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Why the COMBAR Pro is an Essential Piece of ADVing Gear (Explained by An ADV'er)

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We've spent thousands of collective hours testing ACLIM8 gear since we started the company, from laboratory torture tests to field tests conducted by ambassadors, customers, and us. The COMBAR in particular has been along for the ride on hundreds of miles of overlanding excursions, moto-camping missions, and ADV adventures. And the early results are in: If you’re a vehicle-supported explorer, the COMBAR is essential. 

COMBAR mounted on an ADV bike

 This is especially true for ADVers—the overnight, and often long distance, motorcycle adventurers who, even on large bikes, need to make the most of their limited storage.

ADVers require a streamlined loadout anytime they set out. And the gear doesn’t just need to be streamlined. It needs to be 100% dependable, a feature that makes great outdoor gear priceless, and untrustworthy gear worthless.

(This concept of ultimate dependability is something founders Udi Cohen and Yaniv Bar have baked into the product development process since before the first COMBAR prototype was even sketched out on paper. Yaniv himself is an ADVer who’s criss-crossed Australia by bike, an experience that informs his philosophies regarding product development to this day—make it dependable, versatile, streamlined.) 

ADV motorcycle rider enjoying the view

 

 So when we received a detailed review of the COMBAR from an avid ADV moto rider from Europe, including real road experience, tips, and sport-specific uses they’d found for the COMBAR, we read it carefully. His name is Ceri, and his insights about the COMBAR as supportive ADV gear were telling. So we’re relaying them to you here.

(Some of his insights apply equally to overlanding and other outdoor pursuits, but if you’re an ADV motorcycle rider, this borders on required reading.)

First, here's a bit about Ceri.

  • Experience:  He rides with the Trail Riders Fellowship in the UK, a 5,000-member dirt-biking group dedicated to preserving green roads in England and Wales. Riding with this group, Ceri has ADV'ed all across the UK and beyond.

  • Bike:  His main ADV bike is a Yamaha Ténéré 700, a ridiculously popular ADV bike (for a reason—this bike was also the bike Overland Expo chose for their 2022 Ultimate Overlanding Motorcycle Build) that can handle technical off-road trail riding as well as long distance touring.

  • Gear:  Kriega luggage, Kriega Hydro-3, Wolf Enduro gloves, Sidi trail boots, Revit Orlando H2O jeans, Oxford wax jacket, Caberg X-trace helmet, COMBAR Pro Titanium.

  • Favorite Routes:  'Sarn Helen' and 'Strata Florida' (Ceri is UK-based, so these are routes he frequents)

In short, Ceri is savvy when it comes to ADVing. 

 

Why is choosing the right gear essential to a successful trip?

ADV motorcycle caravan on a remote mountain road

 

 When it comes to choosing the right adventure motorcycle gear, there are two main factors that you need to consider: reliability and versatility.  

Reliability is paramount when you are in the middle of nowhere, which is where ADVers spend a lot of their time. Versatility is inherently space-saving, something that is always top-of-mind for ADVers. Here Ceri explains how the COMBAR’s versatility impacts its role in the loadout, and how you store it on the bike.

Ceri: You usually have someone carrying a folding saw. But it can be hard to safely carry an ax on a trail bike with minimal luggage, whereas the folding ax head is about as safe as you can do it. You could easily lash the COMBAR™ to the Kriega Hydration packs that almost everyone in Trail riding and motorcycle rally uses.

Even with all the panniers, space is minimal when you're traveling by motorcycle, so any ADV setup needs to be modular and compact. The fact that the COMBAR case can be stored either inside a larger storage capsule, or strapped to the exterior of a storage pack, solves this problem.

ADV motorcycles in the desert

 

Some routes, like those found in the UK, can see conditions vary from wet and muddy to warm and sunny, and sometimes on the same day—another reason to have a tool that can aid you in various trail conditions. And fallen trees are a concern for ADVers on any continent. That’s where the folding saw comes in handy.

