Touring Gear - Suzuki Volusia Forums : Intruder Volusia and Boulevard Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Touring Gear

So, I don't do much local riding, but do take off on 2000-3000 mile road trips, 400-500 miles per day, having done so for more years than I care to admit. Obviously, the stock saddle bags are tiny and replacement with something larger is needed. What do you tourers get as replacements, there appear to be several good options for replacement? I carry gear for all riding conditions in the areas I may ride through-hot, cold, wet-dry. I have a couple of tail bags I could adapt to the pillion backrest, is that a good option for gear? Usually I lay out what I think I might need, then go through that pile of stuff, trying to put back 1/3-1/2, then when I get back home I go through where I went, conditions, and what I needed vs what I did not use. What tools do you carry, I carried tire pluggers and air pump on my previous bikes, not needed on the C50T. Cell phone and credit card, plus towing is probably what most need? Suggestions appreciated. Is the C50T the right bike for my style of riding or no?

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 08:50 PM
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first of all, get yourself a good sissy bar for securing anything to...a luggage rack off the back comes in very usefull as well as a Willie & Max Hooker under your rear seat for added securing. Your admitted touring history should dictate what tools you found were required in the event of a problem...an extra key is a must...you'd be surprised how many people only travel with one...I always carry a small bottle of oil as well as a bottle of seafoam on the off chance I pick up some bad gas...whether or not the c50 is the right bike for what you do is a personal thing...you'll know after your first few trips. Others will be chiming in with more suggestions...Good luck and ride safe.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 11:13 PM
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Take laundry detergent pods & softener sheets & quarters. Don't need as many clothes that way.
Also, have someone you can call, who can put out the call for help if you need it. And make sure your towing covers accidents. AMA does not, ask me how I know
If not for the people on this forum, I'd still be stuck in upstate NY boo-hooing ! I love this bunch

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCinCT View Post
first of all, get yourself a good sissy bar for securing anything to...a luggage rack off the back comes in very usefull as well as a Willie & Max Hooker under your rear seat for added securing. Your admitted touring history should dictate what tools you found were required in the event of a problem...an extra key is a must...you'd be surprised how many people only travel with one...I always carry a small bottle of oil as well as a bottle of seafoam on the off chance I pick up some bad gas...whether or not the c50 is the right bike for what you do is a personal thing...you'll know after your first few trips. Others will be chiming in with more suggestions...Good luck and ride safe.
Good idea on the Seafoam! I use it all of the time but never though about bringing some along in case of bad fuel.

Living the dream...
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 07:14 AM
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Is the C50T the right bike for my style of riding or no?

That all depends on how you pile on those 400-500 miles in a day. If you're like me and prefer the relaxed pace of back roads and US highways, then the C50 is going to be a great bike for you. If you plan to ride interstates for long periods of time, then I would caution you to temper that enthusiasm. I did just what you are doing now on my '05, riding with my wife on weeks long trips up and down the east coast. I found out early on that the C50 is NOT a great bike on the interstate, 2 up and full of luggage. In a headwind, I would struggle to reach 75 mph fully loaded - that is because the bike's mild state of tune only produces 44 hp.

If you keep that restriction in mind, it is a great light touring bike.

I had a Mustang saddle (a must for long days in the saddle), a mustache bar to rest my feet on (do not get a Cobra crash bar - I had one on my bike and it CAUSED me to crash when I leaned into a cambered turn), National Cycle hardbags, a wompus luggage rack (the stock rack will only support 11 lbs. More weight than that will eventually crack the welds) and a Givi 46l topcase. Up front, I had a stock Boulevard windscreen, homemade lowers and did the walmart LED light add on. In the saddle bag, I carried spare oil, a small emergency can of shelf stable fuel, a medical kit, tube patch kit and tools.

After a year or so of touring, I upgraded the drive to a DJ drive *made by Dan Hillis himself!*, then added pipes and a fuel processor, looking for a little more zip which never really materialized.

