Do I need an air mattress?


Joining from Izmir, Turkey. Looks like a great page and I am already enjoying it scrolling through all the posts.

I am quite new to the world of motorcycles, I have started about 7 months ago and only have around 10k kms under my belt. My bike is a 2007 Suzuki Boulevard C50. While I am not new to camping I haven't camped with a tent for more than a decade ( I have owned a motorhome in most of these years). I enjoy riding and want to see how merging riding and camping will work for me.

My first post and first question πŸ™‚;

I am now thinking of trying my first motorcycle camping trip (5-6 days, solo, 2-3k kms). The thought of returning to a tent and traveling with so little space to pack is a bit daunting.

I am open to any advise in general πŸ™‚ My specific questions are,

-Is it safe to load my tent on the handlebars and the headlight? It is not a very small tent weighing at around 5kg. But it is what I have and I don't want to purchase a new tent just yet.

-Do I need a sleeping bag? (Any cheaper alternative for this first try out trip?

-Do I need an air mattress?

-Finally, is balancing when loading the bike important? Would it be an issue if I loaded all my stuff on the far back of the bike?

Thanks in advance for all the help πŸ™‚

Do I need an air mattress?

2 years 0 Answers 1029 views 0

Answers ( No )

  1. Hi mate. I ride a Beemer R1200GSA so it’s difficult to answer your questions, as I have loads of space to tie shit to. Take a look at Helinox stuff. I lay my old bones to rest on the Cod One with an air mattress on top, then a sleeping bag. I carry a three person tent just so I have space for luggage inside.

    I further carry a Helinox Chair One and Table One for comfort.

    Hoe to camp with a racing bike..? Can’t really tell you!

  2. I would deter anyone from mounting anything other than very small lightweight items to the handlebars ie (small pouch, GPS mount, phone mount etc). Balance is important and you want the heavier items as close and as low to the center of the bike as possible. Search through the photos just to get an idea of how others pack their bikes. Sleeping bag and air pad depend on the current climate your area and how much comfort you want. They are not absolutely necessary but will likely make your adventure much more comfortable and enjoyable. Welcome and enjoy your first adventure.

  3. Yay, I’m excited for you! Don’t worry, you really don’t need to buy more gear yet. My gear for a weeklong trip in good weather fits into a 20L tail bag, plus a sleeping bag, and I’ve gone camping for days on a little 250cc mini cruiser. πŸ™‚

    I’d warn against having a tent on the handlebars, since that’s somewhat heavy and could affect the bike’s handling, but I’ve seen people pack a sleeping bag or blanket behind the wind screen or above the headlight. Light stuff like blankets can go pretty much anywhere, but you want to make sure it’s secured well so it won’t come loose on the road u2014 the wind likes to grab anything it can reach, and you don’t want a blanket coming loose and getting caught in your rear wheel.

    You can definitely use blankets or rugs instead of a sleeping bag and mattress. Wool blankets are great if you have them u2014 they insulate really well for their size. A camping mattress would definitely be the most comfortable, but any blanket, rug or mat will do as long as it insulates you from the ground.

    And balancing the load on a bike does matter: You want the heavy stuff as low and close to the middle of the bike as possible. But reality isn’t always ideal, so just do your best and take extra care riding at low speeds.

    You’re going to have so much fun!

  4. Not sure about Turkey but looking at your pucture I can get an idea. Ground insulation is mandatory. Body insulation of some sort sleeping bag blankets. If you have trees I would suggest a go at hammock camping. Welcome btw.

  5. Welcome from the Netherlands

  6. Cannot help much with the camping part but being a new rider will tell you the best advice I ever got was when in a turn never look where you don’t want to go as far as packing bike was designed for a passenger plus a bit use that for a guide

  7. first of all have fun! but 3000km in 6 days means 500km a day. tis is a lot! it is doable, but if you want to take backroads have stops somewhere to eat or take pictures and setup an pack up your tent each day and not feel like you are racing past everything instead of enjoying it it may be better to average 200 to 250 km a day, especially as a new rider. but as a "seasoned"(120,000km) rider myself i still hold on to those numbers(with or without trailer).

  8. So jealous!!! Enjoying your first adventure is special. You are planning a lot of kms but I remember not wanting to stop riding. Lol. Keep your plans and destinations fkexible and just go at your own pace. Your sleep arrangements depend on your age and the weather. At 61 I prefer my quality air mattress and as a Canadian I need warmth. Pack the weight low and you will have less parking lot struggles. I have embarrassed myself with that mistake more than once. For now just go with what you have, attached where you can. You will know better what to do next time. Get out there and enjoy!

