HManPhoto's Random Musings

Posts covering ride reports, motorcycle gear reviews, game and movie reviews, and thoughts on life and my job.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Silvania Silverstars

I decided to give the Silvania Silverstars a try in my car. I didn't like the yellow tint to my lights and figured I'd see if the hype about these things was just that, hype.

I have to say after a week with them I'm actually satisfied. Its not a world of difference but the improvement is definatly there. I can see further and the contrast is higher. I actually notice the most improvement on low beam surprisingly. The beam is cast further and the actual visibility of things is higher.

High beam is better as well, I just don't notice as much of a change as I do with the low beam. I'm going to try to find the same model car as mine with standard halogens this weekend and try to get some comparison pictures for you.

I guess in the end, only you can decide if its worth the considerable price difference. For now, I'm going with yes and will continue to purchase them.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Clear Signals??? Have I gone rice?!

Nope, not at all. Its actually come about through a chain of events.

As I've already mentioned below, I'm going to removable hardbags for my sport-touring trips. This requires that the rear turn signals be moved. I personally don't like the way the kit does it as it just does not look good.

I decided to fix the issue another way as well as clean up the appearance of the tail section. I spent some time looking over the various undertail kits for the Busa and finally settled on the UFO undertail. Its not as common as the Top Gun or any of the others and looks fantastic. Plus, with the signals being integrated into the tail itself I free up that space needed for the bags to hang down.

Since the tail section comes with clear lenses I decided to make the front match. The problem with this is that the aftermarket lenses for the front tend to leave a gap between the fairing and the lens. This is rather unattractive and looks somewhat slapdash. Lo and behold, the 2005 and up Hayabusa will be coming with clear signal lenses. A trip to the dealership yesterday and the parts were on order.

I'm hoping to have them in within a week or two if they aren't back ordered and we'll see what the final appearance is. I'll post pictures as soon as possible.


Saturday, January 15, 2005

What does the future hold?

The future sport-touring add-ons for my bike could be numerous. However, I do have a few set items that I hope to have mounted by early to mid spring.

First off will be the Zero-Gravity Double Bubble windscreen. I don't honestly have any trouble with the wind using the factory screen. However, I do have issues with the way the air hits my chest and bounces into my helmet. The reason for the ZG windscreen is that the wind carries bugs right into my face. You've not had "sport bike excitement" until you are hauling tail down a curvy road and you notice out of the corner of your eye a bee/wasp resting and recovering on the edge of your visor. It helps also that the double bubble compliments the lines of the bike. I'll be purchasing in light smoke to look like stock and still allow use of my digital camcorder to record my rides.

The next stage is a set of SW-Motech Quick-Lock Removable Sidecases Racks. Gives me the ability to haul a set of Givi bags but on weekends or after I've gotten where I'm going I can remove them in about 30 seconds and noone will be the wiser. I will also be using their tail rack system. All of this will allow me to haul two 35 liter bags and one 46 liter tail bag. Total storage will exceed my old 2001 Kawasaki Concours.

I plan on useing the E41 side bags for the conveniant second door that allows you to open part of the bag without opening the full clamshell. This makes it easier to remove small items without the hassle of trying to keep everything inside while open on the side of the bike. The tail bag will be a V46 simply because I like the styling and the large capacity.

Now, I'm comfortable with the leg room on the Hayabusa but I was told by one of the commentors on a post below that the ProTeck Pro Light slash cut pegs offer an additional inch of leg room by dropping the height of your feet. Might be something to consider if you have knee issues. An inch can go a long way when it comes to long trips.

Another item that I consider to be important is a centerstand. I'm not in a particular hurry to order one or to put one on but knowing my luck I'll be 500 miles from home and need it. Thus the reason it IS on the list. Maybe it will help me decrease my procrastination levels when it comes to oiling my chain. I tend to be on my way home from somewhere and think to myself, "I need to lube my chain before I head out again". Of course, I end up saying this every ride. That being said, I've found Castrol's chain wax to be an EXCELLENT lube for the chain.