In all, it was a satisfactory platform for solo and 2 up light touring. I loved the bike, right up until I started touring with a few buddies I met here and I struggled to keep up with them on the interstates.

Current Bikes -->
-1969 Indian MX125 -10-2009 to Present
-2014 Honda CTX1300 - 05-2015 to Present

Past Bikes ----->

-1973 Yamaha RD350
-1991 Harley Sportster 883 XL
-2000 Yamaha XV125
-2003 Piaggio Fly
-2004 Suzuki LS650 - 04-2005 to 07-2008
-2005 Boulevard C50 - 07-2008 to 5-2012
-2012 Vulcan 900 - 05-2012 to 05-2015
-2008 Yamaha FZ6 - 11-2008 to 04-2017
-2006 Star Virago - 05-2011 to 06-2017


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 07:19 AM
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The other thing to be careful of, is the charging system only puts out 325 watts of power. You can over-tax the C50's charging system if you put on too many electronics, extra lights, cell phone charger, GPS plugs, etc. It will not support more than a single heated jacket, unless you disable other current draws on the charging system.

Tools, a metric socket set (everything seems to be 10mm), a metric box wrench set, JIS screwdrivers, flat head screwdrivers, tire spoons and t handle metric hex wrenches.

Current Bikes -->
-1969 Indian MX125 -10-2009 to Present
-2014 Honda CTX1300 - 05-2015 to Present

Past Bikes ----->

-1973 Yamaha RD350
-1991 Harley Sportster 883 XL
-2000 Yamaha XV125
-2003 Piaggio Fly
-2004 Suzuki LS650 - 04-2005 to 07-2008
-2005 Boulevard C50 - 07-2008 to 5-2012
-2012 Vulcan 900 - 05-2012 to 05-2015
-2008 Yamaha FZ6 - 11-2008 to 04-2017
-2006 Star Virago - 05-2011 to 06-2017


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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As a follow-up to my original post, I've ridden several 100K miles touring, I know what to bring. How do you carry the gear you bring - buy bigger saddlebags? (if so, where'd you get them), stop riding when it rains? (I don't), tough it out in the mountains coming from hot flatlands, such as Kansas, when it gets really cold in MT/WY/ID/UT/etc? I carry heated gear when headed to those areas which are my favorites. Thanks for your posts though, always interesting to see what folks bring on long trips.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 01:45 PM
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I'll take a stab at this...
1) The bike. I have zero issues touring on my C50. In fact, I just put in two 9 hours days on the highway with all my camping gear with several more days to go. It's equipped with a windshield and a mustang seat. That's about it. It works for me, but I know others have different opinions...that's just mine.

2)Saddlebags: As big as I can fit without hitting the exhaust.

3)Tailbag: I have a Kuryakyn Ultra Tour that fits on the sissy bar/luggage rack. I don't think they make it anymore, but there's other stuff out there like it.

4)Last year I bought a waterproof duffel that fits my tent, sleeping bag, folding chair, camp pillow...even a bear vault, all in one dry package. I just strap it to the pillion with some ROK straps (highly recommended) and it only take a minute or two to load and unload everything.
Righteous!

Starboard saddlebag: Rain gear, spare oil, repair stuff.

Port saddlebag: Folding cane, folding cowboy hat...whatever I want to access easily while on the road.

Tank bag: glasses, phone, etc. Misc stuff.

Easy peasy.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VStromTom View Post
As a follow-up to my original post, I've ridden several 100K miles touring, I know what to bring. How do you carry the gear you bring - buy bigger saddlebags? (if so, where'd you get them), stop riding when it rains? (I don't), tough it out in the mountains coming from hot flatlands, such as Kansas, when it gets really cold in MT/WY/ID/UT/etc? I carry heated gear when headed to those areas which are my favorites. Thanks for your posts though, always interesting to see what folks bring on long trips.
If you want big bags, Tsukayu Jumbo Strongs are the biggest that I know of. Excellent quality, easy mounting.

https://www.tsukayu.com/JumboStrong.html
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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That's the kind of info, thanks!
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