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Old 06-24-2019, 03:15 PM
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Default I think I'm done modifying the motorcycles for touring?

Not everything is installed, not everything is even delivered, but I think I'm done buying crap.

I think my NC750x is pretty much set for travel. Looking at somewhere between a 2500 and a 6500 mile ride this summer. I know that is a big spread. But plans are for Lake Michigan + Lake Superior circle tour. Those two lakes will be roughly 2500 miles. If we continue Eastbound we could pick up some or all of the other Great Lakes and potentially do a full Great Lakes Circle tour. We need to firm up our travel dates. Our goal is for a leisurely ride, roughly 250 miles per day plus some 'tourist' days. So this planned trip is anywhere from 10 to 30 days depending. Our original plan was a mid-August departure but our daughter may return home from San Jose for a long Labor Day weekend, which would force us to 1) cut the trip short or 2) change the departure date. In any case we are flexible.

Here is the Farkle list:
  • Hepco & Becker side and top case racks.
  • Hepco & Becker GOBI side and top boxes.
  • removable luggage bags for the H&B side boxes
  • LED multi-function license plate frame for added visibility (running, stop, turn, plate illumination)
  • Denali LED front facing Aux lights for added visibility
  • Madstadt windshield
  • Ram Mount (lockable type) with 'Quad Lock' iPhone case for navigation
  • Corbin seat
  • Desert Fox 5 liter fuel bladder
  • Dale's Rack* rear seat replacement
  • Gibidi (Cobrra/Nemo2) chain oiler
  • USB outlet in Frunk
  • GoCruise 2 (not sure I actually like it but it is functional, wish I would have purchased the Atlas)
  • Grip Puppies
  • Cramp Buster
  • Replacement brake handle (only because my bike tipped over on my front lawn and broke the OEM brake handle when it hit the grass!)
I did purchase a BEELINE arrow navigation device, but that may or may not arrive anytime soon. It's a Kickstarter gimmick that I wanted to try. If it works it will be a perfect KISS navigation aid. If not then I waisted about $100.

There are plenty of other accessories for travel that were purchased but are not actually part of, or installed on the bike. Things like the Cardo Palktalk Slim headsets that work with the SCENIC navigation software that is installed on the iPhone and will be used for route directions. Also various cable locks, straps, dry bags, etc.


There are many other things that I believe I could add but I'm not sure they would increase actual utility without also increasing weight. I did consider adding engine guards, skid plates, radiator guard, etc but opted against it. Some of the guards would be nice, and if we were taking more gravel roads then I would have added those. The lovely Mrs_Bob really prefers to stay on asphalt so, in a nod to her preferences, skipping the guards that, IN THEORY, will not really be needed for where we plan to ride.

Also purchased real rain gear for the trip. For local rides we don't really need it because we can avoid riding in most rain situations pretty easily. Upgraded all the armor to CE Level 2 in all the riding gear during the process, from knee to elbow to shoulder to back.

Actually purchased pretty much 2 of all the above. The lovely Mrs_Bob and I pretty much got exactly the same small stuff on the bikes. Her's came with GIVI side cases and no top case. She doesn't get the Corbin seat either, didn't want it. Her bike is lowered with a Soupy's lowering link + adjustable kickstand. I also installed LED lights into her GIVI V37 cases instead of installing a multi-function license plate frame. She is not getting a Dale's Rack either since we intend to have the dry bag strapped to my bike for trips. But all the other lights, power ports, windshield, grip parts, etc are identical.



* Dale's Rack is an invention by a Honda dealer who's name is Dale. On the NC750x the fuel access is UNDER the rear seat. He designed a luggage rack that replaces the rear seat + allows access to the fill the fuel while the rack is still loaded with luggage bags. As I am strapping a dry bag over the place where I'd normally have a rear seat, I'm installing a Dale's Rack to allow me to refuel without having to unstrap the luggage.
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Old 06-24-2019, 04:12 PM
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Default Re: I think I'm done modifying the motorcycles for touring?

Sounds like a great trip. When we did the great lakes tour two years ago we aimed to do about 3-4 hour driving days with stops in between. Doing it that way, we covered 5000kms in 3 weeks.

For the gear, sounds like you have it covered. Are you planning on camping along the way or staying in hotels? I can recommend a few places along the north shore of lake superior that have great views and hiking trails. Food for thought, from Duluth Minnesota to sault st marie Ontario, it's an 11 hour drive. There are a couple of spots where it's a 3 hour drive between fuel stops. So extra fuel is a must.

I do hope that you will let me know when you are going through this way. I can play tour guide for a few hours and show you around.

