Category: Gear (page 1 of 3)

O’Neal Element Boots

My new boots! I bought these O’Neal Elements for my birthday. They are so comfortable and I really like the way they look. The rating was pretty good for these, gerontologist which are not as hardcore as MX boots, but better suited to an ADV/Enduro type bike, which sounds good to me! They are quite a bit stiffer than my Gaerne boots and I had to adjust my shift pedal up a notch but it’s not too difficult to get through the gears.

Wear Eye Protection

Pretty cool video!!!

Pretty cool video!!!

I was driving my Odyssey to work this morning, click when a rock (one that presumably fell off a trailer in the other lane ahead of me) hit the windshield and took out a 1cm chunk of glass. Imagine if that would have hit a motorcyclist’s eye? Even with sunglasses, I’m sure that would have done quite a bit of damage. Which is another reason I wear a helmet with face shield. Be safe!

Want This Pair of Boots

Oneal Element Boots

I tried on a pair of these O’Neal Element boots today. They fit great and offer some decent protection. At $116, sick they seem like a good value. I see a pair of these in my future! Of course, if anyone wants to gift me a pair, a size 9 will do nicely. 🙂

New Summer Gloves

Some day, viagra buy story I’d like to ride my motorcycle around Big Bend National Park. It looks so fun. Check out the video below by YouTube user LoneStarAdv.


I bought a pair of summer gloves to replace my old Motoboss gloves. Motoboss is (was?) the CycleGear house brand, adiposity and it seemed fitting to replace them with the new house brand, find BILT. Turns out that the Women’s Blazer gloves fit so nicely, looked pretty good, and were the right price ($14.99) that I bought them without a second thought. The durability is somewhat suspect, but it’s not like I’ve put my old gloves through hell or anything. What I really like about the fit on these is that there is about half an inch of extra space in the fingertips. My Motoboss gloves are pretty snug, and unless my nails are cut really short, the tips of the gloves would press on them and they would be sore by the end of the ride. With these new gloves, I can keep my unkempt nail length and not worry about them. 🙂

Motorcycle Luggage Upgrade

Really cool R80GS video!
therapy on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/barron/6842049332/”>74/366 - North Face Duffel

One of the things I really enjoy about owning a motorcycle is the modifications and farkles you can add on to it and one of the more functional things you can add to the bike is storage. Why would I want storage on the bike? Well, nurse I like to carry some basic tools and spare parts, case including inner tubes. It would also be nice to carry the warm gloves (and balaclava/neck scarf), an extra light jacket that I can wear under my riding jacket, and the alternate face-shield in case I am riding when it is getting dark.

For a dual-sport, there are a few popular options including tankbags, top boxes, and saddlebags. The pinnacle seems to be a set of aluminum panniers. These have the advantage of being lockable and waterproof. (They also make nice places to slap stickers onto!) The problem with these panniers is their initial cost. Not only do you need to buy the boxes, but you’ll need a rack to mount them on. I’d say that a decent set would cost $500 at the bottom end, and the sky’s the limit at the top end. For now, there’s no money in the budget for a set of hard panniers. In the meantime, I am going to go the way of upgrading my makeshift Quiksilver backpack that is mounted to the pillion/rack with a larger duffel.

New Duffel

In all honesty, I don’t see myself going on a long moto-camping trip anytime soon where a set of panniers would be key. I do see myself taking a weekend or 3-day trip out somewhere though. When doing some research, it seems like a 50-70 liter duffel would be a good option. This would be way more than enough space to fit what I am stuffing into my backpack-tailbag right now and I could also put in a change of clothes and more camera gear. Plus, in the future I can still use the duffel in addition to any panniers I might get. Since I ride solo, I can run the duffel lengthwise from the pillion seat to the rear rack. There’s about 24 inches of space back there.

The choice of duffel came down to two candidates. First is the Ortleib Duffel. This is a tough, waterproof bag that is hard to beat. It comes in a bright yellow color and has four lash points for securing it to the bike. The second candidate was the popular North Face Base Camp duffel. This one is not 100% waterproof, but has a bunch more lash points to attach other items to the bag itself. It also has straps for using the bag as a backpack, although this would only be useful for short hauls. I decided on the North Face, and chose the 69-liter medium size in yellow. The small size would have probably been ok too, but I saw a video where the traveler recommended getting the bigger size since you can always collapse a soft bag in the case where you don’t completely fill it with gear. The medium is 24 inches long, and 15 inches wide and fits nicely onto the rear seat/tail rack.

New Duffel

We’ll see how the new bag works out over time, but I’m confident that the bag will last for many, many miles!

Winter Gloves

One of the fun things about owning a bike, epilepsy food and a dual-sport in particular, is adding farkles to it. If I remember correctly, the word “Farkle” is a combination of “Function” and “Sparkle”. I’ve added a few of them (RAM mount, GPS) but the latest and greatest are some newly installed handgrips. I’ve wanted some for my bike for a while now, maybe they were on my wishlist even before I had my BMW! There are a number of brands to choose from and I settled on a pair of Barkbusters with VPS covers. They have a good reputation and I liked that the installation video looked really simple. It was pretty much bolt-on.

