Showing posts sorted by relevance for query chromeburner. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query chromeburner. Sort by date Show all posts

Sunday, 13 May 2018

A New Roof

My son's ever growing head meant that his Shark Raw helmet has gotten too small.  He tried out my Desmo the other day and liked it, so I started thinking about a second French lid.  Thanks to some excellent service by ChromeBurner, I've now got a new Roof!

Rather than go with a Desmo again, I thought I'd go for the classic Boxer.  This helmet feels a bit more old school than the Desmo.  The chin guard latches snap on to lock it down and the visor and chin guard mechanism seems much simpler.  The Desmo works on two different cams and the mechanisms to raise the visor and chin guard swing on two seperate arcs; it's a complicated thing.  The Boxer chin guard swings on the same hinge as the visor, both on a single pivot.

The Boxer is lighter, probably due to that simplicity.  It's spacious and the visor feels as big as the one on the Desmo, which is one of my favourite things about Roof mechanical helmets, you never feel like you're looking through a letter-box opening.  Even when they're closed they feel spacious and the view is first class.

I miss the one touch chin opening on the Desmo.  The two button Boxer design is fiddly and nothing like as smooth and easy to use, though once I get used to it, switching between open and closed while in motion shouldn't be too hard.

The best thing about the Boxer is the visor I got with it.  The less fiddly hinge means switching visors is much less complex than in the Desmo, and this iridium visor with it's layered tint and reflective surface is a joy to look through.

I spent ten minutes looking for a fancy tool like the Desmo requires to change visors only to discover the Boxer's visor snaps in.  Riding into the sun is easily manageable thanks to the range of tint across the visor, but the tint is so light  you can still see well in shadowy areas too.  I suspect it'll be easier to see through than the dark smoked visor I have on the Desmo.

I enjoyed my ride today with the Boxer.  It's an eye catching helmet that got a lot of looks.  The view out of it is expansive and I think it ventilates better than the Desmo - I never once got fog on the visor, a constant thing with the Desmo which I often ride with cracked open.  It's comfortable, light and at least as quiet as the old Desmo.  It seems to have the same aerodynamic qualities too with no tugging or turbulence and, like the Desmo, seems impervious to cross winds.

All of this has me wondering what the new RO32 Desmo and Boxer Carbon are like.  The RO32 promises a quieter, more comfortable experience, which would make my favourite helmet even better.  The orange and black one looks fantastic, and even offers the iridium reflective visor now that I'm enjoying so much on the Boxer.  The Carbon Boxer is even more astonishingly lighter and looks to have a more complex locking mechanism and a higher level of finish than the regular Boxer.

Closer than ever to living my Jo Sinnott dream...
Chromeburner, based in the Netherlands, got the Roof to me here in Canada within ten days of ordering and the whole process was very transparent, letting me know exactly where it is at any time.  When I contacted them, customer service was accurate and immediate, international shipping was free and duties paid were cheaper than I expected; I'll happily use Chromeburner again.

I'm in the process of selling off some old helmets that don't fit or get used much, which means the new Roof cost even less.  All in with taxes, duties and shipping, the Boxer with iridium visor cost less than $550 Canadian.  There are no equivalent helmets for sale in Canada.  Most modular/flip up helmets only rise to the forehead, meaning they are very uncomfortable if ridden open at any speed as they catch the wind like a sail.  They also tend to be much heavier than the Roof options.  The Roof chinbar rotates to the back of the helmet, out of the wind blast.  In open/jet mode, you often forget it's there until you need it.  No buffeting or awkward weight distribution to worry about.    Next time my son and I are out two-up, we'll both be in Roofs.

I'd love a Carbon Boxer, but it's an expensive proposition.  I suspect a new-model Desmo will be next on my lid-wishlist.  It's nice to have found a helmet that is light, comfortable and meets my picky needs around large viewing area, the flexibility to work as an open or close faced helmet and manages to do all that while still meeting full face safety standards.  The fact that I love the aeronautical look of these things is a nice bonus.  I just wish I had a chance to try out the new Desmo and Carbon Boxer.

It was a nice ride up and down the banks of the Grand River today.  You don't get to see
any of that because the craptastic Samsung Gear360 I'm stuck with at the moment didn't
film any of it because I couldn't see the pointlessly small and useless LEDs on it.
I miss my Ricoh Theta!  Add a ThetaV to my Boxer Carbon and Desmo RO32 wishlist.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Finding Parts & Service in a Pandemic

They ain't kidding, but setting up online ordering without
actually setting up online ordering isn't great business.
Trying to get parts in is never easy in Canada where no one likes to get their hands dirty.  It's even harder during a pandemic.  The worst I've seen so far is Canadian Tire, who are a complete wreck.  Their web-page barely works and their online ordering system is in shambles.  It turns out aiming for the lowest prices on the cheapest Chinese made goods in the stingiest way possible doesn't make for a resilient response in an emergency situation.  I've yet to pass by the local store without a massive row of annoyed customers standing in line out front of it (I've yet to bother going in), and the one attempt at ordering a simple, in-stock item has resulted in weeks waiting.  Don't go to Canadian tire virtually or in person, they can't handle it.

