I was riding with a group recently and during a break at a convenience store three young guys on dual sport bikes pulled in for a break. None of them were carrying any tools whatsoever. I engaged them in conversation and asked how they would fix a flat tire or other bike problems while out riding. Their answer consisted of two parts. First, they explained that they had never had a flat and, therefore, didn’t expect to ever get one and second, if they did have a bike failure they told me they would just have to figure out at that point what to do. I explained that it was only a matter of time until they got a flat or some other minor problem and that it would sure be inconvenient when it happened (i.e. it would definitely end the day’s ride). But I’m an old guy so they just sort of looked at me and shrugged their shoulders like “he’s old and worries too much.”

While it’s true I’m old and have the grey hair and whiskers to prove it, I don’t think I worry too much since every dual sport ride I’ve ever been on has had at least one bike problem. Heck, as I was talking to those three young guys, two of the riders in the group I was riding with had their tools out and were working on their bikes. One guy had an oil leak which turned out to be a slightly loose oil drain bolt, easily fixed with the adjustable wrench the rider had in his tool kit, and the second guy’s rear wheel chain adjustment screws were both loose and needed to be tightened. Either of these easily solvable problems would have sidelined the three young guys for who-knows-how-long.

Every dual sport or adventure bike that I buy gets luggage racks added to so that I can carry, at a minimum, a set of tools and supplies for routine roadside repairs like flat tires.  For the 701 I started with a rear luggage rack by Prerun Moto. It is a stout piece of kit.

 Those of you familiar with the 690/701 might have spotted the non-stock gas cap in the above picture. The 701 has a locking gas cap – which seems like a solution in search of a problem. I have never had a problem with gas being stolen from my motorcycle or had a gas cap pop off. I’ve never even seen or heard of a gas cap coming off. On the other side of the coin, I once had a situation where a locking gas cap broke, making opening the gas cap very difficult. I thought I was going to run out of gas and have to tow my bike home because I couldn’t get that darn broken gas cap open. So, it will be no surprise to you that when I saw the opportunity to replace the locking gas cap with a typical screw cap, I did so. The cap is from Vanasche Motorsports and was purchased as a kit with their pannier rack.

 The luggage rack is built so it can accommodate a system like the Giant Loop, a more traditional soft pannier system, or even hard luggage. I don’t expect to ever use hard luggage but I did want the versatility of being able to use any other type of soft luggage.

An extra benefit of the Vanasche rack is that Mr. Vanasche teamed up with the Mr. Prerun and they worked together to ensure the Prerun tail rack and the Vanasche pannier rack fit together. I’m happy to report that they go together as if they were custom made for each other. With these two racks I can carry all the luggage I need for single- or multi-day rides.

Next – Block the Wind