TWO WHEEL TRAVELER–ADAM SHANI


Nov 29, 2011

We just LOVE reading about stories like this…we determination!  Good luck Adam!

Continue reading “TWO WHEEL TRAVELER–ADAM SHANI”

ESSENTIAL FIX-IT STUFF–THINGS FOR YOUR MOTORCYCLE


FI-PIG, Gorilla Tape, and WD-40: Essential fix-it stuff

DateThursday, November 17, 2011

I would like an expert opinion about assembling a selection of adhesives, chemicals, and other products most useful for overland vehicle field repair issues such as cracked hoses, radiators, or fuel lines, and for replacing gaskets, joining metal or plastic pieces, sealing electrical repairs, and so on.

Alexander in Florida

Alexander’s question brought to mind the old aphorism about the perfect two-piece tool kit: WD-40 (to fix the things that are supposed to move but won’t) and duct tape (to fix the things that aren’t supposed to move but do). Kidding aside, it’s an excellent question—a very large number of field repairs involve some sort of leak or breakage that requires a chemical or mechanical fix. I looked in my own kit, enlisted the help of two of our OT&T experts—Duncan Barbour and Graham Jackson—and also queried my nephew, Jake Beggy, a master Toyota mechanic and fabricator. Here’s what we came up with, first in the way of commercial products and then in “bodge” fixes when nothing else is available. Continue reading “ESSENTIAL FIX-IT STUFF–THINGS FOR YOUR MOTORCYCLE”

KRIEGA FORKS SEAL COVERS


One of the best investments we made for our trip this past summer was buying fork seal protectors.  For $25 these little things can save you a lot of inconvenience.  Although we have no proof that using fork seal covers worked, I guess you can say since we never had any issues perhaps they did.

We ran into a few folks where a blown seal halted if not ended their trip.  There are many ideas out there like DIY covers and other brands, but we went with KRIEGA covers.  They fit perfectly on the Triumph Tiger 800XC forks and also looked the part too.

Fork Seals

Increased service life for your USD forks with more effective protection from mud & dirt. Made from NEOSKIN (coated neoprene). Easy fit/clean, no fork disassembly required.

Kreiga Fork Seal Covers

Completely understated, yet so valuable when traveling in general.  Very easy to install and every once in a while we would take them off, rinse them and put them back on.  Every time we hit the gross stuff up North practically the only place on the bikes that stayed “clean” were the forks.

The forks would stay clean even when the bikes were caked in this!

Do you have to buy KRIEGA?  Nope…but when you want something practical that only costs a few bucks but can save you a possible PITA (pain in the ass) situation, some sort of seal cover is in your best interest.

BTW, we have them on our BMW’s now, and although the forks are not inverted they still fit and if needed there are little loops to use cable ties just in case.  Check them out, or at least think about doing something to protect your seals.  You can’t go wrong by doing something and not over looking this area of the bike. 

KRIEGA FORK SEAL COVERS CLICK HERE

NEW ARAI TOUR X4 HELMET ANNOUNCED


New 2012 Arai TOUR X4 Helmet Announced

Neither one of us have ever used a DS helmet mainly because we are on the highways for work.  We always thought that the beak would catch too much wind and make for an uncomfortable commute and/or ride on pavement for long stretches. 

Any thoughts from those out there that wear this type of helmet?

This helmet is also being called the XD4 but on the Arai web page it is called the Tour X4.  Not sure which is correct.  😉

ARAI HELMETS WEB PAGE HERE

Arai XD-4 HelmetThe XD-3 has been the benchmark helmet for dual sport riding since its release. The Arai XD4 Helmet moves that benchmark 1 step up with the next evolution adventure helmets. All the details have yet to be released, but there are several upgrades and changes!Arai XD-4 Helmet

  • New comfort headliner, with micro fitting 5mm peel away temple pads.
  • Fully removable/replaceable/washable interior: Comfort head liner, Cheek pads, Chinstrap covers.
  • Dry-Cool technology keeps you dry and cool for greater comfort.
  • Patent pending, New FCS (Facial Contour Support) cheek pad design, also with a 5mm peel away micro fit feature.
  • New shell shape for better aerodynamic stability at higher street speeds.
  • New exhaust ports added to the top diffuser vents.
  • New chin vent with more intake ports.
  • Visor brow vents on the new visor.

We will have a Arai XD4 Helmet review as soon as we can get one in stock!

