Battery worries?

As the MT10 has been up on stands since March due to the plague, I was initially worried about the battery as I rarely leave the bike unridden for long and if I do, the battery is disconnected.
The MT10 has a great little gadget I installed when picking up the bike from Apexmoto. It has made checking the battery crazy easy. A bluetooth battery monitor.
I walk past the bike almost every day but rarely carry the keys for it and only enjoy unwrapping the mummy-like cover if it’s gonna be ridden or wrenched on. So, walking by and accessing battery condition via an app on the phone is a mere 10 second chore.
It’s got plenty of data and functions on hand too. Big favourite is the alarm for preset battery levels. Thankfully, I’ve not had them go off yet. But in the three times I’ve gone to wrench on the bike, the app readings have matched the bike’s voltmeter. 👍
This had for an interesting and simple stress reliever I hope will keep on doing so for many years. And as it is simple, seems durable and waterproof, it ought to do so. I’ll report back on it again at a later as to this.

Only needed a screw driver and the keys to fit that one. 👍

Will keep adding here as the boots break-in.

March 2020 @320km

I’ve only done a few hundred kms in my Travel Stars so far.

The toe box is vast. I’m usually a 42/43 and as many said they ran large, I went 42. Should’ve gone 41 or even 40.
However, the ankle is tight. And extremely inflexible. Had to adjust the shifter a lot to accommodate the change. I’m expecting that to free up as boots do.
Quality is superb.
The arced zippier performed better with a bit of wax but that curve is not to my liking when zipping up or down. Supposed to make it comfier long term though.
Speaking of comfy, they are indeed that.

@2000km now.

Very happy with them so far. Rode home in torrential rain and spray laden traffic for about 90km/90minutes and still had bone dry hooves. Couldn’t say the same for the rest of me.
The water that poured in the top from fjording a submerged road earlier in the day also dissipated within a few hours.

Been hunting a good summer base layer shirt for years. Prefering one of the long sleeve variety, to limit sticky arms and random arm hair pulling 😦 , it really narrowed down the choices. Had to breathe exceptionally well, wick away sweat, dry quickly, resist stinking and look n fit half decent even after several washes. Oh yeah, and not require special treatment at cleaning time which should be rarely 😉

It seemed most offerings were for drier climates and not hot and humid summers. Some were cheap and performed well FOR THE PRICE. Others were expensive and expected to be treated as such.

Recently, I’ve been lucky enough to try out Mont-bell’s long sleeve ZEO-LINE lightweight cool mesh offering. It works!

Ridden in temps between 22 and 38deg C it performed as hoped. It flowed plenty of air on the move, wicked well and continues to hold these qualities and it’s shape after several washes. It dries remarkably quickly too.

Added bonus was that it never felt too warm or cool. It just kept me in a comfy zone. I’ve been wearing it under a textile mesh jacket with no shirts or extra layers and from cool mornings in the mountains to middle of the day roasting heat, it deos well.

The only drawback is that I bought black which draws the sun and with its open weave, a fair amount gets through which at a standstill, like when loitering around at drink breaks and such, I get HOT. All’s good in the shade though.

Don’t let the hiking garb fool you. It works for riders too 👍

It looks a little thick but is very lightweight due to the open weave.

There’s that open weave. Can see the lighter colour of my lilly white arms through the thinner areas.

And the tissue test to show how open it is. Can definitely see the tissue through the fabric.

Surprisingly, even when the temps dropped off quickly, I never got a chill or felt cold. It creates a decent layer of temp stability. Probably due to the thickness.

The price isn’t uniqlo time sale cheap and it certainly isn’t platinum card premium either.

Here’s what Mont-bell has to say about the tech that makes this shirt work.