Canadian eh!!!
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Old 06-24-2019, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: I think I'm done modifying the motorcycles for touring?

Originally I’d have guessed we would be passing through there sometime between Aug 15-20 but now my daughter tossed a wrench into travel plans and we have to move dates around. Not sure yet when we will depart but I’d guess we are moving dates up a week, maybe more???
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Old 06-24-2019, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: I think I'm done modifying the motorcycles for touring?

Heck now there is chatter in the house about pushing the dates back with a start date into September.

Stay tuned. I got no f....g clue at this point!

But an early August ride would require mesh gear and a Sept departure could mean cold weather gear so WTH?
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:41 AM
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Default Re: I think I'm done modifying the motorcycles for touring?

A issue being discussed elsewhere brought me back around to this thread. There appears to be no clear conclusion "as of yet anyway" of health care coverage when traveling. To insure coverage in Canada you may need a supplemental policy or rider on your coverage. A person can't be over-insured when they straddle a motorcycle.
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:09 AM
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Default Re: I think I'm done modifying the motorcycles for touring?

Because everyone loves photos...

Here are some photos of the bike. Some are close to finished, some show the finished product.

I posted these in other areas of the forums but as this thread mentioned all the modification it seemed logical to repost some of the pics.

QUAD LOCK phone mount on a RAM MOUNT arm:
One of the better modification I added was the little QUAD LOCK phone holder, which is mounted high near the center of the windshield above the instrument cluster. It is not for telephone use, but rather for use as as a navigation tool. I don't have a dedicated $500 motorcycle GPS system. But I do have a free iPhone app with some inexpensive detailed maps downloaded to the app. It works OFFLINE so I don't need cell service. The Quad Lock system in fast and secure. I bought their phone case, which is good, not great. But the case securely locks the phone onto the mount on the motorcycle. I mounted the Quad Lock to a standard Ram Mount arm, which let me position the phone just below my natural line of sight but still within my field of view. I don't have to take my eyes off the road and look down to my handlebars (where most of the mounts put the phone/sat nav units)

BTW the big knob on the RAM MOUNT is actually a lock. They sell a standard version, but have a special order version with a lock. With the standard version anyone can walk up to anything with a RAM MOUNT, grab the knob and twist it, the adjustable arm, and whatever is attached to that arm will come right off. Seemed like a bad idea to me to have something that insecure on a motorcycle so I special ordered the locking version.

Corbin custom seat:
My butt was hurting after 30 to 40 minutes of riding. 60 minutes of riding and I'd have to crawl off the bike. I'm not convinced it was the stock Honda seat that was 100% the problem but it was a good bit of the problem. Ordered a custom seat from Corbin. There are other custom seat companies but Corbin seems to have a good reputation for comfort and that was my goal. World of difference! I did have 1 issue the new seat didn't address. The stock Honda seat slopes forward. The new Corbin also slopes forward. Owners regularly do a minor modification that lifts the front of the Honda seat to reduce the slope. I did about a 1/4" of shim under the front of the Corbin and its pretty much perfect.

Madstadt touring windshields:
Both bikes got these. They are different sizes, as they sell them based on the height of the rider. Mine is 2" taller than the one I installed on the lovely Mrs_Bob's NC700x. In hot weather these things work too well! They offer so much protection that you actually get hot while riding on hot days. Yesterday I did 2 test rides since all the "mods" to both bikes are now completed. First ride was about 60 miles on my bike. Pulled into the garage, switched to her bike and took off again on another 60 mile loop. I was amazed how much more airflow I was getting on her bike. These bikes are dimensionally identical but she has a windshield that is 2" shorter. It was 97 and humid and I got enough airflow on her bike that I was not sweating but on my bike I was warm. So these windshields actually work great, maybe too good on really hot days!!!

Soupy's Adjustable lowering link:
Her bike only. These bikes are tall. Almost 33" to the seat. If you don't have a 33" inseam you have to "tip toe" the bike at stops, it makes it hard to back the bike out of parking spots (especially on an incline), etc. So we dropped the front end about 1" and the rear end about 2" on the Lovely Mrs_Bob's bike and she is now much more comfortable at stops! Without this modification I think we would have been unable to make this trip with this particular motorcycle.

