Gear Essentials: Adventure Motorcycles

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If you didn’t know from our Ultimate Overland Motorcycle build, it’s Moto Month here at Overland Expo. Accordingly, in addition to the awesome — and ultimate — gear we’ll be bolting to our Africa Twin, we found a few other must-have items for all you adventure motorcyclists. As usual, they’re listed in alphabetical order.

ATLAS Throttle Lock

The ATLAS Throttle Lock is a mechanical cruise control that allows riders to relax their grip, shake out their hand, adjust their gear and log more miles without the threat of the dreaded arm pump. Designers created the ATLAS Throttle Lock after a grueling 15-month round-the-world trip on a paint-shaking KTM 640 Adventure.

The ATLAS Throttle Lock mounts to most any motorcycle throttle tube between the grip and the throttle housing. In a matter of minutes, you will have added a completely new function to your motorcycle. And ATLAS Throttle Lock boasts that it is simple, safe, and intuitive. 

When the ATLAS Throttle Lock is engaged, a friction pad presses against the throttle housing to hold your throttle in place. The term “throttle lock” can be misleading because the ATLAS doesn’t actually “lock” the throttle of your motorcycle; it simply holds with friction.

To adjust your speed, manually rotate the throttle and it will hold any position you leave it in, until you turn it off. The ATLAS Throttle Lock allows you to manage your throttle naturally as a rider. That means there are no + or – buttons borrowed from car cruise control systems.

The ATLAS Throttle Lock comes in two different configurations: a Top Kit and a Bottom Kit. It’s also universal. It will work with virtually any year, make, and model motorcycle. To that end, it works with most aftermarket grips, heated grips, hand guards, and bars. Because it’s so universal, installation is quick — around 10 minutes.

Once it’s installed, the ATLAS Throttle Lock is easy to use. It’s activated with your thumb and holds throttle with friction. And it’s as easy to disengage as is to engage. For those worried about limiting throttle control, don’t — you retain 100% throttle. And, if you install it and don’t like it, ATLAS offers a 30-day money back guarantee.

That’s why we love the ATLAS Throttle Lock. It’s a simple, smart solution designed during an extended overland journey to make your own journeys more comfortable. What’s more, it lowers the barrier to trips a bit more. If rider fatigue is something that is holding you back from an extended trip, you’ll want to try the ATLAS Throttle Lock.

MSRP: $135.00


DENALI Electronics — D7 LED Light Kit

The D7s on our Ultimate Overland Motorcycle Africa Twin build are the brightest lights that DENALI Electronics offers at over 15,000 lumens which will light up even the darkest road or trail. The D7s are ideal for night conditions when you need the most visibility. In fact, they’re so bright that you have to be careful not to blind other vehicles. The D7s are mounted to a bike-specific light mounting bracket for the Africa Twin Adventure Sports. 

In addition to the D7s, we installed DENALI D2s down near the front axle using the fender bolt kit in order to create a large light pattern on the front of the bike. This makes it much easier for other drivers to see and recognize a motorcycle approaching. The D2s are great for additional ditch lighting, fog lights, or as a less bright auxiliary alternative when riding through high traffic areas. On top of that, the T3 Switchback Signal Pods on the hand guards act as white running lights and also as auxiliary turn signals when activated. 

To combat the potentially aggressive D7 lighting kit, we added DENALI’s Data Dim Dual Intensity Controller which allows for dimming to half intensity at the flip of a switch. The D2s are also set up with the Dual Intensity Controller, so dimming is always an option. 

On the rear of the Ultimate Overland Build, we have installed the B6 brake light to the underside of the license plate. These 6 ultra bright red LEDs act as an auxiliary running and brake light that is sure to catch drivers attention. Additionally, the T3 Switchback Signal Pods double the running/brake lights on the rear of the bike and also act as auxiliary turn signals. With all this light on the rear of the bike, we are greatly cutting down the chances of being rear ended, because who could miss all of this?

MSRP: $599.00


GARMIN — ZUmo XT 

The rugged zūmo XT all-terrain motorcycle navigator is built for adventure. With an ultrabright 5.5-inch display, it is glove-friendly and rain-resistant. Built to withstand all kinds of weather, extreme temperatures, and vibrations, the zūmo XT is the perfect navigation solution for the Ultimate Adventure Motorcycle.

