Thursday, March 16, 2017

Klim Forecast gloves and Klim Inversion jacket

Bought some new Klim gear.  

After seeing The Rolling Hobo with these gloves last fall, I knew I had to buy my own. The Klim Forecast overglove is a bad weather overglove that you wear over your regular gloves.  My everyday riding gloves for spring, summer, and milder fall weather are a pair of Held Sambia textile gloves with a kangaroo leather palm. I really like these for general use, and I have a size 10 (Large).  The Klim Forecast gloves are a split-finger (a.k.a. lobster claw) design, made of a very high quality gore-tex material. Super light, waterproof, windproof and all the rest, with a grippy rubber palm. They are super easy to pack in  your tank bag, back pack, or whatever luggage you have on your bike. I ordered a size XXL, and they fit quite easily over my size 10 (L) Held gloves. 

I will learn to carry these new Klim gloves with me all the time: warm weather, cold weather, dry or wet. When the weather turns to shit, I'll be ready. These are an awesome piece of gear. Expensive as hell, but awesome. Sometimes, you just have to forget about the silly price tag and buy something because it's an awesome product.

I also bought this Klim Inversion jacket. It was marked down about 40% because an updated version was released a few months ago, and this is the old version.  Not really a moto-jacket, but more of a casual jacket. I wear it all the time in Berlin's spring weather. Mornings have been a few degrees above freezing, and it warms up nicely during the day this time of year (not quite t-shirt weather yet) and I'm fine with a light shirt underneath.  I ride my bicycle to work most days and if I start to feel warm, opening the air vents works very well. 

Windstopper, 4-way stretchy fabric, under-arm ventilation zippers, front chest pockets also flow lots of air. Not waterproof, but definitely water resistant. I've worn it in some light rain/drizzle and the water just beads off. Not sure how it would fare in a major downpour.  

Verdict: top quality jacket, super functional, looks and fits great.  I'm 5'11" and 190 lbs, and the size L is a fantastic fit.  

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Ghetto brake pedal repair

Bent my brake pedal all out of shape in a minor crash last fall. Bending it back into shape after the crash seemed to have created a couple of small hairline cracks in the marshmallow-soft metal. My fear was that I might jam the brakes on quickly and snap it off.

Yes, I could replace the pedal with an OEM part for about €70, or upgrade to the beefy Rally Raid pedal or the one made by CleanSpeed Racing. Those are both nice pieces. But the damage didn't look too serious, and I think a sturdy repair job may do the trick.

For less than the price of a latte, I bought a long piece of aluminum flat bar, and scrounged some machine bolts and nylock nuts. I spent about 15 minutes to cut the flat bar, then bend and shape it to piggy back alongside the original piece. After drilling three holes for some nuts and bolts, the test fit seemed to be quite strong. I slopped a bunch of JB Weld all over it and let it cure for a day. Definitely stronger than the original piece now.

In case you're wondering, that's a Touratech spring loaded folding tip.

Better than new.

Poland - Forest Trails

Way back at the end of October, I went for a weekend ride into the southwest part of Poland with Jussi (a.k.a. The Rolling Hobo). Great weekend of riding forest roads, easy terrain, and an all around fun weekend. A few photos from our mini-adventure:

Making Starbucks instant coffee with a camp stove.

An abandoned military base building

We saw 4 or 5 of these buildings.
They were used to manufacture munitions

Took a minor spill and folded up my rear brake pedal, 
and buggered up my shoulder a little.

The next few photos were taken by Jussi:

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Photo Op - Berlin Landmarks

Been meaning to take a couple of photos of the bike parked in front of some famous Berlin landmarks.

Got up early on Sunday morning and beat the tourists to a couple places for a quick photo op.

 Brandenburg Gate

Berlin Victory Column

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

O'Fallon Bike Week - Sept 2-11, 2016

It's taken me a month to post this, mostly because I had nearly a thousand photos to sort.  I had the most amazing time with a bunch of great buddies in St. Louis. Friends from Ottawa trailered my Versys 650 for me, so I was able to fly in from Berlin and ride my own bike. How awesome is that?

Side trips to Springfield, Illinois, and Memphis, Tennessee. Plus a day ride to Bixby, Missouri and back. Plus, we hit several bike shops, and bike and car museums. A full schedule, it was.

This was a really fun time. Too much eating and drinking, but a really fun time.

Here's the whole gang, dressed in our official 
O'Fallon Bike Week t-shirts

Garage full of bikes and toys.

Good dinner with good friends

Chester loves the attention when a large group of friends 
descend on the Hughes residence

Paul picked up Frank's rent-a-Harley

Springfield Mile Flat Track race 

Flat track racing is probably the most exciting kind of racing to watch.

Check out the spectacular finish of the main event...
even if you just watch the last minute, beginning at the 39-minute mark.
What a super race.

Sean had absolutely no problem keeping up with 
the brisk pace of the bikes on the twisty rural roads to Bixby, MO.

Paul's Diavel... what a beast. And it handles way better than you'd think. 
The power delivery is addictive.

Russ' GS.

John's ST - a gentleman's machine. Smooth as silk.

Brent's Buell is a hoot to ride. Superb suspension.

Jason's new GS is a really awesome package:  fast AND comfy.

Brent's new do.

The other Paul's Concourse -- a very quick machine for such a big girl, 
and she sounds awesome with that Two Brother's slip-on

Memphis, TN

Memphis is known for it's blues, and ribs.

Earl the Pearl -- top notch entertainment.

Memphis souvenir shops are filled with stupid t-shirts

The Sensation Band
Holy shit, these guys are awesome. 
We partied with them until the wee hours of the morning.
Didn't feel so well in the morning.

Sabretooth big-foot Frank-squatch emerges from the pool.

Paul doesn't like getting his hair wet so he wears a plastic shower cap when it rains.

More ribs, this time in St. Louis.

Early-eighties arcade game

Ridden by the Ambiguously Gay Duo ??

Our awesome hosts

The party bus had to stop for a bathroom break and 
to buy more beer enroute to the Cardinal's game

our private party room

Taking turns on the stripper pole

Someone is farting in Paul's mouth.