A2 Motorcycle License Holders Should Consider The Benelli TRK502

As a motorcycle tour operator, I’d like to think that our marketing material makes it clear what we do, nevertheless, over the years I’ve operated I’ve had many unusual requests. Although loosely related to motorcycle touring, the common thread of these non-standard requests is, they are invariably from people who don’t have a motorcycle license; something that should be a foregone conclusion as being a prerequisite for participating in a motorcycle tour.

An example of these requests was “Granny will be 90 on her birthday and she has never been on a motorcycle but we want to make it a special day for her, so, can you take her pillion on a tour”. Declining any business is always a difficult decision although we try to do so in a polite manner and make some sensible suggestions for an alternative gift.

Although it is rare we have had requests from riders who hold an A2 license. We have to advise these riders to bring their own bike. However, the practicalities of this can be too great a challenge for the inexperienced rider as they might need to ride a thousand miles just to reach the tour start and perhaps another thousand miles home at the end. Naturally we would rather not put a rider at potential risk asking them to side so far especially with a deadline to meet but few can afford or justify several weeks off for a biking holiday and so attempt to cover high mileages each day between home and tour location arriving invariably exhausted before the real trip has even begun.

I had recent spate of unfortunate incidents that began whilst travelling to Fort Augustus to research a tour when I incurred a rear puncture. Roadside attempts at a repair had proven ineffective and so I called the RAC who collected the bike and took it to Inverness where a new tyre was fitted. The following day when returning to Ft Augustus from the Isle of Skye my gear change leaver snapped off! I can only speculate that when strapped into the van on its journey to Inverness that a strap must have been placing pressure on the leaver and perhaps weakened it. Anyway, a bit of road side emergency repair with some gaffer tape (always carry some!) soon got the gear changer working again enough to complete the research trip and get back to Glasgow.

On my return, I ordered a new changer through a local family run Benelli, Kawasaki, Royal Enfield and Sym dealership albeit my ride is a Triumph but I use them because they also service, maintain and MOT all brands of motorcycle. A few days later they advised that the part was in stock and when I arrived they offered to fit it for me. Whilst in the shop I was drawn to the Benelli TRK502 an adventure bike specifically targeted towards the A2 license holder and daily commuters. Brand new out the box it can be on the road for just £5,699 which seems excellent value for the money. They suggested I take it for a test ride whilst my repair was being undertaken.

I am well accustomed to hopping on and off different bikes but with my short legs, 29″, many adventure bikes are a stretch for me. I often have to slide part way off the saddle just to reach the ground but the Benelli with a saddle height at 815mm was a comfortable reach for me. I’m sure this would prove reassuring to new riders even those with longer legs.

I felt immediately at ease with the bike. The saddle is very comfortable and the upright riding position is very relaxed. The windshield is effective although depending on your height it may benefit an additional deflector to divert air over the helmet. Although the bike with a full tank of fuel is quoted about 250kg it didn’t feel so heavy to me, it’s very well balanced with the weight lying low in the frame, so, I wonder if those quoted weights include the full luggage set because the bike I was riding had a full Givi pannier rack with only the top box on that day. Note that the Givi rear and side racks, screen winglets, crash bars and USB accessory power point all come as standard equipment.

For the technical minded the Benelli TRK 502 is chain driven twin cylinder with a displacement of 499.6cc and 6 speed gearbox. Remember that this bike is addressing the A2 market and so the maximum power is 47BHP (35 kW) at 8500 rpm and the torque is of 45 Nm (4.6 kgm) at 4500 rpm. There are twin disks front and a single at the rear. The front wheel is 110/80 R19 and the rear 150/70 R17.

I have to say that my first impressing was that the engine was rather lacklustre but I’ll try not to be critical of that because it only produces about a third of what I’m used to and apart from riding a Suzuki Bandit that had been mapped to 47BHP I’ve got little experience of riding bikes with that low output. I’m sure if this is all you are licensed to ride you will find it not only comparable with others A2 restricted engines but also preferable. I’d certainly far prefer to ride the Benelli than that restricted Suzuki. The TRK502 pulls well in all gears with smooth progression throughout the rev range. The brakes felt a little spongy at first but I soon adjusted to their feel by applying a bit more pressure. This is not a bad thing for inexperienced riders who might otherwise lockup a disk by braking too harshly. Although another pint of note is that being Euro4 rated it also has ABS as standard.

