Heading out tomorrow, November 6th to go see the Gerbing Headquarters on Monday.  We will have our SPOT Tracking on as always.  We use this as a safety thing as well as to track our own route.  So, if you have nothing else to do check in and see where we are.  I have a good time tracking rides in real-time.  I guess I am a nerd like that….the link is also in our SPOT Tracking page where our previous trips are too. The tracking and map will become active when we leave.  Maybe around 1000 PST.

Gerbing Trip Nov. 6th, 7th & 8th 2011

PANASONIC TS3 – Practice Pictures

Still testing out the new camera we got for our trips.  This is just a test picture post.  Feel free to share comments and remember I am definitely not a photographer although would like to be one some day.  :-) None of these picture shave been edited.

While Cheryl had to work today and while I was supposed to be doing chores, I decided to head to a local park and take pictures.  It was a beautiful day here and just couldn’t resist going for a walk in Kanaka Provincial Park.  Located in Maple Ridge, BC right along the Fraser River.

Kanaka Park Grainy Look



Typical Wetcoast


Sneaking a look at the Fraser River





This was taken directly into the sun





















Golden Ears in the Back ground - Mts near our house



















I stumbled across this website that has to be the most extensive website for Buff wear out there.  Had to post this company sites and I wear a buff since our trip this summer.  Cheryl does not have to worry about helmet head as much as I do and personally I find a buff to help at times with this problem.  Also, makes my helmet fit better and keeps my head a little warmer on cool days, and cooler on warm days.  Plus, it’s an easy way to just cover up dirty hair when away from showers.  ;-)

Check them out, KITSHACK has a Buff for everyone, plus more stuff.  A cool site to have found.


If you’re looking for Buff® headwear, use our Quick Find to help find colours or designs or simply scroll through the many pages of styles and designs we have on offer. We also stock other brands so please check them out too – there’s some great kit here waiting to be used and enjoyed.

Panasonic TS3 Point & Shoot Camera

Our summer trip ended up killing my other Panasonic camera.  The one that took almost 99% of the pictures.  I brought the camera back to the store I bought it because it was new before left on June 29th.  Told them where I went and that it was my fault the camera died.  Panasonic gave me a new one anyway.  Great customer service. 

So, I will be selling the Panasonic DMC-FH25 since it’s new and got myself a Panasonic TS3 waterproof camera.  I think this is the type of camera that would work better on the bike doing one-handed moving shots and now I can take pics of the rain that we often ride in.

Salmon stream by my house

Today I was just playing around taking pics getting used to grip and trying out the HD 1080p video function.  Here are a few non motorcycle pictures of my dogs and a little stream near my house where Salmon spawn and Eagles come every fall early winter.

***If you click on the pics they get larger and you can really see that this camera takes some nice high resolution pictures.  Please so far.


I have to practice not covering the mic with my finger and get used to the lens being easily covered up my fingers as well…





Close up grass


Foggy Morning

Salmon Stream


My short test video set to HD 1080p.  In the above picture you can see where the mic is.  Easy to cover if not paying attention.  So far I like this camera.  Not much bigger than the one I took on the trip just a little heavier.  So, I will try it out this weekend on our 2 niter to Tumwater, WA to go see the Gerbing folks.

Would love to hear about your own set up and cameras that are being used out there.  We also bring a more powerful camera when on a trip.  Canon Powershot SX30 IS.


I have posted info about the new KLIM gear before but dealers are now shipping the new Badlands and Latitude ADV suits.  We are HUGE fans of KLIM gear not only because this is a company that listens to the riders who buy their stuff, but it is truly ADV gear, waterproof without liners and extremely comfortable while be made with top quality material.  They also sell long pants sizing as well.


We are not paid employees of KLIM just LOVE sharing what works for us.  We hope the new Latitude will be in our future.  We have been wearing the Traverse for a year now and it has been almost perfect.  We knew the new gear was on the horizon and now that it is here in the flesh, the Latitude seems to really be what we are looking for.  The Latitude simply has hip gators for rider to use and open while sitting to give a little more room.  But for the women out there this is a HUGE addtition because it may allow for we grrls to fit into smaller jacket sizing with using the hip gators all the time.  Plus, the new gear has more pockets than the Traverse.  We need pockets while traveling and this is a nice addition that the Traverse really lacks.

