Monday, January 17, 2011

What's Next (for the bike)

Since I plan to use the NX for commuting purposes, I'll need to make a few modifications and/or additions.  I'm definitely going to need a rear rack.  My job requires me to carry a laptop to/from the office.  I also carry my lunch.  Since the NX is so light, I'll be carrying a u-lock and cable.  I'm fortunate enough to have an office with windows, so, I can see the bike in the parking lot.  Even though that provides some sense of security, the bike's just too light and a couple of people could lift it into a pick-up and be gone within minutes.  I know the lock/cable won't stop a pro, I'm just looking to discourage the opportunist.  Let's get back to the rack; I'm really lucky that my TransAlp came outfitted with Givi wing racks, E200 top rack and included a top case as well (a Traffic, I think?).  So, I need to fabricate a base rack to support the E200 top rack which will allow me to use the top case.  I already know the top case will fit my laptop, lunch cooler and u-lock/cable.  On top of that, it's big enough for my helmet and it's waterproof.

Hand guards.  As far as I'm concerned, these are a no-brainer.  There's just too many ways to mess up the levers and even though tree branches will be few and far between, these will also help with keeping my hands out of the air stream.  That said, hand muffs will also be something I want to procure.  I try to ride as long as the night time temperature is above 32º F.  Through lots of trial and error, I've determined that's the coldest my hands can handle without becoming frostbitten.  In Chicago-land, that means I can ride about nine months out of the year.  In 2010, I was able to get started pretty early, mid-March, if I recall correctly.  And, I was able to ride until the week of Thanksgiving.  However, those early and late months can be a little tough on the fingers, with respect to temperature.  I've read about grip heaters, winter gloves and heated gloves but the price point on Tusk hand mitts makes them very attractive.  That said, I see that Tusk grip heater sets aren't that much more expensive.

Seat Cover.  This may be something I have to have made.  I was fortunate to discover that an REI backpack cover was big enough to cover the scooter's seat.  This kept it from getting wet as well as providing some UV protection.  I don't think the backpack cover is going to work on the NX's seat.  Your thoughts/ideas would be appreciated on this.

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