Barkbusters Handguards

The handguards serve two purposes. First and most importantly, they protect the levers from being bent/broken in case the bike goes down. Some handguards are simply plastic covers, but these Barkbusters have a strong metal backbone which is securely connected to the bar-ends and inner handlebar and should offer some really good protection. The second useful feature of the handguards is that they offer wind/rain protection for your hands. Riding in cold weather, my knuckles would get cold really fast because of the constant wind on them. With the handguards, they still get cold, but not nearly as quickly. One final benefit is the “sparkle” part of farkle: the looks. I think they look cool! Barkbusters VPS handguards come in a varietly of colors but I went for the plain black. They were very shiny plastic when I unwrapped them but I prefer a flat-black color so I took some fine sandpaper to them and now they match the flat black of the headlight cowl and mirrors better. The next step is to get some black reflective tape to cover the white logo to complete the stealth look.

Barkbusters Handguards

I think pretty soon I want to do some more light dirt roads around the Hill Country. Should be pretty fun and I’ll have a little bit more insurance with these handguards. But with my luck, I’ll probably brake the clutch lever when I drop the bike next time!

F650 GS Controls
One of the fun things about owning a bike, food and a dual-sport in particular, is adding farkles to it. If I remember correctly, the word “Farkle” is a combination of “Function” and “Sparkle”. I’ve added a few of them (RAM mount, GPS) but the latest and greatest are some newly installed handgrips. I’ve wanted some for my bike for a while now, maybe they were on my wishlist even before I had my BMW! There are a number of brands to choose from and I settled on a pair of Barkbusters with VPS covers. They have a good reputation and I liked that the installation video looked really simple. It was pretty much bolt-on.

Barkbusters Handguards

The handguards serve two purposes. First and most importantly, they protect the levers from being bent/broken in case the bike goes down. Some handguards are simply plastic covers, but these Barkbusters have a strong metal backbone which is securely connected to the bar-ends and inner handlebar and should offer some really good protection. The second useful feature of the handguards is that they offer wind/rain protection for your hands. Riding in cold weather, my knuckles would get cold really fast because of the constant wind on them. With the handguards, they still get cold, but not nearly as quickly. One final benefit is the “sparkle” part of farkle: the looks. I think they look cool! Barkbusters VPS handguards come in a varietly of colors but I went for the plain black. They were very shiny plastic when I unwrapped them but I prefer a flat-black color so I took some fine sandpaper to them and now they match the flat black of the headlight cowl and mirrors better. The next step is to get some black reflective tape to cover the white logo to complete the stealth look.

Barkbusters Handguards

I think pretty soon I want to do some more light dirt roads around the Hill Country. Should be pretty fun and I’ll have a little bit more insurance with these handguards. But with my luck, I’ll probably brake the clutch lever when I drop the bike next time!

F650 GS Controls
health care
0,40,0″>

A little too serious and artsy, but some nice footage.
One of the fun things about owning a bike, food and a dual-sport in particular, is adding farkles to it. If I remember correctly, the word “Farkle” is a combination of “Function” and “Sparkle”. I’ve added a few of them (RAM mount, GPS) but the latest and greatest are some newly installed handgrips. I’ve wanted some for my bike for a while now, maybe they were on my wishlist even before I had my BMW! There are a number of brands to choose from and I settled on a pair of Barkbusters with VPS covers. They have a good reputation and I liked that the installation video looked really simple. It was pretty much bolt-on.

Barkbusters Handguards

The handguards serve two purposes. First and most importantly, they protect the levers from being bent/broken in case the bike goes down. Some handguards are simply plastic covers, but these Barkbusters have a strong metal backbone which is securely connected to the bar-ends and inner handlebar and should offer some really good protection. The second useful feature of the handguards is that they offer wind/rain protection for your hands. Riding in cold weather, my knuckles would get cold really fast because of the constant wind on them. With the handguards, they still get cold, but not nearly as quickly. One final benefit is the “sparkle” part of farkle: the looks. I think they look cool! Barkbusters VPS handguards come in a varietly of colors but I went for the plain black. They were very shiny plastic when I unwrapped them but I prefer a flat-black color so I took some fine sandpaper to them and now they match the flat black of the headlight cowl and mirrors better. The next step is to get some black reflective tape to cover the white logo to complete the stealth look.

Barkbusters Handguards

I think pretty soon I want to do some more light dirt roads around the Hill Country. Should be pretty fun and I’ll have a little bit more insurance with these handguards. But with my luck, I’ll probably brake the clutch lever when I drop the bike next time!

F650 GS Controls
health care
0,40,0″>

A little too serious and artsy, but some nice footage.
more about
0, unhealthy
40, purchase
0″>

I love this video! Jealous of these motorcyclists on their amazing journeys.
Well, order 2011 is over and it seems like many of the motorcycle bloggers are posting their mileage and other year-end thoughts. I figured I’d do the same. First off, doctor some of the things I’ve bought:

Also in 2011, I did my first Saddlesore 1000. That was a lot of fun and although I said I’d never do it again, never say never! But I realize that I do love long-distance riding. I’m hoping to do another long ride, probably not for any kind of certificate, but I’d love to take a few days and ride to Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. I also rode a bit on the dirt. Not a whole lot, but it was still fun. This year I’d like to take an off-road class and get some experience. Hopefully in the summer when it warms up to a nice 110 degrees.