I've got a few more minor items to cover yet but hey, I've got to leave SOMEthing to add later now don't I?

Have a great day and I hope your weather is better than mine currently.

Stay safe out there!

Continuing the Cycle.

Well, I've committed myself to my next upgrade. Hopefully I won't regret it. If there is one thing I dislike about riding the Bus is the less than adequate low beam. I've never been happy with it and I'm finally doing something about it. Within a couple of weeks I should have in my possession an HID conversion kit for the low beam.

I'm purchasing the 5,300K bulb in order to get the whitest light possible. HID is said to produce three times the light of a standard 55w halogen at a mere 35w draw. The light is also pure white and as close to the color of the sun as you can get. This helps with contrast making everything stand out better, most importantly, deer.

Recommendation for the high beam is a Sylvania Silverstar bulb. I'll purchase it at Wal-Mart because I get a discount there. Once I get everything here I'll record the process and give a thorough review.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Why the ads???

I've been asked by many people why I chose to add the Google add bar. The reason is simple. If everyone that logs in here to read this will click through the four adds above each time they visit (they ARE relevant to what you are reading about) I could make enough money off of them to purchase server space to put up video clips of rides and products. That is something I'd love to do but I'm just not willing to sink the cash into that out of my pocket.

Hope that explains it well enough and doesn't run anyone off.

Didn't expect all the feedback and questions.

I didn't realize I'd get asked so many questions and recieve so much feedback on my previous posts but its great!

Anyway, I'm still working on the write-up for the future of add-ons to the Hayabusa. However, just a quick response to a question by at few different people that messaged me.

I've been asked about the Sony earbuds I use with my IPOD when on the highway with the bike.

I used to use KOSS "The Plug" head phones. I used them for close to three years and they did their job well. However, a few months ago I purchased the Sony Fontopia earbuds. Part number MDR-EX51LP. They cost $20.00 more than the KOSS plugs but the difference is night and day. They seal better and the sound quality is fantastic.

If you don't want to spend a lot of money the KOSS plugs are not a bad choice. However, if you really enjoy your music as I do then do yourself a favor and purchase the Sony plugs. I thought about trying the noise cancelling but didn't want to spring for the cash. Perhaps in the future I'll move to those.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Turning the Hayabusa into a sport/tourer. What it takes...

Ever ride a stupid distance on the wrong bike and realize that the trip back will be absolutely the worst ride you've ever taken? I have. More than once.

If you've done the same then you know that your thoughts start to drift to buying a better suited bike. Or, like me, you start to dream up the important items and farkles it will take to get your current bike up to speed for getting you to your destination and back again with some semblance of comfort.

Now, while many an ST1300, FJR1300, or Goldwing rider would disagree with me; the Suzuki Hayabusa can make a great sport-touring mount. I know many a man/woman that can put some crazy miles under their tires on a bone stock Busa. I however, cannot. Which brings us to this article.

The first weekend I had the bike, I rode in stock trim, a hair under 500 miles on a Saturday afternoon. While I was in reasonable shape I could already tell that there was going to have to be some modifications.

Now, as the typical rider knows, this isn't a bad thing. It also doesn't make the bike a bad bike. Just means I wanted to personalize it to fit my taste. Sure I could go buy an FJR1300 and have a capable touring mount. However, that doesn't mean I would be as happy as I am on the mighty GSX1300R when I crack the throttle coming out of a sweeping right hander and sail down the road at a rate that would convince the non-riding (or even some riding) readers that I need my head examined.

So, what exactly do I consider to be necessary items for this transformation to be complete? Lets get started with what I already have and then go from there.

First on the list was the seat. While the stock seat is not exactly uncomfortable I decided to upgrade it first. Aside from the stock seat on my old Kawasaki Concours, the big Suzuki's seat was the most comfortable stock saddle my cheeks had ever been placed upon. I knew exactly what seat I wanted as I had owned them before. A call to Corbin had me waiting anxiously for the new parts to arrive. Corbin isn't known for having the best customer service but thankfully I've never had a problem with them in my three previous purchases. They are also known for hit or miss quality control. While I had one bad spot in a seat four years ago I've not had anything negative to say about my saddles from them since.

