Add-ons to Raven

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These are some of the add ons I have either ordered or put on the bike.  Each one has its own purpose.  From the iPhone holder to the saddlebags.  I am getting her geared for longer travels, which will require a few add ons, but not too many.  Below is the list of items I feel are needed in order for me to make longer weekend and week+ trips.  For an overnight, I have a nice backpack and dry bag already.

bags1bags2I pained myself with trying to find good saddlebags for the bike.  Both easy to mount and remove, bit left the bike fairly naked without a bunch of framing left on the bike when the bags are off.  In a perfect world, where I have all the money I need for stuff, I would have gone with the Honda matched saddlebags and trunk.  However, it is not a perfect world, and I didnt have another $1500 (or so) to spend.  I went with the SW-MoTech Bags-Connection Blaze Sport Saddlebag System from Twisted Throttle for the NC700XD.  It has a very small footprint when not on the bike, but still has a bar to support the bags while riding.  The bars that support the bags come off very easily, allowing the bike to look as if it has no mounting hardware whatsoever.  I like the look of the bike, but not of boxy framework that takes a while to remove.

omnicruise2omnicruise1Next, I wanted to find something to assist in those long stretches of highway that have no curves or thought involved.  The ones where you just throw back the throttle and keep it locked (at the speed limit, of course).  Some people talked about adding a cruise control unit to the bike, but I didn’t want to spend the money or add that much draw to the bike’s electrical system.  I wanted something simple and manual, but well made.  Some people were talking about a somewhat newer item that was machined aluminum and made in the USA by a guy out on the west coast.  I did some research, talked with the owner/manufacturer and ordered one.  It uses friction to keep the throttle pulled back using the brake handle to keep it from releasing.  However, a quick push on the throttle to slow down releases the lock.  It is easy to adjust and use one handed.  Perfect.  I was able to pick it up with a discount given to me by the owner.  Pretty cool.  These can be found at Omni-Cruise.

CrampbusterTo go along with the Omni-Cruise I got a CrampBuster from Cycle Gear.  It is a simple piece that allows the push of your palm on the plastic to twist the throttle.  It goes on the end of the throttle and uses friction to tighten the grip of it to twist the throttle open when weight/pressure is put on the throttle, usually from the palm or meat of the hand.  It help to keep the fingers from falling asleep on longer rides, even if it is around town.  To disengage, release the throttle like normal.  I have already reaped the benefits of this great little piece of gear.

KickstandPadThe next piece of gear is one I have on order from Amazon (KiWAV Motorcycle kickstand pad but should be here shortly.  It is a piece of hard plastic with a decent sized footprint to put down under the kickstand.  While I am not too worried about the garage floor, I am nervous about parking off the road in dirt or mud and the bike tipping over because the ground is too soft.  I was originally thinking of using a small piece of wood, but this would end up being much better, and I didn’t have any to begin with.  Besides, it will fit under the rear seat in the cubby.

PhoneMountThe next piece of gear saved me over $600.  It is a mount for my iPhone.  I have a waterproof case for it already, just needed a way to mount it to my motorcycle.  This is keeping me from having to purchase a motorcycle GPS that normally cost upwards of $500 to $800 new, haven’t seen a price used.  It can hold the phone in the case either in portrait or landscape mode.  It also holds it securely.  Now, the one thing I do like is that I cannot actually manipulate the phone while riding with the gloves on, so I have to pull over and stop.  This is a good thing – I really don’t need to be worrying about the phone itself while riding, but I do want to know when I get lost and am off-track.  It mounts right to the handlebars and offers full clearance for turning.  I picked it up $14 off Amazon as well: GreatShield Clip-Grip Handlebar Bike Mount Holder.

DrinkHolderThe last piece of gear this run is something more for longer trips than for running about town.  A drink-holder.  Yep, not that I would really be able to use it while riding, as it would be difficult with a full-face helmet, but for throwing a bottle of water in as an extra to the hydration pack, it will be great.  Sorry, but beer just isn’t gonna happen, even in a camp ground.  Another cheap amazon purchase at $10, the Swagman To Go Clip is surprisingly well made and sturdy.  Mounts to the handlebar as well, and offers full clearance for turning without hampering the handlebars.  I do not have this mounted all the time.  In fact, I have not actually ridden anywhere with it yet.  That will change, however.

Anyway, gonna close this out as I have spend enough time and money on the bike for as little as I have been able to ride it.  Sure, there are a few more things I want to get for it, but that will come as the needs arise.  I do know that a Battery Tender 081-0069-8 Female Cigarette Adaptor for Quick Disconnect to charge my phone will be coming very soon…  Also from Amazon for less than $10.

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