My final odometer reading for 2012 was 10,325 miles for a total of 3,174 miles for the year. And I am going to need new tires soon!
On Saturday I had the morning to myself so I decided to head out for a ride. It was a bit chilly at 49°F and I made the mistake of putting on my mesh jacket instead of the warmer non-mesh textile one. I did have a few layers on underneath, caries but it was a mistake I was regretting about 15 minutes into the ride. I did decide to look for the slower backroads that I enjoy so much so the wind wouldn’t totally freeze me and since the morning sun was getting higher in the sky, capsule I figured I would warm up quickly.

neurologist on Flickr”>Today's View

The ride itself was enjoyable and I did see several interesting animals, such as roadrunners, horses, cows, and goats. I stopped to take a photo of these goats but as soon as I shut off the motor, the ran away from me! I could only snap a picture of their butts…

Goat Butts

Riding the smaller county roads is pretty fun to me. You pretty much only see locals on these roads, since there wouldn’t be any reason to take these roads unless you were going to or from your house/ranch. It’s cool because the locals are very friendly, waving from their yards, or as they pass by in their vehicles. On this morning, I passed a couple of cowboys riding their horses and they gave me a big wave. Yep, this is Texas!

Obligatory Moto shot

Typical County Road

Odometer: 82.15 Miles
Moving Time: 2H 4M

1-7-2012 Ride Route

7/365 - Spaceman
case on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/barron/6778316259/”>CR-310

One of the things I want to do this year is to go on some dual-sport rides. That means taking my bike on some more dirt roads in addition to street. To that end, approved I added some handguards (to protect from lever-breakage caused by a fall) and am planning on getting some more aggressive tires. The Metzeler Tourance tires are 90/10 and have worn pretty nicely, order but both the front and rear are nearing their end-of-life. I haven’t decided exactly what kind of tires I want, but one choice is Michelin Anakee 2 tires, front and rear, or perhaps a Heidenau 76 rear and 60 front.

Up the Hill

The other day I was at the bookstore and came across the Adventure Riding Techniques book by Robert Wicks and Greg Baker. It’s filled with a lot of information on taking a large “Adventure Bike” off-road. My bike is not quite as large, but at 425 lbs is a bit heavier than a smaller 450cc Japanese bike. I’m planning on taking a dirt class this year, and will take my F650 GS of course! But just reading the book and looking at the great photos got me all reved up to hit some dirt trails.

26/366 - Book Haul

On the Two-Wheeled Texans website there are several good beginner dirt roads listed so I decided to give it a go. I’m glad I did cuz riding on dirt (even easy dirt) is a blast! It’s so much fun standing on the pegs! I even did a couple small water-crossings. Those were pretty tame, but still a bit hairy.

Water Crossing

After riding on the dirt I can say that I agree with most everyone who rides an F650 GS single when they say the stock pegs are too narrow. My feet are only sized 7.5 (US) but even I can tell that the stock pegs need about an inch more width. Unfortunately, a good pair of replacement pegs is $100+ so I might just stick with stock.

Tree Canopy

As I was approaching where CR-310A intersects with 310, I saw three other riders on the trail, but they zoomed off and I couldn’t catch them. I would have liked to find some more roads to ride on, but I have a list of good ones bookmarked on my computer so I think I am pretty much set.

1-28-2012 Ride Route

ODO: 171 miles (About 6 miles of dirt)
neuropathologist on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/barron/6778316259/”>CR-310

One of the things I want to do this year is to go on some dual-sport rides. That means taking my bike on some more dirt roads in addition to street. To that end, neuropathist I added some handguards (to protect from lever-breakage caused by a fall) and am planning on getting some more aggressive tires. The Metzeler Tourance tires are 90/10 and have worn pretty nicely, abortion but both the front and rear are nearing their end-of-life. I haven’t decided exactly what kind of tires I want, but one choice is Michelin Anakee 2 tires, front and rear, or perhaps a Heidenau 76 rear and 60 front.

Up the Hill

The other day I was at the bookstore and came across the Adventure Riding Techniques book by Robert Wicks and Greg Baker. It’s filled with a lot of information on taking a large “Adventure Bike” off-road. My bike is not quite as large, but at 425 lbs is a bit heavier than a smaller 450cc Japanese bike. I’m planning on taking a dirt class this year, and will take my F650 GS of course! But just reading the book and looking at the great photos got me all reved up to hit some dirt trails.

26/366 - Book Haul

On the Two-Wheeled Texans website there are several good beginner dirt roads listed so I decided to give it a go. I’m glad I did cuz riding on dirt (even easy dirt) is a blast! It’s so much fun standing on the pegs! I even did a couple small water-crossings. Those were pretty tame, but still a bit hairy.

Water Crossing

After riding on the dirt I can say that I agree with most everyone who rides an F650 GS single when they say the stock pegs are too narrow. My feet are only sized 7.5 (US) but even I can tell that the stock pegs need about an inch more width. Unfortunately, a good pair of replacement pegs is $100+ so I might just stick with stock.

Tree Canopy

As I was approaching where CR-310A intersects with 310, I saw three other riders on the trail, but they zoomed off and I couldn’t catch them. I would have liked to find some more roads to ride on, but I have a list of good ones bookmarked on my computer so I think I am pretty much set.

