Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Carol..uhh, Ural-ing

And here I thought I'd done something last year when I transported a 7 foot Christmas tree home inside our Honda Fit, but Barry a/k/a "Windmill" from ADVrider put me to shame when he and his wife recently rode their Ural side-hack rig to a tree farm near their home in Kent, Washington.

Photo used by permission.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Formotion Motorcycle Thermometer product review

I've been quite happy with my Formotion clock, so I expected great things of Formotion's thermometer. While (like the clock) the thermometer is beautifully machined and finished, durable and waterproof, it's also largely useless.  I ordered the stick-on 1.5" liquid-filled unit in black alloy to match my clock -- Formotion no longer sells directly so I had to buy from Amazon.  The first meter arrived with its fluid escaped.  After several attempts to contact Formotion thru Amazon's website I contacted Formotion directly, which timely sent a replacement unit. Using 3M Dual-Loc, I stuck the thermometer tn a horizontal fairing support in front of the steering head on my ZR-7S, a location which is out of direct sunlight but influenced a bit by engine heat while stopped.  I several times compared it's temperature readings in the garage (cold engine) to readings on a nearby electronic Teltek Informer II unit (review soon to be posted) and they were very close.  However, over the course of a couple of thousand road miles, it's obvious that the Formotion thermometer simply doesn't respond to temperature changes quickly enough to be useful.  I say "quickly enough" but the truth is the meter doesn't respond much at all -- particularly on the downswing.  I realize many motorcyclists don't see the point of on-bike thermometers, but for folks like me who like to know the ambient temp (either as an ice-watching aid or to record highs and lows), a thermometer must be fast-responding. The unit read 52 degrees when I put it into a zero-degree F freezer:  after 10 minutes it still read 52; after 2 hours it read 48 and after over 12 hours later it was 42. That's slower than, well...molasses in January.  Do yourself and your wallet a favor and pass on Formotion's thermometer. 

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Formotion Motorcycle Clock product review

Formotion clock has resided on my ZR-7S for at least 30,000 miles so far, stuck to a homemade aluminum bracket on my instrument cluster using 3M Dual-Loc. Even though it sits in the sun all day in my office's parking lot, the beautifully machined 1.5" dia. black alloy case looks nearly new and the numbers on the white face show no fading.  Formotion says its waterproof; not a drop has penetrated mine and it has seen a fair bit of rain.  It keeps time extremely well, the battery lasts a few years, and it seems tough as nails.  Not cheap at about $38 US, but worth it.  I can't find anything negative to say about it.  Formotion makes the same basic clock in stick-on and bolt-on varieties and in several combinations of case and face colors, including a glow-in-the-dark  face option. If your motorcycle doesn't have a built-in clock, you can't go wrong with a Formotion.