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 .
So, probably one of the most controversial topics I could blog about is motorcycle tires. Coming back from Alaska, I swapped out my K60 Scouts in Montana for Golden Tyre’s just released GT723s to continue some off-road riding in Idaho and Utah before heading home.
Before I ramble on about my experience, I would like to share the below paragraph which was sourced directly from the Golden Tyre website.
“The GT723 was originally designed as a purebred race tire for the most demanding rally stages on the planet. Its perfect balance of grip and road manners have created a confidence inspiring race tire that is now used as the best adventure tire on the planet. Adventure riders throughout the world have found that the exceptional grip and durability has been paired with an unmatched level of longevity not found in traditional race tires. Adventure riding covers a wide variety of terrain and the GT723 has you covered anywhere your adventure leads!”
So does this tire live up to their ad? Well, that’s debatable and is based entirely on your riding needs. I’ve broken this down into three sections: The good, the bad, and the ugly.
The Good (which is actually great) – Off-road riding with this tire on my R1200 GSA was amazing! I tackled a variety of terrains including super slick mud, rocky sections, gravel, hard-pack, and the dreaded sugar sand.
The Bad – On-road capabilities are what you would expect with a full knobby tire. Highway speeds will be reduced initially, but improve after the tires have had a chance to break-in.
The Ugly – Holy heck, these things are scary when they are first mounted! The knobs flex a lot making you second guess yourself.
Right after I left the dealership, I was riding two-up and fully geared. As soon as I began driving, an uncomfortable feeling came over me as I felt very little control over the bike on the road. The tires have full knobs which caused a great deal of flex and difficulty with safely maneuvering the bike due to the amount of weight on it. After checking into the hotel, I removed my panniers and did some solo riding around town on the pavement to get a better feel for them. They improved slightly, which gave me hope.
The following day, my passenger flew home and I continued to Wyoming to visit Yellowstone National Park before hitting Idaho. My highway speeds were initially limited to 65 MPH due to almost experiencing a fishtail feeling in the handlebars, which continued to worsen with more speed. I did not want to chance losing control of the motorcycle on the highway, so continued at a slower pace for roughly 200 miles. I eventually started to notice slightly less feedback on my handlebars and was able to gradually increase my speeds. After traveling for another 400 miles, I was able to open the bike up to 90 MPH without having that feeling of losing control.
I made my way down to Idaho where I met up with the guys at KLIM and stripped my bike of excess weight. We left KLIM HQ and rode off into some great terrain, which put these tires through a series of great off-road riding tests.
It didn’t matter what terrain we encountered: Slipperier than snot mud, rocky single track, or gravel, these tires were excellent. The ride was almost everything I could have hoped for to get an accurate account of exactly what these tires could handle.
After leaving Idaho, I continued to travel on the road to Utah to attend the 2017 BMW MOA Rally. The tires continued to perform better on the road over time, and I experienced a lot less road issues than I had at the beginning. I want to say that my overall mileage with the tires was between 900-1,000 at this point.
I left the MOA Rally and returned home to complete my testing of the tire in some of the most challenging terrain one can find… Florida sugar sand! I figured I would drop the bike a lot so I removed all my panniers, and mirrors in preparation for the inevitable fall(s). I met up with my buddy, Alberto, from Florida Outdoor Adventures, at Croom Motorcycle Park. He assisted me by videoing this experience for your viewing pleasure. Before I embarked on this challenge, I dropped my tire pressure on the front down to 27 PSI and the rear to 30 PSI.
For those that don’t know, Croom is a large fenced-in park for motorcycles, ATVs, and Side-X-Sides.
After the camera gear was setup, I headed off and started my run in the big open sand pit, which looks like something out of Star Wars. It was quite entertaining seeing everyone stop in their tracks to watch me attempt this. It was probably the first time anyone has seen a 600 lb. motorcycle in the park, let alone in the sand pit!
Once in the sand pit, I was 100% focused. I took Big Bertha around, hit some large whoops, practiced starting from a dead stop, and managed to leave with all of my extremities intact, due to a miraculous lack of falling.
Follow the link below to witness the pure amazingness that was Croom:
Who do I recommend these tires for? Someone doing serious off-road riding. These are purposefully built tires for the ultimate off-road challenge. I might go as far as saying that these are the best off-road tires I have ever experienced.
If you’re interested in purchasing these tires, below is the link to their website:
Posted in Gear Review & Thoughts and tagged #goldentyre, #GT723, #klim, #motorcycle, #offroad, #review, #tires, #travel by admin with .