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Old 08-06-2011, 10:25 PM   #227
neduro OP
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Joined: Jul 2003
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Oddometer: 12,022
A major debate that we had within the team is what lights to run. There is a lot of night riding in the Dakar, but hopefully not a lot of night racing. To explain: Most stages start near dawn, often many kms from the bivouac, so the commute from camp to start line is done in the dark. Typically, this is not done on the most difficult terrain... and if you're still out after dark on the race stage, things went wrong. But you clearly need good lights.

I told everyone who would listen I didn't want HID. My experience with them has been fussy- if you have exactly the right voltage, and the ballast woke up on the right side of the bed, you've got great light for not much power. I don't like fussy.

Enter Kurt Forget @ Black Dog Cycle Works. He recommended the Rigid LED lights as being reliable, indestructible, and very very bright.

That sounds like my brand... and while I haven't ridden at night with them yet, they pass the "holy shit are those bright" shop test, in side by side comparison with an HID racelight we had lying around.

I've got two- one 2x2 which should be livable for other drivers coming toward me, and one D2 which is pretty much blinding. I like blinding.

"A man's gotta know his limitations" - Dirty Harry Callahan

My limitations include anything to do with fiberglass and paint... so Ganshert and C.Vestal have been running this show. Chris drove 250 miles one night to get the fairing parts from Scot, while I was off breaking my foot. Yup, these guys rule.

Here are the first set of parts off the molds, mounted up:

With holes cut (that's a touchy moment!) and after some sanding:

And with the intrepid C.Vestal in our state of the art paintbooth:

Hermetically sealed to keep a statistically accurate sample of whatever is in the air embedded in the wet paint. It actually came out pretty nice due to his efforts:

Awesome stuff. In 2 weeks, a bunch of ne'er-do-wells with unrelated full time jobs have made something really fucking cool, and I think it will prove to be as good as anything out there for what I need.

Plus, because the entire fairing budget consisted of pizza and beer, instead of cubic dollars to some shady european, I can afford to have spares, to test it thoroughly on multiple bikes, and I think coolest of all, there won't be any surprises- I know where this stuff came from in the way a mother knows about her baby. Well, OK, maybe a surrogate mother, since I do have some limitations.
Doubletake Mirrors- Folding D/S mirror that is both useful and indestructible.

Dual Sport Riding Techniques DVDs: Clear instructional DVDs to improve off-road skills.
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