Sunday, June 1, 2008

Prelude II

Ok, I know you're wondering when I'll stop babbling about getting ready and write something worthwhile about the trip..... Be patient; I will when it's time!

Outfitting the bike has been fun, but expensive. Got a Russell Day Rider seat from a guy in Israel. Great seat! Makes all the difference in the world when your bottom is comfortable. My butt is happy now.

Barbacks. Those things that make the handlebars closer to you so you can be more comfortable. Bought one set--rode with them for a while and wanted to try another kind. The first ones simply raised the bars higher. Tried a set that raised them a little and brought them closer to me. Yes, that's better. Can ride a little more straight up, which, for someone with a grumpy neck, is much better. Handlebars are where they are needed now.

Footpegs. While the stock ones aren't bad, I wanted to try some that make my legs be less bent for hours of riding. Got some from a guy who didn't need them anymore and installed them. Legs are happier now; they decreased the bend in my knees by about an inch (doesn't sound like much, but when you're riding 8-10 hours a day, it makes a difference.

Saddlebag liners. Got a set, tried them,but sold them because they took more space than I wanted. Nice to carry clothes into the room without taking the saddlebags off, but not at the expense of space lost. Am now trying big ziplock bags. May be the trick....?

Heated jacket liner. Not knowing what temperature extremes we'll face, I decided a heated liner might bail me out if it got COLD. Bought it during cold weather, and can say that a heated liner is wonderful when it's cold outside. Packs pretty small, too. Will be a good thing to have for cool to cold weather, wherever I may be.

GPS bracket. Bought a new Migsel mounting bracket. Looks great on the bike; really well integrated into the area above the dash. BUT--the dashboard has enough flex in it that I'm worried about breaking the dash on the gravel roads in Alaska. Finally decided on a BMR shelf; it fits over the dashboard and is stabilized by two mounts to the bottom of the dashboard. Will be stable; hope it looks good. Will also help with routing wiring by having something to tie the wires to. Shelf is not here as of 6/1, but should arrive during the week. Should be a 10 minute install plus rerouting the wiring for GPS and other things.

Bought a new phone--a BlackBerry Pearl that I got to try out, but will probably keep. The problem is that it does not connect to the Autocom communications system. So, I've ordered a bluetooth adapter so the phone can connect to the Autocom via bluetooth so I can make and receive phone calls on the fly. I like to stay connected!

Radio. No, not FM, but FRS radio. I have a Motorola that worked fairly well on the Vstrom, but works less well on the RT. Found a deal on BMWST forum for a Kenwood Freetalk FRS radio with an Autocom adapter. It's supposed to be a great radio, and it shipped with an adapter to replace the battery and is powered through the Autocom. No batteries or charger needed. Hopefully Gary and I will be able to hear and be heard on the fly better on this trip. We made it work last year, but sometimes it was spotty. The Kenwood is supposed to do the job.

So, that's it for now. I think the bike is ready except for another service and a new tire. Got a couple of tires at a good price a few weeks ago, and will get the rear installed between now and the 24th. Also need an oil change and valve check. Will do that myself one day when I'm not working. Then, I think the bike will be ready to go

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