Archive for August 21, 2013
Either these boys (or girls – I guess) get around, or I’ve got both places covered now.
Different make of camera than house
Never false alarms
Today was a perfect motorcycling day. August, 77 degrees, dry, only a few puffy white cumulus clouds to be seen. It doesn’t get much better than that. So when my lunch meeting at BNYM got switched from Somerville to Newton (i.e. at Mr. Furious’ house), I decided it was too good to waste and I took the Buell.
All was well until Old Swartzwood Road about 5 miles from the Furious Ranch. Old Swartzwood is twisty, tight, and very hilly. I’ve done it by car several times and thought “Man, this would make a good road to take the Maggots on for a ride.” Oh how wrong I was. You see, Old Swatzwood is tar ‘n chip and criss-crossed by poor drainage of the type that can sometimes spread a nice layer of pea gravel across the road. Something like this:
Yes… Yes it would look EXACTLY like that, because that’s where I went down going 10 mph on a tight, steep downhill corner. I was tiptoeing along because the road looked like it could harbor this kind of thing anywhere. On the downhill I was coasting with the clutch pulled in, very slowly, and holding the bike back with both brakes. The front end locked and the wheel tucked in the blink of an eye, and I flopped over. Here are some other views of the road:
Now for the pictures of the damage
So the net-net is that I need a new windshield, front plastic piece, and hand grip protector. Those things should be available on eBay for not too much dough. The saddlebag will be more pricey. I’ll also need a new antenna from J&M (it broke as the bike flipped a little as it slid). The front brake lever was a little tweaked but I moved that back into shape by hand. Other than that, not a mark on the frame, exhaust, or engine.
When I rode away to Rancho de Furioso I did notice that the low oil pressure light came on. I expected this because the bike fell seat-down/wheels-up on a pretty steep hill, and that means that the oil would slosh away from the oil pump pickup. I rode carefully, stopped the engine to coast on downhills, and the oil pressure came back in a few minutes. I think I’m OK there.
Me? Oh, glad you asked! I have a nice bit o’ road rash covering my kneecap, and my forearm lost a good few layers of skin where the Darien jacket rode up, dragging my shirt underneath because I had the sleeves loose and wide open due to the warm weather. I will be OK as long as I don’t contract flesh-eating bacteria.
As seen in East Hanover yesterday: None Of The Gear, All The Time. Note the espadrilles, skinny jeans (white! the anti-biker color) and “DOT” helmet… On a Sportbike!
I have been a long-time wearer of Held gloves. I got my first pai of Held “Steve” gloves back in the day when you could only get them from Helimot in San Jose, and it wasn’t even called the “Steve” because Held only made one model of glove.
Now Held makes a dozen models for a hanful of different usages (pun intended). About two years ago I picked up a pair of their “Airflow” model. Actually, I can’t even recall what the model name was, and Held has since discontinued the model in favor of the Agadir and Namib models. In case anyone can identify them, here is what they look like:
These gloves are only two years old. My Steve’s are about 18 years old. I had come to expect that Held gloves are built to heirloom quality. They are certainly PRICED to heirloom quality! However, these gloves seemed like a huge bargain… they were only $99! Compare to $199 for my other favorite Held gloves, the Warm ‘n Dry. The selling point of these Airflow gloves was Summer use. They are highly perforated and vented. For $99 they seemed like an excellent addition to my riding gear.
After two weeks, I found out why they were so much cheaper:
Almost immediately, both gloves developed a small tear on the wrist leather near the base of the thumb. Virtually the same spot on both hands, at the seam between the solid leather and peforated leather. Oddly, the tear is on the solid leather, not the perforated.
Also, you may notice from the picture that the solid black leather has faded a great deal. It is not gray-green.
On the one hand, this is extremely rapid deterioration for a Held glove. On the other hand, it’s pretty much what I would expect for a low-end summer glove (there I go with the puns). If these were $40 gloves, I wouldn’t be surprised.
What I think I have here is a pair of $40 gloves outsourced by Held and sold trading on their name for twice as much.
So the moral of the story is again “you get what you pay for.” Held discontinued these gloves (yay!) but still has a few $99 price point gloves in their expanded product line. I note that when checking out other Held gloves on motorcycle gear websites, the retailers make a point of saying something like “made in the same German factory as Held’s other gloves”, attached only on their more pricey models. I take this as code words for which models are the true Held quality units.