Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Preparing for a round the world trip

Never use ingenuity when brute force and ignorance will suffice. It only saps the brain cells... and you need to save all of yours!

                                   DOYLE, The Professionals, "Servant of Two Masters" (1979)

I am now on the 4 month countdown to setting off and leaving everything I know behind, heading for the horizon on what will be a life changing experience. Of course the life changes are already long underway.....

How do you plan for a trip like this? How much is it really costing? What are you doing with your house? Why are you going on your own? Are you crazy?

These are main questions that people are asking me. I'd hate to give it all away...Let's face it..How many times have you said "If I had known how much effort it took I never would have started it"? Usually you're glad you did! These are my findings so far.  I will try to keep this real.....

How much is it actually costing?

I will give you a full breakdown of pre trip costs just before I leave and another final costing when I get back but the main things that have caught me out so far have been....

1. Carnet De Passage - This is like a vehicle passport and the cheapest way to travel without paying import duties. The only people that offer this in the UK are the RAC. It is based on the value of your bike so thankfully mine is a lot less than most as the Honda CRF250L comes in at under 4k brand new. Another good reason to go on a small bike!

2. Insurance - Travel insurance and bike insurance is hard to get for a trip such as this and if you do actually find someone who will cover you then expect a hefty premium. I'm still working on this one!

3. Equipment - The money I could spend on really good quality camping gear and appropriate clothing could probably pay for cheap digs all the way through Asia! This is something worth thinking about if you are setting off on a similar journey. I want stuff that I can rely on, has multiple uses, doesn't take up much space and can keep me warm and feed me! It's a lot to fit on to a small bike. I am working here on getting heavily discounted equipment (ex display, sponsorship) and donations from friendly mountain dwellers who have spares! This is a budget trip after all but I think quality is important with limited space for spares and extra blankets!

What will you do with your house?

My house is now well and truly taken over by my lodgers. My long term lodger, Tom, his hairy drooling Japanese Akita, Josh (a giant softy) and his girlfriend Angie, are spreading out as I thin down my belongings and take on the smaller bedroom. Slowly working my way out as Angie "officially" moves in. Thankfully we all get on!

My long suffering parents have been made Power of Attorney and so they will deal with any unforeseen issues whilst I am away.

Most of my clothes, books and other belongings have already been donated to one new home or another eventually leaving me with just a small amount of attic space and a box marked "things to keep".

This is good mental training and of course it helps me financially. I call it de-nesting. Working my way out slowly but surely. I am told there is great freedom in simplicity of living. I'll let you know how that goes! Right now it is a necessity and it can be emotionally draining as well as liberating all at the same time. Sometimes it  feels like I'm going backwards and I have to remind myself that this was the plan. I am doing this, not because I have failed, but because I have succeeded. I should have done this years ago!

How are you prepping the bike?

1. Heated grips - a must for me! I have terrible circulation!!
2. Smaller front sprocket - Changed to a 13 tooth to give me a little extra power through the gears.
3. Screen and front rack - I have found my bad back is struggling with the wind pressure at high speeds and so this is a must for me. The only place I could find one for the CRF250L was in the US but fast delivery service and easy ordering made it a no brainer. There are cheaper universal screens out there that fit to your
handlebars but I went for the model specific.
4. 12v Charger
5. GPS mounting
6. Luggage rack - This is being built specifically for my needs by a very clever friend but you can buy them online from places like Wolfman and Winding roads (at great expense).
7. Hand guards
8. Renthal bars - Stronger than standard
9. Bash plate
I may also consider changing the shocks to allow for the extra weight and perhaps making the seat a little softer!
Of course all this costs money and if I'm honest, a lot more than I had budget for. However, I think most of these things come under the  "must have"  heading. I will post pictures when she is ready!

Why are you going on your own? 

This is a big question that everyone has to ask themselves before a big trip like this. Shall I go it alone or go with a friend/s. It is also a question that has been covered in many blogs before mine. Personally this trip is about me and my dream and what I want to learn and discover about myself and my world. How could that possibly fit in with someone else's life? For me there is no choice (although for the record - if Ewan McGregor wants to go around again I'm sure I could find room in my tent!).

