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Versys-X 300 General Discussion Please post any 2017+ Kawasaki Versys-X 300 related topics that DO NOT fit into any of the other topics here.

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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Made it.

Arrived Alaska yesterday at Haines. Ferry to Skagway today then north to Dawson City. We will cross border on all 5 roads that connect from Canada.

Details here https://advrider.com/f/threads/three...ersys.1387369/
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 02:38 PM
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Thanks for sharing your ride , enjoy the rest of the ride and be safe.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 04:19 PM
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Yes Fuzzy, I second Fastoman's sentiments.

For us Vx-300 owners, would you mind commenting on your breakdowns; i.e., headlight, chain and also your tire choice? You mentioned the headlight was an LED replacement...

Would also like to know about how you and your bike fared keeping up with the two Goldwings.

Thanks in advance.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 07:19 AM
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What he said, why did that chain break? Bad luck, or flaw, or something else?
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by chudzikb View Post
What he said, why did that chain break? Bad luck, or flaw, or something else?
Go to his ADV Rider thread - great write-up, great writing!

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
Go to his ADV Rider thread - great write-up, great writing!
Been following on advrider, saw no specific explanation, but, might have missed it as well.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 03:38 PM
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Been following on advrider, saw no specific explanation, but, might have missed it as well.
Here's that thread - GOOD read!

https://advrider.com/f/threads/three...#post-37836847

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 11:48 AM
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Hi again Fuzzy and happy to see you made it home after your excellent adventure. I sure enjoyed following your ride report - you put a lot of time and effort to keep everyone updated and pictures were fantastic.

I'm probably not the only one that would like to also hear your assessment of your Vx-300 - I know you mentioned that you're likely to do that - just hoping you'll post it here as well as the advrider site.

I'm curious to know things like your best distance on a tank of gas or if you ever ran dry, whether you ever dropped your bike, did it ever overheat or surprise you with some other fault/breakdown and whether you'd do another long excursion on a 300...

Anyway, glad you're home safe and once again, many thanks.

Peke17
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 07:08 PM
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Hows the little V-300 keeping up with the bigger bikes?

Does it grunt and groan under the load?

Have fun.

Cookin Wid Gas

2015 V-650 of course it's green...it's a Kazawalski.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 08:01 PM
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Seemed like the goldwings had trouble keeping up with him, according to the accounts. Even more so on the rougher roads. Hope he'll post more on his trials and tribulations (besides his tires issues).

Wherever you go, there you are
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Hows the little V-300 keeping up with the bigger bikes?

Does it grunt and groan under the load?

Have fun.
Bottom line it was the Goldwing that had trouble keeping up on all roads but interstate and on interstate was more bothered by cross winds. At 80 mph into stiff head wind I had to drop to 5th gear.

With my protective gear and luggage, total load on Versys when I got home was 350 pounds. At times was 10 to 20 pounds more depending on things like had I finished the 2 bottles of wine I bought or how much water in my camelback.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Pekes17 View Post
Hi again Fuzzy and happy to see you made it home after your excellent adventure. I sure enjoyed following your ride report - you put a lot of time and effort to keep everyone updated and pictures were fantastic.

I'm probably not the only one that would like to also hear your assessment of your Vx-300 - I know you mentioned that you're likely to do that - just hoping you'll post it here as well as the advrider site.

I'm curious to know things like your best distance on a tank of gas or if you ever ran dry, whether you ever dropped your bike, did it ever overheat or surprise you with some other fault/breakdown and whether you'd do another long excursion on a 300...

Anyway, glad you're home safe and once again, many thanks.

Peke17
X300 a great bike for trip. Never ran out of gas but didn't pass a gas station with just half a tank either. Furthest between stations around 130 miles. Easy 200+ mile range if not doing 80 into head wind.

Dropped it twice. Once soft ground in campground and it dropped while I walked away. Other someone backed into me in parking lot. More of a push than a hit and the push against right calf so a slight bruise there. No damage to me or bike of significance.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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Here is summary I posted in ADVrider. Lots more info a pictures there.

Following are some thoughts and details on the trip. If I have left anything out our you have other questions, then please post them.

Planning – It did help that I had lived in Northern Alberta and traveled the highway once, but I was 33 years out of date. I heavily used motorcycleroads.com for finding good roads to and from British Columbia. I basically got a map and drew a straight line from home to the border crossing north of Kalispell, MT. I then looked for recommended roads on that line from the web page. It did not let us down. We had 3 hard dates. 1. Leave June 2. 2. Be in Dawson City for D2D and 3. Be home by end of August (arrived 2 weeks earlier than promised to wives. It was long enough gone.)

