Terry, Sandy and Jack Borden, deemed The Adventure Trio, travelled from their home in California to the tip of South America on BMW R1200GS and F800GS Adventure Bikes. The adventure took 2 years and took them over 28,000 miles of incredible terrain. They were recently featured in BMW Owners News Magazine in a story written by Sandy about their first border crossing into Mexico.
The Tour of Idaho is a 1400+ mile dirt road journey from Utah to British Columbia, designed for solo riders and small groups. Jimmy explains the ride on his website. The trail is for plated dirt bikes, not so much for dual sports, although there is a route available that is shorter and more dual sport friendly. “The Tour encompasses extremes of elevation (1,486′ to 10,420′) and climate. It crests 10,000′ three times and 9,000 feet a dozen times more. Technical challenges include mud, snow, extensive sections of technical single track, rocky trails, numerous water crossings and deep sand. Navigational issues abound. The Tour is in no way a casual undertaking. Yet the variety of plants, animals and geological features found along the way is amazing. The riding is varied, challenging and always interesting. It’s fun even when it’s really hard. If you are the type of person who feels comfortable rebuilding a bike in the middle of nowhere (with a bear watching) or lashing logs together to cross a swollen creek, the Tour may be for you.”
There is a 45-minute video documentary of the ride, but it is not available for public viewing just yet. You can check out his YouTube channel for other great videos until the new one is released.
Dirtbike Test has a short article about the ride as well, where the video may be available for some.
Thanks Jimmy Lewis for trusting Giant Loop on your journey!
Giant Loop Tech Tip: Installing Fandango/Diablo Tank Bag on BMW 1200GS
On some of the BMW GSs and other adventure touring and dual sport bikes, cleanly installing Giant Loop’s Fandango/Diablo Tank Bag requires a couple of extra steps. GL rider Whitney shared these pics and comments about routing straps on his BMW R1200GS:
“Here are two pics of the original fandango mounted on my 05 R1200GS.”
“I run the straps under the leading edge of the seat and down to the frame.”
“The left side is a tight fit, but I am able to shove the strap through.”
Once the straps are threaded through the BMW 1200 GS’s frame seat rails, leave them loose and pulled together in the middle of the bike. Then replace the seat and tighten straps. Once the harness is installed it can stay on the bike.
Kiwis Keith and Bryan rode 13,000km, coast-to-coast on the Trans Canada Adventure Trail on Yamaha WR250s with Giant Loop’s Great Basin Saddlebags and Dry Bags. Here are some highlights from their adventure (captions by Keith)!
1. Caribou Creek Saskatchewan . Almost as far north as the TCAT gets. Great spot – cabins, gas, food, beer!
2. Chris Rieger and the Kiwis. We have Chris to thank for a world class effort in marking the TCAT in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Job very well done.
3. Day off at the Nipawin Exhibition. The wagon racing was breathtaking!
4. Bryan and deer – a certain attraction. Our altercations with them continue …
5. Mike on a slippery slope in Saskatchewan . Hard to see the true grade but 5 mm of damp makes the surface like soap.
6. Manitoba Lake – the Cree First Nation. A very warm welcome, Keith telling our story to locals.
7. Keith looking for the trail in long grass. Bloody great moose appeared! (not in pic)
8. Rains a’comin on the prairie.
9. Oops. Road closed.
10. Typical axle deep ‘damp patch’ we had to get through on the Saskatchewan prairie.
Thanks Rider Magazine for including Giant Loop’s Kiger Tank Bag and Pronghorn Straps in the December issue’s Holiday Gift Guide. We especially appreciate that they were chosen based on Rider editor’s experiences using our gear!:
“Giant Loop, started in 2008 and based in Bend, Oregon, designs and manufactures soft luggage and accessories for dual-sport/adventure riding. Some of GL’s tough, versatile luggage we’ve tested over the years, like its Fandango Tank Bag and horseshoe-shaped Great Basin Saddlebag, remains go-to gear when we head into the backcountry. But you don’t need a bike with knobbies to take advantage of GL’s no-nonsense designs and rugged, mil-spec construction. We used the 9-liter Kiger Tank Bag ($290) on a weeklong, rain-soaked tour of Italy and then strapped it on our Yamaha FJ-09 long-term test bike. We like its zipperless clamshell opening, touchscreen-friendly map pocket and removable waterproof Dry Pod bag. And GL’s Pronghorn Straps, made of super-tough stretch polyurethane with unbreakable fasteners (available in 16-, 20- and 26-inch lengths, two per package, $16-20), are some of the strongest, most versatile straps we’ve used for securing cargo to a bike.”
