Archive for the ‘Gear Reviews’ Category

Ducati Hypermotard…

Posted: December 1, 2014 in Gear Reviews
Ducati Hypermotard...

Ducati Hypermotard…

My local Ducati dealer let me demo one of these bad boys on the weekend. I knew I was in trouble when I sat on it and started it up. It felt and sounded so amazing. He offered me $3K off retail to move a bike in the winter. If the demo went well I’d probably go home with a new bike.

Luckily for my bank account the demo wasn’t great. The handling was downright strange verging on scary.

I’m not a super moto guy and only been riding tame DS bikes for the last decade so maybe I just don’t have the skills for a performance bike, but I was feeling gripped riding this baby at 80kph on a normal secondary highway that should have been a chill cruise.

My KLR is not sexy nor exciting to ride, but it feels very predictable and safe. At my advanced age that’s a good thing! ūüėČ

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Michelin T63 Tire KIA…

Posted: May 14, 2013 in Gear Reviews
Tags:
Tire damage...

Tire damage…

Walking around my KLR yesterday I noticed my front tire was damaged with some hard plastic debris jammed in deep. Not good! ūüė¶ This tire is less than a year old with under 2500kms on it. I had hoped for another year out of the tire since I don’t ride high mileage.

Oh well – shit happens!

I’d rather find out about a damaged tire walking around in the parking lot than at 120kph on the highway when it blows out!

Back when she was freshly installed last June...

Back when she was freshly installed last June…

I liked the tire well enough I’ll order another and hope for the best.

My 2010 KLR650 with wire headlight guard installed…

I’ve been after a wire headlight guard since last summer. My DIY efforts failed to produce anything useful so I was really happy to find someone selling a production unit on EBay.

Guard close up…

For under $50 it’s hard to beat this guard and it looks sweet as it protects your expensive headlight assembly.

Guard attaches via well nuts you have to install…

To install the guard you have to drill 4 holes in your fairing where the well nuts that come with the guard are placed and the guard then bolts on securely to them. Total install takes 5 min without a beer and 10 min with a beer.

Front view…

The guard came at the perfect time. I’m about to spoon on some Michelin T63 knobbies so I can ride up to Lake Nitnaht on forest service roads to kiteboard. All that gravel riding is bound to send some rocks my way from passing vehicles.

Side view…

$50 is cheap insurance for rock damage.

The complete KLR ready to rumble…

Giant Loop Fandango Tank Bag on my KLR650…

It’s a bit sad, but I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was 17yrs old and never owned a nice tank bag. I couldn’t afford it as a student and I think my bargain hunting mentality stuck with me through the years. I guess I am older and wiser now because I when I looked at what I had for old tank bags I cringed at the junk I saw. So I poked around online and decided to try out a Giant Loop Fandango tank bag which I bought from Moto Overland. Dave at Moto Overland was very helpful getting me the colour I wanted and making me aware of some changes to this tank bag’s harness that was important for a KLR owner. I will definitely be buying future gear from Moto Overland.

Product info stolen from Moto Overland – click on image to see larger…

I’ll let you read all the product details for yourself. You can click on the image above to see them or jump to the Giant Loop product page or the Moto Overland product page.

What did I like about it?:

  • decent size at 10L without being goofy large
  • robust construction can take some abuse
  • water resistant [can be waterproofed with seam sealer on stitching]
  • harness fits KLR650’s tank well
  • looks nice on the bike

Harness on my KLR…

The Fandango now sports a new style of harness that can be seen in my photo above. For the KLR the new version of harness is important as it allows easy access to the gas cap. If you look at the older harness shown in the product image one down from the top of the post you’ll see a much smaller cut out for the gas cap which required KLR owners to hack away some of the harness to position the tank bag properly.

Tank bag partially unzipped to allow access to gas cap…

Installing the Fandango is a 2 min exercise. All you have to do is attach one strap under the front part of the KLR’s frame and 2 side straps around the frame below the gas tank. You can leave the harness on 24/7 so you can simply zip on the tank bag and ride. When you want to add some gas you unzip the Fandango part way and flip it to the side for access to the gas cap.

My beast with the Fandango installed…

The Fandango sits up high out of the way when you are sitting or standing on the KLR. The harness holds it securely even on rough terrain and the modest size helps prevent you from overloading the bag.

