May 18, 2018
An amazing 500-thousand miles / 800-thousand kms were logged with Scenic in the last two weeks. A new record, which tells me that the cold weather is fading, even in the most northern parts of Canada and Scandinavia (both of which are beautiful to ride by the way).
There must have been some awesome trips in those miles and if you’d like to share some experiences, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Send us a short description and some pics and perhaps we can dedicate an article to it in one of the upcoming editions. After all, sharing adventures on epic routes is a big part of what the Moto Intel Report is all about.
This is already the 4th edition of the Moto Intel Report. Time flies when you’re having fun! Jasper, Tom and myself are having a blast putting it together for you, having some long discussions over which articles to cover as we ride around Mexico. Just last week we took the bikes down from Mexico City to Acapulco for the weekend and passed plenty of time discussing these very pages.
In this issue we talk about action cameras, a new motorcycle segment, how to change oil yourself, Tail of the Dragon, safety vs style when going to work on you bike and of course a bit of MC Humor.
Now, without further ado, let’s get rolling…
More and more people are riding with action camera’s attached to their bikes or helmet. This isn’t very surprising as the prices of these cams have dropped drastically over the years while the video and sound quality have increased tremendously. You can shoot beautifull scenes with cameras that cost less than $100.
I’ve been trying to find a good link for your guys. A link where action cams are put to the test in real life, on a motorcycle, by a motorcycle rider. Turns out it’s quite difficult to find such a link. The vast majority of articles simply sum up the specs with a fluff story around it, written by people who have not actually used them in real life and possibly don’t even ride a motorcycle. Just Google for ‘Best Motorcycle Camera’ and you’ll get quite a few of those ‘top’ lists. Not a bad place to start, but before making a final decission I definitely recommend finding a review video of the specific camera that caught your eye. You’ll find one on YouTube I’m sure.
I own a camera myself. A GoPro knockoff. In total it cost me around $75 and I’m quite happy with it. It came with a case and a variety of mounts and connectors to attach it anywhere on a bike or helmet. The video is of a very high quality and the image stability is great. Just make sure to attach it to a steady part of your bike, like the steering wheel or directly to the frame – avoiding any parts that vibrate such as plastic fairings.
I’ve never fancied attaching a camera to my helmet. I don’t particulary like the videos shot with helmet cams as they are often unstable, but more importantly, I don’t like to have things attached to my helmet because of weight, wind-drag and additional air-flow sounds. Jasper however has his camera on his helmet and is very satisfied with it, so I guess it’s personal preference too. Here’s a very complete article on motorcycle camera mounting tips.
A new segment
15 years ago, you had a Nokia to make calls, a computer to send e-mails and an Ipod to play music. In 2018, industry leaders have listened carefully to their audience and have integrated several functions into one powerful product.
The motorcycle industry is no different. After the rise of heavy adventure bikes such as the BMW 1200GS and the Yamaha Super Tenere, buyers started demanding lighter, more aesthetic and versatile adventure bikes that they can ride anywhere and anytime they like… without sacrificing power.
Adventure bikes such as the BMW F850GS, the Honda Africa Twin and the KTM 1090 Adventure R have started filling that gap. But for the ones who demand serious off-road capacities, and are willing to sacrifice a bit of comfort, there is a new segment in the making.
KTM and Yamaha have started building a new generation of light weight two-cylinder adventure bikes that close the gap between heavy adventure bikes and light weight enduros.
First of all, KTM had both adventure and enduro fans licking their chops when they announced the 790 Adventure R at EICMA 2017. A daring, rugged and Dakar inspired look combined with futuristic looking headlights and a gnarly Akrapovic exhaust makes it the perfect mix between a supermoto, the 690 Duke and a heavy adventure motorcycle. A completely new 799cc twin engine is expected to churn out 105hp and we expect KTM to add features such as KTM My Ride, ABS, traction control and different riding modes. I can’t wait to test this ridiculously cool bike… but for now, check out how Chris Birch is testing this bike in this Top-Gear like video.
KTM’s no.1 rival in this new segment, and another highly-anticipated motorcycle is the Yamaha Tenere 700. The bike is powered with a 689cc twin parallel twin engine which is expected to produce 75hp at 6,500 rpm. The bike’s slim frame, rugged look, carbon panels and LED lights give it a badass look.
Currently, the bike is being tested by expert riders to test its capabilities in the toughest circumstances. Yamaha has taken its sweet time to develop and test the 700 Tenere, but we expect the production model to be finally unveiled at the 2018 EICMA. For now, have a look at Rodney Faggoter riding the 700 Tenere prototype in Hervey Bay Australia.
DIY Oil & Oil Filter Change
After brushing up on good chain and sprocket maintenance in the previous edition, the next thing you can easily do yourself is an oil and oil filter change. It’s incredibly easy to do once you know how. You just need some basic tools, new oil and a new oil filter. For most bikes these are easily bought at your local motorcycle shop or even online.
The first question however is WHEN to change your oil. Well, like chain maintenance, opinions vary hugely on this. On average, people recommend between every 3000 mls / 5000 km and 6000 mls / 10000 km. It depends quite a bit on your bike and the oil you use (synthetic or mineral). I recommend to follow your bike’s manufacturer recommendations on this.
Here’s a very good article explaining everything you need to know about changing oil. The video in the article is not the best I’ve ever seen though. I recommend searching for a video for your own bike. Chances are somebody already did an oil change for your bike and made a video of it.
Going to work on your motorcycle; safety vs style
Do you wear a suit to work? I do; sometimes the ride to work messes it up and I show up in less than mint condition. My commute is about an hour and if you do that often enough, chances are you’ll fall off sooner or later.
Therefore I always try to ride with full gear, meaning jacket, pants, boots and the full-face helmet. Changing can be a hassle but with all the practice I’ve had I can now do it in minutes. Sometimes I have to visit a customer and I change on the streets or in a Starbucks. Not very stylish I admit.
Safety first and that means there are not really any style tips I can give without being less safe on the road. Do you have any suggestions? How do you do it? Please let us know so we can share it with out readers!
ROUTES / RIDE REPORTS
Tail of the Dragon, North Carolina
Bordering the stunning views and forests of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this road is legendary among bikers for its incredible 318 curves over just 11 miles/17km. See the video above for some awesome on board camera shots.
As a testament to the challenges it presents, the Tree of Shame is festooned with bike parts that were loosed from smashed bikes along the route. There used to be a bike buried in the bank and Carl Cooper wrote a poem about it:
Here he lies with pistons and crank
Buried up to his ass
In the face of this bank
He challenged the Dragon
To have some fun
As you can see, the Dragon won!!