MCCruise review – Cruise control for motorcycle

This is my review on MCCruise, one that I have installed on my V-Strom DL650.  It’s basically a repost ( with some info added ) from my original post here: http://www.stromtrooper.com/maintenance-tech-farkles/299089-review-mccruise-cruise-control-motorcycle.html

I’ll start with the fact that I am NOT affiliated in any way with MC Cruise.

Before getting to this farkle, I tried throttle lock(s), cramp busters, made my own throttle lock but nothing seemed to work for the long run.

When I got to Omni Cruise, I thought I finally hit the nail in the head and found my “cruise control” of my choice. I soon discovered some flaws:

  • that it had to be adjusted every now and then as it lost grip no matter how hard I would tighten the screw
  • I had to manually accelerate on hills as the bike will slow down
  • I had to decelerate going downhill and re adjust after
  • readjust it when you shifted position in the seat and the wind changes around you so I would either slow down or gain speed
  • also the desired speed was a pain to get and set it at that exact point

As you can see, this is not the best solution but I was pretty happy with it. Until I got MCCruise.

When I purchased my V-Strom, the MCCruise was already installed and it was one of the main selling point for me. I had a good look on their website prior to purchasing it and was going to get it on the new bike anyway.

It pretty much works like a car cruise control, accelerate to a point and press “SET” to set it. If you break or pull the clutch it disengages but remembers the old setting. All you have to do to get it back at that speed is press the “RES” (reset) button and will accelerate to the previous setting.

It will maintain that speed going up/down on the hills or regardless of wind conditions.

Once the speed is set up and you are cruising along, if you press the “ACC” / “DEC” button, it accelerates or decelerates by set amount. My bike is set to increment by 1 km/h but it can be setup to increment by 2 km/h or more.

The controls are illuminated and are clearly seen during the night. The colour is orange and is not bright. Also happen to be orange, just as my bike’s dash lights.
I can’t imagine my commute on the freeway or my long trips without this cruise control now. It’s by far the best farkle I have on my bike.

Some images that I took with my phone:

MCCruise lit
Lights on
MCCruise during the day
during the day

 

Uluru Trip – Itinerary

This is my itinerary for the Uluru Trip. I’ve got some good advice from the Melbourne – ULURU and back thread I started. I took into account all of the opinions there and I made the following plan for the trip.

It’s not going to be long, but it’s the most I can afford to stay away from my family.

The plan was made so I would be away from wife and kids only 1 weekend and get back by the second. Hope it will work out.

Leave day: 16 May 2016 ( backup: 19 June)
From To KM’s Hours Days
Melbourne Adelaide 760 9 1
Adelaide Farina Sation 597 7 1
Farina Coober Pedy 424 8 1
Coober Pedy Uluru 751 9 1
Uluru Kata Tjuta / Mt Olga 53 1 1
Total Km’s 2585 34 5
Return
From To KM’s Hours Days
Kata Tjuta / Mt Olga Oodnadatta Track 571 7 1
Oodnadatta Track William Creek 358 7 1
William Creek Andamooka SA 284 9 1
Andamooka SA Adelaide 595 7 1
Adelaide Minyip VIC 528 8 1
Minyip VIC Melbourne 342 4 1
Total Km’s 2678 41 6
Total KM’s Total Hours of ride Total days
5263 75 11

I will make another post with what I did for the trip to prepare and how my bike will look like. Ah also the farkles I’ve added …

DIY V-Strom soft pannier rack (right)

I had the option of purchasing a rack for around $300 and was determined to do just that. But decided to give it ago and try to make one of my own V-Strom soft pannier rack.

I don’t have a pipe bender or a welding machine but I decided to give it a go anyway.

So… I asked around for a pipe bender and one of my good friends happened to have one.

I formulated a raw plan in my head about what should I do and how to do it. I thought that for $300 might as well buy a welding machine and stick with it after the project is over.

So here I am, with some ideas in my head and didn’t know where to start exactly. I went to Bunnings (a local store) and after having a bit of a look around pipe isle I decided to purchase a 16mm steel tube for $15. This is the one: http://www.bunnings.com.au/metal-mate-16-x-1-2-3m-galvanised-steel-round-tube_p1130451

First measurements
First measurements

As you can see in the picture above, I tried to take some measurements but I was hopless so I just gave it a go and did it by eye measurements.

The first 2 bends
The first 2 bends

I’ve bent the pipe twice before doing anything, just with a schematic in my head. I must admit, the fact that I purchased a steel pipe made and the fact that I was alone whilst doing this, made things pretty difficult.

This is how I took the measurements
This is how I took the measurements

In the picture above you can see how I actually measured the length of the pipe. I’ve just put some marks on the pipe with a permanent marker.

After the cut
After the cut

I used the rotary tool I purchased to build the radiator guard. Cheap and effective tool. Not the fastest but does the job.

The be able to make the holes to put the screws in, I had to made the pipe flat at the ends. Unfortunately, the only tool I had for the job was a hammer I purchased from IKEA some years ago. Again, was a bit slow but did the ob perfectly.

Where I've hit it with the hammer
Where I’ve hit it with the hammer

The part that was hit with the hammer is not as smooth as the one that was flat on the ground as you can see in the picture below.

Flat surface, where the rack will stack against the frame
Flat surface, where the rack will stack against the frame

To cut the hole, I’ve used the only tool for the just I had, an electric screwdriver, again purchased from IKEA some years ago. Not the fastest but did the job quite well. You just need to persevere with the drilling…

First hole, with the electric screwdriver
First hole, with the electric screwdriver

 After drilling the pipe, I’ve cut the excess to my needs..