From Paolo in Australia: “I’m writing you to give you an update about my travels and about your products, that I’ve been using during my trip about Australia, that has come to a completion now, after 8 months on the road and roughly 40000km. I’ve pretty much started from Sydney and rode all around the perimeter of this continent, covering Tasmania and Ayers Rock as well.
I’ve been using the Siskiyou Panniers, and I’ve covered all sort of terrains, speeds and temperatures (above the zero). Australia gives you a vast range of possibilities to test yourself and your gear, in terms of variety of conditions, and I have to say I was very happy to have your products with me during my journey.
Overall, the robustness, flexibility and storage capability of the products are really remarkable, in my opinion. You guys have done a great job.
Tillamook Dry Bag served me very well too; Fandango Tank Bag was very handy and so the Zigzag Handlebar Bag.
I just wanted to say THANK YOU for making this journey of mine a pleasure. The past months riding with your equipment were great. So much better than the hard panniers!
You can go through my adventure also, via my Instagram account.
www.instagram.com/paoloinoz I’ve been posting a picture a day for the past 230 days, gaining a lot of followers and a lot of likes and reposts from all over the world and from other popular dual sport and adventure riding accounts.
Travelling around Australia
Alberto Lara and Naomi Tweddle (www.motolara.com) added another off-road adventure to their list of travels this past week: an 800-mile giant loop dual sport motorcycle ride through Oregon, beginning and ending at Giant Loop’s shop in Bend. You may have seen Alberto’s photos in our 2015 Adventure Proof Packing Systems catalog or on social media for Moto Lara
Moto Lara (Alberto Lara and Naomi Tweddle) on Yamaha WR 250 dual sport motorcycles with Giant Loop motorcycle soft luggage.
For their Oregon giant loop ride, Alberto and Naomi rode their Yamaha WR250 dual sport motorcycles, equipped with Giant Loop’s Great Basin Saddlebag, Fandango Tank Bag, Rogue Dry Bag, Kiger Tank Bag, Possibles Pouch, Pronghorn Straps and Zigzag Handlebar Bag. Photographer Alberto rode with his DSLR camera protect with a neoprene cover inside his Kiger Tank Bag, with the zipperless lid providing quick camera access without getting in his way standing on the footpegs riding eastern Oregon’s rough, rocky double-track dirt roads.
Naomi’s Yamaha WR250 outfitted with Giant Loop’s Great Basin Saddlebag, Fandango Tank Bag and Rogue Dry Bag
Alberto’s Yamaha WR250 kitted with Great Basin Saddlebag, Kiger Tank Bag, Possibles Pouch, Pronghorn Straps and Zigzag Handlebar Bag.
GIANT LOOP – GEAR REVIEW – Siskiyou Panniers – Fandango Tank Bag Pro – Columbia Dryg Bag
We first used Giant Loop products to carry our gear from London to Sydney on our KTM 690s in 2012. We had a Great Basin on the back, some dry bags and a Fandango tank bag. This system worked really well. It was rider friendly, light, and could take the odd crash without falling to bits. Despite daily usage for four months, all the buckles and the straps and stitching remained intact with little if any sign of wear. If there were any sharp edges where we were mounting straps we covered them in gaffer tape to prevent chafing. Although I?ve up graded, my friends continue to use my original GL gear that took me on the big trip. It?s very popular with them and some of it will be used on our 2015 trip!
