Sunday, October 19, 2008

Buell Muster '08

I went along to this years Buell Muster on Saturday.

The once a year ride and meet of Buell owners and enthusiasts of the brand was held this year in the Northern Rivers area of NSW with the attendees staying in Tyalgum - right smack in the middle of the area I like to call motorcycle paradise.

I have not owned a Buell for 18 months but have remained a fan of the XB series and thought more than once about getting another at various times.

So it was I set out early on Saturday to meet up with the Muster folk and go on the ride, in fact I was going to assist with some of the route given my knowledge of the area.

However it nearly all went bad. It was a surprisingly cool morning so after I left home I realised I was going to be too cold with just my Cortech HRX jacket (minus liner) so I returned home and quickly grabbed the wind blocker jersey thinking it would be enough until the just on daybreak morning cool evaporated and not wanting to lose alot of time fitting the jacket liners for the first time. Well it was perhaps just a odd day as the temperature dropped even more as I left the CBD and then more the further south I rode. By the time I was at the coast I was cursing not having brought my full winter jacket and at my limit of tolerance so I refueled and stayed awhile over a hot coffee near the Tweed.

Heading off to Murwillumbah I was mindful I had lost a bit of time so turning into the road to Tyalgum I thought I might be a bit late when rounding a corner I had a freight train of Buells thunder past me in the opposite direction and then I realised oh crap its Daylight Saving in NSW- I was actually over 1 hour late!

Fortunately however I arrived at that point in time and not later so I could simply turn about and join the ride. A great display of machinery with riders from as far as Adelaide, Alice Springs, Melbourne and Sydney to mention a few. Here is a few photos from the ride, I will add some more soon.

Speaking of which there is a new Buell forum that you should be aware of I wont go into the politics of it all however that's the place to read about this years Muster.

I had a great time meeting everyone at the Muster who made me feel very welcome despite not riding a Buell these days and I hope everyone had a good time.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Cortech HRX jacket review part two. Ride report.

It was a very hot day today - perfect chance to put the Cortech HRX to test.

It is very heavy for a summer jacket but comfortable once on and has a solid feel to it. Cooling ability is ok however not as much as a full mesh lightweight jacket.

The cuffs work great - what I meant to say in my last post is they are hemmed like a regular jacket so stay in place when riding. Zips also good enough pockets.

The white got dirty very quickly. I think this is going to be more of a problem than I first thought however will see how it goes. Also while it no doubt is more visible it still didn't stop some idiot from nearly sideswiping me on the return home today over the Burringbah range when he -like so many lazy car drivers - could not manage to keep his car in his own lane.

Have to wait and see how it goes long term but so far ok.

Update: Well I used this jacket for a couple of summers but it really does not flow enough air and being heavy does not help you stay cool either. I tried to use it for one ride in winter with both the rain and warm quilt liners fitted and it failed miserably to keep me warm and the two layers once inserted are too bulky. It sat awhile and eventually I gave it away as I knew I was never going to wear it again. So what seemed like a good idea in real life just never worked out.

And so to today's ride. Brisbane to Clunes via back roads with lots of corners. After Currumbin riding first via the Farrants hill and coastal area stopped into Pottsville for a coffee and a look around - that place is really going ahead fast now - a look later at Ocean Shores (which I had never been to) then zig zag over Coolamon Scenic drive to Mullumbimby and Repentence creek road and on a bit more to Clunes for a late lunch.

On the return took a look at Minyon Creek Falls, a place I had not been to for about 20 years. Very dry and dusty, the bike was covered in dust despite the short 1km of dirt on the northern entry road. Not much flow in the falls at present despite some good rains this year.

The route is here.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Cortech HRX Jacket Review

Part one.

I usually don't review lots of items on this blog as I am limited to what I purchase myself however I am going make you think I went on a spending spree and present another item to look at.

Main reason I have purchased two new things in rapid succession is the value of the aussie dollar is starting to fall which makes buying items from overseas less attractive. 

My old Summer jacket is basic mesh item from Dryrider which I have used for the last 4 years and whilst it has served me fine I have wanted to improve the protection level of my riding apparel for some time with the summer jacket being number one on my upgrade list due to its simply construction and basic foam padding armor.

Shopping Local...

I have been looking for some time at jackets and came to the conclusion that nothing in the local shops was what I had in mind. Part of the problem is the majority of the Brisbane shops all stock the same limited range of items from a limited number of brands all with very similar pricing.

What I had in mind...

I kept putting this purchase off wanting to look up close at more brands but gave up and started to then surf the web instead. What I had in mind was more protection in a summer jacket and I want to increase my visibility to other road users by wearing a lighter colour. Small items I was also looking for was traditional zip up lower arms and proper hemmed cuffs not loose end with velcro as these ride up your arm and leave you wrists sunburned. A comfy neck line and longer rear of jacket length so to not leave my lower back exposed. Oh and it had to be easily washable if it was light colour - all of this is not so easy to find.

I kept coming back to this the Cortech HRX which ticks all of those boxes. I hesitated on if for a couple of months since I did not know the brand and was not able to see it close up before purchase as it is not sold here. Well with the aussie dollar falling fast I 'pulled the trigger' as the Americans love to say and ordered one from Ebay when I l was successful in placing a 'best offer' lower bid with a seller who also offered slightly cheaper shipping than any of the big US online shops. This combined to make for a good deal.

The build quality is excellent, I will continue this review after my road test on Sunday.
Part Two.