Rain Coat Water Repellant

John Boyd | Ohio

Problem is I can’t see! Rain smearing my face shield is beyond irritating–it’s dangerous! I keep my face shield clean, but it doesn’t seem to help when the rain starts. The smallest speck of “bug guts,” dust, or other debris serve as catch points for water and a face shield that is almost impossible to see through. Several years ago a friend recommended Raincoat Water Repellent from MotoSolutions (http://www.motosolutions.com).

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Seal Mate

Tosh Konya | Ohio

Just before STAR, I noticed the left side fork seal on my NT700V was leaking oil. Not wanting to take the fork completely off the bike and disassemble it, I found an inexpensive tool (around $5) called the “Seal Mate” so decided to give it a try. It is cut from thin (0.27 mm), flexible material and the idea is to insert it between the fork seal and the fork tube, then go around the tube a few times and re-move. It is directional so the hook end should be leading. The theory is that the Seal Mate will push any debris ahead of it and the hook will extract that crud when the tool is re-moved. It worked great and that fork is still dry some 4000+ miles since that time. (editor’s note: I have also had good luck with the Seal Mate. I used it to remove sand from a friend’s fork seals after a get-off at a track day, thus saving his weekend. The Seal Mate is thinner and more flexible than a credit card, and safer than a thin knife blade.)

Harbor Freight Motorcycle Lift

Tosh Konya | Ohio

I bought a HF lift several years ago and it has made a lot of my maintenance tasks a lot easier. It has a drop out panel for the rear wheel removal which alone made it worth the price. I paid $299 and recently they raised the price to $319, but it’s still a bargain at that price.

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Newfoundland: Two weeeks, Two bikes, Two fools!

Quint Marcaletti | Ohio

Mark Morel asked me sometime in May if I was planning STAR this year in Rapid City. I had been in that area after STAR ’12 in Avon. I said that I had read some reports about riding to Newfoundland and to the most eastern point in North America. Mark was excited…”Let’s do it!” It was on! Mark wanted an adventure bike for this trip, and ended up purchasing a new 2013 Suzuki 650 V-Strom Adventure just 3 weeks before heading out. Here’s a brief chronology of our adventure.

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Middle East Trip

David Edinger | Texas

I packed my riding gear for Lebanon where my wife was working for 2 months. Research showed no motorcycle rentals available and nothing but warnings about how there are no rules for the road, endless hazards and seemingly assured mortality for those on two wheels. Don’t even try it. And yet, upon arriving, I was pleased to see that motorcycles were everywhere, though very few were full size bikes. Ninety percent were either scooters or small Chinese bikes as city traffic makes smaller bikes and scooters a better choice.

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2014 BMW R 1200 RT

Nick Zarras | Managing Editor

When the BMW K 1600 GT/GTL was introduced it took the limelight as the premier sport-touring/touring motorcycle in the BMW line. The BMW R 1200 RT’s limelight as the premier sport-touring motorcycle had dimmed. It was long overdue for a technology upgrade in its future. Well the future has arrived. The boxer engine configuration that has a legacy of over 80 years has been transposed from the BMW R 1200 GS with upgrades tailoring it to a sport-touring platform. I tested the R 1200 GS in STAReview 3204 and was enchanted by the new power plant that provided strong acceleration into the 120 mph plus zone in a liner fashion. But the upgrades that include components familiar to the K 1600 GT/GTL and R 1200 GS/GSA riders evolve it into the upgrades for the BMW R 1200 RT, a motorcycle that takes a back seat to none.

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