Do you wear a cooling VEST?


I do and this is the one…cheap and works…as the weather warms up just like in the cold…when I wear heated gloves and a liner I try to stay cool in the summer.  Makes for riding pleasure.  I will bring my cooling vest as well as heated liner and gloves on my month-long x country trip.  You never know what weather you might hit in any season so I like to be prepared. 

2012-techniche-hyperkewl™-deluxe-sport-vests-silver-634654327051012319 Continue reading

2014 Motorcycle Bluetooth Communicator Buying Guide at Revzilla


Remember you can buy all Revzilla products through this blog…just click the widget to the right.  If you need “stuff” why not support this blog?  Just a thought…I have owned the G4 for years and just bought the Scala Q3

 

BATTLE OF THE ADVENTURE BIKES: COMPARISON TEST


Does Suzuki’s affordable new V-Strom 1000 have a chance against the BMW R1200GS

and KTM 1190 Adventure?

Adventure Bike Comparison group action shot

When the R80 G/S was introduced in 1981, no one at BMW realized the full impact of what they had just done. We now think of that first G/S as the original adventure bike, but that term was not coined for quite a few years. Instead, most people back then had no idea why BMWwould produce a large, heavy, shaft-drive, on- and off-road opposed twin in an era of lightweight, single-cylinder dual-purpose bikes. But enthusiasts eventually “got it,” and other manufacturers soon cashed in on the allure of exploring the world on big, powerful two-wheelers.

Since their one-bike origin, adventure motorcycles have evolved to levels of sophistication no one 33 years ago could have imagined. These three bikes—BMW’s R1200GS, KTM’s 1190 Adventure, and Suzuki’s V-Strom 1000 ABS—epitomize that progress with modern style, outstanding comfort, brilliant performance, and unmatched versatility.

And what terrific motorcycles they are! The 2014 R1200GS, the direct descendant of that ’81 R80 G/S, glides down the road to the soothing thrum of its 1,170cc twin, the first liquid-cooled Boxer motor ever. Bags of torque lurk in reserve, making the bike sneaky fast and always ready to push the 525-pound GS forward at an impressive rate at any rpm and in any gear.

2014 BMW R1200GS static side view

UPS DOWNS
BMW R1200GS
  • Highly refined all around
  • Shaft drive = no chain maintenance
  • Better tourer than some tourers
  • Footpegs a bit far to the rear
  • Electronics controls could be more intuitive
  • $$$ with all the optional electronics

Its ride and handling qualities are pretty much what you want them to be. That’s the result of the optional Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment), ASC traction control, adjustable riding modes, and ABS, all of which influence each other depending upon the setting the rider chooses. Match all that with a beautifully contoured and padded seat, and you have the industry’s most comfortable adventurer, reflecting BMW’s decades of experience building top-flight touring bikes.

While the BMW impresses with its finesse, the 1,195cc KTM is a 129-hp V-twin wildcat that wheelies in the first three or four gears, burns the quarter-mile in 10.62 seconds at 130 mph, hits a top speed of 151 mph, and fires from corner to corner on back roads like it has a rocket stuck up its tail. If the GS serves up its power with a magnum of champagne on a silver platter, the Adventure does it with a bottle of Bud slid down the bar. For certain, it is very refined, but in its own uncompromising, “let’s get it on” way.

Like the GS, the 1190 has a full suite of electronic suspension, traction control, power delivery, and ABS rider aids; but while the BMW’s are optional, the Katoom’s are standard. They also engage in a lot of cross-talk, allowing you to tune those performance factors over a sufficiently wide range to cope with anything you might encounter. Plus, the ABS is lean-sensitive, adjusting the antilock dependent upon how fast and far the 1190 is banked over in a corner.

2014 KTM 1190 Adventure static side view

UPS DOWNS
KTM 1190 Adventure
  • Electronic rider aids are standard
  • Does everything exceptionally well
  • Baaaad fast!
  • Engine mechanically noisy
  • Awkward, two-hand windscreen adjustment
  • Nosebleed seat height

Meanwhile, the V-Strom splits the difference between the other two—not as polished as the BMW, not as raucous as the KTM, and sans as many electronic aids as either. It’s a solid, legitimate adventure bike that never gets embarrassed by the other two, despite being priced several thou lower and having the smallest (1,037cc) engine. The 90-degree V-twin is smooth, torquey, and responsive, and its quarter-mile performance is only half a second and about 7 mph behind the BMW’s; even its top-gear roll-ons are just fractions of a second slower.

