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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Hungry - not as much as this guy!!

Now this is funny! Not the least because the company had the sense of humor to turn it into an ad for their tacos.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

How was your commute today?

On my way home after a good day at work.

Yes, this is what Salt Lake City I-215 looks like at 5:30 rush hour. Sorry Boston and San Francisco. Eat your hearts out. ;)

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Future Is Coming

It's coming in the spring. Eddy gets the first one and I get the second.

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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Another plus for Salt Lake City

While Boston pulic radio stations are whining about veggies and fat kids. The Salt Lake City station KUER is featuring a motorcycle racer from Japan.


Who knows, if this keeps up I might even start donating again. 

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Rush Hour in Salt Lake City

I'm  posting this to taunt my Boston friends.

I made this video around 8:15 this morning on I-295. I-215 is equivalent to Rt-128 around Boston. Just set the cruise control to 72mph, then sit back and relax! None of the stress of Massachusetts traffic!

A week ago, on my way to the airport in Boston to get to SLC, I allowed 4 hours for a normal 2 hour trip and I still missed my plane because of traffic on the Mass Pike! People in SLC don't speed, cut each other off, drive like idiots, or hog the fast lane. They just drive like reasonable human beings.

One more reason I think I made the right choice moving here! 

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Monday, June 15, 2015

A new adventure

All the t's have been crossed and all the i's have been dotted. I'm on my way to Reno tonight and then off to Salt Lake City tomorrow. I might even have a place to stay when I get there.

A rocky start with the car but it's running fine now. Things are looking good!

All I'm missing is my OTL!!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Another day at the races

The Murdercycles MiniBike Throwdown 23 was filled with thrills and spills.

Luckily the minibike is ok! And so is the rider who walked away laughing.

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Double take

Although totally a Pepsi person I have to give Coke a gold star for this one!

Let's take an extra second | Experiment
Tomémonos un segundo para destruir los prejuicios. Creado por Cyranos McCann para Coca Cola.Enjoy!
Posted by Redactores Publicitarios on Wednesday, May 20, 2015

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Voluntown Fire Dept & EMT Fund Raiser

The Voluntown Fire Dept is the first responder for much of the Pachaug trail system. This is something I found out the hard way a few days ago. The EMTs came and got me and hauled me off to Backus Hospital. First rate care! They took my bike to the fire station and kept it until my brother would pick it up for me.

What was amazing is that they told me there was No Charge for any of it. The EMTs, the ambulance ride, the bike pickup and storage, NOTHING!! You can't get any better than that.

On Saturday, June 6th, they are having a Steak Dinner Fund Raiser. $15 for dinner. It starts at 6pm in the afternoon. The address is 205 Preston City Rd (Rt 165), Voluntown, CT 06384 which is just south of where 138, 165, and 49 cross. 

My buddies and I will be attending and I urge everyone who rides Pachaug to add it to their schedule. We should support those who support us.

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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Take a break before you break something!

Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) said "A man's got to know his limitations"

Continuing to ride when you know you're exhausted is a good way for things to end badly!

Thanks to the Voluntown EMT Squad for taking good care of me!

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Friday, May 1, 2015

Vintage parts disconnect

I go to the Honda shop to get some parts for a 1964 Honda C100 Super Cub I'm restoring.

The parts person is a young guy who is eager to help but is a little confused by my requests. Trying to be concilitory I say, "That's OK, this bike was made before you were born.

He looks back with a grin and says, "Hey, that model was made before my parents were born!"

We both laughed at that one and I'll bet he's telling his friends just like I'm telling you.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Larz Anderson Motorcycle Exhibit

The Larz Anderson Museum in Boston is showing a new exhibit of motorcycles titled Beauty of the Beast beginning 8 May. Sounds like Art of the Motorcycle Boston Style.

This museum focuses solely on motor cars and cycles, both antique and modern. Their lawn exhibit days are a special joy.

Here is part of the announcement.
The new exhibit will be exploring the motorcycle from an artistic, historic, mechanical and cultural perspective will open to the public on May 8th. The exhibit will examine the life history of the motorcycle, from the pioneering 1800’s era – when an engine was simply bolted to a bicycle – through the present day technological and artistic triumphs achieved by manufacturers in Asia, Europe and the United States, leading to a shift in cultural perceptions, and a world-wide fan base of enthusiasts.
There will be a special Opening Party on 7 May from 6-10 if you would like dinner and a preview showing. They usually let you wander about more freely at these events in case you want to look a little closer at the bikes. 

