Route planning update. Nav 5, MyRouteApp and Basecamp.

With 19 days left to go I thought it would be appropriate to post an update as to how the route planning was going. The truth is that the planning was pretty much done at the time that I booked the accommodation. Sure there are a few variables and side trips but how much planning do you need when you are following the coast. We’re going anticlockwise so keep the wet stuff on the right and you can’t go wrong.

What is worth mentioning as a record to those who have had similar experiences is the use of MyRoute-App, Garmin Basecamp and the BMW Navigator V. Much of this has been played out on various forums but I’ll try to summarise the outcome.

Much of what I do with the Nav is have it take me to my destination via the fastest route, a concept familiar with anyone who has ever used a sat nav. I also use it to record where I’ve been. Occasionally I use it to load up the routes I’ve planned. The last time I did this was in the Alps which went wrong and I ended up manually entering routes based on numerous village waypoints from a map. At the time I never did a full post mortem nor was I in a position to until I could load some test routes. With our imminent departure on the NC500 I wanted to avoid a repeat of the Alps situation so I set out some routes for a short run.

I have mentioned that I was trying MyRoute-App, an online routing system, and it was this that I used to do my test routes. Straight away things started to go wrong. I missed a turn it recalculated but took me an alternative way the intended. When I got to my destination and then set off for the next leg I was given a route of straight lines between each waypoint and since I was not familiar with the area I aborted and went straight for the destination. This was not going well.

In hindsight I now know what was happening. I could give you the long post but that is covered elsewhere, by myself and others. Here is the abbreviated short version. What was happening is that my route was made up of waypoints and silent shaping points that pin the route to the road I want to travel on. As soon as I deviated and the Nav 5 was allowed to do a route recalculation it went straight for the destination and ignored the route defined by the shaping points. So to keep it simple here are my top tips in the form of short bulleted sentences. Follow these and you can’t go wrong (unlike me in the Alps).

  • Make sure that you are using the same map on Basecamp as you are on the Nav5
  • Make sure that all your route preference match on Basecamp and Nav5. Here we are talking settings such as avoid motorways, u-turns, etc
  • Have recalculation off or prompted. If prompted its easier to spot when you are off route.. but press no when asked to recalc
  • If you have imported a route into Basecamp, make sure you have sufficient shaping points and do a recalculation before transfer
  • Don’t use tracks. The Nav5 often ignores anything other than the final destination. Your route should be in Trip Planner.
  • If you have used MyRoute-App and the trip on the map of the device has straight lines you can force a recalc by flicking from fastest to curvy and back.
  • If you follow a route and skip a section it should automatically pick up on the next navigation prompt. If you press skip it will bypass the next waypoint (note – this is not the next silent shaping point. You could lose a large chunk of your route)

Follow the above points and chances are you will be ok. But then again, is this the blind leading the blind? I’ll be better informed when I return from my next trip. Good luck!

Schuberth E1 Review

There are many great helmet manufacturers out there but I’d got myself into thinking there was Arai and then there was everyone else. And so it was when I decided that I wanted a more adventure styled helmet to match the bike and my other touring gear I instinctively turned to Arai. At the time I was at the NEC Motorcycle Live show and was browsing the new range of helmets while my current helmet, a Quantum ST Pro, got a free service (another good reason to buy Arai). At the time I had my eye on the Tour-X 4.

The show was in November and the Arai wasn’t in the shops until the following March so I had time to look around. Not that I needed to as I’ll remind you of my opening statement suggesting I need not look any further than Aria, however in the months following I kept seeing a lot of recommendations in the touring community to the Schuberth helmets.

The Schuberth E1

I took a look out of curiosity and was quite impressed with the specs. It was a flip up helmet, had an internal visor, came with a pinlock fittedand could have an optional integrated comms system. Sure it also came with a price tag closing in on £700 but all of these extra features gave me a reason to change rather just on styling.