Ceri: Here in the UK, fallen trees blocking trails is fairly common and due to land access legality being very tightly controlled, it's rare that you can just go 'off piste' through the trees to get around it, so it's more of a problem here than it is in most of the world.

Whether it's the weather or the conditions of the road, the ability to master any land task you come across is crucial to the success of a ride. And sometimes that means improvising.

Ceri: The spade will be strong enough to use as a tire lever. Carrying long tire levers on a motorcycle is hard, and unlike 4x4s, we have to be merciless with shedding weight. Most people carry a Motion Pro T6 Combo Lever with a wrench on the other end, but it's always handy to have a second lever, especially a large one.  [The COMBAR is] also strong enough and about the right length to use as an improvised jack on an adventure motorcycle.

This goes for repairing tire punctures on larger bikes, like the BMW GS, as well.

Ceri: People don't like laying bigger bikes down (they're expensive and heavy), so they get a stick and put it on either the swingarm, or bash plate on the opposite side to the side stand, to jack one wheel up in the air.

The insinuation here is that the COMBAR could be used instead of a stick. Sounds logical.

ADV and Mountain View

Getting specific: How else can a COMBAR™ be helpful on the road?

Other people who would benefit from carrying a multi-tool like the COMBAR™ are people who use their tents many days in a row, take their tents (and other gear) to particularly remote locations, or expose themselves to extreme weather. He mentioned Kifaru tent owners specifically, who fit this description quite often.

Ceri: [Kifaru] make[s] stove tents, and the users tend to either use the tents for many days at a time, or to be particularly remote, or in extreme conditions. Having a small stove means you need to split your firewood so it's only a little bigger than kindling.

To expand on Ceri’s point about fire building, this is a universal outdoor survival skill, and whether you’re in a tent or not, the COMBAR is an ideal tool for the task. But he’s absolutely right that for making and tending small fires in a stove tent like a Kifaru, the COMBAR’s multifunctionality is a huge asset.

Regarding collecting firewood, Ceri adds the following.

Ceri: The ax and saw on a COMBAR™ would give more options than just battening with a knife, or if there are two or more of you (as there usually are in such big tents), more than one person can do it, so the wood pile is built more quickly.

The other aspect of Ceri’s note on stove tents is staking them out and setting them up. Again, shelter setup is a universal outdoor survival skill, and the COMBAR is useful for anyone setting up a tent anywhere. (The hammer helps drive tent stakes into the ground, the ax can cut notches into trees for hanging a tarp or rainfly, and the spade and saw can be used to clear ground space if you need extra room in order to pitch your tent.) And when you're on the road day in and day out, a good night's sleep is of the utmost importance, making your campsite setup a crucial part of sleep hygiene.

If you’re fashioning your own tent stakes from sticks, the COMBAR becomes even more helpful, which Ceri explains here, in his last tip for ADVers.

Ceri: Some people end up making [tent stakes] in the field. As one of your videos shows, the COMBAR’s functions would be a lot better than just a knife for harvesting and fashioning these, as well as hammering them in. 

ADV motorcycle in a scenic landscape

 

As you’re refining your ADV loadout, ensure you're carrying only the most essential gear that can withstand whatever test you put it through. And keep Ceri’s tips in your back pocket. At the very least, you’ll save yourself from having to find a stick to lean your bike on when you’re changing a flat. 


Ceri’s not the only one to dub the COMBAR an essential piece of ADV gear. Overland Expo included the COMBAR in their 2022 Ultimate Overlanding Motorcycle Build. Check out the build and learn about why the COMBAR was included, in our blog, The COMBAR is in Overland Expo’s Ultimate Overlanding Motorcycle Build.


Learn more about how the COMBAR™ features and specs by exploring our website.

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Shop the gear from this article:

COMBAR™ Titanium Pro

ACLIM8 COMBAR Pro Titanium
ADVing multi-tool Overlanding Packing + Prep Product Tech Survival

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