See you there!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Honda shows a 250 adventure bike prototype

An article in ADVPulse reveals a prototype 250 Adventure bike from Honda based on the highly regarded CRF250L.

This looks pretty exciting but I'm still waiting for the new Africa Twin!

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Something more to contemplate

A while ago I offered a couple of quotes to think about. I started writing a post to discuss my thoughts but was quickly overwhelmed by where it took me. It still sits in my Drafts folder as a struggle to bring it into focus.

In the meantime I came across this quote in an article by James Clear. It extends my thinking on this subject; that we seem in such a rush to get nowhere.
“One is weary of living in the country and moves to the city; one is weary of one’s native land and goes abroad; one is weary of Europe and goes to America, etc.; one indulges in the fanatical hope of an endless journey from star to star…
One is weary of eating on porcelain and eats on silver; wearying of that, one eats on gold.”
—Soren Kierkegaard

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Free Trials Training Classes

Admit it, you've always wanted to ride a trials bike. Who wouldn't want to be able to wheelie and bunny hop a motorcycle!?

New England Trials Assn is holding free trials clinics and will even loan you a bike to ride. How cool is that!? Or how crazy?

You can find signup info here. Send an email to NETA Prez Charles Gray <> and he will send you the signup form. I'll be riding the May event in Meriden CT. Come join me or attend any of the other clinics.

Don't forget that the USA round of the Trials Championship will be held in Rhode Island this year. These guys are even better than all those YouTube videos! Taking the NETA class will expand your appreciation for these riders. Plus you'll be able to dazzle and amaze your friends with all your new knowledge of scoring and technique.

Warning: Trials riding can become very addictive!

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

First Ride Of The Season

After a depressingly cold and snowy winter the sun has finally appeared and turned the snow banks into bike friendly mud.

Bob, Dave, and I did a pre-ride of the Pachaug Big Bike/Adventure Loop on Sunday and had a blast! Dave was on a XR650L, Bob on a DRZ400, and I rode my ATK 605. This is in preparation for publishing the loop route sheet for the NETRA BB/A Series.

I was happily surprised that there was not as much mud on the trails as I had expected. On the other hand there was some snow on the ground next to the trail in a couple of places. One puddle had mini-icebergs floating in it!

Those pesky electrons!
The sunny, 60F weather was perfect for riding and we kept up a good pace. Best of all, no injuries and no major breakdowns. My main fuse blew but it was quickly replaced and no other problems were experienced.

Dave, going up the hill!
We're doing it again this Saturday. Be There or Be Square!

Reminder: Don't forget about Jap Bike Mike's Swap Meet on Sunday the 19th!

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Low $$ trip to Alaska

My friend Hermann sent me this.

A BMW F800 GS for $90 / day from San Francisco to Anchorage. A fast check shows a United flight from Anchorage to Boston for $212!

Major adventure for low bucks! Book now or cry later.

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Modern devices - Will they last?

Two more questions to go on my database final exam. In the meantime I came across this quote about telephones which are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first transcontinental call. You can read the complete article on modern technologies and whether they'll last here.

"can I simply point out the irony of the text message? Bell invented the telephone so we could hear each other's real voices instead of sending short, clipped messaged via telegram. For over 75 years, we have long intimate conversations on this device. Now we take the smartphone, the most powerful communication device ever invented, and turn it into a glorified telegraph machine sending shorter messages than Western Union. Seriously?"

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Something to contemplate

While I'm finishing up a database certification course this week and digging out all of the @#$%! global warming in my driveway I've been thinking of why we do the things we do.

Until I get back in a couple of days I'd like you to think about these two quotes.
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.”
from Thoreau's Walden
Alas for those that never sing,
But die with all their music in them.
from Oliver Wendell Holmes' "The Voiceless"
My thoughts on this in a couple of days.

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Man Glamping

My friend Jason sent me this video of the Wilderness Collective going for a bike ride.

I can't embed the video so I'll just post the link. Watch it here.

Jason dared me to watch the whole thing. I only made it through about 30 seconds before experiencing nausea and vertigo. If he said 'Man' or 'Men' one more time I was sure I was going to pass out.