Have a look and if you are lucky to find a dealer who has these in stock, maybe try them on for size. ;-)



Badlands Pants




Latitude Pants

Some say KLIM is too expensive.  I think if we found this gear in the first place we would have saved money in the long run.  We have been through so many brands, types of set up and so far KLIM is the closest to what we need in gear without sacrificing comfort and safety.  


Polar Bears & Sea Ice

Sea ice is essential to polar bears. Without it, they cannot hunt their primary prey, seals.

via Polar Bears & Sea Ice.

There are so many other videos to learn from about Polar Bears.  It’s that time of year in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.  On my bucket list to see these amazing creatures up close!

What’s with Heated Gear Anyway? Heading to the Gerbing Headquarters

This coming up weekend, Nov. 6th, 7th & 8th, we will be taking a 2 night road trip down to Tumwater, Washington to see the Gerbing headquarters and to trade in our old technology for their new micro-wire heated liners.  I ran a poll a few weeks back and asked if you guys ride in the winter.  I am amazed that the majority answered yes with NO HEATED gear.

Maybe we are getting soft in our aging process because to be honest I can not ride without heat when the temps drop below double digits Celsius.  

Perfect example was today, 1 degree Celsius when I left my house for work at 0520 and got down to 6 on my way home.  Just a turn of the dial and even a little heat makes for such an enjoyable ride home.  We love our heated liner and gloves but that is just us.  This is the best time of year for me to ride.  Especially when the rains stay away.  

So….since I still have my tracking subscription on my SPOT Connect I will be turning it on for this trip.  We are going to finish off the Olympic Peninsula.  There is a section that we still need to ride and will do it this time around since we did not over the weekend of October 3rd. 


Oh, and there are other companies out there that make heated gear like:


Mobile Warming Gear


First Gear

Warm & Safe

Tips about using heated gear:

Heated gear is worn as close to your body as you can without actually touching your skin. You can wear a vest or full liner.  We prefer the full liner and heated gloves.  Most companies sell glove liners too.   All heated gear is meant to be worn under you riding suit.  We presently own the KLIM Traverse suit that is made for the rider to come up with their own lining system.  The suit does not come with an internal rain or thermal liner.  The Traverse is waterproof on the outside, Gore Tex and Cheryl and I always use our Gerbing as both a liner with no heat and of course with the heat on.  Also, one thing to point out is that we keep our lining slim, no bulk and real easy to do shoulder checks.

Keeping our core body temperature consistent allows us to focus more on riding rather than being cold and shivering.  Being too cold can be very dangerous and so far with the set up we have we are able to comfortably ride in weather well below 0 Celsius.  The coldest  we both have been out has been -8 C but I think that will be the coldest we would ride.  I like -5.

We also use a temperature control rather than an on/off switch.  Our controller is permanent and built into our bikes.  Here are a few pics of our set.  Both our Beemers are set up the same exact way and Yep, Cheryl did the install.  :-)

We know people who use just an on/off switch and they find themselves having to keep turning the heat on and off all the time as their gear only has 2 temps.  HIGH and off.  By using a controller you can adjust the heat as you ride.  Much easier to stay comfortable we feel.  If we were to do it all over again we would add a dual temp controller, one for our gloves and liner.

Some companies sell heated pants, socks, insoles for boots, neck warmers, some use rechargeable batteries, wireless temperature controllers or like us, we are hard wired to our battery and plug in.

Most gear uses anywhere from 15 watts to over 100 watts depending how many items you are using at one time.  Important to know what your bikes battery can handle.

It’s important that you research what cables you need and adapters.  Not all gear comes ready to plug and ride.  For example since we have a liner and gloves we need to make sure we bought a Y connector cable that runs from our jacket and attached to the two connectors on the liner and then plugs into the bike.  Our gloves plug into sleeves.  You need to find a set up that works for you. 

So, that’s it.  I actually started this post just be to an announcement about going to the Gerbing Headquarters and look what happened.  This is typical as I am Italian and from New York….we talk a lot.  Hope some of this info is helpful or useful and I will be taking some pics this weekend.  Going to be trying out my new Panasonic T3 camera.  Supposed to be waterproof.  We shall see. ;-)


This is an advertisement for Rawhyde Adventures DVD but I thought I would post it just in case some out there might actually want this DVD to learn off-road riding techniques especially on the BMW GS bikes.  All techniques and skills can be utilized of course on any DS bike as well. 