The seat arrived in about three weeks. Custom cut up front to make it easier to get my 32 inch inseam to the ground. With this slight custom work and a stock seat height that is already low, my feet are firmly planted on the ground whenever they need to be there. I ordered mine in "Corbin Fiber" which is a nice looking texture in the fiber. It looks good and it helps grip your pants and limits the involuntary sliding in the seat when hard on the brakes or throttle. With silver piping the seat also sets off the silver color of the bike. With a little work getting my seat and the pillion pad to fit right (common with nearly ALL Corbin seats) I was happy with the mounts and ready to ride.

Now, most Corbin seats need break in time. I believe they suggest 1,000 miles. While I've agreed with this most of the time, this time I did not. It was quite comfortable right out of the box. Ok, first mission completed, now what?

Well, ok, so this next mod was exactly a touring mod. However, its one of the best improvements to me because I'm a stickler for the right "sound". I went for the exhaust. First choice due to everyone insisting on them was Yoshimura. However, wanting to be different and not exactly overly enthused with the sound level of the Yosh pipes I chose Scorpion. They are relatively quiet but give a very nice and un-inline four'ish deep growl. While I will always prefer the rumble of a sport-twin I must say that I'm quite enamored with the music these pipes play. On top of it all they are titanium and are simply a joy to care for. Wash and dry and they hold their shine regardless of what weather they have been put through. They were even once covered in white cakey mud (don't ask) and came out spotless after a wash with a hose and a plain ole rag. The "flame" coloring isn't really my style but it draws a lot of compliments.

Next up, bar risers. I had no question about this one. I wanted the best and so I bought the best. Heli-bars are bar-none my favorite choice. I've tried others and while they are ok in their own right, the Helis are my favorite. They raised my grips 1 5/8", brought them back 1/2", and made them 1/2" wider for more leverage. Fantastic!

Last but not least was the issue of tires. The Hayabusa is rough on tires. It can shred the stockers in under 2000 miles if ridden aggressively all the time so I decided to go with something that would live a little longer. I ended up choosing the Avon AV-45/46 combo. While they took quite a while to get scrubbed in they have made me very happy. They stick like glue in the tight stuff so long as I don't get overly happy with the go-juice. Even if they do slip its controllable and tends to come back into traction without pitching me... so far.

Well, thats it so far. What's next? Well, in the next couple of days I'll write up what is in the future for the Busa. My mission is layed out before me. I'll convey it to you and hopefully have it completed successfully soon.

Stay tuned!

My current ride, a 2003 Suzuki Hayabusa. Bike review as well as reviews of modifications will be coming soon.
copyright hmanphotos

New Camera On The Way

I'm hoping to be within two months of owning a new digital camera. That camera would be the Canon EOS 20D. With its high resolution and the ability to take rapid fire shots I intend to get some great action photos from both road course and drag race tracks in the area. I also intend to shoot a lot of landscape shots from the southern Indiana and central Kentucky regions and put them together for an online "book".

I currently do photos and poster prints of various show cars/bikes and will likely be pushing that a bit more in the future after purchasing this camera. At this point I tend to let those jobs come to me. I intend to push for them more in the future.

I believe the Canon camera will open up some job possibilities that I just cannot tackle with my current arrangement. While it takes great photos, my Sony has just too much lag in the shutter release to do the action shots I'm currently after. Add onto that the fact that I can only shoot one picture every two seconds and I'm just far too restricted.

Up soon after the camera... a new laptop to accompany it.

Getting started can be a pain.

Well, here it is. The first official post by me on this site. Really a bit of an experiment. I am more familiar with posting on message boards but thought I'd give this a go.

Since my interests vary greatly, so will the posts on my blog. I'll be covering anything from movies to cycle gear and everything in between. If I buy a new toy I'll post up a review of it. If I buy a new cleaner I'll post whether it works as advertised. If I go for a 400 mile ride one day I'll post pictures and info regarding it.

Hope you enjoy reading it and I hope I don't tire of writing it.