384 miles in 84 hours!! Wow, that's an average of 4 miles per hour. Pretty MANLY!! That meal looks like they ravaged the brie and Chablis section of Whole Foods. 

Not to dis my queer friends but isn't a bunch of guys all wearing matching boots, helmets, and hoodies a little gay?

This link will take you to the comments of the group that reposted the video after the original comments were closed. The cheers and jeers are pretty funny and well deserved.

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Monday, February 9, 2015

Did I choose the wrong bike for my trip?

This video has caused some doubts in my mind.

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Saturday, February 7, 2015

An award

Last night I was given the Rider of the Year award by the British Iron Association of CT. This was for my ride from Calif. to Conn. which was documented in this blog. The presentation was made at the annual Cabin Fever dinner party.

Mr Beth is always happy to be recognized

However, it was not without the usual mishaps of my life as you can see above. The real plaque is locked in one of the members' truck. The lock was frozen from the recent storm and the plaque trapped inside. Or so they say ...

In it's place I received the made to order dinner plate you see above with the Mr Beth inscription. Beth is the social maven of the family and I'm just her humble servant.

It is a very nice award and I've been assured that I'll get the real thing at the next meeting. What inscription it will contain is still a mystery. I'll post a followup when I get it.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Equipment - Luggage - Another Voice

In my last post I mentioned the Giant Loop Coyote bag that I used on my last trip through the Copper Canyons. ADVPulse has done an excellent comparison of the Wolfman and Giant Loop bags. You can read it here.

I own products from both these companies and they are always at the top of my list whenever I buy new equipment. They are well built and designed with real world trail riding in mind. They may not win the farkle contest at the Friday night tavern races but I guarantee you'll love them out on the trail.

Good Job ADVPulse.

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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Equipment - Luggage

We all have baggage. For what your psychoanalyst can't help you with you will need luggage.

To tell a real adventure rider look at the panniers. If there are no scratches they are either a poser or just got them for their birthday. Maybe poser is too strong a word. Maybe they like the look and comfort of an adventure bike and are happy to stick to paved roads on weekend rides. I'm not here to judge.

OK, maybe I can be a little judgmental. When I see a GS in full battle gear with extra lights and gear but no dirt, I'm suspicious. When the skid plate is pristine without a single gouge or dent, I'm pretty sure. And when I see the Hero Cam mount, I'm convinced. DORK!! Adventure riding is inversely proportional to bling and directly proportional to dirt. A clean bike is the emblem of an unimaginative mind.

There are many suppliers of adventure gear. Twisted Throttle, Touratech, Wolfman, and Happy Trails are among my favorites. Whitehorse Gear is not as big but gets a special mention for being a local New England company that is very supportive of riders.

When most riders get a new bike the first thing they think about is bags. It's the most obvious symbol of being a serious rider. Serious riders need stuff, and need a place to put it. The old cowboy saddle bags have evolved into a variety of metal panniers, textile bags, and rubberized, waterproof vaults.

Before I comment on each type allow me to rant for a moment on top boxes. Top boxes are great if you own a Vespa, deliver pizzas for a living, or live in a third world country. Other than that - What were you thinking? As high as possible and behind the rear axle?! Could there be any place worse to add weight to a bike?

“Oh, but it's so convenient. I can put my helmet in there when I stop” I hear them say. If carrying a helmet is that much of a burden maybe they should buy a Buick! Not only is it horrible for weight distribution, it's as aerodynamic as a brick. The wind wraps around the body and then hits this billboard for laziness. You'd better get that big bore kit so you can keep up with the mopeds.

Side winds are especially fun as they try to push the back end while the lightened front end is less grippy. Gusty side winds make it feel like a sail boat on the bay, and on rocky trails it feels like an inverted pendulum is attached to the bike. Don't do it !!!

And now back to our regular programming.

Metal boxes are generally secure, durable, and waterproof. They look serious and enhance the go anywhere appearance of the bike. The downside is that they are heavy, expensive, and it's tempting to get one with too much room. By that I mean that there is an addictive tendency to fill them up. Horror Vacui – Nature abhors a vacuum. First it's the rain suit in case it rains. Then it's a couple of tools, and a flashlight, and a tire patch kit, and a tire pump, and a sweater, and so on. There is no end.