We’ll be planning our most adventurous routes with Garmin’s turn-by-turn directions for on-road navigation. The topographic and BirdsEye Satellite Imagery are perfect for off-road guidance. There’s no subscription necessary to access a wide variety of Garmin services and you can manage and review routes, tracks, and waypoints across the navigator, as well as on your smartphone and computer by using the Garmin Explore ecosystem.

Needless to say, we’re particularly excited about Garmin’s Adventurous Routing options to find the most exciting riding on curvy roads and the preloaded off-road topographic maps for our off-piste adventures. Other great safety features of the zūmo XT include Bluetooth hands-free calling, rider alerts, automatic incident notifications, and pairing with the compatible inReach satellite communicator.

MSRP: $499.99


Giant Loop — Gas Bag

Giant Loop’s Gas Bags conveniently transport fossil fuel for powersports racing in a collapsible radio frequency (RF) welded film and ballistic nylon-reinforced container that rolls up or packs flat when empty. Weighing a fraction of rigid tanks and canisters and less costly than racing fuel cells, Gas Bags are available in one-, two-, three- and five-gallon capacities.

Rugged Gas Bags are designed specifically for 4x4s, motorcycles, UTVs, ATVs, snowmobiles, snow bikes, and overland vehicles. They provide a lightweight and compact means of transporting gas for off-road racing on closed courses, as well as for international travel.

Two rows of webbing daisy chain loops prevent the Gas Bag from sliding out from under tie-down straps (not included). Grab handles make it easy to lift and carry fully filled Gas Bags. Filler necks are standard size, fitting “universal” spouts, such as the EZ-Pour (also available from Giant Loop). They collapse as they empty, preventing the need for venting. And when they’re empty, they can be rolled up for easy stowage. The design is so ingenious that it received the “Global Media Award” for new products at the SEMA show. Perhaps the best selling point for the Gas Bag are its customers. It is used by the U.S. Navy, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Marine Corp, Baja tour guides, Search and Rescue, and other organizations.

It is worth noting that Gas Bag Fuel Safe Bladders are intended only for the temporary transport of petroleum fuels for racing vehicles used in professional off-road and closed course competition racing events. The Gas Bag Fuel Safe Bladder is NOT a portable or long-term fuel storage container as described by ASTM, EPA, ARB or other state or federal agencies. So, think of these as fuel bags you fill up for a few days in the backcountry — not as long-term fuel containers.

We love the Gas Bag because it is a really smart solution for those who want to carry gas or diesel along on their overland trips without having to carry a large, hard-sided fuel container all the time. When you don’t need extra fuel, simply roll the Gas Bag up and store it away. What’s more, it’s backed by a limited lifetime warranty against defects.

MSRP: $149.99


Jesse Luggage — Xventure 10 Panniers

Jesse Luggage’s Xventure 10 Panniers are 100% handcrafted in the U.S. They are built from 2-mm thick 5052 aluminum for enhanced strength, endurance, and longevity. They are welded on both the interior and exterior of the pannier to provide a “seamless” look and cleaner assembly over the riveted box designs. Along with the welding, there are built in rib rails to give these panniers superior strength.

The Xventure 10 line allows you to maximize capacity, while keeping a slim wingspan on the road or trail. The panniers hold approximately 93 liters of cargo in a setup that allows for more cargo volume in a sleeker profile that is one of the slimmest pannier/rack profiles for almost any adventure bike. The exterior of the panniers are powder coated inside and out for a great look as well and durable finish.

This Xventure line features a sturdy new latching system made from military grade aluminum billet. It provides an extremely strong seal from the box to the lid with their custom laser etched stainless steel keeper. The new design helps insure a snug gasket fit, driving water away from the contents of your panniers. The unique friction hinge on the lid gives you hands-free convenience and the lid simply stays where you put it. 

MSRP: $1,395.00


KonTour — KonTour Seats

KonTour Seat creates the ultimate solution for motorcycle seat comfort. From the ground up and inside out, KonTour Seat addresses specific shortcomings inherent in stock seat design by utilizing the best combination of high-tech materials for their custom motorcycle seats.

Riding in comfort is key on long-haul adventuring, so we’ll be fitting the Ultimate Overland Motorcycle with a KonTour custom seat. KonTour uses a patented, 5 layer process that creates an air cooled, infinitely adjustable, and breathable composite seat. 

The engineered top cover of their seats is a Polar Mesh. This unique anti-slip monofilament polyester mesh allows liquid water drainage, hot air dissipation and fresh air circulation. Only 5 mm thick, you sit on an “air curtain” that is constantly refreshed as you ride. Below the mesh is a waterproofed and aluminized barrier that reflects infrared energy, keeping you cool and dry.

