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Feb 2, 2022 - 4:49:23 PM
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416 posts since 6/15/2021

I have a disorder similar to BAS, but with motorcycles. I'm down to five at the moment.

I picked up my current banjo from a fellow on the other side of the water. Motorcycles get on and off the ferry first. So, naturally I went over there on the Goldwing....

He also sold me a beat up Boulder gig bag. I tried wearing it backpack-style, but it didn't clear the back seat. So, waiting for the ferry, I got out the straps and strapped it to the back seat, rack, and passenger grab handles. See the picture.

I'm thinking of the best way to do this on a regular basis. What I'm thinking is to put a piece of 1/4" plywood in the bottom of the bag with a layer of padding on top of it. That way, it has most of the support a hard case would provide. Then, I'm adding four parachute buckles to the bag on short straps -- two at the bottom and two part-way up the neck. I'll have have two straps that go on the trunk rack and two on the passenger grab handles. This way I can quickly clip the gig bag to the bike, and quickly unclip it with the option of just leaving the straps attached to the bike.

So... does anyone else here travel with a banjo on a motorcycle? How do you do it?

I'd really like to be able to ride my bike to lessons when the weather gets warmer.

Cheers,
pj

Feb 2, 2022 - 4:49:54 PM

416 posts since 6/15/2021

The picture...


Edited by - pianojuggler on 02/02/2022 16:50:27

Feb 2, 2022 - 5:06:28 PM

416 posts since 6/15/2021

I found this on a thread from 2014.
medium.com/@sofauxboho/how-to-...f399d165c

Pretty slick way to go. He says it takes about four minutes to mount it and two to remove.

My saddlebags don't come off (at least not without a fight). I would have put it on the left side so the hinge is down and you can more easily and safely take the banjo out while the case is mounted to the bike.

Feb 2, 2022 - 5:22:46 PM

416 posts since 6/15/2021

Oh... and I brought home a case for a tenor a few months later. This time it was raining.

A standard hard case is about six inches taller.




Feb 2, 2022 - 5:59:12 PM

KatB

USA

237 posts since 9/3/2018

You are asking for very specific advice. Too funny.
"So... does anyone else here travel with a banjo on a motorcycle? How do you do it?"
And yet, I will not be surprised in the least when BHO members with that exact same intersection of obsessions chime in.

 

Feb 2, 2022 - 6:03:12 PM

416 posts since 6/15/2021

I went shopping for my last two motorcycles with a bag of juggling clubs to make sure it would fit in the trunk.

I have a friend who built a rack to carry his unicycle on his motorcycle.

This picture is missing a banjo:


Edited by - pianojuggler on 02/02/2022 18:06:56

Feb 2, 2022 - 6:06:19 PM

doryman

USA

1207 posts since 11/26/2012

I have a car smaller than that motorcycle.

Anyway, to your question. I had a smaller motorcycle, kind of a cafe-racer style, and the banjo in a gig bag did clear the back seat. Will a gig bag work with any of your other motorcycles? It might not be the perfect situation for long distance travel, but it worked fine for me for around town and it's easy and fast to do.

Edited by - doryman on 02/02/2022 18:07:42

Feb 2, 2022 - 6:16:33 PM

1091 posts since 5/22/2021

I once watched a clip of Mike Seeger riding around on a unicycle (1 wheeled bike), WHILE playing the banjo at the same time! He must have been in his teens or so (filmed in 1950s by Pete Seeger).

Feb 2, 2022 - 6:21:57 PM
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416 posts since 6/15/2021

quote:
Originally posted by doryman

I have a car smaller than that motorcycle.

Anyway, to your question. I had a smaller motorcycle, kind of a cafe-racer style, and the banjo in a gig bag did clear the back seat. Will a gig bag work with any of your other motorcycles? It might not be the perfect situation for long distance travel, but it worked fine for me for around town and it's easy and fast to do.


I had a car smaller than that motorcycle, too.  And one that got better mileage.

My only other bike that's running right now is this one, and I don't like driving it on the freeway (even though it's the same kind Robert Pirsig's friends, John and Sylvia Sutherland, rode half way across the country in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance).


Edited by - pianojuggler on 02/02/2022 18:23:27

Feb 2, 2022 - 7:17:09 PM

349 posts since 11/9/2021

N-I-C-E sled juggler! Used to write for a bike mag many moons ago (hence the wrench), always wanted an old BMW, there're tanks!

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Feb 2, 2022 - 7:23:54 PM
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Grum

Australia

829 posts since 3/7/2006

Hi PJ,
I ride a motorcycle and carry my banjo on it quite often to Jam Camps and Festivals. I have a Harley Road King and a Stelling hard case in which I carry whichever banjo I'm taking at the time. Numerous trips from Wollongong (south of Sydney) to Maleny (north of Brisbane - about 2,600km return), to Phillip Island in Victoria (about 2,000km return) or Harrietville in Victoria (about 1,300km return).

