2019 Lunch at Covehead Harbour PE

It rained buckets on Saturday, so we did some shopping and hung out with family which was cool, but Sunday was supposed to be all about riding, or would have been had we gone to bed at a proper time like good little children. Nope, I was up late watching movies and CLine didn't sleep well at all, so a day long ride off Island was scrapped in favour of something local, and we decided that we'd locate the PEI's best Fish and Chips, which according to Tripadvisor is either Richard's up at Covehead Wharf in Stanhope PE, or  Rick's Fish n' Chips up in St Peters Bay and we'd been up that way last weekend, so off to Covehead it was...

Parked along the Gulf Shore Parkway
But first CLine and I needed a Sunday morning boost so a coffee at McDonalds was in order, but the power was out that side of the river, so we had to go farther afield over to the Tim Horton's where we ran into Troy from the Red Isle Riders who was out and about.

Charlottetown to Brackley Beach and Return - 96 km
Mmmm. Morning coffee and  a sandwich set me up nicely and off we went taking the long way up to Mount Stewart. It can be an entertaining road, and sees less traffic than the alternate,  Saint Peters Road. Besides, there are more roundabouts on that road, and if you ride a motorcycle an empty roundabout can be a thing of beauty.

They open at 12 so expect the lunchtime lineup
It was a wonderful day to be out and about albeit quite windy.

If you search for it in Google Maps or similar you can find my review of it there. I'm trying to find something on the island that meets or exceeds that of the Fish n'Chips offered at the Boathouse Restaurant in Alma New Brunswick.

And I'm still searching... :)

The stools are made out of gas fittings, and CLine counted 31 fittings employed. 
 The Gulfshore Parkway is beautiful, and if you aren't going to stop and take pictures, no park admission pass is required.

But who can resist taking pictures? 
So it was a short Sunday run with an awesome nap to follow all that feasting. :D


Motorcycle Throttle Lock aka Cruise Control

If you've ever been out on the highway for a while, you know that it turns into mind and backside numbing boredom, in which your throttle hand remains cracked to perhaps 3/4 rotation... For how long? Until you get there. One, two or three hours perhaps?

Here are a few tips and tricks I've been using over the years to beat throttle cramp:

Cheap Ass Throttle control

A cheap ass throttle lock as seen here. I ran something like this on my GSF600s for a while until I upgraded:
Cheap Ass Throttle Lock

Vista Cruise

On my 2001 Suzuki Bandit GSF600s, I bought it with a Vista Cruise throttle lock like the one below, but it took up a lot of throttle real estate and a sharp edge cut it's way through my leather riding gloves. I was pretty happy when that was sold with my Suzuki and I moved on to a different type of Vista Cruise throttle lock on my 2005 Honda VFR800i

Universal Vista Cruise Throttle Lock

One or two "Cable" Vista Cruise Throttle lock

 The Vista Cruise that I installed on my VFR was much more minimal than that on my Suzuki Bandit. But there are better throttle locks out there, and some are much cheaper.

Go Cruise throttle control

I bought the Go Cruise "Mark I" and fell in love with it, as I could toss it onto the throttle just before getting onto the highway, then pop it back into my tank bag when I left the slab and got back onto more exciting roads. The "Mark II" version is beefed up and looks awesome! They do take up some throttle space though.

Go Cruise Throttle Control Mark I (plastic)

Go Cruise Throttle Control Mark II (aluminum)

The plastic model is brilliant for quick on and off, then into your tank bag or pocket. A brilliant, inexpensive concept.

Rodney commented on my post in Motorcycle Maritimers with a brilliant idea... 3D Printing!!!

Motorcycle throttle lock - Handguard compatible

3D Printing
Throttle Rocker and Cramp Buster
I've had this on my bikes for so long that I can't remember when I first started using one. I recall using it on my VFR, so I've had it on the go since 2007 or longer and it's been a love affair almost from the start.

Throttle Rocker - Mark I
 It clamps onto your throttle, and gives you essentially a wrist rest, so you have an extension that when you twist the throttle, part of the palm of your hand is engaged as well, so the leverage increases a hundred fold, and you are much less likely to have a blistered, red, sore throttle hand at the end of a long ride. This never comes off my throttle. :)

Cramp Buster
I find the ergonomics Throttle Rocker superior to the Cramp Buster, but the Cramp Buster on the left as seen above takes up the least amount of throttle space. Not an issue for me at all, but a new installation might throw you off for a bit. You can always rotate this down and away from your palm temporarily if you need to.

I use my Throttle Rocker with my heated grips

ThrottleMeister Bar Ends and Throttle Locks

On my KLR I had some vibration on the bars, and many of my friends suggested purchasing the Throttlemeister throttle controls, but I ended up going with something similar in function but cheaper called the Manic Salamander

ThrottleMeister Throttle control
 The concept is the bar end on the throttle side rotates, and by means of an shim, puts pressure on the end of your throttle tube and locks the throttle. Of course you can override this by simply rotating the throttle tube back to the off position against the friction resistance. It's easy, and becomes a learned habit in no time as you exit the highway onto a ramp, or over take a slower moving vehicle.

