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Motorcycle Camping on an XS650

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Gordon in nc, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. Gordon in nc

    Gordon in nc XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    Okay......after working almost non stop for months except for trips to visit with my 93 year old dad (who passed away a couple of weeks back RIP) and a shortened trip to an XS Rally (broken clutch cable sent me home early)........I finally get a couple of days off to play.
    So I'm loaded up and will be leaving out at 4 am Friday morning to attend The British In The Blue Ridge Rally. Yes, I'm leaving my Brits at home and will be on my ragged XS650B but I'm REALLY looking forward to it. :bike: I'm going to catch a lot of grief over riding the XS ( well it is a British bike rally after all) but I'm a big boy and I can take it. When they start giving me grief.....I'll just walk over the XS and press that wonderful starter button.....and that should quiet them down.....at least for a little bit.

    Motorcycle camping is something I TRULY enjoy.....and hope when I finally retire I can spend a many a night under the stars with the smell of oil and gas not too far away from me.:thumbsup:

    Now......I've been accused of OVER PACKING :laugh: but damn......a man HAS to have his "stuff" with him or it just isn't any fun. I've also been accused of riding bikes/rigs that are a little out of the ordinary and a lot ragged. I can live with that and can't argue with it. I've never been one to stand in line and blend in.

    Here's a sneak peak of what the weekend will be like and if you all don't mind.....I will post an AAR after the weekend is over????????


    Rumor has it there just might be an XS regular camping with us.....we'll just have to wait and see.:wink2::thumbsup::wink2:

    The people I'm camping with are some of my favorites and I sure am looking forward to it.

    Later gators......I can hardly sleep at night because I'm so excited.

    Gordon in NC :bike:
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
  2. jetmechmarty

    jetmechmarty XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    I'll come up Saturday morning and spend the day. I'll bring my XS650, so yours won't be lonely.
  3. Iowa Mark

    Iowa Mark XS650 Addict


    Looks like we have some of the same relatives!
  4. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Be sure to ask them: "Clumpit? Grass of tea?"
  5. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Dunno Gordon the silver side car is a bit over the top...


    Let us know how all that handles I keep thinking of camping with the XS but day'am the Beemer sez "why bother"? Maybe for rockerbox...
  6. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I miss the coolers already!
  7. angus67

    angus67 Welder's penetrate deeper!!

    I like camping, but i got to have a big cooler full of beer, and sam'ich makins. If i stab my old lady on there also, its like riding three up!!
  8. Gordon in nc

    Gordon in nc XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    Marty, you fit into two categories.......an XS650 regular and one of my favorite people. It'll be good to see you again. :)

    Iowa Mark......I was scrolling down and thinking WTF??????.... then I saw em....and spit coffee all over the computer. PERFECT!!!!! what a hoot!!!!....yep we could be kin.

    2m...here, here. :thumbsup: I have to admit....I've always had a soft spot for the Brits (the bikes that is). But this XS is sure growing on me. :)

    gggGary....yes sir, getting the Matrix attached to the XS was a bit of a pain....and now I realize that it's wheels are in the wrong direction..:shrug:..back to the drawing board.:thumbsup: I "kinda" miss the cooler bags myself. I could haul a BUNCH of stuff in them. But I'm looking forward to giving these Yamaha bags a try. Marty told me I wouldn't be able to carry as much stuff and he was right. I still was able to load enough stuff to make me feel warm and fuzzy and still have room for a 12'x16' group canopy set up. (I'm a blue tarp camper) Rain is in the forecast all weekend and it's nice to have a place to get out of it.

    Angus67.....that's just the reason a SIDECAR is the ultimate motorcycle camping accessory. :wink2:

    I have kept track of the load weight when I use the coolers bags but didn't do it this time around. I will try to remember to weigh it when I get back home and unload. The way I look at it is, the bike was designed to be ridden two up and as long as I keep the weight below what a pillion would weigh....i should be good. You do have to worry about getting the load top heavy. Top heavy is what happens when you have a passenger but usually the passenger gets off before you get off the bike. A top heavy load can get hard to handle for stuff like gas stops on a side stand...you gota be careful. (ask me how I know)

    Okay enough of this.....I have to get back to work. Leaving out tomorrow am and a yarn and photos will follow.