Aside from all the madness of paperwork and finances and living space I am still finding time to "test" out my lovely new bike and she is doing really well on and off road. Strata Florida? Tick!! No sweat! (for her anyway!!) She even seems to work under water! I am loving how she performs in town, off road and even on the twisties! Lest we forget what we are doing this for!!! There must always be time for FUN!!!!


Now if she only had a name! Hmmm! Any suggestions?

31 comments:

  1. Great update!! How about... RHONDA! the honda ;o)

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  2. May want to try http://www.hbinsurance.co.uk/ for round world cover. Also a heated waistcoat is good for bad back helped me when took 250raid to artic circle

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Neil. I actually have a meeting with them at the show on Monday so I'll let you know how that goes. I dont think they actually cover the bike though. Just the rider. Thanks for the tip on the heated waistcoat! Great idea! Why the hell not!!

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    2. Look at the LDComfort undergarments. www.LDComfort.com
      The fabric is different than other fabrics on the market and will stay dry on the inside. Enjoy every mile. :)

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  3. Ask Linda! She's good in finding names for motorcycles :-)

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  4. Hello there Steph

    Great idea to ride the world and interesting to read Your thoughts about it.

    I plan a long overland tour myself and I am very keen on the Honda Crf 250 as well. I would be very interested in more details about the Upgrades Your doing to the bike. The small fuel tank is a limitation on this model, are you doing anything to this?

    Regards from Kurt

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Kurt
      There is an off the shelf tank that you can buy (see crfs only) but it only gives an extra litre and for the price I decided not to bother. 'm on a tight budget. I have decided to carry extra with a Rotopax system. Another cheaper alternative for an extra litre or so is a handlebar mounted tank. It doesn't take up much room but I cant say I have tried it. Worth checking out. Let me know how you get on. Once I have finished all my upgrades etc I'll get some pics up and give you all the details. Cheers.

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  5. Dont worry too much about preping just set off in the direction you want to go in and you
    Will find everything you need comes to you.

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  6. nice writeup. i am pretty sure a gel seat will save your ass....

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  7. Hey Steph, Sheldon here ive been on the road for 3 years on my Bmw and have lots of great contacts within the motorcycle adventure world so if you ever need any help or advice feel free to add me on facebook through my website at www.ride4smiles.com. Take care ride safe and enjoy the rest of your preperation.

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    Replies
    1. Hey Sheldon. Thanks for that. I'll have a look now and no doubt I will be in touch with a million questions on route!!

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  8. Hello Steph,
    I am super happy I found your blog. I am planning a world tour starting in 2017 and will surely follow your adventures. My choice of bike has been the BMW700GS but after reading about your choice of bike I might change my mind. The small gas tank is a concern, thus my choice for the BMW.. I like the fact that the Honda is light and nimble, should get you around easier than the big BMW I am considering. How does the bike handle on highways loaded with gear?
    Madeleine
    This is my website:
    http://www.missrider.com/

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  9. oh, I forgot to add to my comment, I looked at the Safari Tanks but they don't make a tank for your bike, I will continue looking for one, there must be a company that sells a larger tank, this is the link for Safari, http://safaritanksusa.com/index.php?cPath=24&osCsid=8ae8f0099ce515138a1fbf2cc9846d99

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    Replies
    1. Hi Madeleine
      Good to hear from you. I have found a 12 litre tank from Adventure-spec.com. That should get me 250 miles so I am happy with that. I haven't put it on yet but will be doing so this week and seeing how she goes. I've also just had the rack put on the back and tested her out off road this weekend with the paniers etc on. She road beautifully.I will test her out on the road this week as well and let you know how she does. So far I am very very happy with my choice. Small is the future!! : 0 )

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  16. My husband love biking tours and I am surely going to share this with him. Thanks for sharing!

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  17. Hi Steph Jeavons,
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