the [early] version I have is not waterproof without some sort of cover. For long distance on-road trips, a tank bag makes a lot of sense to carry your water and camera etc. (rather than have the weight on your back), but off-road, they can limit your movement and a Camelbak of some sort would be better.

Similarly, while slinging up a hammock can be fun, it does limit where you can camp (typically not in campgrounds for example, unless they are heavily wooded), so personally I'd take a small backpacking size tent, and an inflatable air-mattress - your back will thank you each morning.

for info. I put together a slideshow presentation of the tools, spares and camping equipment I take on my CB on trips around the US - hopefully that will give you a few hints and tips (it's a slideshow for presentation, so you'll need to pause the video to study the lists/photos in more detail).

hope that helps...

Jenny x
« Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 03:31:12 PM by JMo »
It's not a unicorn as such, just a little mule with a bump on it's head...

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Help a new guy get ready for a moto adventure
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2019, 04:40:45 PM »
for an 8 day trip (mainly) off road, with a couple of mates, I'd take the clothes I'm standing up in and a spare pair of socks and underpants. Who cares if you all stink? Buy a decent base layer (like Helly Hansen Lifa, or similar). A summer weight sleeping bag (Snugpak Jungle bags are ace) and maybe a liner, depending on expected night time temperatures. A Bivi bag is better than a hammock IMO, or a lightweight tent....failing that, a tarp. If a hammock is you're only sleeping option it can be a pain in the arse

Mesh jacket, stowable waterproof over jacket, riding jeans, stock tool kit plus a tubeless repair kit, and a mini compressor (unless your mate has one you can borrow).

Tyres and barkbusters have already been mentioned. Fit a radiator guard if you haven't done so already...maybe take the screen off all together if your mainly off road and it's going to be hot...

MP3 player/phone/nav and some earbuds....some paracord. Travel pillow is a luxury and takes up so little space it'd be rude not to pack one
« Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 04:42:21 PM by Jonathan »

Offline AJC500

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Re: Help a new guy get ready for a moto adventure
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2019, 05:52:01 PM »
Ha! Ha! A proud Grandpa here - Jonathan mentioned having some paracord with you..... my 9 year old grandson makes/weaves paracord wristbands, so you always have 7-8 feet of cord with you, he even has an optional fastener which incorporates a compass, a blade, a whistle and a carbon rod to make sparks to start a fire!! 

Unfortunately he is in New Zealand, so even although he only asks about NZ$8 -10 depending on colour and fastener type,  he is just too far away to offer these for sale!!!

They do look cool though.
The Story So Far.........
2017 and 2018: 8000miles recreational use - 89.82mpg UK; 74.79mpg US; 3.14litres/100km

Offline slowrider

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Re: Help a new guy get ready for a moto adventure
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2019, 07:39:02 PM »
 I made this for my leatherman a few years ago.   2 different paracords to make it more visible if I drop it.   I think the weave is called a double cobra.   

The most exciting thing I have used the paracord for is to use as a washing line when I left mine between two trees when camping.

Having fun with a CB500XA with Rally Raid Level 3 upgrade.

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Offline DJ

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Re: Help a new guy get ready for a moto adventure
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2019, 03:14:23 AM »
Man that is some good info thanks guys!

Woody I do like the color!  I've looked at the rally raid stuff.  I wish it was closer, the lead times/shipping are crazy.  How long do you think it takes to get a bash plate from the UK?

Nbsdave I did adjust the windshield to the higher position once I got home. I think it helped a bit.  The mirror suggestion is a good idea, maybe I will take them off to see if there is a difference and do a quick squirt on the highway.

Hey UKJeeper that write up of your tat adventure is insane! So long it will take me a while to read.  Do you like the TKC80?  I've read that it tends to cup and wear uneven decreasing the life.  I was going to get Shinko 700s but the bike shop said the sizes were wrong.  He suggested a Shinko 705 instead, a little less aggressive.  I'll have to do some research to see if I like them. I will check out a tubeless repair kit, thank you.  I guess tubes vs no tubes is a huge debate all by itself.  Barkbusters are a good idea too!  What kind of bag was on the back in your pictures? Looks similar to what I'm considering.  Trying to stay away from panniers and mounts.

Jmo that is a great video, thank you. Tons of great info.  And I do have a nice small Camelback like you have. I wouldn't use anything else for hiking or biking. I will have to watch your video a few more times and take notes. Dig the tools under the seat.  And you still have an ipod! Classic.

Jonathan I'm hung up on the hammock idea.  My cousin and his friends seem to swear by them.  Since they are all doing hammocks I'm leaning that way as everyone will need trees, there are plenty in Idaho! My back is always sore when camping, bought a nice 3inch REI pad and I'm still stiff in the morning. 

Ajc those are sweet bracelets.  I've never known what paracord is for. Is it just a bunch of rope?  Can I pull a bike with it? 

Slow rider uses it for a hang line, once you unravel the cord do you just bunch it up and stuff it in a bag?  Not sure I'd have the patience to make it pretty again.

Super awesome welcome thank you everyone!
It's all a bit much, I hope I'm not the guy everyone waits for on the trail! 
Things I need:
Skid plate, no other options besides RR he
Tires, looking into Shink 705s
Maybe a radiator guard? When I was on the powerline road the fan turned on. I bet a grill will make it even hotter. I dont like when things run hot.
Boots, I actually ordered a timberland look alike in grey. Mix of protection and comfort. I like the mid high adventure boots too.
Pants, thinking a kevlar Jean will be good.
Mesh jacket, a little protection is better than none!
Luggage, no idea here. Wolfman, also found the saddlemen ts3200de. Similar. Anyone use it? Maybe too cruiser style?

Talked to a dealer here in Issaquah. One guy said tires installation is free if I but the tires from them. Another guy at the same store quoted me 450 for tkc80s installed. Ridiculous. I hate dealing with dealers and I'm in the car business!
Possibly might try to mount myself. Good practice as I've never done it. Is a balance absolutely necessary?

Ok off to spend money.  Thank you again! 


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