After cutting off the excess
After cutting off the excess

The only screw I found in my garage was an old, rusted screw. I’ve used it for the time being just do finish the job and then purchased one for a permanent solution.

The only screw I found in my garrage
The only screw I found in my garrage

At the other end, I’ve used the same process as above. The only didfference is that I’ve used the hammer to bend the pipe at 90 degrees so I can screw it in place.

I have unbolted the pipe, added recently made rack, and bolted back using the same screws. Works awesome !

Unscrewed the heat shield.
Unscrewed the heat shield.

You can see below the final result. Looks like OEM ! So proud, I just hope it works…

Raw final result
Raw final result

Final result

This is the final result to my DYI rack. It took me about 6 hours to make it, including coffe breaks and plus the fact that outside were 40+ Celsius.

Where the rack fitsI’ve used a black spray paint to match the bike’s color. Results below.

Final result rear

Final result
Total cost to make the soft pannier rack on the right side: $16
Check the soft pannier rack (left) link. That one was for free basically, made it with what was left from this project. But I’ve also made a tool tube to attach it to the rack which pumped the price up to $14.  All in all, a good deal.

DIY Radiator guard – V-Strom 650

I had the option of either paying around $100 for a radiator guard for my V-Strom or try and build one myself. After looking under the fairings and in front of the radiator, I decided that there are enough tie points to have one tied there. I also had a look on Stromtroopers forum for others who might have done this in the past and ……. indeed there were. I guess this would apply to other kinds of bikes as well but for now I’ll stick to DL650.

Budget: as low as possible

I had no tools to do the job, but I thought that with $100 total (as a brand new rad guard) I have to build it, purchase the tools to do it.

I went to OfficeWorks and bought this mesh document tray for $4 (was on special). I wanted it black, but … for that amount, blue will do just fine.

mesh tray

I went to K-Mart and bought a pair of Impact Posters 92cm (should have bought smaller ones) for about $2 i think.

    

I’ve went to Bunnings and bought myself a OZITO rotary tool for $49.  I’ve cut the two sides of the mesh tray and the small handles. I also made some gross measurements with a ruler and cut the mesh accordingly.

First cut
First cut

 

Second cut
Second cut
Rotary tool
Rotary tool

I’ve painted the mesh black with a black spray can that I had in my garage.

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I’ve cut and added the Kmart sides to the mesh. Looking back, I think I should have added this first and then sprayed the whole thing. Would have been easier.

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I used black zip ties to tie the whole thing in front of my radiator.Looks like OEM, works brilliant.

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INNOVV C3 Camera Review

For my GS500 bike, I wanted to have a permanently dash cam mounted. One that is pointing towards the front, one that is pointing towards the rear of the bike. Below are my findings.

Background
I have owned 2 complete C3 cameras.
1 – 90 degree lens, recording unit capacitor.
2 – 120 degree lens, recording unit on battery.

My use for the camera
Used as a permanently mounted dash camera. I never took the footage off the camera unless a crash happened (was lucky, never had to).
Wanted the cameras to record for some period of time after the bike was turned off.

The 90 lens was pointing towards the front of the bike. Mounded under the headlight. Recording unit was under the seat.

The 120 lens was pointing towards the back of the bike. Mounted under the rear fairing. Recording unit was under the seat.

Rear camera

The cameras were linked together and had a switch on the dashboard to power them on.

Started with two camera, ended up with only one
From 2 units, managed to get 1 working and worked for few months until I sold the bike.

Problems

  • The 120 degree lens broke within a week.
    • Got on Skype and spoke with the company’s rep. I think it was the actual owner or similar as he was at home.
    • After an agonizing 2 hours of broken English between the two of us, the demo of what’s not working and what not, I managed to convince him to send me another lens with the condition that I send that one back.
    • I have sent the broken units back to the shop for debugging. Never heard from them again.
  • The second 120 degree lens that he sent, broke within two weeks.
    • It only recorded sound and the image was freezing after 1 minute of power on. After 2 more days, lens refused to work completely.
    • I’ve sent a couple of emails, none of which was answered.
    • Skype was never answered again.

  • Support – massive fail. Only on skype. Barely spoke eny English and for a simple problem, to show that is not working, took me around 2 hours. Second attempt after the second lens failed, failed completely. The shop refused to answer mails, Skype calls.
  • I had two recording units with one lens, the 90 one. Left it mounted on the front of the bike. Was actually afraid of moving or touching it as I was sure it will break.
  • One of the recording unit broke. The mini usb power inlet broke and dropped inside.
  • You have to be careful how you insert the mini SD card. You can lose it inside the unit and then struggle to get it out (happened to me 4 times).
    • Recording unit is very cheap made. VERY !
  • Recorder was doing a date/time reset whenever it felt like it. Was so unreliable I decided to take it off completely.
  • The packages delivered had incomplete and inconsistent contents. One was missing bits and the other had some weird things in it.
    • Only one was actually complete.
  • If you put a text stamp that is longer than 8 characters (if I remember correctly) long, the time stamp will not work and will actually cut into the text.
  • Recorded video was poor, loosing frames and the recording was played back as if seen through a drunk person’s eyes. Very weird
  • Poor battery life.
    • After the power to the unit went off, the batter hold the camera on for about 10 seconds. Never had the damn thing working to record whilst I was away from the bike.
  • Recording when bike was moved feature failed completely.
    • Unit was working when the bike was moved indeed. It recorded for few seconds then shut down for 1 minute. Woke up and the cycle starts again.
  • From 2 complete units, within 1 month I had only 1 working unit

My conclusion
Will not be purchasing any camera from them ever again. Would have been much better spending $200 somewhere else for a quality product.