Disclaimer: before attempting this one should consider having a basic knowledge of tools and their operation, the operation of and components of a motorcycle and a regard for their own personal safety and the safety of those around them.
Many would like to make you believe that for one to go on an adventure on a motorcycle one must first donate a small part of their anatomy (I think a kidney) to a big European motorcycle manufacturer to acquire a complex machine with more cubic centimetres than you could point a stick at. Once you have donated the agreed upon kidney you simply have to buy some luggage systems (this won’t cost you a kidney but maybe a slither of ya’ liver) before you can even consider having a motorcycle that is adequate to ride around the world.
I happen to not share these beliefs; I mean hell I don’t even seem to understand this belief. I mean just because a couple of guys from the UK did it doesn’t mean it’s the only way it can be done even if one of them was a Jedi master. So here it is the guide (if we can call it that) as to how I constructed myself an adventure motorcycle for 1500* Australian dollars (dollarydoos).
Firstly you’re going to need a motorcycle, to save pennies I recommend getting something small, common and affordable. For this you may need to forgo some luxuries such as speed, acceleration and a clutch that wasn’t integrated into the gear shifter. Good bikes to go for probably change where you are in the world but remember 150cc is 25cc too many, just think Honda Cubs, Honda Waves, GN125s, Groms (I would love to see that done) hell even get a 50cc scooter if you’re game enough. Just be sure to spend no more than $1000 on a vehicle. You can’t go blowing out your entire budget on something fancy here, as long as it starts most of the time and stops all of the time.
Okay so now we have covered this whole motorcycle bit you are going to need to start thinking about how you are going to get things around on it. I mean it’s all fine and good being able to get around, but where are you going to put the malt beverages and muesli bars you will require to sustain life on your two wheeled life raft? For me I was fortunate enough to buy a vehicle with a luggage rack which served as a base to build a nice little system out of some aluminium flat bars and an undertray ute toolbox. I then coerced a friend to make me a couple of pannier bags up for some bottles of distilled liquid. But hey if this option isn’t available to you I’m sure you can find some bags to strap onto somewhere, get creative 2 backpacks from the op-shop or some unsuspecting school children** could surely do the trick with a bit of backyard engineering.
You think is ready yet? Slow down buddy we still need to talk about the fine details, what’s the fuel range on this vehicle’s gas tank? For me unfortunately Honda lacked to foresight that some folks might want to ride further than their local corner store for a bottle of milk. But not to worry, if you think you have the room you can fit a auxiliary fuel tank or maybe a bigger new fuel tank. This is the route I took and it’s worked out pretty well and affords me not having to pull over to fill up every handful few hours. If you can’t fit another fuel tank don’t worry hope isn’t entirely lost you could always just go with a jerry can, but remember this could encroach valuable storage space for your muesli bars. Other things you might want to consider would be cruise control. Now I know what you are about to say “but those cruise control systems would cost my entire budget and I will have to forgo a lot of malt beverages” well fear not I found a piece of aluminium on the internet called an ‘omni-cruise’ that locks the throttle into position for $60 which does remarkably well providing I don’t forget it’s on and grab the front brake. Power is also a lovely indulgence if you are a social media crazed millennial such as myself, this only cost me about 10 dollarydoos for a 12v charger and fuse which I installed straight onto the battery. Remarkably the charger works rather well and I still haven’t managed to electrocute myself with it.
So that’s about the extent of it I managed to slap together my little adventure postie for a measly $1500* by my closest estimate, which I’m rather happy about because in my hometown of Perth that’s about the average cost of a dinner and movie date or 3 avocados.
Love and Mercy,
*The $1500 dollars is an estimate and doesn’t account for beer consumed during the process.
**The stealing of school children’s backpacks was made in jest; gone-postal.com does not recommend the theft of any child’s possessions.