Sunday, September 4, 2016

Additional fog lights

I am complaining about bad headlight performance everytime we arrive late to our destination. I was thinking about many solutions of this problem (LED, Xenon, Halogen fog, Halogen long beam...) - I have chosen the one that I think fits the best: 2x Halogen fog lights HELLA Micro DE.
Hella Micro DE fog (official website screenshot)
These are relatively cheap (set of 2pcs with relay, cabling... costs about 90 EURO), they don't dazzle other drivers, they mainly increase the amount of light right in front of the bike (not that far away as headlights) and it also iluminates sides close to bike. So perfect solution for me.
I just had to figure out the connection to the bike and also I had to do all the cabling. I made a CAD drawing with measured distances between bolts that could be used for attachment of the lights to the bike. After few tries, I had a rough design. I made a paper model, that was adjusted few times again. When it seemed OK, I (with help of my father) made a steel prototype made of thin metal sheet. It seemed ok as well, so I could order a production of final product in local steel workshop where they did some lasercutting of 3mm thick stainless steel for me. You can see all three models below:

Fog light holder for BMW R 1150 GS - drawing, paper model,
steel sheet model and the final 3mm thick stainless steel model
Ok, so the holder for fixing the light to the bike is done. Now I head to solve how to connect it to the fog lamp itself. There was attached some kind of steel holder, but it was not what I would use. I made my own design that enables also adjustment of light inclination not only in vertical direction but with connection to my holder (above) it can be adjusted horizontally as well. The procedure was similar as before. I made CAD drawing, after some adjustments of the paper model I ordered the lasercutting and CNC bending according to my design with brushed 1,2mm thick stainless steel sheet.

Paper and stainless steel Hella Micro DE holder
All the essential parts together
I will not bother you with all the cable work. I am using two relay system - the first one starts my additional electric installation circuits (GPS, charging plug, and fog light switch), the other relay may work only when first one is already running - it just turns the fog lights on when the fog lights switch is on. That means that I cannot run the fog lights when my engine is not running. I used SW Motech switch for handle bars with some adjustments (I have read that it is not that much waterproof so I used silicon sealant on its back side). Well that was it. Here are some pics of the final product on my bike.
Installed Hella Micro DE fog lights on my BMW R 1150 GS
One more picture from the front

 I took two pictures with manual setting (the same conditions) with additional fog lights off and then the other one with switched on lights:
Turned off additional fog lights
Turned on additional fog lights
You can notice that the amount of the light increases significantly in front of the bike and it does not dazzle anyone since the light is still below the "border" of the original headlight.

My expenses:
- Hella Micro DE fog lights set of 2pcs (90 EURO)
- Additional cabling, faston connector etc... (10 EURO)
- SW Motech handle bar switch (20 EURO)
- Stainless steel material + lasercutting and bending (20 EURO)
= SUM: 140 EURO

Friday, July 1, 2016

Roadtrip 2016 - Journey back home

So the Roadtrip 2016 is over when I am writing this last post to my blog. We enjoyed few more passes in Italian and Austrian Alps, enjoyed nice roads and finally got home.
Originally we should had one more stop on our way home and the journey should be one more day longer. But when we were about 500km from home (it was just about the noon) we decided that we will manage it back home in just one day. We came home just before 10 PM and I am glad that I can spend the whole weekend at home.
What to say more - I really enjoyed the trip not only because of the weather, beautiful roads and landscape, but also due to the group of the people who came there with me. So thanks to everyone and I hope that we do something similar to this also the next year! 
So enjoy couple of pictures from this last day of our roadtrip below:

View from Passo Rondo / Timmelsjoch
Another view from Timmelsjoch - this time from the top

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Roadtrip 2016 - Italy - Fontana Bianca

Our last ride should be short because we are about to ride 750km back home tomorrow. So there was about 170km long route to Lago Fontana Bianca (White Fountain lake) and then some track around surrounding mountains on schedule for today. But when we reach the Fontana Bianca, the weather got worse so we had to shorten the route back to hotel because of the rain. At least there was some more time to prepare all the stuff for the journey back home (but I would enjoy the riding more anyway).
Cafe at Lago Fontana Bianca
View from Cafe next to Lago Fontana Bianca 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Roadtrip 2016 - Italy - Gavia, Livigno, Stelvio

We continuted the other day in our Italy rides. The schedule for today seemed pretty cool. It included Passo Gavia, Livigno city (well known winter holiday center), and also the worldwide known Passo Stelvio. There is not much to talk about so just enjoy the following photos from my GoPro and Cellphone camera.

Approaching our first stop passo Gavia
Beautiful views are almost everywhere
Josef's new GS 1200 LC - on Gavia Pass
Passo Gavia - this time with icy lake
Getting closer to Livigno
Beautiful water reservoir in Livigno
(I knew this place only with white cover of ice and snow before :-) )
Since Livigno is tax free zone, its ideal place to refill the bikes
Livigno is also a great place where to take a lunch
Or a picture of your bike in front of the mountains
Just after a delicious Italian lunch we left Livigno and continued to Passo Stelvio to enjoy some windy roads. Unbelievable how much you can do in just one day in Italian mountains. 

Climbing to the top
Just one glance back on the route
Almost on the top of Passo Stelvio
And finaly the wonderful view from the top on the other side of Stelvio Pass
The same place with my beloved GS 1150

Monday, June 27, 2016

Roadtrip 2016 - Italy - Relax

Today we just enjoyed a short ride after the long transfer to our destination - Merano, Italy. The route was just about 170km. So there was no rush in the morning, so we left the hotel after the breakfast around 9 AM.
Lago di Santa Giustina
Most of apples sold around Europe come from here
We came back to Merano city just after the noon, so we spend the afternoon in the swimming pool and relaxing. In the afternoon we went for a walk into the city center and after coming back from dinner we also tasted some local wine (pretty good one :) ).
Afternoon walk in Merano city center
And glass of local wine in the evening

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Roadtrip 2016 - Austria and Italy

Another Roadtrip takes place this summer! Finally after the first year in my new job I decided that there was a time for another bike roadtrip. This year our crew consists of four riders:
- me (BMW R1150GS)
- my father Bedřich (BMW R1200GS - DOHC)
- my brother Tomáš (Honda CB1000R)
- our friend Josef (BMW R1200GS - LC)

The route of our trip was planned throug the nicest places that we knew and it included Austrian and Italian Alps. So we have on schedule places like: Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse, Passo Gardena, Passo Sella, Passo Gavia, Passo Rombo / Timmelsjoch - so there is definitely lot to enjoy.

I did not took almost any photos the first day, because it basicaly ment only the transfer (about 450km) to Austria - close to Kaprun and what is more important to us - to the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse. So the photos presented here are starting from this place. 
P.S.: Sorry for a bit worse quality of pictures - they were taken only with my Cellphone and GoPro action camera.

GSs in front of our accommodation in Austria
In front of the entrance gate to Grossglockners Hochalpenstrasse
Grossglockners Hochalpenstrasse
Also some snow is present
Group picture in front of a waterfall
Highest car exposition in the world (on Grossglockner) 
Pasterze Glacier on Grossglockner
Entering Italy
Weather got better after entering Italy
Reminds me Apple wallpapers
Beautiful background
I love Italian mountains 
And roads in mountains
Another windy road
Can you imagine anything better?
I have no words for this one
Another Apple wallpaper :-)