If Benelli made the TRK with a bigger engine I’d consider one because I think it would be a contender for the BMW F700/F800GS, Kawasaki Versys 650, Suzuki VStrom 650, Triumph Tiger 800, Yamaha Tracer 700, etc. I can also foresee it being utilised abroad for fleet hire touring due to its ease of handling, luggage capacity and economy. The Benelli TRK502 should not only be considered by younger riders with restricted licenses, it will also appeal to those who have a full license but uninterested in high speeds or want to keep the points off their licence as well as those who want a comfortable economic very well handling commuter because the Benelli TRK502 ticks all the boxes.

The Best Electric Scooters and Hoverboards – Is the World Finally Ready to Accept Them?

2018 it is deemed to be a lucky year for technology and for hoverboards in particular. After the boom in the past year, the popularity of this electric scooter is destined to grow more and more and to thrill adults and children.

Hoverboards can be considered both an entertainment device and a powerful way to move around the city.

In any case, model after model, the quality of the materials and the level of technology are progressing to being more advanced and with functionality always on the increase. Let’s see in detail the most relevant features of the electric scooter.

How and where you can ride an Hoverboard scooter?

Although it is seen more and more frequently, the electric scooter is not recognized today in the Highway Code and this will mean that it can only be used in private or urban contexts, as in shopping centers or inside of parks.

In any case, it is important to buy electric hoverboards that ensure the necessary safety for the user who uses it.

As happens now on any electronic instrument, even the electric scooter undergoes not a few imitations (especially of Chinese mold) and this can lead to the purchase of an instrument that presents a price of lower levels, but that could also go to the expense of safety and quality of manufacture.

Therefore, regardless of where a hoverboard is used, it is important that this is an approved instrument, that is, the UL2272 certification valid for Europe and the United States.

Even if you prefer to buy a used scooter, always check that it is approved and that it is not of Chinese brands.

But how do you use a hoverboard? Simple, it’s all about balance! Just lean forward to proceed and retract backwards to stop the instrument.

To be able to maneuver instead, just move the weight on the right foot or on the left depending on the desired direction.

This is possible thanks to the weight sensors positioned below the footrest. In case of difficulty then, on the web there are numerous videos and tutorials that can be very helpful.

Although the electric scooter is very popular with children, it is recommended for users aged 12 and over and under adult supervision.

How a mono electric skate is structured.

The description of a hoverboard focuses on two fundamental aspects: structure and technology. The scooter is composed of a central platform, on which to rest the feet, and two parallel wheels that can be of different sizes depending on the model.

It is important that the materials of the structure and of the parallel wheels are of good quality: the platform, for example, must have a suitable anti-slip coating and the body must be strong enough to withstand knocks and wear.

Some models of electric scooter have bigger wheels, so they can also be used on non-smooth roads and thus guarantee greater stability.

Regardless of the materials used for the construction, however, a single skid must also be light enough to be able to transport it without particular effort.

Generally the weight of electric hoverboards is around 10/12 Kg and has a speed that is around 10-20 Km per hour.

In addition to materials, other relevant aspects are batteries and engines. Generally an electric scooter consists of about 20 batteries, which are recharged in varying times (from an hour and a half to 3 hours) and that give an autonomy of 10/20 Km.

Even the autonomy can vary depending on the type of road you travel and the user’s weight. In fact, the maximum weight that an electric scooter can bear is for some 100 Kg, for another 120 Kg.

As for the engine, there are basically two that guarantee from 500W to 1000W of power. Of course, a scooter with 1000W engine is presented as a more professional tool and with a higher speed, less indicated then for do-it-yourself use.

Further features of the best electric scooter.

The technology is always evolving and the electric scooters, in addition to being a good invention in itself, are always enriched with new features.

For example, there are models that have some nice LED lights integrated, which intervene to illuminate the road in the evening but also to give a striking appearance to the walk.

Other additional elements can be the Bluetooth function, the speaker for listening to music and a comfortable backpack to make the transport lighter.

