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Dirty Girl Motorcycle Touring Photos

Andrea and her zrx1100 Touring Photos - Packing Photos


Motorcycle Touring is a great way to enjoy your bike, explore the country and get out camping. My friend Martha and I toured together for at least 10 years, going on what has been dubbed the 'Poultry Tour'.
Our first or second year of touring together Martha and I stopped in a small town to eat, and as we were parking our bikes and taking off our helmets, we heard a guy standing nearby tell his friends 'Look, Chicks on Bikes'... we looked around in disbelief... thinking 'Poultry? on a motorcycle? where?' but apparently they meant us. It's been called 'the Poultry Tour' ever since :-)

Two very carefully packed motorcycles! My EN500 Vulcan packed with about 140lb. of camping gear, and my friend Martha's beautiful yellow SV650, in the background, similarly packed with a weeks worth of camping gear and equipment.

Vulcan 500 'the Queen Mary' - packed for camping
Photo Credit: Martha Sayeau

Touring is so relaxing, although the packing-up camp is always kinda sad, at least you get to hop on your bike and go for a ride after the packing :-)

Gear makes a great backrest
Photo Credit: Martha Sayeau

The campfire is probably one of the highlights of camping for us city slickers. The hypnotic entertainment of watching the flames flicker as it gets dark. And the many other joys of campfire cooking. Eating marshmallows until Martha takes the bag away from me :-) And the year we managed to both forgot our grills - we improvised, cooking steak on a stick - and we learned that armed with fire and a steak we will eat.

Smokey the Bear, look out, Andrea is building the fire!
Photo Credit: Martha Sayeau

Dew on the windscreen, and the Vulcan all packed up... I really gotta do something about those mis-matched horns.

Vulcan, from the front
Photo Credit: Martha Sayeau

I lost the plastic-chrome pretty cover for horn on one side riding up around North Bay on a torturously rough gravel road. I had at least two working bulb filaments in the lights on the bike at the end of the road, which amazed me. The plastic horn cover on the other side seems totally unbreakable - I've tried! I've levered, pried and taken mercilessly rough roads but it remains stubbornly in place.
2012 Update: Vulcan's second horn cover has finally come off - they match now!

The anatomy of a motorcycle packing job:

motorcycle packing diagram
Photo Credit: Martha Sayeau

Everything you're likely to want for a week of camping, nearly 140 lb. of camping gear the last time I checked. No, I've never managed to learn to pack light, but I have learned a lot about stuff that's useful to have with you when you're camping. All the comforts of home can be packed on a bike, it just takes some practice!
A few packing tips: heavy stuff on the bottom, not too far back, light stuff on the top. Think about what your leaning on how comfortable/safe it is, and what wind will do to your pack. Think about vibration too - I ground a bar of soap into dust once with my twin, and I ruined many flashlights too (MagLight makes flashlights tough enough to withstand the vibration - I haven't yet found any other brands that can, since my trusty maglights are still working). Check the balance of your load - an off balance pack will get really anoying really fast, and anything that rattles, flaps or moves will also bug you. Pack it right the first time, but plan to stop and check your load too. You should have your load bungeed so securly that pulling on any one piece of gear in your pack will shift the entire bike. If you don't have a centre stand, climb on your bike and hold it upright and check to make sure your pack not heavy on one side or leaning.
Pack safely and check your load - poor packing can create very dangerous conditions if stuff comes loose or falls off.

tool roll for motorcycle touring

Anatomy of a Tool Roll

Selecting a suitable set of tools your bike may need for road-side repairs is an important part of planning your touring packing list. Look over the fastners on your bike and think about what might come loose, or need fixing in a minor mishap. The photo on the left if the tool roll that goes just about everywhere with me whenever I'm on a bike. A single ratcheting tool with multiple tips and sockets is very efficient, but you can see I've got several ratcheting tools in my tool roll, as well as a few specialized tools like circlip plyers (very useful for removing broken pegs and fitting on the passenger pegs for the rider, don't ask me how I know).

Read more about PACKING A TOOL ROLL

Andrea on the ZRX1100

Read more Packing for Touring articles:

More Touring Stories

Leonard's "Two Wheels by the Campfire" Touring Articles

Camping on your Motorcycle

Leonard's One Pot Camping Recipes

ZRX 1100

My Mighty Kawasaki ZRX 1100, basking in the autumn sunlight. I got the ZRX late in the season 2001, but managed to get in a few short tours on it before the winter. 'Verdis Rex' and I have been through many km's since then, street and track... read the love story

Kawasaki ZRX 1100
Photo Credit: Owen Sinnott

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Dirty Girl Motor Racing

Dirty Girl Motor Racing

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