13 March 2007

Bits and Pieces

Tyres? What do to do for the best? Stay with Tourances? Move to a more road oriented tyre like the Bridgestone BT020 or Michelin Pilot-Road? I called Watling Tyres in Catford and the Tourances are much the cheapest option, RIRO (ride in ride out) is about £180. The guy there wasn’t as excited about moving to the road tyres though and wouldn’t recommend the road tyres at all.

I have had BT020’s before and have to say that I hardly noticed any difference and the longevity didn’t really pay for itself. You can work out a pence per mile rate for your tyres and from my rough numbers, 020’s were more expensive for little added benefit.

Still confused, I had a look on UKGSer to see and they have a few informative FAQ threads but still not that conclusive. Looks like I’ll stick with the Tourances this time! Rather than ride all the way up to Catford I can get them done at the Maidstone branch.

MoT? Booked for Saturday morning at Alford Brothers in Folkestone. Apart from the tyres (sorted above!) everything seems to be working okay. No matter how well maintained the bike (or car) is there is always that niggle in the back of the mind that it will fail.
A couple of years ago, the horn decided not to work. It worked as I tooted it on the way, it even worked outside but once in the workshop it failed. I rode away with the fail in my pocket, cursing the luck of it when a kid skateboarded across. My thumb jabbed the button and it worked. Still cursing the kid, I arced round the traffic island and back to Alford's and they past it. Touchwood it hasn’t gone wrong since…. Touchwood.

Nippy-Norman Extra Lights?
I’ve had them for about two year and they have worked for the best part of perhaps 2 weeks. Firstly, the relay they supplied as part of the kit destructed, fell to pieces with the strains of sitting in a foam bed under the seat on the bike. Neil “Steptoe” Harrison fitted a new one when he did a few other jobs and all was marvellous for a week or two and then phut!
On the dark sectio of the A16 near Grande Synthe, I pressed the autoswitch... “Let there be extra light”, and there was no extra light. Pile of sh*t.
I'll no doubt need them on the Welsh National Rally so need to get in contact with Steptoe when he gets back from his trip leading some GSers to Morocco in April.

Luggage? I have been looking at luggage solutions again. For any length of trip away the BMW System Panniers don’t hold enough. I’ve looked at a variety of “Plastic” alternatives and none really look the part. The problem being the exhaust pushes the left pannier outwards. So the solution would be a larger one on the right and a smaller one on the left. Then you just have to look at Touratech’s Zega Boxes. Popular, post-free at the moment within Germany and they work out at about £410 inc fittings. If I can get them sent to a friend in Germany he can send them across on the truck for nothing and I can save a few bob. I've been checking all the usual places to see if I can get a secondhand set, but at the moment there's nothing to be had on EBAY or on the GS websites.

Planning continues…

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