Monday, June 11, 2012

Gilmore Vintage Motorcycle Trip.

Had a blast this last weekend riding out to the Gilmore vintage motorcycle show with PJ. The ride out was perfect minus a few missed turns. North Territorial Rd is pretty fun once you are past Ann Arbor.

We took in the sights around the lake and chomped some bomb ass brats that PJ's folks cooked us up.
The Sunday the Gilmore show awaited us. Probably the most bikes I've ever seen in one spot and this was just one of the 3 parking lots.

Lots of classic Brit and Jap bikes in the show itself were much better sight than the sea of HD Baggers and Goldwings out in the parking lots.

I'd definitely make the trip again.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Scala G9 Reviewed

A couple of weeks ago I picked up the Scala Rider G9 Power Set. The G9 is a really cool but complicated little gadget that lets me run my GPS, iPhone, and music all into my helmet without wires. Oh and you can use it to talk to other riders up to a mile away...

Opening the box after picking up the 2 unit power set I was greeted by enough cords, mounts, and adhesive pads to connect the units to just about any helmet. I then tore the padding out of my Icon Variant helmet and used the adhesive mount to adhere the G9 to the helmet (there is a clamp as well if you don't want it permanently on your helmet). After that it was just a matter of snaking the wiring for the 2 speakers around the helmet and sticking the speakers on. That, however is right where the easy stops.

 The pairing process extremely complicated with hooking up my GPS and iPhone. I'll spare the details but it was way too hard and took a couple of phone calls to get things in order. However if you use the G9 with just one device its fairly simple to connect. The sound on the G9 is good and the speed sensitive auto volume is great. This is nice because finding the volume button is hard once the helmet is on and the G9's 6 buttons aren't visible. Also Each of these buttons have multiple features depending on how long you hold them (pretty damn complex for riding in traffic). Luckily there are a few voice commands you can make to get to the majority of the features.

On to the good...

 Music through your phone or GPS is great and the FM radio seems to be pretty good as well. All you have to do is pop on you helmet and start you music. No more fiddling with headphones before and after each stop on a long ride. The communication system works great too. Clean Cut and I tested it out on the last ride in intercom mode. Intercom mode is like talking on a phone where no button push is needed to page the other rider. Up to 4 riders can talk this way with the G9. In the other mode up to 9 riders can talk by paging the other riders in the group. Another cool feature is that the unit auto interrupts the conversation or music when a call or GPS directions come through.

The G9 is about $290 for one unit but the system is backwards compatible with the G4 which has less features at $220.

All in all its a pretty sweet device with a pretty steep learning curve that I am slowly climbing. Devices like the G9 would make long rides much easier to coordinate directions, stopping points, and recovery of lost bike parts on the expressway. I'm looking forward to another rider to chat up on a long ride or to hit the best feature on the G9 the mute button...