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One of the main things people forget about in traveling and touring is that every item you bring adds up.

Consider backpacking. You need to carry about 40 separate pieces of gear/items. If you saved 4 ounces per item that would be 10 pounds. Backpackers over the years have revolutionized getting outdoors with ultralight gear. On one item alone, the tent, weights have dropped many pounds. Now instead of a 45 to 50 base pack weight (minus food and water), ultralight enthusiasts have dropped base pack weights down to 9 to 12 pounds. Some have even gone out safely in 3 seasons with 5 pounds of gear. And that includes the backpack! Yes, there are costs involved. But there are much cheaper options and the weight reduction process can occur slowly by replacing gear over time.

Clearly, for safety, wearable gear on a motorcycle is going to weigh more than a 6 ounce down puffy jacket suitable for an ultralight backpacker. I believe, however, by using ultralight techniques, riders, especially those who like to camp, can remove considerable weight (and volume) from the touring storage and probably save a little fuel, ride a little safer, and have a little more energy at the end of the day.

Since I took the Harley riding course with my wife a few years ago and rented motorcycles for a few years, we've bought our first bikes—2018 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic for her and 2018 Roadglide Ultra for me. So, I plan to mix my ultralight weight backpacking gear (when appropriate) into my camping/touring gear.

Not having seen this discussed much, I thought I'd share.

Terence Johnson
San Diego, CA
Friday, August 31, 2018
Do not recommend the Progressive Ultra Low. Go for Ultra Touring. (944)

Jim Maule

Sunday, April 22, 2018
Wow, great looking ride! As soon as I saw the pic I knew it was Montana. Fantastic country. I'm retiring soon and can't wait to tour that area on my Harley-Davidson. Thanks for posting.


Scott
Temecula, CA
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
I have been riding my own for 24 years. My husband bought me a 2009 Street Glide in the fall of 2015. I still have my Softail Slim too. I added 10-inch bars and had it lowered. I am way more comfortable on the bike now. I rode the Tail of the Dragon and 2,500 miles from Conn., to Tennessee, and North Carolina, however, I will say, I am still having a difficult time being comfortable maneuvering at slow speeds like parking lots, tight slow speed turns, etc. (Gotta get out of my own head).

Any advice for fixing this issue? I ride a lot and many long distances, approximately 10-12,000 miles per season (I live in Connecticut.) Last August my husband hit a deer in front of me at night. I almost went down with him. Thankfully he is OK, but ever since then I don't feel as confident as I used to be. I'm hoping this is a mental thing and it goes away because riding is most definitely my passion!

Lynn C
Lebanon, CT
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Editor Response
Lynn,
Riding a Street Glide or any large touring motorcycle comfortably at slow speeds is all about skill and confidence. Check out our article on getting more control over your motorcycle at slow speeds. It has some good advice.
Genevieve Schmitt, Editor
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