Sunday, March 16, 2008

Daytona Trip One Week Later

Well since a week has gone and the emotions of traveling 400 miles in the pouring rain have subsided I feel I can discuss objectively on a couple of items and how they faired in the atrocious conditions we found ourselves in.

The gel seat worked out very well indeed. I must admit that when I fitted it and went for my short test ride a week or so before the Dayton trip I was a little worried. The reason for this is that the new seat is an inch or so lower than standard. This is good from the point of view that it enables you to get both feet down (I'm only 5' 10") fully flat ensuring full stability when stopped at traffic lights, etc. but I was concerned that the inch off the height making the leg bend more pronounced due to the reduced distance between the foot rests and the seat causing discomfort on a long trip. I have constantly found myself having suffering from upper leg pain due to sitting in a 'crouched' type position if that makes sense. But I am pleased to report that after the 850 mile round trip all was good. No complaints from the passenger too so I think that sums it up - a good looking and comfortable seat for both rider and passenger.

The higher and wider Cee-Bailey screen worked well. Despite the horrendous rain and accompanying spray it did the job and kept a reasonable level of clarity to see what you needed to while 'zipping' down I95. (I shall not advertise our cruising speed during said weather conditions for the fear of self incrimination but after riding in Scotland for over 15 years with the fact that probably 8 times out of 10 that you go for a weekend ride you are going to end up 'in it' you tend to hone in your wet weather riding skills so I'll say no more)

The arrival of the Kawasaki top case (Givi) was JIT so to speak. As reported before a nice item but the color match a little off. Overall it stayed waterproof but is a little on the small side, lacks a back rest and, most importantly, requires a key. Now you may ask "So what of course it requires a key!" Well here's the hit. The Conc' has KIPASS so you walk about with the transmitter in you pocket, no key, and when you get to the bike you sit on it, turn the already inserted 'key' and away you go. When you need access to the side cases or fuel cap you just turn the bike off, remove the 'key' and do the business. But now, with the top case, you also need to make sure you take the separate top case key with you. Sounds easy enough but when you get into the mind set that you only need to have the KIPASS transmitter on your person the fact you need another key may become an oversight. What makes this a little worse is that the KIPASS transmitter does not have a hook, hole, or clip that allows you to attach anything to it so 'it' and any other needed keys cannot be clipped together.

Well believe it or believe it not when I got to the Daytona International Speedway last Saturday morning, yes you guessed it, I left to the top case key in the hotel room. Looks like I will need to find a safe and secure place on the bike to store the said top case key.

Finally the Kawasaki side case bag inserts. Well these are tremendous, beyond all doubt, they look good, are of good quality, are a nice 'sung' fit into the side case and, thanks to the great cases, stayed perfectly dry.

Note the 'tasteful' logo on the bag and the small zipped side pocket for 'odds and ends' that you can get at with the bag still in the case on the bike.

Due to a double zipped top flap arrangement packing of the bags is easy, very accessible and allows for the placing of clothes neatly folded so they stay crease free during the trip. One of the key benefits is the fact that you don't have to take the relatively heavy, and possibly dirty hard cases off the bike to take your stuff to your room, etc. and because of the shoulder straps are further more made easier to carry leaving your hands free to carry your helmet and gloves, etc.

Another good aspect of the bags is that they are quite large and allow for the tight packing of clothes without deforming. This is excellent because the last thing you need is to pack these up, get to your bike and then have to mess around crushing them into the side case then finding the lid won't shut properly.

Note the double zipped top flap that allows full access to the bag.

Additionally one of the bags has a partitioned section for a lap top, pen and business card holders, and a section for a folder or two for those that may prefer to ride the Conc' to meetings instead of fly - me, me, me!!! So well done there Kawasaki.

P.S. The Yam, with its new rear Michelin Pilot Road Touring tire performed flawlessly again, what a bike! She ain't going, I don't know how or why I had the notion to sell her last year - she's mine for good.

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