Scenic in 30 seconds, The Zero SR/S, Contemplating bad motorcycling decisions, The Scenic Forum, Drama and action in the British motorcycle industry and more…
As we’re nearing the end of 2019 Tom, Jasper and I look back on an eventful year: Scenic 2 was released, receiving great reviews. Moto Intel Report continued to bring us, and hopefully you, a lot of writing and reading pleasure. And on a personal level we enjoyed some nice motorcycle trips.
In the next year we aim to continue this stretch: I will continue to develop Scenic 2 based on your suggestions and feedback, Scenic for Android is in the works, aiming for an end of 2020 release and we will continue Moto Intel Report of course. If all this allows for some free time, we’ll do some more motorcycle trips as well 🙂
In this year’s last Moto Intel Report Tom reviews the SP-Connect Motorcycle Phone mount, Jasper vents his experience with KTM Service and I explain why Scenic does not (yet???) support Apple CarPlay. Lastly we introduce you to the all new Scenic Motorcycle Store 🙂
Now, without further ado, let’s get rolling…
SP-Connect Motorcycle Phone Mount
Mobile phone mounts are quickly gaining in popularity, and for a good reason. Back in the day, big motorcycle navigation units like the Garmin Zumo and TomTom Rider were the only things you’d mount on your handlebar. With the rise of motorcycle navigation- and other useful apps while on the go, this has shifted towards mobile phone mounting.
For a long time, I’ve been hesitant to install a phone mount on my handlebar, mostly because I was scared to damage my phone, or have it stolen at a traffic light in Mexico-City. But, about a month ago I started using the SP Connect Moto Bundle phone mount, which comes with some handy phone cases. The SP Connect black phone case is a great, anti-slip phone case that doesn’t make your phone much thicker and fits easily in your pocket. It only takes 1 minute to fit the mount on your handle bar. The phone case is then attached to the mount by turning it 90 degrees. Thus far, I haven’t had any issue with it. The mount looks slick and professional and the phone just blends in nicely with the motorcycle. I’ve used it both on-road and off-road. The phone sits secure, and hasn’t sustained any damage.
My only concern has been the rotating mechanism on the back of the phone case. The plastic on the back of the case could start to wear if the case isn’t attached in exactly the right way. While the SP Connect certainly isn’t the cheapest phone mount on the market, it sure is a sturdy, well designed product with a minimalist design that combines with nearly every motorcycle. The bundle comes with the phone case, a weather case and the mount.
Scenic users can use the code SCENIC15 to get a 15% discount on the SP Connect website.
The KTM fuel pump saga continues: In July I bought a brand new KTM Adventure 1090 S and 3000 kilometers (1850 miles) later, in October, I had fuel pump failure. It is widely known to be a KTM problem, but KTM Mexico unfortunately did not pick this up correctly. I had to pay to get it fixed (under warranty), and when I complained with KTM Global I got zero response. I am very disappointed and would not recommend buying a KTM to anyone at this moment.
The thing that bothers me most is that when I initially sent the video of the failure notification to the dealer he told me it was not the fuel pump but the filters that were probably dirty. He seemed to know this without even looking at the bike. After waiting in the showroom for a few hours the manager asked me to come up to the garage where he showed me a transparent jar with dirt and even little pebbles in it. I did not see it come out of my motorcycle. The dealer claimed my Guglatech fuel filter only filters leaves and not things like sand. After checking with Guglielmo from Guglatech, he ensured me his filters absolutely filter everything I saw in that jar.
Bottom line is I am an unhappy customer that gets no response when I communicate this with KTM. It would be very classy if they managed to pick this up correctly.
For 2020 we decided to try something new: We opened a store where you can buy Scenic branded materials and T-shirts with funny one-liners about motorcycling. By purchasing something from the store you not only get a nice product, but you also support us in our efforts to keep this newsletter going.
Don’t have a Christmas gift yet? Perhaps one of the products in our store might be a good idea. And, if not already seen, here are some more ideas for motorcycle Christmas gifts.
