The first thing I should add is a taller screen. On my ride this evening (2023.05.21) I noticed considerable wind noise above ~45mph. Ducking down behind the small windshield reduced the noise considerably, so I guess I need to get a slightly larger screen.
Frankly that is probably all I would change about the bike itself for road use, but I also want to do some basic adventure riding, and that means adding some more parts to the bike.
Off Road Riding
I am not planning anything fancy here but I do now own an Adventure bike so I should take myself on some off-road adventures. Maybe some logging trails or some dirt/gravel roads. There are a few around here and I should give them a try. So what should I add to the bike for this?
There are a variety of hand guards available but I think I will get the kawasaki hand guards.
Add a Skid Plate & Engine Bars
Some of the gravel roads might have bigger bits of gravel and we don’t want the exhaust to be damaged.
Add a Tool kit.
I will need to carry a tool kit and at the moment all I can think that I will need are 8, 10 & 12 mm spanners and a screwdriver. Might also need a spare spark plug, and maybe a tire changing/repair kit.
Replace the Tires?
The bike came with Trail Winner 100/90-19 M/C on the front and 130/80-17M/C on the back. These are 70/30 on/off road tires so most likely perfect for what I need. At this time I see no need to replace them.
And I think that is all I need to do to the bike to improve my on road experience and help it survive some off road riding. As I make these changes I will detail each change with a blog post.
I recently picket up this little best. It's is a Gerber Gear 30-001691 Key Note Compact Keychain Knife. It has a one Inch blade, and as you can see comes in my favorite color, black. Now this is a little chunky for a keychain knife, I am not sure I want this on the zipper of my anorak.
The blade is nominally 1" but as you can see from the pic it is a little irregular in shape however it has 2 cutting edges and really feels more like chisel than a knife. For cutting up boxes, opening Amazon packages and other types of packages, it works really well, and is very sharp right out of the box.
I like the knife and it is a good addition to my collection, but I am not sure where this would fit in real life. Maybe hooked to a pack or belt as a last ditch emergency knife perhaps but even then, there are better options. Good solid knife though.
Today is memorial day so I get the day off. After a ride out on the wife's trike for breakfast, I decided to go on a solo ride to add some miles to the Versys-X in order to get it broken in. I live in northern Colorado and I had noticed some twisty roads near where I live so I figured I would explore them.
Now at the moment I do not have a mount for my phone (I have a Quad lock on order) so I figured out my route using Google maps and off I went. Of course my memory failed me and I ended up going down roads I had no intention of going down, and missing the roads I was supposed to take.
This ended up with me heading up in elevation as I headed into the mountains, on my way to Nederland, which is sort of out there. It got a bit cold up in the mountains; as I increased in elevation the temperature dropped. I felt it because I was wearing my summer jacket, which was certainly suitable for my starting location, but was a little breezy for the higher elevations.
Clutching my new motorcycle endorsement in my hand, it was time to go and purchase a bike. But what to buy? There are so many choices!
Over the past few months I have spent time in most of the local bike dealers in the Northern Colorado area, sitting on bikes and considering what to get. I did briefly consider another sport bike as that is what I am most familiar with but having completed the bike training, I know my reactions and eyesight are not what they used to be, so lets leave the sport bikes in the past where they belong.
I did look at cruisers, especially the Kawasaki Vulcan 650 and the Indian Scouts. I also took a look at some of the triumphs and BMWs. Very nice all of them. But the conclusion I came to was this; in my first year of riding I will just be getting back into it, relearning and honing skills I had let atrophy. Therefore the ideal solution seemed to be a mid capacity adventure bike.
The choice for me came down to either the BMW G310GS or the Kawasaki Versys-x 300. Both excellent bikes and I was lucky enough to ride both almost back to back.
Part 3: Testing Time
Pre Course Online Training
- Slalom in and out of the cones
- The U Turn
- Emergency stop
- Sharp turn from stationary
Part 2: Shopping & The Testing Process
- Shoei RF1400 Helmet
- Read Tasker Waterproof Boots
- Alpinestars C-1 V2 Windstopper Gloves
- Street & Steel Mission Moto Shirt