Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Bags-Connection Speedpack Bag

We're really shooting for low quality blogging tonight.  Bad pictures and an uninteresting topic! Before you start to ask yourself, "What am I doing with my life?" and "Maybe I should get back to balancing my checkbook." lets just throw a image on the screen to help distract you.
That didn't help did it?  Ok, if you have no interest in motorcycle luggage you're allowed to leave.  I promise I've got some good shots for my next post..check back soon.  For those of you who are easily entertained lets move on.  I've got my first large multi-state ride planned for next month.  I'll be meeting up with some of my fellow riding club members in Arches, Utah.  From there we'll head east through Colorado, south through Kansas and Texas, and back home through New Mexico.  I'm pretty excited!!!

Task number one was to find some good luggage to transport my gear. I didn't want anything permanent or with lots of ugly mounting hardware.  Quick on, quick off. I'd like to maintain the overall look of the bike when I'm not touring.

When in doubt turn to the web.  One of the first blogs I stumbled upon, and still my favorite, is MyBonnie.  If you click on his "gear" page you'll notice he uses the Speedpack from twistedthrottle.com.  It appeared to have everything I wanted and of course MyBonnie swears by it.  The only problem..it's only sold by one company, twistedthrottle.com, and it's super expensive.  It was a big gamble but what the hell, lets give it a shot.  I ordered online and a week later this little package arrived via UPS.
One of the main things I like about this bag is that it rests entirely on the rear portion of the Bonneville seat.  And lets face it there is a lot of real estate back there.  It's nice to be able to put it to good use.  A bonus that I didn't plan on was that the side bars of my Renntec rear rack help support the side bags.  So no saddlebag supports needed.
As far as I can tell the quality of the bag is quite good.  Heavy duty stitching and serious looking zippers.  The two side bags are connected via straps that lay across the seat.  You then place the larger bag over the seat straps and velcro all three bags bags together.  That may not sound secure, but I can tell you nothing is separating those bags unless you unzip them yourself.  You attach the bag to the passenger foot peg support bars, in the front, and to the license plate mounting bracket in the rear.
I don't have it strapped down in these pictures..but I found another post where you can see how the straps work.  When you're done it looks like you've pitched a tent on the back of your bike.  I think it looks pretty unique and I'm betting it will be a conversation starter every time I stop for gas.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Triumph Demo Day (aka the demo day I missed)

I was sent north, by the powers at large, to increase my knowledge of new things.  Translation: I was sent to Phoenix to do some cross training due to the fact that my job is being expanded again.  Luckily I planned ahead and uploaded a few pics from my PC at home.

Back in April my dad and I stopped by a vintage bike show.  Towards the end of our meandering we were buying a couple of Triumph t-shirts from a vendor when a fellow customer walked up and said "Hey did you hear about the Triumph demo day going on at Performance Cycle?"  After I finished collecting my eye balls from the ground and closing my jaw from the gaping open position, I asked him if he was sure and then told my dad we had to stop and take a look.  For those who don't know what a demo day is, typically you don't really get to test drive different bikes at a dealership.  Too many riders want to test drive all the bikes, and that racks up miles on show room models which lowers the overall sell price.  As a result, manufacturers will typically send large trucks around the country loaded with the latest models that people can sign up and take test rides on. 

I specifically signed up on the Triumph web site to be notified if a demo day was scheduled in my area.  Triumph must have lost my notification email in the vast ether between their computer and mine because I received no such notification.  And I hadn't been to my local dealer for a few months otherwise I would have seen the posters.  As a result we didn't get over to Performance Cycle until 3:30pm and they were closing up shop at 4pm.  Thus no chance to ride every bike that Triumph makes.   Curses!!

The last test ride of the day was out on the road..so I just snapped a few quick shots in between drooling all over the bright plastic and chrome.
Here's Triumph's retro cafe racer, the Thruxton.  Pretty similar to the Bonneville but with lowered handle bars and a little more sporty look. 
This is a new model from Triumph for 2011 called a Tiger 800.  It's a dual sport bike that feels at home on the pavement and dirt roads.  This version has more city styling while there is another model called the Tiger 800XC that has more off-road styling.
This is a good looking bike!  The new Thunderbird Storm.  Matte black paint with a 1699cc engine.  Did I mention I didn't get to ride any of the bikes?  Probably a good thing.  This one could have gotten me killed.
That same Thunderbird storm in front.  I believe that is a normal Thunderbird behind it.  Notice the single headlight and shiny black paint.  I'm pretty sure the red bike on the right is a 2011 Speedmaster.  And there are two of the new Tigers and a single Thruxton back left.
My dad next to a Sprint GT without the hard cases.  Horrible shot of the bike.  Should have gotten it from the other side.
Well that's it.  Sorry..I really should have taken more pictures.  I was to busy ogling all the bikes.   What really looked good..and of course I didn't take any pictures of it was the Tiger 1050.  Really nice! looking bike up close.  If I could have only test driven one of them the Tiger 1050 would have been my first choice.  This is because I'd like to get into sport touring eventually.

Well that was the Triumph Demo Day that I didn't get to demo at.  There's always next year....(sad face)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

ABCD Entry

This is my entry for the ABCD - Will you take part?

My wife and I just got back from taking it.  I had forgotten today was May 1st.  Luckily I checked my blogs this afternoon and saw another blogger with their picture.  I yelled out "Honey, we have to go take a picture!"  After I explained the whole concept she was in and we hopped over the Tucson Mountains to find a nice deserted stretch of road.  This is McCain Loop Rd just west of Tucson, AZ.  It's light on cars and gives a nice back drop.  This is my usual destination when jumping on the bike and wanting to get away from it all.

UPDATE *****
Here's a link to all the pictures that were taken on May 1st.  LINK