Sunday, August 28, 2016

GPS on the Ducati

I didn’t know how much I used a GPS on the motorcycle until riding the Ducati around without one. I  tried to use a phone to navigate but it has limitations:
  • screen size
  • hard to navigate with gloves, screen friendly gloves are clunky and imprecise
  • subjected to weather
  • battery drain and if connected to power source may cause heating issues and decrease the longevity of device, especially if streaming music also
  • limited GPS specific notifications: weather, fuel stops, traffic, tire pressure, etc
After doing some research on various forums and speaking with others I settled on the Garmin 590LM from GPS City and the Navihalter locking mount. Thankfully there was a special code from the ADV Rider forum that knocked a bit off. The code and going with the 590 over the newer 595 help offset the cost of the mount. The GPS comes with a RAM mount but I don’t like having the GPS mounted to the handelbars. They are generally a large and swing around as you move the bars. With it mounted centrally on the bars it blocks the instrument center and handlebar bag.

 My preference is to have it fixed close to the instrument screen so can easily see everything when looking in one direction and then back to the road, limiting my gaze away from the road. The space and layout of the Multistrada Enduro cockpit is tight and the Navihalter is the best solution for me.
Here is the installation and wiring it to the bike power outlet. The bike is prewired for a GPS and the wires are banded to the overflow hose off the tank opening. Don’t get to aggressive pulling on the wires to release the band holding them or you will add a bit of time to the installation when the hose comes off in your hand. This I know.

The Navihalter is sturdy and very simple to mount, thankfully because the instructions are in German and I haven’t used my HS German for decades. The locking add on are the two parts between the mount and chocolate. The locking mechanism pivots slightly upwards when unlocked to allowing unit removal.  When locked down the release mechanism is blocked from moving upwards. The extra height of the locking keeps the unit in the lowest position on the mount but Palmer Products in the UK has a relocation kit that will move the screen forward and allow the unit to be moved higher from the instrument screen. The kit also lifts the screen up a bit, making it taller and directing flow over the rider. I will be ordering one of these shortly.  Also came with a small square of chocolate to eat during installation but I would have preferred some beer

Remove the windscreen to expose the windscreen operating lever.

Mount the metal angle plate to bottom of the operating assembly and make sure you loosen or remove the set screw to avoid scratching the plastic, like I did.

The mount simply slides over the operating mechanism and the set screw holds the mount from moving. Simple and very secure.

Remove the cover over the emergency start switch, it just pulls off and you could access the wires by feeling around to the left side. It is attached to the tank overflow hose. Remember, be gentle.

The wires.. and what is this hose?? Son of a…. GRR Once I realized what the hell I did I started taking steps to remove the panel and the reason for the screws missing in the picture.

You have to remove the black panel with “Ducati” printed on it. It comes off pretty easy, remove the two bolts in the above picture and slide it forward. If you want to change the color of your Enduro all you need to do is remove the colored tank cover panel.

Open the parts pack from the GPS box and start putting it together. The metal anti vibration sleeves for the mount will not fit in the holes for the Navihalter so I placed them behind the mount, between then mount and the Navihalter. Then mount the mounting plate, ensure the washer is under the head of the screw.

Remove the accessory plug and attach the red fused power wire to the top of the plug. Pulling back a bit to expose the wires from the bike show what the colors are. I also cut almost two feet of extra wire from the wiring kit. The circuit is already fused but I kept the inline fuse supplied. Probably overkill and something for me to remember if the circuit fails. I also used heat shrinking and waterproof connectors. Heat gun died so I had to improvise with a lighter, hence the dark look to the connectors.

The wiring kit also has line in, out, stereo and powered USB. Others have cut all the other wires but I just taped them and coiled the under the dash. The USB can be useful for another way to charge the phone and play music through the GPS. Unfortunately you can’t load up a USB drive with music or routes for the unit to read.. WTF Garmin?

All installed and put back together. I am need to pick up my handlebar bag that was supposed to come with the bike but I am also still waiting on the Enduro package. When you turn the unit off it sends a message with a pin where you parked. Nice one Garmin. I didn’t have that on my Nav V. I gave into the kids begging to go to Sonic last night, don’t judge.

With everything hooked up and running I moved onto pairing the unit with the iPhone6s and Cardo PacTalk. I tried adding just the GPS to bike but I would lose the Smartlink functionality for weather and traffic. Now I have unpaired from the bike and I have the unit paired with the phone and headset. With this setup I can’t use the Ducati app or control music and volume from the handlebar. I am going to play with the pairings a bit more to see if I can find a way to use the features of the bike and gps together.

I miss the integration of the Nav V unit has with the bike and wonderwheel. Motorcycles using the canbus system must provide all the same information and Garmin should be able to interface with others. At a minimum provide a bar add on to scroll or navigate the unit without taking your hands off the bars.

