Motorcycle adventure riding is a beautiful way to express one’s inner wanderlust, but at its core, it is really a science of contingency planning aimed at adequate preparation across the widest swath of likely travel scenarios.
I use the term “adequate” because “perfect planning” is an unobtainable exercise in clairvoyance and it ignores constraints such as available time, funds, and the physical amount of kit one can reasonably carry on a motorcycle.Often times, not reaching your destination before nightfall tops the list of likely travel scenarios. In fact, poor contingency planning earlier in the day is usually the culprit, which can quickly be exacerbated by inclement weather.Although adventure riding through unknown territory at night is less than desirable, preparation is the key to ensuring a safe arrival and navigating over un-improved roads, around wandering livestock, and through unmarked obstacles.I enlisted the help of PIAA—a global leader in aftermarket motorsports lighting solutions—to help illuminate the way. The stock 55-watt halogen auxiliary lights on my BMW GS Adventure were replaced with the PIAA LP530 3.5” LED Driving Light Kit and PIAA BMW 1200 GS Light Bar pairing.Removal of the stock lights, mounting bar, and wiring harness was a few hours of effort. However, once removed, the PIAA kit installation was straightforward and only took about 90 minutes—even with a little extra detail taken to shrink wrap all the connections and aesthetically route the wiring.The PIAA BMW 1200 GS Light Bar is high quality, manufactured from 6061-T6 aluminum that is powdercoated black. The Light Bar mounts solidly to the frame and uses a common 10mm bolt for easy installation.The result was the solution I was seeking. Not only are PIAA LP530 driving lights infinitely more durable than stock and incredibly bright, but they consume a mere three watts per light, which is an unbelievable 95 percent less than the juice-devouring stock halogen setup.In addition to the High Intensity LED technology, the PIAA LP530 differentiator is the backward facing bulb. The LED bulb is aimed rearward toward the specially designed reflector, which provides far better beam control resulting in sharp, long-throw lighting and much improved visibility.The cobalt-blue light is rated at 6000 Kelvin—about the same color as daylight at noon—and is claimed to illuminate nearly 200 yards ahead on flat terrain. I’m not sure I can see that far ahead of me during normal daylight hours, but I do know that I’m much more comfortable navigating sketchy terrain at night with the PIAA LP530 LED kit.With only six watts of total draw, I can leave them on with my engine turned off to illuminate camp while I setup my tent! That alone is a game changer.
PIAA LP530 3.5” LED Driving Light Kit Fast Facts
Box contents: Two lamps, wiring harness, relay, switch, instruction
Honda CRF-E2 Electric + Dale Schmidtchen and the $50M V-Rod
byMotos and Friends by Ultimate Motorcycle
Hello everyone and welcome to Ultimate Motorcycling’s podcast, Motos and Friends. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
This week’s episode is brought to you by Yamaha YZF-R7. The R7 lives up to its legendary name, as a high-performance supersport machine. Check it out at at your local Yamaha dealer, or of course at YamahaMotorsports.com.
In this week’s first segment, Editor Don Williams and I chat about electric bikes and the electric bike revolution that is likely the future of motorcycling. Actually this episode is specifically about Honda’s new CRF-E2… an electric dirt-bike for kids. We asked our tester, 8-year old Avery Bart to put the E2 through its paces and according to Don, she loved it. Honda has stated that the company goal is for 50% of its sales to be electric by 2030—an ambitious goal for sure, and the CRF-E2 is the first step in that direction.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my Aussie motorcycle industry friends—Dale Schmidtchen. Dale has worked for most of the major moto factories globally during his career, and his take on his CF Moto ADV bike is interesting. Beyond that, one his many projects is currently helping to sell the world’s most expensive motorcycle—a Harley V-Rod worth around 50 million dollars. Yes, that’s 50 million with an ‘M’.
Dale also owned a race team in the 1990s and helped bring several well-known Aussie racers to the world stage. He’s a very modest, matter-of-fact guy, but I always really enjoy chatting with him; I hope you enjoy listening.
Incidentally, if you’ve got around fifty mill burning a hole in your pocket and you fancy owning the so-called ‘Mona Lisa of motorbikes’—contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put you in touch with Dale.
From all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!