LED auxiliary lighting (various brands)
1 - Front white lights are expensive DENALI brand "DRL" lights. They are unfocused LED lights that are designed to make the bike visible. And they do a damn good job of that. The light spread is 180 degrees, they make the bike visible from the SIDE and from the front. Worth the roughly $150 they cost.
2 - ADMORE brand lights in her Givi V35 side cases. These lights are designed specifically for these side cases, which come stock with reflectors integrated into the design. An hour of work and the reflectors are replaced with nice bright lights to increase her visibility from the rear.
3 - CUSTOM DYNAMICS multifunction license plate frame on the rear of mine. Not a big fan of this thing. It adds a bit, but its not all that bright. Technically it has all the legal lighting I need for the rear of the bike, but just barely. I added it to increase my visibility. It might help a bit.
4 - Cheap LED strip lights on my Hepco & Becker cargo boxes. I think they add a lot of visibility to the bike by spreading the lights out to the far right and left sides of the bike. Well worth the cost if they hold up to the weather.
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:42 AM
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Default Re: I think I'm done modifying the motorcycles for touring?

Have you taken any lengthy rides yet on the Corbin?

I wasn't crazy about the stock seats on my Victory Kingpin.
I found some gently used Ultimate seats for my Suzuki, and they are by far the best seat I've ever experienced on a bike.
Unfortunately, the Ultimate seat people decided not to dabble in Victory much, and don't make a seat for mine.

So, I went with what looked like a very nice corbin. ($1300) ouch!

Corbin says a seat needs to have support to be a good seat.
Somewhere along the line, they forgot about cush.
They said to give it about 2000 miles to "break in".
I'm not there yet, but I'm afraid this seat will never be really comfortable.
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:18 AM
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Default Re: I think I'm done modifying the motorcycles for touring?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bannedjoe View Post
Have you taken any lengthy rides yet on the Corbin?
I have about 600-650 miles on the Corbin.

Longest ride was just over 200 miles in one day with a stop for lunch. That was before I shimmed the front of the saddle up about 1/4" higher.

The Corbin is amazingly more comfortable than the stock seat. It is firm. But I think the riding position of the bike is part of the reason my butt hurts in the stock seat. The Corbin allows me to sit back against the front lip of the rear seat (which is now the front lip of a metal cargo rack). It is also wider and has a bit of a scoop shape versus the stock seat's 2x4 lumber shape!

Prior to the Corbin I would literally be in pain at 50 miles and virtually crawl off the bike. At the end of the 200 mile ride I was walking normally. Did a quick 60 miles yesterday with zero discomfort. Not saying the Corbin is perfect or the most comfortable seat on the market, just saying it is so much better that I'm happy with it. If the break in period makes it more comfortable then maybe I'll start falling asleep while riding!

I'd like to try a set of drop pegs to see if they make my seating position even more comfortable but as we are leaving next weekend I don't have time to get a set, install them, and give them a proper test.
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Old 07-14-2019, 04:46 PM
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Default Re: I think I'm done modifying the motorcycles for touring?

Another 115 miles (round trip) in the Corbin today.

90's and humid. I wear full gear. ATGATT. I'll admit it was too hot, even with the mesh gear and fully opened vents.

My butt cheeks are a bit tender at the moment. I should have stopped but the sky is looking ugly and storms are predicted for this afternoon. I wanted to get home without getting wet. Made it. Climbing off the bike after that little trip with the stock Honda seat would have required a crane and hospital bed. But honestly with the Corbin I may have a mildly tender bottom but the rest of my body is not also in pain. Seems like the stock Honda seat would leave not only my butt very sore but my body temporarily crippled.
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Old 07-14-2019, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: I think I'm done modifying the motorcycles for touring?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melensdad View Post
Another 115 miles (round trip) in the Corbin today.

90's and humid. I wear full gear. ATGATT. I'll admit it was too hot, even with the mesh gear and fully opened vents.

My butt cheeks are a bit tender at the moment. I should have stopped but the sky is looking ugly and storms are predicted for this afternoon. I wanted to get home without getting wet. Made it. Climbing off the bike after that little trip with the stock Honda seat would have required a crane and hospital bed. But honestly with the Corbin I may have a mildly tender bottom but the rest of my body is not also in pain. Seems like the stock Honda seat would leave not only my butt very sore but my body temporarily crippled.
I have 110 right now.
Very reluctant to ride this time of year.
I believe in gear too, but even completely nekkid, it would still be too hot.
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: I think I'm done modifying the motorcycles for touring?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bannedjoe View Post
I have 110 right now.
Very reluctant to ride this time of year.
I believe in gear too, but even completely nekkid, it would still be too hot.
Honestly I was looking for side roads with big trees that cast shade over the road because they were cooler than riding in the sun. Lots of bikes out on the roads today. I was the only one fully suited; maybe 3 or 4 others had a helmet. Most wore short sleeve t-shirts, no helmets, and just regular blue jeans.

After a nice ride, in weather like this, its hard to justify full gear.

