Pivot Pegz

Pivot Pegz are bear trap style pegs that are allow for rotation forward or backward of center.  The intent of the peg rotation is to allow your boot to have flat contact on the peg when leaning slightly backward or forward.

Ringing in somewhere around $150 US these pegs are not cheap.  However they seem to be extremely well made and so far I have no issue with them.  I weight around 275 Lbs and stand on them while forestry roads and offroad.  I think I have put about 15000 miles on mine with little issue.

These are nice and shiny - and probably have about 60% more surface area than the stock pegs being both wider and slightly longer.  There is no rubber insert to help with vibration however.

I did find that when leaning forward the peg interfered with the kickstand foot-peg and it would start to lower the kickstand a little bit.  As a result I cut my kickstand foot-peg shorter.  In more recent models of the Terere you will notice they actually relocate this little kickstand foot-peg.

While having no problem at all with this product - I would not likely buy it again.  I don't think that it makes enough of a difference for my riding style to be worth the money.  I think these are more than a little 'poser' - but that is just my opinion.

I give them 2 gears based on price, and their interference with the kickstand..

 



AltRider Crash Bars

AltRider is a US company based out of Seattle Washington that produces American Made hard parts of adventure Motorcycles.

If there is one single item you need to buy for your Adventure bike ensure that it is some seriously well made crash bars.  I am not talking about the all show - soft crash bars that mount to the engine on your bike - but a serious 1" tube that mounts directly to the frame.

AltRider does this so very well.  Note that in the image above you can see that both sides of the bars connect to each other. This allows force to transfer across the bars rather than just ending at the end point.

It's the Captain in him.

Lucky Paul managed to drop our Tenere on a wide sweeping turn on a wet highway.  We are not sure how he pulled that off - but it certainly proved that these bars are the business.  Sure we had to replace them afterwards - but given the amount of bend they took - I am pretty sure the bike would have been a complete disaster without them.

AJ has dropped his Tenere 3 times now - and the AltRider bars have been there to save the day.  The slow-mo tips when you are doing something tricky are the most common.  The design of these bars really pay off then as they only extrude to the point that actually are likely to touch the ground.

The last part of these bars that I like so much is how well the work with the bike itself. The design follows lines that you see on the bike and therefore they really look like they belong on the bike.  Sure - you don't buy crash bars for the look ... but let's be honest, if they looked like crap you wouldn't want them on your bike.  These look phenomenal on the Super Tenere.

Fortunately, AltRider took into consideration that you might need to gain access to the electrical system behind the fairing and the crash bars allow access and removal of the panel without having to remove the bars.  Great if you need to replace a blown fuse - as we discovered on our recent adventure.

 

Given how well these bars have held up to real life use - I easily give them 5 gears.

 

Big Agnes qCore Mattress

Air mattresses are a tricky bit of business if you are an adventure rider.  Just like our cyclist friends there is a big desire to have small stuff.  Small tents, small sleeping bags, small stoves and other tiny camping gear.  We don't have much space - and the alternative to tiny items is adding more and more luggage (I am allergic to this - you won't probably see a 'mega trunk' review here).

The air mattress is a little tricky. Usually not very heavy, but often it having a fairly large footprint when rolled up for packing. If you reduce the stored footprint then typically it isn't a large mattress or it isn't very thick.

Then along comes the Big Agnes Q-core series.  

I selected the XL size cause I am an XL kinda guy.  It rang in at $200 at REI.  Here is the thing - it packs down to 11X6.  It blows up to a 3.5 inch thick insulated sweet dream that barely fit in my tent.  The thing is 75 inches long (that's 6 1/4 feet) and 25 inches wide.

This bad boy is so plush I could hardly believe it - and the thickness means you are that much removed from the cold ground.  We just were on a trip that was slightly above freezing and I was in total comfort.

It has not been long enough to see if this guy will pinch and deflate (like all the others) but so far this is by far the best air mattress I have ever owned.  It is also the most expensive by a lot. So there is that.

If you really want to have a good night sleep - and you don't want to have a huge amount of luggage on your adventure bike - then this mat might be for you.

Here are the negatives.  You have to blow this madman up ... and he is a lot of volume.  Unlike some of the others that I have had - it doesn't seem that this guy self inflates at all. I felt like the big bad wolf in the forest with all my huffing and puffing.

The only other minus is the hefty price tag.  Ouch.

This mattress gets 5 of 5 gears as it really fits the bill.  Packs pretty small - inflates HUGE and is super comfortable.

 


Contour+2

I have had my Contour+2 for the last few years.  I have mounts for it on my helmet and on the bike itself.

 

What I like about the Contour+2 is that it is so easy to use.  You can basically make two different settings for what you want to capture - and then easily switch between those two settings.  For example - I have setting 1 to capture high res video, and I have setting 2 configured to take a photo every 5 seconds.

