Motorcycles and luggage systems

Buying a motorcycle is like choosing a beer in a Belgian café, there are too many options. With no background in motorcycle history or people to ask what model would do the job, we had to do our homework. After browsing and discussing, weighing pros and cons of different types of motorcycles, we decided to go for a Honda Africa Twin and its smaller sister the Honda Transalp.

Honda is famous for its excellent motorcycle quality, spare parts are found all over the world, older models – like ours – can be repaired by almost every random handyman, and, also important, they look pretty cool. The final reason for choosing this combination is that most parts are interchangeable.

At the Buzludzha monument (Bulgaria)

Honda Africa Twin RD04 (1991)

Yes, I know what you are thinking: “dude, it’s from 1991!” Maybe, to be honest, that is also what I’m thinking after replacing multiple parts – and the still to come replacing parts. Anyway, think of it like Robert M. Pirsig when he wrote his beautiful book ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ (1974): “The real motorcycle you're working on is a motorcycle called yourself.” I guess I just need a lot of maintenance.

• 750 cc

• 75000 km

• All-road tires – Michelin Anakee III

• SW-Motech crash bars

• MotoBatt battery

• Fuzeblocks

• SW-Motech double USB plug

• Oxford heated grips

• RAM mount iPhone SE

• Barkbuster handguards

• Hyperpro progressive rear shock

• Wilbers progressive front shock

• Hel Performance brake lines

• Clutch cable

• Stator CARG071

• Seat

• Chain and sprockets Tsubaki 525 XRG 2 chain

• Clutch plate

• Steer head bearings

• Guglatech Air Filter and Fuel Filter

Repairs since departure (20000 km)

• New fuel pump

• New oil and filter

• Radiator fluid

• Synchronization of carburetor

• Valve clearance

• Improvisational repair of air house filter

• Side stand

• Speedo meter (failed attempt)

• Gas tank paint job

Honda Transalp XL650 (2005)

• 650 cc

• 75000 km

• All-road tires – Conti TKC 70

• SW-Motech crash bars

• MotoBatt battery

• Fuzeblocks 

• SW-Motech double USB plug

• Oxford heated grips

• RAM mount iPhone SE

• Barkbuster handguards

• Hyperpro progressive rear shock

• Wilbers progressive front shock

• Goodridge brake lines

• Clutch cable

• Lowering the cycle

• Center stand

• Guglatech Fuel Filter

Repairs since departure (20000km)

• New oil and filter

• Radiator fluid

• Synchronization of carburettor

• Valve clearance

• Fog light mounts

• Crash bar paint job

• Reset of front forks

• Barkbuster plastic cover

• Chain

Luggage Systems

Choosing your right type of luggage system is like standing on a t-junction, you go left or right. On the one hand there are hard luggage systems, on the other soft systems. Initially we were thinking of hard alu cases that work well against theft and also could function as seat or table. But after various recommendations by Overlanders, we decided to go for a soft luggage system. During an event we stumbled upon Mosko Moto. We decided to go for the 80L reckless system, combined with their Nomad Tank Bag. Both products we tested during our test holiday in France. Our conclusion is simple: amazing stuff! Great design, quality and functionalities.

• Mosko Moto Reckless 80L system

• Mosko Motor Nomad tank bag

• Mosko Moto Molle 4L storage pouch

• Mosko Moto Tool Roll

• Steel cores – 3 per reckless system