On an extended trip they can offer superior protection in case of rough terrain and an unexpected trip off the trail. They also come with locks that keep prying fingers at bay. Plus they are great places to put all the cool stickers you pick up along the way.

Just as you can buy a “fashion leather” bike jacket that will shred the first time you hit pavement, you can buy adventure-ish metal panniers that will fold up the first time they hit the ground. Luckily, it was a friend's bags that exposed this fact to me. Before you buy, take the lid off and try to flex the box diagonally. If it moves you should consider just how tough you intend to get before putting down your money.

An alternative is to make your own boxes. This picture is of my Transalp with panniers I made from Army surplus Mermite boxes bought on eBay. The cost was about $100 plus another $150 for the rack. This thread on ADVRider shows how to do it. I have also seen them made with Pelican cases and ammo boxes. If you are handy with a welder you can make them yourself from scratch.

This picture points out another great benefit of hard bags. The bike can't fall as far - which makes it much easier to pick up when it goes over. After a long day on the road that is priceless!
Dry bags are a relatively new alternative to hard bags. People have been adapting kayaking and white water bags to motorcycles for a long time, but it seems that only recently products made specifically for motorcycling have become available. Their big advantages are light weight and lower cost - and they're waterproof.

When I say waterproof, I mean that they can stay 3 feet underwater for at least 30 minutes without a drop entering the bag. It can take that long to pick up a bike that has fallen over in a river.

The Wolfman Rocky Mountain bags and Happy Trails rack together are $740, versus the Happy Trails Owyhee system (bags + rack) at $1019. As they say on TV, “A significant savings!” Both are 64 liter capacity but the metal boxes with liner may be more convenient for access and organization. Only you can judge how the value of convenience relates to your budget.

For bikes with only a subframe in the rear, two systems come to mind. Dirt Bagz with lightweight brackets to protect them from the exhaust and rear wheel are great for small loads and short trips. My friend Marty used them for a 10 day trip to Baja with his XR650R and was very happy.


For longer trips and more complete protection there are the Giant Loop bags. I used the Giant Loop Coyote bag on my recent trip into Mexico. By itself it is water resistant but with the waterproof inner bags it meets my requirements for motorcycle swimming. The capacity of the Coyote bag might seem small at 30 liters but it is well organized into 3 fitted pods that held most of my gear. Tools and parts in the left pod, cook gear and food in the right pod, and clothes in the center pod. For longer trips a 2nd dry bag can be added to the system for a total of 100 liters. I used this one for my sleeping bag and other stuff.

Perhaps the best part of the GL Coyote is that it is solidly strapped to the bike. The weight is kept low and there is absolutely no motion when the bike starts dancing in the rocks. Between trips the entire system comes off the bike and there are no racks left behind.

The bag, pods, and extra dry bag come to only $590. They are less convenient than the other options but the versatility and the solid mounting make it a very attractive option for any adventure bike. Especially true if you own more than one bike as it can be transferred without any additional racks or adapters.

Whatever you choose remember,

Adventure travel is all about less. Less weight, less stuff, less self.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

2-Stroke Fun

This is a promo for KTM but is certainly worth the time just for the great riding. On the track footage notice that the rider's head stays level and smooth while the bike and suspension are doing all the work.

When Moto GP was all about the engine (2-stroke 500cc) and the rider, not about who programmed the best electronic.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Valentine Suggestion

At a loss to find that perfect Valentine gift for your One True Love? Thanks to my friend Peter you need look no further. Find it here. A candle that will bring back fond memories of that Husky 450 WR or Yami TZ.

Now if only they had one flavored like Castrol R.

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

When traveling isn't an adventure

What Adventure?

A few years ago I was visiting my friends Patty and Joe in Switzerland. Joe and I were having lunch at an outdoor cafĂ© when a group of tourists approached us. One of them asked, “We heard you speaking English. Do you know where we could find something good to eat around here?”

Joe pointed out a couple of restaurants close to where we were sitting and suggested the food at all of them was quite good. The person replied, “We looked at all of them but all they have is weird stuff. Isn't there any place around here that has real food?”

Joe and I just stared at them in disbelief. What was this person doing here? Joe was embarrassed for even talking to them. I was embarrassed because they seemed to be from the U.S. He quickly suggested a place that had bland “American” food and wished them a good day.