Riding Gear and Clothing

The hard part of planning what to pack / wear was the variety of weather expected. We rode in rain with temps in the 30s and rode in 90+ temps. The Versys has little weather protection. I have a Madstadd windshield, but it is narrow with loads of wind coming around and over. It stops buffeting but upper body and head still in plenty of wind. In colder weather the Goldwing riders were warmer. In warmer weather I had the advantage. My heated gear made the cold ok for me. They didn’t have fans. Pick your poison.

Rain was an issue on trip. Not too bad for us, but many days included some. I did not want to be constantly putting on or taking off rain gear, or second guessing if I should put it on which typically results in wrong decision.

I am a believer in high visibility gear and when I started wearing it I noticed fewer incidents of people pulling out or turning close in front of me. One New Zealand study indicated a 25% reduction in accidents just from switching from a black to white helmet.

Helmet – HJC Symax ll. It is Hi-Vis yellow and for visibility the helmet is the most visible spot on you or your ride. It is often higher than cars around you to be seen. I will only wear a full face flip up and most brands do not come in Hi-Vis due to fading issues. Mine is nearly white on top, but I don’t need the birds to see their target better. Flip up helmets are noisier than standard full face, so I Need ear plugs for wind noise.

Communication
– Cardo Pack Talk Bold. Extremely valuable to communicate with Nuke while riding. Don’t know how I did without in past.
- Garmin In Reach GPS allowed friends and family to track location. It is accurate enough to zoom in and determine what camp site we used or where we parked for lunch. Also allows text message which let family know we were safe when stopping out of cell coverage. Has an emergency help button which we did not need but was comforting to know was available.

Jacket – First Gear Kilimanjaro Hi-Vis. 6 years old. Performed well. Only issue that it is impossible to close / open vents while riding. Must at least stop at side of road to use two hands. To close exhaust vents requires a friend or removing jacket. If all vents properly closed kept me dry with two exceptions. On 400 mile high speed day in rain got some water in around neck. Could have closed better and could have used built in hoodie. On same day with no hand guards and short wet weather gloves, rain blew up my sleeves. Jacket has pretty good ventilation with all vents open but not as cool as a mesh jacket in warm weather. Camelback blocks rear vents which significantly impacts their effectiveness. 3DO armor is comfortable in jacket. Tested a shoulder piece of armor when a truck traveling gravel at speed threw a rock at me. Pretty good smack, Armor worked.

Pants – Kilimanjaro pants had started to leak in crotch so I bought new Revit Over pants for trip. Flawless in keeping me dry except if shirt got wet it would wick down to pants under over pants. Major error at gas pump in opening waist of pants to get at wallet underneath and river of water off jacket flowed inside. Operator error, not Revit issues. Can put on or take off pants over boots which for me is important in over pants. No vents so on hottest days a bit warm but less issue than jacket with vents open. Can leave cuff loose around boots and put feet on highway pegs for some ventilation. In coldest weather with only light pants underneath I was warm. My feet never got cold which is normally an issue for me and I believe pants keeping legs warmer helped feet.

Boots – Daniese. Kept my feet dry and reasonably comfortable walking off the bike. In past have used toe warmers to keep feet warm in these boots but with Revit over pants never felt the need this trip.

Heated – Gerbing jacket and gloves. This was the most valuable clothing on the trip. My most important gear for dealing with cooler temps. Even if wet they keep me warm. Just don’t leave the controller at home requiring a MacGyver fix to use them on the road. Zip the wiring leads inside pockets provided and it is a nice jacket to wear off the bike so no other jacket needed for trip.

Clothing:

Two pair of light weight hiking pants that could be washed in a sink and dry quick.

3 wicking short sleeve shirts and 2 wicking long sleeve shirts. Pack small and dry quick.

Light weight down vest packs small and added warmth under Gerbing Jacket when off bike.

Light, zip up hoodie. Extra warmth layer for off bike but little used. Primary use was extra height under camping pillow. Should have left at home.

Both medium and light weight Merino wool base layers. Wore light weight one day and wouldn’t have needed if I had worked fix for my heated gear controller sooner. Could have left at home.

Ball cap worn a bunch and knit hat worn a couple times at campground.

4 pair light weight, wicking underwear. Easy to wash and dries quick.

4 pair hiking socks. Toughest thing to get dry after washing.

Net bag that could be strapped on top box to let wet clothes dry while riding. Works if it doesn’t rain during the day. A couple times used a small dry bag as a washing machine if no sink available.