Fandango unzipped….

The beefy zippers on the bag and harness work well and can take a beating. I would recommend occasionally lubricating them with some paraffin wax to keep them trucking for the long haul.

Old style map case…

You’ll notice in these pictures that my Fandango has a map case on top with a zipper you access from the top right of the bag. This is in fact the older style Fandango and the newer version has a map case you access from inside the bag. The reason for the change is to make the map case more waterproof. I preferred easier access so I grabbed one of the older style bags.

Cockpit view…

Speaking of waterproofness the material this bag is made from is waterproof, but the seams where it is stitched are not. Giant Loop provides a tube of Seam Seal to allow you to waterproof the bag if desired. I haven’t bothered with that yet as I don’t ride in the pouring rain much, but I may get around to it prior to leaving for a potentially wet road trip. As is the bag is water resistant enough to deal with some rain without letting in a bunch of wetness. I would also recommend not putting your cellphone at the very bottom of the bag where water would collect if it does get inside. I had a look at the Ortlieb tank bag that is waterproof from the factory, but I found the access was poor and didn’t want to deal with a PITA bag every time I needed something just to get the waterproof feature.

Side view…

Since the Fandango tank bag is a robust piece of adventure gear I’ll need more than a few months to test how durable it really is. I’ll be reporting back every year or so and letting you know what’s happening with it. So far so good though and if you need a nice tank bag for your KLR650 I’d recommend taking a look at this one.

Michelin T63 tires are in…

Posted: September 28, 2011 in Gear Reviews
Tags:

For the bike so they are carried by the bike!

Collected my Michelin T63 tires today from Action Motorcycles in Victoria BC. Since my winter plans will either be a trip to Baja or through Baja I’m thinking of sending these tires down to the La Paz area with a friend in his truck. That way I’ll have some fresh rubber waiting for me when I get down there…=-)

A few more teeth than my current rubber...

Olympia X-Moto Jacket and Pants…

I bought an X-Moto jacket and pants this summer. My primary motivation was the venting. I wanted something that could adapt from cool damp Vancouver Island to hot dry Baja as my travels take me up and down the West Coast.

Olympia X-Moto Jacket – men’s medium…

I haven’t used it yet in the rain so I won’t talk about that aspect much. I’m hoping the waterproof liner will be fine for a light to moderate shower. I don’t expect this type of system to be great for heavy all day rain.

I checked out the BMW RP3 and the Klim gear. Both were nice, but I got my X-Moto jacket & pants for about the price of just the BMW RP3 jacket. I’ve looked at the Touratech Companero system which is $2500! I’m not cheap, but I can’t afford to buy the best of the best and still have money left to travel.

Tons of pockets on this jacket…

The X-Moto page on the Olympia website shows all the features:

http://www.olympiamotosports.com/xmo…motojacket.htm

There is an excellent review in the vendor section of ADVrider.com:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=620565

Several of the pockets are waterproof…

Overall

The quality and detailing of the X-Moto is great.The sewing and materials used all seem high quality and there is a lot of attention to detail. I think there are too many features that add bulk and complexity to the jacket. Some folks will love them and others like me probably won’t use stuff like the zip off shoulder bag built into the jacket. Having said that you’ll appreciate little touches like the soft neoprene used around the collar so it doesn’t chafe your neck. These¬†pieces¬†are robust enough to survive a crash and keep on going.

Map pocket on left sleeve…

Storage

The jacket has a ton of pockets – a bunch of them are waterproof. It also has a 0.5L hydration bladder which is removable and a large rear pocket which is removable. The hydration bladder is too small to be useful [you’ll be filling it non-stop] and you can’t fit in a bigger one as the pocket is sized for the OEM unit. You can pull it off entirely and leave it at home, but then the back of the jacket has two big goofy looking zippers flapping around. I’m not sure what I’ll do. I may pull the bladder and just leave the empty pocket attached to the jacket. The big removable rear pocket is bulky and I question its value. There is no internal harness so all that stuff carried in the jacket will hang from your shoulders which is tiring. If it was up to me I’d ditch the hydration bladder/rear pocket and streamline the front pockets for a lighter jacket that was less bulky. If a rider needs more storage on the body he can get a decent sized¬†hydration¬†bladder/pack and use that. A real hydration pack offers more liquid and a harness/belt system that will carry the cargo weight better than a jacket.

