New bike ownership fail.

Posted March 7, 2012 by Damien Okado-Gough
Categories: Uncategorized


I hung a set of soft panniers over the back of the bike and rode it all winter. At the weekend I removed them to give the bike a wash, and grime had accumulated in there and scraped the paintwork on both sides. One spot is so bad the paint is worn through, albeit a pinprick-sized hole. I’ll be buying a polish to remove the blotches, but I may choose to get a professional to restore the back faring properly. It all depends on cost, but for time being a bottle of polish and some elbow grease will suffice. A painful lesson has been learned.


One down….

Posted March 6, 2012 by Damien Okado-Gough
Categories: Uncategorized


One to go. Still waiting on the cradle. I got the Powerlet cable from which is run by Jim Davis who visits Gaijin Riders. He’s based in Japan, but it’s cheaper to buy from him than from Powerlet direct. Arrived in good time and in good order. Nice one Jim.

More on the navi rig.

Posted March 3, 2012 by Damien Okado-Gough
Categories: Uncategorized

Well, that’s what it’s becoming, a rig.  Basically I want to power the iPhone for the navi software, and an Aeorstich Unobtainium heated vest. I can’t power the vest off a standard 12v cigarette socket. Those sockets are not powerful enough. Also, the vest has an SAE plug attachment. When I bought the vest off a guy from Gaijin Riders, he gave me an SAE battery cable from Powerlet  to which I can attach the vest:

Battery to SAE cable from Powerlet.

SAE to SAE/Cigarette socket cable from Powerlet.

Now I’ve ordered a new cable, an SAE to SAE/cigarette socket cable, also from Powerlet. I’ll be able to run the first cable from the battery to under the seat and connect a cigarette socket to iPhone charger to the phone on the cradle. In time, I’ll be introducing a tank bag connection to the rig, but that’s for another month.

RAM Mount RAM-B-149Z-UN4U Aluminum Universal Finger Grip Cradle Zinc Coated U-Bolt Mount

Posted March 1, 2012 by Damien Okado-Gough
Categories: Uncategorized

RAM Mount RAM-B-149Z-UN4U Aluminum Universal Finger Grip Cradle Zinc Coated U-Bolt Mount


That’s a mouthful! I’ve ordered this in from in the USA. It’ll hold my iPhone with its cover on while I’m running the navi software on it. The big plus on this cradle is that it takes up such a small space on the handlebars, and seeing I need the centre portion for the DC power attachment I can mount this off to the right hand side of the bars. It’s also corrosion protected, and it’s a universal grip, so I can use it if ever I land a dedicated navi set.

I’ll head over to Ito-KT soon to find out about DC power attachments. I’ve seen one with 2X 12Volt sockets and a USB socket. This would be an ideal set-up for me at the moment. More than enough actually, but the extra socket would be handy for the future.


Actually, not buying a tank bag.

Posted February 29, 2012 by Damien Okado-Gough
Categories: Uncategorized

After quite a bit of chatting around with folks, especially on the Gaijin Riders forum, I reckoned I could stretch the budget to a navi unit. I looked at various Garmin (non-bike) units as the Garmin Zumo bike units are far, far too expensive (6-8万円), but a few guys had posted about using their iPhones with the GoGo Navi Japan app. Well, I downloaded it onto my phone and it’s pretty awesome. There is an option for English menus and voice guidance, and it does more than the Toyota navi unit in my car does. I’m looking for a decent mount for the handlebars and I want to put power sockets on the handlebars too, to power the phone, as well as a heated jacket I got last year. I’ll report back when I get things rigged up.

Buying a tank bag.

Posted February 27, 2012 by Damien Okado-Gough
Categories: Uncategorized

I had to go to the immigration office to get a reentry permit as I’m heading home for a visit soon. I’d love to have gone by bike, but without navi I reckoned it would be to difficult to negotiate my way through Nagoya city centre and south to the office, so I took the train, which I don’t really enjoy. After I got home I was thinking about the navi thing, and lamenting the price of a decent bike navi unit ( about £400), when it struck me that I could easily use a tank bag,  list the directions from Google Maps and place it under the map cover on the bag.

I’d thought about a tank bag before, but the local maps are all in kanji, or chinese characters, and too tough for me to read, so I gave up on the idea. But with Google Maps giving the directions, with distances from junction to junction, I would be able to navigate the roads pretty easily I reckon. So, I’m off to Ricoland in the near future to check out which one I want. They’ve a big selection. Then I’ll come home and buy whichever one I see in Ricoland via Amazon or Rakuten for a decent discount. I’m hoping there is one small enough to be neat on the tank, but that also doubles as a small backpack, so I can keep my odds and bods in it and then take it with me after I’ve parked the bike. I’ll post on whichever one I buy.

Tennis elbow means no riding for me.

Posted February 5, 2012 by Damien Okado-Gough
Categories: Uncategorized

Last May I dug a tree out of my garden to plant a Japanese maple. It was a fairly mature tree with a helluva set of roots to take out. The only way I could get them out was by digging around them to get them well exposed, and then using a handsaw to sever them. Well, it had been a very long time since I had used a saw, and I ended up seizing up my right arm with tennis elbow (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!). I was able to continue riding despite the pain, and over time the pain subsided to a large degree, to the point that about a month ago I reckoned it would be clear by around this time. However, for some reason which is beyond me, it kicked off again, only worse than it was last May. I can barely pick up a mug of coffee never mind pull the cover of the bike. The weather has been fantastic these last few days (cold, but sunny a clear), but I’ve been more or less grounded.

I’m seriously concerned about my arm and my ability to commute from when classes start again in April. I’ve had this injury now for 10 months and it’s worse now that ever it was. The doctor says rest it from work, do some exercises, and see how it is in a month. I’d love to head off for a day’s ride though. This is an absolute bummer.