Cheryl and I have really been thinking about taking one of the Rawhyde courses.  We could always learn how to be better, more skilled and safer off-road riders.  I think one of these days we will do just that….take some time out of vacation days and sign up for an off-road course.  Can’t lose by doing this real life practice and education.

UTBDR – What is this?

The Utah Backcountry Discovery Route, or UTBDR, is a scenic driving route across the state of Utah, from Arizona to Idaho, for dual-sport adventure motorcycles and 4×4 vehicles. This 1000 mile long south-north route uses mostly un-paved backroads and will pass through a number of iconic locations including Moab, Valley of the Gods, the Abajo and La Sal Mountain Ranges, Nine Mile Canyon, and the northern Wasatch Mountains.

Backcountry Discovery Routes HERE

Some sections they refer to being as technical look ridiculously technical for big bikes but in a fun way.

Ducati, Moto Guzzi and KTM – Other ADV bikes in the line up

Yesterday I posted a poll asking what bike you would buy.  It was quickly brought to my attention I over looked 3 other contenders, maybe 4.  I mean there are more models out there than Triumph, BMW, Yamaha and Honda in the ADV market right?  I feel a bit embarrassed that I did not include the Ducati Multistrada, Moto Guzzi Stelvio, and at least one of the KTM ADV bikes so I am including the 990R.



KTM 990R

I have seen all these bikes but never really thought about buying one.  Not sure why but one thing that stands out at least for the KTM bikes is the seat height.  I think my legs would be flopping in the wind the seat seems so high.  As for the other two models, not really sure why I have not looked into them more.  I like the looks of the Stelvio but not so much the Multistrada.  Is it all about looks or how reliable and functional a bike is?

What do you think?

In this market as someone commented probably the most reliable, bullet proof and most bang for your buck is the Suzuki 650 V Strom with ABS.  What makes us buy the bike we do when some of the “experts” say something like the V Strom has it all for the money? 

I think it is human nature to want to explore and find things out for ourselves.  Researching is good but in the end it is about how a bike makes us feel regardless of what others might say.

I do like how they have redesigned the V Strom.  Looks less bulky and more streamlined.


So, here are 4 more ADV contenders to spice things up.  Some of us all ready have an allegiance towards one make, brand or model while others are researching their hearts out trying to figure out what to buy.  None of these bikes are cheap, well, maybe the Suzuki could be considered affordable.  So, buying a new bike is an investment and most likely will not  be taken lightly.  I doubt the average rider is rich and for those who are “rich” I bet it still isn’t an easy decision unless you are Jay Leno and can afford a museum of bikes.  :-)

Happy bike hunting and whatever bike you end up on, I bet it will put a smile on your face.

Why this BLOG?  When I talk to my buddies who do not understand ADV riding addiction they get a glazed look on their face when I try to explain the overall feeling I get when we ride.  Even other riders out there who own cruisers or sport bikes don’t get why we ride in the pouring rain, camp out, get dirty, don’t wash our bikes and go places where we might run out of gas.  This blog allows me to just not have to explain….I think most of the readers get it.  Just that simple, ADV riding is all about freedom, the unknown, trials and tribulations, challenges and of course spectacular views, people we meet and getting to places as far off the beaten path as possible.

Need I say more?

HEIDENAU DS TIRES – Where to buy?

I have been asked numerous times where we buy our Heidenau K60 tires.

On this trip this summer because we rode the Triumph Tiger 800XC bikes we needed a 150/70-17 rear and 90/90-21 inch front.  The new version of the K60 is the Scout.  You can find these tires at many dealers now and most seem to have stock.  There was an issue with the 150′s for a while last year with production out of Germany.  I think it had something to do with the company having to change how they made this tire to meet the environmental standards.  This seems to have been worked out.

On our 2010 BMW F650GS we are on our second set of the Heidenau tires. Rear size 140/80-17 and front 110/80-19.  Interesting the tires for the Beemer are more money than the tires for the Tiger or the F800GS. 

We buy from Robert at MTR Sports.  Not a fancy web site but MTR sells in both the USA and Canada.  Seems to have competitive pricing but again you can find these tires from many other dealers and even some BMW dealers are stocking them too.  MTR carries most of the items we need like brake pads, oil filters, stuff like that.  The best way to contact MTR is either by calling or email.

