2014-10-21

Subframe Fasteners - Lost & Found

If you find one of the three fasteners that my Versys has spit out of the subframe, kindly return it for a reward.

2014-09-25

The Versys gets new shoes

In the spring I replaced the Conti Motion tires that had come from the previous owner with a set of Continental Trail Attack2 tires, thinking that with the more aggressive tread pattern that I would have more traction on gravel, and as they don't make a 160 width rear I opted to go to 170 on the back. It was a good choice, and I got 15,000km out of them before they started to square off. The front scalloped and squared off, and later at 18,000 instead of tipping into a corner, it dumped into it.

Still, I had enough faith to reorder them from Pete's Superbike in early September, only to find that the rear tire wasn't in stock and wouldn't be until late October, so I cancelled the order and instead went with Michelin Pilot Road 4 tires that just got spooned on today at 39,250km on my odometer.

So far, in a 40 km dry run they've been great, although the handling of the bike will take some getting used to again, for the 160 rear likes to turn in quicker than the 170, so I find myself cornering without needing to lean off the bike whatsoever.

I'll report back later to tell you what I think of them in the wet and over the long haul.

The Continental tires are brilliant in both wet and dry, so much so that I inadvertently power wheelied in the wet with them a couple of times. They are confidence inspiring tires to be sure, until they square off... 

2014-10-08

I rode home in a downpour and the Michelin Pilot Road 4s handled it with aplomb. Under acceleration it felt like I was on dry pavement, and while trail braking into a tight right hander, I got a bit of feedback from the front, as I was braking a bit harder than I should have. No discernible slips, just decent traction that I was expecting from these tires. Cold tires, heavy rainfall, and a confident rider. 

They don't handle Prince Edward Island s wet clay roads as well as I'd like, but I've ridden some heavy mud offroad on dirt bikes, and the Versys managed alright, although I aimed for the dry spots by default. The front slid twice, but the rear had enough traction under throttle to poke on through. 

2014-09-08

The Versys gets turned into a bagger!

I got tired of hauling my gear like this:
Loaded up for moto camping on our way to PEI
About to hit Southwood Road
When I bought my 2001 Suzuki Bandit 600 it came with the racks and a pair of E41 side cases, and those went onto my 2004 Kawasaki KLR as well. 
On my way to Bar Harbor ME
They didn't work quite as well as I'd have liked on the KLR so I set them aside and mounted a Packrat rack and some ammo cans for my Labrador Newfoundland run...


And the Givi cases got set aside when I bought the 2009  Suzuki DR650E as I wanted to go with rough duty racks and pelican cases for the odd 'Oops, I dropped my bike' incidents that I'm prone to while riding off road. BRAPPPPPP! Oops!

The Versys on the other hand, while labelled as an adventure bike, really shouldn't go on any roads that you would hesitate to drive your average Honda civic down. Largely due to suspension, weight, 120/17 front etc. 

So those cases that I spent over $700 dollars on have been sitting idle for a few years, and I really missed them this last trip out to Prince Edward Island, and to the racetrack for the weekend. I made do with soft luggage, but you always worry about your fairings getting ruined by vibration and the friction of the straps riding on your fairings, not to mention the canoe bags conveniently right over top the zippers, and you need rain covers, and a third eye to prevent people from pilfering them while parked.

The Givi E41s are waterproof, lockable and will store two full face helmets per side, and I can always acquire a couple of smaller e21s later on to prevent me from stuffing cement blocks or anchors into my side cases. Extra weight in the bags act like out riggers and work fine on straight ahead riding, but require extra effort to counter steer into a left turn, then counter steer and transition into a right hand turn. So the rule of thumb is keep the weight as light as possible and as low as possible. That being said, I dragged a bag on VT 17 one year on my way back from Cromag '08, an ADVRider rally, and when that bag touched down and I realized that I wasn't going to be able to tighten my line in the corner, I got my @ss over the side of the seat and pretended I was Kenny Roberts and cranked that puppy up and off that road for a wee bit more turn in. Well, they never said it was going to be a perfect setup. ;)

Anyhow, I pulled the pin and ordered the racks in for the Versys from Aviciouscycle on Wednesday at 3pm, and came home today to find them sitting on the porch this afternoon! 

A couple of choice words and a gallon of loctite later... 






You will no doubt notice that I chose not to relocate the turn signals. I really don't care to chop up oem wiring, and think that the bags won't be on the bike long during the season, so I'm not too worried about it.

I now have to colour match the coloured panels or perhaps rattle can them black to match the rest of the case, then I can stick them on anything. 

If you can't tell, I'm a pretty happy camper.