Sunday, September 30, 2012

Shoes were the last thing

on my mind. I can usually do without them. Saturday was just a normal Saturday. Nothing special, I ended up in Steveston for breakfast with the guys, just like normal. I parked next to the Waves coffee shop on Bayview Avenue and


noticed a nice self portrait of myself with my "new to me" "R". This was the first time I had a chance to attach all my cases and head on the highway to see how they handled at higher speeds, in the wind.

Imagine my surprise when my riding buddy JohnB showed up. He recently returned to Vancouver from his temporary job in Huntsville, Alabama where he worked for the past year. While he was there he purchased an SV650 and did a lot of riding and he posted his adventures HERE (his handle is brunstei) We had been to each other's places several times but we finally made contact a couple of weeks ago

John riding his Vstrom DL1000 "VEE"

He purchased his Vstrom new in 2009 the same week that I bought mine and I posted about it HERE It's nice to have him back in town

He wanted to go for a short ride but I asked if we could take some photos on the pier instead as I wanted some of my "new to me" "R"


Then I took a few more of just our bikes

Gulf of Georgia Historic Cannery

soon enough I am photo'd out and we get on our way

"nu2me" on the Pier, Steveston, BC

We went on a few backroads, down to Finn Slough and then back up to Westminster Highway. Sorry no photos as I am not yet set up with RAM mounts with "Nu2me" yet. John led for a while, then I led back to my place. It feels funny to be in the lead as I am usually in the rear. I took the scenic route via River Road in Richmond.

John was looking for a pair of new riding gloves and today the Beemer Dealer had a summer clearance sale so we headed there to see what we could find


I have no problem letting John try "Nu2me", so off he went . . .

I have spent the past couple of weeks riding "nu2me" getting used to the different characteristics of the boxer engine, the most excellent brakes but I didn't feel it was handling right. I can't explain it but on our imperfect roads it was twitchy (technical term) . Cornering didn't feel positive. I was intending to purchase new shoes in the Spring but I knew there was a huge tire sale at so I checked out the pricing and gave them a call to find out which tire may be best for me.

Michelin Pilot

Here is what my rear tire looked like. These are probably the original tires that were on the bike when it was delivered. It is flat in the middle and the sides are virtually untouched. So when I transition to make a turn, I go from the flat into the turn then back onto the flat again and it isn't a very smooth transition.


I make my way to Bayside. Kevin, the owner of Bayside said my tires were too old, dried out without much grip left, the rubber was hard. He suggested that I should try the Pilot Road 2's, instead of the Road 3's as they are more suited for my style of riding, and will last longer. The Road 3's would be better in the rain. So I decided to "bite the bullet" now instead of during the Spring as I was contemplating a short bike trip in 2 weeks if the weather co-operates.

Over the years, I have bought several sets of tires from Kevin, and he is the one where I bought my Michelin Anakee2's for my current V-strom


As these are standard sport bike tire sizes, he had them in stock and he said he could install them later in the day. It was now just after 2pm, and he told me to come back at 4pm.


Kevin, riding "nu2me" to the rear of the building to their service department. I know my bike is in good hands. Kevin is a racer & expert tuner. This is the 2nd time today that "nu2me" has been ridden by someone other than myself.

An hour goes by and my bike is ready to ride. Kevin warns me about the release compound and says to take it easy for the first little bit as the tires will be slippery. I do a short loop on the highway and finally return home.

You cannot tell from this photo, but it feels good


to have new shoes


  1. Glad to see you've had a chance to scrub in the new rubber. Your tyre guy is right. You'll probably get more kms out of the 2's than the 3's - on the only set of 3's I've run I got 1,000-1,500km less than what I normally get from 2's. The 2's are also fine in the wet.

    Now to get rid of the chicken strips so they don't end up like the previous tyre...

    1. Andrew:

      I bought a set of Pilot Powers a few years ago when I had my SV650 and they seemed great, at the time. These tires should be better with their dual compound. The PR3's are nearly the same, except that they have more grooves to channel the water out, thus also wear out a bit faster.

      It's nice to know that you managed quite a few miles on them

  2. I haven't seen the original PilotRoad tires in quite a while. I think I put 1 set on my '06 FJR. After I bought them they came out with the PR2 version. It was a good decision to replace them. I think you'll enjoy them!

