Forma Adventure Low Boots and Wunderlich 3D Ergo screen deflector revisited

I recently bought and did a preliminary review of the Forma Adventure Low Boots and Wunderlich 3D Ergo screen deflector. Some 1700 miles later and with a North Coast 500 trip under my belt I can give you an update on how both are performing.

Forma Adventure Low Boots

I had high expectations of these boots given the favourable comments I had seen before I bought them and I have not been disappointed. While they were comfortable from the first time I put them on they have become one of the best items of footwear I have had the enjoyment of wearing.

My preliminary requirements were for grip, we all know that feeling of putting your foot down on loose gravel, and for wet weather capability. The boots excelled in both departments.

They had initially felt a little cumbersome but soon bedded in. It was not long until I was shifting on the protective pad to the top of the boot rather than the occasional missed shift where I had connected with the lever using my toe. The rugged tread pattern on the sole gave me the confidence I was looking for when wrestling a fully laden GS on any surface that came my way.

I was also pleasantly surprised on how comfortable these were to hike around in. They felt neither cumbersome nor clumsy on the off bike excursions, notably a stroll around Urquhart Castle or a slog down and back up the steps at Smoo Cave on my NC500 trip.

Despite their solid construction my feet never felt uncomfortably hot in hot weather or cold on the miserable rainy days that confirmed their waterproof properties.

Putting the boots on was also a pleasure and the velcro closure held the side flaps in place and the two quick release buckles snapped shut with ease. Taking them off was similarly effortless, a godsend after a long days riding.

I would recommend a tall pair of riding socks as, despite the padded neck of the boot, they could possibly rub your shin being a low boot but I didn’t experience any discomfort. That being the only unfavourable comment, and hardly worth a mention, I would wholeheartedly give them a 5/5 rating.

Wunderlich 3D Ergo screen deflector

I had bought the deflector without actually having any real issues with the stock screen. Sure I was aware of the air passing over the helmet but nothing that concerned me greatly but with a few motorway miles ahead of me I thought that I’d give it a try.

It wasn’t until I had got a few miles under my belt that I truly started to appreciate the difference. It was notably more peaceful behind the screen and this also had the unexpected benefit of making me sit more upright, thus improving my posture. I have on short day trips occasionally found my lower back to be stiff but on the last 1700 miles since I put it on I have had no such repeat of the experience.

Testament to its performance and looks is the fact that it has remained in place since it was fitted. I did leave a torx in my bar bag with the intention of taking it off after the motorway miles, prior to a good hack on the curvier routes.

While it never got in the way of my field of view while clean, It did obscure my sight slightly in the grubby weather but then so would a dirty visor. A quick wipe corrected this, and while on the topic of visors I found that it gave me notable protection from flies hitting my helmet. I only once had to wipe a particularly juicy specimen from my visor.

Another product that I would have to give a 5/5 rating.

 

 

North Coast 500 Track logs on MyRoute-app

At the end of my previous post I gave you a link to download my routes. There were a number of options, notably the route that took us off the A9 and gave us a much better run through the Cairngorms.

I had used MyRoute-app to create the initial routes before passing them through Garmin Basecamp to make sure that they were recalculated with no mapping errors.

I would normally publish my routes taken at this stage using Garmin Adventures but to my disappointment and frustration, the service has been pulled. I have yet to find an equivalent since I particularly liked the ability to drop geotagged photographs onto the adventure and have them automatically placed where they were taken on the route.

In the interim I have uploaded my track logs onto the MyRoute-app site. You may need to register for a free account to fully open and explore the route but that shouldn’t be any great hardship. You will then be able to convert the track to a route and download it directly from the site.

Northwest England to Inverness

Inverness to Bettyhill

Bettyhill to Ullapool

Ullapool to Poolewe via Gairloch

Poolewe to Applecross via Loch Ness

Applecross to Kylekin with a loop of Skye

Kyleakin to Oban (via an aborted run to Armadale)

Benderloch nr Oban to Northwest England

North Coast 500 and Beyond

The North Coast 500

The North Coast 500 is a route around the north coast of Scotland. Since its launch in 2015 it has become an iconic route for motor vehicles, cyclists, walkers, or any mode of transport you care to use. It links many features of the north of Scotland from the barren east coast, through the unspoilt beaches of the north, down through the dramatic coastal landscape of the western highlands.

The Plan

There is much written about the North Coast 500, also referred to as the NC500, both in guide books and numerous sources on the internet. Having visited the official website, I even became a fully paid up member for the year thus gaining an official route map, card for the wallet and sticker for the bike. I’m not saying I’m obsessive but if you are going to do something you may as well do it right?

The NC500 initiative’s aim was to work with all aspects of the tourism sector and bring a boost to the businesses around the route. The guides reflected this with many opportunities to explore the areas off route. However, our goal was to seek out the best roads on the official route, and to seek out the best that could be seen from the roadside while we stretched our legs. For those following our footsteps I hope that I can highlight the places that we enjoyed, and the places not worthy of a visit since we were enjoying the ride.

All four riders were setting off out from the northwest of England. The official NC500 starting point regardless of whether you are doing the North Coast 500 clockwise or anticlockwise is Inverness, so this would be the first leg of the journey from home. You could start anywhere but we were starting at Inverness and staying faithful to the official route.

From Inverness we would head up the east coast on an anticlockwise loop to Bettyhill via John O’ Groats taking in the northern coast. Dropping down to the western side of the run where the route slows with many single track roads breaking up the A-roads to Ullapool. A short day to gather our thoughts at Poolewe then leads onto a run to Applecross via a trip to Loch Ness. It is at this point that we would have all but covered the official route, so our extended run (the beyond in this story) takes us around Skye and then down to Oban.

My bags are packed, I’m ready to go…

Continue reading “North Coast 500 and Beyond”

Final preparations for the NC500

With all the planning for the North Coast 500 trip you’d think that I would be relaxed about my preparations. With four days to go its not until I ride off the drive that I’ll truly say that’s it, I’m done.

Planning complete

I couldn’t have done more. I’ve researched the NC500 routes with the help of members of the UKGSer forum and had some tips from friends who have lived up in Scotland. It even looks as though the weather will be kind to us, not that we expect any favours on that front when travelling in Scotland. I can only say that the Motorrad Rainlock kit that I bought from Chester Motorrad has been tried and tested in some pretty abysmal weather both on my last trip to Scotland and across the Alps. One of the best purchases I have ever made.

Follow our progress

I hope that you will follow us on our NC500 journey via the posts I will be making. I’ll look forward to doing a full write up on our return.

All that is left to mention is a reminder to where you can follow us.

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