Gear Reviews

Last minute (post Xmas) shopping

I’ve been working almost every day since my landscape season closed to research and prepare for my upcoming trip to Mexico/Belize/Guatemala.  Xmas was very good to me, and few more things are checked off the “Need to Buy” list.

This past weekend was the Toronto Motorcycle Show.  Rebecca and I went down on the Sunday to try to pick up the last of my hard to find items, and at the same time finally get her some proper riding gear.

GPBikes got her hooked up with some nice Alpinestar Roam Boots and an HJC SY-Max II Modular Helmet, as well as set of Rain Gear.  I can breath a bit of a sigh of relief now knowing that she has some great gear and will be safe.

However, my list wasn’t coming together quite as well.  Now I did get some nice Held Quattrotempi Gloves to replace the ones that have been blistering my fingertips on long ride days.  I also met up with Alex from Milestone Motorsports who is the new distributor for Dimple Magnetic Drain Plugs.  I’m looking forward to seeing just how much debris (metal filings) these capture and keep from tearing through the engine and transmission.  But there was nobody there with GPS Ram Mounts, nor Motorcycle Locks, Waterproof Duffel Bags, or Motion Pro tools.  And, I’m still confused as to which Helmet Communication system I’m going to use (now reduced down to either Cardo ScalaRider G9 or the uClear HBC200)

However, while getting all the information on the radios from RadioWorld, I did meet Mike who is about to do a very similar ride to my own, is leaving around the same time as me, and is just as confused about radio systems.  But here’s the cool thing.  He’s riding from here to Brazil with his 2 sons (cool enough), and his 84 year old father.  Yes, 84!  And they’re all taking BMW R1200GS bikes.  You can follow their journey at Two Continents Three Generations.

My shopping list is still going, but I can see the end in sight (and my credit card is sure happy about that!)

Categories: Gear Reviews, Preparation | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aftermath of the crash

So I’ve had a few days to reflect on the crash.

It turns out that there is a flaw in the BMW R1150GS steering system that causes the forks to pinch the brake lines if they go to full lock.  At some point in the bike’s past the lines had be compromised, and this caused the loosening of the brake line fittings.  When I pulled hard on the front brakes the fitting puked the brake fluid onto the front tire.  This applied lubrication, combined with all too much speed due to no braking, led to the front tire washing out from under me.

The damage to the bike was minimal given that the GS Adventure has a lot of aftermarket armour on it already.  The crash bars did their job of protecting the gas tank, although the valve cover has a bit more road rash on it now than before.  Time to invest in some additional valve cover protection from Wunderlich.  The only other damage was some shredding of the Bark Busters (brand new ones too!), and a crack in the right mirror that just makes the bike look that much more authentic as an adventure bike.

Some riders would be very upset at the new scuffs on their ride, but for me, I bought this bike for offroading.  It wasn’t cosmetically perfect when I bought it, and it will certainly have more battle scars on it in the future.

The bigger damage was to me.  Being an old Harley rider, this is the first time I’ve ever had any “real” riding gear.  After the accident I looked at my (again, brand new) Shark Evoline 3 helmet.  All the impact was to the chin piece, something my usual Harley beanies do not have.  Had I been wearing my older gear, I’d have been visiting the hospital to rebuild my face.  I also could see where my knee, elbow, forearm, and shoulder had impacted the ground on my Scott Dual Raid Jacket and Pants.  In days gone past my Port Dover, Friday the 13th Souvenir T-shirt wouldn’t have protected me from this one… and I hate the thought of having gravel wire brushed out of my skin.

Now, I did say my arm had been hurt.  From what I can figure the slide down the road put my arm in a position that even years of yoga wouldn’t have allowed to put it in.

It’s going to be a few weeks before I’ll be riding again, but I now have a new respect for full body riding gear.

Categories: Accidents and Incidents, Gear Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seasonal Itching, and it’s not allergies

Spring is in full bloom!  The birds are singing, the butterflies are fluttering, and the gardens are bursting with colour.  Everything is coming to life after a long slumber that is Canada’s winters.  Everything, that is, except my new BMW GS bike…

As a Landscape Designer, and the owner of Peace, Love, and Landscaping, spring is my chaotic time of year.  Clients to see, designs to draw, new employees to train, and lots of projects to build.  We are go, go, go usually until mid-June.  Maybe by then I can get the bike safetied and on the road?

In the meantime, though, I did answer a question from my previous post.  That new helmet cost me $600 (Shark Evoline 3 Series Modular).  Good thing I have an income again now that my landscaping season is here!

Categories: Gear Reviews, Misc | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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