My next trip was an unsupported west east crossing of the Simpson Desert in 2014 and into the Flinders Ranges, a total of around 5,000 ks, of mostly dirt miles. I changed my setup slightly as we needed to carry heavy weights of water and fuel and I turned to the Siskiyou Panniers to keep the weight centralised and low. They fitted perfectly with my Pannier Racks. I upgraded to the Fandango Tank Bag Pro, that had improved access to my cameras and made charging accessories more streamlined. The great double zip mounting improved access to filling the petrol tank. They were topped with a double ended Tillamook Dry Bag. These doubled ended dry bags are excellent. Rather than rummaging around in a duffle bag trying to find what you want, you can quickly open either end. It sits perfectly atop the Siskiyou Panniers.
The only change for our south north crossing of the Simpson Desert this year is the addition of a Columbia Dry Bag. I used this bag last week end and it was brilliant (2nd picture below). It?s a double ended bag similar to the Tillamook with two additional features. A centralised handle so you can carry it like normal luggage and a webbed drying pocket to put those smelly or wet things in. Although not confirmed yet, I reckon in the desert sun this may become my mini drying room, but we?ll wait and see.
The Siskiyou Panniers copped a beating in the the first desert crossing and have now racked up over 10,000 hard kilometres. There are no signs of wear. I use GL water proof pods to make sure everything is kept dry. They are also handy to compartmentalise gear to make it easily accessible.
PS: As the desert is cold for this ride in July we are going to try out some Bushwackers Hand Guards, I?ll keep you posted on how well they go.
Here?s a clip of the Simpson Desert Crossing, legitimate adventure riders that use and test adventure gear.
Here’s how to install Giant Loop’s Kiger Tank Bag, Fandango Tank Bag or Diablo Tank Bag on motorcycles – like the BMW GS models or the Honda CB500X shown in the video – that do not have exposed frame rails. By removing the seat, installing the Tank Bag Harness, putting the seat back down and tightening, the mounting is clean and tidy! #golightgofastgofar
Thanks XLADV.com for the review and especially for mentioning zipper care (that’s one reason why your Fandango Tank Bag has served your well for so long)! The new Giant Loop Tank Bag Dry Pod fits all models of the Fandango and Diablo Tank Bag. Check out the new Fandango Pro Tank Bag with integrated electronics pass-through, concealed document pocket, bigger map pocket, rider-facing outside mesh pocket and more rider-friendly features. #golightgofastgofar
Local jewelery designer John Paul recently sold his ’70s vintage BMW R90, and he came by the shop with his first dual sport motorcycle, a 1999 BMW F650 Funduro (pre-GS)! He wanted to see which of the Giant Loop Saddlebags and Tank Bags best fit his bike.
The Great Basin Saddlebag mounted easily to the stock tail rack and passenger peg mounts, and the Hot Springs Heat Shield (included with the Great Basin Saddlebag) clamped right over the gap between the stock BMW heat shields, protecting the saddlebag from making any direct contact with the exhaust. To fit the Tank Bag harness, we popped the seat off and looped the side anchor straps around the seat rails of the frame and put the seat back on top of the straps.
Need to carry an extra gallon of fuel for your next adventure? The 1-gallon Reda Gas Can fits inside Giant Loop’s Fandango Tank Bag! And when you don’t need to carry extra fuel, the Fandango Tank Bag keeps all of your small motorcycling essentials handy – which a bigger gas tank isn’t going to do for you.
Giant Loop Rider Jack Broomall is taking part in the historic Cannon Ball Centennial, following the original route taken by Erwin Baker, the original “Cannon Ball”. He is riding a BMW F800GS with Fandango Tank Bag and Tillamook Dry Bag. Jack has ridden cross country a few times before, most notably on his vintage Hodaka, in Two-Strokes Across America.
Quote from the Cannonballproject.com:
“On May 3, 1914, Erwin Baker, a motorcycle racer and enthusiast from Indianapolis, Indiana, left downtown San Diego, California on a twin-cylinder, 7 horsepower Indian motorcycle en route to New York City.”
For more info on the ride and route, check out their site.