SCORECARD

Function 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Durability 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 (still early days)

Form 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Price 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 (I’m stingy)

Does what it says 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Now to find something matching my lower half…

This is the top of the line model with all the factory options. A little odd looking but everything has a place and a function. What shall we call it?…

A techno wonder on the electronics front. ABS, semi-active suspension, angle-sensitive traction control and cruise control. Many gadgets to keep you out of all sorts of trouble. It really ought to be called…

Super Safety Bike is quite the companion. A true mutant wonder! It makes giants of meager mortals that’s for sure. Indeed, it’s level of safetiness is quite puctifying!

Surprisingly torquey! The sauerkraut/sausage lovechild is lower geared than an RR and very flexible on/off throttle. Gotta love the off throttle burbling farts too 😀

Goes like a missile! About as much wind protection too! 150+ hp of modern acceleration trying to relocate your head between your shoulderblades is more than enough to fight without the speed generated wind thrown in. I may get used to it or a may get shorter or thinner and more streamlined like a bird…mmm…


I’ll have all you know that I’m a safety rider these days. I just received my gold licence. Yes, no infringements for three plus years! And to prove it, I’ve decided to celebrate this auspicious occasion by taking a very safe bike for a ride for a couple of days!

1st date is in the dark and everything other than the looks of the illuminating bits is impressive. Oh, and the turning circle sucks but it sure is a pussy-cat around town. Let’s see how I feel when I wake up in the morning :p


Let’s Ride

Day 1

Rainy 4am start for the Super Safety Bike. It wasn’t complaining because it enjoys safety challenges.

Seems Super Safety Bike isn’t so popular with the hyperguys at the service areas 😦

After some hard slog through Chuo rain Super Safety Bike brought me in for some refreshments. Just to be safe n all.

So, thought I’d knick inside for a bite… Fried chicken in ramen at 7am. Pure gold after 30minutes in driving rain.

And then there were four. No apocalypse to be had but we let the tarmac in the twisties know that we were there 😉

The valleys and their snaking roads brought out the best in Super Safety Bike!

Finally made it to base were Tony took some great photos. Cheers T.

We mosied on up the hill for a soak in the hot springs and a good feed.

On the way back we stumbled upon a vixen of the night!

With a magic hand…

Super Safety Bike posted a most safe average speed 🙂

Day 2

Starting the day and the jockeys were on the ball and the weather was a chilly 14deg but fine and promising for a good day out.
Super Safety Bike was still on the out with the cool bikes.

… still looking for friends…if it stopped running away so fast, it might collect some 😉

Mid morning of the 2nd day and the road warriors gathered for drinks. Super Safety Bike is starting to make some friends.

Heading up to Amo Touge, showing its less hideous side, it is an attractive ride.

By the end of the day, Super Safety Bike had found some friends willing to look past its hideous bean and enjoyed a great run through the nether regions of Japan.

How will it go returning to the urban rental riders it usually pairs with?… Good luck Super Safety Bike. You are a phenomenal machine and a quite unexpected king maker.


Oh yeah, the meat in the sandwich!

Cons:

Wind protection sucks.

Tight bend for the knees compared to say an MT10 or SuperDukeR.

Bit too efficient. Feels like it leaves some feeling out of the braking equation. A shame as it has remarkable stopping precision straight up or leaned over.

Virtually no storage or real estate for bags.

A face that only a mother could love. Oh, and that udder (exhaust box)!

Pros

Ease of use. Really is remote control lightning!

Blistering acceleration.

Stable braking. Though lacks finger on the fishing line type feel.

Great looking standard wheels.

The active suspension is wondrous. Switch for intended use. No tools or notebooks!

🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 4/5

Could I live with one? You bet.

Could I live with it as my only bike? Probably not as I tend to carry the kitchen sink touring.

My Streetgaurd 3 jacket is entering it’s 3rd season, just got a new fat YKK Aquaguard main zipper and needed a good clean and rejuvination of it’s water-repelling capabilities.

