COVID19 offer from Garmin

When all this COVID19 stuff kicked off and it became clear that I wasn’t going to be able to go on my trip to Mongolia this year I had no choice but to cancel my service with Garmin for my Explorer+ GPS unit. By cancelling the service I saved over £200, not to be sneezed at.

The saving is great but, it also meant that when I wanted to start using the device again I’d incur the £25 fee to have it reconnected to the Iridium satellite service.

Yesterday I got a call from Garmin, somewhat surprised to say the least I had a chat with a lady by the name of Victoria.

She explained that since they’ve had a lot of people cancel their 12 month service due to the pandemic, Garmin are now offering to reconnect the devices to the service for free, will waive the cost of the first month of service and then will allow me to suspend the service for a long as I want without any monthly fee.

This means I won’t have to pay the reconnection fee when I want to start using the unit again and will just need to login to my Garmin account and recommence the service.

This works perfectly for me so, I’ve signed up and my inReach Explorer+ is active once more.

It’s good to see that companies are reacting to this COVID19 pandemic that’s gripping the world at the moment and providing a flexible approach to service provision.

Well done Garmin!

Spending money like water!

Ever since I was young I’ve always got excited about getting new motorcycle clothing and never more so than now.

Getting organised for this trip has been a mammoth task spread over many months and I’m still not completely ready as I’m still waiting to hear about my Russian Visa application.

The last few days have been great as all my new gear has been trickling in.

The small stuff is just as important as the big stuff!

One thing that’s very clear is that the small stuff is often more important than the big stuff! Things like fuel and water filters will be critical to my health and the bike’s, without both we could come unstuck in some of the countries I’m going through.

A good set of paper maps and an old fashioned compass will certainly come in very handy when navigating across the Kazakh steppe, the wilds of Mongolia and Siberia, especially if all the electronics fail.

Tools are extremely important as I’m going to be totally self sufficient throughout the trip so I’m trying to ensure I can cope with most breakdowns but, without taking too many heavy tools.

SD cards aren’t a life saving item but a nice to have for the two Crosstour and Canon cameras I’ll be taking with me. Of course, the latrene shovel is to be considered a necessity these days when wild camping!


Since I already have a Trangia cooker I decided to stick with it and have purchased the multi-fuel burner for it. This new burner will allow me to cook using petrol for fuel, this means that I’ll only need to carry one type of fuel with me for all needs. I’ll be testing the new burner this coming weekend!

During the trip I’m going to need to be able to cope with extremes of temperature so I decided to purchase some new biking gear that has the facility to remove both the warm winter lining and the inner water proof layer. This will I hope, keep me relatively cool in the hot desert temperatures and warm in the below zero mountain climbs.


I’ve tried on loads of outfits over the last few months and not really liked any of them apart from the Rev’It! OffTrack jacket and trousers. The jacket is fairly light for a 3 layer system but also well put together. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a pair of matching trousers from anywhere in Europe and so have gone with the Sand3 trousers. These are made of a slightly heavier material but should be harder wearing. Again the trousers consist of a 3 layer system so should work well in both hot and cold climes.

My Nolan helmet that I use for road riding has now reached it’s end of life, it’s serviced me well over the years but like all good things in life, they never last forever.

Like riding gear, I tried many helmets but kept coming back to Nolan, they just tick all the boxes for me.


I finally decided to go with the Nolan N702X crash helmet. It’s a great design which allows the chin bar to be removed as well as incorporating a full face visor and dark sun visor. I find the Nolan helmets fit my odd shaped head very well and are comfortable enough to be worn all day without problem. The other big bonus is that my Sena headset will fit perfectly too!

The only other thing I’m waiting for now is the Hagon rear shock absorber for the bike, once I have it I can finally get the bike back together and on the road for some test rides.

Exciting times!

Using the AUX 12v 10A supply

I get a lot of messages asking about connecting USB/12v sockets to the AUX power feed on the CRF250 Rally so I’ve put together this quick article detailing what I’ve done so that others can do likewise.

Under the top left hand side fairing panel you will see a bundle of wires held in place by two soft metal bendable cable ties. In this bundle of wires there is actually a socket for connecting accessories to the 12v switched supply of the bike. The AUX power feed is protected by a 10A fuse under the seat so make sure you don’t connect anything that will draw more than 10A.

You don’t need to remove the plastics at all to access the socket, just release the wiring from the two flexible cable ties and lift it out onto the top edge.

AUX 12v Switched power feed.

When you first pull out the connector from behind the fairing it will have a dummy plug inserted into it, you will need to remove it and then reconnect your new plug once wired.

The plug can be sourced very cheaply from Eastern Beaver and can be connected to your accessory using nothing more than a set of crimps.

Make sure you order the 2 pin plug not the 4 pin plug!

Also, make sure you connect your accessory correctly checking the polarity of the feed before wiring as crossing POS and NEG will blow the fuse every time you switch on the bike!

I fitted a really nice little 2 x USB and 1 x 12v socket unit with a volt meter to my CRF250 Rally. It’s fairly water proof and hasn’t given me any problems so far. The other nice thing about this unit is that it has an illuminated on/off switch on the top so you can switch it off if your devices are fully charged.

The unit I fitted can be purchased on Ebay.

That’s it, hope this is of use to the people that have already pinged me asking for more info.

NOTE:
If you are fitting heated grips as I have, I wouldn’t recommend connecting them to the AUX power feed as they will push it to the limit current wise. It’s best to connect heated grips directly to the battery terminals and not via the wiring harness.