But I wear the gear for my family. Saw a guy killed on a bike when I was a kid. A helmet would have saved his head. A mesh jacket with armor would have saved his back, shoulders and elbows. A woman in a Jeep Compass almost hit me today. She decided she wanted to change lanes, but I was right next to her. I literally yelled at her through her front passenger side window. It was in a small city downtown, we were probably going 5 mph at the time. It would have hurt.
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: I think I'm done modifying the motorcycles for touring?

That's what scares me about getting back on a bike. It's not me or the bike. It's the other drivers who don't pay attention. You know....because answering that text message or phone call is more important than the person riding a motorcycle in the lane next to you.

Canadian eh!!!
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:01 PM
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Default Re: I think I'm done modifying the motorcycles for touring?

Yup. I have all sorts of lights on the bikes to make them more visible but nothing other than a whoopie cushion would have woken her up until I shouted through her window
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:08 PM
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Default Re: I think I'm done modifying the motorcycles for touring?

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Yup. I have all sorts of lights on the bikes to make them more visible but nothing other than a whoopie cushion would have woken her up until I shouted through her window
Did you forget to add a horn to your ride?
If her radio was up or headphones on a yell could confuse but a horn will be quicker and get your message across faster.
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: I think I'm done modifying the motorcycles for touring?

I was riding without any audio in my helmet so I could hear things around me. I did not hear a loud radio, I didn't see headphones on her head. I think she was just oblivious to the world.

I shouted through her window because it was faster to do that than to reach for the horn button.
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:30 PM
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Default Re: I think I'm done modifying the motorcycles for touring?

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I was riding without any audio in my helmet so I could hear things around me. I did not hear a loud radio, I didn't see headphones on her head. I think she was just oblivious to the world.

I shouted through her window because it was faster to do that than to reach for the horn button.
I kinda guessed that but couldn't resist razzin ya a little. You are smart, so I'm sure you'd do the best action for the situation.
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Old 07-16-2019, 10:07 AM
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Default Re: I think I'm done modifying the motorcycles for touring?

CHAIN OILERS:

I specifically avoided any oiler that required an electrical or vacuum connection to my motorcycle. So this avoidance eliminated quite a few options. I like to Keep It Simple Stupid because I'm pretty much an idiot. So the KISS method works for me.

Basic mechanical systems include Loobman, NEMO 2, Tutoro and there is a wind powered unit that I mention, but opted to avoid because there is no filter on the air intake tube.

I bought 2 of the NEMO 2 units. Specifically the Gidibi version. There is a Cobrra version. They look the 99.9% identical except for the logo. Both are machined out of aluminum. I believe these would survive a crash.

The Gidibi version is $20 cheaper. The Gibidi version comes in a plain cardboard box, no instructions.
The Cobrra version comes in a fancy full color box and has instructions inside.

Gidibi version is available in several anodized colors, including Grey, Black, Blue, Gold and Red.
Cobrra version is available in any color you want, as long as you only want BLACK.

I ordered the Gidibi versions in BLACK but I received GREY. I installed the grey units because I wanted these installed on our bikes before leaving for a big trip and I didn't have time to ship them back and get replacement units. They grey color is attractive, doesn't really stick out or draw attention, I'm fine with it, but I still would have preferred black.

There are lots of YouTube videos on how to use and install the Cobrra units. There is even a YouTube video of an install on an NC700x. The Gidibi version, being a clone, installs and works the same way.

I know the Cobrra version was designed in Slovakia; no clue where it is actually made. I'm betting the Gidibi version is made in Asia.

Both come with the oiler unit, 2 O-rings (1 is a spare), hose, handful of zip ties (assorted sizes), 1 spare pressure seal to connect the hose to the oiler unit, 2 aluminum hose guides w/adhesive tape on the back, 1 adjustable guide used to aim the hose onto the chain/sprocket. Honestly I don't know why they provided the extra pressure seal unit. I appreciate the extra O-ring. The cap is screwed down to the unit body, which is also the oil reservoir. The O-ring keeps the oil from running out of the treaded cap under pressure. Doubt the O-ring will fail, but it might be possible to lose so its nice they provide an extra O-ring.

Install time was approximately 20-30 minutes (each).

To fill the reservoir the units need to be level. So you need to find a spot on the bike that is easy to level. The NEMO 2 does not have to be level to operate, but it does need to be level to fill it with oil. I installed them on the right side of the handlebars using the top brake fluid reservoir screw to hold them in place. It did require that I insert 1 washer as a spacer so the unit would not come in contact with, and scratch down the face of brake fluid reservoir. An install video suggested that 2 were needed. I suspect that the thickness of the washers used in that video was thinner than the washer I used? In any case, you will likely need a spacer if you install in the position.

