Friday, May 27, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Oh how versatile...


Today was the 2nd time I transported a 19" LCD monitor on the Ess Vee, so I decided to take a few pix.


An achievement worth writing home about? Maybe not. But it reminds me how far motorcycle luggage can go. I'm always impressed with what I can fit in these Pelican 1550s, and now I've added computer displays to the list.


A little extra effort and these high performance 2-wheelers can increase fun, save on gas money and provide the flexibility to carry cargo.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Return from Paranoia

I've ranted before about concerns from behind. I spend a lot of time scanning my mirrors and tucking my elbows into my body so I can see who's following me, and how closely. While I think this can be a healthy habit, it can quickly become obsessive. You can't look ahead while you're looking behind, so this can be a delicate trade-off. But is it a trade-off worth making at all?

I installed a set of's mirrors a few weeks ago. On a recent trip to work, I realized something was different - I was not looking behind me. I mean, unless I was preparing to change lanes or merge, I was not looking behind me at all. These bar-end mirrors do not land if my field of view unless I deliberately look through them. This is a serious departure from what I'm used to, where stock motorcycle mirrors seem to be visible while looking forward (even if only enough to remind you of their presence).

So I've been thinking. For quite some time now, I've strived to be all-knowing - to maximize my situational awareness on the road and cover as large a radius as my limited organic RAM allows. I believe I used the word obsessive earlier? But what's it buy me? I know I have the training to deal with what's ahead. But what am I going to do about the potential actions of the vehicles behind me?

I've had trouble answering these questions, so I'm left considering these sentiments: what's in front of me is paramount and the rest may simply be distraction.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Wantz to see!

I remember hearing about this potentially awesome flick a few months ago:

TT3D: Closer to the Edge

And it appears I've been sleeping, as it was released in the US on 4/22 (at least, TT3D's imdb page says so). But I can't find playing anywhere :(

Looks like I may have to wait for to offer it, but according to what I've read, it may very well be worth the wait!

Update (5/7)
It appears that TT3D may still be in negotations for a US release, as stated by this review. So there's still hope!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Glass I can work with


The mirrors on our SV have to be adjusted way too often. If I wasn't the last to ride it, I'd have to adjust them. If the all-weather cover was removed (every time the bike is ridden), the mirrors have to be adjusted. If the bike is ridden long enough, the mirrors have to be adjusted because vibration shakes them loose. When they get loose enough, a wrench is required to lock them back into place. There appears to be a ball joint at the back of the mirror, but it's either frozen solid or it isn't actually a ball joint. Who knows. Bottom line, they are not convenient for frequent adjustment.

For 6 months or so, I have been considering's billet mirrors as a replacement. And last week, I decided to finally give them a try.

Initial Reaction

The mirrors, stems, and end caps feel like high-quality parts. They are even pretty to look at. The mirrors seem a little small, but when held at arms length, their convex surface actually provides a surprising field of view. The blue tint on the glass is a curious thing ... well, whatevas, we'll see what's up once they're on.


I removed the old, weighted bar ends and installed the new bar ends, which go through the new mirrors' stems. I'm not sure why so many different spacer rings were provided, as it appears only one mates the provided bar end to the big hole in the mirror stem. Maybe those rings are for re-using your stock bar ends? That surely wasn't an option on this 2007 SV650. Anyway, unlike the stock SV bar ends (which mount with an expanding rubber grommet) the rideitmoto's billet bar ends mount with a metal expanding thingy. Unfortunately, the expanding metal doohicky starts its life at a very small diameter. So you have to get the expansion started in your hands. Vice grips or plyers to grab the inside (round) nut are necessary to keep the nut from spinning. I opted for the bloody hand method. Either way, you'll eventually get to the point where it's of a diameter that fits snugly into the bike's handle bars.

A bit of adjustment, tightening at all 3 joints (bar end to bar, mirror stem to bar end, mirror to stem), and voila, new mirrors! The only issue was clearance for the clutch and brake levers. If squeezed all the way, they made contact with the mirrors stems. But I solved this by loosening the bar clamp for the clutch and brake levers and slid it inward just a bit. Now the ball end of the levers fit in right next to the mirror stems.


These mirrors are small. The is no getting around the fact that you are sacrificing field of view by switching to these mirrors. That said, they still serve their functional purpose if adjusted correctly. I found I had to give up seeing both behind me and the lane next to me. Otherwise I would have to accept a very large blindspot.

Thankfully, these mirrors deliver most where I hoped they would. They adjust very easily since the mirrors mount to their stems with very snug ball joints. So you can adjust one at a stop light, but the joint is snug enough not to vibrate or accidentally knock out of your setting.


A test ride for an americano proved that the mirrors solve my problem. And personally, I think they are a nice piece of kit. But what will Megan think next time she hops on?