Manic Salamander

Kaoko Throttle Control

Many of my friends left the ThrottleMeister brand behind and went with the Kaoko throttle control. For price, availability, and the fact that they made a version that would fit a bike fitted with aluminum handguards such as the Barkbuster, Acerbis and Tusk lineup, made it attractive and when I saw a "For Sale" post at kawasakiversys.com, I bought one used for a reasonable price and very happily installed it on my Versys that winter, and it's survived 87,000 kilometres of touring and thrashing.

Kaoko Throttle control

Atlas throttle lock

While reseraching this article I came across a mention of the Atlas Throttle lock and how well it was being received by ADVRider inmates, so here it is:

Motorcycle Cruise Control 

electronic, mechanical, vacuum...

My brother-in-law Kirk bought himself a 2017 Triumph Tiger 800xc that came equipped with factory cruise control, and while he and my nephews were planning their great adventure of 8,000km that year, I talked up throttle locks and the throttle rocker to them. Captain Kirk was very happy with his OEM cruise control, and I could understand, as you could set it for the highway and leave it despite hills and always know you were at the same speed. I would love it for my Versys, but I'll have to install an aftermarket version such as the McCruise aka Motor Cycle Cruise unit i want it on my V, and it's just not going to happen.

The Aftermarket options for electronic cruise control make installation look like a winter time project for those who shelled out the money for new touring bikes, such as Honda ST1300 or Yamaha FJR1300. My friend Matt installed it on his Kawasaki ZX-14 as he loved touring on that bike, and had the spare cash and time to throw at it.

Me, not so much.


2019 I Picked Up a Nail

So I went out for a wee rip with my girlfriend last week, that got cut short when I found that my rear tire was quite low on air, down to about 20 lbs, when it should be up at 36 to 38 psi for the rear Shinko 705.

I got to my girlfriends place and aired up to 38 psi, then came and parked the bike in the underground only to find out that the tire wasn't holding air and was all but flat again. The flat rear tire put paid to last weekends plans for an overnight camping trip into New Brunswick, and I got sick which didn't help matters much at all, so while CLine was enjoying the wonderful weather and riding to work, I got practive in calling in sick and pulling the covers over my head. But just to be safe, I bought a new Shinko 705 from FortNine.ca and had it shipped to the office this past week.

Right, now that I was ready for all outcomes (I was worried about a bent rim. Don't ask me about spring potholes this year), I got some gear and headed down to the parking garage to find that as soon as I tossed the bike up on my paddock stand and put the Versys into neutral, CLine drew my attention to the nice bright nail head embedded in the tire. I breathed a sigh of relief, for now it was  a straight forward puncture and I felt pretty confident that I could repair this in one go, test it and still get in a couple hours ride with my sweetheart, the Vers.... Oops, CLine. ;)

Yep, that'll do it! 
*sigh* it could be worse. Photo Credit - CLine
I'm a bit pissed, as I mounted this rear at about 83,000 km and only got 3,500 km before picking up the nail.

Tools of the trade. $13 at Princess Auto
 CLine loaned me the use of her tire patch kit that we had used on her Subaru in April when she picked up a couple of nails, and it did the trick. I actually read the directions for a change! AFTER I'd already performed the repair as I wanted to see how long it needed to cure, but I was told to bring it to pressure and do a leak test.
I'll trim the excess here in a moment
 I sprayed on some soapy water, over the repair, it held, so I lubricated the chain, and CLine helped me clean up my bits and pieces.

It passes the soapy water test!
My nephew rang me up asking if I had a chain riveting tool to loan him, and as that fit into our plans of getting an ice cream from the Somerset Ice Cream Bar in Kinkora, I had the perfect excuse for a test ride.

I cheated, this is from an earlier ride this year. :)

It held air, and it looks like it's vulcanising already, but I hedged my bet and brought along my air pump just to be on the safe side of sorry. It's a good feeling to have that new rear tire sitting down in the storage locker, ready to go on.


Update: 2019-06-18

500 kilometers of riding later and it's holding up well and seems to have vulcanized into the existing rubber. I'm pretty happy for the moment.

A couple of days later and I'm leaning into the corners again. No worries.

Update: 2019-07-09

There is 5,000 km on the rear tire now, and I've no worries about pushing it too hard, although I'm a tad apprehensive about touring on it in the middle of July, but I won't be that far from home and I'll be riding with CLine if it all goes pear shaped. Camping gear can add a ton of weight to a bike, almost as much as a passenger.

Update: 2019-08-09 

C-Line and I rode for 1600 kilometres around the Gaspe peninsula in Quebec, and the tire is now showing signs that it will need to be replaced shortly, now that it has been on the bike for just under 9,000 km now, and I've ridden on the patch for 5,300 km.