KonTour custom covers all of their seats using their unique KonTour X impression film, an industry first. You simply sit on the film at home and take an impression, then send it with your seat for customization. KonTour scans a digitized 2D map of your butt to build your individual composite using different densities of made in America 3M visco elastic foam. The seat constantly adjusts as you ride for the ultimate in touring comfort.

MSRP: $375.00 – $675.00


MotoMinded — Rally Moto Kt

MotoMind’s Rally Moto Kit V3 is a true bolt-on rally kit (no welding, drilling, or cutting involved) that is made in the U.S. With it, you can transform your 2014 to 2021 model year KTM or 2015 to 2021 Husqvarna 350cc 501 motorcycle into a lightweight Adventure bike or ready to race rally setup. What’s more, the kit offers excellent wind protection from the 2020 KTM Rally Factory Replica windshield

The Rally Moto Kit allows you to easily remove the tower and switch back and forth between rally and enduro setup with minimal effort.

MotoMind’s designers developed the kit based on nine years of rally racing and riding experience, including the world-famous and grueling Dakar. In fact, 2012 Dakar finisher Ned Suesse ran the previous version of the Rally Moto Kit on his bike.

MotorMinded knows that not every rider has the same tastes. So, it offers two lighting options: Dual S1 LEDs for the lighter weight option, which put out 4,750 lumens. The Dual S2 Squadron LEDs put out 8,050 lumens. Clearly, this is for the customer who wants more light.

Lightness and strength were primary focuses for this kit. As a result, it weighs as little as nine pounds when optioned with the dual S1 LED lights. This lightweight is due in large part to its use of aluminum for the hard anodized black aluminum plates.

We love the MotoMinded Rally Moto Kit because it quickly and easily transforms your bike into a rally race bike without adding undue weight and complexity.

MSRP: 1,670.00


Outback Motortek — Ultimate Protection Combo MAX

Outback Motortek’s Ultimate Protection Combo MAX includes Upper Crash Bars, Lower Crash Bars, Engine Guards, and Skid Plate that work in conjunction to protect some of the Africa Twin’s most essential components. Outback prepared this combo package after brutally drop-testing motorcycles, ensuring its products that meet the highest standards in off-road conditions. The skid plate and lower crash bars serve as the foundation of the protective accessories and, when paired with upper crash bars and engine guards, your bike is sure to withstand the perils of gravity in even the most rugged conditions. 

The Outback Motortek skid plate for Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin features several new changes. The engine became wider and so did the skid plate, which now protects the catalytic converter, oil pan, engine case, oil cooler, oil filter and exhaust header. In order to offer additional protection, Outback added side and frontal protection, while keeping in mind that the bike needs proper cooling. Therefore, small vent holes have been added in strategic locations to the skid plate to minimize potential damage and maximize performance.

Outback Motortek created a slightly different set of lower crash bars for the CRF1100L that features quality 27-mm steel tube with 2-mm wall thickness. Any lower quality steel tubing below those specs would be crushed when your 450-plus-pound bike crashes into the ground, but Outback guards are designed to take the beating. One of the biggest advantages of this crash bar system is the all around 27-mm diameter tubing that rests on 4-mm and 5-mm thick steel mounting tabs to provide reliable protection for the fairing and radiator.

The Adventure Sports model of the Africa Twin is a wider motorcycle overall in comparison with the standard version Africa Twin 1100 and features a larger and wider fuel tank, as well. The upper crash bars are 25-mm steel tube with 2-mm wall thickness and are hand MIG welded for ultimate strength, with an eye on toughness and functionality above all. 

One of the first things that gets exposed to potential damage in the event of a crash is your Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin’s engine case, most specifically the stator and clutch cover and the DCT mechanical components. Therefore engine case protection is essential and Outback Motortek stands up to the challenge. Its engine case protection is entirely frame mounted, thus the fragile engine housing is not exposed to forces transferred to it due to impact from a crash.

MSRP: $1,130.00


RUBY — RUBY R8

It’s a great time to be on a motorcycle. While there are plenty of choices in lighting, there is only one race-ready brand with a lifetime warranty. Enter RUBY. Through years of engineering, design, and testing Ruby has developed what it claims is a superior lighting solution. 

Specifically, the RUBY R8 cranks out a wild 8,000 crystal clear and optically focused lumens that are incredibly bright.

