Equipment

Motorbike
On this kind of trip, there are various considerations in choosing a bike.
Terrain: There will be everything from sealed highways to river gullies, sand and muddy forest tracks.
Weight: Needs a big enough engine to carry rider and gear comfortably, yet too heavy and it becomes impractical 'off road'. I have no help to pick it up!
Reliability: The bike will need to handle all kinds of hardship over 20,000 kms. Neither a regular 'road' bike, nor a specialist motocross bike would be satisfactory.
Bike1

Most of the major motorcycle manufacturers have a 'dual purpose' bike in their product line - an off road capable bike that is also comfortable on tarmac. They are usually, though not exclusively, single cylinder and between 600 - 750cc, optimising the power to weight ratio.

After extensive research on the internet and talking to riders, I elected to go with a 2002 BMW F650 GS Dakar (pictured). I am very happy with my choice. With four months and 8,000 kms under my belt (or should that be backside) I am still in love. I've had my head turned the odd time (raunchy KTM), we've hit a few rocky patches, had false starts and shaky scares yet the attachment endures. As a lady friend pointed out - care, attention and respect...

Riding Gear
Lightweight Enduro Helmet
Goggles
Lightweight armoured jacket and pants
MX Boots
Gloves
Earplugs

Living Equipment
Lightweight 2 man tent
Thermarest
Groundsheet
Mosquito net
Sleeping bag, liner
Multi-fuel stove
Cooking pots, etc
LED head torch
12v lamp from bike
Ceramic water filter, purif tablets

General
Maps
Compass
GPS (navigation)
Digital camera, extra card
Rechargeable batteries, charger
Laptop
Camel Back or Water bags
Sunglasses
Pocket knife
Watch
Moneybelt
Short wave radio
Padlocks
Chain to lock bike, disc lock brake
Cobra cable
Sewing kit
Whistle
Clothes
Health,1st Aid, medicine

Spares
Heavy duty tubes
Valves
Spark plug
Clutch and brake lever
Clutch and throttle cable
Spokes, wrench
Front, rear brake pad
Fuses
Chain links, breaker
Sprocket rear, front
Filters - fuel, oil, air
Mirror nuts
Extra hose, fuel pipe
Wire
Electrical connectors
HughonBike1b

Tools
Manual on DVD
Original toolkit
Socket wrenchs
3 tyre levers
Puncture repair
Pump, gas canisters
Tyre pressure gauge
Multitool
Duct tape
2l engine oil
Wd40
Loctite
Silicone
Cable ties
Webbing straps