I strap it on longways, on the right hand side, on top of the saddle bag with the tuning head end at my thigh. It does not interfere with my leg when riding or stopping and I can't tell it's there when riding (I have to reach down and touch it occasionally to reassure me it's still there.) Besides the hard case it's in a padded case cover (Small Dog brand) to keep the sunand heat off.

For wet weather I have a clumsy arrangement using a heavy duty vinyl canyon bag (the red and blue thing) over the front half and a heavy duty emergency survival bag over the back half (the yellow and black part). There's a small elongated cushion between the banjo and the saddle bag to absorb vibrations and road shock.

The whole lot is held on with lashing straps downwards onto the saddle bag and rear crash bar and sideways against the top box. It is very secure. For security when I park and go to a pub for lunch there is a locking cable thingy wrapped around everything. The whole set-up is not very quick to put on or off but that only happens at the very beginning and end of the day. For shorter trips I do the same set-up without the waterproof stuff or security cables.

PS I also bought a broom at the Broom Factory and stuffed it down the side. I had to back to get the kitchen sink


Edited by - Grum on 02/02/2022 19:27:07

Feb 2, 2022 - 7:46:49 PM

doryman

USA

1207 posts since 11/26/2012

quote:
Originally posted by pianojuggler
quote:
Originally posted by doryman

I have a car smaller than that motorcycle.

Anyway, to your question. I had a smaller motorcycle, kind of a cafe-racer style, and the banjo in a gig bag did clear the back seat. Will a gig bag work with any of your other motorcycles? It might not be the perfect situation for long distance travel, but it worked fine for me for around town and it's easy and fast to do.


I had a car smaller than that motorcycle, too.  And one that got better mileage.

My only other bike that's running right now is this one, and I don't like driving it on the freeway (even though it's the same kind Robert Pirsig's friends, John and Sylvia Sutherland, rode half way across the country in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance).

 


Clearly you need to buy another bike.  

Feb 2, 2022 - 8:27:04 PM

14412 posts since 4/15/2012

I had an early Suzuki fully-dressed tourer with an aftermarket chrome rack on the top of the trunk (it looked like a hot dog grill). I used bungee cords to hold an instrument case on the rack by the body, with the neck/head end sticking out straight back.

Feb 2, 2022 - 9:17:19 PM
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4227 posts since 3/28/2008

Feb 2, 2022 - 10:13:50 PM
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59096 posts since 12/14/2005

Love the LOOK!

But- - -  what is the effect of exhaust heat on the instrument???

Might be intersting to put a small thermometer in the case for a ride.

Feb 3, 2022 - 4:03:48 AM
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434 posts since 10/3/2012

Reminds me way too much of Arlo Guthrie’s, “Motorcycle Song”. The spoken intro to which was something like..

“I was riding down the highway, on my motor-cycle, At 150 miles an hour, playing the guitar…”

With the memorable chorus…

I don’t want a pickle,
I just want to ride on my motorcikle ,
And I don’t want a tickle,
I'd rather ride on my motorcikle,
And I don’t want to die,
I just want to ride on my motor-cy—cle.

Be careful out there!

Edited by - saw_woods on 02/03/2022 04:14:01

Feb 3, 2022 - 5:43:14 AM
Players Union Member

DC5

USA

22308 posts since 6/30/2015

I have a luggage rack behind the sissy bar. I'm able to bungie the case to the sissy bar while resting the base on the luggage rack. I can fit the fiddle on the back seat in the same fashion so I can carry both.

Many years ago my only vehicle was a Honda 750 Four. For a short time I demonstrated Rainbow Vacuum cleaners and could strap everything onto the Honda. Packed tent, 2 sleeping bags, clothing for 3 days and my girlfriend to go up to Laconia for bike week. Strapped the sleeping bags and tent to the front forks on top of the fender. Packed all the clothing etc. in a duffel bag resting on the rear fender and strapped to the sissy bar. Crammed other stuff into the tank bag and the girlfriend was able to sit in the passenger seat.

Feb 3, 2022 - 11:28:20 AM

416 posts since 6/15/2021

Thanks for the good ideas and encouragement. I am heartened to know I'm not the only one at the intersection of banjos and motorbikes. And a few campers. Anyone else a juggler, too? Kite flyer? We could form a pretty exclusive club.

With the trunk as wide as the saddlebags and with the turn signals on the corners of the trunk, I don't think it will be practical to mount the banjo along the top of one saddlebag. That would get it more out of the wind, though.

I'd like to be able to put it on and take it off in a matter of seconds... then if I go into a pub for lunch, I can bring it with me.

So far, I'm thinking the straps and parachute buckles are going to be the best for this combination of banjo and bike.