Bus Conversion Features That Make Full-Time RV-Ing Easier

While factory-made motor homes and RVs are popular, you will find plenty of bus conversions for sale in the market. That’s because a section of buyers is partial towards this category, and with good reason. Run-down, old school buses and city buses may not seem like much at first, but you can easily transform them into comfy living spaces. There’s something personal and intimate about owning a bus conversion, customized according to your requirements. Converting these compact rolling homes into a cozy haven is easy, and full-time RV-ers can make their life on the road more comfortable with the following features:

Brighter Interiors

Keep the interiors bright and white. Not only does this lend to a cleaner aesthetics but it also helps to separate your living space from the kitchen easily. Plus, it gives the illusion of more space and uplifts the mood of the passengers.

Useful Changes to the Kitchen Area

Add lots of shelves and cabinets to the kitchen walls for easier storage of food items and goods. You can also install hooks for hanging your towels and cleaning rags. If you’re adding a counter to the kitchen, make sure you fully utilize the available space by installing a dishwasher on the lower half and a gas burner at the top. If there’s more than one counter, you’re free to add other useful appliances like freezers and sinks.

Add More Space for Your Storage Needs

When you plan on living in a converted bus full-time, you can never have enough room for storage. You need to get creative and find new ways to store your stuff. For example, if you have a sofa in the living area, you can convert the armrest into a vertical storage space while the underside offers a horizontal storage space. This is not only an economical solution but also helps to keep your junk out of sight.

The space beneath the sofa seat provides enough room for storing electrical equipment and your batteries.

The more space you save, the more modifications you can make to the interiors of your rig. For example, utilizing the sofa spaces to the max allows you to install a large door in the middle of the bus, which allows fresh air and light into the rig.

Build a Pet-Friendly Workstation

You can set up a workstation at the front of your vehicle. The desk should be decently-sized, enabling you to stand up and work. If you have a pet dog onboard, you can add a kennel below the workstation. This means your pet can keep you company while you do your work.

Focus on the Bathroom

A full-time RV-er will require a spacious bathroom. Add storage to the door for keeping your essentials like toothbrushes, pastes, lotions, and shampoos handy. If you have enough room in the bathroom, install a bathtub and place the shower head right above. Getting ready in the morning will become easier if you place a mirror above the door.

Itching to buy that bus conversion you saw on sale the other day? Go for it! Though not your first choice, but if the life of a full-time RV-er appeals to you, then you’re in for a treat. Bus conversions offer greater flexibility than conventional motor homes, and you can customize the vehicle as per your requirements.

John Bell Carey is an avid traveler and blogger with an extensive real time experience of dealing with Used Class A Motorhomes for Sale.

Car Floor Mats Materials – Which Material Do I Need For My Vehicle?

Automotive Floor Mats are the first line of defense for your car, truck or SUV’s precious factory flooring. That presents floor mats with the tough task of being able to withstand varying levels of abuse on a regular basis whilst providing an additional level of comfort and complimenting the vehicles interior aesthetic.

Vehicle manufacturers have attempted to solve the unique problems floor mats face by creating a multitude of material types, each aimed at providing adequate protection for a vehicle’s intended use.

Aftermarket carpet and floor mat manufacturers offer products using materials and colors designed to match the OEMs whilst offering improvements upon the originals.

What Original Materials Are Available?

Cutpile

– Cut Pile is composed of 100% Nylon yarn.

– Tufted to a 1/8 gauge cut pile, it contains 14 ounces of yarn per square yard.

– Cut Pile has been an original material in most domestic vehicles since around 1974.

– Cut Pile material can have Mass backing. Mass backing is an approximately 45mil thick EVA material. It’s a great sound and heat barrier and increases the overall appearance of the carpet after installation.

– Cut Pile material width is 78 inches.

Loop

– Loop material is composed of 100% 6,6 Nylon yarn called Raylon

– Tufted to a 1/8 gauge, Loop contains 20 ounces of yarn per square yard.

– Loop material was originally used in vehicles that were manufactured before 1974.

– Loop material can have Mass backing. Loop material width is 78 inches.

Nylon

– Nylon is composed of 100% Nylon yarn.

– Tufted to a 1/8 gauge, Nylon contains 12 ounces of yarn per square yard.

– Nylon material was originally used in the late 1960 model Fords.

– Nylon material is available with our optional Mass backing.

– Nylon material width is 78 inches.

Truvette

– Truvette is composed of 100% Nylon yarn.

– Tufted to a 5/64 gauge, Truvette contains 14 ounces of yarn per square yard.