Arai XD-4 Solid Helmets

Color Schemes:

SHOEI NEOTEC – FLIP UP HELMET w integrated sunvisor


SHOEI NEOTEC – FLIP UP HELMET w integrated sunvisor.

Tomorrow’s post will include the new Arai helmet to be released.

Info from Competition Accessories BLOG

Leslie wears Shoei helmets and Cheryl wears Arai…this looks pretty interesting.

The New Shoei Neotec Helmet has just been released in Europe. The Shoei Neotec is not officially announced for US sale yet, but we think it will be available in early 2012. As with all modular helmets the Neotec will be a DOT certified helmet and come with some great upgrades over the multitec it is replacing. Considering the the upgrades we expect the Shoei Neotec to come in slightly above the multitec in pricing. We will have a complete Shoei Neotec Helmet review to be coming soon and we will do an indepth comparison of the Shoei Neotec vs. Shoei Multitec once we have them in our hands.

Features include:

  • New Internal Sun visor with no sacrifice in safety
  • 270% improved ventilation compared to the Multitec
  • 100% stainless steel Micro Ratched System ( replaces d-ring )
  • AIM 5-ply shock absorbent fiber shell
  • Multi-Density EPS liner
  • New Fully Removable interior ( multitec was not )
  • New optimized vent design for the Neotec Helmet
  • Smart Flip Chin bar, that shuts flush and is easy opening
  • 3 different size shells
  • 3 D comfort liner provides a better fit vs. the multitec
  • Ear pads to reduce the internal noise
  • Includes a breath guard and a chin curtain
  • Integrated spoiler
  • Integrated “Vortex Generator” provides active noise cancelling

Check out the Shoei Neotec Helmet video from Shoei below!

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. 

Gerbing

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

Powerlet

Mobile Warming Gear

Tourmaster

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. 😉

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.

sales@mtrsports.com

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.


JESSE LUGGAGE INSTALL & More


Here are a few pictures of Cheryl installing our Jesse Safari panniers on Cheryl’s BMW when we first got her bike in December 2009.  We are fans of the Jesse luggage system because of its lean profile and no drag effect on our bikes.  We used Jesse Odyssey panniers on the Triumph Tiger 800 XC bikes this summer as well. Again, lean profile, very innovative mounting system, sturdy and we think great looking too.  Also, the mounts do not attach to the fender at all.  They use the frame of the bike only and that is something we like too.  I have also included other farkles we have added once we got the bikes and still have them all on our bikes presently.

For the Triumph Tiger Al Jesse has made the mounts very specific for the Tiger by adding a very cool T800 detail.

***For the record the main reason we did not take the Triumph Luggage on our trip to Alaska ( I have been asked many times why) was because the mounting system for the Triumph bags is made out of plastic.

According to our “sources” the mount is right off the Triumph Sprint ST system.  Based on a type of swivel motion that allows the rear portion of the mount to move when the bike leans.  That part of the mount made us nervous not only because it is made to move with the bike but if we had dropped or crashed the Tigers we were pretty certain this part would break easily.  Can’t remember where I read an actual magazine review out of the 100’s that are out there, but I think our theory was proven when a media test rider dumped the bike in sand and the mounting system broke making it unusable. 

The back piece also hits the bags when in a lean or turn.  What I mean is it is not attached to the panniers and again like I said made to move.  With all the pounding the Tigers took up north we also were not sure if the plastic panniers would be able to take all the constant impact over time without jeopardizing the integrity of the bags.  Constant banging in the same spot we believed would eventually takes its toll on the outer shell of the Triumph panniers.  We could be wrong but for a true ADV panniers system we feel things need to be secure and attached with no ability to move.

So, in the end we are confident although we did not crash or test the Jesse mounts or bags that we made the right decision.  Until Triumph makes a true ADV durable mount for their Tiger we would not recommend their luggage system.  Again just our opinion.

Here is what our mount looks like on the Beemer

We have the 8 inch bags.  Jesse now offers the Safari in 9 inch bags which if we ever had to buy again we would actually like that extra one inch room. On the Triumph bikes the bags we had 10 inch and still managed to stay within the handle bars width wise.  Here is a pic of the bags on Cheryl’s Tiger she rode.

I do not like the idea of having luggage that is much wider than the handle bars to be honest.  Just my opinion.

Non can side is a bigger pannier.  We were able to fit all our gear, camping etc for our Cross Country Trip in 2010 in these panniers.  We also have the 45L top box.  The lid liner Jesse sells is an awesome way to utilize that space and they come with a little bracket to keep the liner in place so nothing falls down when you open and close the lids.

