How I Roll  

This section will describe the tools I use to travel and create the site.

The bike is a 2005 BMW R1200GS standard model. It came from the factory with ABS, heated grips and servo assist "power' brakes.  I have made a few upgrades for exploring as follows.

  • Ill get this one out of the way first; the teeth were made from reflective tape. Besides looking neat they add allot of visibility to the bike. There is also a Curious George sticker on the windscreen , he serves as the mascot for my travels.
  • A Starcom Intercom System handles the sound for navigation and music. All my helmets have speakers and microphones mounted in them.
  • A cradle for my GPS is on the handle bars. The unit plays MP3's and the starcom can handle my Ipod Nano as well.
  • I have added a Pellican case in place of the passenger seat. The case is waterproof and is generally full of books, Maps and Camera Supplies.
  • The Marsee tank bag is generally full of snacks :-) and literature I have picked up my travels.
  • The bike has has several wiring modifications including a port for Gerbing heated clothing.
  • I run several windshields depending on the weather and how much air I want. The windscreens are mounted on a set of "Tobinators" which allow me to adjust it to let air in or block it out.  I also have added the Winglets off the Adventure series.
  • To protect the bike I have the BMW Crash Bars and Cylinder head guards.  Guards for the headlight, Oil Cooler and Rear brake switch have been added.
  •  To show up better I have added Reflective tape to the back of the panier cases and have mounted two 55w driving lights to the crash bars.
  • The GS is bike of choice for adventure travel. The bike is comfortable and can handle the freeway as well as gravel roads. 

    It has been used for many long and hard trips including a trip around the world  While there are other adventure tourers out there its safe to say the GS has wracked up the most miles, been on the most adventures and sets the standard for the class.

    Its not the prettiest bike but is a joy to ride and can chew up miles without tiring me out. It can get you into spots that other bikes cant with nine inches of ground clearance and the shaft drive it can take some rough roads.

    Most importantly for my explorations it is a conversation piece; Strangers will come out of nowhere and start asking questions about it this has openned doors that led to many of the sites I have explored.

    Detailed Specs are at


    I try to standardize items as much as possible, all my electronics use SD cards and AA Batteries. Besides being available on the road at reasonable prices ; I dont have to carry as much to run my cameras, flashlights and GPS. I have had very good luck with Radio Shack Rechargeable batteries and using them makes the trips less expensive.

    For cameras I have used many point and shoot types as long as they use AA's and SD cards. I tend to favor Nikon just for the quality of the lenses and because it was favorite brand in film cameras. I use many photo and video editting products; my favorites are Adobe Photoshop and premier elements. I will use any light editor to make a quick change and have many installed on my PC.

    Navigation is covered by the Garmin Zumo 550. It was made for motorcycling and is a very solid unit. Here are just a few or the things I like about the unit.

    It talks to me; this sounds simple but what that feature does is allow me to keep my eyes on traffic and the road rather than a map or GPS screen.

    It has a 3 hour battery life and can be used off the bike. On board memory includes maps for North America with a few gigs left over to record points of interest. It also can accept a standard SD card for additional memory.

    The "Man Overboard" feature allows me to quickly add the spot Im standing at for reference later.

    It came with the Mapsource software for PC. this allows me plan trips and find spots on the PPC then download them to the unit or a SD card. It also records my travels which can be downloaded into the PC for analysis after the ride. Many times Im using old surveyors maps and notes to find spots, the software handles teh conversions and lets me type in coordinates on the PC, this beats my older units that required you add points on the screen.

    I have been using this unit for 4 years and am very happy with it. It handles my music and can display pictures.  More details can be found at: 

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