Saturday, January 10, 2015

Touracrap farkles

The Touratech store emailed me yesterday to advise that my ordered farkles had arrived. I was all excited today as I went to pick up my new shit: a seat, rear brake master cylinder guard, pivoting rear brake pedal tip, and a countershaft sprocket guard. 

A couple of hours later, I lugged the box of goodies into the garage to see how the the pieces would fit. As soon as I tried to fit the seat, I knew there was a problem... I didn't force it, rather, I just tried to line up the pin at the front to check the alignment. I was being very gentle and trying to see if the slotted hole in the plastic seat pan was actually lining up with the pin that it slides into. Before I knew it, the fucking thing cracked and a chunk of the plastic seat pan broke off. Jeezus Fucking H. Christ!!!  The thing is definitely defective as I absolutely did not force it. Fucking plastic snapped like a soda cracker. I took a photo and emailed the dude I had been dealing with at Touratech. We'll see what they have to say but I'm pretty certain they'll say I applied too much pressure or something. I'll have to MacGyver my own fix.

The Touratech seat is taller in the middle/forward part, but narrower 
in the rear compared to the Seat Concepts. While I do find the 
Seat Concepts to be more comfortable than the OEM seat, I made 
the really stupid mistake of getting the entire seat cover in the fake 
carbon vinyl option, which is slippery as fuck. I previously had 
Seat Concepts' products on my WR250R and my DR650, and I went 
with the "gripper top" vinyl both previous times. Not sure why I didn't 
go that route with the 690, I guess I thought the faux-carbon look 
might be cool. I've hated this slippery seat since the day I installed it.

SeatConcepts super-lubed slippery vinyl seat on the left. Touracrap 
on the right.The Touratech is a full 1" narrower at the rear. 
Not cool if you have a fat ass. Lengthwise, it's also 
about 1/2" shorter for some reason. 

Here's the plastic that broke way up at the front where it 
slides into the front pin.  Grrr... This shit makes me mad.
I traded a testicle for this fucking thing.

The guard for the rear brake master cylinder

Pivoting rear brake pedal. I didn't buy it for the trick pivoting mechanism, 
rather, it's just beefier than the flimsy OEM piece and it was reasonably inexpensive.

Countershaft sprocket chain guard


The pivoting mechanism

Yes, it pivots.

I need to spend a few minutes to see if I can slide the master cylinder 
forward a little while preserving the position of the brake pedal.  No doubt, 
I'll need to re-adjust the pedal position. I ran out of time but will 
investigate further tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Canary Islands riding

The wife and kids and I spent Christmas on Gran Canaria, the main island of the Spanish "Canary Islands" -- which is just off the coast of Southern Morocco. We got a great deal on a last minute package deal for 9 days. It was nice to get away from the cool, damp, gray and gloomy weather of Berlin in December. Nothing but sunshine and warm temperatures -- not hot, but definitely nice enough for shorts and a t-shirt. We hung out at the beach (water was a little cool) but the sun was very warm.

My wife was nice enough to let me disappear on a rented motorcycle for a two days. I went out for a 5-6 hour ride for each of the two days. The bike was a 2006 Yamaha TTR600. With it's air cooled, carbureted single cylinder engine and smooth gearbox, it was low-tech but reliable and bullet-proof: a perfect bike for exploring the narrow and winding mountain roads, and dirt trails that snaked over and around the rugged landscape. The cost was €125 for two days, including a jacket, gloves & helmet. Quite reasonable and I had not made a reservation, rather, I just walked in off the street and picked up the bike with no advance notice.

Both days, I left the resort/hotel by 8am and made it back by mid-afternoon to enjoy a cold beer on the balcony before heading to the beach. How awesome is that? The only thing missing was a few riding buddies.

I made sure to also do some fun stuff with the family, too: go-karting, dolphin watching, camel rides, trekking over the sand dunes, and we also rented a car for two days and explored some nearby villages and popular sites.