Ukraine Post Mortem
Well I have been home now for a week. My shoulder is still killing me but getting better daily. Hopefully it’ll be sorted in a week or so. I had Monday off work so spent it cleaning the bike. Lots of “Muc-Off” and tlc and it’s looking pretty good again now. It’s coated once again in ACF50 which is fantastic for protecting against the weather and stopping corrosion etc. Just keep it off the brakes and tyres, don’t ask how I know!
I was really happy with the bike, it did some serious miles, some of them at high speed too and it ran for days on end. It did have a few problems though, noticeably the ignition micro switch which I will replace in a few weeks. The steering head bearing are knackered too with a massive notch at dead ahead position. I’ll replace those myself as I did it on my previous bike and it’s not too much of a hassle. Satnav is fixed, it was just a loose connection I think, not bad for a cheap Chinese motorbike satnav. About a quarter of the price of a Garmin Zumo 660 and 80% of the functionality. Although if money was no object, I would get the Garmin.
My bike clothing is fantastic. You get what you pay for I think and the Pro Master range from Heine Gericke kept me bone dry and warm. It is relatively cool with the vents open too and the lining out when it’s hot. I have BMW boots and gloves. The boots are brilliant and my feet were bone dry too, they’re also comfortable to walk in. I only have one pair of gloves, these BMW All in One versions. They’re nice and I have no complaints. I think most gloves, unless you use over-gloves or muffs, will let a bit of water in. My hands were never cold, just perhaps a little damp. Heated grips were a godsend.
I use a Schuberth C2 flip helmet which I bought because of the integrated sun visor and also that it’s pretty quiet. I struggled when i first bought my bike with wind noise, after trying a few screens I settled on the Isotta/Wunderlich adjustable one. It’s brilliant, no wind noise at all and full body protection. When going offroad you can lower it by about 3 inches too so it won’t get in the way. I am very impressed. I could listen to my music on the lowest volume setting and even had a phone conversation at 80mph and the other person didn’t know I was on the bike! I use an Interfone F4 for this bluetooth’ed up to my mobile for music. I get about 8 hours battery on the Interfone which is about all I get from my phone anyhow when it’s streaming music. One thing I will do is to get two or three times as many songs on the phone. I know all the words to the 200 songs I had on there now and can’t stop humming them.
I mentioned earlier about the new Anakee 3 tyres I used for this trip. They were brilliant and after the 4500 miles the rear one is looking good considering it was a lot of flat roads.
I only took my SW Motech top-box and didn’t bother with the panniers as I didn’t need much space. The box is great, completely waterproof and pretty big. I also took a Famsa tank bag which is pretty nice as it has a nice zip on/zip off system. It has a clear sleeve at the top to store things in like ferry tickets, or paper maps. It did get a little damp so I will sort that out by washing it with the same stuff I wash and protect my clothes with. For that i use Nikwax Tech wash. It’s fantastic, it cleans your bike clothing and then you wash it with the 2nd part which waterproofs it. it’s amazing stuff! I hope it works on the tank bag. Saying that though, it may have just been the quantity of rain we had, it really was bad.
I use Nikwax visor cleaner too for my helmet visor. It’s like rain-x but it’s ok to use on plastics whereas rain-x isn’t. It’s great and I hardly had to clean my visor at all even with all the rain, it just beaded off.
That’s about it. Will fix the bike, have it serviced with BMW so it can get the stamp, and then it’s all ready for my next adventure in August!