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A trip like the Trans Americas Expedition requires a lot of preparation and planning, even if a significant proportion of the hard work and research is done by Kevin and Julia and the team at Globebusters. It's still an expedition, though, and despite their organisational prowess, I'm still responsible for my own equipment and preparation. This page explains a little more about the equipment I'll be taking on the trip, from the modifications made to the bike through to my personal items.

I'll only know whether I've got this right once the trip is underway... so keep your fingers crossed!

The Bike

The most important piece of equipment for a motorcycle adventure is obviously the motorcycle.  Mine is a 2005 BMW R1150 GS Adventure, the same model that took Ewan and Charley round the world in The Long Way Round (the first and best of their motorcycle adventures). This bike is designed for the purpose of big adventures, and is a joy to ride, even if it can be a little intimidating due to its size. As standard it comes with a number of extras designed to cope with long adventures, including ABS, heated grips, engine crash-bars, low first gear and tall suspension... 

Paul's BMW R1150GS Adventure, all ready for the Trans Am

Even so, I've modified the basic bike with a number of things to make it more robust, or to improve comfort, or simply to enable me to cope with riding it for 19 weeks and over 21,000 miles... The list is long and includes:

Tools and Other Bike Essentials

In order to keep the bike going on the trip, and in anticipation of the inevitable need to tweak things by the roadside, I've collected together a simple set of tools that I will keep on the bike at all times. They are:


Naturally my most important items of clothing are my bike suit, boots and helmet, but I also need to pack clothes for when I'm not actually riding the bike. But with limited space in the panniers, I need to pack light. And I need to pack clever clothing as well, as it's got to last over 19 weeks in all weather conditions

Riding Clothes

Off-Bike Clothing

The list of off-bike clothing is somewhat smaller, reflecting the balance of time spent on the bike vs off it...

Other Stuff

In addition to all the above, I also have to find room on the bike for:

And this is what it looks like, spread out on the bed ready to be packed...

How am I going to find room for all this stuf?