I have a hard case, but it's just flimsy pressboard without a lot of padding, so I think the gig bag with a plywood stiffener would be a better candidate.

I'll post some pictures when I get it roughed in.

Thanks again,
pj

Feb 3, 2022 - 11:33:08 AM

416 posts since 6/15/2021

quote:
Originally posted by wrench13

N-I-C-E sled juggler! Used to write for a bike mag many moons ago (hence the wrench), always wanted an old BMW, there're tanks!


So did I!  My first *big* bike was a 1972 R60/5.  It was heavy, slow, and pretty bulletproof.  I was the fifth owner.  I'm not sure if it had 65,000 or 165,000 miles when I sold it.

For years I was on the lookout for a BMW the same age as I am.  The 1962 R60/2 is it.  It's a runner, not a showpiece.  It's kinda cool when someone rolls up next to you on a Harley, looks over, and says "nice bike!"

If you ever find yourself in the Seattle area, you're welcome to take it for a spin.

Feb 3, 2022 - 11:36:44 AM
Players Union Member

DC5

USA

22308 posts since 6/30/2015

quote:
Originally posted by pianojuggler

Thanks for the good ideas and encouragement. I am heartened to know I'm not the only one at the intersection of banjos and motorbikes. And a few campers. Anyone else a juggler, too? Kite flyer? We could form a pretty exclusive club.


I used to juggle as part of my magic act.  Pretty basic 3 ball stuff and some work with a set of Dube clubs.  I wanted a set of torches, but based on how often I dropped things I don't think it was a good idea.  I still pick up some balls and juggle a bit from time to time, but it's a skill that requires practice.  Not sure I could do anything with the clubs now.  They don't sell for much on eBay so I'm looking for a young juggler to donate them too.  I never juggled pianos, that must be difficult.  I also rode a unicycle and could balance just about anything I could lift on my nose or forehead.  Balancing cocktail napkins could usually win me a drink.  Arthritis in my neck has limited my balancing skills.

Feb 3, 2022 - 11:38:07 AM

416 posts since 6/15/2021

quote:
Originally posted by Grum

Hi PJ,
I ride a motorcycle and carry my banjo on it quite often to Jam Camps and Festivals. I have a Harley Road King and a Stelling hard case in which I carry whichever banjo I'm taking at the time. Numerous trips from Wollongong (south of Sydney) to Maleny (north of Brisbane - about 2,600km return), to Phillip Island in Victoria (about 2,000km return) or Harrietville in Victoria (about 1,300km return).


Sweet.

The first time I was in Oz, we rented a bike in Brisbane and rode to Surfers Paradise and back.  I felt a lot more comfortable riding a bike on the left side of the rode than I did driving there in a car.

If I ever got a Harley, it would be a Road King, but with the traditional hard bags.  I like the look.

Feb 3, 2022 - 11:44:40 AM

416 posts since 6/15/2021

quote:
Originally posted by DC5
quote:
Originally posted by pianojuggler

Thanks for the good ideas and encouragement. I am heartened to know I'm not the only one at the intersection of banjos and motorbikes. And a few campers. Anyone else a juggler, too? Kite flyer? We could form a pretty exclusive club.


I used to juggle as part of my magic act.  Pretty basic 3 ball stuff and some work with a set of Dube clubs.  I wanted a set of torches, but based on how often I dropped things I don't think it was a good idea.  I still pick up some balls and juggle a bit from time to time, but it's a skill that requires practice.  Not sure I could do anything with the clubs now.  They don't sell for much on eBay so I'm looking for a young juggler to donate them too.  I never juggled pianos, that must be difficult.  I also rode a unicycle and could balance just about anything I could lift on my nose or forehead.  Balancing cocktail napkins could usually win me a drink.  Arthritis in my neck has limited my balancing skills.


A good friend of mine plays harmonica (on a frame) and juggles while riding a unicycle.  I just found out he started playing banjo a few years ago.  He also rides a motorcycle at times and camps when the situation calls for it.

I bought some torches in the '90s and could do a basic cascade.  I never tried passing with them.  They are still in my basement somewhere.

Feb 3, 2022 - 12:50:47 PM
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Players Union Member

DC5

USA

22308 posts since 6/30/2015

quote:
Originally posted by pianojuggler

I bought some torches in the '90s and could do a basic cascade.  I never tried passing with them.  They are still in my basement somewhere.


 I hope you put them out first. wink

Feb 3, 2022 - 2:42:07 PM
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349 posts since 11/9/2021

Great, I've stumbled upon a hangout for not one but two types of social outcasts!

Feb 3, 2022 - 3:49:12 PM
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65 posts since 12/12/2011

Not a motorbike but an uprated ebike with a banjo board gets me and the banjo to the pub for a few pints twice a week.




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