Monday, April 12, 2010
“Farkling” is a term used in the motorcycling community to describe gadgets. I can’t get enough of these. I want them all, but don’t have the space. I am always seeing products that could improve my ride, but I need to be selective because you can’t hook-up everything. Sometimes I wish I would have purchased the RTP version of my bike which is the Police bike version. It does not have a pillion seat; it has an extra battery in place of the seat in order to run all of the extra lights and what not for police bikes. These bikes are available commercially and I have seen many of them on the road. I am a member of the Yankee Beemers Motorcycle Club and one of the riders has one completely fitted with all sorts of fun stuff including a full computer with internet access on the fly. He’s got a Toughbook computer in the trunk and it is connected to a flip-up touchpad on the tank bag. Very cool stuff. I am in the process of buying a Verizon Netbook with 3G in order to be connected on long trips. I am not attaching it to anything, but it will be in the trunk so I can use it at stops and overnights. Also, I plan to use Microsoft Streets and Trips to modify my route along the way and need to connect the GPS to the Netbook in order to upload changes to the route. This shit is crazy; I am obsessed. Anyway, I do have an adequate amount of Farkles on the bike to play with. We’ll start with the BMW Navigator III GPS which is a Garmin (very similar to the StreetPilot 2820 model) specifically designed for motorcycles. It is waterproof so I can roll in the rain with no problems and it has some great features. Besides the Bluetooth capabilities it has some great data and tracking features plus some large buttons on the mount so you are not fumbling through screen menus to get to some of the more frequently used features. I like the “speak” button; it gets lonely on the road and I like to hear a chick’s voice now and then. Typically, I use the Mapsource software on my Dell Inspiron laptop to map my route and then load the route into the GPS via USB or Bluetooth from the laptop before mounting it on the bike. Soon, I will start using the Netbook and Streets and Trips. Routing takes a lot of time, but it is part of the ride and I enjoy doing it. Mapsource is a little clumsy so I’m hoping Streets and Trips will lessen the time I have to spend on routing. The 2010 version of Streets and Trips will take your route and load it directly to your GPS which is very cool. I have a BlackBerry Tour cell phone with Verizon service which connects via Bluetooth to the GPS. This is nice because the phonebook from the BlackBerry syncs to the GPS as well. I can easily make calls and answer calls on the move. I’ve done this and the sound/reception is very clear using the features of the helmet to hear and talk into the installed mic. The caller can not tell I am on a motorcycle rock’n down the highway. More farkles later….