1-28-2012 Ride Route

ODO: 171 miles (About 6 miles of dirt)
neuropathologist on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/barron/6778316259/”>CR-310

One of the things I want to do this year is to go on some dual-sport rides. That means taking my bike on some more dirt roads in addition to street. To that end, neuropathist I added some handguards (to protect from lever-breakage caused by a fall) and am planning on getting some more aggressive tires. The Metzeler Tourance tires are 90/10 and have worn pretty nicely, abortion but both the front and rear are nearing their end-of-life. I haven’t decided exactly what kind of tires I want, but one choice is Michelin Anakee 2 tires, front and rear, or perhaps a Heidenau 76 rear and 60 front.

Up the Hill

The other day I was at the bookstore and came across the Adventure Riding Techniques book by Robert Wicks and Greg Baker. It’s filled with a lot of information on taking a large “Adventure Bike” off-road. My bike is not quite as large, but at 425 lbs is a bit heavier than a smaller 450cc Japanese bike. I’m planning on taking a dirt class this year, and will take my F650 GS of course! But just reading the book and looking at the great photos got me all reved up to hit some dirt trails.

26/366 - Book Haul

On the Two-Wheeled Texans website there are several good beginner dirt roads listed so I decided to give it a go. I’m glad I did cuz riding on dirt (even easy dirt) is a blast! It’s so much fun standing on the pegs! I even did a couple small water-crossings. Those were pretty tame, but still a bit hairy.

Water Crossing

After riding on the dirt I can say that I agree with most everyone who rides an F650 GS single when they say the stock pegs are too narrow. My feet are only sized 7.5 (US) but even I can tell that the stock pegs need about an inch more width. Unfortunately, a good pair of replacement pegs is $100+ so I might just stick with stock.

Tree Canopy

As I was approaching where CR-310A intersects with 310, I saw three other riders on the trail, but they zoomed off and I couldn’t catch them. I would have liked to find some more roads to ride on, but I have a list of good ones bookmarked on my computer so I think I am pretty much set.

1-28-2012 Ride Route

ODO: 171 miles (About 6 miles of dirt)
view on Flickr”>Olympia Voyager Gloves

I finally bought some proper winter gloves, check
the Olympia Voyagers. These are actually kind of budget-priced, bronchi
at $39, but seem to be pretty good. They are “windproof” and “waterproof”. They are pretty toasty, and with the liner I got on sale from REI, they will be even more protective from the cold. This is my first bit of Olympia gear, which works out nicely since I pretty much have all sorts of brands. The only matching gear I have is my mesh jacket and pants, both by Revit.

Sterling Noren’s Essential Accessories – BMW F800GS

One of the fun things about owning a bike, epilepsy food and a dual-sport in particular, is adding farkles to it. If I remember correctly, the word “Farkle” is a combination of “Function” and “Sparkle”. I’ve added a few of them (RAM mount, GPS) but the latest and greatest are some newly installed handgrips. I’ve wanted some for my bike for a while now, maybe they were on my wishlist even before I had my BMW! There are a number of brands to choose from and I settled on a pair of Barkbusters with VPS covers. They have a good reputation and I liked that the installation video looked really simple. It was pretty much bolt-on.

Barkbusters Handguards

The handguards serve two purposes. First and most importantly, they protect the levers from being bent/broken in case the bike goes down. Some handguards are simply plastic covers, but these Barkbusters have a strong metal backbone which is securely connected to the bar-ends and inner handlebar and should offer some really good protection. The second useful feature of the handguards is that they offer wind/rain protection for your hands. Riding in cold weather, my knuckles would get cold really fast because of the constant wind on them. With the handguards, they still get cold, but not nearly as quickly. One final benefit is the “sparkle” part of farkle: the looks. I think they look cool! Barkbusters VPS handguards come in a varietly of colors but I went for the plain black. They were very shiny plastic when I unwrapped them but I prefer a flat-black color so I took some fine sandpaper to them and now they match the flat black of the headlight cowl and mirrors better. The next step is to get some black reflective tape to cover the white logo to complete the stealth look.

Barkbusters Handguards

I think pretty soon I want to do some more light dirt roads around the Hill Country. Should be pretty fun and I’ll have a little bit more insurance with these handguards. But with my luck, I’ll probably brake the clutch lever when I drop the bike next time!

F650 GS Controls
One of the fun things about owning a bike, food and a dual-sport in particular, is adding farkles to it. If I remember correctly, the word “Farkle” is a combination of “Function” and “Sparkle”. I’ve added a few of them (RAM mount, GPS) but the latest and greatest are some newly installed handgrips. I’ve wanted some for my bike for a while now, maybe they were on my wishlist even before I had my BMW! There are a number of brands to choose from and I settled on a pair of Barkbusters with VPS covers. They have a good reputation and I liked that the installation video looked really simple. It was pretty much bolt-on.

