Monday, April 09, 2007

Mapelton Ride - Easter Monday

Went for a good ride today. The weather was threatening, even spitting at times but got a fine run all day. Alot of wet bits of road, some on corners hiding in the shadows which gave my ride partner moment at Mt Mee but no enough to spoil anything - car drivers tried hard to do that on every nice bit of twist and turn road (as happens sometimes) but got a good run in many places too.

Met some riders at the Mt Mee lookout, and got a visit by policeman who didnt inspect every bike up close but no doubt looked them all over - mostly stock bikes in the car park at that time and after he left a few more modified bikes arrived - good timing on their part.

Had some brunch at Maleny and then rode to Mapelton and down the Dulong rd and to Palmwoods and then back roads to Eudlo and Mooloolah and Beerwah - nice riding there with lots of corners some twisty and some sweepers followed of course by the Peachester forest section.

My bum was getting sore on way home despite using the air hawk cushion - and this is only a short ride compared to what I normally do so got alot of work to do on ride quality if I am going to make the bike work for me. I have the air-hawk mounted length ways now - much better and if not for it I would have been unable to walk by now!

So guess who we see back at Mt Mee, Mr policeman who goes past us when we stopped to let traffic clear to get a clear run on some corners and then turns off somewhere and comes up from behind us - sneaky - except we had just pulled over again due to heavy traffic and my sore bum.
Then he pulled over ahead on the decent into Dayboro waiting for us with radar gun - lucky I thought he would be trying to get us so was going slow - actually did a slow ride the whole mountain as stuck in car convoy and fearful of him sitting around the next bend all the time.

Anyway alls well - didnt get a ticket and was good to get out and use the new bike even if it is trying to buck me off it over bumps at times. Spotted one of the Ducati sport classics at Mt Mee, and wonder now what their suspension is like, I elected not to buy one due to no adjustments but with the money I have had to spend on the MV so far ...

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Review - Motovation bar ends

Ahh inline 4's - silky smooth engines - ahm well revs wise maybe but they create a buzz in the handle bars like no other engine does.

I purchased a pair of over sized Stainless steel extra heavy bar ends to try solve this problem.

The ordering was easy, communication excellent and product arrived quickly. They are very well presented items and fit easy and look good.

The buzz has been reduced a bit, but its still there. Definitely a improvement and every bit helps as otherwise your hands go numb on a long ride. At lower rpm's say below 5000rpm the buzz or vibe is reduced a size able amount, but as revs rise the buzz returns to full power. So I was trying shift up to top to keep revs real low but there is a limit to this as a inline 4 doesn't have much torque unlike a twin which you can ride around on 1500rpm.

Verdict - they help reduce the buzz - but bit more still needed, might have to replace grips as well.

Review - Air Hawk seat cushion.

I had a terrible time with my MV Agusta's ride quality and tried to make it more comfortable via suspension but only got so far and then was going to get the seat re padded until I remembered reading about these and thought I would give them a try.

These things really are very comfortable!

To start with there are many sizes but I had to go for the smallest actually listed as a pillion seat cushion as all the others were too big for the tiny MV seat.

To inflate you simply unzip the side and unscrew the valve and inflate so that you have something that wont bottom out when you sit on it bit also not over inflated either which lowers it's effectiveness.

Install on the MV is awkward ... it doesnt fit really either way I lay it on due to the shape of the bikes seat. I elected to sit it across the seat (ie sideways) as length ways it seems too narrow - but I may try that way next.

Once rolling you can feel it absorbing the bumps. You float on top of the cushion of air and I can see how people could do very long rides with the larger versions of these on a tourer or cruiser in total comfort.

The only thing I didn't like first ride was how you do move around a little bit. Imagine sitting on some firm jello - thats the feeling but the jello moves backwards under acceleration which is bit off putting.

Update - now much better - worked out I had the pad over inflated, have it now 1/2 inflated and it doesn't move about like jello anymore and also have placed the cushion as far forward as possible which makes it fit well. Now 100% happy.

Update #2 - Now 1 year into use and I don't know how I rode a motorcycle without one of these before. I can ride all day without any numb bum and have no lower back issues that I always experienced when in a saddle for a long day. I have had Corbin seats before and they are better than factory however the air hawk is significantly more comfortable again. They now come in more shapes and sizes too so you probably can get one that is shaped closer to your bikes seat shape than this simple square one I have.

I have completed a 7000km tour on the MV in comfort with the Airhawk. Compare that to when I first got the  bike I was in discomfort after 100km. While it does not blend into the the bike I am quite happy using this whilst I have the Brutale.

Another photo here


Still using the same Airhawk, have done plenty of miles since interstate, 700km day rides and rain or sun it shows little sign of wear so far. I now have it on my 2009 Buell XB12r and it fits that well. Put them across your seat, you want to spread the weight and stop the sesat sides cutting in to your legs. Also I agree with the comment to try less air, you can get away with perhaps 1/3 inflated if your seat is flat enough, like the Buells. On the MV Agusta I needed to keep about half inflated due to narrow shape.

There are those previously mentioned new models out from when I first purchased mine and I would look at the smaller of the regular models as an alternative to mine depending on the size of your bike seat (and bum) They have a dual purpose shape one now too which would be great on an advaneture bike.

I've put a few amazon photo links in here to give an idea of the prices, not so cheap and I am surprised some knock off version has not arrived. There is a shape for just about any bike even if they do not all show up in the links on here.

Had a few comments about "you sit on that?!" or "Wouldn't have anything on my seat" or "looks stupid" - You know what is stupid? the same guys not riding often or very far because they are more concerned about image than comfort.

Even my old square one above you can see is not overly noticeable. It certainly does not spoil the lines of your bike. My fabric is getting a bit faded. I could remove the cover and die it in some fabric die for a couple of dollars but honestly I am not that concerned.

Update 4. I was using the Airhawk on my CB1100 from 2011 to 2013 as despite having a wide seat it was hard as a rock. I could have gone with a larger one for that bike but this one is still in working order so why spend more. See it below.

Update 5. My Airhawk is still working 2014. I don't use it on my current ride a FJR1300 as the seat is really superb as is but I take the Airhawk with me when renting bikes overseas sometimes. You know those road-trail bikes with seats about as wide as a piece of wood and as soft as the same? Well take your Airhawk and curl it around those narrow seats and be amazed at the change in comfort. Very similar problem to my original MV Agusta seat which was very narrow and hard built entirely for looks not function and trail bikes suffer the same issue but no problem with a Airhawk.

Of all the things I have purchased for riding I cannot think of too many that has been better value than this item.


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