I picked up the Garmin Montana handle bar mount I had ordered. It’s not the RAM mount. I have that already, but for mounting the unit in the center of the handlebars, it doesn’t work. The Garmin specific one is much better. It screws on directly to the back of the unit cradle, so no rewiring or anything necessary. I first attached the mounting plate on to the handle bar and screwed the counter plate on. Seems pretty solid. I tried not to over tighten it so there is still some movement ie. it can be rotated to around the handle bar for different viewing angles. The nuts that hold the counter plate are actually not meant to be tightened with tools. They are instead meant to be finger tightened. I was a little suspicious about them rotating off in vibration, so I added some nyloc nuts as a backup. Speaking of backups, Garmin were kind enough to add some free screen scratch protectors into the package. I love Garmin.
Other than that, the tyres are still holding pressure, so no surprises there. I did some basic fiddling with my levers to get them positioned just right. I also uploaded all my routes to the Montana and then sat down to figure out the equipment list and fuel management.
I’m headed to a pretty remote area where fuel is scarce. Normally you can get some from wilderness tourism operators, but they are all gone when I plan to be there. I have no choice but to carry more fuel. Normally I have 12 l in the main tank and 4.5 l in the Rally Raid rear tank. So 16.5 l in total, which gives me a range of around 330 km. This can be extended significantly with a less aggressive throttle, but what’s the fun in that? So I decided to strap a 5 l plastic can on the tail and add two 1 l aluminium fuel bottles to the soft luggage. This will give me a total of 23.5 liters which should keep me on the road for at least 470 km. If I want to play it a bit tighter, I can leave out the 5 l can, but it’s not really a problem to have it on the back when it’s empty. It just looks goofy. The red aluminium fuel bottles on the other hand look very good in the designated fuel pockets of the Magadan panniers.
It’s great to be going back up north at this time of the year. I was planning on doing a circular trip from Helsinki, but was dying to back to the Arctic. So I decided to take the night train from Helsinki to Rovaniemi, bike and all. That way I can ride NE to the wilderness and then make my way back down the eastern side.
I’ve been keeping a worried eye on the weather as it’s been pretty cold recently. Luckily there has not been any snowfall up north yet. So far everything looks good, overcast with maybe some light rain. No monstrous storm fronts on their way up like in last June.