Road Trip: Part 1 – Preparation and Starting a 4,500km Road Trip on a 250cc Motorbike

Back in June I did a day trip on my Suzuki TU250X but what I did not mention at the time but it was really just a test run for a much longer road trip later that month. In fact a big reason I bought a motorcycle at all was to participate in this trip. For those of you who are not really into motorbikes fear not this is more of a road trip travel log with plenty of curbside classics spotted along the route. Speaking of the route I will say only that it is a touch over 4,500kms (or 2800 miles) long and will be revealed in each daily segment.

The first order of business is converting a motorbike designed for the city into one fit for traveling. The design of the TU250X Suzuki appears to actually discourage mounting of bags with how they positioned the turn signals so the first step is to relocate the signals to the rear. There are kits available to do this but they cost money and I had some L-shaped brackets lying around that looked like they would do the trick. The wiring had to be cut and then extended with some old Mercedes wire I had left over from my old 220D parts car.  So far my only cost was a little bit of heat shrink tubing. The turn signal on the left is stock with the right one in the modified position.

I am not sure how many of you have bought proper motorcycle accessories but are they expensive. There are no off the shelf bags were available for my bike so I took a gamble on some cheap Chinese moped bags bought off eBay. The next hurdle was mounting the bags. There is a company that offers racks for my bike but they would have been several hundred dollars to buy and ship here. I was not into that so I started with some aluminum that I had lying around with an angle grinder and tape measure.

The stock turn signal mount was re-used to mount the bracket on one side and a plumbing bracket on the other. I did buy some nuts and bolts so they would all be the same size in case (or when) I had to tighten them on the road.

A thing of beauty! Now I just need something to prevent the bags rubbing on the metal. I spied my son’s old pedal bicycle with a flat tire in the corner …

The faulty inner-tube was cut up to give a nicer mounting surface. Luckily the bags will cover this ugliness. Ideally I would have done a test run but unfortunately I had run out time for that. So first (and final) testing to be conducted on the trip.

Packed and ready to go. Normally I have a factory accessory retro seat on but I swapped it out for the front stock section and left the rear off.

I also performed a quick oil change and took note of the starting odometer reading.

Pre-Day 1 was a short ride out to my friend’s trailer in the Crowsnest Pass. He was the one that had put together and planned this whole trip. An uncle of his had done a similar trip years ago so this was a long term dream of his. A Fargo Power Wagon on the prairie on route.

A lot of this section overlaps with the test day trip so I will gloss over it but there are plenty of windmills before hitting the mountains.

And a few old vehicles about like this Canadian market Fargo 300 truck.

This Jeep Wagoneer is a perfect fit for this area.

Now in the Crowsnest Pass the good news was the bags stayed on the bike with this small test. We would start out for real in the morning with the promise of spectacular mountain scenery.