Having had great success with Nikwax’s glove treatment, actually the cream type for gloves and saddles where grip is necessary, it was only logical to try out their solution for jackets too. For garments, Nikwax has a different approach from the glove treatment. It’s a 2-stage approach utilizing a prewash then DWR application. The prewash is actually best done after a couple of regular washes as it is specifically for removing residual detergents and dirt that may compromise the DWR coating allowing water to seep by the barrier. tech washTex_Direct_Spray_RepelSo, what did I use?

TECH WASH for the prewash. It is just like using a typical detergent. Nothing special there. No softener, bleach or anything extra. Just wash. It’s supposed to clean thoroughly without leaving any detergent behind to compromise the 2nd stage water-proofing treatment.

Next, the TX DIRECT Spray-on. There are 2 options for the TX DIRECT, wash-in and spray-on. As my jacket has Schoeller’s c-change membrane which has climate-control characteristics, I chose to only apply the TX Direct Spray-on to the outer shell and avoid possibly compromising the c-change membrane by coating the inner as well, as the wash-in supposed to do. However, Nikwax does state the wash-in is fine for Gore-tex and similar products.

Applying TX Direct – Having been advised to apply the TX Direct while the jacket was still wet/damp, I applied the first coat soon after washing it. A few hours later, while still damp, I applied another coat to the front, shoulders and arms. Then, the next morning applied a 3rd coat to the arms. Why the multi-coats? Well, the wind and debris pounding the arms, shoulders and front can quickly wear down or damage the DWR. Hopefully, the multi-coats will give it a better chance. * Note: Best wear eye and breathing protection when applying. It has a smell and sticks leaving a slick yet dry residue. No warnings on the label but it’s better not to feel or smell that. I thought so after the first application and went long-sleeves, goggles and dust mask.

Long Term Test – Ok, so how well does it work? Now @6000km old and still going strong. The back still beads the water. The rest of the shell doesn’t leak or weep and breathes just as well as it did prior to the treatment. Haven’t cleaned or maintained it at all in that time either.

Verdict – Double thumbs up. Only off point is the smell for the initial few hundred kms.

 

Having been through 4 chains in 120,000km before switching to the 520 chain on the FZ1, I’d endured some trials and tribulations of chain maintenance and in the process gained some understanding of what was and wasn’t working. Mostly, it wasn’t working.

Starting out with spay on yamilube which worked well but didn’t last long, I tried many off the shelf products both cheap and expensive and inevitably some rather controversial solutions such as dry-carbon, motor-oil and wd40, all of which failed the long distance touring test. Incidentally, a  long distance touring test is a days riding of either 600+km of often dusty backroad twisties or 1000+km of highspeed expressway hauling.

After a near endless search, I finally settled on Kure Super Chain Saver which stayed on the chain, kept the chain quiet, survived rain, didn’t attract too much dirt or accumulate gunk and hung around on the chain for long periods between lubes. Great on the long distance touring challenge. But, relatively minor as it was, it still had fling even though I applied it on a hot chain at the end of every lengthy ride as advised. And the molybdenum component which lubricated and stuck so well worked the same on hands or clothes unfortunately. Also, from an aesthetic point of view, it left a grey sheen to the chain which kept it from ever looking clean and well kept. But as chain saver, it was the best of the bunch.

After trying so many canned solutions, it was time to try a different approach!

So, I was on the hunt for something that:

  • Protects the chain
  • Stays on the chain
  • Resists accumulating dust or gunk
  • Requires minimum maintenance
  • Keeps the chain looking good
  • Is inexpensive

Considering the above, I decided to give an automated chain oiler a try. Could be the next step!

The Solution

Due to them being around for a loooong time and with good online reviews, I went for the Scottoiler.

Their latest and greatest is e-system which, quoting Scottoiler’s site, is ‘ the most advanced motorcycle chain maintenance tool we have ever developed.’