MTR SPORTS link here

We really like the Heidenau tire because of its DS appeal and handling on the road.  Tires are so subjective and truly depends on your riding demands.  Some call this tire an 50/50 tire.  I think it is more like a 80/20?  I mean we commute everyday on the Heidenau and have taken it off-road on forest service roads, gravel, mud, sand, etc.  But it is not a true knobby.  Because we do not have a tire changer to go from a street tire to a more aggressive tread when we want, we ride with these to try to cover whatever road we take.

Our first set of tires we got over 19,000 KM out of them and that was after we rode cross-country in the summer of 2010.  When we went to get the new Heidenau’s installed our dealer asked why were changing out our tires when there appeared to be so much tread left.  The tires we rode though northern BC, Yukon and Alaska this year had over 14,000 KM and quite a bit of life in them when we gave the Tigers back.

Presently, Cheryl and I both have our second set on our Beemers and I am up to 13,000 KM on mine and they are just beginning to show some wear.  We keep the pressure up as per Heidenau recommendations, 36 PSI front and rear.  We might lower the PSI just a bit if we are rocky or loose terrain but not by much.  Again different thoughts about lowering PSI off road and getting better traction. We feel better by having the PSI up on such a heavy bike, less risk of damaging the tire and rims.  Just our opinion.

The tires before Heidenau added the center strip used to square off quite a bit but with the new tread pattern they seem to keep their shape better for longer. 

140 rear at 19,000 KM

You can see a little tear in the old tire but it did not seem to penetrate enough to jeopardize the tire and we never lost air. Back in the summer 2010 on day 2 of our 26 day trip I got a nail puncture in my rear.  We plugged it and I rode the entire trip and then some on the plug.  Again probably not the best practice but the hole was dead center on one of the knobbies and the plug held until I installed new tires.

K60 After Corss country trip in 2010

The plug I rode on

So, in the end we have found our tire, have you?  This tire for us is such a great well-rounded tire and remember where we live….the WETcoast of BC, Canada near Vancouver and it rains a lot.  As far as traction on wet roads, we both have confidence in this tire.  Mind you we do not over do it in the rain but at the same time we can still have fun and be safe. 

Here is an example of the Scout center strip that Heidenau has added.  Some like it some hate.  On the Triumph Tigers

Happy Tire hunting!  Remember tires, like seats, shields etc are all subjective and you just might have to try things out first to find out either the reviews were right for you or not.  We are very happy this tire is out there and we can get them on our bikes.

What Bike would you buy?


Even though I ask if $$ was no issue, is weight? Height an issue? Vote for the most realistic bike if you had the money…. :-) 

**Should have added the KTM 990 so if you choose that bike or the Multistrada and Moto Guzzi vote other and if you can leave a comment which other bike.

2012 BMW F650GS Sun Yellow

2012 BMW F800GS

2012 Triumph Tiger 800XC

2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer

2012 BMW R1200GS

2012 Yamaha Super Tenere

2012 Honda Crosstourer

Feel free to answer and comment as to why you would buy the bike you picked.  If you choose other also feel free to reveal the other bike you would buy and why.  I am curious to see how this poll turns out.  Comments will help all of us understand decisions being made and maybe add what you ride now.

A BIG thank you to our Readers! Our BLOG turned 50,000 last night!

Cheryl & I want to thank all the supporters of this BLOG!  We hit 50,000 views last night!  Since we have been back from our summer trip on August 11th we have more hits to the BLOG then when we were on our trip.  Thanks for getting word out, I am seeing more and more referral sites than ever, more forums getting wind of the BLOG and even other ADV riders and web sites.

We have many folks from all ages both men and women alike coming along as we develop the BLOG.  As always we are open to suggestions, comments as to how we can make this a better site.  So, feel free to share what you want to see and share your thoughts.

Once again we both want to send out a HUGE thanks to everyone and sure hope this continues.  :-)


Would you buy this bike instead of a BMW or Triumph or any other self proclaimed ADV DS bike?  (pics can be clicked on for high resolution)

Honda has confirmed that the Crosstourer, unveiled as a concept at the EICMA last year, will go into mass production in 2012 and will be showcased at the EICMA show in November this year. Billed as an ‘adventure sports tourer,’ the Crosstourer is fitted with a 1200cc V4 engine that comes from the VFR1200F, along with long-travel suspension, an upright riding position and off-road styling cues. Dual Clutch Transmission will also be available as an option on the Crosstourer.

