Thursday, December 4, 2014

BMW S1000R: Technology Farkles

I'm thinking about a long ride covering a few thousand kms, and I've got some farkles on the brain to satisfy before I splitski.

This time though I'm thinking about updates to technology. I've done long rides before, when I picked up the Ducati back at the start of 2013 I rode from Queensland to Melbourne with nothing but a roll bag and a shit helmet.


Looking back at that ride, I was ill prepared. I had no idea how the bike was even going to be in terms of road-worthiness, I had some clothes, no tools (not that they I could have done much to that bike) and a stupid helmet for such long distance riding (see review on Arai XD4 here) and I relied on pulling over every time I needed to make a decision or check a map on my phone. Now I'm riding the BMW S1R and apart from being brand new, run in and ready for a big ride, I've also adapted it to fit me a bit better (see Adaptation). Here is an overview of one ride I'm looking at to visit my sister in Northern NSW. The technology that is on my mind is mainly, GPS and a bluetooth headset for my helmet lid. No matter which way I carve it up, there are some long boring distances along the way when I'll really appreciate my new found enjoyment of some music on the way. It helps turn the endless chatter into really bad singing. I also remember getting lost on several occasions as I attempted to take the curly way home last time. At one point I think I wound up in pig phucking country which is scary when you are alone and somewhat exposed. I ain't no big tuff guy really and I've seen Wolf Creek and it stil haunts me. So I want GPS, and I want it to work seamlessly with my helmet via bluetooth, which should also sync to my phone which also needs to be charging while I ride, for all this to work over that kind of distance. The solutions I have decided on are:

Garmin Zumo 590LM


Main selling points: USB charger! The Garmin Zumo 590LM comes with a USB charger that solves the phone charging situation while riding with a handy cable that ends in a female USB port. Perfect for hooking up the Nexus 5 while it streams music and directions to my lid.

uclear HBC 100

Main selling points: The way the uClear HBC100 PLUS mounts via adhesive means no messing around with the lid to slide bits in between shells etc. This stopped me mounting the Bauhn version I got at Aldi to my Shoei GT Air. And it's boomless! This means, amazingly, there is no fluffy mic smushed in front of your face. The mics are mounted cleverly in the ear pieces. I took my helmet for a faux fitting at a local store and discovered this makes installation piss easy, and my head still fits without the speakers rubbing up against them to badly.

Ram universal mount


I'll need to secure my phone to the bars so I can charge it on the go, the Ram Mount Universal X-Grip is one the best on market and think for around $50 locally can't be looked past. Last but not least is my desire for an action cam that is yet to be satiated. Until now.

Sena Prism Bluetooth Action Camera

Sena have finally released stock of what I must say looks like a pretty amazing action camera.

It's called the Sena Prism Bluetooth Action Camera (model SCA-M01) and it's incredible for two reasons.

1. Bluetooth recordable audio.
2. 3hr battery life.

To be able to hook all of these technology farkles up to a camera with a decent recording time unlike the GoPro I currently have, would be good enough, but to be able to hook it up to bluetooth headset and use it to record some commentary (or rebirth my interest in MotoVlogging?) is just the icing on the cake. Want!

It also comes with a massive array of attachment options right out of the box. No add-ons necessary you get a bar mount, suction cup mounts, waterproof housing, and of course helmet mount options. It's too early to tell yet if it is 'all that' because it is new and I haven't really been able to find any real user reviews as yet so I sit and wait for now.

I'm also conscious of not being kitted out with the right clothing for long distance touring. This happened because all of my full weather gear (the four seasons type, Goretex) was sold when I traded the Ducati. I couldn't really see myself wearing a full Dainese/Ducati Goretex suit on the BMW (or Dizzy for that matter) so I eBayed it, but never replaced it.

I'm currently sporting an Icon 1000 Beltway Jacket which I love, but isn't waterproof at all. Being resin coated canvass, it wicks water pretty well which mostly keeps you dry unless you are in a down pour that lasts more than 10 or so minutes, then it seeps through to your under clothes and that's it, you're saturated and twice as heavy.

It's not a four seasons jacket, but for short commutes and rides that don't involve wet weather, it's perfect. It's made out of a resin coated canvas with CE approved armour for the back and elbows and it's a long cut, which I prefer, and has a removable winter liner. It's got more pockets than I know what to do with, large zippers and the liner is a wicked blue satin material which sets it all off perfectly imho.

Icon Beltway 1000 Resin Coated motorcycle jacket (mine is black)[/caption] I think I need to at least get a cheap four seasons jacket, just in case, something with a winter liner for up in the mountains where the temperature can drop and into the forest areas, where some rain is most likely. My Red Route Kevlar jeans are farked.

I got them in the UK two years ago and have worn them every day since and they are paper thin, even the Kevlar lining is looking pretty shit. So I'm after a set of new Draggins and I really like the cut and design of the new Razzo.

I found this store in Sydney selling them $50 cheaper than anywhere else so I bit the bullet and ordered a pair after trying them on for size instore elsewhere (cheeky bastard I know). They fit really well without being too hipster, and have a new way of providing protection via the Kevlar liner, which is an inner tube instead of patches of lining attached the jeans. Stay tuned and subscribe for my detailed review on these later. 

This of course, all costs money. And I've just packed in full time work and have no income to speak of. Damn you farkles!

Of course I can do this ride without any of that stuff above. But I don't want to. And the coffers are there, but they have to last me until I get some business plans off the ground and that elusive income coming back in.

Had any experience with any of the technology farkles I'm looking at?

Got any words of wisdom you'd like to impart on the purchasing of shiny things?

Drop your opinion in the comments belooooow.

Until next time, stay upright.