Here is the complete pannier system on my bike

Jesse skid plates are on both our bikes.  Not the most substantial skid plate on the market but so far so good.  We have hit quite a few boulders and other obstacles and this plate remains intact. 

Jesse offers crash bars too.  This is a picture of his first version.  Since then Jesse has added more stability to the bars at any weak points.

I have tested these bars only with laying the bike down for a snooze.  No crashes but with the weight of the bike on its side the bars did not move at all.  A little touch up paint they are as good as new.

Hard to see in this picture but if you look closely you can see more supports in the new version of the Jesse crash bars that we have on our bikes now.  I will try to get a better picture soon.

Good view of the bags when they were BRAND new.  I still have the stock tires on the bike too! 🙂

Cheryl’s bike loaded with new bags

We both have the Cee Bailey shields 16 inch Euro version.  I think if we were to replace the shield we would get the 18 inch.  Both shields are still looking good despite all the crap that gets on them.  Easy to clean but are showing some wear and tear with scratches.We have also added an OEM bracket to stabilize the shield more for the bumps.

Good view of the system outdoors

Take away the four Helen Two wheels black bags on the side of our Thermarest pads and this is what we fit in our Jesse 8 inch bags for our summer 2010 Cross Country trip.  Cheryl is an amazing packer.

Adding the Denali LED lighting system to our bikes has been a HUGE benefit not only for the rider and expanded view of the road but for others to see us.  I have these on almost all the time I ride for the extra visibility and safety.

Small but powerful

Our GPS is a Garmin Zumo 660 mounted using a Tourtech system.  GPS stays on Cheryl’s bike because I suck with navigation even with a GPS. 😉

The 2 of us enjoying a cozy dinner after a rainy ride, what else is new for us on our trip down the Oregon Coast in April of 2010.

Me in our OLD gear that would get soak in the rain and also this picture was after we rode through a mountain pass in Oregon in April and got caught in a snow storm, 2010.  We were both happy that we made it through.

So that is our set up for the Beemers.  If and when we ever get new bikes we would make sure we have all the same accessories.  Not sure if they would all be Jesse stuff but overall we are more than satisfied with his ability to make more than just great luggage!

CARDO G4 Communication System


We use the Cardo G4 intercoms every time we ride.  I use mine while commuting especially.  Great review and to be honest we could never ride without a communication system anymore.  Been using the Cardo G4 since last summer, although not perfect they are pretty close in many ways.  One thing I LOVE about this pair is that you can up load any firmware updates from the Cardo web site when they are released.  We have only had one update since we bought them but Cardo listens to their users and  made some really good upgrades.  Take a look at this review.

Click here for the web site CYCLE MATTERS

Cardo G4 Powerset
Introduction

The Scala Rider G4 Powerset (G4) is a communication system of exceptional capabilities but it is a bit complicated. So, new users may want to set aside sufficient time to prepare mentally to absorb the extensive instruction available from Scala Rider. The G4 also requires preparation including installation to your helmet, charging, setup and configuration, and memorizing numerous button-pushing sequences to achieve the maximum benefit of the system’s capabilities.

This review will be limited to commenting on the capabilities of the G4 because Cardo Systems has done an excellent job of providing detailed instructions in the G4 “User Guide” and the tutorials on their website. So expecting readers to spend time reading yet another iteration of how-tos would be presumptuous and a waste of the reader’s time. We will try to keep replication to a minimum.

The G4 Powerset comes with two G4 headset units (and chargers) already paired so that rider and passenger can begin communicating as soon as installed and charged.

What capabilities should a new owner expect from the G4?

  1. Rider to passenger to rider voice activated communication with noise canceling microphone
  2. FM Radio stereo listening built into the Powerset
  3. Mobile phone communication using Bluetooth compatibility with Priority Management: Operators do not need to manually disconnect from intercom or music to receive incoming phone calls or GPS instructions!
  4. Stereo music streaming (wireless) utilizing Bluetooth and MP3 player compatibility
  5. Stereo music through cable=connected audio devices
  6. Bike-to-Bike (3 bikes) intercom for communication with up to two other G4 or Q2 headsets
  7. Bike-to-Bike (2 bikes – rider/passenger each bike) intercom for communication between 4 G4 headsets.
  8. Intercom connections with any G4 biker within intercom range: Click-to-Link™. No need for advance pairing or any preparation. Just “Click-to-Link” and create your own roadside social network.
  9. Receive GPS Navigation instructions and streaming audio from compatible Bluetooth devices
  10. An intercom range up to 1 mile
  11. The scala rider G4 PowerSet offers multilingual status announcements allowing bikers to maintain smooth and safe Bluetooth hands free motorcycle intercom communication while on the move. The device transmits, to your mobile phone, useful information regarding connectivity status with other bikers.
  12. Software updates can be downloaded from Cardo System’s website.
  13. In addition to the above, the headsets will automatically increase and reduce volume based on ambient noise and driving speed.
Operation