The person's parting remark was, “Well, next time we'll go to Disneyland where everybody is polite and they serve good food.” To which Joe replied, “I'm sure everyone will be happier if you do.”

“What are these people doing here?” we asked ourselves. Why would they spend so much time and money to go someplace where they didn't want to sample the local food and culture? Sure, we all want a little comfort now and then when we travel, but these people were obviously trying to avoid it completely. Maybe they just wanted to take colorful photos to impress their friends back home. Regrettably that's all they would be taking home.

Adventure travel is listening. That's why I can never understand the people who travel with their music players plugged into their heads. What's the point? If they want to hear the same old music and the same old rhythms why not just stay home? Hearing the wind through the canyons or the crackling of rocks at sunrise is the reason for traveling, not seeing bright colored cliffs while listening to punk, funk, or new age. Nature is it's own best sound track. Sure, I hear songs while I ride. If the music is appropriate the mind will fill it in.

A generation ago it was, “Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out!” Now I think it should be

Disconnect, Get A Life, Make It Real!

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Friday, January 16, 2015

My friend Dave sent me this in reply to my post about motorcycle lights.
I think your stuff like calling folks with auxiliary lights "people with more money than common sense" is off target and silly if serious but it makes for the kind of fun snarky journalism folks like and will read.  :)  Personally I wish I had them for conspicuity as I think there is evidence (and I've seen some anectdotal first hand) that the wide and low lights make drivers aware of another vehicle approaching at speed rather than just seeing a single light with no idea it's coming at 75mph... I'm too lazy to install though.  Other stuff is similar as I laugh every time I see someone who wrecks in jeans and complains they don't understand how the doctors screwed up and allowed infection to take their leg three weeks later  ;)  All good though as guys like you and me always disagree on a ton of stuff.  
I have a lot of respect for Dave's opinion. He's a better rider and all around better person than I am. He has a very valid point. More lights could indicate that it's a motorcycle coming at you instead of a nimrod with a burnt out headlight. I say could because if they blind the oncoming driver because if they are mis-aimed (and most of them are) they become counterproductive. A blinded driver is not your best friend.

If each vehicle is traveling at 55 mph then the closing speed is 110mph. This is not a lot of time to be critiquing lights on oncoming vehicles. At 75mph there is even less! Why is anyone riding at 75mph on a back road and relying on some lights mounted to their crash bars to maintain their safety? As always it's the wing nut attached to the handlebars that secures our futures.

Lastly, if Dave thinks it's such a great idea, why hasn't he mounted some on his own bike?

Thanks for the the thoughts Dave. Back at ya! =;^)

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Motorcycle First Aid List

Following up on my post about first aid kits, here is a more specific list of items to include. I would also include a clotting sponge such as this for larger wounds. Let's hope you never need any of this but lack of preparation can kill!

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Friday, January 9, 2015

Equipment - From The Bottom Up

Being prepared for the unknown starts at the bottom. Enduro bikes can avoid most obstacles and wheelie over the rest. Heavier adventure bikes have to plow through the mess and take the occasional hit. Just being bigger means they are going to hit more things.

A skid plate takes the hit so that the engine cases don't. Sadly, many factory plates are totally inadequate. The skid plate on my Transalp was made of plastic! A good skid plate is made of heavy aluminum and wraps completely around the bottom of the engine. One that merely covers the bottom is not good enough take a fall.

Most adventure bikes have fairings. Fairings are made of plastic. All that plastic is very expensive. When the bike falls over, which it always does, it will break all the plastic and then your bank account when you go to replace it.

Crash bars take the hit instead of the plastic. Generally they cost about the same as a single panel, which means that they are a very good buy. Plus, they look really cool.

Running out of gas can ruin your day. Either you're stuck or your buddy is stuck, and nobody is happy. Most factory tanks are good for day rides but going farther afield requires a bigger tank. A bonus is that most after market tanks are made of plastic, so they are significantly lighter than stock. This is weight saved high on the bike, which helps handling. The clear plastic tanks also let you know your fuel level at a glance. For some odd reason, people with large tanks constantly fill the tanks when they don't need the extra range. Putting three extra gallons in a big tank adds 18 pounds at the highest point on the bike. This will obviously affect the handling in a bad way.