It took me just over 2 hours to complete the installation. If I were to do it again I could probably have it done in about a hour. Don’t make the mistakes I did and you could have your installed in about the same amount of time.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Week Ending 21.Aug.16

We celebrated the return of the industrialized school system for Charlotte. As you can see she is pretty happy to be getting back at it. Usually she has a pen, toy or a piece of children’s silverware (aka ‘shiv’). The school doesn’t laugh too much when she has a childs butterknife in her hands, how could this sweet face be a threat? Thankfully to cannibadiol (CBD) her seizures are controlled and her immune system is resistant to infections and she was able to actually start attending school. She is constantly moving and being in school is a different environment for her to experience and be mentally stimulated. Several people have intimated how having special needs children in the classrooms leads to acceptance and understanding, removing the fear and stereotyping.

One of the keys to staying happy for us is to get out for some physical activity. Sully and I work together to make sure we each get our own solo training time but it is also important to include everyone in getting out and participating together. Using a child carrier, weehoo or the buddy bike allows all of us to get out and have fun. Using the unschooling method every moment in life is opportunity for teachinmg moments and big boy suffered a flat on our ride. He took it all in stride and walked about a mile back to the car, singing along with a great attitude.

One of our passions is climbing and the staff at CityRock is very welcoming to us being there with Charlotte on our back. We stay away from lead belaying when we have Charlotte on our back to avoid system shocks though. I am slowly recovering from my ankle sprain but still primarily a belay slave for Sully. Charlotte is holding her pen (shiv) and getting ready to stab me in the neck.

I was able to get for some riding this week. I haven’t ridden stumpy for awhile and the rain the day before put Cap’n Jacks in great form. I had to give my baby some love! Most of the riding has been commuting to work a Niner RLT9, hitting some gravel roads and trails. I bought the Niner with hopes using it for gravel rides and som bikepacking but the 1x11 didn’t work for me. I changed the gearing from stock with a 38 Wolftooth front and 11-36 rear cog. Unfortunately Niner spec’d the ’15 model with a road rear hub and derailleur, limiting what you could do with the cogset in the rear. A friend also bought the same bike last year and had to rebuilt the rear wheel for a mountain hub and derailleur. I thought about doing this but I didn’t think the bike would still meet all of my needs for a commuter, bikepacking and gravel riding. Sully loves the bike and thankfully the fram size I bought fits her very good. All it took was trading the shorter stem over from her other bike and it is good to go for her!

I had been looking for awhile to see what would better suit my needs and decided on the Salsa Deadwood 29er+. Looking forward to some painfully good times on this new beauty we named Copper.. Stay tuned. Yeah, I have a sweet sense of fashion..

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Here we are and here we go..

The collective 'we' or 'us' is myself (GJ), Sully, three children, two dogs and a black cat. I guess the modern term is blended but I did not bring any children or pets into the family. All I brought was my baggage of failed marriages and relationships from my past. A brief look at who we are.

I have a varied background but I have worked in public safety for over 25 years. Originally from Ohio and moved to Colorado after a 16 year sentence in Florida. The beach is nice and enjoyed it but the mountains were where I was always traveling to for skiing, climbing, biking and camping. Paid the mountain tax (lower pay) in 2003 and never looked back. I am currently in my late 40's with the desire to explore and play of a 20 year old.

Sully also has done a bit of this and that in her past. One of the twins suffers from Dravet Syndrome and seeing the benefits of canibidiol (CBD) in controlling her seizures she is now working for a non-profit to deschedule CBD on a national level. She also came to Colorado to fulfill her love of the mountains and left Conneticut to attend college in Ft Collins.

The children are Big Boy (13) and the twins girls (Pidgeon and Charlie). Max and Pidgeon are homeschooled and show a level of maturity that only comes with having to 'grow up' with another family member that is suffering from a life threatening disease. The successful treatment of Charlie with CBD and the incredible special needs programs in the public school system allowed Charlie to start attending public school this year.

Sully and I have both experienced the joy of divorce a couple of times. We were both about to give up on the online dating scene and we met on our 'this is the last date I am going on'.. Needless to say we could be a cheesy TV add. The moment we saw each other there was a mutual this is it moment. 

I did not know that she was feeling this when she sat down in front of me so I had to deal with my insecurities as I saw her looking away and me thinking that there is no way this highly intelligent and articulate woman is interested in me. I can say that our first date never ended and we have never been apart except for traveling for work or me being on duty. Although we knew right off how we felt we waited and then included the kids and her ex husband.

I was the consumate Colorado bachelor. If I was not working I was out being the serial recreationalist and taking advantage of what is offered here and in the surrounding states. My past partners never wanted children and when I was dating I didn't seek women with children, almost avoided them actually. Once I met Sully I didn't care that she had children or that one was special needs. I will admit that I was nervous and had some reservations but I have experienced love and acceptance in a way that I did not think possible. 

There have been some hiccups and serious discussions between all of us. But through talking and being open we keep going and grow closer. This is what this blog is going to be about. Us growing, exploring and hopefully showing others that there is a life out there. You should not be held back because you have or do not have children, that you have a special needs child or that your relationships failed. Life and people are out there and you have to keep going. The difficulties of the past make the moment you meet a special someone so much more apparent. 

We are active and embrace life. Welcome to our shit show, it is amazing!