The Rough Draft

If you can't go through it. Go around it.

For the next big motorcycle trip I’ll be heading back to my original province of BC. Where I and some others will be having a go at the Vancouver Island Grand Loop.  A roughly 50/50 split of dirt road and paved highway around Vancouver Island.

My Panniers took a real beating on my trip out to Moab, UT this past summer and to be honest, the extra weight was an issue on certain part I tackled. Enough so that on the Schaefer Trail / Potash road day, I rode with just the top box and was glad I did.

I made the decision to go with a soft bag system around the beginning of the year and then put a month or so of study and reading reviews before settling on the Dryspec D78 Modular Packing System. Which consists of one 38L Dry Bag and two 20L Dry Bags which all mount to the tail of the bike.

It’ll mean some reconfiguration of my current load out but nothing too serious. The Strom gets loaded on a truck headed for BC on the 23rd.

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The first step was removing my top box and its mounting plate. I also took the time to mount the new Rotopax 1 Gal. Fuel Cells on the backing plates I fabbed up last week. This is a much narrower configuration than with the hard cases. You can see my old tall screen against the wall.

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Then I mounted the 38L Bag. I tried a cross mounted position to start but wasn’t that happy with it and opted to go with the lengthwise mounting option. The strap based mounting system is easy to work with once you get your head around it and is easy to remove. Something that will be nice once I’m on the trip proper.

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And this is the final configuration. I’ve mounted the side bags high because I’ll be strapping my 10L Dry Bags that I’ve had for years to the frame between the Fuel Cell and the 20L bags or I may strap them across the back of my passenger seat because they do make a nice back rest. My other 50L Dry bag which holds my Tent, Camera Tripod and Sleeping bag, I’ll be strapping across the top of the 38L bag. At least that’s the plan we’ll see how it works out as I dial this new configuration in.

This trip is going to be a lot different than my excursion through Colorado and Utah. Weather is going to play a major factor. Where last year was dry, this trip could well be extremely wet. Which creates its own issues on some of the roads we’ll be riding. Considering the mix of off road skills in our group, things could be challenging.

That of course, is half the fun.

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