Outdoor Motorbike Cover – BMW GS Adventure

Outdoor Motorbike Cover

Outdoor Motorcycle Cover for a BMW GS Adventure Motorcycle: Review

Finding an indoor or outdoor motorbike cover which will fit a BMW GS Adventure motorcycle or just a BMW GS is very hard work in my opinion. Particularly when you are buying an XL motorcycle cover off the shelf in the hope that it will cover the extent of your large bike, its top box, any additional panniers and its mirrors. It just won’t work usually.

So recently I have found an excellent quality motorbike cover for my new BMW GS Adventure and it is by far the best I have ever found for an adventure motorcycle. It was via Prestige Motorcycle Covers which I found one Saturday when I was looking through the web. I went for a black and green design which you can see in the post image.

www.prestigemotorbikecovers.co.uk

They seem to provide the most stylish custom made semi-fitted  outdoor motorbike covers you can buy on the market today, plus they are available for a range of motorbikes: Scooters, Adventure, Enduro, Trial, Trail, Retro, Cruisers & Sports Bikes.

What happens with them is you provide them with 5 measurements for your bike, you then select the colour (10 to choose from) and material you want and then they tailor make a motorcycle cover specific for your bike (indoor or outdoor) and then they send it to you in the post free of charge.

The material they use is waterproof and breathable, the design of the motorcycle cover means you have additional straps within the design so you can stop any flapping, it is a snug fit, plus the quality of the end product means that it will last for a long time.

Unfortunately my bike sits on the pavement every night as we don’t have a garage and it has to survive the UK winter and lots of salty sea air. So the new outdoor motorcycle cover means it is well covered during the day and night, it is out of sight, it is protected from the elements and it doesn’t draw any attention to it.

In the past I have had covers which only just go over the top box at the back but the cover never seemed to stretch further past the seat. So you were squeezing a cover on, it wasn’t doing the job and if you buy a universal large motorcycle cover off the shelf I’m sorry but you aren’t getting something which fits well for your motorbike.

The cost was very reasonable too. You are paying about £20-£30 more for the cover compared to other suppliers of off the shelf products, but you are guaranteed a quality motorcycle cover from a professional team. In total I paid £80 for something which was custom made and I am very happy, knowing that this motorcycle cover will look after the BMW GS for years to come.

Here are the details for Prestige Motorbike Covers:
www.prestigemotorbikecovers.co.uk

They can be contacted on 0191 284 6498

Review: Starcom 1, Helmet Intercom- Get your Freak On

Review: Starcom 1, Helmet Intercom- Get your Freak On

Thanks to a very informative and patient man called Tim at Calgary Sport Touring Nick and I finally have an intercom system that works effortlessly.

Tim is exactly the kind of person I like to do business with: he asked lots of questions about what we have, what we thought wasn’t working and why; he let me rabbit on with all my theories and things we had tried and together we decided what would be the best set up for us.

We left the UK with a starcom1 advance system. Nick had a moulded earpiece and a mic for a full face helmet and I had the same mic but speakers in my helmet. None of this worked very well at all. Also relevant is that Nick’s helmet is an Arai Tour-X3 and mine is a Shoei X3-1100; both described as full face. Nick has a moulded ear piece, I don’t.

What were the problems?

  • Nick had occasional interference that obviously actually hurt.
  • Most of the time all I could hear was wind amplified and fed directly to my ears.
  • Music? Even turning off the vox (voice cut off) completely which stopped the wind cutting it out, in order to get the volume right so it wasn’t deafening Nick I could just hear the music vaguely in the background.

We stopped bothering with it.

Part of the problem is that Nick’s helmet is styled more like a motorcross one so there is a massive gap between the outer shell and his mouth (not sure how else to describe that) which means that the mic being stuck in the helmet is open to the wind; mine isn’t that much better.

I phoned Tim with the idea of ordering us some boom mic. He was concerned that they might not fit in the helmets very well and we started talking about the Starcom1 digital. Tim obviously rides a motorcycle. He also rides a motorcycle with his wife riding pillion. He and I were able to discuss all the ups and downs of the setup and after a bit of counting pennies I decided to go with his recommendation and replace the whole thing.

That was the right decision. The starcom1 digital gives you much more control so you can fiddle with setup for rider and passenger separately, and it is clever enough to deal with the external noise; the boom mics fit perfectly in both helmets.

Thank you Tim for all your help and advice!

Our new problems?

Well, I can’t yawn noisily any more because Nick tells me off, I am not allowed to sing and I have to try really hard to keep still when we are listening to music – not the worst set of problems to have!

Camping with Chefs – A sign of things to come?

Camping with Chefs

Eating like Kings and Queens – Motorcycle Indulgence.

Last week we were very very lucky because Ivanka and I went camping with friends and we were treated to one of the best BBQ’s possibly ever…! It was a busy bank holiday weekend in East Sussex, close to Bodian near to Camber Sands. It was a sun kissed weekend and just what we needed… A break from work and a chance to try out all of our kit!

Equipped with our new Trangia stove, a fully loaded GS Adventure and everything we would be taking on the Alaska trip, we sat as spectators as our ‘chef friends’ entertained us with some culinary delights as we picked up camp fire cooking ‘top tips’ from one of the leading restaurants on the South Coast.

A big thank you to Rob and Vic Shenton from Due South and Chris Williams from Brighton City College and Brighton’s Pop Up Restaurant. Here is what was on the menu – very different to the usual sausages!

