Digital Rallye Gear
I'm kind of a fan of the digital rallye setups, this will sound like blasphemy to the trad guys. Not looking to start an argument, just letting you in on what we've been doing and this is my take on it.
Say you want to see what all this rallye stuff is about, you can go out and buy a stack of expensive specialized gear that gathers dust 50 weeks out of the year, you can try your best to build a budget DIY and be amazed of how many issues can pop up and ruin your day. Or you can use household electronics that you most likely already have, sneak them out of the house while the wife is sleeping, ziptie them to your bike on your wife's cutting board and you're pretty much good to go.
The point is, especially for riders just trying to find out if they'd like this style of riding, you can fork out $1000's or bring what a lot of us already have, that have 100's of times the utility at a much lower price point. And remember, you don't need any fancy cases to use these and try a RB ride.
There's a group of us that have adopted digital rallye racing, have invested the time to learned how to use, troubleshoot and have thousands of miles on them now. They of course don't, but that doesn't stop them from trying to sound like experts, which they are far from, most don't even know what we've been doing. They will dismiss or demean what we're doing, let them. We'll sit by the fire toss a few back and throw around more ideas for apps, software and hardware, come back for the next ride and try them out.
It's true that most races don't allow digital yet, it's also true that none of these races are in the US and only a handful of Americans go out of state to participate in these races, so sure when we're all ready to throw down $100-150K to run Dakar, we can upgrade to $50k KTM RFR's with full rallye gear and no need to even lose a minute designing a rally build, it's all there in the crate.
On my iPad alone I have my bike's microfiche, owners and repair manuals, a first aid app, can check emails, watch Netflix, nav w/GPS apps w/memory resident maps, set my GoPro.
I think you get the point, my position is that especially for riders just seeking to find out if they'd like this style of riding, you can fork out over $1000 or bring what a lot of us already have or pick up one of these devices that will have 100's of times the utility at a much lower price point. And remember, you don't need any fancy cases to use these and try a RB ride.
To do a roadbook rally like RMR, you'll need a few things, we'll break it out for trad and digital.
1. Roadbook holder,
2. Resetable ODO or trip meter,
3. CAP or GPS to display compass heading,
4. Switches to manipulate #1 and #2,
5. Bracket to mount all that gear on, preferably one that won't kill or main you if you go over the bars,
6. Tower or clamps to mount the bracket in #5, also preferably one that won't kill or main you if you go over the bars,
1. iPad or Tablet running a RB app, preferably in a waterproof case,
2. Bluetooth switchgear to manipulate the app in #1,
3. Mounting setup, as simple and robust as a 1 1/2 Ram ball and clamps.
Now lets drill down on the gear used, both trad and digital.
Paper Roadbook holders, $275 to XXX, these are enclosures that hold the paper roadbook, if you're lucky they will be provided in a continuous scroll, if not you'll need to cut to width and tape each piece of paper together, load that puppy in the holder so that it doesn't bind or tear, and hope like hell it doesn't get wet.
There are many makes out there, I wouldn't waste your time on anything but an electric one, unless you're also training for a finishers metal in overcoming frustration.
And those out there that will say make your own out of tupperware, for that I would just say one word, Digital. If you have more time then money or sense, knock yourself out.
I use an original cellular iPad Mini off eBay, $120, running RallyeBlitz Nav Pro, $25. Load a PDF version of the roadbook from your library of many and go, it eliminates the need for an ODO and CAP.
It also utilizes a unique and valuable feature, waypoint functionality, no trad gear on the market offers that, and it is a game changer. More on that later.
Again, many to choose from, anything from a $90 Vapor to a $425 Max-G, most will need to be calibrated and the calibration continuously maintained.
Included, not needed.
GPS or GPS and repeater, or again $425 Max-G.
Again, included, not needed.
Most trad gear comes with usable, but less then desirable switchgear, most upgrade to better setups, $275 to $350.
5 button Bluetooth setup, $140
Mounting brackets and towers,
A couple of considerations here, with most gear you'll need a compromise between viewability and safety. Towers an be used with both trad and digital, but even the lightest trad setup cannot be mounted with Ram setups, that alone will add cost and complexity. $100's to over $1000
Roadbook holders with a couple pounds of paper, ODO, CAP and a mounting bracket will need to be hard mounted and as vibration free as possible, placed high this can be a dangerous obstruction, in fact a killer, too low and too much time will be spent taking your eyes off the terrain. Care must be taken and careful consideration given. One last thought on this is you've now dropped a lot, and I mean a lot of money on this trad gear, hard mounted to the front of your bike, in the event of even a low speed crash you can kiss some of it goodbye very quickly.
Much of that goes away with digital, at only a couple of pounds, a tablet w/case can easily be mounted with a 1 1/2" ram ball setup, stay in place through the toughest gnar, but still be able to move out of harms way in the event of a crash or your body.