When you purchase a Scala Rider G4 PowerSet, you receive a very detailed manual and you will have all of the instruction you need to operate the G4. If you are considering a purchase, you can download the manual by clicking here.

The PowerSet system can be installed on virtually all helmets.

The G4 Headset units mount easily either by clamping to the side of a helmet via a latch that tightens with an Allen wrench, or by using a sticker surface that is included with the kit. A microphone attached to a flexible arm reaches inside the helmet. Two thin foam-covered speakers are routed to either side of your helmet above or below your helmet’s interior padding, and attached with Velcro.

The G4 features a rechargeable Li-Polymer battery that recharges via USB cable. The fully charged battery (charges in 3 hours) supports 10 hours of talk time with standby for 7 days.

Scala Rider G4 Powerset is waterproof, dustproof and certified to meet IP67 standards

Summary and Value

While value in this economic climate is a very personal consideration, Cycle Matters editors believe this product to be a very viable choice for motorcyclists aspiring for increased communication with their environment. The G4 is reliable and sophisticated while performing many communication tasks. Pricing will vary so shop around. We found a new G4 Powerset on the internet for $252.00.   MSRP is $449.95.

Consider warranty also. While the G4 appears indestructible, things do happen and any device modification will void your warranty. The G4 comes with a two-year limited warranty including customer support. Use it and don’t abuse it and you should be covered.

One final note: if you are a rider that prefers to jump on your bike and go…then the G4 may not be for you. To operate the set efficiently, operators must memorize multiple functions and sequences of button pushing. This can be a bit frustrating for some, but not all. Aptitude is a wonderful thing when it comes to operating electronics and the magic of wireless communication.

Click here for more information on this product from Cardo Systems.

KLIM TRAVERSE – The gear we wore on our Summer Trip


KLIM makes some of the best gear out there for DS/ADV riders.  Well, we think so.  See post from September 23rd, 2011 for the new Badlands and Latitude suits coming this fall. Not cheap gear but looks and feels like this stuff would last a long time.

Info for the grrls out there…this gear can fit us but the new Latitude Suit will fit gals with hips, which we all have better.  if you have a slim figure you would be able to fit into regular sizing but if you have hips like me having waist gators would help.  The Traverse does not have any way to open up the sides of the jacket but the Latitude does.  The new Badlands does not.  Hip gators expands the jacket where a gal might need it.  I am excited that KLIM heard the needs of women and have made at least one suit really unisex friendly and in my case will most likely be able to fit into a medium jacket versus a  large.  As for the pants, again may have to go larger for the hips but I am over what the size is as long as the fit feels good.  Jacket sizing to me means more because right now my Traverse is a bit baggy in the chest because of the larger size I have to wear.

***The Traverse arms seem a bit lean and may feel tight on some bulky folks.  just FYI.


The Traverse treated us very well on our trip and still does in the lovely rain we have been having in the lower mainland near Vancouver, BC.  KLIM gear is so comfortable that we have even gone out to dinner in it after work.  Again, I am not being paid to say this stuff, just sharing our opinions on gear.  One thing I look for when researching bikes, gear and accessories is real reviews from people who have been using the stuff for more than a few hours.  

The Traverse would make a really good dirt bike suit even though we use it everyday.  Not enough pockets for true ADV riding but still 100% waterproof, you can upgrade the armour to D3o, good venting even though it is a Gore Tex shell, love the fact that the layering is up to the rider.  We mainly use just a Gerbing heated liner either plugged in or not as the layer.  No need to stop and put a rain liner in or rain suit over this gear.

So comfy we go out to dinner int he Traverse

We hope to get the new Latitude when it comes out.  More pockets and seems better suited for road touring and ADV riding.  Here is KLIM’S video of the Traverse and it comes in black too now.

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