Honey does this make my butt look big?

Fit

I’m 5’11” & 175lbs…wide shoulders skinny waist. I tend to fit European cut clothes best. I fit right between the large and medium X-Moto jacket. I got the medium as I didn’t want it to be baggy and flapping around when I removed the waterproof and insulation liners. On the downside I won’t be able to stuff another warm layer in there on cold days. There is some adjustability in the fit at the waist and elbows.

I got 34″ X-Moto pants which is what I wear in street clothes and just like street clothes they are a bit baggy on my skinny chicken legs. Not terrible though and that lets me have enough room to throw a leg over my bike.

I would say the fit is typical for North American clothing and should work for most people. If you have short legs the pants can be tailored easily.

Handwarmer pocket and adjustment options on each side of jacket…

Style

I got the black/pewter colours which look reasonably understated. The jacket/pants together definitely give you the Paris-Dakar-Lite look. Perfect for an ADV tour, but a little much for a coffee run or a stop at Walmart!… I’ve got a simple black Joe Rocket jacket I use for short trips around town when I don’t want to be mistaken for Ewan or Charlie.

Having looked at the BMW/Klim/Revit stuff The X-Moto is up there for looking decent. It’s not as flashy as some of the other options which will appeal to the Let-my-riding-do-the-talking-crowd.

If it had been available in straight up black I would have bought that.

Velcto cuff and elbow sizing adjustment…

Venting

The reason to buy the X-Moto is the venting. It’s awesome!… You have vents on the jacket chest, under arms and back as well as on the front of the pants. The vents are easy to operate and provide a huge amount of airflow. I started a ride home in the early AM along the coast when it was really chilly/damp out and by 2pm it was dry/hot. The X-Moto was easy to adapt as the day progressed to keep me comfortable while still giving me some protection if I crashed.

Under arm vent open…

Rain

As I noted above I haven’t used my X-Moto in the rain yet. If lots of heavy rain is on your menu I don’t think a system with tons of zippers and an inner waterproof liner is ideal. You’re better off with a Gore-tex shell like the Klim. I have a truck so I don’t ride in heavy rain on purpose. I’m not on a RTW trip where I have to ride whatever the weather. So I need protection that is enough to keep me going when I hit some light to moderate rain for a few hours on a ride. I’m expecting the X-Moto will fit the bill on that.

When I ride down to Baja this winter I’ll use a one piece rain suit on top of my X-Moto and leave it with my friends in LA. I’ll ride Baja with just the X-Moto and pick up the rain suit for the soggy ride north.

Left chest vent open…

When you open a vent the fabric pannel tucks away into the garment out of sight. This is nice so you can’t lose bits of your gear and you can close things up pretty fast if the weather changes.

Hydration bladder straps and drinking hose…

Hydration

The X-Moto jacket has a built in 0.5L hydration bladder. That’s about 1/3rd more than a can of Coke which is way too small to be useful. If you are on a short trip it’s not worth filling up the bladder and on a long ride it would need to be filled so often it would be a pain in the butt. The¬†hydration¬†sleeve has external shoulder straps and can be removed from the jacket. The external straps are supposed to help you carry the weight of the water, but there is so little capacity they are pointless and just clutter up the jacket. I would just pull the whole thing off, but the hydration bladder sleeve has built in armour I would lose if I did and the zippers that hold it on would be flapping in the wind looking goofy. What I’ll likely do on longer trips is just leave the bladder at home and keep the empty sleeve on the jacket. If I want access to a hydration system while riding I’ll just wear a dedicated hydration pack over the jacket. That way I can get a decent amount of liquid and whatever gear I carry can be supported by a proper set of shoulder straps and waist strap.

I think Olympia should offer a zip in armoured pannel that replaces the hydration pack so you can just leave the whole thing at home or increase the capacity to 1.5L-2L so it’s actually useful.

Tiny 0.5L bladder…

I’m going to try simply tucking the straps in under the hydration pocket for now. If I get really annoyed with the hydration sleeve straps I may just cut them all off. It won’t affect the jacket in any meaningful way.