CarPlay support for Scenic 2
I’ve received many MANY requests to add CarPlay support for Scenic. The new Africa Twin supporting CarPlay has a big role in this I’m sure. More and more motorcycle brands are adding CarPlay support to their new models, so I have no doubt that requests will continue to come in over time.
Here’s the thing: CarPlay Apps are editorially selected by Apple. I’ve requested Apple to consider Scenic for CarPlay multiple times, and will continue to submit requests. So far, however, Scenic has not been selected. So, unfortunately, whether or not Scenic will ever support CarPlay depends entirely on Apple. Of course, if and when they decide to select Scenic for CarPlay, development will begin ASAP.
How you can help? Well, I’m actually not sure IF this is going to help, but it’s worth a shot. Leave some feedback for Apple. As Feedback Type select ‘Feature Request’ and enter something like “I would like to have CarPlay support for the app ‘Scenic Motorcycle Navigation‘”. Perhaps add some additional comments about why you’d like that. E.g. that you are using it in your car too and/or that your motorcycle supports CarPlay but you can’t use your favourite motorcycle navigation app on there.
My hope is, with enough of this feedback, Apple will consider Scenic for CarPlay. Thanks for your help!
Pic of the week
This beautiful picture was sent in by Ellen. It was taken in Ohanes, Almería, Spain and pictures their BMW K1600GT and R1250GSA in front of a stunning view. “We were riding on this street and suddenly we arrived to this point where you have this great view. Just stopped and enjoyed it for some minutes. No traffic at all….”
Top Best Motorcycle Gadgets & Gear for Christmas (for your spouse)
If you are reading this you (1) have a spouse that’s a fanatic motorcycle rider and (2) you have no idea what to get him/her for Christmas. Well, you’ve come to the right place!
HOWEVER, if you ARE one of those fanatic motorcycle riders yourself, STOP READING and just share this article with your spouse! You wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise, would you?
Here’s a list of some of the Top Best Motorcycle Gadgets & Gear that will do well as Christmas Gifts. It’s not just any list. It’s based on the most ordered articles throughout the year AND on what we (3 motorcycle fanatics ourselves) are using already, or would’t mind seeing under the tree this year. We hope you find it useful.
Jasper, Tom & Guido
Top Best Motorcycle Gadgets & Gear under 25 USD
This helmet holder gives a safe space to your spouse’s helmet and keeps the house organised as well.
Under the tree for: 14 USD
Total Control, by Lee Parks, is one of the best selling books for improving street riding skills. This will definitely help your spouse scratch that motorcycling itch through winter!
Under the tree for: 19 USD
If your spouse is more into off-road riding, get him/her ‘Adventure Riding Techniques’ by Robert Wicks. It’s the ultimate guide for him/her to get his/her bike under control on the dirt! It’s pretty expensive new, but used on Amazon it’s quite affordable.
Under the tree for: 24 USD
We wouldn’t use these as main motorcycle gloves but they can sure come in handy and won’t break the bank. More than once we got caught in an unexpected shower rendering our main gloves soaked and cold. Your spouse taking these with him/her as a spare dry set can be a godsend in these cases. They can also come in handy for the occasional pillion/passenger 😉.
Under the tree for: 17 USD
This aftermarket USB Charge Port is powerful enough (3.1 amp) to charge just about anything. A must if, for example, your spouse is using a Motorcycle Navigation App and also wants to keep his/her phone fully charged to be reachable for you 😉. It’s Amazon’s Choice and can be attached to a motorcycle easily, with a simple Zip Tie, some adhesive tape or screws. At just 10 bucks this is a no brainer!
Under the tree for: 10 USD
I (Guido), have been using one of these for about 5 months now. I absolutely love it! It’s easy to use, fits under the saddle of my bike and the alarm has enough volume to scare potential thieves off. You won’t easily forget it’s on either, as the alarm will go off as soon as you start moving the bike. It comes with 3 batteries but I’m still on my first one. And that’s with daily use. Isn’t 24 bucks worth some additional peace of mind for your spouse?