Barkbusters Handguards

The handguards serve two purposes. First and most importantly, they protect the levers from being bent/broken in case the bike goes down. Some handguards are simply plastic covers, but these Barkbusters have a strong metal backbone which is securely connected to the bar-ends and inner handlebar and should offer some really good protection. The second useful feature of the handguards is that they offer wind/rain protection for your hands. Riding in cold weather, my knuckles would get cold really fast because of the constant wind on them. With the handguards, they still get cold, but not nearly as quickly. One final benefit is the “sparkle” part of farkle: the looks. I think they look cool! Barkbusters VPS handguards come in a varietly of colors but I went for the plain black. They were very shiny plastic when I unwrapped them but I prefer a flat-black color so I took some fine sandpaper to them and now they match the flat black of the headlight cowl and mirrors better. The next step is to get some black reflective tape to cover the white logo to complete the stealth look.

Barkbusters Handguards

I think pretty soon I want to do some more light dirt roads around the Hill Country. Should be pretty fun and I’ll have a little bit more insurance with these handguards. But with my luck, I’ll probably brake the clutch lever when I drop the bike next time!

F650 GS Controls
health care
0,40,0″>

A little too serious and artsy, but some nice footage.
One of the fun things about owning a bike, food and a dual-sport in particular, is adding farkles to it. If I remember correctly, the word “Farkle” is a combination of “Function” and “Sparkle”. I’ve added a few of them (RAM mount, GPS) but the latest and greatest are some newly installed handgrips. I’ve wanted some for my bike for a while now, maybe they were on my wishlist even before I had my BMW! There are a number of brands to choose from and I settled on a pair of Barkbusters with VPS covers. They have a good reputation and I liked that the installation video looked really simple. It was pretty much bolt-on.

Barkbusters Handguards

The handguards serve two purposes. First and most importantly, they protect the levers from being bent/broken in case the bike goes down. Some handguards are simply plastic covers, but these Barkbusters have a strong metal backbone which is securely connected to the bar-ends and inner handlebar and should offer some really good protection. The second useful feature of the handguards is that they offer wind/rain protection for your hands. Riding in cold weather, my knuckles would get cold really fast because of the constant wind on them. With the handguards, they still get cold, but not nearly as quickly. One final benefit is the “sparkle” part of farkle: the looks. I think they look cool! Barkbusters VPS handguards come in a varietly of colors but I went for the plain black. They were very shiny plastic when I unwrapped them but I prefer a flat-black color so I took some fine sandpaper to them and now they match the flat black of the headlight cowl and mirrors better. The next step is to get some black reflective tape to cover the white logo to complete the stealth look.

Barkbusters Handguards

I think pretty soon I want to do some more light dirt roads around the Hill Country. Should be pretty fun and I’ll have a little bit more insurance with these handguards. But with my luck, I’ll probably brake the clutch lever when I drop the bike next time!

F650 GS Controls
health care
0,40,0″>

A little too serious and artsy, but some nice footage.
more about
0, unhealthy
40, purchase
0″>

I love this video! Jealous of these motorcyclists on their amazing journeys.
Well, order 2011 is over and it seems like many of the motorcycle bloggers are posting their mileage and other year-end thoughts. I figured I’d do the same. First off, doctor some of the things I’ve bought:

Also in 2011, I did my first Saddlesore 1000. That was a lot of fun and although I said I’d never do it again, never say never! But I realize that I do love long-distance riding. I’m hoping to do another long ride, probably not for any kind of certificate, but I’d love to take a few days and ride to Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. I also rode a bit on the dirt. Not a whole lot, but it was still fun. This year I’d like to take an off-road class and get some experience. Hopefully in the summer when it warms up to a nice 110 degrees.

My final odometer reading for 2012 was 10,325 miles for a total of 3,174 miles for the year. And I am going to need new tires soon!
On Saturday I had the morning to myself so I decided to head out for a ride. It was a bit chilly at 49°F and I made the mistake of putting on my mesh jacket instead of the warmer non-mesh textile one. I did have a few layers on underneath, caries but it was a mistake I was regretting about 15 minutes into the ride. I did decide to look for the slower backroads that I enjoy so much so the wind wouldn’t totally freeze me and since the morning sun was getting higher in the sky, capsule I figured I would warm up quickly.

neurologist on Flickr”>Today's View

The ride itself was enjoyable and I did see several interesting animals, such as roadrunners, horses, cows, and goats. I stopped to take a photo of these goats but as soon as I shut off the motor, the ran away from me! I could only snap a picture of their butts…

Goat Butts

Riding the smaller county roads is pretty fun to me. You pretty much only see locals on these roads, since there wouldn’t be any reason to take these roads unless you were going to or from your house/ranch. It’s cool because the locals are very friendly, waving from their yards, or as they pass by in their vehicles. On this morning, I passed a couple of cowboys riding their horses and they gave me a big wave. Yep, this is Texas!

Obligatory Moto shot

Typical County Road

Odometer: 82.15 Miles
Moving Time: 2H 4M

1-7-2012 Ride Route

7/365 - Spaceman
case on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/barron/6778316259/”>CR-310

One of the things I want to do this year is to go on some dual-sport rides. That means taking my bike on some more dirt roads in addition to street. To that end, approved I added some handguards (to protect from lever-breakage caused by a fall) and am planning on getting some more aggressive tires. The Metzeler Tourance tires are 90/10 and have worn pretty nicely, order but both the front and rear are nearing their end-of-life. I haven’t decided exactly what kind of tires I want, but one choice is Michelin Anakee 2 tires, front and rear, or perhaps a Heidenau 76 rear and 60 front.