Two waist adjustment options on the side of the jacket…

I like all the sizing adjustment options available. These are useful when you add or remove layers from the jacket.

Rear removable storage pocket…

There is a really large waterproof storage pocket on the back of the jacket that is¬†removable¬†and can be carried like a shoulder bag. I think it just adds bulk and weight to the jacket and would be happier without it. If you wanted¬†removable¬†storage you can carry around you’d be better off with a decent sized¬†hydration¬†pack. This sort of feature looks great on a product spec sheet, but isn’t that useful in practice.

Open rear vent…

You need to take the jacket off to operate the underarm or rear vents. You can open/close the front vent without removing the jacket. That’s not too bad and the ventilation is so effective you won’t mind taking the extra time to operate it.

Waterproof and thermal liners installed…

Liners

The X-Moto deals with cold and/or rainy weather by offering you two liners that zip into the shell jacket. There is a waterproof breathable liner and a thermal liner. They zip to each other as well as to the jacket. This approach to waterproofing is best for light to moderate rain as the outer jacket will get soaked in prolonged heavy rain making you cold and making it hard for the waterproof liner to do its job. The waterproof liner is an unbranded fabric that is not going to work as well as an expensive laminate like Gore-tex. What this system does provide is a reasonable cost option for staying dry, warm or cool in a variety of weather conditions. That’s not a bad thing at all. If you buy the X-Moto for the right reasons and with reasonable expectations the liner system will be very versatile and should make you quite happy.

The waterproof liner and thermal jackets both look decent enough to wear on their own at camp or if you are going for dinner on a trip. They aren’t that nice that I would wear them at home, but you could get by with them in order to travel light.

View of liners unzipped…

Protection

I’m not an expert in this area so take my opinion with a grain of salt. The adjustable padding in the jacket and pants as well as the fabric itself seems to offer a decent amount of protection. I’ve seen better. I’ve seen worse. I feel comfortable riding in Baja with this gear. I’m not a hardcore ADVrider though. If I was going to ride technical offroad stuff I’d opt for more protection, but for touring and easy dirt it seems up to the task. The biggest issue for me is that with baggy pants the knee armour can move around.

Have you seen Charlie or Ewan?

Visibility

All X-Moto gear has some 3-M reflective stripping and small patches. Not enough to be useful in my opinion, but it doesn’t hurt. There is a higher visibility colour option with bright yellow¬†panels¬†on the upper chest/back and arms. There is enough high-viz material to be¬†useful¬†without making you look like a traffic cone. Personally I prefer dark motorcycle gear and I’ll add a high-viz vest or backpack cover when I feel the need.

Olympia X-Moto Pants – size 34…

The X-Moto pants are sized like street pants and come with a¬†removable¬†waterproof liner. They don’t come with any thermal liner.

Left side front panel vent open…

The venting on the pants works the same way as the jacket. There are just two front vents on the pants which open from the belt down to the knee.

Zipped side pocket…

The X-Moto pants have two front zip pockets and two rear pockets. Both are big enough to be useful without being too large.

Leather wear patch…

A leather patch on the inside of each leg protects your pants from your bike.

Pants open easily for large boots…

The side zips on these pants open from top to bottom making putting them on over dualsport boots a snap. The bottom of each leg can be hemmed without the hassle of relocating zippers to accomodate short legs. My 33″ inseam has enough length to leave the pants stock and the pants don’t ride up when knees are bent on the bike.

Knee armour…

The knee armour is CE approved and can be moved vertically to account for different leg lengths. The jeans style fit of the pants means the armour can move around. If I was riding offroad a lot I would add some knee armour directly to my leg. Olympia could improve this area of protection with one or two velcro straps to ensure the knee armour stayed in place –¬†similar¬†to what they use in the elbow of the X-Moto jacket.

Knee armour pocket…
Velcro hems open easily and allow for simple hemming…

The butt and knees are reinforced with heavy duty fabric for wear protection.

Reinforced butt…

You can add some armour to the rear pants pockets if you feel the need and the X-Moto pants will zip into the X-Moto jacket so they stay in place when bent over on a bike. The pants have belt loops.

Velcro tabs on each cuff adjust for different boot sizes…

Would I buy it again?

