When I first began planning the ride that would become a four-month, 13,000-mile trip through the southern United States, nearly all of Central America, and the entire length of South America, one thing I knew was that I would need a solid and 100% reliable means of navigation.
As smartphones now appear to play a significant role in the human experience, more motorcycle riders than ever before are depending on these handheld devices as their primary GPS navigation tool. After all, why fumble around with a dedicated GPS device, when our phones, these tools that do so much more than just GPS routing, can do the same. Often better, and more reliably.
As the driving force of an ever more connected world, smartphones have become essential tools of life in the 21st Century. Whether it’s avoiding traffic jams on a busy commute, navigating remote destinations on a long trip, or immediately notifying emergency services in the case of a crash, smartphones are an equally essential tool for ADV motorcyclists in any environment. There is a wide and diverse range of motorcycle phone mounts to fit nearly any style of bike and rider preference and RIDE Adventures has compiled a list of our favorite mounts, their respective pros and cons, and what to look out for when choosing a mount. In particular, we consider a secure hold, attachment options, ease of use, and isolation from engine vibrations as the most important factors in choosing a good mount.
I picked up the Klim Krios Karbon Adventure helmet just before our recent scouting trip to Thailand and Laos, and in doing so, went against a very obvious and basic rule I've said before: Always take the time to actually ride with a helmet and check fitting before any big trip. Waiting until you're a couple of days into an international adventure to discover that the fitting is wrong may result in a headache worse than that time you said "I'll take the cheapest tequila you've got." Once you're in the destination country, finding a replacement helmet will be an unnecessary and expensive challenge, and since the non-fitting helmet will definitely "used" by then, it'll be worth very little in terms of possible exchange or sale to another rider.
Even though BMW's new F850GS will be available soon, this post is being written with hopes of helping Riders considering the many new and used F800GS's that will be available for years to come.
As was recently noted in my Honda Africa Twin review, comparing this bike to the F800GS comes naturally, as they share a very similar size, stature, weight, capability, fuel capacity, etc. Within these general categories below though, it'll be clear which of the 2 bikes I would choose on any given day.
If you're so inclined, remember that many Riders book one of our motorcycle trip packages so they can test ride these bikes before making a purchase. Oh, and I'll be commenting on the "base" model of each bike, not the GS Adventure version of the BMW, or the Africa Twin that is coming out with a larger fuel tank soon.
As perhaps a point of credibility, I/we have been offering the F800GS as a rental bike since it first came out in 2008, and the Africa Twin these past 2 years that it's been available. Combining the feedback of hundreds of Customers with our own experience as Motorcycle Tour Guides, here we go:
Editor's Note: This article about the best motorcycle GPS options was originally posted in 2013, but our readers and riders still get a tremendous amount of value from it, as it's the most visited article on our site. So we've tried to add to it through the years. Some motorcycle GPS units may be past models so use it as a stepping stone for further research. We will update as we test new ones. Also, we have a 2017 Update Article for the Montana Linked Below.
*Please note: This is not an advertisement paid for by Garmin, and none of the reviews on www.rideadv.com are paid for by the manufacturers we recommend!
It's time to report some very positive results from the first couple years of using this Scorpion Stinger Lithium Motorcycle Battery that I installed on one of my personal bikes a couple of years ago. (Does that make this a "positive post?")
At just about 1 year old at the time, the original lead-acid battery that came with my 2014 KTM 690 Enduro just wasn't cranking over the engine very well, which made for a few concerning moments out in the woods on cold days.
As is well-documented by now, the weight savings alone has plenty of us switching to lithium motorcycle batteries across all types of motorcycles. So in addition to a few other categories that impress me about this battery, I'd like to declare this purchase a "no brainer" thus far:
Giant Loop Great Basin Saddlebag and Fandango Tank bag review
As a tour guide and avid motorcycle traveler, I’m always looking for the perfect motorcycle luggage setup. My demands for a luggage system are that it has to be versatile and be able to work on a variety of motorcycles and payloads, and of course it has to be durable and weatherproof. Like most serious riders, I’m willing to invest into gear that won’t let me down in the field since that can turn a good ride into bad one, or possibly even a dangerous situation.