    Seeya..............:thumbsup: your friend in NC......Gordon
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
  9. Gordon in nc

    Gordon in nc XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    Here's a reminder of what we're talking about when we mention the "cooler bags"


    And here's the set up


    It had been a bit damp so I was trying to dry things out. This was at last year's XS11 Rally (thank you Marty) and since it was my first time around this group......I brought the deluxe "silver" tarp instead of the cheapo "blue"......see??? you can't hide money:laugh:

    More XS motorcycle camping to follow and PLEASE FEEL FREE to add your stories/photos to the thread.

    "Two wrongs don't make a right......but three lefts do"

    Gordon in NC
    KC 120 likes this.
  10. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    When motorcycle camping and rallying, it's nice to have an item perform double, or even triple duty. For years I've been using a Coleman lil'Oscar cooler. It acts as a travel trunk during the ride, holding things I want quick access to like a sweater and rain suit. At the rally, it's a cooler of course, but also makes a nice little camp stool .....

  11. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi Gordon,
    I see you are cutting back these days and only bringing one flamingo.
    Here's how to go on a weekend motorcycle camping trip in 1940's England:-
    Buy an ex-military motorcycle for five pounds. It's survived six years of armed conflict so it should be pretty reliable. Be sure it still has it's military panniers.
    Friday evening, stop at a local pub for a pie and pint supper.
    Continue up the road to find a camping spot that's near a stream and surrounded by gorse bushes.
    Wrap yourself in your ex-military ground sheet and dive into the gorse bush to sleep.
    In the morning, open your can of beans and eat them out of the can.
    Wash out the can at the stream, fill it with water, light a small fire to boil the water to make tea. Drink the tea, cut the bottom out of the can, split it up it's seam, open it up flat, set it on the fire and fry your bacon on it then soak up the bacon fat in a slice of bread and fry the bread. Eat your bacon butty, carefully bury the flattened beans can, fire up the bike and continue the ride.
    Note that the necessary bodily functions were also performed but are not mentioned here.
  12. Gordon in nc

    Gordon in nc XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    Mr Fred.......that trip sounds like heaven to me.:thumbsup: Thanks for those visuals....I could almost smell the bacon frying. :) BTW.....the other flamingo gets car sick so she's staying home.

    5-Twins, yes sir that is a GREAT idea ( no surprise coming from you).....I have a couple of those coolers....always liked them better than the pointy top Playmates. (?)

    Now here's another tip.............................carry water.


    Sounds like a waste of time since no matter where you ride nowadays you always seem to be passing by a store.....BUT. There "might" come a time (heaven forbid) when you break down along the side of the road (probably on your Honda :wink2:) and you have to push the bike a few hundred yards to get to a safer place to sort it out. Middle of the summer and some warm/hot water is still a lot better than nothing. Even if you're calling AAA....there still might be some waiting time. Another good use for it is if you do repair something and get your hands dirty......when you clean them with your hand cleaner ( I KNOW you carry hand cleaner in your kit) the water comes in handy (pun intended) getting them rinsed off. Sticking your greasy hands back into your gloves....well....you know.

    NOW.......bring the water along and I can almost 100% insure you.....you won't need it (just like that extra clutch cable I'll never leave home without again) but leave it at home.....yep they'll get ya.

    I have to get up at midnight and get a concrete pour started.....and then they can kiss my arse because I'm turning the phone off and heading West.

    AAR later......GG in NC aka Opie Gone Bad :laugh:
  13. mrtwowheel

    mrtwowheel Honda Etched On Brain Top Contributor

    Love camping on a bike. You've got as much stuff on that bike as I pack in my GoldWing's trailer. Tents were always a problem for me when packing without the trailer and on a no-luggage bike, the poles were always too long. Now I see little dome tents in the stores with much shorter poles, gotta get one of those. I'm due for a trip. Next to camping, Waffle House and Motel 6 are my next favorites.