    1. Erik:

      the bike seems happier now with the new tires. I wasn't getting good vibes with the old ones. They were a bit aged and the rubber was hard and not pliable, plus they were flat in the middle. Did you notice that the sides were virtually new, but the centre was nearly down to the wear bars. I was worried about traction on our upcoming wet streets

  3. These Michelins are said to be awesome in the wet - when I had an 1100R the Bridgestones BT021s were pretty good too. Now I slide around on Metzelers.

    Best wishes as ever, N

    1. Nikos:

      Not long ago the PR2's were the cutting edge and "one of the best" rain tires, until they brought out the PR3's. It's nice to know that I will be wearing good rubber. Safety first . . .

  4. I never manage to get past the blurb when it comes to tires. For the car I seek name brands, for the Bonneville I stick with the factory installed stuff. And scratch my head wondering what all those words mean when advertisers try to sell us tyres. Luckily Flatistan isn't that demanding. When it's 90 degrees and raining in October flat isn't so bad.

    1. Mr Conchscooter:

      I would imagine that in your land of "Flatistan", any tire would do as long as they channel out the water. I think I could handle 90°F with a bit of rain. Something like Hawai'i. When it rains over there it is a relief and a way to cool down.

      I will never ride fast or hard enough to challenge these tires, but it is nice to know that they are capable. I think they will handle "Flatistan" too

  5. Don't you just new feet though, makes such a huge difference to the bike.

    1. Roger:

      I didn't put them through their paces and only did a short loop to get home as I wanted to ride my V-strom and wear my modular helmet. Yes, the modular helmet I bought 5 years ago which was gathering dust behind the couch. It killed me to have to remove that static cling protective plastic which was on the visor. Now it's not new anymore.

      Oh, back to the tyres. The bike seemed happier and I feel more sure footed

  6. New shoes on a bike make a world of difference in handling. You will be glad you didn't wait.

    Did you notice your shirt color matches your bike in the last photo? Nicely done.

    1. Trobairitz:

      the plan was to spend the $$ later in the Spring at the start of next riding season. I decided to insure "nu2me" for the shortest insurance policy to get used to HER and I got caught up on getting it ready for the road, and I noticed that it was finicky most likely because of the flat tires. I was thinking of a short road trip in a couple of weeks, so decided to Spring for the tires a bit early. I also had to Spring for the rack and top case. At least I will feel safer now.

      The colour co-ordination was unplanned. thank you for noticing.

  7. The scenery looks beautiful where your at. I've only been riding for this past year and haven't made any trips out by the coast yet. (Living in California). I do a lot of my own blogging though at you should come check out some of my story's.

  8. Good stuff, Bob. I had also changed the shoes of the scooter because of age and them starting to crack. The ride is much smoother with a set of new rubber.

    And I have to day, my friend, the Beemer becomes you.

    1. Sonja:

      the bike seems smoother now but I need to put on more miles. I am still getting used to it. It rides differently than the Strom, plus being a Boxer twin it has more torque at lower RPM's, and power is effortless on the highway. You only hear the sound of the wind, engine noise is non-existant.

      I'm glad I have the new tires. The old ones didn't feel very safe

  9. Congrats on Nu2me! I was quite surprised to see that. I am trying to catch up on blogs. I've missed you guys. :-)

    1. Kathy:

      I think we are all missing you too. Hope you had a great vacation over in Italy. We are waiting for your photos.

      I never seem to be caught up either. I follow too many blogs and run out of time. So far I am liking Nu2me, quiet, lots of power and getting it ready for touring.

  10. yup, I hear you on the flat portion bit. I can tell when I need a new rear tire just by feel now. I don't even need to look at the tires anymore. It's amazing how much of your over all ride experience is dictated by those shoes! Nice New2U ride!

    1. VD:

      I knew the tires were flat when I bought it but the plan was not to ride it until spring, but my fingers got twitchy and I just had to buy a short ins policy to try it out. Now I'm wrapped up in getting it ready for touring, plus new tires make more sense this time of year when I need the additional traction.

      I hope to tour down your way when you least expect. I have a thirst for a certain cup of coffee