We enjoyed this recent message from one of our “Mojavis For Medics” program participants, Rob:
“Hello again, Here is some more info on myself.?Fulltime Fire Rescue at Canmore Fire Rescue in Canada (just outside Banff AB in the Mountains). My title here is Lieutenant Operations/Hazmat/Training – as an ALS fire medic in the mountains I do structural fire protection and mountain rescue. I am also casual with Alberta Health Services and do about 6 shifts a month on the ambulance. Here are some of my certifications:
I carry a full kit when I ride down in Death Valley for the Death Valley Noobs Rally, every thing from sutures to ETT tubes if intubation is needed, a full bandage kit, c-collar, tourniquet, symptomatic drugs if needed, and I leave an automated external defibrillator in camp. Last year I was down at the Silverton, CO event also while doing the CO Backcountry Discovery Route. At the Death Valley Rally last year we had a few mishaps fractured leg, fractured foot and a dislocated should with fractured clavicle.”
Rob rides a tricked out Triumph Tiger 800, with Giant Loop’s?Fandango Tank Bag? – and soon a MEDIC MoJavi Saddlebag. He surely puts his bike through the paces, having ridden three Backcountry Discovery Routes, as well as volunteering at the Death Valley Noobs Rally. ?Thanks, Rob, for supporting the rider community by volunteering your skills!
Terence Tay has set out on a 15,000km, three month long journey from his home of Singapore. He has dubbed it “Anywhere But South” and the route travels through?Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia.
He is the first solo biker to travel through Myanmar and wrote in to say “”Btw, I’m officially the first rider to go at it alone in Burma, albeit with an escort car and tourism official (mandatory),”
His BMW F800GS is packed with a Great Basin Saddlebag and Fandango Tank Bag. He had this to say about his choice of luggage, in an?interview with AsiaOne,?before heading out on the adventure.
“…Mr Tay: “I have opted for soft panniers as they’re lightweight. Weight distribution can be placed closer to the centre of the bike to improve handling. Also, they will not bend out of shape in a crash…”
Last fall, Giant Loop Rider Stephanie rode her Suzuki DRZ400 from Ghana, Africa back to Ireland.
She rode with her Beau, Rory, who took his KTM 990 Adventure on the trip.
She packed her gear in a Coyote Saddlebag and Fandango Tank Bag onto her DRZ400. She had this to say about it, “trip from Ghana (west-Africa) to Ireland April last year. Coyote saddlebag kit and Fandango tank bank withstood the test”
Her DRZ is setup to travel with a Safari fuel tank for extended travel range, a comfort seat upgrade and a small fairing added to the headlight mask for weather deflection.
Locally sourced service stand.
No Contenant-crossing adventure ride would be complete without a pic of a small future-Rider, aboard the iron pony. 🙂
Love the Ferries and their scary approach pools, at the ramp.
Sunset in the Sahara, worth all the flats and ferries…
He said, “They [pics] were took during some trips around Bolivia: Salar de Uyuni (Salt flats), El Chaco (southern part of Bolivia) and the last two are from Yungas (the famous Dead Road).?I have two toys, my F800 GS with the Great Basin and Fandango bags, and my Kawa 450 with the Coyote saddlebag. Both work just perfect for me.?Hope this new year can ride more, I will share my trips with you.
Cheers from Bolivia!”
Carlos also rides trails on his Kawasaki KX450, with a Coyote Saddle Bag.
Thank you Carlos for all the sweet pictures!
Giant Loop hopes you get your wish to ride more this year, too.
2014 has a few special rides scheduled for Giant Loop. The first ride is Baja next month, when HOC will travel South with GL Team Rider Brad, to ride with Chilly White of enduro360.com. HOC has always wanted to ride Baja and when Chilly invited him to join a ride this year, HOC jumped at the chance!
This led to evaluating Giant Loop’s KTM 500 EXC and getting some maintenance and setup details organized(and stripping the bike). ?The list had everything from gapping the valves, to tires, to suspension, to fuel filler filter sock. Of course, this is in addition to the discussion about which of the new 2014 Giant Loop gear to take on the ride. Coyote Saddle Bag is a no brainer, but which tank bag combination? Fandango Tank Bag, Diablo and Pannier Pockets or Buckin’ Roll with Pannier Pockets, what will it be?
