Archive for June 26th, 2003

Gear Review: Chase Harper 650 Tank bag

The Daytona doesn't have a steel tank, so I can't go with the oh so convienent magnetic tank bags. If I was just using it for storage, I could probably live with a tail pack. But a key feature for me is the clear map pocket, right where I need it.

I looked at many different bags before I finally decided on the Chase Harper 650. I had to have the map pocket, and it couldn't be too big. The 650 meets these criteria, and adds a hydration system.

I was really impressed by the construction when it arrived. Quality zippers and stiching were clearly evident. Spacewise, it's just right, any bigger and it wouldn't have fit the Daytona right. I haven't tried the water bottle yet, but it sure seems handy. I've used them before with success while mountain biking.

Gear Review: Skyking bar risers

In preparation for my upcoming cross-country road trip, I've been doing whatever I can to improve the ergonomics of my Daytona. For less than 200 mile rides, I can put up with some pretty agressive ergonomics. The Daytona in stock form while agressive, is still remarkably comfortable. However, the highway has a way of highlighting any ergo shortcomings. The reach to the bars was just enough, that I could tell the shoulder on my throttle hand would start to complain after a few hours on the super-slab.

Skyking again provides a solution: bar risers. These replace the stock clip-ons, thereby raising the bars by 1.75″ and angling them up a bit too. When I took them out of the box, I a bit concerned about their asthetic impact on the bike. They are substantially bigger/squarer than the stock clip-ons. However once installed, and festooned with grips, levers, and assorted wiring, they blended in nicely. (Oh yeah, installation was easy… about 30 minutes start to finish.)

Around town and on the highway is where the bars really make a difference. They just make the bike fit better. I'm able to sit a little more upright, without having to rotate my shoulder forward. There are some drawbacks though… at full lock the bars get very close to the windscreen… you need to move your grip towards the end of the bars to keep your knucles from touching. About the only time you'll see full lock (hopefully) is at 2mph or less, so it's not that big of a deal. In the twisties, I've found the turn-in to be a little slower. I think this is because the bars shift my weight back just a bit. Or maybe it's because my weight is no longer assisting my steering inputs. Either way, I think by adjusting the forks in the triple clamp, for a slightly steeper steering angle, I can tune in a little faster steering.

The full-lock issue, and the wimpy feeling of making a modification for comfort's sake are the only things keeping me from being 100% happy with the change. My rational side tells me that I'll log way more saddle time thanks to a more comfortable ride, and ulitmately that's what it's all about. My Mountain Dew side, says “more extreme = better, dude.” Although, I'm sure after a 10 hour day, my Mnt Dew side will be perfectly happy with the change.

Gear Review: Skyking Double Bubble Windscreen

I purchased a light smoke double bubble windscreen from SkyKing Products for my 1999 Triumph Daytona. The point of the double bubble is to give some additional wind protection… the extra “bubble” adds about an additional 1″ of windscreen height and significantly cleans up the resulting air flow.

If you look closely you can see the difference compared with the dark smoke Zero Gravity windscreen it replaced. I really like the light smoke color… it's the perfect shade.

Even better is the resulting air flow. I find it is significantly cleaner at highway speeds. And while I didn't really speed test the original screen, I found the protection of the double bubble to be excellent up to 140mph.

This was an excellent, no drawbacks upgrade for me. John King the proprietor of Skyking products, was nice to deal with on the phone too.

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