Day 1

Black Sea Breem, Lobster cocktail, garlic bread

Day 2

Shoulder of lamb and baked Camembert.

Now we feel totally prepared for camping on an open fire, improvising with the ingredients we have available and making more of all the different types of ingredients we will come across along the way.

This weekend was also a landmark one for Nick as he picked his motorbike up off the ground for the first time.

In the past there was always the can I/ can’t i lift my bike up off the ground as it is 250kg without luggage? Anyway, having listened to a few opinions and watched a few You Tube videos I managed to lift it up unassisted – which means that should I need to on the big trip then I am fully prepared.

Much easier than I thought – Phew!

Watch this space as we look to talk about all the food we will be eating along the way and posting them on this Brighton website – RestaurantsBrighton.co.uk

‘Adventure Motorcycling’ – What to take.

‘Adventure Motorcycling’ – What to take.

This is an ‘Adventure Touring’ Motorcycle Wish List featuring all the essentials and desirables that we need for the ‘Big Trip’.

This basically means that, with four months to go we need to start ticking things off the list and decide which kit it is worth taking and which isn’t. On an adventure motorcycling trip like this, space is everything and we have been told so many times that ‘less is more’. Here are the items which still need reviewing. The list incorporates everything from technology to cooking equipment and first aid kits and guide books. I researched most of the items through the Horizons Unlimited website.

  • Larger touring paniers – either Touratech of Metal Mule hard luggage. Possible other soft luggage options.
  • Carnets, IDP (International Diving Permit), Freight Fowarding assistance – Perhaps James Cargo.
  • Health Insurance and Motorcycle Insurance.
  • Medical kit.
  • Route planning guide books – Central, South, North America. Plus Spanish phrase book.
  • Camping Equipment. Already have great Taranaja kit. Need better fuel burner which burns petrol.
  • Need to review what type of food we will use and carry.
  • UHF radio?
  • Vaccinations
  • Spares so I can carry out my own servicing: oil/ fuel and air filters. Spare cables. Wire and duct tape.
  • Extras like bulbs, fuses, puncture repair, jubilee clips, bungees
  • A full motorcycle service
  • A wider foot for my side stand
  • More durable riding attire: boots, jacket, all season gloves
  • Waterproof bags

Review: Brasher – My boots

Review: Brasher

As I write my Brasher boots have done 3 years:

  • Just Walk 2009
  • Mount Everest Basecamp
  • Just Walk 2010
  • Trailwalker 2010
  • All the related training
  • They are my ‘bike boots’
  • They have done two trips up the hill opposite my house in Hercegovina (more scramble than walk)

The only thing I have not tested them in is a total downpour but, for all else they have been very faithful friends. Snow, rain, sun and heat, altitude and cold and everything in between. I would estimate that they have done getting close to 1000km – I wonder if I need to start thinking about replacing them? They have started fraying ever so slightly on the right foot and in a place which would indicate that my right little toe is trying to make a bid for freedom.

They are very light, Gore-Tex and I bought them a size bigger than I would wear for a normal shoe. In retrospect I would probably go an extra half-size for those occasions when my feet decide they need to swell up.

I chose these boots mainly on the recommendation of my friendly neighborhood independent outdoor kit retailer Open Spaces, Brighton. I do my best to buy from them as often as possible; they have plenty of choice available and they know their stuff so you can always have a nice chat about blisters, swollen hands and kit in general. It is just a shame that they aren’t open on Sundays as, to be honest with you, that is the only day I ever seem to get into town!

Oh, and here is a picture of me sitting on that hill I mentioned; as you can see, it’s a bit rocky.

Brighton Sea Kayaking and Mackerel

Brighton Sea Kayaking and Mackerel

Living in Brighton gives you great opportunities to play around with your grown up toys. Whether its a windy day and you want to go kitesurfing, or a still day and the other option is to get out on the kayaks and catch yourself some fish.

I have two Bic Ocean Kayaks which I share with my friend Sophie which we bought about 5 years ago and we have certainly had a few adventures on the sea, up the Adur river or along the Seven Sisters Country Park Estuary.  What I like about kayaking in Brighton is that you can miss all of the crowds that Brighton attracts and you can have your own peace and tranquility out at sea and have a good catch up with your mates. You can watch the bustling crowds from afar, plus you can catch your dinner and eat fresh fish within an hour of catching them.

When we go out to sea in Brighton we always go armed with a makerel line and we always enjoy venturing through the two piers. The circuit is usually entering the water from the east side of Brighton Pier, then after that we head west through or round Brighton’s main pier then we head towards the burnt down West Pier which is over a kilometer away. Depending on the shore drift and the swell we then decide whether it is wise to head out to the lobster pots and find some fish for dinner. The Brighton sea can be treacherous so it is very important to give the sea the respect it deserves; if the shore dump is too big or the white sea horses are too big then it is always a good idea to take a back seat on the sports for the day or go mountain biking or something.

In terms of catches of the day, the best we have ever achieved is catching 18 makerel in one go. If you are lucky enough to find  great catch like this then its a good idea to get on the phone to your friends so you can celebrate your success. Then it may be  a case of wrapping the fish in individually wrapped pieces of foil with oil, herbs and spices; then perhaps a quick visit to the local chip shop so you can have fish and chips beside the sea.