Under the tree for: 24 USD
Top Best Motorcycle Gadgets & Gear under 100 USD
Worried about your Spouse’s safety? Did you know that tire pressure has a huge influence on the control and handling of a motorcycle? The RUPSE is a ruggedised weather proof system specially made for monitoring motorcycle tire pressure and temperature. Its accuracy is ±1 Psi / 0,1 BAR, it gives warnings when tire pressure becomes too low or too high and it has a very simple and organised display, making a ‘quick glance’ by your spouse enough to know what’s going on between him/her and the pavement.
Under the tree for: 90 USD
If your spouse is a grease monkey and likes to do his/her own maintenance, this best selling lift might be a nice present under the tree. Be aware though: this might tip the delicate balance between garage time and you time!
Under the tree for: 64 USD
Top Best Motorcycle Gadgets & Gear over 100 USD
If you really want to make your loved one happy then all you do is order this and expect sheer happiness. This Motorcycle Bluetooth Communication System represents a level of refinement from the proven market leader, the Sena 20S. It allows riders (e.g. you and your spouse) to talk up to 1.2 miles distance. This is a dream product for many riders!
Under the tree for: 445 USD
As recommended by Ryan from FortNine the Scorpion EXO-ST1400 Carbon Helmet comes at 399.95 and is the best helmet he has come across in a long time. It would be the best possible gift if your significant other is into safety as well as style.
Under the tree for: 400 USD
It’s EICMA time! For those of you living under a rock, EICMA (Esposizione Internazionale del Ciclo, Motociclo, Accessori) is the worlds biggest motorcycle show, hosted yearly in Milan.
The show is packed with big motorcycle brands unveiling their newest models, aftermarket suppliers showing off their latest products and accessory companies exhibiting their all new gadgets. This makes EICMA one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, news event in the motorcycle industry.
In the last few days Jasper, Tom and myself have been scouring through the EICMA news which has been spreading like wildfire in the motorcycle corner of the internet. It’s simply too much to cover in a newsletter though, so we made a selection of news we liked (and news we were disappointed in) and provided links to more news. Next to that we have a recommendation for those of you putting your bikes in winter storage. Some think that running your bike every few weeks for 20 minutes or so is enough to keep your battery in good shape. It’s not!
Now, without further ado, let’s get rolling…
2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 & 1050 XT
The 2020 V-Strom, with its angular design, looks just a little different from its predecessor, but the engine and electronics have been upgraded quite a bit. Although the V-Twin keeps its 1037cc capacity, it now churns out 13 horses more, rising up to 105 bhp. The 2020 model also gets a big electronics update with cruise control, traction control with four sensitivity modes, three riding modes, and the Easy Start System that makes start-ups quick and easy. In the braking area the XT model gets the Motion Track Brake System, which prevents mid-corner braking kick back, provides slope control and hill hold.
As in previous years, Suzuki offers two models (OK, officially three). The normal 1050, the XT and the XT Adventure, the 1050 being the street oriented version. The main differences between the 1050 and the XT models are the available colors, the wheels and the electronics package. Just like previous years, the non-XT gets cast alloy wheels, while the XT gets wired spokes. Next to that the normal 1050 has to miss out on some of the fancy electronics like Cruise Control and the Motion Track Brake System. The XT adventure is the same as the XT, but comes with aluminium panniers and heated grips.
For more details have a look at this article by motorcyclist.
Why a Battery Charger Makes a Difference
Your motorcycle battery should always be fully charged to prevent permanent battery damage. Over time, batteries will self-discharge, even when idle. Your best bet is to charge your battery every 30 days, or – an easier option – get a smart charger that maintains your battery all the time. Some people think starting the bike every few weeks during the winter is good for the motorcycle, but the charging systems don’t ramp up until the motor gets in the fairly high revs (sometimes as high as 5000 RPM). So, you won’t be charging your battery sufficiently in this manner. This blog article, provided by BatteryStuff.com lays out the do’s and don’ts when it comes to keeping your battery in good shape!
