If you’re like me, when you just need to walk away from the bike for a few minutes you might often find yourself putting your helmet on your handle bar and checking it for stability 8 or 10 times before walking away, fearing the whole time that it will fall off and burst into a million pieces the second someone sneezes anywhere in the parking lot.
Because of this, I usually just carry my helmet with me. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a stable and trusted way of just hanging the helmet on the bike somewhere for a few minutes while you fuel up, get an ice cream cone or make a phone call? Well, now you can. Enter, the Helmet Hook.
The Helmet Hook is, as the name might imply, a hook for your helmet. The hook is designed to bolt onto the handle bar end, between the bar and the bar-end weight. Most bikes these days have some sort of damping weight on the ends of the handle bars, so the number of bikes on which this *won’t* work should be small and fleeting.
To install the hook, you simply unscrew or unbolt your existing weight, slide the screw or bolt through the hook and reinstall the weight. The weight has a sizing washer in the center to help accommodate various mounting options across the plethora bikes and manufacturers.
Take a look and send George a note if you like the product. The Helmet Hook product can be ordered directly from eXtuff’s website and the price includes shipping. Paypal is accepted and should make for a very easy purchasing experience.
The majority of road bikes use wet sump lubrication, the ‘sump’ being a pan beneath the crankshaft where the oil is stored. A pump picks it up from here and forces it around the engine into the various bearings, spray jets and so on. After the oil has passed through the high pressure part of the system it drains back down into the sump purely under the influence of gravity.
It’s simple and inexpensive, but there are disadvantages. The first is the size of the sump. Usually this will have to hold around 4 litres, maybe more. This is quite large – look at a 5 litre oil can to get an idea – and clearly it has to be at the lowest point, so the engine has to sit higher than might be ideal. Under hard acceleration or braking, or when the going is very bumpy, the oil in the sump can slosh around. In extreme cases this can mean the oil pump’s pick up tube becomes open to the air, and air bubbles are passed around the lubrication system, causing a lot of wear and damage. But it also means the oil can wash up against the crankshaft, which usually spins just above the surface of the sump oil. This causes a lot of drag, reducing engine performance as well as causing the oil to become foamy, which degrades its lubrication abilities.
The alternative is dry sump lubrication. Instead of storing the oil beneath the engine it’s kept in a separate tank somewhere else on the bike – in the frame on the Aprilia RSV Mille for example, or in the swingarm on air-cooled Buells. This means the engine can be positioned lower in the frame (very useful with naturally tall engines such as the V-twins mentioned), and the problems associated with oil sloshing around are eliminated. It’s easier to increase the oil capacity this way too, which means extended service intervals. The penalty is increased complexity (and hence cost), as you now need a separate tank and two oil pumps. One pump scavenges the oil draining down to the bottom of the engine and feeds it up to the oil tank, while a second, more powerful pump takes oil from the tank and feeds it back into the lubrication system under pressure.
Some bikes though use a semi-dry sump system, including many off-road machines as well as the BMW. What this really means is that the system is to all intents and purposes a dry sump design, with two oil pumps, but the oil tank is still incorporated inside the engine cases. In the F800’s case it’s still stored beneath the engine, but not directly beneath the crankshaft.
It’s a little more complex but by doing it this way the designers have more scope for lowering the engine and making it more compact.
We got an email asking about several things including a decent tire changing setup. I thought I’d take a moment and paste in my response here in the hopes that it might help someone who’s looking to save a little long-term money on tire changes.
Enjoy — CH
As for the tools, I’ll run through my current setup, and give you some advice at the end.
I have the following tools, and I use every single one of them.
* Harbor Freight tire changer with motorcycle wheel adapter. * Mojo Lever (the lever that comes with the HF tire changer is garbage) * Mojo Blocks * Motion Pro tire levers (2) * NoMar Spoon Bar (1) * Yellow Thing * NoMar XtraHand clamps * Harbor Freight wheel balancer
If I had to do it over again, the only thing I’d really change is to forgo the HF tire changer and go with the Cycle Hill changer or, if budget allowed, the NoMar Classic. Other than that, I think I’d stick with my tool selection. I think the Mojo Lever is better than the NoMar lever, and the motion pro spoons are freaking awesome.
You asked and we have provided. You can now easily find past episodes on the site or in an RSS feed using the provided Archive categories and the links to the archive RSS feeds.