Up the Hill

The other day I was at the bookstore and came across the Adventure Riding Techniques book by Robert Wicks and Greg Baker. It’s filled with a lot of information on taking a large “Adventure Bike” off-road. My bike is not quite as large, but at 425 lbs is a bit heavier than a smaller 450cc Japanese bike. I’m planning on taking a dirt class this year, and will take my F650 GS of course! But just reading the book and looking at the great photos got me all reved up to hit some dirt trails.

26/366 - Book Haul

On the Two-Wheeled Texans website there are several good beginner dirt roads listed so I decided to give it a go. I’m glad I did cuz riding on dirt (even easy dirt) is a blast! It’s so much fun standing on the pegs! I even did a couple small water-crossings. Those were pretty tame, but still a bit hairy.

Water Crossing

After riding on the dirt I can say that I agree with most everyone who rides an F650 GS single when they say the stock pegs are too narrow. My feet are only sized 7.5 (US) but even I can tell that the stock pegs need about an inch more width. Unfortunately, a good pair of replacement pegs is $100+ so I might just stick with stock.

Tree Canopy

As I was approaching where CR-310A intersects with 310, I saw three other riders on the trail, but they zoomed off and I couldn’t catch them. I would have liked to find some more roads to ride on, but I have a list of good ones bookmarked on my computer so I think I am pretty much set.

1-28-2012 Ride Route

ODO: 171 miles (About 6 miles of dirt)
neuropathologist on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/barron/6778316259/”>CR-310

One of the things I want to do this year is to go on some dual-sport rides. That means taking my bike on some more dirt roads in addition to street. To that end, neuropathist I added some handguards (to protect from lever-breakage caused by a fall) and am planning on getting some more aggressive tires. The Metzeler Tourance tires are 90/10 and have worn pretty nicely, abortion but both the front and rear are nearing their end-of-life. I haven’t decided exactly what kind of tires I want, but one choice is Michelin Anakee 2 tires, front and rear, or perhaps a Heidenau 76 rear and 60 front.

Up the Hill

The other day I was at the bookstore and came across the Adventure Riding Techniques book by Robert Wicks and Greg Baker. It’s filled with a lot of information on taking a large “Adventure Bike” off-road. My bike is not quite as large, but at 425 lbs is a bit heavier than a smaller 450cc Japanese bike. I’m planning on taking a dirt class this year, and will take my F650 GS of course! But just reading the book and looking at the great photos got me all reved up to hit some dirt trails.

26/366 - Book Haul

On the Two-Wheeled Texans website there are several good beginner dirt roads listed so I decided to give it a go. I’m glad I did cuz riding on dirt (even easy dirt) is a blast! It’s so much fun standing on the pegs! I even did a couple small water-crossings. Those were pretty tame, but still a bit hairy.

Water Crossing

After riding on the dirt I can say that I agree with most everyone who rides an F650 GS single when they say the stock pegs are too narrow. My feet are only sized 7.5 (US) but even I can tell that the stock pegs need about an inch more width. Unfortunately, a good pair of replacement pegs is $100+ so I might just stick with stock.

Tree Canopy

As I was approaching where CR-310A intersects with 310, I saw three other riders on the trail, but they zoomed off and I couldn’t catch them. I would have liked to find some more roads to ride on, but I have a list of good ones bookmarked on my computer so I think I am pretty much set.

1-28-2012 Ride Route

ODO: 171 miles (About 6 miles of dirt)
neuropathologist on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/barron/6778316259/”>CR-310

One of the things I want to do this year is to go on some dual-sport rides. That means taking my bike on some more dirt roads in addition to street. To that end, neuropathist I added some handguards (to protect from lever-breakage caused by a fall) and am planning on getting some more aggressive tires. The Metzeler Tourance tires are 90/10 and have worn pretty nicely, abortion but both the front and rear are nearing their end-of-life. I haven’t decided exactly what kind of tires I want, but one choice is Michelin Anakee 2 tires, front and rear, or perhaps a Heidenau 76 rear and 60 front.

Up the Hill

The other day I was at the bookstore and came across the Adventure Riding Techniques book by Robert Wicks and Greg Baker. It’s filled with a lot of information on taking a large “Adventure Bike” off-road. My bike is not quite as large, but at 425 lbs is a bit heavier than a smaller 450cc Japanese bike. I’m planning on taking a dirt class this year, and will take my F650 GS of course! But just reading the book and looking at the great photos got me all reved up to hit some dirt trails.

26/366 - Book Haul

On the Two-Wheeled Texans website there are several good beginner dirt roads listed so I decided to give it a go. I’m glad I did cuz riding on dirt (even easy dirt) is a blast! It’s so much fun standing on the pegs! I even did a couple small water-crossings. Those were pretty tame, but still a bit hairy.

Water Crossing

After riding on the dirt I can say that I agree with most everyone who rides an F650 GS single when they say the stock pegs are too narrow. My feet are only sized 7.5 (US) but even I can tell that the stock pegs need about an inch more width. Unfortunately, a good pair of replacement pegs is $100+ so I might just stick with stock.