Basically, it seep-feeds oil to the rear sprocket where it is forced out onto the chain under centrifugal force. The feed is electronically controlled and manually adjustable via a lit control panel which is to be mounted in an easily seen and accessible area. Using a 3-axis accelerometer, it senses the vibration of the bike running and wakes from sleep illuminating the screen and then sensing motion it begins the feed. Previous units required connections to vacuum lines to achieve feed and had no on-the-fly adjustability.

Installation

Installation was straightforward and made easy with ALL required parts in the box including oil line retention clips to keep the line flush and stealthy with attachment surfaces. Priming the oil took a while but went to plan as the supplied blue lubricant crawled its way down the feed line.

Testing

I’ve had it out on several rides for a total of just over 600km on a variety of riding from highspeed to tight dusty backroads. It has kept the chain rollers shiny and clean and not missed a beat. It did weep from the sprocket feeder after the first three rides leaving a smaller drip pool each time. Since the fourth ride, there’s been no sign of the weep. The whole system seems well thought out and put together and has hung together looking the same as when installed.

4000km UPDATE: Still working great. Chain is always looking lubed, no tight or stretch spots to report yet and chain stretch has also been very minor. I only needed to draw the axle back once since new and only around 3mm. It also looks good and an added bonus is the chain stays quiet No dry rattles.

Summary

So, back to those original points. Does it:

  • Protect the chain? – So far, so good.
  • Stays on the chain? – So far, so good.
  • Resists accumulating dust or gunk? – So far, so good.
  • Requires minimum maintenance? – Zero so far. But will require topping up every 2-3,000km.
  • Keeps the chain looking good? – So far, so good.
  • Is inexpensive? – Well, after the initial investment, it should prove cheaper to run with long intervals between applications and relatively simple-cheap lube for refills.

So, I’m giving this a big thumbs up for now and will revisit the review at 10,000km with updates after putting to the test on further touring challenges.

The feeder set between 6 and 7 o’clock on the sprocket as instructed.

Side-mounted the reservoir out of the way under the seat for easy refilling and fed the line for the breather into a dead-space in the rear cowling.

Big glove friendly buttons for on the fly operation. Angled the screen at 90deg so the bright blue wouldn’t blind at night.

Those first few weeps

Been through a LOT of socks and found plenty that fit well, were comfy and didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Some did cost a bunch and some just didn’t fit right. One thing they all had in common was that they didn’t accomplish the task of wicking away sweat when things got active. Why’s that so important? Well, no one likes soggy socks and prune toes, right? But more importantly for us bikers who usually wear sealed up boots and submit them to typhoon force winds, wet socks can mean freezing or boiling feet depending on the season. The goal here is to have a layer against the skin that pulls the moisture away and keeps a dry insulating barrier over the skin to assist the skin’s natural heat regulation. Actually, merino wool did pretty well at the wicking and insulating but special washing needs, fit and longevity of that fit was lacking, unfortunately.
Prowling around a big Mont Bell store several weeks ago, I stumbled upon their Wikron socks and thought I’d give them ago. With an acrylic 69%, nylon 19%,  polyester 11%, wool 8% and polyurethane 1% construction I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’d had limited success with synthetics previously.  However, after several rides from several to 32hours and a lot of sofa time  :biggrin: , I’m sold! No prune toes or frozen to numb digits and they fit well and have continued to do so after 10 in-with-the-rest machine washes.


I chose the 5 toe socks as I’ve worn nothing else since a rabid case of SE Asian athletes-foot several years ago and they are comfy and breathable. Also, I always wear a Goretex lined boot on long or wet rides to keep the wet out. Goretex is a breathable membrane and typically has a [i]very thin[/i]  wicking protective inner layer. For comfort we need something between our skin and that thin protective layer. Keeping a wicking layer between the skin and the Goretex liner is necessary to continue the transition of water vapour(sweat) from skin through to the pores of the Goretex do let it do it’s thing.

Well, there you have it. Give them a go if you suffer from cold feet or prune toes.

btw – I have nothing to do with Mont Bell other than lurking around there ooo ing and aah ing from time to time  :later: