Overland To Vietnam


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The Bike


Garmin Montana 600 Moto. My previous Garmin took 6 years of abuse and was still going strong. I chose a new Montana because it also works as a handheld satnav, can run on AA batteries as well as being powered by the bike, can leave breadcrumbs for you to trace your route back and has a large 4" screen. I'm very pleased with it.


Touratech make a wide range of high spec products for adventure motorcycles and their riders. I've always felt my sartnav was vulnerable mounted on a bike. The Touratech mounting bracket for my Garmin Montana has vibration damping (essential on my old Bullet!) and is also lockable. A very well made piece of kit.


Satnav mapping has improved immeasurably in the last couple of years. I'll be using Garmin European and South East Asia maps which will cover a good two-thirds of the journey. For me, they are an essential.

Contact: Garmin UK Website


Peace of mind is priceless. My Matchless runs on a magneto. Should it fail, it would mean the end of the journey. As a back up I'm carrying a Thorspark electronic ignition unit. It's compact, lightweight and easily fits into the end cap of the magneto. Even if my Dynamo fails, the Thorspark will run all day on one charge of the 6 volt battery. Contact Sussex Motorcycles, Tel: (+44) 01273 491362


Being stuck in congested cities, held up at traffic lights or slogging along muddy trails can be problematic for an old air cooled engine with a cast iron head. I've fit a cylinder head temperature gauge (
Aircraft Spruce Micro1000 CHT pyrometer) to warn me of impending overheating. It's superbly accurate and even self compensates for changes in ambient air temperature. Mine was imported for me by UK agents Airworlduk.


I like to know the time when riding without having to stop, take off my glove and roll up a jacket sleeve. Checking the temperature, especially the extremes of freezing and blistering hot, is great fun too. My waterproof clock and thermometer are beautifully made in England from billet aluminium by Phil of Time4Bikes.com.


Brendan Layton of Motorbikebits has provided a handlebar brace - great for my satnav and clocks - and bar-end weights, not that the Matchless vibrates... much!. My choice of alarms has been limited due to using a 6 volt battery. Brendan provided me with a compact but loud alarm that runs off a 9 volt disposable battery. Just the job.
Contact: Motorbikebits.co.uk


I used a 12 volt JG electronic regulator on my ride to India as it allowed my 6 volt dynamo to charge a 12 volt system. They are Bullet-proof. The Matchless has an earlier, lower output dynamo so I have chosen to keep it running on 6 volts. An appropriate 6 volt JG unit was supplied by Dave Lindsley who is very knowledgeable about classic motorcycle charging.
Contact: (+44) 01568 617750


2014 Gordon G. May. All Rights reserved. | info@overlandtovietnam.com

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