When I want to turn the camera on - I simply reach up to the camera and slide the top control forwards - I do the reverse to shut it off.

I also like the shape of this camera.  When it is on the side of my helmet - it doesn't look like some silly square box.  I really dislike the look of the go-pro when mounted on the top of a helmet, and while this is a function over form conversation, I still really dislike how that looks.  This camera is pretty sleek - and it allows you to simply turn the lenses at the front of the camera to display what angle it is collecting the video at.  If you get confused - it has a handy laser alignment tool so you can visually see what the camera thinks is the horizon.

It is also pretty rugged.  I dropped it while riding around 40mph on pavement.  It is dented and banged up - but works perfectly.  Chicks dig scars - and it is certainly that.

The battery life is pretty awesome with this camera and that might actually lead to the conversation as to what I do not like about the camera as there is no playback feature.  Even when you bluetooth connect to your iOS device - you cannot (as far as I can tell) play back the video - nor manage any of the files.  If you left the camera on while you ate lunch and burned a huge amount of your Micro SD card, you cannot delete that file without connecting to a computer.

The camera used microSD for memory which is handy.  It also has a GPS feature which I admit to never having had used.  

Despite the inconvenience of not being able to review or edit files on the go, I really do love this camera.  It is the on/off switch that really seals the deal for me.  With this camera mounted securely on the left side of my helmet, all I need to do is reach up and slide the switch forward and I am recording.  

It is so easy and quick that you might get to it when you start to see your riding mate prepare to eat it.  Fun times.

Overall I give this camera 4 gears.  If the iPhone app had a few more features I think it would get a 5 gear rating. 

Saddlemen Adventure Tour Seat

At first glance the Saddlemen Adventure Tour seat for the Yamaha Super Tenere is interesting.  The design with the trench in the middle is intended to provide perineal nerve relief.

I got the two up seat and liked the notion of the pillion having hidden d-rings that are covered with a small flap. Additional attach points are never bad on an adventure bike.

I had no trouble mounting the seat with no pillion.  Usually I have a rack in place of the pillion.  However when I put the pillion seat on - I had a real struggle to get the riders seat to mount properly.  Later I would put it on incorrectly only to have it shift radically while I was riding.  This issue continues to plague me whenever I remove and replace the seat.

The first big run I had on this seat I spent about 9-10 hours on it as I road from Portland Oregon to Missoula Montana.  I must say that I did get a little ass fatigue, but potentially not as much as usual.  It is hard to tell as I also have adopted a process where I stand for about 5 minutes for every hour ridden - intending to allow blood-flow back to my behind.  I start this standing process before my butt hurts.  In any case - I would not say that this seat was uncomfortable on the freeway.

When I got to Missioula, I headed into the hills and valleys on a rainy weekend.  This is where the seat really showed it's true colors.  For some reason I do not understand the seat is fashioned from what appears to be a suede like material.  This material acts a lot like a sponge and just drinks and holds the water.  I screamed though a puddle on a dirt road and sat down onto a cold wet seat.  It would stay cold and wet for the remainder of the day.

I found this suede like material also had very little grip and I often found myself sliding around on the seat - especially if I was braking and didn't have my knees locked on the tank.

Given that I have the adventure seat for both OnRoad and OffRoad use, I was very disappointed by this seat.  I nicknamed it the Saddlemen Soggy Bottom.

I would rate this seat with 1 gear, and I would advise against buying it.

UPDATE:  I called Saddlemen - they are recovering the seat with their waterproof suede material.




Leatt cFrame Knee Brace

This is the first knee brace that I have ever used and it is the first version of a  Leatt Knee Brace they have made.  I selected this brace for two reasons.  

1 - I like the fact that they leave the inside of your knee free so you can feel the tank

2 - It's Leatt.  They know protection.

When I got the knee brace I was really excited - but then really confused.  The brace looked a lot like it had already been used.

Leatt Knee Brace with scratches out of the box

I didn't return the brace to Revzilla where I had bought it, as I was leaving the next day and really wanted to try the brace out.  I did however call them to see if perhaps it had been a returned unit.  It was not a previously returned item. When they saw they pictures they gave me a partial refund once they knew that I didn't want to return it.  Revzilla is the best place to buy Moto equipment in my opinion.

The braces themselves were awesome.  They are highly configurable so the event fit on my tree trunk legs.  I rode with them for an 8 hour freeway day - then a couple of days up in the hills.  I did not feel them on ... ever.  They are super light anyway - but the lack of frame on the inner thigh allows you great contact with the bike.  The result effect is that you don't even notice them.

They made the fit of my AlpineStars Tech 10's a little bit difficult as my calfs are thick and they already put the Tech 10's to test.  However they all fit together well.

I was riding with no armor above the waist and having these on definitely instilled confidence, and at the same time made me feel like my elbows and shoulders were at risk.

My only request (given the large calfs) would be slightly longer straps for the calf guards.

Overall - this product gets 4 gears.