Yes. For under $700 I haven’t seen anything better. If your riding goes from hot to cool with some rain thrown in the mix you’ll be very happy. If extensive rain riding is going to happen I’d buy something else or be okay with wearing a rain suit on top.

Elastic panels on the sides allow for all you can eat buffet expansion…

Long Term

I’ve only had the X-Moto for a couple months so these are just my first impressions. When I get back from Baja I should have a pretty good idea of how it’s going to hold up in the longer term and I’ll post some thoughts.

Hip armour…

The hip armour pads are very thin and only sewn at the top. I’m not sure how well they would stay in place in a crash.

The waterproof breathable liners are decent quality and easy to install/remove.

Waterproof breathable liners…

Although I see some definite areas for improvement of the X-Moto jacket and pants I can recommend them as quality gear that’s very versatile. I haven’t seen anything that looks better you can buy for under $700. The key for me is the X-Moto’s¬†ability¬†to go from huge venting to cool weather and handle some rain. That means I can go out on tour and no matter what happens that day I can adapt to it well. The expensive Gore-tex shell motorcycle gear is better for extended heavy rain riding, but can’t deal with the heat as well as the X-Moto.

Enjoy some X-Moto video porn…=-)

Yamaha XT660Z Tenere

Posted: September 20, 2011 in Gear Reviews
Tags:

Like my KLR - just better looking...=-)

Another bike I’ll never get a shot at buying in Canada is this Yamaha XT660Z Tenere. It looks like a KLR with some better design work!

From the rear…

Oh well I can dream right?…=-)

Basic black…

Yamaha’s European Tenere 600 webpage.

Respro Hump Backpack Cover

Posted: September 20, 2011 in Gear Reviews, Safety
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Respro Hump Hi-Viz Backpack Cover...

This is a backpack cover that adds to your visibility when on the road. It attaches to your regular backpack so you can move it around if you use different ones. Never needs batteries plus you can ride around with the word ‚ÄúHUMP‚ÄĚ on your back letting the world know exactly where you stand when it comes to gender relations.¬†They are sold in the UK by Respro and the price includes free worldwide shipping¬†‚Äď I assume they use the VAT [now at 20%] that non-UKers don‚Äôt have to pay to cover shipping costs.

There are many different colour schemes for every taste. I’ve ordered the version shown above and will review it this winter in Victoria. I like the fact I can deploy it when I feel the need for more visibility and then put it away or leave it at home when I don’t feel the need and want to look like a normal human again.

Michelin T63 Dualsport Tires

Posted: September 19, 2011 in Gear Reviews
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Michelin T63 Dualsport tires...

I’m excited about replacing the mediocre stock tires on my KLR650. On my old KLR I used Continental TKC80s and liked them a lot. I priced a set out locally and they were expensive so I decided to see what else was available for less $$$. I’m not going to buy tires that suck just to save money, but if I can get an equally good tire for 40% less why not? There is no way to really know how you’ll like a tire without trying it so I’m going to give the contenders a shot and if I don’t love ’em I’ll just go back to the TKC80s.

First up for testing is a set of Michelin T63s. They’ve got a reasonably aggressive tread that should be good on gravel/dirt roads at home and sand/rock down in Baja. I heard good things about these tires and their more dirt worthy cousins the Michelin Desert.

My old HJC MX helmet…

Posted: September 19, 2011 in Gear Reviews, Safety
Tags:

Gotta love the 90's look...

Despite looking a bit goofy with its 90’s Troy Lee decals this old HJC dirt helmet gets lots of use on my KLR. For around town riding I ditch the goggles and just use wide Oakley sunglasses. I like the¬†ventilation¬†and visor for sunny warm days. I don’t need much noise or weather protection for my city riding. For dirt/gravel roads the googles provide excellent dust protection and work well enough on the¬†inevitable¬†highway sections to get anywhere interesting. This helmet was cheap when I bought it 10yrs+ ago and has more than paid for itself with all the use I’ve gotten out of it. Considering its age everything is¬†holding¬†up well – including the interior fabric. Most importantly it fits me well and is comfortable for all day rides and tours.

You don’t need to pay a fortune to get a decent helmet.

Happy Trail rear brake cylinder guard...