With eight top-tier American made CREE LEDs, a pair of R8s generates more than 8,000 lumens. Like their big brother the R15, the extra distance and spread of RUBY’s specially tuned optics and color cast light enables you to better see and be seen.

Roadside animals, pedestrians, holes and ruts are all brightly illuminated in front of you. That allows you to see road hazards before you’re on top of them. That means you can react in time and prevent disaster.

If you’re the kind of person who wants to turn night into daytime, RUBY also offers the R15 lights that pump out a whopping 23,000 lumens of night-ending light.

OK enough hyperbole. Let’s talk about the details. The R8’s American-made CREE LED emitters have optically tuned color cast for a pleasant viewing experience. Their German-engineered optics increase definition and length of light. The R8s have been awarded ISTM, ASTM, JSM, and military certifications against water, dust, salt, chemical, impact, vibration, temperature, and pressure. This is possible because they were constructed using a 6063 aluminum billet CNC’d housing from Australia.

Even more impressive is the R8’s weight. They weigh just 10.6 ounces (300 grams). Their Japanese electrical components have voltage compatibility range from nine to 36 volts. And they’re compatible with Asian and European motorcycle models.

We love RUBY’s R8 because they come with a wire harness, dimmer switch, relay, mounting hardware, two-way cradle, and a tube of Loctite. What’s more, they’re backed by a lifetime warranty.

MSRP: $399


Superwinch — LT2000

Motorcycle recovery goes beyond simply righting your bike after a tip-over. Whether you keep a tow strap in your toolkit to pull your buddy’s bike or carry a winch for recovery operations in challenging terrain, the most important part of recovery is to learn the proper techniques and practice to keep your skills sharp.

A poorly executed recovery can cause serious injury and leave you worse off than where you were before. It is essential that you are familiar with the recovery process and get plenty of practice before you need to put your skills to the test in the field. 

When it comes to winching, there is no more trusted name than Superwinch. They produce a large variety of winch products including electric winches, power drives, hydraulic winches, accessories, parts and hubs that are sold to both the consumer and industrial end-markets.

Built for action, the LT2000 Winch from Superwinch provides up to 2,000 pounds of reliable pulling power, more than sufficient for getting your bike out of sticky situations or up onto a trailer. This multi-purpose winch features free-spooling “pull and turn” clutch and a handlebar mounted rocker switch remote and 49 feet of 5/32″ rope wire. Perfected over the years, the LT Series offers unmatched durability and performance.

This compact winch is driven by a durable, but low amp, one-horsepower motor and weighs just 12 pounds. It comes with two sets of color-coded electrical leads and a circuit breaker component and wire. One set of paired leads attaches to the winch and the other to the DC battery power source, with the circuit breaker component and wire added to the positive connection to the battery. 

Wiring your bike and setting up the mounting for a winch takes a bit of handiwork, but is doable by just about anyone. Stay tuned to the Ultimate Overland Motorcycle build process to learn how we rig the LT2000 up for adventure.

MSRP: $120.00


Wolfman Motorcycle Luggage — Enduro Motorcycle Tank Bag WP

Wolfman tailored the ever-popular Enduro Tank Bag WP with an improved and more ergonomic shape. Made with water repellent materials, a tank bag is the one of the most useful pieces of motorcycle luggage you can add to your bike. Perfect for holding quick-grab necessities and smaller items, when we hit the road on the Ultimate Adventure Motorcycle, we won’t leave home without it.

Wolfman’s Enduro Tank Bag has been completely redesigned utilizing the latest in RF Welded Seam Construction. Wolfman tailored the ever-popular Enduro Tank Bag for a more usable shape designed to fit virtually all dual sport and dirt bikes, making it perfect for the Africa Twin. The tank bag features a 4-point quick-release mounting that keeps it in place during the most aggressive riding. The innovative design has a black exterior and bright yellow interior, so it’s easy to locate your gear at first glance. 

Wolfman packs a ton of features into their Enduro Tank Bag. With padding under each of the buckles to protect the tank, The 840d Nylon TPU laminate is backed up by a sturdy AquaGuard water repellent main zipper. The top of the bag has a removable clear pocket, as well as a slotted top and bungee for stashing your gloves while gassing up. Plus, it has a removable waist belt pouch, to keep your valuable with you when you’re away from the bike.

MSRP: $144.99


Header image: Overland Expo

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Photo by Brett Willhelm

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