Saturday, March 5, 2022

Prep Work Who Me?

I've been well known for prepping for a ride the night before and not having things go to plan. Like fitting luggage rack to my R1 the night before a trip and having it not fit, get the ECU flash tuned and then have the engine light on in limp mode because I'd pulled out the EXUP motor. D'oh.

So then fast forward a few years and maybe just maybe I may have learned from this and have prepped my bike for it's next trip in 3 weeks time. Shock horror I know but I have to be sensible sometime.

First up was to fit up a set of radiator guards from Rad Guard, which required pulling apart the entire upper fairing pieces. Whoever designed this Africa Twin is indeed evil as it's a little complicated to get apart when you don't know how. 

Next was a set of Barkbusters and some heated grips. I got a set of Oxford grips as they were pretty cheap and readily available. The left grip went on quite easily but the right grip got stuck halfway, with the cyanoacrylate going off rapidly I had to give it a quick tap with a hammer that was close to hand. It went on with 2 quick taps, but the grip was catching on full throttle and not coming off, damn. Geoff and Scotty dropped past after their Borowa ride and a bit of WD40 freed it up again.

The original Bridgestone AX-41 road tyres on the bike were quite well shagged and in desperate need of replacement. I checked out multiple youtube videos on adventure tyres and road tyres. I wanted to get something a little more aggressive for riding on gravel roads but had no idea what I was looking for, and still don't as I write this. I felt a bit overwhelmed really as I must say this is an area I have no experience in whatsoever. I wouldn't know a good dirt tyre from an asshole or an elbow.

My bro put me onto Tyres for bikes, yeah the ones that fitted his tyre on backwards. So last Saturday I was going to take the bike up but was pissing with rain here. Yep time to take the rims out and take them up and get fitted, stay dry and with the $60 I saved by doing it myself I bought a case of beer. Win Win.

Tyres for bikes is in Dural so about 30 minutes from my place. They have the most bikes tyres I've ever seen anywhere. Plenty of choice here.

I went in there with a picture in my mind of leaving with a nice set of Pirelli Rally STR, but somehow came out with a set of Motoz Tractionator Adventure tyres. Err dunno how that happened, I went from 80/20 Road/Dirt tyre to 20/80 Road/dirt tyre. Oh well lets see how this adventure turns out I guess. I felt much better when I got home and my bro asked what I got and he says "Worst front tyre ever"........

Well only time will tell, if it is shit then it's only $170 down the drain and I'll put something else on. Suggestions welcome from the adventure riders. So far we've been inundated with biblical rain for the last 2 weeks and haven't had a chance to take it for a spin to try them out.

So the last bit of kit I got was a new set of gloves when I was in MCAS Auburn picking up the heated grips. My gloves had been pretty much worn out for the last year, the velcro keeps coming undone and the finger tips are starting to get tears in them so a new set was on the cards. My old Alpinestar gloves had 3 velcro straps to do them up which was quite painfully slow to be perfectly honest, so I wanted to get something with only 2 straps at most. I was happy with the old gloves aparts from the 3 straps so a new set of Alpinestar SP8 came home with me. They have a touchscreen device friendly finger tip on each index finger which should be good for using the phone or screen on the Africa Twin.

Hopefully the rain will stop soon so I can get out for a test ride on these tyres and decide if I'll keep the front or not. Only 3 weeks now until another BIG trip.


  1. yes tyres are a controversial subject

  2. Should last about 5 minutes eh?

    Mitas FTW!

    1. I thinks Dave's Mitas lasted about 5 minutes. He just put on a Anakee wild in Tasmania, the Mitas was cactus.

    2. Anakee wild will be worse. Colin got 2 rides out of one...