2013 Indiana Motorcycle Expo

ShrewsieQ, our friend John and I attended the 2013 Indiana Motorcycle Expo on 2/22.  Honestly, after two days of the Dealer Expo and the Progressive International Motorcycle Show the previous week, I was a bit expo'd out.  It's a form of torture to see all these great bikes and get new gear but yet still be stuck in the butt end of winter.  Regardless of my tortured soul, John and ShrewsieQ needed to sign up for the ABATE class.

As always, there was a mad rush to get in line for class registration.  Locations filled up quickly, with most people wanting the classes on the north side of town.  After their registrations were squared away, we did a quick lap to check out the sights.  There are always quite a few leather dealers selling chaps, vests and anything else you need if that is your style.  Some of the local dealers were there show casing their new bikes and offering discounted gear.  You can even get giant bags of pork rinds (fitting w/the hog theme), knives, studded leather ladies garments and for some reason, helmets for water-sports.  (Get your mind out of the gutter.)

There was a cool little indoor course set up by ABATE of Indiana that had little 50cc Honda dirt bikes with training wheels.  Parents were walking the very little kids around, while others got to ride solo.  It's good to expose children to the motorcycle illness early on.  Gives them plenty of time to develop good riding habits.

My attention was constantly being drawn away from the modern bikes and the row of customs to the velvet roped section of vintage bikes.

I have a growing love of vintage Harley Davidson motorcycles.  I've always loved vintage, just wasn't too crazy about HD except the board trackers. The V-Twin in my Buell feels better to me than my previous inline 4 but don't expect to see me on a modern Harley anytime soon unless it's a XR1200.

For more great pictures, check out the 520 Chain Cafe.  


Shorai LFX Lithium Battery for 2010 BMW F800GS

Lately I have been having trouble starting the F800GS in the cold weather like on the "Cold Weather Ride" with red and McMark. That day alone I thought I was going to be walking instead of riding. The problems that had me suspicious were the normal push the starter button and either get nothing or a slow listless start. After 3 days of being plugged into the battery tender there were no changes, it was then official the battery was dead. On Saturday I started my search for a new battery by calling all the local shops in town to find out nobody had anything other than the old style lead-acid battery. I was buying a new battery and wanted to try something "new". I figured since the majority of the shops were closed on Sunday and Monday, the order wouldn't get placed until Tuesday. I started my search online Saturday evening and found a couple of different non-lead-acid batteries that seemed to have more CCA, a longer life and wouldn't blow up next time I go tumbling over the handlebars. After all my studying I decided to get the Shorai LFX battery from a shop that delivers quickly and service is great.
I ordered the battery from Revzilla Monday morning at 8:00 am, the package arrived Tuesday at 5:00 pm. I know we are in the same time zone but WOW, great customer service, I guess they knew how much I wanted to be riding again. The package arrived and it felt like they forgot to put the battery in the box. The package was marked with arrows pointing upward but when the box was opened the inside Shorai box was laying flat along with the battery (try that with your lead-acid battery).

  • Shorai LFX21 A6-BS12
    • for the 2010 BMW F800GS  
  • Ultra light.  One Fifth the weight of lead-acid batteries on average
  • Zero sulfation (when a lead acid battery is deprived of a full charge), for longer service life
  • Holds unloaded charge for one year without maintenance
  • Military spec Carbon Composite Case
  • Faster cranking for better starts
  • Super-fast recharge rate
  • No explosive gasses during charge, no lead, no acid
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Three-Year Warranty! 
  • OEM battery weight: 7.9 lbs
  • LFX battery weight: 2.4 lbs.
Contents of package:
  • Shorai LFX Lithium Battery – LFX21A6-BS12
  • One set of terminal screws/nuts pre-attached to battery
  • Spare set terminal screws/nuts
  • Various sheets of high-density, adhesive backed foam sheets for LFX fitment to stock battery box if needed (do not throw away until after battery installation is complete).
  • Outer packaging with specs and dimensions
  • User guide
  • 5 Shorai decals, in three sizes

