Category bike stuff

tractionator GPS, from motoz

I was supposed to finish a series of posts, one a day, but the next one is a monster, 44 images so far, so I’ll sneak this one in instead and finish it tomorrow.

In a radical step, I mounted a pair of Tractionator GPS’s in Windhoek. They’re a 50/50 tire. I’ve ridden with countless TKC/Heidenau pairs, and various others, but circumstances are pretty specific for the next 8000K to the next tire stop in Nairobi, which is how long I need these to last. A TKC front wouldn’t make it. Plus I’m expecting lots of rain and garbage-on-pavement, so the Heidenau won’t work there either.

I don’t know anyone who has tried these for very long distance riding. But I did some research. If I’ve got it wrong, I have a time consuming problem ahead. The question is, how well do they perform in the various circumstances, despite good reviews, which we’ll find out.

Not very knobby, ouch

And I’m not fond of the solid strip on the rear

But they have some characteristics that appeal to me. Because I may be wrong, I’ll keep my rationale to myself until a tire report here. I’m tracking mileage carefully, so will get back to you after the first 4000K

things that are less than 5 years old, and a movie

So, as promised last night, here are a couple of things on the bike that are newer and cool. The pics are dark just now because it’s dark outside

Grip Puppies. Lessen vibration and are a great fit if your hand is larger than average. Really nice. I added them in Melbourne. On Amazon: grips

Yikes a bad shot below. There’s a group of high-end seat makers. Most make for cruisers, sport bikes and stuff. Two make for enduros and dirt bikes. Do your own research, the whole subject is so controversial it’s like trying to have a conversation with a KTM owner: going nowhere. Renazco Racing are the most expensive and are generally accepted to be a firmer seat. I changed over from stock when I went back from Malaysia. I get very sore still, but never in pain. A truly great seat

But what would be really cool is one of Renazco’s suede-topped seats, if you don’t see much rain. Go here: renazco

As promised, so here’s the 40 second movie of another Myanmar woman, but this time working with a machine to make sugarcane liquid at a sugarcane bar. Easy to loose your hands/arms here. Hipsters at the end of the clip

I had coconut instead and she whacked away

In Kohima there are 2 future problems which can be not problems, even if it all goes wrong. The delay due to rain has boxed me in for Christmas, maybe, but we have a good alternate and my excellent son-in-law (only one so far) would approve.

It’s 95% Christian here. People are coming in from the villages to get what they need for Christmas dinner, etc.

Without fridges, it’s sold live and the streets are alive with squawking birds, and hacking heads off later is a Naga tradition

Non-bike adventure tomorrow

Heidenau K60, drifting

I need my GPS for something (not ride related) tomorrow (you’ll see) and noticed this on my track history. I was in an email chat 2 weeks ago with Tom D, Tom F and Tom R, who are all better riders than me, but not Tom H, who doesn’t ride) and was blithering again about the Heidenau K60 rear tire.

Below, in Kohima festival madness, the road had a side slope, the traffic was stop-and-go, and the road was wet from the uphill side.

The black dots are the same time intervals (you can see me blast way from the slow spot). I’m sliding downhill, drifting across the road almost at a standstill, completely lost grip at 3 mph. The traffic was slow enough to stop while I somehow stayed upright (hard to do when the rear is on ice) and and eased my way forward. Crazy

Close up

This happens with this tire when there’s new water over dirty pavement, everytime.

So why go through the scares? Because the K60 is the best (rear, but not front) tire when you want a combination of great wear, decent dirt handling and all-around robustness, specially if you have a powerful bike and the next possible new tire is 1000’s of k’s away.

bike notes

So far since returning:

1 The new 15% bigger oil cooler borrowed from the HP2 megamoto seems to be doing the trick. We’re running one bar lower on the gauge. Haven’t had the ultimate test yet, hours of gridlock in 36C, but we’re optimistic.

2 Very happy to have mounted the TKC 80 front tire, despite the long haul to its replacement. Its been tested as we shoot off onto the sand and rubble for the last few days due to endless road construction.

3 The suspension tuning is awesome.

4 The new lighting switches have slightly compromised my old 3 X 680ml water bottle home. We didn’t think that would be a big deal, with other options, but the other options have turned out to suck a bit. So we may relocate them when we bump into an electrical guy at some point ahead.

5 I don’t know exactly what Alexmoto did when he worked on the shifter and gearbox, but for an agricultural setup, it’s silk.

bike lights

We replaced the whole headlight system. The world has changed in 5 years. But this is pretty radical, running with pure Clearwaters on a (being used for ADV) ADV bike

Four lights there. 3 Darlas and 1 Erica. Total 12,000+ lumin. A car equipped with Halogens might produce 2800, a more expensive car with HID or LED around 6000 lumin. Clearwater lights are the state of the art. Made in America.

The controls are on this small dash, above a stock gauge and off my cluttered bar

There’s a thumb switch (out of shot) that turns all 3 Darla’s on. The switch above turns the Erica on. The top right dial brightens/dims the Erica, the bottom the 3 Darlas.

I haven’t ridden them in the dark yet. Report to follow.

These were the Darla side lights we installed in Melbourne, back on a night ride before Bandung, Java. Indonesia is tied for best country so far

Now we’re heading out again, the above photo reminds me of something. My below route (in green) from East Timor to Medan, Sumatra, maybe the best ride, the perfect combination of complicated and rewarding. Maybe a small-scale rehearsal for India