My broken wrist

As you probably noticed, there wasn’t a video out for a month!

It is because I had broken my left wrist, in fact, I had an avulsion fracture.
I was working my shift at my job (pizza delivery boy), and it was a rainy day.
The scooter I was riding on had winter tires (so I thought) and I was delivering my fresh-out-of-the-oven pizza to my next customer.
For those who wanted to know, it is a “Pizza Quattro Stagione”.

Well, it was dark, rainy, but I’m used to riding in the rain, since I ride every day.
I drove in a dead end (well technically it isn’t, but I may not drive into that street after the road sign), so I intended to go left.
Knowing how to ride a motorcycle in the rain, I rolled off the throttle, and squeezed the brakes gently, keeping the bars straight.

In a brief moment, the front wheel slipped and the scooter just slipped away under me.
Trying to break my fall, I put out my hands to the ground, trying to not hit the ground as a piece of meat, and rolled over about 3x.
The delivery scoot was sliding away on it’s right side.

I wasn’t much concerned of my hands (wrists) at the time, also not knowing one of it was broken. I was more concerned that I couldn’t deliver the pizza the guy paid for, and knowing it was ruined, I rode back to get a new one made.

I worked till my shift ended (about 2 and a half hours) in pain and agony, not having the power to lift a pizza out of the oven. Then I went home on my motorcycle, because that day, I went to an old schoolfriend of mine, showing my bike offcourse and catching up with eachother. That was a good time 🙂

I then went the next morning at 10 o’clock to the emergency department of the hospital, having my wrists checked out, because they hurt like hell.
They took some X-rays of my wrists, and it turns out my left wrist had an avulsion fracture. (where the tendon tears off a piece of bone).
They gave me a temporary cast (just a gypsum one) and the next week I had to come back for a fiberglass one.

I then stayed 3 weeks in my new fiberglass cast.

When the time came that my cast could come off, it felt really weird trying to move my hand in the normal motions again, it hurt like crazy, but after a few minutes, the pain was a lot less than before. I also got a brace to support my wrist when I’m lifting things, but I still can’t do anything hard.

I hope the pain will be over at the end of next week so I can ride again.

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Review: HJC IS-MAX II

When I broke my old helmet (an LS2 370 Easy) because the visor gasket was disintegrated,
I  was thinking about a budget friendly, higher quality, better looking helmet.

Offcourse I was thinking about buying a Schuberth C3, but 350+€ was a bit too much for a student like me, knowing I’d scratch the visor up in no time.

I looked at soms Shark Openline helmets, but they were too claustofobic for me.
The Caberg Tourmax was also a viable option, but I was taking in mind that the peak can catch wind easily, but I’ve never test-driven one, I’ll keep that one in mind for my next helmet.

So I went on and searched, and found the HJC IS-Max II.
Build quality was good, wasn’t too heavy for me, and has the option to build in some speakers. (more on that in the upcoming review of the Sena 3S).

The HJC IS-Max II is a modular helmet, great for people wearing glasses, I don’t want any other helmet than a modular one, only because it’s so comfortable to put on and walk around with it.

This one came with a chin curtain, a pinlock visor, and a handy carrying bag I never use.

The only downside to modular helmets is that there’s an awful lot of wind that can get in your helmet via the small creases.

I’ve chosen for the color white, because it’s a nice contrast with my black motorcycle and suit. It’s also funny because the sony action cam is also white, which makes the cam fit in with the picture.

Ventilation is a small bit of a problem, I don’t feel any good airflow inside my helmet, even with all the ports open. Sometimes I have to open the visor a little bit to let some air in.

I sometimes wear this helmet for about 7 hours straight when I’m working, so it’s quite comfortable.

So, talking prices: The HJC IS-MAX II costs about -,€250, which is not that much for a helmet, taking into consideration that it’s a modular one.
Full face helmets cost also a lot less, just because there aren’t any moving parts that need some serious engineering.

All in all, I find this helmet a good choice for myself, but if I break it withing 2 years, I’m going to buy me a Caberg Tourmax, just for testing it out.

Here’s a picture of the helmet 🙂

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Review: The Sony HDR-AZ1VR

A few months ago, I had a car pulled out on me, which led to a small collision resulting in the cars wiper fluid reservoir and bumper being destroyed.