2020 Kawasaki Z650
For Naked enthusiasts this might just be a dream come true. The 2020 Kawasaki Z650 and the Z650ABS with new bells and whistles are what Kawasaki calls ‘fresh iteration’ of a popular model. Their ‘sugomi’ philosophy – a doctrine in which every engineering addition comes with a styling benefit – has clearly been applied in this new model. New headlights and edgier and sharper shrouds make it look very avant-garde. Still a very good commuter in town and for trips, solo or with your significant other. What is very impressive is the new multifunction color TFT display with items like a gear position indicator, shift lamp, fuel gauge, and Economical Riding Indicator. More on that here.
Disappointing Yamaha Lineup
I’ll admit it… I am a Yamaha fan! Mostly because Yamaha is the most reliable motorcycle brand. My 20 year old XJ600S just keeps on going and I’m very happy with the 2016 Tracer / FJ09 I bought a few months ago. Not something I can say of my BMW RT which keeps losing parts every time I ride it, Jasper’s previous BMW that kept breaking down and even the KTM’s of Jasper and Tom have regular fuel filter and fuel pump problems. I just like my bikes to start and run without hassle!
Now that I got that of my chest, I am a bit disappointed in Yamaha’s EICMA lineup this year. Yes, they showed the new Ténéré 700, but we already knew that was coming ánd it’s a 2021 model available only in the 2nd half of 2020. They did revamp the 700 Tracer with a slightly new design, new suspension and modernized instrument panel and they upgraded the MT-03, have a new scooter and showed off the Niken which we already knew about too. Here’s a video of Makina visiting the Yamaha EICMA stand.
I was hoping for a new Super Ténéré 1200 ES and perhaps even an in between, around 900cc adventure model. Here’s a thought Yamaha: How about a Tracer 900 Adventure? With a softer suspension, higher ground clearance and a mellowed down engine? Give it some spoke wheels and smack on some crash bars and a skid plate… I’ll be the first to pre-order!
2020 MV Agusta Rush 1000
Does anyone remember the Brutale 1000 RR? MV Agusta squared that model and came up with something even badder: the 2020 RUSH 1000. Perfect combination of performance and aggression while still stylish as an Italian. With a freaking 212 hp at 13,600 rpm this is a true beast. Torque hits an impressive peak of 86.3 pound-feet at 11,000 rpm, with an extremely flat curve reaching down all the way below 4,000 rpm. MV Agusta nailed this one making you almost forget it is only a 998cc engine. MV Agusta managed to drop the Rush 1000’s weight to 405 pounds / 184 kg dry through the extensive use of CNC-machined aluminum, titanium, and carbon fiber components. Much more here.
Aston Martin AMB-001
Perhaps the most extraordinary new bike presented on EICMA this year is AMB001 by Aston Martin and Brough Superior. This very exclusive motorcycle is limited to just 100 pieces and is powered by a 997cc turbo supercharged V-twin engine.
The goal of this Aston Martin/Brough Superior joint-venture? ‘’To create a piece of automotive art for the motorcycle connoisseur’’
The carbon fiber body and double wishbone front fork give the bike a futuristic look and the hand-stitched saddle almost make it look like you’re sitting on the toddler-seat of an Aston Martin Vanquish. Other high quality materials such titanium and billet aluminum are used for the subframe and wheels.The exhaust is made from a superalloy called Inconel (nickel-chromium), a material you often see in Formula 1 and NASCAR exhausts/turbochargers.
Sadly, the chance you’ll ever see one of these bikes on the road is close to zero as they’re strictly being built for track use. I wonder what Lawrence of Arabia would say about this machine of the future (he owned seven Brough Superior motorcycles)…
More EICMA News
The news covered in this issue is only a scratch on the surface of all the EICMA news, so here’s a list of some links we believe give a good and complete overview of all EICMA revelations. You’ll find quite some overlap in the posts on these sites. That’s because, of course, they all stem from the same source… the EICMA show floor. Nevertheless each site has their own take on what their reporters have seen, heard and experienced.
