Sunday, April 13, 2014

Farkle Crazy

When I rolled Blaze out from her winter slumber into the spring light of day, I looked her over with love and appreciation. The first thing I noticed of course was that she needed a good polish and spit shine. I then threw a leg on over and sat admiring her from that vantage point. It was just Blaze and I having a moment together. My eyes wandered over the handlebars and I was a little surprised at how much stuff I’ve managed to find a spot for over the years. I recalled all the items that over time, I’ve attached, removed, replaced or abandoned and came to the conclusion that I have a real farkle fetish. I was compelled to pull out the smartphone and catalog in photo all of what I have on this bike. How many of these items do you also have? Or what do you have that I might want to consider? (Considering my fetish.)

I get lost in my own back yard, my sense of direction being non-existent. So this is a requirement in my book; a GPS holder for the global positioning unit. I have a Zumo 260, which suits my purpose nicely. You can use a gloved hand on the touch screen. If ever I’m lost, I just select “home” and it routes me there and saves me from panic attracts.

This item is a universal smartphone holder. I can connect my phone to my external speakers to play music, or I can connect it to my headset and then I’m the only one hearing the music. I can also take calls on the road through the Bluetooth enabled headset on my helmet. If my GPS has me confused, I can use the smartphone as a backup. I can check the weather radar, find restaurants, hotels, or answer questions about anything else that occurs to me. The GPS can find a few of these things too. I personally like calling all the motels in the area before I decide where to stay.

These are the external speakers through which I listen to music. However, I found they are only really suitable at speeds less than those you’d do on a superslab. I can’t really hear much once I pick up the pace on the highway. But they look cool don't they?

While this looks a little sad here in this photo, it’s not really that bad. I really like a small bag in front especially if you’re not an Easy Pass holder. I keep those tickets they hand you at the toll booth on highways that charge by which exit number you use at the other end. I also keep a comb, lip balm, hand sanitizer, pen and note pad, because I love to take notes and write about places I’ve traveled too. Blaze was not designed to support such a bag, but Andy constructed a piece of aluminum and fit it across the windshield on which to attach it.

Blaze didn’t come to me with engine guards and highway pegs. The engine guards I feel are a requirement, because no matter how good a rider you are, sometimes the bike falls over. The pegs I never much used until our trip to Sturgis. Those long days on the bike from New Hampshire to South Dakota found my knees aching from being in one position too long. It was a great relief to straighten out the legs on long highway stretches between stops. I recommend them for long distance touring. 

If you have a lot of electronics with you on your trips, such as GPS, Smartphone, headsets etc, you will need a way to charge on the go. Andy installed this 12 volt power outlet for me just under the seat. I’ve found it a value on long days when the phone or headset drain. We have also pumped tires. That one service is worth a gold mine if your tire runs low or you get a flat in the middle of nowhere.

Why do I never seem to have enough room on Blaze despite two roomy saddlebags, and my little window tool bag? This rear luggage rack is great on long trips. Last year on our trip to Nova Scotia, we used this for our collapsible cooler. We’d pack a lunch, strap it down here, and when we became hungry, we’d ride until there was a vista, or scenic view at which to enjoy our midday meal.

My first motorcycle didn’t have a windshield. My rider friends recommended I get one especially if I was going to do any highway riding. I read all the literature on specs for motorcycles and started with a short one I could see over. As time went on the windshields got taller. Blaze came to me with this one. It’s tall and I have found it the best windshield I’ve ever had. It saves your neck from a lot of strain on the highway and keeps a lot of those stones and bugs from hitting you. Ever have one of those June Bugs smack into you at highway speeds? Let me tell you, they hurt! 

This is a throttle rocker. This one happens to be built into this after-market handle grip. I love this! I’ve had the plastic slide over ones in years past. They work OK, but I’ve had times when my sleeve caught it and moved it. Not something you want to find out by “accident.” These handy items save your wrist on long days like those we had on our ride out to South Dakota.

This is a universal beverage holder. I keep one of those insulated cups with a build in straw in there with water. You can really get dehydrated in the wind, and if it’s a hot day, you are even more susceptible to dehydration. The straw can’t fly out as it has a stop ring near the base. If we pull up at lights, I always take the opportunity to bend over the straw and take a sip.
This is a bit blurry, but recognizable all the same. It’s a holder for items with clips. We keep a set of walkie talkies here. As we often travel with another couple, and sometimes lose sight of each other at attractions, we are always in communication via the walkie talkies. You can also use it for other items that have clips. I used to put my flip phone here before I got the Smartphone.
Now this little gadget is handy and tollbooths where you toss a few coins into a basket. No fumbling in pockets. You can access your coins without removing a glove. Then you’re on your way in no time.

This little item is looking a little sad for wear. It’s a solar powered LED flashlight. I have it attached with Velcro right behind my license plate. It always seems that motorcycle problems arise after dark, and the flashlight is always ready and handy.

   When I first started riding Andy was concerned for my safety. He’s a big horn user. So my daughter gave me this on Christmas, an air horn. I still don’t use my horn much and when I did, the person who’s attention I wanted could never hear it; Andy. 
     “How can you not hear an air horn with you are right in front of me? I’ve been blasting that thing for the last ten miles!” 
Then we’d have to backtrack for whatever item fell out of his pocket this time. I now look him over before we get on the road to make sure the zippers are all closed. With all that said, I don’t think you should count on people hearing a horn to keep you alive. Not everyone hears. I know this first hand.

I love chrome! Yet Blaze arrived with very little of it, so this little bit of fender farkle fits the bill. Not much to say about that except isn’t it pretty?

I had some very nice freehand painting done on my last motorcycle, but it took me a while to decide what fit Blaze best. I met a woman at Americade last year that did this freehand. I’ve been very happy with it and symbolizes for me the freedom I feel when riding Blaze and being in the wind.

I’d love to hear what you have on your own motorcycle! You can respond here, or join us on Facebook to share your photos.

Blaze after her spring cleaning.


SonjaM said...

A farkle fetish? That's a good thing, right? I admit that my Vespa is farkled a lot more than my Harley, because I like my motorcycle as pure as possible. No windshield, no GPS or smart phone. Just old school riding with the wind in my face and an old fashioned map for directions.

Trobairitz said...

That is quite a list of doo-dads on the bike. Seems to suit Blaze just fine though.

I am kind of like Sonja, no gps, no windscreen, no smart phone, no iPod, etc. Paper map in the tail bag and occasionally the GPS is stashed back there for double checking on things when stopped.

Of course, I do have the Sena radios on he helmet to talk with hubby.

Patricia Henderson said...

Trobairitz, I do love the Sena headsets too!

bob skoot said...


I suppose that I'm like you. I need my farkles. I also have a Sena but no riding buddy, just in case I meet up with others

I find that a windshield is a safety item. Stops rocks and debris from going into your eyes.

A weekend photographer or Riding the Wet Coast