Here’s what has proven to be a basic round-up of what makes for a better ride experience through peace of mind
- A well serviced bike – with good tyres, chain and a regular service record
- Shaken/ Insurance papers
- Crash worthy riding gear – if you aren’t confident what you’re wearing will save you then you need better
- Bike toolkit – check to see it’s all there and know what it ALL does
- Rider maintenance kit – The stuff you need to keep YOU in the mood. Sunscreen, lipbalm, eyedrops, pain-subduers, allergy meds, tissues, helmet-screen cleaners, pen, paper etc..
- Extra insurance – not just the jibaiseki(basic 3rd party cover) but also at least a hefty ni-ni hoken(should cover damage to others, other’s property up to 30million yennies and cover for your personal injury in case of a self-caused accident)
- Puncture repair kit – available at all major parts shops
- Touring Mapple
In addition, these’ll help
- Navigation unit
- Medical kit for minor injuries
- Air pump for multiple puncture repairs
- Lube for chain etc
- Spare gloves
You need to get around but have no idea where to go. 1st stop should be a large book shop or amazon
Although there are a few different touring volumes around, for purely map based info with easy to read icons the Touring Mapple series stands out as a foreign rider’s fovorite.
It comes in a couple of different shapes and sizes so make sure you get the one that suits your needs.
Original book style Mapple R ring bound
Things to consider –
Will it fit your tank bag? the original little book style fits almost any tankbag. The larger R series with ring binding doesn’t.
Do you need water resistant? The R has a quasi-water resistance. But be careful as it won’t take highlighted ink if you you want to mark where you’ve been.
Do you want to see it on the roll? Putting in your tank bag and being able to look down at it through a clear top is the obvious choice. The original, having a book spine is not so good for this as the spine doesn’t like to be bent back. Where as the R, with ring binders, does the job.
Inside you’ll find a large fold out map to give you perspective the pages can’t and on the back of the first page an icon key(details below). In the back there is a distance calculator(highway only), ferry details and camp/onsen details.
But it is mostly used for these things:
Road features: highlighted recommended roads, bypasses, dirt road sections, toll charges and Road Stations (michi-no-eki).
Services: Gas stands, Restaurants, Convenience stores, fast food, onsen and public toilets.
Accomodations: Recommended hotels, youth hostels, Onsen Inn and campsites.
And much more . . … .
just check out this translation of the icon key page
– translation courtesy of Bambi –