I hope to be putting up my ride report soon, but after 6,878 miles to Nova Scotia and back, I had good opportunity to test some new stuff. Some of these I put on just days before I departed and questioned the wisdom of going with something untried before a long trip. For the most part I was pleasantly surprised. Below are the gadgets and gear that helped.
1) Pirelli Diablo Strada tires These were those newly introduced tires that someone posted here in the spring about the promotion to buy the rear tire and get the front free from Pirelli. Pirelli advertised them to have good traction dry or wet, heating ability,and long lasting. Well as a die hard Z6 fan I found them to be all that was advertised. I removed my Z6's just before departure which had 4,000 miles on them and put on my Pirelli Diablo's for the trip. I rode 3 days of the 20 days in all day hard rain and they held up fine. In addition I rode the Dragon and numorous mountain passes and they were more than fine with little chicken skin to show on the sides. After 7,000 miles on them, they don't show much more wear than my Z6's sitting on my garage with 4,000 miles on them. Overall, I'd go with these again if all things are equal like the price. I'll put the Z6's back on soon and use what's left of them for spring weekend and local rides.
2) New Cee Baileys windshied. I got the one that was 2 inches wider and 2 inches taller and ordered the "Euro cut" with the slight dip in the top. I was questioning getting a bigger windshield since down here is gets super hot thinking the more air blowing on me the better. Turns out there were some days huddling behind the thing in driving rain wondering how the one with 4 more inches might work. The Cee Baileys has that slight upward flair at the top which really quiets the airflow making for a more comfortable ride. I'm real happy with it so it will say on even on the hot days.
3) Throttle Miester The jury is still out on this one. It's like a poor man's cruise control. I love my wrist rocker on the throttle, however there were times the throttle miester would help to allow me to pull my right arm off and give it a rest or shake it out. Sometimes it freed up my right hand to futz with something. I used it on the interstate highway and it helps for sure, however if it's locked down hard, it could be a potential problem when needing a quick back off. Having it just slightly tight meant the speed would slowly decline and require some adjusting. It's really only locking the throttle so on hills the bike slows, while on descents, the bike speeds up. Overall it's fine, but after test riding a 1200RT with cruise control, there's no contest. The BMW cruise control is super responsive and works great. Just one of several improvements that are swaying me to get a new 1200RT.
4) The beads for the seat. What can I say. They look somewhat stupid. They look uncomfortable, BUT . . . they are unbelievable for long days keeping your butt dry. I had some tough days being saddle sore and the beads totally cured the problem. They really help on rainy days keeping you elevated off the wet saddle. Great surprise on this item. You won't know your sitting on them either.
5) MotoLights These I've had a long time and feel they've been a great investment. Many people think they help you see better at night which they do, however the real purpose in my book it to help cars and trucks see you and perceive your speed better during the day. They really improve your chances against left turning vehicles. Period. The Moto Lights mount low on the break calipers and give you a better profile from cars up ahead waiting to make a turn in front of you. The triangulation helps the cars perceive your speed better than a single bright light. They really give you a better sense of security.
6) GPS in general and certainly the Garmin 276C for sure I still love maps and those who haven't tried a GPS think you ride down the road staring at the thing. It really helps when you know a turn is coming in 9.4 miles or the road is going to fork 2 mile ahead and you need to bare left. It helps me find gas, lodging and dining and kept me aware of what was coming up ahead. I don't use the sound since the graphics change when something major is coming up. They way mine is mounted high on a shelf allows me to view my speed without looking down at the dash pretty much like a heads up display. Don't leave home without one !