Because the ’Strom has an excellent chassis and is lighter and lower than the others, it handles beautifully. The 468-pound (dry) 1000 devours back-road corners like that was its dedicated purpose, yet it’s rock-steady on straightaways.

Okay, but how did these bikes play the adventure game in the dirt?

Pretty damned well, considering that they all are quarter-ton motorcycles riding on knobless street tires. We never tackled gnarly, rutted, rocky climbs, since that’s not what these bikes are intended to conquer in their existing configurations; we instead stayed on dirt roads, narrow trails, and gravel-strewn two-tracks. Only deep sand gave them any trouble, again, mostly due to their tires.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the Suzuki. With its traction control either turned off or on the least sensitive of its three settings, the V-Strom churned through the aforementioned with no trouble whatsoever. The fork digested everything we bounced over without a hiccup, and the shock only bottomed on some of the whoops. You can’t turn off the ABS, so we had to be mindful of that when braking on slick terrain.

2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS static side view

UPS DOWNS
Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS
  • Most-affordable big adventure bike
  • Bright, dark-piercing headlight
  • Comfortable ergonomics
  • No ABS Off switch
  • No centerstand
  • Desperately seeking skid plate

So, too, was the BMW impressive off-road, considering its greater weight, shaft drive, and two big cylinders poking out like fat outriggers. Its smooth, linear torque was easy to modulate in riding mode’s Enduro setting, and the low center of gravity provided by the opposed-twin layout helped disguise the GS’s mass. We were a little disappointed with the previous R1200GS’s suspension, but the new bike’s Telelever fork and Paralever rear combination—together with a new stering damper for 2014—is vastly improved.

Which brings us to the KTM. Once you quit the tarmac and hit the dirt, the 1190 morphs from a take-no-prisoners streetbike to an ass-kicking dirt bike. In agility, stability, balance, steering, suspension, and adjustable power delivery, the KTM was this test’s off-road class act. It was less bothered by rocks, ruts, and other trail obstacles, and even coped with the sand a little better. With the traction control in the Offroad position, the ABS even allows rear-wheel skidding while still applying antilock to the front brake.

Actually, the 1190’s stellar dirt manners should have come as no surprise. KTM has been building championship-caliber off-road machinery for decades, and that know-how has translated directly to the 1190. Whether off-road or on, it was the most capable, most confidence-inspiring, and most fun of the trio. The R1200GS is the best overall streetbike, the Suzuki the best bang-for-buck. But when you consider the KTM’s advantages in almost every area of performance—plus, its standard MSRP gets you all the electronic rider aids at about the same price as the BMW without such equipment—the outcome here is a slam dunk.

In the March issue of Cycle World, we stated that the KTM 1190 might be the best all-around bike in the world. We still believe that but with a small word change: Replace “might be” with “is.”

SPECIFICATIONS
BMW R1200GS KTM 1190 Adventure Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS
PRICE $19,520 $17,834 $12,699
DRY WEIGHT 520 lb. 490 lb. 474 lb.
WHEELBASE 59.2 in. 61.2 in. 61.4 in.
SEAT HEIGHT 33.9/34.6 in. 34.3/35.0 in. 33.4 in.
FUEL MILEAGE 37 mpg 35 mpg 36 mpg
0-60 MPH 2.9 sec. 2.8 sec. 3.1 sec.
1/4 MILE 11.07 sec. @ 119.44 mph 10.62 sec. @ 129.70 mph 11.60 sec. @ 112.82 mph
HORSEPOWER 116.5 hp @ 7900 rpm 128.8 hp @ 9360 rpm 91.1 hp @ 8240 rpm
TORQUE 84.0 lb.-ft. @ 6260 rpm 81.3 lb.-ft. @ 7670 rpm 67.4 lb.-ft. @ 3980 rpm
TOP SPEED 137 mph 151 mph 126 mph

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KLIM’s ALTITUDE Gore Tex Shell – Part II the PANTS


All pics are clickable for larger versions – Let me preference this review by saying I am just your average run of the mill female ADV rider and all my reviews are honest based on WHAT I believe and hope they are  useful somehow.  Had to get that out because I get many emails from folks criticizing I am not an expert…no kidding…i know that and completely aware. ;-) Now, on to my initial review.