Using some inexpensive BAR & CHAIN OIL from the local Tractor Supply, same oil I use for my chainsaws, I filled the units, primed them, and let them sit overnight. No oil drips on the floor the next day.

The American distributor for the Cobrra version suggests that a 1/4 turn is all that is needed when starting out in the morning. Another 1/4 turn late-morning/mid-day, and another 1/4 turn sometime mid-afternoon. Each 1/4 turn apparently dispenses oil for only a few minutes, at least according to his video. I've seen other reports suggesting that a 1/2 turn used 2x per day on trips worked well too.

I took off on 2 successive test rides, about 50 miles each bike. In each case I did a 1/4 turn and pulled out of the driveway, rode for a few miles and stopped to check to see that I had oil dispensing and also to see if it was dispensing where I wanted it dispensed. Had to make a minor adjustment to one of the bikes as I had set the dispensing tube slightly off. Ultimately in both cases I'd say NEMO 2 was successfully dispensing oil exactly where I wanted it to go and it was doing what it is designed to do.

Bar & Chain oil is fairly thick stuff. Designed to stick to the bar of a fast moving chainsaw. Figured it would be good for a motorcycle chain/sprocket too. After the test ride I looked for splatter. Didn't see anything that was new. I've taken both bikes out on follow up rides and have used the NEMO 2 oiler each time. After each ride I looked for oil splatter and did not find it. I'm convinced they work because I inspected them to insure they were dispensing oil. I'm convinced they don't over-oil.

Downside of the NEMO 2 ==> it is manual. Requires a human to spin the knob.
Upsides of the NEMO 2 ==> machined aluminum, very nicely made, idiot proof, works, simple, durable

Honestly I'd also be happy with the more slightly expensive Tuturo unit. I looked at those too. They were out of stock. NEMO 2 was in stock. Made my choice a bit easier. Tuturo is mostly plastic. Nemo 2 is machined alumium. Tururo is automatic. Nemo 2 is manually operated. I'd say take your pick, but I would always worry about breaking the plastic reservoir on the Tuturo, especially on gravel roads, not so much on pavement. We have a lot of gravel in my area, your situation may be different. If you want to lube your chain constantly, the Tuturo might be better. If you think its OK to lube your chain periodically then the NEMO 2 is going to work.



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Old 07-16-2019, 11:15 AM
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Default Re: I think I'm done modifying the motorcycles for touring?

Awesome review Bob. I learned a little something.
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Default Re: I think I'm done modifying the motorcycles for touring?

Atlas throttle locks are now installed on both motorcycles.

The Atlas was my 1st choice in throttle locks (simple mechanical cruise control) but I was talked into wasting money and buying GoCruise2 throttle locks. Big mistake. Wasted my money on those. The attraction to the the GoCruise2 is it is cheap but well made. It works, sort of.

Atlas units cost 4x the price of the GoCruise2 so based on the recommendations I bought 2 of the GoCruise units and figured I just saved a bundle of cash. Turns out I was so dissatisfied with GoCruise2 that I spent $$$ on buying both. Anyone want a GoCruise2 throttle lock? Cheap!

Atlas allows manual over ride of the throttle lock by simply twisting the throttle to either slow or speed up the bike
Top button engages
Bottom button disengages




Testing Postimage.org for some of my images. It seems to be simple and seems to work. Should help get images up to the internet while we are on the trip.

Above image was posted from Postimage. I had previously used a mixture of direct uploads and Photobucket. Photobucket won't even let me sign in, not even after password recovery. I upgraded to their BETA version, big mistake. Don't do it. Just change to a different service if you are a current 'free' Photobucket user.
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Old 08-01-2019, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: I think I'm done modifying the motorcycles for touring?

And we had a modification failure today.

The lovely Mrs_Bob's bike is lowered. Used a Soupy's adjustable lowering link and then teamed that up with the Soupy's adjustable kickstand. The kickstand has an aluminum foot extension that is screwed into the billet kickstand. That snapped off. Right at the top of the threads. So its firmly embedded into the threaded hole. Kickstand is useable but its just inconvenient.

I could use an EZOut to remove the broken bit if I was at home, then thread the part of the extension (which I saved) and screw it back in. But I'm not at home. And I'm not planning to do that. I still have the original kickstand. My plan, after we get home, is to measure the length of the Soupy's kickstand as it is currently the correct length. Then cut out a section of the original kickstand and weld it back together. The original is a better design. The Soupy's design makes sense because it is designed to be adjustable, but I believe cutting down the original is the best solution.

If you look close you can see the damage the Soupy’s stand is doing to the asphalt. There is now a pop can under the kickstand.

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