  14. Gordon in nc

    Gordon in nc XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    450 mile + round trip and the bike never missed a beat.

    We had rain in the camp ground but the only rain I had to ride through was some really nasty stuff........the last 5 miles from home.......go figure.:shrug:

    I have several options for routes for this trip (I've made it several times) the fastest is boring but I took that going because I left home at 2 am. (long story) The route I picked to ride back on is my favorite and I'll tell more about that later.

    Right now.................................


    The bird says we have some unpacking to do.......Gordon in NC
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  15. jetmechmarty

    jetmechmarty XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    We got a pretty good soaking on our way home. We waited it out on the north side of Blood Mountain. We still managed to make the show. Thanks for the fellowship!
  16. Hi Gordon, this thread is right up my ally, what a great post & following posts in this thread. One question, where did you get the OEM panniers from?
    The following is what I put up on the "longest rides" thread, maybe I should delete it and move it over.....
  17. Gordon in nc

    Gordon in nc XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    GREAT story Mick......I like for it two reasons....one it's about a trip on a XS650 and we're not talking about a 10 mile run down to get ice cream and back :) and the fact that it's all the way around on the other side of the world from me. That first photo in your post is simply beautiful...looks like an ad for a travel agency.

    You gota help me out here....I'm not good at math and not a good reader either. (getting old is not any fun) What kind of actual gas mileage did you get? Unloaded I get close to 50 miles per gallon with my XS650 but with the load I was carrying this past weekend that was down closer to 43 miles per gallon.

    LOVE the stories.....I hope you share some more.

    The bags are off a XS750 and needed paint and decals to look XS650B. I had to drill extra holes in the mounts to make them work. There's a thread on the classified's about me asking for some. I had a couple of people reply and I got the ones you see on the bike from one of them. I'm still being told they were an option for the XS650B but to date I've not actually seen a set of them (the ones I have have a label inside them that says XS750, see the mentioned thread and there's a photo of it)

    I did end up with an extra set......but they are not in the best of shape. The mounts are perfect but one of the bags is warped a bit and I'm not sure how you would (or if you could even do it) fix it. If your interested I would contact those fellows who replied on my wanted thread. One has the bags complete and the other still has the guards that came with them.

    I will post more on my weekend after i get home from work.

    Take care......Gordon in NC, USA
  18. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I had a spy out looking for you Gordon. Can't wait to hear the report! (with pictures)
  19. Gordon in nc

    Gordon in nc XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    No problem Gary......I wasn't hiding, had the "bird" out by the road (first thing I did when I got there) and the XS was in plain view all weekend.

    I'll post some photos tonight when I get home from work.

    Gordon in NC
  20. Gordon in nc

    Gordon in nc XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    Okay...here we go. First off if the mods see this as a waste of band width....just delete it and I promise not to do it again. I guess this is for the three or four people on here who find this kind of stuff interesting.

    I left home (wheels up :wink2:) around 2 am and the first of the trip was in the dark. No problem with the XS's lights they were plenty bright enough and the engine enjoyed the cool night air. First stop.....mrtwowheels mentioned the Waffle House.....guess the Huddle House would have to do. Just before daylight and I was able to view the radar and saw that I could remove the rain suit. It's on the seat already stuffed away.


    After a hot breakfast the ride to the campground would take another couple of hours with a gas stop along the way. Camp was set up and I made sure the "bird" had a good view of the camp road.


    In civil war reenacting this is called a shebang.....I normally set this up and then put my tent under it but for this event "the needs of the many out weight the needs of the few" so I set it up so we as a group could get out of the rain and I just jury rigged something over my tent.



    Here's a shot of the XS....stripped of it's burden


    There was only one food vendor at the event.....but I gota tell you the sides were home made and the meat was wonderful. You had to be in the "know" to get the Collard Greens....oh my they were good. Hey, we were in Georgia after all and I was born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida...you can't take the Cracker out of a fellow and there's sure no way of hiding it. :laugh:


    Speaking of Georgia....this part of Georgia is simply beautiful......it has mountains


    and the campground was surrounded by a lake


    to be continued..............................................
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016

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