  1. Remove necessary body work, seat and other parts to gain access to the battery.
  2.  Remove old lead-acid battery be sure to remove the NEGATIVE terminal bolts and cables 1st, then the POSITIVE to avoid the possibility of shorting from positive to grounded vehicle.
  3. Compare the 2 batteries side by side to notice if there is a difference in size. It is okay as long as the new LFX battery is slightly smaller.
  4. With the provided high-density, adhesive backed foam sheets, find the sizes that will make it similar in height and width.
  5. On the F800GS I needed to add approx. 5mm foam spacer. Peel the backing off the need high-density foam sheets and install inside the motorcycles battery box.
  6. Slide in new Shorai Battery.
  7. Attach mounting bracket to hold the battery in place.
  8. The LFX batteries can bolt cable eylets to either the top or the side.
  9. Be sure to install the POSITIVE terminal cable FIRST, then the Negative to avoid short circuits.
  10. Torque the terminal screws to 26 inch/pounds, Do not over-tighten.
  11. It is always recommended to use a #3 Phillips screwdriver so you can apply downward pressure on the terminal screws and to reduse torque on the terminals.
  12. It is recommended to use an anti-corrosion spray whenever the battery will be subject to water, especially salt water.
  13. Check that the Positive terminal of the LFX battery cannot short against any part of the motorcycle.
  14. If equipped re-install the terminal cover is re-installed before the battery box cover is fitted.
  15. Shorai LFX batteries are pre-charged to approximately 90% of capacity so it is not necessary to charge before usage. Generally one ride will fully charge the battery.
After install was complete I pushed the starter button and the F800GS fired right up. Perfect, I'm impressed with the initial power and the lightweight. This battery is awesome.


International Motorcycle Supershow: Indianapolis Coverage

Saturday February 16th, 2013 Red, Wheels, ShrewsieQ, Funks and I attended the International Motorcycle Super Show at the Indianapolis Convention Center.

The main exhibit hall contained the show while down the hall the 2013 Dealer Expo was in full swing. See Red's post on Day 1 of the Dealer Expo.

Decorating the edges of the show where bikes participating in the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show. Lots of custom bikes with more time into them than I can fathom. Check out the slideshow below to see good a number of them.

There was no particular bike or brand I was looking for however, I knew I wanted to hop on a V-Strom and a Versys. Disappointingly though Kawasaki did not have a presence at the Indianapolis show. I did enjoy seeing the Yamaha Ténéré even though the name is off-putting.

Triumph had a good number of bikes present at the show. Immediately the Scrambler caught my eye which was nestled up close to a Thruxton.

It was nice to see a number of smaller singles. Suzuki brought along their 2013 TU250X, if I was doing a lot of commuting or day rides, I think this would be a great bike.

Of course Ducati was there with their fashion show. I'm sure it drew in a good amount of attention but for myself it felt out of place. Though on opposite spectrums in the bike world, Harley and Ducati do a great job in supporting the lifestyle of their brands. I'm just, at this point, not as much of a brand loyalist, keeping me nimble to move from one brand to another without suffering a large wardrobe loss.

We spent about 5 hours at the show.  Many of todays trends have birthed some great offerings from several different companies. The smaller bikes are definitely developing a marketable niché. The cruisers look sleeker featuring smooth lines and thicker pipes. The adventure crowd is being catered to nicely. And a number of electric motorcycle companies are surfacing with increasingly affordable offerings.

So far this looks like a start of a pretty good year.

Some notables for myself:
2014 Suzuki Vstrom
2013 V-Strom 650

2011 Triumph Tiger 800XC - One of the Portland to Dakar Bikes

2013 Triumph Scrambler - I'm a softy for scramblers.

Red sporting our new Self Sufficient Slackers t-shirt

2013 Super Ténéré

G 650 Sertao

Red and ShrewsieQ

Below is a collection of images from the show.


welcome Funks and ShrewsieQ!

If you look to your right, you'll see two new authors.

Funks is my riding buddy who does land speed racing on a highly modified 1976 CB750F.  ShrewsieQ is my lovely wife who has recently rekindled her interest in all things moto.   I imagine they'll introduce themselves over the next few days or weeks.

We're busting at the seams with authors!  Now, the weather just needs to clear up so we can hammer out some gear reviews, ride reports and tech write-ups!


Dealer Expo Day 1

The Dealer Expo was a great experience!  We met a lot of great manufactures and saw some very innovative products.

Everyone knows Held, Arai and other big companies make impressive gear.  However, there are other great companies out there with high quality gear and features that will blow your mind.  Take Macna for example.  They sell the NightEye jacket which features a body and sleeves made from material covered in microscopic glass beads that act as billions of tiny mirrors.  Imagine a jacket that lights up at night like a Hi-Viz does during the day!  You can ride around and not look like a traffic cone. 

I didn't take a lot of pictures due to being overwhelmed by it all.  We'll be back on Sunday and I'll post some  additional pictures.   Tomorrow we'll be attending the Progressive International Motorcycle Show and we'll report back on all the moto fun!

The Stealth helmet from Phantom (Vega). A very cool modular lid with massive field of vision!
(So new I can't find any info on the web!)

 The EBR 1190RS

The Nikko Bart open face helmet with hilarious graphics!