Not Such An Angry Post

So, the last post was made while I was in a pretty bad mood. I thought about deleting it but it is what it is. In other news I’m coming up on two weeks on 2 wheels. So far I’ve ridden home in a *really* bad thunderstorm and had some very, very cold mornings but overall it’s been good.

I’ve run into some limitations with being 2 wheels only. Grocery store runs suck. I can only shop for a couple of days at a time. I’m looking into a few ways to get around this including buying dry goods from Amazon and meats from Schwan’s. I’m not sure it will be economically feasible to have things delivered. The grocery store is on the way home and other than my intense dislike of shopping I really don’t have a good reason to pay the delivery premium.

I am finding that the bike is setup ok for long trips but not so much for daily riding. I’ve got a list of thing that I’m going to need to add/upgrade to get it to a good point so I feel completely comfortable.

Saddlebags – I have the stock Suzuki saddlebags on the bike. They are decent size wise but they don’t lock. Normally that’s not a problem since when I’m on a trip I’m either with the bike all the time or I don’t really care if what I have in the saddlebags get stolen. I’m looking for locking saddlebags and something with a bit more room than the stockers. So far I’ve found two options that I’m considering:

Corbin Hardbags

and

Leatherlyke Saddlebags

There’s a huge price gap between the two different bags. The Corbin hardbags have a size advantage on the Leatherlyke’s which are roughly the same size as the bags I have now. I really like the Corbin’s better than the Leatherlyke but the price gap is a hard thing for me to overcome. Both are lockable and waterproof. But the size advantage of the Corbin’s is very desirable since I will be using them to carry groceries and I’d be able to store my laptop in them instead of bungee’d in my backpack to the back of the bike.

Lighting Upgrade – The nature of my job requires me to work late some times. This turns into riding backroads home, in the dark hoping critters don’t jump out in front of me. So far I’m planning on upgrading my headlight to a higher output bulb and getting a lightbar, which will add 2 more lights up front. Something like:

Suzuki Lightbar

Seat – This is something I’ve been meaning to upgrade since I bought the bike, but I’ve just never gotten around to it.. I want a seat that drops me down a little bit into the bike as well as having a back rest for those long trips. The last trip I took to Orlando ended up being pretty uncomfortable on the stock seat. I’ve found a couple of different seats I’m thinking about:

Corbin Dual Tour Saddle

and

Mustang Two Piece Vintage Touring Seat

Tires – I’m riding ~40 miles a day to and from work now so tires are going to be a biggie. Typically motorcycle tires are made of softer rubber than normal car tires to promote “stickiness” or grip. I’ve been reading a lot of forum posts and have seen some folks only getting ~1000-1500 miles out of their tires. Well, at roughly 400 bucks for a set of tires that’s simply unacceptable for me. My riding style isn’t that aggressive and with my last set of tires I got ~10000 miles out of them. I’ve looked at several different brands from Avon, Metzler and Bridgestone. Bridgestone were the tires that came with the bike and they seem to give me a good balance between grip and wear.

There are several other things that I want to do but those are cosmetic and will be done after everything else is done. As far as an order of precedence, Saddlebags will be first. Then the lighting upgrades and finally the new seat.

6 thoughts on “Not Such An Angry Post”

  1. Have you got a back pack? When I used to walk to the local stores, I would carry what I bought in a back pack.

    Ok, I have a question. Why did you get rid of the Jeep? Are you ever going to get something with 4 wheels? NC has snow, right? What will you do then?

  2. Lightbars make a huge difference in what you can see in front of you as well as people seeing you. +1 on the back pack and as a general rule most people don’t mess with bikes/bikers i have never had anything on my bike messed with and i have bags that don’t lock. With that said i would not leave your Rolex in your trunk but that is just me.

  3. @Mom, I do have a backpack…I currently bungee cord it to the passenger seat. The problem with that is I don’t feel comfortable stopping anywhere on the way home since it would be trival to just lift the backpack off my bike. I do have a bag that I use for camping that I can put groceries in but it’s a bit cumbersome to take on and off. I will probably buy something with 4 wheels eventually…As for snow, NC is just like MS in that if we get snow things shut down..And the nature of my job just requires internet connection.

    @Brian, Yea..I’ve never had anything messed with on my bike..But I think now that I’m on it 100% of the time it’s just a matter of time. At work we have a parking garage but students pass through all the time…I know that a motivated thief will get in even with locks…But hard bags and locks would be a pretty good deterrent, I think.

  4. You could get a small trailer, most have locks and you can get them used on Ebay for pretty cheep, I have been eyeing them for some time just never really need that much extra space.

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