28 June 2012

Don't Do Stupid Things ...

Last weekend I did something really stupid. My Tiger needed some chain maintenance and I thought, hey, I could just lift the rear of the ground by pulling the bike onto the side stand. Normally that works just find and I have done super tight turning around with that technique, but this time ... it didn't work.

I pulled, something crunched in my back and the next thing I know was me lying on the floor with the worst pain I ever had in my lower back. I couldn't move, couldn't sit, couldn't stand, couldn't walk. Damn it - why did I just do this. Somehow I got into the house, on the bed, Andrea got me two ice packs and pillows for under the legs ... half an hour later I slowly made my way into a hot bath trying to relax the totally locked up back muscles.

Man, that was bad - I took pain killers until Tuesday to get halfway through, though it was steadily getting better and I was even in the office right on Monday. Today I still feel pain when doing certain moves or when trying to lift anything heavy. Nevertheless, somehow my back recovered unbelievably fast for what it felt like on Sunday. I thought I had damaged a disk, or a vertebrae or something like that. For now, I hope to be mostly okay again for the weekend. No sports though, maybe a long walk, but no hike. Want to get back on the bike.

GPS Relocation and Tool Storage

After I installed the Touratech Tankbag on my little Tiger 800 and also tilted the Palmer windshield differently, I ended up with my GPS interfering with either one or the other as it was mounted on the left side of the handle bar, right next to the controls and was moving too much back and forth and sticking out too high in its mount.

Not a problem though, I added a different RAM mount (Did I mention that I love RAM mounts?) to the handle bar clamp and everything is golden again:

Handle Bar Clamp RAM Mount for GPS

This worked out to be really great as it moves the GPS also in a better position for me. I now have the choice of a center mounted or a slightly left mounted GPS (the speedo is still visible, it's just the camera angle):

Center Mounted GPS

Left Mounted GPS

Overall, I really like the GPS there as it doesn't move around as much anymore and doesn't get plastered in bugs after a longer ride ...

The other thing that bugged me for a while was my heavy tool roll which I was carrying around in my topcase as the OEM tools of the Tiger are just as bad a joke as the BMW ones. In the topcase the tool roll was a 2kg heavy item on the loose as I rarely have much else in there and I absolutely didn't like the thing in there all the time.

Now, the Tiger has some space under the passenger seat where you can put the OEM Triumph U-Lock. I've never used a U-Lock on a bike and I'm not going to, therefore that space could be modified to take my tools. I cut out the plastic holders for the lock to create a more open space and voila, here it is:

Kriega Tool Roll Under the Rear Seat

This tool roll has pretty much everything I might need when on the road - I need to optimize just a bit more towards the Tiger, it's still a bit BMW biased, but I also might need it for Andrea's BMW F650GS, therefore I can't take too much out. But I might still be able to optimize slightly. Here's a not too good photo of the contents, I will save a full list of items and better photos for a separate entry.

Tool Roll Contents

It fits perfectly together with a small rag in that space under the seat, is in a position where I can't bang around anymore and where the weight is way better positioned than high up and all the way to the rear inside the topcase.

One of the next tasks will be to get the 12V power cable I have for the GPS and the Touratech cradle mated with a Powerlet plug and I can drive my GPS right from the socket next to the ignition key. I can already do this with a RAM cradle I have for the GPS and a full Powerlet cable but I actually like the Touratech cradle so will probably continue to use that one and adapt the cable to the Tiger.

23 June 2012

Tiger Farkles - Again

Over the last few months I did a few small things to the Tiger - mainly installed a different windshield that doesn't bang my head around as badly as the OEM shield. I contemplated several routes, mostly the adjustable screens from Madstad and Palmer and in the end decided to get the Palmer as it looked a bit more solidly mounted and was also looking a little be less bad. I don't the looks of either very much but the results are really not bad.

Here's a photo of the bike of the new windshield:

Palmer Windshield and Touratech Tankbag

I'm fairly happy with the windshield right now, but it might not be the end for this topic.

As you can also see in the photo above, I bought a Touratech (Kahedo) tank bag. And as you will also certainly remember I absolutely hate Touratech USA. I'm kind of okay with Touratech Germany though (I just wish they had a reasonable "foreign shop policy") and therefore, when I was in Germany last week I bought this bag there.

The result: I paid just a bit more than half of the US price in Germany.

The tank bag is very high quality, solidly made, made in Germany by Kahedo. It's a midsize bag that doesn't get in the way when I'm on the bike but still has a decent and usable size, it's also expandable another ~ 10cm or so, has two side pockets, a little bungee on the rear for stuffing gloves or so while at a stop, a good sized handle and a map pocket that can actually be used for a map. The map pocket is attached by velcro and I can easily take it off, the bag itself is attached with two straps in the front that can stay on the bike all the time and a velcro patch that is attached to the tank with an adhesive patch and for stable attachment is hooked around the edge of the tank under the seat. It works great so far and seems very usable. On and off in about 10 seconds, no straps hanging around, nothing around the tank opening that gets in the way when filling the tank. So far so good, real world experience and review to follow.

Here are some more photos:

Please ignore the little bit weird colors in the photos. I accidentally shot them with the white balance set to "Tungsten" and then corrected later as good as possible in Aperture as I was plain to lazy to get the bike out again ... 

What Happened To The Blog?

As you might have noticed, I have not been updating the blog in quite a while. So what happened?

There are a few reasons, why I didn't write much:

  1. Time. I was super busy at work in the last months. We had (and still have) a lot of work for upcoming releases and I was plain exhausted and didn't want to spend time writing here when had already spend many hours staring at the computer screen.
  2. We've been spending a lot of time on the weekends in preparation for our planned Grand Canyon hike. That was canceled for some reasons I don't want to get into though, but let me tell you: it took a lot of time. We were out hiking pretty a lot and testing gear, and shopping, and planning, and so on. 
  3. I wasn't in the mood to write. Since I got the Tiger 800 in March I only rode it about 1200 miles - that's nothing for me and I'm not very happy about this. I was plain too busy. Hopefully this will get better over the next weeks / months.
  4. As I said a while ago here, I was looking into options to move the blog to a different provide. I looked at several, mainly Wordpress, TypePad, and Squarespace. I even paid for a Squarespace account as I needed more time evaluating it. Short summary: I haven't found anything that does what I wanted it to do. Squarespace isn't bad, but just plain not there yet.
Other than that - I'll do my best to get back to writing up some stuff that happened in the last months and write more regularly again.