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Old 06-12-2012, 12:12 PM   #1
CowboyKyle OP
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Location: New (?) Jersey
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Trip to midwest - gear review - the good and the bad

I did a ride from Northern New Jersey to Madison, WI recently and thought I would give a quick review of how all my gear held up. I saw temps up to 88 F and down to 45. The latter was in the rain - all day rain. I won't get into all the details of the happenings, but i'll review the pieces of gear I used, and how they held up when needed or not.

Items I used:

2011 BMW F800GS equipped with Anakees,
- Bike ran great. Had it serviced in Mischler's in Beaver Dam, WI at about 4700 miles. They got me in and out in a couple of hours, thanks guys!

Sargent Seat
- although this has held up great for commuting and a trip to VT and back, it was killing me by the end of the longer days. About 400 to 500 miles on this seat and I was ready to call it for the day. Made me miss the rock hard Corbin I had on my R1100S.

SW Motech top case/plate/locks with drybag
- did great, no leaking in some heavy down pour. Not even into the box. The dry bag works well for a small duffel too.

Wolfman Medium Waterproof duffel bag
- This bag was really great. It is super tough. I had it strapped down to the back seat with the straps it came with, and there was never any wiggle. It stayed super dry and I rode through at least 5 hours of down pouring rain. I would buy another of these any day. In fact, I can understand the thought to go soft panniers when you have a product like this.

Wolfman Explorer lite tankbag with rainfly
- This was nice also. Certainly not too big for the F800, and I could fit a surprisingly lot inside. Only downside was slapping the rainfly on when the storms came. But that took about as much time as it took me to pull in my phone and GPS too, so total time about 30 secs!

Held airstream gloves
- my favorite gloves. only downside is not waterproof.

Held steve gloves
- also great gloves - warmer. with some nitriles or latex underneath, they can do a good impression of a water proof glove.

Sidi Tepor boots
- left boot leaks. To be fair, the boots are about 7 years old, and smell like it too... Some plastic bags around dry socks work in a pinch.

First Gear Ranier jacket
- worked great. I did not get wet. I also didn't bring along the inner liner... so I had to put my rain jacket under the Ranier for warmth at one point. Perhaps it breaths too well. The built in hood is nice too. I didn't have an issue with rain going down by my neck, but perhaps because I used that hood each time it began to rain... Dries quick overnight. I am glad I purchased this jacket.

First Gear Escape pants
- Work as well as the jacket. Two complaints - first, too bulky. They need cinch straps like on the jacket. Second, and maybe this was my water logged boots... but water made it up past the gaiters and about the lower 6 inches of my pants were wet after a day of riding in the rain.

Joe Rocket back protector
- I really like this thing for longer rides. It has a velco girdle type lower strapping that helps me keep good riding posture. Makes virtually all back issues non-existent during and following rides. Haven't tested how it helps back issues on get-offs... :)

Droid X2 with mount
- great phones, droids. If reception is good, I get pandora and google maps the whole way. Also queueing areas helps a lot if you know you will not get reception. Blue tooth to my adapter, and I used entymotic HR5s for noise isolation and music. I found out the cable I had was the issue why the charge wasn't holding up. I had thought the battery connected USB plug was just insufficient to keep up with music/gps/bluetooth/active screen. I picked up a new cable in Beaver Dam and actually found that I gained battery life doing all those. I think the previous cable had some corrosion issues leading to connection problems.

Garmin Oregon
- rule number something or other - always have a back up. Even with out of date maps, my GPS was able to direct me to a reasonable hotel in the tiny town of Evart, MI when it was sorely needed. Something my phone was not helping with. Google fail. Also nice in those times when you are out of cell range (Verizon: no, I can't hear you now) and still want to know where you are!

Had a good time. learned some things. Forgot somethings.

I don't recommend a round trip from the east coast to the midwest, there really isn't that much good riding in IN, IL, or MI. Unless you like flat, straight roads. There was a specific reason for me to go, but I think the next trip will be different direction!

Any questions on anything, let me know.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:35 AM   #2
rboett
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[QUOTE=CowboyKyle;18894899

Droid X2 with mount
- great phones, droids. .[/QUOTE]

Hey there,, how did you mount your droid x2? some kind of ram mount? with a waterproof box?

Looking for a solution myself,, the otterbox defender series does not say anything about waterproof..

TIA
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:42 AM   #3
CowboyKyle OP
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Sorry for the delay in response. I use a ram mount. Not waterproof at all. When it rained or got close to raining the phone went in my tank bag followed by the rain fly over that... haven't figured out anything water proof yet.


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Old 12-04-2012, 01:46 PM   #4
rboett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CowboyKyle View Post
Sorry for the delay in response. I use a ram mount. Not waterproof at all. When it rained or got close to raining the phone went in my tank bag followed by the rain fly over that... haven't figured out anything water proof yet.


Sent from outer space.
I ended up getting an aquabox pro 20,RAM-HOL-AQ7-2LU and the RAM-B-238U.

I ordered the wrong one with out the clip that mounts to the ram mount, and could have bought the RAM-HOL-AQ7CU to attach but I made a heavy duty velcro attachment. It looks pretty waterproof. I just need to figure out how to get power into it., probably drill a hole, and get a right angle usb micro B , attach it to a waterproof usb plug
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