There was less damage to my bike, only a bent gear lever. Since I was going home from a long day of school, and wanted to go home, we (the car driver and me) opted to not fill in any forms, I didn’t bother because my bike was scratched up already on that side, and his car was a wreck.

After that, I searched for some helmet cams with a good enough FOV and resolution.
I was thinking about the New GoPro Hero, but that one didn’t have a replacable battery, and is also too “blocky” for my taste.

So I went on and searched, till I found the Sony AS100V, but the price, that was a bit too high, till I saw the Sony HDR-AZ1VR.

The Sony HDR-AZ1VR was the perfect companion for me, not too bulky, and even rain-proof without a case, which meant great audio!

In addition to the AZ1VR, which costed me around -,€250 including the Live-View remote, I bought the helmet side mount (VCT-HSM1) and a 32GB Sandisk Class 10 card, which in total sums up to -,€300.

The camera is not so easy to set up. I was fiddling for a quarter of an hour, just to get the live-view remote to work. But when I was ready, everything was set up via the remote.

I thought the image stabilisation will help me getting a smoother image, but it zooms in too much. All my videos are recorded in 1080P 60FPS without image stabilization.
When the camera is in the case, the wind noise is just horrible, even a muffler doesn’t work.

I then took the camera out of it’s case and jerry-rigged a piece of fur on the microphone holes, and it seemed to work, but I still have a problem with buffeting on my motorcycle.
That’s why the audio is so unclear.

Operation time
– About 60 minutes till battery empty on “Wifi Setting on”, I haven’t tried wifi off yet.

I’ve also bought some “DSTE” replacement batteries for the AZ1, they fit right, and hold the carge very well. I could record for about the same time as the original NP-BY1.

If I didn’t have a helmet cam, and hit him in the flank (where he’ll drive off) I never have proof of what happened.

 

Review: Moto-Adventure-Tech Crashbars and Rack for the Suzuki XF650 Freewind

Right now a month ago, I’ve received my new crashbars that i’ve ordered of moto-adventure-tech.com.pl/.
Here is a short review of the crashbars and rack, including pricing.

First of all, let’s see what I’ve ordered.

1) Stelaż Givi Kappa (Rear rack for Givi & Kappa panniers)
2) Gmol Model ADVENTURE (Basic crashbars)
3) Dodatek Górny do Gmola Adventure XF (Tank protectors)
4) Dodatek Dolny do Gmola Adventure XF (Steps & pedal protectors)

It was delivered in about 1-2 weeks, using priority shipping.
Costs a little bit more, but wasn’t a problem, since it was just -,€4 extra.

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It came in a cardboard box, wrapped in a plastic bag. The delivery guys should be more carefull with my parcels. Luckely it was very well packaged, only 1 missing bolt.

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This is just the standard issue crashbar, looks a lot better than an Hepco & Becker one.
The crashbar mounts with new internal hex bolts to the engine mount and footpegs.
Sturdy enough for me.

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This is with thebar with extra tank protector and step-and pedal protector.
It’s about a -,€45 option.

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It also doesn’t stick out as much as an Hepco & Becker bar, which is very convenient for filtering motorcyclists like me.
It also gives it a better look, but it weights down the bike a lot more.

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I haven’t got a proper installation guide for the rear rack, but I can tell you that the rear rack mounts to the rear footpegs and the original topcase carrier bolt-on points.

In total, the whole set isn’t wider than my handlebars and filtering through traffic isn’t a problem.
The only thing I had to do was raising the bike a little bit more to compensate for the extra weight.

Let’s summarize everything in a category.

Build quality and looks
– Tig welded, fully powdercoated, made from thick steel tubes
– Kicking it will definitly hurt your feet
– The rack doesn’t fit very well, some power is needed to pull it in place.

