The following is a list of the kit and equipment that the DD2012 team used on our expedition around the Black Sea in September. Our hope is that any would-be explorer may find it useful
Our bikes were the terrific Triumph Tiger XC 800. They were the standard bikes with the following extras fitted:
- Gel Seat
- High Screen
- Fog Lights
- Sump Guard
- Radiator Guard
- Headlight Protectors
The only addition to the bikes, which we purchased, were the Airhawk seats. These proved invaluable and so very comfortable.
We had Triumph luggage fitted including:
- Tail Bag
- Dry Bag
- Large Tank Bag
The bikes carried all of the riders personal equipment and enough food, water, and camping equipment to ensure the bikers were self sufficient for a minimum of 24 hours. There was one occasion when this proved very sensible.
The bikes performed excellently throughout. We achieved the following:
- Average Speed 46mph
- Average Fuel Consumption 44mpg
The riders wore Triumph clothing throughout the trip. Each rider had the Kalahari suit, adventure boots, adventure gloves and Triumph buffs. The clothing was not only practical but also very comfortable and long hours in the saddle almost flew by.
We wore Schuberth C3 flip face helmets. These were so comfortable and quiet. The flip front allowed us to raise the front to talk to people we met and border guards. Little things like eye contact go a long way.
The support vehicle
Stratstone Triumph kindly donated a Land Rover Discovery G4. These vehicles are made for our sort of trip. Ours was the petrol V8 version which, meant we could complete the trip using one fuel type, which made life easier. We had three people in the vehicle for the entire trip plus the team’s food, water and equipment.
Each member of the trip had their own tents, sleeping bags etc. The only addition I would recommend is a good quality Gortex bivvy bag. These were invaluable after long hours of riding and only having a few hours to get some sleep. When time was short we jumped straight in the bivvy bags saving time putting up tents.
Stanfords provided maps for DD2012. We attempted to stay as technology free as possible and stay away from Sat Navs. Each member of the team carried an IPhone 4s so that if a check navigation was needed we could use the Sat Navs we had installed on our phones. We had downloaded SATNAV2 from Apple. This costs less than £10 and covers the entire world. Our Land Rover was fitted with a ….. but we relied heavily on maps in the support vehicle too.
One thing to consider before attempting any expedition is to get your equipment sorted as soon as possible and try it out several times. This ensures the kit you have purchased is right for the job, and it also gives you plenty of opportunity to get used to packing, unpacking, and using it. This saves lots of time when sleep and food are more important.