  9. Definitely try to avoid putting things on your handlebars
    Use a waterproof duffle bag and strap into the rear seat. Get creative.

    Take your big tent and whatever sleeping arrangements you have your first trip. The more you do it , the more you’ll upgrade and swap out gear. When I began I had the cheapest and biggest / bulkiest gear … Eventually I rode around the world with professional type camping equipment. It doesn’t matter what you use , the importance is just getting out and doing it

  10. Hi Gu00f6ku00e7en Karanfil, Since you are going solo, and your Suzuki is designed for two people, put all your camping gear behind you. You want to enjoy yourself, so be comfortable. Bring a sleeping bag that will keep you warm no matter what spike in cold weather you encounter. Keep it dry on your bike from rain. Get an insulated air mattress like Klymt. Bring a folding water bucket so you don’t have to leave your tent if nature calls in the middle of the night. I hear Turkey is a wonderful scenic country for riding, so give your idea a try. It will be very different from your motorhome.

  11. Welcome Brother.

  12. Welcome from the Great Lakes State of Michigan USA ud83cuddfaud83cuddf8

  13. Welcome here!

  14. Good luck my friend. I don’t have much to offer except I do have a friend who had a blanket shake loose while tied to the front. It caught and locked up the front wheel causing him to crash. You’ve got this, just be cautious of anything working loose around moving parts!

  15. Anything you add to front forks slows steering. Not a good idea to put tent up front.
    I frequently use a cheep microfiber blanket instead of sleeping bag and definitely need a pad of some sort.
    Best of luck, friend.

  16. Well fist your English is better then mine.
    Pick a nice place and enjoy. Make a friend.

  17. Hey man welcome from mo nice bike

  18. Welcome from Illinois USA

  19. Figure out what you need, then leave half of it home. You wont use it. I always use a sleeping bag, but i I suppose a couple blankets will work. I use a foamsleeping pad, if youre hardcore you can sleep right on the ground, or try to sleep. Likely youll have a miserable night. Try losding loading youre you’re heavy gear down low, bottom of saddlebags, lightest gear up higher like tent & bedding.

  20. I prefer to load everything at the back (I left my jacket and fleece hanging on the bars on the picture) I use a rolled matt non inflatable but it is all down to your own comfort and may be health (think chronic back pain etc), you can really load a lot of gear if you add saddle bags. For securing, try to pass your bungies or straps (the slide/locking type, careful with lose ends) under your seat, or if you use saddle bags, under their straps. You can use a combination of both that will allow you to quickly remove a clothing layer if weather is hot without having to open everything. Outer waterproof covers for saddlebags in my opinion do a lot of flapping in the wind, I use the cheap but well tested bin bags as INNER lining , you can replace them easily (garden bins are best to keep longer) Also worth looking into is a small rack, if you are travelling light. I don’t but I always camp and I’m gone usually 3 weeks with weather and tempetatures changing a lot along the route. Have a blast! you do it once, you could be hooked!

  21. Also the lower you load the heavy stuff the easiest it is to manoeuvre(lowering the centre of gravity keeps the bike more stable)

  22. Amerika’dan merhaba πŸ™‚

  23. The far back loading is not recommended if you are light on a high bike, in your case I wouldn’t really know, you centre of gravity all inclusive seem to be pretty low already, its just that you might want all the weight body included more centered may be(unless you want to try a wheelie )

  24. The ground will suck the heat right out of your body. You need is pad and some sort of sleeping bag. Pack heavier items lower on the bike. Keep the weight balanced left and right.

  25. Thank you everyone for chiming in with all the great feedback.

    A sudden change in plans! My daughter (she’s 14) decided to join me for the trip and we are heading out tomorrow morning. This will only be a try-out trip. We will ride around 300kms stay in our tent one night and ride back on Sunday. It will be a short camping road trip I guess. There will be a few other riders with us, more experienced in motorcycle camping.

    Here’s how I loaded the bike. The tent is the heaviest of all equipment, so its in the bottom, on top of it I have the mattress and the sleeping bags in a backpack, and on top of it we have a small dry bag for swimming suits, towels etc.

    The saddle bags are for our much smaller backpacks that carry our clothes. What I have on the handlebar is a very light tool bag where we will put our shades, gloves, etc.

    We will miss sitting on camping chairs but no space for them unfortunately.

    Any recommendations for revisions? πŸ™‚


  26. You can pack tent sleeping bag air mattress inflatable pillow jetboil stove and several other items in a big dry bag. You should be able to strap it ti your seat using rok straps and camp comfortably.

  27. Have a blast! Looks like you are figuring it out as you go.

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