Funcionality
– Symmetrical built rear rack, no wider pannier on the left hand side
– Crashbar protects the sides fully, including the pegs and pedals

Pricing
– I paid about -,€280 for the whole set, including shipping and transaction costs
– An Hepco & Becker Crashbar and rack costs about -,€312 without shipping

Advantages
– Very sturdy, that kind of quality is just nice
– Price
– Looks nice
Disadvantages
– Doesn’t fit always that right
– Sometimes the footpeg protectors are in the way of the shift pedal
– Weights a lot

You can find this set for the Suzuki Freewind XF650 at:
Moto-Adventure-Tech.com.pl (opens in new tab)

First blog

Hi everyone visiting this blog, let me first introduce you to the purpose of this blog.

First of all, this blog is meant for different reviews of stuff I’ve fitted to my bike, and some commentary on my own daily rides, so you can expect some more fine content.

It’s still in its baby steps, but I’ll try to get it updated as soon as possible.

Second of all, let me introduce myself for the moment.

My name is Alexander, currently 21 years of age, and I’m facinated by motorcycles.
Adventure motorcycles in particular.

I was bit by the motorcycle bug a few years ago when I was 18. Looking at enduro riders being hooligans, supermoto wheelies, you know 🙂

I then bought a small kids size dirt-bike for -,€50, and fixed it up for about -,€50 more.
It was a white, 2-stroke, automatic LEM LX3 Sport, with big wheels 😀

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The LEM LX3 Sport

I’ve mounted new grips, exhaust, seat cover, rear fender and a bike speedometer.
I’ve reached about 70km/h on this bike, and it was really fun, for 2 months that is.
Then I had to go back to school, not having a normal way of transportation, I sold this bike for about -,€250, that is a €150 profit!

Since I didn’t have a motorcycle license (because of the stupid Belgian laws), I bought an orange moped.

Not a normal orange moped, a Chinese orange moped, called the X-Motos XB-33 – 50W.
Restricted to 50cc’s and 45km/h. I got the license for my moped with my drivers license.

As a normal youngster (of 19 years old) I was speed driven. Everything had to go fast,
and 45km/h is not fast enough for me.
I began tuning the orange moped sumo with first raising the top speed using a different gear ratio to 60km/h, but redlining the bike was bad for the cylinder, and broke it.

A replacement cylinder, piston and head costed almost the same as a 75cc kit.
Knowing nothing about engines etc, I just disassembled the block and installed the 75cc kit. Offcourse if it aint fast and loud, it aint for me. So I’ve bought a straight pipe for it.

The thing was loud, and luckely I didn’t have any contact with the police 🙂
It rode about 70km/h.

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The Xmotos XB-33-50W in particular.

On my 20th birthday, I’ve taken a theoretical exam, which I did pass with 46/50.
I immediately went to the local driving school to start my lessons.
To pay for these lessons, I had to sell my (th)rusty orange moped.
Luckely I still got -,€500 for it, so no sweat.

My dad also helped me by paying a part of the cost for my lessons, whichfor i’d thank him very much.
It was a whole new world to swap from 75cc to 650cc. It steered more difficult.

The learner bike was a Kawasaki ER-6 from 2009 with a full on crashcage.
In my lessons, I fell about 5 times, all at the figure of eight and the slow riding practice.

Let’s skip a few months ahead…

I bought my XF650 Freewind in november, a month later when I started my lessons, knowing I’d be riding very soon.
I paid about -,€1000 for the bike, excluding the taxes and insurance.

Insurance for a learner isn’t cheap, I paid (out of my own pockets) -,€780 for 1 year!

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My bike, the ’98 XF650 Freewind in it’s original state.

I failed my driving test for about 2 times, and had to take extra classes, which costed me also an arm and a leg. In the end I’ve finally gotten my provisional license, and was good to go to ride my Freewind.

A few months passed, and the first mods came, which included:
– Silver parts sprayed black
– Red wheel stripes
– New chain, sprockets and oil+filter
– Handguards
– High mounted front fender
– Some stickers
– An M.S.R. Exhaust (more on that later)
– etc…

Then I was ready (although I thought)
….
I did my driving test again, with my own bike, all went great till…
I drove in the wrong direction, disaster struck, I failed AGAIN!
I immediately signed up for extra lessons, and a new try.

And finally, after about 4-5 times, I finally got my motorcycle license!
I was so relieved that I didn’t have to pay the examination center and the driving school another penny (or cent).

That’s the story about how I got my own license to ride 🙂 (date of issue: 05/aug/2016)