Author Archives: Darek

Digi Cams And Side Cases

Well I’ve finally done it dove off the deep end; I put side cases on the Bandit. Here’s a lovely shot of Jodie: always her best foot forward(or backward) for the camera. I’ll do a review on the bagger set up soon, but I wanted to get a quick shot of the new look. So far I’m pumped about being able to bring stuff with me, which is making commuting much easier. I don’t have to worry about stopping at home all the time.

Also, I had a brief stint with a Nikon Coolpix L1 Digital point and shoot. I kept on trying to find an older model or used camera for cheap which would mainly stay with the bike. After buying a refurbished L1 I realized that at some point the price savings aren’t worth it. I had the camera for about 7 days and I’d went through three sets of AA batteries and taken maybe 100-150 photos, mostly non-flash. I’ve pretty much written off anything electronic thats been refurbished. I’ve worked on electronics before, and if something as tiny and intricate as a point and shoot camera needs “refurbishing” it probably won’t be up to par after. I’ve got another camera in my sights, and we’ll see how that pans out.

Some lovely riding lately, and I’m getting much more comfortable on the new bike. It’s almost time for it’s first oil change too! I feel like my kid just said it’s first word or something…


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REVIEW: Hawk Black Glossy Full Face Modular Flip-Up Helmet

Rating 6/10 – You’re probably wondering who “Hawk” is. Well they make a reasonably priced helmet (shown left) and do a nice job of it. No this helmet isn’t perfect, but I feel most of my gripes would be similar with any modular model. I’ve ridden quite a few miles, and although the vents suck, and the guard’s mechanisms are visible, I still really enjoy this helmet. The benefits of the modular helmet are so good I wonder how I used to ride all the time taking my helmet off constantly. I really appreciate its functions for those quick sips of water or short conversations that would normally be awkward if muffled through the front of a helmet. On the other hand, the money savings seem a bit evident in road noise and flimsy vents. Neither of these are much more significant than the full faced helmets I’ve used/use, so I’m happy with this buy.

Pros: Function of a flip up face++, good fit, convenient single center button to unlatch face
Cons: Air vents do little venting (not much difference open or closed), not the best at noise dampening(hey, you could be riding with no helmet)

UPDATE 6/25/08: Upon further use and review here’s a bit more insight. Looking a bit closer at the mechanism that latches the flip-face,I’ve noticed it was plastic. Doesn’t instill much confidence, but at the same time I can’t say definitively that this won’t hold up in a crash (Not tested, and hopefully never will be). The vent’s are not only useless for their intended function, but the helmet is loud. With the face shield closed there’s a slight whistle, and road noise is significant. Would I buy this helmet again? Probably not. Will I keep using it? Yes, it’s definitely worth the price, and I’ll probably keep it for another season after this one, at which point I’ll make a decision as to whether I want to stick with a flip face or not.


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REVIEW: Deluxe Motorcycle Cover

Rating 8/10 – This cover has been great. It’s been through some heavy rain storms and I haven’t seen a spot of moisture. The material is of good quality and the bag it comes in is actually large enough to reuse for storage. However, the site claims a “Never lose it attached bag,” when in actuality it’s not attached. Elastics work well to hug the bike, and the bungees in the center keep the fit tight. On this note the fit is very tight, and even though I measured for clearance, the cover is like an exact fit for the bandit, so beware when choosing a size. The all black color also has me concerned about the bike baking in direct light, but has seemed to be a problem as of yet (although it usually is kept in the shade).

Pros – Great Quality, heat shields, bungees in center, completely weather proof.
Cons- All black (Pro?), could be a bit longer

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From Cabin to Warehouse

Well this past Friday and Saturday we finally got some good riding time in together. I had to head up to Cromwell so we made an excuse of it to take a ride up and take the long way home down by the Connecticut River. It was a gorgeous area and we got to see the amazing beast of a bridge. This bridge swings 90 degrees to allow boats to pass.
Since the whole process takes about 10 minutes and arrived at the bridge just as it was about to swing,we decided to stop for lunch. There are two restaurants near the bridge, and we picked a fancy Italian place with a nice patio. The ambiance seemed to be its only enjoyable feature by the time we left; this opinion came as a result of the douche-baggery of both the patrons and our hosts. A rude, foul mouthed, self proclaimed “big shot” was hard to ignore, and botched order that came out cold (there was almost no one there!) made the place hard to enjoy. Oh and to top it off I left my glasses there.

Nevertheless, the area was nice, and the bridge entertained us, as Jodie put it, “the same way it did when I was a kid.”
The best part came after lunch, when the bridge swung for a second time that afternoon. The road leading to the bridge winds along before reaching the intersection, and cars backed up for about a mile (from what we could tell). After about 10 minutes, an impatient man from the back of the line, where he couldn’t see the bridge, parked his car, got out and started grilling other drivers.
By the time he made it to the front of the line and saw what the hold-up was, the bridge was clicking back into place. He had to race back to his car, while everyone got a good laugh at his impatience.

We continued the nice ride back home where we stopped to prepare for “camping” up at the cabin. Since there’s almost no way to manage(yet) to bring all of our gear on the bike I had to switch to four wheels to bring our things to Jeff. We then hopped back on the bike to take a nice, windy ride up to Colebrook.

The roads in this area are so nice, and I wish we could have spent a bit more time up there, but there will be more time for that. We got there not long before Jeff, and soon we had a fire going and burgers grillin’. We enjoyed some brews and sat around relaxing and looking at the seemingly endless amount stars in the night sky.

In the morning we set off across the state towards Rhode Island, to Twisted Throttle. They were having their annual Open House so I wanted to head down and check out their facility. We were the sole bandit amongst a sea of V-Stroms, Tigers, Wings, and other bikes. They served free burgers and dogs, to which I helped myself after purchasing a pricey SW-Motech side case rack. Unfortunately, I had to work that night so after some chatting with a friendly Tiger owner, we headed out. Heres a look at our round trip, not including the early Friday Cromwell and back portion.

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A Bandit from the XS

Well I’ve done it; sold the XS400 to move up to a bigger bike. After two good years of short jaunts around town or commuting to school/work, I sold the bike to a fella who found it through my listing on craig’s list. After selling the bike I wasn’t sure when I’d purchase a replacement. In fact I even returned my old plates to the DMV (bad choice).

Well I ended up buying the beast you see here. It’s a Suzuki Bandit 1200s (GSF1200s). It’s got quite a bit more pull, and it looks awesome so I love it. Jodie seems to like it to, and hopefully soon we’ll get to take some great rides together. We’ll be writing about our trips and posting photos as we go. Once in a while I’ll review a product, or note an update or addition to the bike. Hopefully you’ll get to see some great photos and read about are good times. Read along as we ROAM…


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F*ck weebly..


Well, due to a near meltdown after losing a blog update that I worked on for almost two hours I’ve decided to say goodbye to weebly. I was close to actually subscribing to their paid service but I’m thankful that I didn’t. Although it was infrequent, their system would sometimes spaz out, and when the page reloaded all unsaved data would be lost. Anyway. I’ll be working on transferring the posts to WordPress. Hopefully it’ll go smoothly.


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