– Truvette material was introduced in the early 1990s for Corvettes.

– Truvette material can have Mass backing. Mass backing is an approximately 45mil thick EVA material.

– Truvette material width is 78 inches.

Daytona

– Daytona weave carpet is composed of Cotton, Nylon, and Rayon yarn.

– Daytona contains 27.5 ounces of yarn per square yard and is a loop style carpet.

– Daytona weave carpet was introduced around 1954 for GM vehicles.

– Foam backing only, Daytona cannot be molded or Mass backed. It is hand cut and sewn with the utmost quality control.

– Daytona material width is 54 inches

Tuxedo

– Tuxedo is composed of Nylon and Olefin filament yarns.

– Tufted to a 1/8 gauge, Tuxedo contains 23 ounces of yarn per square yard.

– Tuxedo material can have Mass backing.

– Tuxedo material width is 52 inches.

Gros Point

– Gros Point material is composed of 100% Nylon yarn.

– Gros Point contains 31.5 ounces of yarn per square yard and is a fine loop style carpet.

– Gros Point was developed for the early model classic muscle and full size passenger cars build in the 1950s and 1960s.

– Foam backing only, Gros Point cannot be molded or Mass backed. It is hand cut and sewn with the utmost quality control.

– Gros Point material width is 54 inches

What Are The Aftermarket Options?

Essex

– Available as an optional upgrade for the majority of our ACC Floor Mats

– Essex is composed of 100% Nylon yarn.

– Tufted to a 1/10 gauge cut pile, Essex contains 22.5 ounces of yarn per square yard giving it a luxurious and plush look and feel.

– Essex has been available as an aftermarket material choice since the late 2000’s. It is a premium, modern version of the Cut Pile material. It can be specified for almost any model vehicle.

– Essex material can have Mass Backing. Mass backing is an approximately 45mil thick EVA material. It’s a great sound and heat barrier and increases the overall look of the carpet after installation.

– Essex material width is 78 inches.

Sync 3 Now Supports Apple CarPlay

Ford now supports SYNC 3 with software updates to support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™ for model-year 2016 and 2017 vehicles.

Customers can now update by downloading the software to a USB drive, visiting a dealership or with an over-the-air Wi-Fi connection. This is Ford’s first software update via Wi-Fi. It offers a convenient and automated alternative to existing upgrade methods

Customers with model-year 2016 Ford vehicles can update to the new SYNC 3 version 2.2 to gain this support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

“Our SYNC 3 software platform was designed to be easy to update so we can get our customers the latest and greatest features, functionally and security enhancements,” said Don Butler, executive director, Ford Connected Vehicle and Services. “With over-the-air updates, we can deliver new features to customers in the background while they continue using their vehicles.”

Android Auto

Compatible with Android™ devices 5.0 and higher, Android Auto brings the Android experience into the vehicle safely and easily. It offers Google Maps, Google Play Music, phone, messaging and third-party apps projected on the car’s built-in display and available via voice controls. With a simplified interface, large touch targets, Google voice search and easy-to-use voice controls, Android Auto is designed to minimize distraction while on the road.

Android, Android Auto, Google Maps and Google Play are trademarks of Google Inc.

Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay is compatible with iPhone 5 and later models running iOS 7.1 or higher. Apple CarPlay gives iPhone users an intuitive way to make phone calls, use voice-guided navigation, listen to music, and send and receive messages. The convenience allows the driver to stay focused on the road. Users can control Apple CarPlay through the in-vehicle display or via Siri voice control. Apple CarPlay support requires a USB hub upgrade available through Ford dealers.

SYNC 3 currently supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on all model-year 2017 Ford cars including the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion and Mustang, SUVs including the Escape, Explorer and Expedition, F-Series trucks and Ford’s electrified vehicles.

Receiving updates over Wi-Fi

Ford has had SYNC upgrades since 2009, but this is the first time the company is offering an update via Wi-Fi. In Wi-Fi-enabled vehicles with Automatic System Updates turned on within SYNC 3, the system will periodically connect to a customer’s designated Wi-Fi network to check for updates. If an update is available, the system automatically downloads the update in the background over a period of time without any customer interaction. And SYNC 3 is designed to perform the update as long as Wi-Fi is connected prior to the vehicle turning off, therefore there is no need to keep the vehicle running for the update to take place.