Just below the “Contact” section on the site are links to the archived episodes grouped by year. Clicking on any of the archive links will direct your browser to display the RSS feed for the group of episodes. Depending on your podcatcher and browser, you may see links or options right on the page to subscribe without having to take any further steps.
In most cases, however, you’ll likely need to copy the URL from the address bar in the browser and paste it into your podcatcher. Most podcatchers and RSS readers will require similar enough steps. Below you will find instructions for subscribing to the feed in iTunes.
If you have any problems or questions, get hold of anyone at The Pace Podcast by sending email to Feedback @ The Pace Podcast. We’ll do whatever we can to help.
Locate the list of archive links below the "Contact" section on the main site. The archives are listed by calendar year.
Right click on the link for the desired archive year and select "Copy Link Location" (note: some browsers may word this differently - "Copy shortcut", "Copy link address", etc.))
Start iTunes and ensure you are in the Podcast section. Click on the Advanced menu.
Click on the Advanced menu, then select Subscribe To Podcast.
Paste the URL into the popup box and hit Enter. That's about it. You're downloading episodes. You may need to manually select older episodes from the list, but they should all appear as available for the selected year.
I have not taken any recent pictures but enclosed is a link to the facebook album where I have posted some of them.Â I bought it in several boxes and have been doing the ground up restoration over the last couple of winters.Â The pic of the entire bike in the album is one that I found online so it is not my actual bike.Â Tank and plastic parts are out getting painted as we speak and I hope to get the engine in the bike in the next couple of weeks. This model was never available in the US, only Canada so parts are more difficult to source locally. Â Many of my parts have had to come from the UK where there is a cult following for this bike.Â Interesting too is that Paul Manson(another listener) has one of these bikes too!
Another “multi-feature” helmet currently on the market is the Vemar Jiano. This helmet is a larger shell, modular helmet which includes an internal drop-down sun visor and integrated bluetooth communications.
My friend Paul just ordered one and when it arrived, he brought it into my office for me to look over and take some pictures. He was also kind enough to let me try it on.
The helmet fit me pretty well in size Large; it seemed to fit well for my roundish shaped head with no apparent pressure points or hot spots. I’m just coming off of 4 years wearing a Shoei Multitec. This helmet feels lighter than my old Shoei and has a similarly sized outer shell. The internal lining and padding felt good, and I didn’t experience any “face squish” from overly large cheek pads. Vemar seemed to pay attention to detail of fit and finish.
The controls for the visor, modular chin bar, vents and sun visor all seemed easy to use and intuitive. I did not try to use the controls with gloves, but given their placement and ease of operation, I suspect there will be no issues. The snow shoe style chin strap latch was also able to be opened with one hand using the convenient pull tab. A very nice feature, indeed.
When the chin bar is open, one can easily see the mounting and routing of the flexible boom microphone. Also, the charging jack is prominently placed in the front for ease of connection. Open the chin bar, plug in the helmet, wait for charge. No battery or device removable is necessary. Again, a nice bit of attention to detail.
I will ask Paulie to keep me updated on the bluetooth system’s ease of use, volume and sound quality, and the helmet’s wind noise levels.
The Vemar Jiano is available for around $175 from various online retailers.
Batten down the hatches and unfurl the sails…Â though, if your bike has hatches and sails, we want pics… and make way for the mountains. Nautical talk in the mountains, you say? On a motorcycle? What madness is this? The Adirondacks, son… and Lake Placid. Is Lake Placid even big enough for sailing ships? Who cares; we’ll go, we’ll ride, we’ll party.
That’s right, the 2012 Pace Motorcycle Podcast’s riding trip has been decided. We’re doing the ‘Dacks. Plan on a long weekend in and around lovely Lake Placid, New York, home of the 1980 Winter Olympics. The Adirondacks offer some wonderful scenery, some great riding, and a plethora of places to unwind after a day in the saddle.
The trip is planned for a long weekend, July 27th through the 30th. Anyone wanting to join the ride up is welcome. We’ll plan on leaving the Wilmington, Delaware area early on Friday the 27th, and arrive in Lake Placid in time for dinner. We’ll be home-basing at the Econolodge in the town of Lake Placid. As the time draws closer, we’ll be planning day-ride routes, group dinners and hopefully The Pace will be able to set up a few microphones and talk to some attendees.
Please share your route and must-see destination ideas. Tracy Road is already on the list. So let’s hear it – routes, restaurants, day-stops, overlooks, etc. What’s on your list? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.