This rear brake master cylinder guard from Happy Trails bolts on in 20 seconds and offers this important part of your KLR650 a bit more protection for fall and kicks from your boots.

Throttle Rocker Review

Posted: September 14, 2011 in Farckles, Gear Reviews
Throttle Rocker installed…

Someone [sorry I forgot who…=-(] sent me this Throttle Rocker about ten years ago. It got lost in my various rubbermaid bins and I just found it so I thought I would try it out. It slips onto your¬†throttle¬†and gives you an adjustable way to use your palm to apply force to the controls vs. having to grip and twist the throttle. Bottom line it works, but I don’t love it. It gets in the way when you are in the city so I only install it for highway rides. At constant speeds it can be adjusted to comfortably let you hold one speed without wrapping your hand around the throttle. The trouble is that there is a lot of buggering around each time you want to adjust it and unless you are riding slab at a very steady speed for hours it’s probably not worth the effort.

Underside view…

Given that it’s a single piece of tough plastic this unit should be cheap and last a long time. I’ll keep mine around and next time I have to bomb down I-5 for California from Canada I’ll try it again. In the meantime It will sit in a spare parts bin.

JNS Side Stand Plate

Posted: September 13, 2011 in Farckles, Gear Reviews
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JNS side stand plate…

Having your bike’s side stand sink into soft ground and tip your rig over sucks. The solution is a bigger surface area for the stand to sit on. There are lots of DIY options, but I wanted something nicer for my KLR650 so I ordered up a JNS Engineering side stand plate.

Bottom view…

You need to drill a hole in your stock side stand plate to bolt this unit on.

JNS plate installed…

Installation takes about 5 mins. The plate bolts on securely with a nylock nut. The bolt is long enough that you’ll hear the plate banging around long before you lose it.

Double your surface area…

The plate doubles your surface area making soft surfaces less of a hassle when you need to stop and get off your bike. I’ll report back after a few months of use and give you a review.

JNS marketing blurb:

“Double the size of your side stand foot pad, half the chances of your KLR tipping over when parked on soft terrain.

– 0.190″ thick 5052 aluminum
– Laser cut
– TIG welded
– Black powder coated
– Bolts up in minutes using the included stainless steel hardware
– Superior design, materials, construction, and protection
– Made in the USA

Moose Racing Offset Footpegs

Posted: September 13, 2011 in Farckles, Gear Reviews
Tags:
Moose Racing 1/2″ Offset Footpegs…

I ordered up some Moose Racing footpegs from Happy Trail.com to give myself more traction with wet winter weather coming up fast.

Stock KLR rubber footpeg…

The stock footpegs on my KLR650 work fine when it’s dry, but they get slippery when wet.

Moose Racing footpeg installed…

Swapping the pegs took all of 5 mins. You’ll notice the Moose pegs are much wider front to back and have a convex surface to grip your boots better when standing on the pegs offroad. This model is offset 0.5″ to the rear for my big size 12US feet.

Top view…

The Moose pegs look well made and are a definite upgrade for my KLR. I’ll post a full review after the winter is over and I have some wet weather miles on my bike.

New and old…

Happy Trail marketing blurb:

“Update your pegs with¬†Moose Hybrid 1/2” offset¬†footpegs. Made from hardened stainless steel these pegs give you better positioning and great grip without feeling stuck.

  • Each footpeg is cast from stainless steel and age hardened for superior strength
  • Width (57mm) and length (90mm); slightly convex platform for better boot positioning and grip when leaning forward or back
  • Dual plane teeth provide traction without the stuck feeling
  • 1/2″ rear offset to allow more space
  • Use your OEM springs, unless otherwise noted in application chart
  • Made in the USA”
Happy Trail side racks…

I like soft panniers for a dualsport. They deal with crashes better than hard boxes and are easier to keep waterproof – not to mention they are lighter. On my ’97 KLR650 I used Happy Trail side racks to keep my Ortlieb bags off my muffler and protect my plastic side¬†panels¬†from damage. They also provide a useful place to strap stuff onto the seat behind me. Since I like supporting folks that make good stuff I didn’t hesitate ordering a new set of Happy Trail¬†Original¬†Side Racks [OSR] for my 2010 KLR.

