In this week's show, Ray talked us through his insurance win, we have another look
I often see people on the internet asking about different accessories and gear. What luggage are people using? What phone mount are people using? How often do I need to lube my chain?
Well, here are my top 5 accessories to put on your bike, to make life easier, and stuff I can't live without.
It doesn't matter if you're a commuter or a weekend warrior. Sooner or later, you're going to need to carry more than just you. So here are my top picks for luggage. The trick to luggage is, you need to be able to put it on easily, and take it off easily. Even better if it's modular, meaning you only take what you need, you don't have to carry 100 liters of luggage space if you're only using 20 liters. So, to that end, I have a couple of luggage solutions depending on what I'm doing with the bike.
If I'm commuting, I prefer to carry a tail pack. Such as the Ventura EVO rack system. it's super easy to install, and pretty solid. Plus they make a rack for almost every bike under the sun. the Ventura Evo system is also pretty good for touring when I'm not planning on getting off-road or riding any rough terrain.
The EVO system is 3 main parts, the L-brackets that bolt to your bike, the EVO carrier, which is generic to all bikes, and the pack which goes on the EVO carrier/rack. There are 3 pack sizes, and I like that they're easy to get on and off. There's a 60L, a 22L, and a 12L. the one downside to the Ventura system is these are not waterproof packs, so it's best to look at waterproof bag liners. If its going to be wet, put your items in a waterproof inner bag, then chuck these in the Ventura pack. If you try to waterproof the whole Ventura pack, you're going to run into issues, and eventually, end up with water inside your luggage.
If I'm going on an overnight road trip, I usually like to do some gravel or tougher riding, so keeping the weight spread out and lower on the bike is a good idea. In this care, I use the Kriega system, I have a couple of OS-12 packs, which are roll-top waterproof bags. I also have a Kriega US-20. The best part of the Kriega system is there are hooks and loops everywhere, it's all modular so you can add or take away packs as you need. I can attach the OS-12s to the OS-base or the sides of the US-20, they can go as panniers, or strap the whole lot down to the pillion seat, I can even attach the OS-12s to the crash bars to move the weight forward on the bike.
I also have the Kriega T18 backpack, which is very handy as it has a locking mechanism between the 2 shoulder straps which locks across your chest and moves the weight away from your shoulders. It's rather good for wearing all day or just a 20-minute ride.
4. Quadlock Phone mount
Whether it's for navigation, tracking, or just so you can see it. I like to mount my mobile phone on the bars in front of me. The best system I've used to date is the Quadlock.
It's a mount that clamps to the bars, the accessory bar, the mirror stem, or pretty much anywhere else you want, then you put your phone in the Quadlock case which has a socket on the back, and it locks in place. There's also a vibration dampener that stops your expensive smartphone's delicate camera sensors from being killed by the high-frequency vibrations of a motorcycle.
My phone has done about 40,000km of gravel and seal, and it's never come off. It's pretty good.
3. Outback Motortek Crash Bars and Skid plate
This one just makes sense to me, if you're taking the best part of $18,000 worth of motorcycle to rough terrain, you best protect it.
The crash bars have saved my bike from about 5 drops, all mostly low-speed tip-overs. The Skidplate is absolutely a must-have, each successful fend is heralded by a loud gong as if to say "yep, got that one!"
The bars were about a 40 minutes install, and although they do add some weight, I would rather have them there to save the fairings, than look for the weight savings.
2. Scottoiler - Automatic chain lubricating system.
I've been running the Scottoiler X-System 2.0 since I got my Tenere 700, and it's saved me so much time in chain maintenance. It's also a very easy install. It took me about 20 minutes to get all plumbed in, and once you work out your desired flowrate, all you have to do is check the oil level every few weeks and top it up if it's low. The Scottoiler senses when the bike is running and dispences oil to the rear sprocket. This works to remove grime and lubricate the chain. Scottoiler says this system could as much as double the life span of your chain and sprockets. So far I've done around 30,000 kilometers and it's working well. No extra cleaning or lubricating of the chain is required.
I'm so often stuck doing long stretches of highway, and I get so bored. So I have the Cardo Packtalk Bold installed on my helmet. It allows me to listen to music, talk with riding buddies, and hear turn-by-turn navigation. Not to mention voice commands and virtual assistant control of my smartphone. I would not be without my Cardo. There are 2 JBL speakers inside the padding of the helmet, and a small microphone on the helmet's chin bar. it's all pretty well integrated and hidden. I've had conversations with people on the phone while riding at 100kph and they don't even know I'm on the bike, thanks to Cardo's sophisticated noise-canceling technology.
So, there you have it, My top 5 items for road trips, or commuting that I simply couldn't live without. All of these items are available from your local motorcycle parts retailer, and if they cant get them in for you, a simple Google will have you sorted.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me, and we will get you on the right track. - [email protected]