Amazon was also a mess early on in this with orders sometimes taking up to three weeks to arrive.  They seemed to improve recently when I actually got an order the same week I made it, but they still aren't anything like as efficient as they once were.  I just ordered some spark plugs for the Triumph on Amazon (once you've got the tank off you want to do all the servicing because it's a bit of a faff to get in there).  Canadian Tire didn't have them or won't let me in to find them.  That Amazon order sat there unresponsive for 3 days before it shifted to 'shipping', but in the 24 hours since there are no shipping updates and the shipment is still untrackable.

Meanwhile, the rear brake pads I thought I'd put in the Fireblade have disappeared into a Francophone ether.  Fortnine is usually prompt and transparent with their deliveries, but this time around it took them over a week to get the bits out of their warehouse and the order has been in transit in an apparently very broken Canada Post for over three weeks.  I contacted Fortnine to find out if things have improved.  Their warehouse is now down to a 3-4 day turnover from the eight days I experienced, and Erin, who promptly replied to my inquiry over the weekend, suggested not selecting Canada Post (they have courier options) since they are still dysfunctional.  Unfortunately, Fortnine didn't have any of the tires I was looking for, so they're trying to limp forward with a half empty, slow moving warehouse and a delivery system that doesn't.

So, trying to get parts during this slow-burn pandemic sucks right?  Not always!  The other day the trusty Triumph Tiger actually stalled on me at a light.  I looked over every I've done on it (which is a lot) and realized I've never done the fuel filter, and I've put over 25k on it since I've had it.  If the Tiger is idling low and stalling on idle fuel starvation from a way-past-due fuel filter is a likely culprit.  But oh no, it's a pandemic, I'll never find parts!

The trickiest part was actually finding the fuel filter.  After searching around fuel lines under the tank I ended up looking in the Haynes manual only to discover that the fuel filter on a 955i Tiger is *in* the fuel tank.  This fully submerged fuel filter sits behind a panel on the side of the gas tank.

Finding a fuel filter for a 17 year old European motorcycle during a pandemic should have been a nightmare, but it turned out to be the easiest thing I've done parts wise, maybe ever.

Inglis Cycle in London is 140kms away, but they're still my local Triumph dealer, so I fired them an email asking if they had what I was looking for.  For over ten years from the late '90s to the mid zeroes Triumph used the 955i engine in the majority of their models, and they all used the submerged fuel filter in the gas tank, so they aren't uncommon.

Within a couple of hours Ken at Inglis had emailed me back.  After removing the filter assembly from the tank I discovered a pretty beaten up gasket with multiple rips, so I asked if they could add that in with the filter.  Ken had both the filter and gasket in stock and said he could ship it out to me for $15.  Considering it's a 280km round trip that would have taken me most of a day, fifteen bucks didn't seem bad.  I thought that meant postal service and a week long wait.  The box showed up the next morning via a courier.  If you're looking for quick, capable service during a pandemic, Inglis Cycle has their act together.

So the fancy gasket and new filter all went in flawlessly within 24 hours of ordering the parts, but I'm still stuck without a bike because I can't seem to find anyone to safety the Honda and the spark-plugs I'd ordered from Amazon two days before I even began emailing Inglis are still in the ether.  The moral of this is I should have just ordered the spark plugs from them too and cancelled Amazon and their inconsistent service.  The other lesson learned is that once you find dependable service during a social distancing slow down, make sure you reward it with your spending power.

The trusty Tiger is in pieces instead of putting on miles thanks to Amazon's hit and miss service.

UPDATE:  While some places are struggling with operations, others are able to reorganize around
things, so when you find a functional motorcycle parts supplier make a note of it and use them as much as you can.  The days of picking the lowest price from a group of competing companies are not these days.  As I write this a Roof Helmet is arriving from The Netherlands.  I ordered it only 4 days ago from Chromeburner.  Like Inglis, Chromeburner seems to have adapted to this crisis well.

UPDATE II:  I watched the Chromeburner order leave The Netherlands within a day on FedEx, pass through Memphis over the weekend and arrive in Ontario Sunday night.  Monday morning the driver from the Cambridge, ON managed to screw up the delivery (saying it was delivered when it wasn't), and I'm now four phone calls in trying to sort it out.  FedEx looks like they're working well everywhere except in Ontario.

