Thursday, 13 June 2019

Happiness Is...

Happiness is: unexpectedly coming across a long stretch of road that has just recently been re-surfaced and hasn't a single imperfection or ripple on it. 

Monday, 10 June 2019


Not satisfied with a naked cruiser I immediately set about tweeking it a little to make it more suitable for longer trips away. To that end it would need some luggage, and possibly a screen if I was going to use it for holidays and/or motorcycle rallying.

As coincidence would have it, an ad on a local bulletin board was advertising some suitable bits and pieces. I ended up buying a brand-new sissy-bar/backrest that I could strap stuff to and hopefully not have it fall off the back, a spare set of unused silencers, and a curious leather tank bib with a pocket on it which may or may not come in useful for money for tolls etc. They had all been removed from a brand new bike and replaced with aftermarket parts. The owner had recently sold his bike on and was now clearing out the unnecessary bits he no longer had any use for. The silencers went into stock for future use and sissy-bar and tank bib were duly fitted. Looked good, I must admit.

Next up, I needed something to carry stuff in. As I have about six sets of decent hard panniers already, I first tried to find a fitting kit for some of these. Those available were extremely expensive and, more importantly, looked horrible when fitted to a cruiser. So, a rethink was in order.

In the end I settled for some soft canvas panniers which looked better and were relatively inexpensive. Although they are advertised as waterproof, I added a couple of small canoe dry-sacks to ensure the contents were kept dry. To keep them from fouling the rear wheel a set of guard rails were acquired. With everything fitted it gave me carrying capacity and still looked the part.

Now I was all ready for the bike’s first serious trip to Ireland in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

New Jaiket

To go with the new bike, I bought myself a new bike jacket. I decided on waxed cotton this time around rather than leather or textile as I liked the traditional style and it had a degree of protection built-in with CE-approved armour and a back-protector, unlike the one I had years ago.

One of the reasons that I stopped wearing my old Belstaff was the realisation that all that stood between me and the very hard ground should I have an off was a thin cotton jacket no heavier than a regular denim one for any sort of ride. In the end I stopped wearing it altogether.

This one also came with a nice thermal liner, which I removed. I once read a decent article on long-distance touring which said you should just wear an extra jersey or sweatshirt instead. The reasoning being that it was one less item to carry around with you if you were actually wearing it, and it could be worn off the bike, unlike the liner it was replacing.

It’s also “Guaranteed 100% Waterproof”. We’ll see. I’ll reserve judgement on that until I’ve put it through a five-hour ride in the pouring rain. Or, summer, as we call it here in Scotland.