Pic of the week
Harleys in the Twisties
This pictures was sent in by Chris, who was in Tirol with his buddies a few weeks back. “All of us are on Harleys, the oldest bike is a 74 shovelhead with suicide shifter ( not sure how he made it through most of the passes) and the newest one is a 2018 road glide. I followed the whole trip using the Scenic app, and I loved it.“
Autumn is here and we’re loving it. Some of you might have stored your bikes but we are going strong. I ride at least a 100 km/60 miles multiple times a week when I go to work and Tom is doing his daily commute so he always arrives to the office with a big grin. Summer or autumn, it makes no difference to us 🙂
In this week’s Moto Intel Report Tom is absent because he is taking the train from Moscow to Vladivostoc, Guido is looking for an Android developer (yes, it’s motorcycle related), points you towards a toolkit for rugged rides and discusses cold hand solutions. I take you along for a Texas ride that is perfect for this time of year and tell you about the KTM fuel pump problems I have encountered.
Now, without further ado, let’s get rolling…
KTM Fuel Pump Problems
It has been 3 months since I got my brand spanking new KTM 1090 Adventure and unfortunately, I already ran into problems with the fuel pump. I am using a prefilter because of the bad fuel quality down here in Mexico but the fuel pump is already stalling, while I had my last service only 2000km/1200miles ago and the agency cleaned the fuel pump.
It is malfunctioning when I open the gas fully, which I do quite regularly. Needless to say, I am very disappointed with this. It is a known problem but KTM has not fixed it. Hopefully with their newer models they will come up with a solution.
Modular Moto Wrench Tools
We’ve written about handy tools to take along on rides before. Mostly Swiss army knives and other ‘one piece’ – easy to fit under the saddle – kits. This one is just a little bit bigger, but packs a whole lot of punch. It was developed by one of ADVRider’s inmates and reviewed by the ADVRider staff. A smart piece of kit to take along if you often find yourself off the beaten path!
Texas Hill Country
Mike Satterfield from thegentlemanracer has a ton of trips under his belt in both the USA and Mexico. In this article on mantripping he talks about, among others, the full weekend trip named Texas Hill Country which leads from the historic town of Fredericksburg to the shores of Canyon Lake. Underway you can find boutique wineries, great restaurants and rustic bars so this is really a trip that will cater for everybody’s needs.
Cold Hand Solutions
For the die hard – all year – riders, cold hands is a fact of life. There are solutions to it, although some work better than others. Regular thick gloves work up to a certain point. Disposable hand warmers work well for unexpected cold as they are for sale in many gas stations. One might argue safety as they can rupture inside your glove in case of a fall. Heated grips work very well on the palms of your hand, but leave your finger tips out in the cold (pun intended). Muffs work very well for your entire hand, but the ‘cool’ factor (again, pun intended) of a muff is too low for some 🙂
For really warm hands ánd warm fingertips, heated gloves can bring relief. Because the heating elements run through the entire glove, they keep your whole hand warm. They are not cheap, but then again, a normal motorcycle winter glove isn’t either. So, if you’re up for a new pair anyway, give these heated ones a try!
Wanted: Android Developer
To develop Scenic’s Android Version
If you are, or you know, an experienced Android Developer that is familiar with the Scenic App, is a motorcycle rider him/herself and would be willing and able to develop Scenic for Android, please contact me!
At least 3 years experience with Android Development is a must! Experience with porting iOS Apps to Android is highly preferred! Experience with GPS & Mapping Apps is preferred. This is a Freelance job, full time for at least 6 months, but might be more.
Pic of the week
Sunset in Minnesota
This time it was particularly difficult to choose between all the pics that were sent in. All had something special or were just plain beautiful. In the end we chose this one, sent in by Fritz. It’s a beautiful sunset in St.Charles, MN, with Fritz’s 2012 Road King in the foreground! Thank you Fritz!