Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Departure date is fast approaching for my trip up north and I still have work to do on the bike.  There's always too much to do around the house when you have a big yard and pool.  I opened the pool on Sunday and then spent Memorial Day working on the bike.  I like to take my time when working on the bike and really enjoy taking things apart and putting them together again just like when I was a kid.
I needed a place to carry tools and not take usable space inside my bags.  Twisted Throttle sells a Tool Tube that's perfect to carry a few tools and can be mounted easily on the bike.  The tube is plastic and waterproof.   I opted to mount it on the left side right above the exhaust.  It fits perfectly and does not interfere with the bag or anything I might put across the back seat since it's below the seat level.

Even though the Super Tenere has twin headlamps and they are very bright, one can never have enough light when it comes to riding at night and specially on gravel roads.  There are all kinds of expensive lights out there, I would have liked to install the LED ones but I couldn't justify spending over $400 for a pair of lights.  These lights will not be running lights, they are very strong and will be used mainly at night.  I fabricated my own mounting brackets and bought the lights at PEP Boys.
(I should have washed the bike, it's covered in bugs)

Next I tackled the electrics.  I had to install a fuse box to run all kinds of electronics.  One of the best fuse boxes on the marked is made by Eastern Beaver in Japan.  I had one installed on Goldie, my Kawasaki Concours, never gave me any problems and it's easy to change a blown fuse.  The Tenere has all the electronics under the right side panel including the battery.  4 half turn screws and the side panel is off exposing all the electronics and fuses.  Yamaha even left an empty spot for the fuse box.  Had to cut a little plastic but nothing a dremel couldn't take care of. The fuse box has 6 ignition switched circuits and 2 power on all the time, an external relay supplies power when the ignition is on.  The relay is mounted right under the box to the right.  I left the fuse box open so you can see the internal wiring and fuses.

The fuse box powers 2 Powerlet type accessory plugs mounted on a "Highway Dirtbikes" top clamp.
One of the Powerlets has power all the time, the other is switched through the ignition.  Even though they will have power when the bike is running, I can still switch them off since the power goes through 2 switches on the clamp (2 black switches).  The 3rd switch (red) will power the lights and the 4th switch (red) will power the radar detector.  The GPS will have power all the time so I can use it even when the bike is not running.
I installed a MadStad Adjustable Windshield Mount with Crossbar to mount the GPS and radar detector.  In the picture below I had removed the windshield to do some painting on it.  I will post a picture later.

I installed Handlebar Risers by SW-Motech to raise the bars by 1 inch.  They give me a more upright and comfortable riding position.
The radar detector is a Bell Cobra I had in my Mustang and the GPS is a Teletype World Nav 3500 designed for motorcyclists.  It's fully waterproof and routes can be imported and exported in standard formats.

More to follow.


  1. Mmmmm, farkles...

    Those lights look great, should give the bike some real presence when all four are blazing.

    I've the Eastern Beaver fuse box too and it's neat bit of kit. Pretty neat set-up with the switches too.

    I still wanna tag along with you...

    1. Come over :-) A friend went to Alaska with an FJR1300 so I'm sure the Kawi 1400 will make it too.

  2. Nice bud, don't forget the S.A. sticker ;-)

    1. It's there already, I will post a picture, it's on the right side bag.

  3. Sounds like you are getting all set. I tis nice to have the time to put the farkles on needed for your trip. Have you tried out those lights yet? They're looking good.

    1. Thanks.
      I haven't tried the lights on the road, just in my garage. Yea, I'm getting all excited, less than a month to go.

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks. When are you going on your new adventure?

  5. Looks like something from Bladerunner
    good luck on your journey

    1. Thanks. That's a compliment, Bladerunner is my favorite science fiction movie and now that you mentioned it I kind of agree. I must have watched Bladerunner 10 times at least. I need to have a radar detector, my right hand really likes to twist ;-)

  6. Nice set of lights, though it will be daylight pretty much most of the time you will be on the gravel roads. You probably would want to use them as running lights if it's dusty. Pretty hard to see a bike in those conditions.

    I like the fusebox installation. It's one of those things on my "list".

    Are you still planning on being in Whitehorse by the beginning of July?

    1. Richard, I'm planning on arriving in Whitehorse on the 30th of June and leave on the 5th. I will be heading north towards Fairbanks arriving a few days later. I would love to meetup with you. Do you know of any good campgrounds? someone mentioned the university also has a place to sleep. Any help?

    2. Yes, the university in Fairbanks opens up their housing for the summer:

      Khuddy on Advrider used to be in charge of housing and has posted this on the BMWMOA site:

      "I'm no longer am affiliated with UAF Housing but the offer is still valid; contact UAF Housing directly... not me.

      If you are planning on traveling through Fairbanks, Alaska during the summer of 2012, then you can get inexpensive housing on the campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). During the summer you can stay in a dorm room for less than 50% of what it will cost in a local hotel. Rates have not been set but should be close to last year's rates of $46/night for a double room ($23 per person) or $39/night for a single. The rooms are austere with the bathroom down the hall, but they are safe, clean, dry and warm. Just the place to stage for a trip to Deadhorse or to recover from the Dalton ride. A room in a flea bag motel can cost $120 during the summer in Fairbanks.

      Space is available generally between May 26th and August 15th. They normally have space all summer, but on occasion they do get full so it is best to make a reservation at least a month out; sooner is better. Reservations can be made by calling (907) 474-5846/6769 starting in late April.

      Over 300 riders stayed on campus during each of the past three riding seasons."

      I will be leaving Fairbanks on the the evening of July 2 or the morning of July 3rd so I should be able to see you in Whitehorse on the 4th. It should only be a two day ride from Fairbanks. There is supposedly a very moto friendly campground in Tok according to in the Alaska forum.

      Feel free to contact me directly at richard at machida dot us.

    3. Thanks Richard, sent you an e-mail.

  7. Dear George:

    Very impressive! Nice work with the lights and the fuses. God, how I envy your ride. I am not even supposed to be out of a chair for another month.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

    1. Thanks Jack, I'm sorry to hear that, I hope it's only temporary. All the best and thanks for reading, soon there will be lots of photos here :-)

  8. Some great farkles. I will have to look up the tool tube for my bike.

    I hadn't even thought of pep boys for lights. Oilburner has been getting his from Wally world...and they keep blowing. Thanks for the pointer.



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