Finally Off Road in the Honda CB500X

It has been just a little over a month since I first got the bike with the notion of being an adventure rider but today I finally got to ride on something other than asphalt. It was hard packed gravel and just as well manicured as any reasonable road. It did feel really good though to be expanding just a little bit.

As you can see in the video the environment was just gorgeous too which gave me a taste of what a real off road journey could feel like when the time comes. I cannot wait to start taking some longer trips into more landscapes like this.

My first biker wave

I have been riding for just short of a month and today’s ride was a big deal because I hit a couple of milestones.

1. I finally got my first biker wave. Most of my riding has been extremely local (in my neighborhood) but today I finally got out on the main roads. The weather cooperated as well so other bikers were out. I saw him coming and prepared myself to do it right and not fall off in the process. Big day and I laughed in my helmet (no audio).

2. I accomplished my first ride of more than 50 miles (51.2 to be exact). I have several trips planned for 2017 so getting used to heavy mileage days is going to be important. This was just the first of many and I am pushing for 100 next.

3. Today was my first day with another rider. Joe was the guy who was nice enough to drive my bike home from the dealer when I first bought it. Now, I have the chance to follow along and it was a really fun change from just tooling around town by myself. Next time we will figure out how to pair our comms so we can actual talk on the ride.

4. Last but not least…today was my first real ride with my new temp license. Prior to this I was really just practicing out on the local roads but on Friday I received my permit so I am technically completely legal now (at least for 6 months).

The weather here in NC is getting better and better and I cannot wait to get out there and do some more exploring. The video was taken along our route just outside of Raleigh-Durham.




SW Motech Trax Adventure Side Cases

They are finally here!  I settled on these cases after much deliberation between hard and soft panniers.  I decided it was more important to have locking structured cases over the weight gains and collision dampening aspects of soft luggage.  The mounting was exceptionally easy once the right hardware was in hand.

I will caution you to make sure you are getting the right racks and mounting hardware for whatever cases you get as it will save you a lot of headaches at installation time.

The cases come without locks on the latches but a <$30 kit will solve all those issues with multiple locks all keyed the same.  Now I can open and remove my cases with just a single key and I still have a couple locks left over if I ever decide to get the matching top case (summer 2017 likely).

The cases arrived and almost immediately Mother Nature decided to drop about three inches of snow and sleet on us.  In NC, that is a death sentence so it may be quite a few days before I am able to get out and properly shoot these cases for proper documentation.  Until then you will just have to do with these taken from my garage.

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NC Written Motorcycle Exam: FAIL

I went to the DMV to put in an effort to complete my testing and receive my license.  Little did I know, the questions for the DMV’s test are ridiculous.  I took a few of the sample tests to prepare and I felt pretty confident.  That was my undoing.  It is necessary to answer 25 questions while getting 5 or less wrong.  It didn’t seem too difficult and I always considered myself a pretty solid test taker.

I was wrong.  After a 45 minute wait to get started (it was the DMV after all) it took me less than three minutes to answer 10 questions correctly and 6 wrong.  The test immediately shuts down and sends you back to the counter to accept your lashes.

I can’t believe I failed.  The clerk behind the counter looked at me with pity and said I was welcome to come back next week to give it another shot.  For a moment, I thought about what would happen if I just never came back.  Am I the type of guy who could live outside the law for the rest of my life?  I quickly brushed the thought aside as I don’t really fancy a life on the run.  Instead, I resolved to study up this weekend with the snow storm and come back next week for vindication.

I will, of course, keep you all updated.