Bike & Luggage

1989 Honda XL600V TransAlp
Absolutely love it. Wouldn't change it. Perfect all around bike that fits us 2-up.

GIVI trunk
Fantastic.  Tougher than I thought (it's bounced off some rocks while attached to the bike...).  Fits a ton.  Lockable.

Nelson Rigg saddle bags CL-850
35 Liters per side.  Big enough to hold a small backpack of clothes, couple books, and shoes. 

Pros:  easily fixable, can be tied on. 
Cons:  NOT good in rain.  The raincovers collect puddles in the bottoms that soak into the bags and drench the contents.  Sideloading feature is not fun to access when on the bike.  Only lock is a zipper luggage lock (which is enough of a deterrent in most cases).

Wolfman expandable tankbag
Sweet.  Huge.  Almost too big, but without the detachable side pockets I don't honk or run the starter nearly as often during slow maneuvers.

ABS tool tubes
Fit a roll of wrenches on one side, tire irons on the other.  Good spot for the weight, and nice to not have to pack/unpack tools to access anything else.  The lids are not watertight when sealed by hand without sealant or Teflon tape.  Not a big deal, just have to air them out after big rains.

El cheapo engine guard bags (see below)
Wal-Mart purchased ATV tank bags.  You get what you pay for.  The velcro attachment points pulled out on first fall.  But maybe any bag would´ve done that?

Moose Racing ATV engine guard bags
These are the new replacements for "el cheapos".  Still a good deal, and seem a bit better constructed.  Time will tell...

Riding Gear


Olympia Bushmaster mesh jacket
Good blend of protection, padding, and breathability.  Better for cool climates because of heavy mesh and the insulated waterproof liner.  Glad that it's not black.  Like the longer length.  Still not convinced about the weird safari belt, but it adds pocket space.

Next time would stay with a similar, non-black mesh jacket.  I would look for separate liners though - one for warmth, one waterproof.  Nah, scratch that.  After another big rain storm today, I would look for nice lightweight mesh riding gear and make sure to have enough space for a rainsuit (which is admittedly tough 2-up with camping gear, but there´s a way, I´m sure).  Having everything in your pockets completely soak through everytime it rains is just downright silly.

Olympia Airglide II mesh pants
Cut well for taller, skinnier types.  Sturdy pants.  Waterproof liner works pretty well, but leaks a bit on the side zips, especially in tropical downpours.  I would buy these again.

TCX Infinity boots
Awesome.  Waterproof but somehow not too hot.  Worst part is if not wearing pant liner, and puddles splash into the tops of boots, then the boot stay wet for days.  Comfortable for riding and walking.  Holding up well.


First Gear Kiliminjaro jacket
Fantastic jacket for cool weather riding.  Good protection, an excess of pockets, and a really nice softshell liner that actually looks nice around town.

Joe Rocket Honda Racing mesh jacket
This jacket replaced the Kili once we hit the desert heat in Arizona.  Super lightweight mesh, still has decent armor (not in the back), and doesn't have a nice liner.  Although the liner is waterproof, so the jacket works well in rain.  Overall not the same quality as the Kiliminjaro, but the fact that it breaths so well makes all the difference.

Olympia Airglide II mesh pants
Same as Mike.

Gaerne Women's Black Rose boots
Waterproof and comfortable.  Jill's happy.


Honda XL600V standard toolkit
  • 17 and 24 mm closed wrenches with extension
  • 14/17 and 10/12 open crescents
  • #2, #3 (phillips), and 1/4" screwdrivers with T-handle
  • spark plug socket (necessary for this engine)
  • flat nose pliers
  • zip ties (not standard issue, but almost)
Right ABS tube:
  • Open crescents:  13/15, 12/14, 10/11, 7/9, 6/8
  • 3/8" drive flex handle
    • 12, 14 mm sockets (12 pt)
    • 17, 19, 22 mm sockets (6 pt)
    • 3/8" to 1/4" adaptor
  • 1/4" mini ratchet
    • 8, 10, 12, 13, 14 mm sockets (6 pt)
    • #2 phillips
    • 4, 5, 6 mm hex bits
    • 2" extension
Left ABS tube:
  • 8.5", 11" tire irons
  • 16" compound curved iron
  • mini (5") channel locks
Engine Guard bags:
  • multimeter
  • 12V test light
  • jumper wire
  • Blackburn mammoth 2-stage bike pump (~300 strokes to air up front, thankfully haven't had to air up rear yet...)
  • valve core remover
  • tire patch kit
  • panty hose (not what you're thinking.  These are for a pre-filter.  I swear.)
  • chain breaker and chain press
  • a few assorted small metric fasteners
  • metal tie straps
  • JB weld
  • 20' section of 3/16" rope
  • 2 - 12 ft cam straps
  • 3 - 1-2' sections of double sided velcro tape
  • Gorilla tape


  • 2 CDI modules
  • clutch cable and lever
  • clip-style 525 chain master link
  • front tube (and sometimes rear tube)
  • 2 - 30 amp relays (after Venezuela experience...)
  • headlight and taillight bulbs
  • fuses
  • wheel bearings
  • fork oil/dust seals
  • internal fuel filter and petcock rebuild kit
  • 1 L engine oil (used to lube chain also)