Has Honda developed a temptation?  For me, not sure.  Would love to hear thoughts about another attempt by Honda to enter the ADV world.  The Varadero did not seem to do too well from what I have read.  Don’t get me wrong I really like Honda bikes.  We both had 2008 Honda CBF1000′s and really liked that bike for street riding. 

2012 BMW R1200GS

Maybe this bike the R1200GS rather the 1200GSA is a direct comparison to the new Triumph Tiger Explorer.  Perhaps Triumph will release an Adventure package with their new 1200cc bike like BMW.  In any case, here is the new 2012 BMW and it will be interesting to see what happens in the BIG ADV bike market next year when Triumph reveals their new addition to the ADV market. With so many companies getting on board might there be more competitive pricing??? Or, are we the public going to pay MSRP no matter how high just because we love these type of bikes?  BMW has not only added ABS as standard in their base package but all their options have subtly gone up too like centre stand prices, heated grips etc.  In the 1200 category their package pricing has gone up just a bit.  2010 equipment package price in Canadian dollars was$1600 and 2012 in US pricing is $1645, which will most likely translate to about $1745 CDN in or around.

2012 R 1200 GS (MSRP: $16,150*) Model Year 2012 Changes

  • Base model: Option 630 (ABS) added to 100% options; base MSRP up by $1,100 to reflect the change in base equipment
  • Standard and Premium Packages: Content changes to exclude option 630 (ABS) which is now in 100% options; net MSRP change is zero ($0) since ABS is now in base model
  • Base MSRP increase: +$60 in addition to the changes explained above resulting from adding ABS to the base model
  • New special packages: Option 431 (GS std. equipment), and option 432 (GS prem. equipment)
  • Standard Package: Individually listed equipment now bundled under special pakage option 431
  • Premium Pacakge: Individually listed equipment now bundled under special package option 432 which adds option 350 (chrome exhaust) without adding price; the result is a value improvement of $150 over last year’s premium package
  • New colors: 764 (Titan Silver Metallic), and N86 (Lupin Blue Metallic)
  • Discontinued colors: N15 (Magma Red), and N50 (Ostra Grey Metallic Matte)

100% Options

Code Description
630 Integral ABS (disengageable)

Standard Equipment

Code Description
588 White Turn Signals
636 Center Stand

Special Packages

Code Description MSRP
200 Special Model “Triple Black”: includes options 186 (special model), and 670 (special color cross-spoke wheels) $650
431 GS Standard Equipment: includes options 519 (heated grips), 539 (on board computer), 589 (hand protection), and 681 (saddle bag mounts) $845
432 GS Premium Equipment: includes options 350 (chrome exhaust), 416 (enduro ESA), 519 (heated grips), 539 (on board computer), 589 (hand protection), and 691 (saddle bag mounts) $1,645


Code Description MSRP
N64 “Triple Black” Sapphire Black Metallic (only with 200) $0
N86 Lupin Blue Metallic $0
751 Alpine White $0
764 Titan Silver Metallic $0


Code Description MSRP
186 Special Model (only with 200) $0
350 Chrome Exhaust $150
416 Enduro ESA $800
499 Low Suspension $250
519 Heated Grips $250
530 TPM (Tire Pressure Monitoring) $250
539 On Board Computer $295
589 Hand Protection $100
603 Anti-Theft Alarm $395
650 Enduro ASC $400
670 Special Color Cross Spoke Wheels (only with 200) $0
681 Saddle Bag Mounts $200
771 Cross Spoke Wheels $500
776 Low Seat $0

Standard Package (MSRP: $16,995*)

Code Description
431 GS Standard Equipment

Premium Package (MSRP: $17,795*)

Code Description
432 GS Premium Equipment


  • Option 200 and color N64 can only be ordered in combination with each other
  • Option 200 not with option 771 (200 includes 670 – special color cross spoke wheels)
  • Color N64 includes “GS” raised lettering seat; in combination with options 499 and 776 will not include the raised lettering seat
  • Option 431 not with option 432
  • Option 499 not with options 416 or 776 (776 included in 499)

2012 R1200GS Lupin Blue Metalic (color N86)


2012 R1200GS Titan Silver Metallic (color 764


2012 R1200GS “Triple Black” Sapphire Black Metallic (color N64)


2012 R1200GS Alpine White (color 751)


Info found on BMW San Fran website

All these bikes I am posting are awesome looking machines and in the field I am sure make the owners very happy.  If we win the lottery we would have one of each in our garage! ;-)

Just so you all can see on one page here is the Tiger Explorer again.