UPDATE III:  The Fortnine order from May 6th is now almost a month old.  My rear brake pads landed in Stony Creek 6 days ago and haven't moved since.  Quebec might as well be on the moon.

The moral of all this?  Ordering parts seldom works like normal these days.  Few places are able to reorganize themselves to provide dependable logistics and most delivery companies seem to be struggling with even simple delivery options.

Unfortunately, I'm working with two old bikes that need parts, so I'll be leaping into this breach once again, or I can't ride.  The good news is that if the Triumph needs parts, I've got the most capable parts contact (Inglis Cycle) with the best delivery system (I think they used UPS, but I can't remember clearly).

I'm trying to figure out how to get tires for the 'Blade now.  Revco actually replied with an honest and detailed response when I asked about how delayed things would be (instead of 2-3 days expect it to take a week).  Two Wheel Motorsport and West End Cycle have both been radio silent for several days.  Trying to find parts during this social distancing slow down has two downsides:  some companies can't get their acts together and find a way to proceed effectively, and some delivery companies are in the same boat.  When you find a dependable one, make a note of them.  I think Revco's about to get a three hundred dollar tire order.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

2020 Moto Wishlist

Next season is a long, cold winter away, but I'm already daydreaming about what might be...

TomTom Rider 550 Moto-GPS:  I've always made do with my phone, but Google Maps is kinda crap when it comes to navigating on a bike.  Whenever you reach a way point it wants input, which isn't easy when you're flying through the air at 60mph with gloves on.  The TomTom not only is glove friendly, but the software is moto-specific, so no pointless inputs.  It even has a twisty-roads function!  $370CAN

A New Roof: I'm partial to Roof Helmets. To date I've owned a first generation Desmo and a Boxxer. The Boxxer is a simple thing and I miss the plush, quieter and more substantial Desmo I had before. Roof has actually come out with a new Desmo, the RO32, and I'm partial to the new flat dark blue lid they've just done. Roofs are hard to find in North America, but Chromeburner has the new lid on for about $500CAN.                          

Racing Kit!  A one piece racing suit for the other thing below.  Now that I'm with sports bike, perhaps I could take it out to track days.  To do that I'd need the proper racing kit.  To get the right spec helmet, boots, gloves and racing suit, I'm at about $2200.  Fortnine has the bits I'd need.

A long time ago I did a car performance driving school at Shannonville Race Track and really enjoyed it.  Taking the Fireblade out on track would be a brilliant way to get to know this athletic machine. has track days.  I just need to get the bike sorted and have the kit necessary to do the business.
Starting at about $170.

Of course, if you're doing track days and need to prep a bike for the track, you need to drain coolant and all sorts of other stuff.  What you really need is a way to get it there.  The new Transit Connect is super fuel efficient for a van and would carry my stuff and people when needed.  About $37k.

Van's got a tow hitch, so trailer, obviously...  $1600 at Canadian tire for this one.  Maybe trailers don't matter, but I'd like to colour match this one to the van.  With that and a fitted cover, it could take one or two bikes to wherever the snow ends in the winter and trackdays in the summer.


A next level off-roader.  I've done a few rounds of off-road training and dig the experience.  I'd like to race enduro and need something dependable and big enough to carry me.  There was a Suzuki DR650 I looked at in the summer for a very reasonable $4000.  It was five years old but basically brand new due to some back luck by its owner.  I wish I could go back in time, get that bike, sort it out for enduro racing and then do it!

Track-day bike:  I've already got this one underway with the Fireblade project.  Sorting out the CBR900rr in the garage and then making it track-day ready would be brilliant.  The real block to entry is the cost of racing kit and the ability to transport the bike to the track.  I think I'm some finishing up and detail work away from putting the Honda back on the road in the spring.

Top Speed Machine:  I've always been partial to the Suzuki Hayabusa, and it would let me do a bucket list thing (200mph on a motorcycle) with only a few modifications.  To stretch the bucket list wish, I'd take it out to speed week in Bonneville and do 200mph on the salt.  If I wanted a leg up on this, someone has a modified turbo Hayabusa in Windsor.

A 2-up Touring specialist:  The Tiger will do 2-up work, but it isn't ideal for it.  A bike that's a 2-up specialist would be the ideal tool for the job.  Out of all the big cruiser/touring bikes out there, I think the Goldwing is the best.  I've ridden a friend's.  It's surprisingly athletic, even with 2 people on it.  Touring bikes don't come cheap - the 'Wing is a $30k thing.

Anime Dream Machine:  The Kawasaki Z1000 has long been a favourite and its Sugomi designed look is pure anime awesomeness.  I've got to admit that the Fireblade project sitting in my garage scratches many of the same itches though.  There's an orange Z1000 in Quebec going for about $10k.  I think the Fireblade might have scratched this itch...