First on the list was a valve check and GL racer Alex Sherman sharpened up his feeler gauges to perform the deed. After Alex gave the valve gaps a good gauging, he found them all in spec and none needed a shim swap. Next on the list was fresh lube, filters and rubber. I got the oil and filter managed, then pulled the Suspension off to send out to our friend Alex Martins at Konflict Suspension. Alex has a new dampening formula for the KTM 500 EXC and HOC is excited to try out the smoother action, during this ride. Next up is swapping the tires out for the Maxxis IT-Desert. The KTM still had the OEM Pirelli front and a half worn Dunlop 606 rear, so with both wheels off, the tire swap was gonna be easy.
Thank you Giant Loop rider for sharing the pic and feedback on installation of the Fandango Tank Bag (and Diablo Tank Bag). On many bikes, including BMW GS models, removing the seat, running straps around seat rails of frame, reinstalling seat and tensioning straps makes a very tiding mount. Don’t forget to install Vinyl Protective Film to protect the shiny painted surfaces under straps and Fandango/Diablo Harness. Hi Giant?Moto Team!
When I was trying to find a tank bag for my G 650GS, I had trouble finding clear photos of the Fandango for my bike.
I had a reasonable idea it was going to look good, but now it’s fitted I don’t think I could have made a better choice.
Photo attached in case you would like to add it to your website.
Really cool to have a visit from Giant Loop rider Kail, who stopped by the shop after five days of exploring the Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route on his KTM 990 Adventure.
Check out his nice tool box fabrication!
And the Buckin’ Roll Tank Bag works great with his Safari Tank and the Fandango Tank Bag!
Kail’s kit is light and tight with the Great Basin Saddlebag and Great Basin Dry Bag completing his Giant Loop expedition packing system.
Kail was one of Giant Loop’s first customers when we started in 2008 with the original bolt-on Giant Loop Saddlebag! From March 2009, here’s a blog post and pic from his adventures in California’s Los Padres National Forest on his KTM 530 EXC.
Thanks Christophe Noel for the beautiful pics and great feedback. Because Giant Loop packing systems strap onto a broad spectrum of motorcycle makes and models, it’s easy to travel for a fly-and-ride or a fly-and-buy. ?Just check your saddlebags as luggage and use tank bags and dry bags as carry-on bags. and Glad the Coyote Saddlebag, Coyote Dry Pods, Rogue Dry Bag and Fandango Tank Bag stood up to the torrents of rain in Colorado last week. Wishing better weather for you down the road!
So, here’s a testimony for you: I flew into Denver on Wednesday with the gear you sent over. I mounted it to my new-to-me Dakar and rode right into Boulder during the worst flood they’ve had in 500 years. It rained 3 inches during my ride north to Fort Collins just 45 miles away. I averaged about 12 mph with the traffic and road closures. Epic is an overused word, but it applies here. I was stuck in Fort Collins until yesterday. I rode another 5 hours in torrential rain with probably another 2-3 inches falling on me.
All of my goodies are dry as a bone in the Coyote bag with dry bags. And those straps are THE BOMB. Amazing how something so simple can be so fantastic.
Anyway, I found some sunshine today and thought I’d send you some feedback. 500 more miles tomorrow. Great stuff!
Cheers, Christophe Noel Technical Editor
Overland International Direct: 928-273-3754 Overland Journal overlandjournal.com Expedition Portal expeditionportal.com
Aim for the Horizon – three UK riders on Honda XRV750 Africa Twins with Great Basin Saddlebags and Fandango Tank Bags – share the latest chapter of their ongoing adventures: riding Slovenia. In the snow, no less! Good thing they embrace the “go light, go fast, go far” approach, with gear positioned closest to the Aftrica Twin’s center, both fore/aft and side/side. We’re inspired to Aim for the Horizon!