Can you change your tires with your current tool kit? If not, make sure you have plenty of water and Power Bars for the hike to get help. Motion Pro makes some very nice tire irons that incorporate the axle wrench into the end. They are made from forged aluminum so they are both light weight and very tough. There is also an adapter that converts the tire iron into a 3/8” drive for sockets. More savings on weight and space.
Rocky Mountain carries a Mini T-handle wrench that works with 1/4” sockets. I went to Sears and expanded the collection of sockets and screwdriver tips to cover every screw, nut, and bolt. It's now my go-to tool when I'm away from my shop.
I'd love to have the set of titanium wrenches for their light weight but my budget isn't quite up to it at the moment.

To state my position clearly - Auxiliary lights are bling. “Hey, look at me!” Just another thing to break when you fall. Add the silly guards and the facade screams that you have more money than common sense. Usually seen with bikes that have no mud or scratches on them. I will allow an exception if you are going to the Arctic Circle in January when the sun never rises above the horizon.

On the other hand, additional lights at the rear of the bike that supplement the stock tail/brake light are good. Just skip the modulators please.

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Equipment - When Murphy Strikes

I'll assume that before any ride you've checked the fluids, tuned your bike, and used Loctite liberally. What could go wrong?

Quite a lot actually. This video shows a simple class 2&3 ride that went very bad, very quickly (just after the five minute mark). Honda had an ad campaign a few years back that said, “Stupid Hurts!” I would add that “Lack of preparation kills!”

Home made kit ...
When things do go bad, your first line of defense is a first aid kit. However, being the most obvious defense doesn't make it the most prevalent. I've asked many fellow riders if they are carrying anything and I'm generally lucky to find one with some BandAids in their bag.

That is advertises what it is ...
Googling motorcycle first aid kit returns over a million results in less than half a second. You can find everything from a $7.50 pocket kit to a $7,000 expedition pack. An alternative to a prepared kit is to make up one of your own. You don't have to carry a complete field hospital with you - a few BandAids, gauze pads, and tape, plus some antibiotic ointment and ibuprofen will cover most day trips. For longer trips look at the commercial adventure kits and raid your local drug store.

And is in a dry bag to protect it - This gets tied down on top of all my other gear!!
Whatever you choose – put it in a waterproof container! A water crossing can make everything useless. A zip lock bag will do for simple supplies and a small dry bag will keep larger kits clean and dry. 

Then put it someplace instantly available and marked so anyone will recognize it for what it is. Put it on the top of your pack not behind zippers or locked lids. Keep a flashlight with your med kit. You don't want to be fumbling around in the dark while somebody is bleeding.

Blood,Sweat & 2nd Gear is a great book for the average motorcyclist. It is full of information on motorcycle related health. It is written by a motorcycle rider for other riders. Thankfully it is short on medical jargon and won't render you unconscious on the 3rd page.

When the poop hits the propeller who ya gonna call? More to the point - if you're out in the middle of nowhere, how are you going to call? The SPOT Gen 3 Tracker is the device that will call for help wherever you are in the world. When the tumble you just took broke your smart phone into pieces, or you're in the many places with no mobile service, SPOT will get a message through.

The SPOT Messenger uses GPS to know where it is at all times. I won't cover all of its capabilities, but there are three important ones.
  1. I'm OK – send this message when stopping for lunch or for the night.
  2. I'm in trouble – send help but I'm not in any immediate danger.
  3. OMG I'm screwed – send the helicopter! NOW!
The SPOT Tracker will send these messages with the GPS location to a central service who will forward the request to whatever organization can respond in the best manner. When you activate your SPOT you have the option to sign up for disaster insurance that will pay your medical and evacuation bills. That could be the difference between getting medivac to a good hospital or taking a slow bus to a witch doctor. Surprisingly cheap, the insurance was a no-brainer for me.

The SPOT Messenger uses satellite technology to send a tracking signal every 5-10 minutes. This can be tracked on the Internet by anyone you share the website with. During my Mexico trip anyone who was reading this blog could follow my progress in nearly real time. The side benefit to this is that if things go really bad and I can't press the OMG button somebody will notice that the bike hasn't moved in a long time. That will mark the spot to start looking for the body. That's why I press the I'm OK button whenever I stop for very long.

SPOT – Don't leave home without it!

Nothing will replace common sense but accidents do happen. Adventure travel is a step into the unknown. As the Boy Scouts say, “Be Prepared!”

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