Cast iron skillet for a traveling motorcyclist?! Some of you are already wondering, “What the heck is this guy thinking?!” Those take up too much room and weigh a ton! You cannot possibly expect someone to travel efficiently on a motorcycle and bring a cast iron along.
Well my friends, today you will learn that it can be done and with a lot less weight than you might expect. You will be surprised with just how little room it actually takes up when packed correctly.
One of my New Year’s goals was to cook more while camping, which was partially inspired by my Latin American friends. I already had a pot to boil water in and some very tiny saucepans, but wanted something I could really cook with while on the trail. I did my normal YouTube research, read reviews, and almost bought an aluminum saucepan.
Luckily I didn’t! For whatever reason, maybe pure luck, I came across an ad for “Field Company” while on Facebook. It was like the computer read my mind and this creation of a forged light weight cast iron skillet appeared!
I clicked on the ad, which brought me to a very professional, clean looking site. As I was scrolling down admiring the amazing looking foods cooked inside the pan, there was the verbiage, “Light enough to use everyday,” and just underneath it, “25-50% lighter than most cast irons.” My interest was piqued and I continued stalking the site.
Upon clicking the products link, I learned Field Company offers two sizes, the No. 10 and No. 8. I measured the size of my OEM pannier on my BMW R1200 GSA and was delighted to see that the No. 8 would lie flat inside.
Before purchasing or supporting companies, I always like to know a little something about them. Reading over the “about” tab on the Field Company website, I learned of the company’s rich family history and the thought process behind recreating a tradition, while adding a modern touch to improve upon their designs. Another awesome feature about Field Company is that you are supporting an American made product with your purchase. The pans come with a lifetime warranty and you can have peace of mind that it will be passed down from one generation to the next.
I decided to reach out to the company to express my desires and expectations. I was greeted with a welcoming response and my brand new, adventure camping No 8. skillet arrived within a few weeks.
After a few back and forth phone conversations about how to properly care for and season the pan, I hit the ground running and started cooking bacon like any normal man would do!
Over the next few weeks of camping, I tested out a wide array of foods inside the pan. The skillet was tested over direct flame made with wood, coal, and just about anything lying around, including Amazon boxes and Starbucks cups. After using it in the field (get it, “field” as in Field Company….ah, never mind), I brought it home and used it on my glass cooktop. This truly is one pan that rules them all.
Ok now for my set-up… I initially used a towel to wrap the skillet and placed it flat side down on the bottom of the left pannier. Keeping the skillet at its lowest point on the motorcycle is crucial for proper packing. The towel worked but took up extra space. I went to my local hardware store and picked up a thin rubber tool mat, cut it to size, and used that for vibration control and protection. To protect the seasoning, I placed a piece of aluminum foil over the top. My additional camping items then fit inside the skillet, taking up almost no room. I use the sides and corners of the pannier to hold my salt, pepper, and garlic in place.
If you like camping, meat, and motorcycles, this is the pan for you! I encourage you to give it a try!
Till next time, ride safe and I will see you on the road less traveled!
Posted in Gear Review & Thoughts and tagged #camping, #campinggear, #castiron, #cooking, #explore, #madeforadventure, #makelifearide, #motorcycle, #outdoors, #review, #xladv, cast iron, R1200GS by admin with .
What better way to start off a new year than with a set of new motorcycle tires for the upcoming riding season?!
I bring you my latest semi long-term test review of the Motoz Tractionator GPS tires. I equipped these tires on my 2014 BMW R1200 GSA back in August, 2017 and set my sights on some curvy roads. My goal was to challenge these tires in wet/slick conditions and determine their cornering abilities. I packed my bags and headed north to Lorton, VA and started my way down through the Shenandoah National Park. I got exactly what I wished for because it rained non-stop for the next several days.
Besides the rain, the leaves were changing colors and falling off; thus, providing me with an even greater challenge of riding untested tires on curvy roads, in wet conditions, and also on a leafy surface!
Having had 30k miles of experience with the direct competitor (Heideanu K60 Scouts), I wanted to focus on identifying the riding characteristics of the Tractionator GPS tires in comparison. I have always heard rumors about the K60 Scouts being slippery as hell on wet roads and never thought much of it, as I drive all the time in torrential Florida rain and had never experienced an issue. It wasn’t until my recent trip to Alaska, riding two-up on a straight road to Kennicot, that I fishtailed and fully understood the slippery horror others using the K60 Scouts had experienced before me. With pure luck and cheeks puckered, I managed to keep us upright and push on.
With that experience in mind, I continued on to the Blue Ridge Parkway to further test the handling of the Tractionator GPS tires. Getting used to them and feeling more confident, I made my way down to the bottom of famous Tail of the Dragon. I started my first run moderately and pushed harder on the following runs.
Check out my YouTube video from Tail of the Dragon:
The Tractionator GPS tires claim to be 50/50 with an option of the rear tire being reversed for even more traction off-road. I would rate them as a solid 60/40 road configured and a 50/50 off-road configured.
What I can tell you is that these tires perform well in all conditions with the possible exception of ice since I tend to stay away from frigid temps if I can help it. They are by no means a full road tire or hardcore motocross tire, but rather are a good all around adventure tire for those seeking the ability to jump on and off the road with confidence. I managed to rack up just under 4,000 miles and the Tractionator GPS tires show no signs of wearing out anytime soon. If I had a crystal ball, I would estimate these will last a total of 8-10k miles on the rear.
Motoz Tractionator GPS – Front $139; Rear $210
Heideanu K60 – Front $154-195; Rear $189-285
For years, consumers have had limited tire choices for the larger displacement motorcycles which offer both on-road and off-road manners. The Motoz Tractionator GPS tires are a win in my book and I will continue to use them for my long distance adventure travels.
For more product information, click the link below:
Till next time, ride safe and keep adventuring!
Posted in Gear Review & Thoughts and tagged #adventure, #bmwmotorrad, #madeforadventure, #makelifearide, #motorcycle, #xladv, BMW R1200 GSA, motoz, Motoz Tractionator GPS, R1200GS by admin with .