Right Happy Trail OSR Side Rack…

The box with the racks was delivered to me in Canada quickly and without any hassles. I had the black racks powder coated white just for some contrast with my black KLR. They bolted on in a minute or two using the supplied hardware and are very secure.

Left HT OSR…

It was a quite nostalgic installing these racks on my KLR as they reminded me of all the good times I had with my ’97 bike. Like the Happy Trail racks on my ’97 KLR I expect I’ll get many years of trouble free service from these units. I’ll post a long term review after I have used them for a while.

KLR650 vs. BMW G650GS…

Posted: August 8, 2011 in Gear Reviews, KLR650 2008+
Tags:

KLR650...

Motorcyclist Magazine has a useful article comparing the Kawasaki KLR650 to the BMW G650GS.

BMW G650GS...

Icon Interceptor Reflective Vest

Posted: July 19, 2011 in Gear Reviews, Safety
Tags:

Can you see me?

I don’t want to look like a traffic cone 24/7 when I am riding my bike. In fact I generally buy black or other dark colours for my riding gear. Most of the time that works fine for me, but there are situations [fog, dark rainy nights, rush hour traffic, etc..] where having extra visibility is a good idea. So I got an Icon Interceptor vest in high viz green/yellow.

Victoria to Duncan, BC ~100km round trip…

I’m still breaking in my KLR650 and haven’t had a lot of time to go on any big rides so I decided to get out for a trip to Duncan, BC to add 100kms to my Odo and check out how the vest worked at highway speeds.

Definitely not mellow yellow!

I bought the large-XL size of vest so it wouldn’t be crazy tight when worn over my riding gear. The vest goes on easily over my riding jacket and I can access the bottom front pockets with the vest on which is handy. It didn’t flap or move around at speed which made me happy. Nobody had any trouble seeing me, but I can’t say whether it made any difference on a sunny low traffic day like today.

Front detail…

The vest is made up of a double layer of mesh fabric that’s eye searingly bright. This type of nylon will fade pretty fast wen exposed to UV which makes a vest a smart choice. You can replace it when it’s not as visible any more without feeling bad about the cost. It’s not crazy hot where I live so I can’t tell you how this will be in super hot climates. It should breathe okay, but it won’t let the venting on your riding jacket work as well as if you didn’t have it on.

Back detail…

The quality of construction throughout seems excellent.

The sides adjust…

You can adjust both sides to fit different gear via a shock cord and toggle.

Reflective material…

There are reflective sections of material front and back.

ID holder…

The ID holder on the front is velcro backed and comes off. I’ll just slide a business card in there in case someone needs to ID me or finds my vest if I leave it behind. Over all it seems like a decent product and I’ll be happy to put it on when I feel like I need to be seen better without having to wear day glo yellow all the time.

Guardian XL Motyorcycle Cover

Posted: July 14, 2011 in Gear Reviews

My ghetto bike cover...

This is my first motocycle since university that has to live outside…=-( On the plus side it’s nicely tucked away between my garage, hedge and F150. There is a tree over top of it so this spot is sheltered from wind and sun. The only trouble is rain and all the crap that drops from the tree – including bird poo! A gnarly old paint tarp got used for the first week or so, but it wants to fall off at the first breeze even in this protected spot.

A Guardian XL motorcycle cover...

So I swung by Action Motorcycles in Esquimalt and Deanne was very helpful in my quest for a decent cover for my KLR650.

The box...

The large size Guardian cover fits the naked bike fine, but I choose the XL because I want to get my cover on with a tall windscreen as well as tank panniers and saddle bags. Since the bike is out of the wind a bit of extra material doesn’t hurt.

Side view...

The cover fits the bike well and runs almost to the ground.

A vent to let moisture out...

It’s got a vent to let any moisture inside out. Construction looks good and it has a¬†lifetime¬†warranty. I’ll report back with a review of how it’s working towards the end of the year.

Seal Line E-Case Review…

Posted: July 13, 2011 in Gear Reviews
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Seal Line E-Case with my iPhone...

Click on the image above to read my initial review of the Seal Line E-Case. It comes in a bunch of sizes that would suit anything from an iPhone to an iPad. Rated at waterproof to 1m for 30mins it will handle rain on your bike fine and the device is fully functional for navigation or making calls.