Repeating some of the intro stuff from my jacket review for those who did not read that from Saturday.  

Continue reading

KLIM’s ALTITUDE Gore Tex Shell – Part I the Jacket


**Please all women interested in this Jacket please try it on with your liner of choice before you buy it.  The collar could be an issue regarding how tight it will feel around your neck.  TRY THIS suit on in general before BUYING!  It will be in your BEST interest…trust me!**

Let me preference this review by saying I am just your average run of the mill female ADV rider and all my reviews are honest based on WHAT I believe and hope they are  useful somehow.  Had to get that out because I get many emails from folks criticizing I am not an expert…no kidding…i know that and completely aware. ;-) Now, on to my initial review.

Today I will review the Jacket and for tomorrow I will review the pants. PICS  are all clickable for larger versions

**Remember to support your dealers who sell KLIM.  Not everyone does.  My dealer Pacific Motosports does, and for all you online buyers again shop Revzilla through this blog…great online company.  Tons a great companies and more seem to carrying the great line of KLIM products.

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Chris Birch gives KTM1190 Wings!


OMG this guy is sick….I wish I could ride like him….

Chris Birch, X-treme Enduro champion and RedBull Romaniacs winner shows his versatile riding skills by blasting around on a KTM1190 Adventure R in the mud before launching it off a rock shelf.

Quick update about the KLIM Altitude


ALT jacket

Going back to KLIM Canada today with hopes I can get the sizing I need. I think since I am so used to wearing guy sizing I was a bit surprised by not only the jacket and it’s cut but also the pants. The KLIM Altitude jacket is more tailored than a guys jacket obviously. But seems to me to be too tailored in it’s cut. Made for a Tall lean gal versus a regular height kinda athletic build.

The pants run BIG…so if anyone grrl is looking at this suit, if you wear a 12 in pants I bet you would be a 10 in this suit. The jacket I got was a medium. Even with the side hip gators open the jacket was incredibly tight across the bust line…I am NOT busty and in the shoulders..I am not that broad. So, I hope a Large jacket and size 12 pants will fit my shape. I also hope I can just bring this suit back to the Langley warehouse which is 20 mins away from my house versus having to ship it back and pick up a new suit directly from the warehouse.  Continue reading

What To Do When The Police Pull You Over


I think this is an entertaining, sort of funny and somewhat useful article….and BTW..not all cops are guys and not all riders are male as well…;-)

By 

SOURCE:  RideApart

California Highway Patrol

There you are, minding your own business, doing 10 mph over the speed limit, when Johnny Law pulls out for a bit of revenue gathering. Being the law-abiding citizen that you are, you pull to the side of the road. But, what comes next? This is what to do when the police pull you over.

What You Need To Have With You
License, registration and proof of insurance. For the bike you’re riding and it all needs to be up-to-date and valid. It can be a good idea to keep your documents in a sealed, waterproof bag under your seat where they’ll remain in good condition and where you can’t forget them. Never borrow a friend’s bike or rent one without first making sure you have all the papers and that those papers have the right dates on them. Continue reading

My Gift to Myself – SHOEI RF 1200


RF-1200_Anthracite_Metallic

I decided to purchase a new helmet as a gift to myself for my up and coming cross-country trip.  I have been wearing a Shoei Qwest since 2011 which has  been a great helmet for the price.  Now….I will try the Shoei RF 1200.  Just got it…so only impression is it feels quite a bit lighter than my Qwest, fits really snug in a good way and It was a PITA to install my Cardo G4 intercom mount but I think I got it on tight enough.   Continue reading

2014 Motorcycle Helmet Buying Guide at RevZilla.com


Remember if you are interested in buying from Revzilla simply clicking on the ad to the right of this post helps supports this blog! I have purchased the new Shoei RF 1200 to replace my Qwest that is now about 4 years old.

2014 March deals