A year went by and another NEC show came around. This was the perfect opportunity to try one on for size, thus opening up the ability to buy online with confidence. One I’d confirmed that my head was still large and that the Schuberth large conformed to my large head I came home to do some browsing. It was a further four months on when I stopped searching but in that time I’d found an E1 in an older livery for £399 from Helmet City. I liked the colour and I was making a £270 saving!

Out of the box the helmet felt great. While some people made reference to some head shapes not liking it, I must fall into the bracket of skull compatibility that suits the Schuberth. It was immediately comfortable and the convenience of the ratchet closure rather that the double D ring was a welcome addition. As with most helmets I took a few minutes to work out where all the vent positions are while wearing the helmet and also the switch for the internal visor that, while immensely practical, also gave you a Top Gun jet fighter look.

Out on the road I found that in its delivered position the peak was a little intrusive in my line of sight so I lifted this one notch up. The adjustment was simple with the release of a locking lever. I’ve yet to ride on a wet day but I have noticed a bit of internal condensation that immediately clears when the visor is cracked open in its ‘urban riding’ position. Perhaps I need to open up a vent? Either way the pillock did its job and there is nothing in the main field of vision. It is possible that with everything closed it has less ability that the Arai (in a good way) to vent out any moisture from my breast as the next skirt is quite snug. This also has the ability to reduce noise considerably and I’m finding that it is a very quiet helmet. I certainly look forward to touring in it.

Can you hear me now?

When I ordered it I had agonised long and hard as to whether I should be buying the integrated SC10U comms based on the Sena system. Long story short, yes the integrated system would be neater than retaining the UClear but everyone I need to communicate with has the UClear. If this changes at a later date I can get the integrated system to fit. It is good that the helmet is prepared for comms as it gave me an ample recess to mount the UClear speakers.

Top Gun?

Forma Adventure Low Boot Review

Over the years I’ve collected a number of boots and while my Alpinestars Supertech R race boots were great on a race bike I needed something a little bit more rugged for use on the GS. I had been touring with a set of Alpinestars SMX-3 boot, and while this was comfortable and easy to live with being a low boot, it was a bit too sporty and have very little in the way of grip on the sole. I had seen a very favourable review of a Forma adventure boot but I didn’t want a full height boot. Having looked for alternatives I was informed that the boot I had seen reviewed was available in a low version, what’s more the online link I was sent was a local outlet meaning I could go and give them a try before committing.

The Forma Adventure Low boots certainly look the part. Available in black or brown, I opted for the brown Full-grain oil treated leather. The low boot has two adjustable quick release buckles and a velcro closure. When open the boot flap has an internal gusset to give them the waterproof capability that my old boots struggled with in extreme rain. For when the ground gets rough the sole has ample tread that looks like it can handle the hardiest of terrain.

I was reliably informed that they would bed in very quickly but from the off they were extremely comfy with a good padded interior. As you would expect from a boot of this nature they are very sturdy and it took a minute to mentally adjust to where my foot needed to be on gear shift. The boots are solid and while I might want more protection if I was doing some extreme off road riding, I’m not and these are a significant upgrade in terms of what I was wearing for touring.

Spec wise this is what you get for your 170 British pounds…

Outer

  • Full-grain oil treated leather upper
  • Specific adventure/enduro/ atv-quad double density compound rubber sole
  • Injection moulded plastic protection
  • Plastic gear pad protection
  • Adjustable velcro closure
  • Replaceable/adjustable GH plastic buckles

Inner

  • Personalized Forma Drytex tubular lining (waterproof and
breathable)
  • Ankle TPU moulded plastic protections
  • Soft polymer
padding with memory foam
  • PP Mid Dual Flex with anti-shock EVA
midsole
  • Anti-bacterial replaceable footbed with A.P.S. (Air Pump System)

 

Available from many stockist but I can certainly recommend my local store Adventure Bike Warehouse