Thursday, May 15, 2008

Soft Ties, Ramps and Chocks

Yesterday I was introduced to soft ties. You learn something new every day. In our planning and preparation for our motorcycle adventure to the West, there have been several small items to consider. Now that I’ve learned about soft ties, I can see their value and may purchase a few sets for myself.

At the moment we are in the investigative phase of our trailer build. That’s why I have not had an update for a while on this project. We did a trial and error test on ramps and discovered we want something more significant than what we had first planned on. I found one on-line that seems suitable, but I want to check around for pricing. The reason we feel this ramp is good for us, is that you can keep your feet planted as you ride the bike up onto the trailer.

We also need tire chocks. We saw some of the rail type, but after the ramp test, we also decided that aiming for the rails would be too difficult. You are probably thinking “what’s the big deal?” Well if you’ve never driven a motorcycle up a ramp, then you wouldn’t know. It’s not as easy as it seems. Our motorcycles are stored in an elevated shed that requires a ramp for access. I’ve been riding the bike up the ramp for five years, and it is tricky every time. You need just the right amount of throttle, don’t stall the bike, and for heaven’s sake, brake before you go through the back wall. Ask me how I know. You can see a few examples of the simple chocks we are now considering at the ramp link above. Check the right hand side bar.

Last season all I did was gripe about my GPS. Every time I used it on the bike it would lock up. When that pleasant voice would say “lost satellite reception” I would curse. I had the bike looked at and a few questionable connections were “cleaned up.” So far so good. The unit has not locked up once. I want to try it using an actually programmed route. I will have a chance to do so on the upcoming NE-Canada ride at the end of May. I will write more about that ride later.

Although each item viewed independently may seem small and trivial, as a whole they contribute to a successful trip. I now know that I need a better setup for the camera. The new riding pants are great! The riding glasses I picked up at California Bike Week are fabulous. For now, we seem to be in a lull. However, I feel it is good to step back, take a breath and see what we have, consider what’s missing, and try to cover every possible scenario. As with the soft ties, you never know when you will learn something new.

No comments: