29 January 2010

Have it back!

Been down and picked up the bike this eve. Have to say that it is looking really good to. Felt like I did when l first went to pick the bike up, getting all excited. Aside from having the repairs done, I have also had a couple of crash bobbins installed. They aren't cheap but hopefully will reduce the extent of damage should I be the victim of another RTI.

On the way home I decided to take the A33. Turned out that was a big mistake as the road was closed just after Hartley Whitley, I assume from an accident given the amount of Police presence.

So, thought to myself, I remember a back route home on an old B road, I'll take that home. Bad idea. Forgot which side turning I wanted and ended up at the wrong end of the A30. What should have been a 20 minute trip home now was going to take at least twice that. In the end it was about 45 minutes to get home. I suppose that it did mean I could get reacquainted with my bike again!

More good news

Just had a phone call that my bike is now repaired and hopefully will be dropped off today. So looking forward to seeing it again!

AutoCom L1 Logic

For Christmas I was brought an AutoCom L1 Logic system. I have finally installed it into my helmet. The unit comes with the main unit, headset and two connection leads; one for music and the other for mobile phones.

Once I figured out how to remove the padding from my helmet I was able to get the mic and speakers installed with little fuss. The instructions provided give a comprehensive overview of the install process, and it is a good idea to read it a couple of times before attempting. Depending on the design of the helmet you may well be able to easily remove one or both of the cheek pads for easy installation. Most of the wiring can be fitted behind the pad, with the speaker wires running around the helmet. Fortunately the wiring for the right speaker is longer allowing it to be run around the back of the helmet and to the right side. Supplied is a length of Velcro hoops which can be used to stick the cabling to the helmet shell.

Once that is all in place the helmet can be put on to check final position of the mic and speakers. My last set of speakers had a cover on them which made them very soft and comfortable. These are a plastic shell and when I put on the helmet there was a noticeable pressure on my ears from them. There may be some playing around to get them to fit comfortably.

Although I have yet to use them in anger, the test I have done shows them to work quite well. I had music playing on one input and when I spoke, after adjusting the VOX level, the music faded down and my voice came clearly over the speakers. I then connected my mobile. Using it to call a friend, we had a quick chat and the system worked faultlessly, with the exception of a couple of times where I didn't quite speak loudly enough for the VOX to kick in.

Aside from the comfort of the speakers, the only other issue comes from size. Although the main unit isn't that big, it is what you need to carry with it. Just with my test rig above I had an MP3 player, mobile, the AutoCom and all the leads to connect them. This isn't a small rig. Add onto that a bike-to-bike radio and satnav, this is going to be something that isn't going to be able to fit into a pocket. AutoCom do sell a small magnetic tank-pack which can be used to house it all or you may be able to get a 'bum-bag' to help contain it all.

On the note of a mobile. All that is supplied with the kit is a 2.5mm to 3.5mm lead. While there are some mobiles that have a 2.5mm jack on them, mine doesn't. HTC use the magic of a EXTusb connection. That means the need to buy an adaptor to convert it with. Unfortunately the only one I could find is a bit of a brick and again takes up more valuable space.

Once I have had a go with this on the road I will update the review of it all.

Good Points
  • Very clear audio
  • Easy to connect
  • VOX works well, once setup
Bad Points
  • Speakers a little uncomfortable, may just need adjusting better
  • Rig can get very big very quickly

26 January 2010

Good News!

Two things today; firstly I had a call from the Insurance and it seems the repairers have all the parts now and I should be able to get my bike back by next week, just in time to go to the MCN show at ExCeL! Secondly a small achievment for my blog, this is the 100th post! Out of the countless blogs I have started this has to be the longest I have been going for.

24 January 2010

Insurance claim

Having spoken to my solicitor earlier in the week, it seems as if the 3rd party insurers have admitted liability. Still waiting for confirmation from my insurers but this is great news. Hopefully I will be able to get my bike back (still waiting on parts) and kit replaced then get on with my life.

18 January 2010


Security is one of those things that people often know they should do, but - ah I'm only popping into the shop... There are a few types of security for a motorbike, disc locks, chains & padlocks and alarms. Now there is another one; a Grip-Lock. The operation is similar to a disc lock, in that it prevents someone wheeling your bike off, except that this actually applies the front brake. This has a couple of additional benefits over a conventional disklock. Firstly it also acts like a handbrake so that your bike physically can't run away down the hill you have been forced to park on. Secondly you can't miss it once it is on, so no embarrassment of riding off and promptly falling off (been there done that!). It is absolutely massive, which brings on the one issue with it, storage when not in use. This isn't something you can just slip into your pocket. It will need to be stored either under the seat or in a bag.

Unlike a disclock you need to set it up a little before you can use it proper. This entails setting the adjustable slider to hold the brake lever to apply the brakes while the lock is on and changing one of the rubber pads to fit your grip. It is a simple process and something that is done once, assuming you don't have to change bikes.

All in all it is a device that will act as a very visible deterrent for the opportunist and for those that tend to forget that they have left a disklock on.

Good Points
  • Easy to fit
  • Very visible
  • No risk of riding off with it on
  • Acts like a parking brake

Bad Points

  • Its HUGE!!

15 January 2010

On back order

Bike is being repaired but the parts are now on back order, so currently no idea when I will get the bike back. I am hopeful that I will have it in a few weeks. Looking on the bright side, I haven't had to use the bike over winter, so no salt problems! Still, desperately want it back!

06 January 2010

ER-6F Long Term Review (MCN)

Here is a review from MCN reporter Laura Kennerley on her experience with the ER-6F. For the most part I agree with everything said, especially the part with the mirrors.

03 January 2010

Getting Repaired

Contacted the repairer for my bike and it seems the insurers have approved the damage, parts have been ordered to get the bike back on its wheels. I really am hoping to have the bike back before the end of January.