Tree Canopy

As I was approaching where CR-310A intersects with 310, I saw three other riders on the trail, but they zoomed off and I couldn’t catch them. I would have liked to find some more roads to ride on, but I have a list of good ones bookmarked on my computer so I think I am pretty much set.

1-28-2012 Ride Route

ODO: 171 miles (About 6 miles of dirt)
view on Flickr”>Olympia Voyager Gloves

I finally bought some proper winter gloves, check
the Olympia Voyagers. These are actually kind of budget-priced, bronchi
at $39, but seem to be pretty good. They are “windproof” and “waterproof”. They are pretty toasty, and with the liner I got on sale from REI, they will be even more protective from the cold. This is my first bit of Olympia gear, which works out nicely since I pretty much have all sorts of brands. The only matching gear I have is my mesh jacket and pants, both by Revit.

I love checking out new gear. If I had the money, medstore I’d definitely get some Touratech. But since I don’t have the luxury of spending lots on my bike I usually just read the Touratech catalog and dream… Anyways, lots of good stuff in Sterling Noren’s video!

Barkbusters VPS Handguards

One of the fun things about owning a bike, epilepsy food and a dual-sport in particular, is adding farkles to it. If I remember correctly, the word “Farkle” is a combination of “Function” and “Sparkle”. I’ve added a few of them (RAM mount, GPS) but the latest and greatest are some newly installed handgrips. I’ve wanted some for my bike for a while now, maybe they were on my wishlist even before I had my BMW! There are a number of brands to choose from and I settled on a pair of Barkbusters with VPS covers. They have a good reputation and I liked that the installation video looked really simple. It was pretty much bolt-on.

Barkbusters Handguards

The handguards serve two purposes. First and most importantly, they protect the levers from being bent/broken in case the bike goes down. Some handguards are simply plastic covers, but these Barkbusters have a strong metal backbone which is securely connected to the bar-ends and inner handlebar and should offer some really good protection. The second useful feature of the handguards is that they offer wind/rain protection for your hands. Riding in cold weather, my knuckles would get cold really fast because of the constant wind on them. With the handguards, they still get cold, but not nearly as quickly. One final benefit is the “sparkle” part of farkle: the looks. I think they look cool! Barkbusters VPS handguards come in a varietly of colors but I went for the plain black. They were very shiny plastic when I unwrapped them but I prefer a flat-black color so I took some fine sandpaper to them and now they match the flat black of the headlight cowl and mirrors better. The next step is to get some black reflective tape to cover the white logo to complete the stealth look.

Barkbusters Handguards

I think pretty soon I want to do some more light dirt roads around the Hill Country. Should be pretty fun and I’ll have a little bit more insurance with these handguards. But with my luck, I’ll probably brake the clutch lever when I drop the bike next time!

F650 GS Controls

HJC CL-MAX Helmet

weight loss on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/barron/5152245945/”>My F650 GS

I had a few hours free this morning so I decided to ride over to the coffee shop and get some caffiene. After that, help I dropped off a book at the library then was planning to go home and relax but then I thought I would ride to the nearby school’s parking lot and practice some u-turns. I still have some trouble making these and the last time I practiced, angina I just wasn’t feeling it. I was a little tired and just couldn’t concentrate. I was disappointed because the previous time, I was really getting the hang of it.

But this morning I was fired up (most likely the coffee) and figured I might as well use this opportunity to sharpen my skills rather than just go home and play video games. I’m happy to say that it was clicking for me today and I was making much tighter turns, and my muscle-memory was taking over. That was really cool because I didn’t have to think so much about controlling the clutch and throttle. It just all seemed to work naturally.

A few months ago I bought the book Proficient Motorcycling by David L. Hough. It filled with great information that every motorcyclist should know. One surprisingly short section deals with u-turns and I picked up a couple good tips. I learned that to do a tight turn, you really need to lean the bike over. If you are just slow-speed turning with the bike perpendicular to the ground your turning radius is pretty large. So large in fact that you probably won’t be able to pull off a u-turn on a two lane street. (I know from personal experience!) So first, you need to throw the bike into a lean, while turning the handlebars pretty sharply. Then you need to use the clutch to control the stability. It helps to keep the throttle at a constant rev, and then just feather the clutch. To make a tighter turn, pull in the clutch lever. If the bike is leaning over too much and you feel like it’s tipping, let out the clutch and that power will straighten you up. After a while of practicing that, I started using the throttle more in conjuction with the clutch (and not having just a constant rev). This part is where the muscle memory and practice really paid off. Now when I feel the bike is at the tipping point, I don’t have to think about what to do to get it back in control. My left hand automatically lets out the clutch, and my right applies a bit more throttle. This is a really cool feeling!

A couple other things help me with the u-turns. First is keeping my body and head more perpendicular to the ground, and using the footpegs to maintain balance. It’s like when you are riding a bike up a hill and you stand up to get more pedaling power. The bike leans from side to side as you pump, while your body is pretty much straight up and down. On the motorcycle, you can lean the bike over, then apply pressure to the opposite peg to help balance it.

Another thing that helps is to look where you want to go. That’s one of the first things they teach you in the MSF class. And when you are doing u-turns you not only look with your eyes, but you crane your neck around pretty far. For me, I kind of just imagine the line I want to be taking, then look along that line about 20 feet out. In MSF, they say that if you see an obstacle in the road, don’t fixate on it, because you will head right towards it. For u-turns, I use this target fixation to help me guide where I want the bike to go. Kind of neat since it works!

I’ve also read that it helps to “drag” the rear brake as this will supposedly stabilize the bike. I’ve tried this a little bit, but was probably applying too much brake, since I stalled it out a couple times. Hopefully as the rest of the process becomes second-nature, I can add this element into the mix.

I still need to practice (never stop learning!) especially in one key area. I have trouble initiating the turn immediately from a stop. I usually need about five to eight feet of straight line acceleration before throwing it into the lean. In a few videos I’ve seen online, the rider will turn the bars first, then accelerate directly into a tight turn. Looks so easy! Hopefully I can improve in that area. Looking forward to the day that it “clicks” for me!
pharmacy on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/barron/5561824687/”>CL-MAX

I ordered a new helmet to replace my 5-year old HJC CL-14. I really like the CL-14, but it’s getting old and it’s recommended that you buy a new helmet every 3-5 years because the materials degenerate. Not sure how much of that is true but it’s a good excuse to get some new goodies. For the new helmet, I wanted to get a modular. This kind has a chinbar that flips up. It’s kind of convenient in that you can flip it up to talk to people or go into the gas station without having to take the whole helmet off (and reveal your helmet-hair). I’ve had my eye on the Shoei Multitec but they are pretty expensive. I tried on the Schuberth C3 which and it was so nice — super comfortable and slim-looking. The only problem is that it goes for $699.

So I decided to keep with HJC, which is a decent brand and fits my head well. The CL-MAX came down in price (60% off!) so I decided it was time. I went with a silver color to match my bike. I know white is safer but really liked the look of the silver one. The noise level compared to my old CL-14 is less on the whole, but the main difference is that I don’t hear as much low sound from wind turbulence. Most of the noise is higher-pitched which probably comes from the extra seams in the helmet for the flip-up chinbar. This shifting of the noise frequency is good because earplugs should really remove the highs. The padding inside the helmet seems a whole lot better. The ear-pocket is better protected from wind which means less fatigue when riding at 65mph.

Another plus about the CL-MAX is that it uses the same visor latch size as my CL-14. That means I can use my dark smoke shield on it (and save $25).

BTW, I am a firm believer in ATGATT, which stands for “All The Gear, All The Time”. Motorcycle boots, pants, gloves, jacket, and helmet every time I ride. Besides being safer, it’s also a great excuse to get some nice gear!

Headlight Guard

Japanese
Tooku kara mune furuwasu oto ga hibiite kuru
Mushiatsui yami no mukou ga yakete iru
Senkou ga yobisamashita ano natsu no hanabi wo
Kawakaze ga hakonda kayaku no nioi wo
Hito de afureru teibou hagurenai you ni
Majika de mita juugou dama mabataki wo wasureta
Imagoro anata mo dokoka de omoidashiteru no?
Ano hi no koto
Tomodachi ni hiyaka sareta mou natsu no hajime ni wa
Futari shite hana to hoho dake yakete ita
Kawa ni ochiru hanabira ga kieteku magiwa ni
Tateru oto ga setsunakute me o sorasenakatta
Imagoro anata mo dareka to kotoshi no hanabi wo miteru no?
Chitteku kisetsu wo issho ni ikite yukeru hito mitsuketa?
Nokoru kemuri kasumu daisankaku
Shuyaku ubawareta hachigatsu no seiza
Imagoro anata mo dokoka de omoidashiteru no?
Ano natsu no hanabi wo
Kotoshi mo kirei ne ano hi to onaji you ni kagayaku hanatachi
Imagoro anata mo dokoka de chitteku kisetsu wo ikiteru
Imagoro dareka to…

JapaneseTooku kara mune furuwasu oto ga hibiite kuruMushiatsui yami no mukou ga yakete iruSenkou ga yobisamashita ano natsu no hanabi woKawakaze ga hakonda kayaku no nioi wo
Hito de afureru teibou hagurenai you niMajika de mita juugou dama mabataki wo wasureta
Imagoro anata mo dokoka de omoidashiteru no?Ano hi no koto
Tomodachi ni hiyaka sareta mou natsu no hajime ni waFutari shite hana to hoho dake yakete ita
Kawa ni ochiru hanabira ga kieteku magiwa niTateru oto ga setsunakute me o sorasenakatta
Imagoro anata mo dareka to kotoshi no hanabi wo miteru no?Chitteku kisetsu wo issho ni ikite yukeru hito mitsuketa?
Nokoru kemuri kasumu daisankakuShuyaku ubawareta hachigatsu no seiza
Imagoro anata mo dokoka de omoidashiteru no?Ano natsu no hanabi wo
Kotoshi mo kirei ne ano hi to onaji you ni kagayaku hanatachi
Imagoro anata mo dokoka de chitteku kisetsu wo ikiteruImagoro dareka to…
price on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/barron/5376272808/”>Cee Bailey's Headlight Guard

I bought a Cee Bailey’s headlight guard the other day. It’s a simple clear shield that attaches using some really strong 3M velcro. The cost of a new headlight for the BMW is outrageous, dentist so this protection could potentially save me a big expense.

Cee Bailey's Headlight Guard

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