Pair of Solomon Gortex hiking shoes. Camping prior to trip with other shoes ended up with wet feet from dew on grass around tent. Bought these to keep my socks dry until I put my boots on prior to ride. Took up more packing space than I would have liked. My phone app says I walked in them more than 150 miles during trip. I often took walks in morning or evening for exercise. Averaged just under 4 miles per day total.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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part 2 of 3 of post from ADV


Motorcycle Farkles:

Cyclops head light failed. Came apart. Light separated from clip that holds it in place. MacGyver fix for rest of trip.

Admore light bar failed. Screws holding cover on pulled out the plastic post they were attached to. Now glued and held together with 2 zip ties.

SW Motech crash bars

Highway pegs mounted on crash bars. – Critical for longer days allowing different riding positions.

Go Cruise Throttle Lock – Simple and inexpensive, but valuable to allow letting go with right hand to prevent cramping.

Denali DM2 aux lights

Mirror Extenders – conflicted with used OEM hand guards I got and did not get work-a-round prior to leaving.

Madstadd Screen. Eliminates buffeting and some of wind off chest, but still lots of air flow on chest and helmet as screen is narrow.

Corbin Seat – Allowed long days in saddle without problems. I would not have finished first day with horrible stock seat.

Givi 33 ltr Trekker side cases and 52 ltr Trekker top case. Durable and ability to partially open top of side case while on bike prevents spills, but off bike can completely open like a suitcase. They had 50,000 miles of use on my NC prior to this trip and I would buy them again.

Tutoro Chain Oiler – My second one as I have one on NC. Love the simplicity and it works. This time had a problem with the flow adjustment screw backing out making a mess on rear wheel and back of bike. Will contact Tutoro for fix. My other one has never done this. A tiny drop every few seconds using 2 oz over 1,000 miles is far superior for chain wear than once a day lube. Properly adjusted will not make a mess. Works by gravity and road vibration. Without road vibration will discharge nothing. (Good idea to close valve is trailering.)

Garmin Nuvi 250 GPS. 10 years old and works. Can’t hold maps for all of U.S. and Canada so set up for west of Mississippi. Only issue I have is it doesn’t have blue tooth to hear directions when moving. My Tomtom Rider screen fogged up and I haven’t been able to find a replacement screen. Really like the Tomtom, but $400 for another one after this problem with screen isn’t going to happen. Updated maps just prior to trip and disappointed in how many places such as gas or restaurants were just plain wrong. A reported gas stop in 20 miles that turns out to be a pasture can be a problem.

Dual USB outlet in dash with volt meter. Wired through relay to come on with ignition. Run GPS from it and can charge something in tank bag or run cable to Pack Talk with second outlet. Versys has a small alternator but volt meter never below 14 v with heated gear at full, extra lights and a couple items charging such as my jumper battery under seat.

Jump Battery – Battery capable of jump starting but primarily used as power for phone or computer in tent. Would recharge from motorcycle while riding.

PDM 60 power distribution module. Switched power with digital overload protection. No fuses, if circuit trips just cycle engine power and it resets. Can program trip point for each lead. Much better than standard fuse power distribution.

Power outlet for heated gear from under seat

Un-switched power outlet under seat for accessories like air compressor or with USB plug for charging items when bike is off. Typically charged my communicator and camera under seat overnight. Started leaving lead sticking out from under seat when riding so I didn’t have to take gear off back seat to get to it for something like air compressor. USB plug has 2 outlets and volt meter. Voltmeter switches to ammeter when charging so you can see how much current going to items being charged.

The one thing I wish I had installed is hand guards. Many small rocks thrown by cars on gravel and they stung through gloves. Would have been warmer / dryer in bad weather.

Of all the things I could have left behind, spare flashlight batteries was at top of list as flashlight got little use with long daylight most of trip. Did not use one spare battery.

Camping:

Tent – Coleman Expedition Phad 3 – Unfortunately Coleman failed to convince customers they could make higher end camping equipment and this line is no longer available in U.S. It may still be available in Europe where it was more popular. The advantage of this tent is a large vestibule. I can sit inside the vestibule in my REI low chair and make coffee in the rain. Also the fly stays attached when stored so setting it up in rain the fly is keeping the interior dry. I bought it after reading a review in ADVrider. https://advrider.com/f/threads/colem...review.270297/ One of my poles was held together with duct tape but I found a source for a new one prior to trip. If you need a pole for any tent, contact tentpoletechnologies.com Gave them number of sections, total length, diameter and what type end on each end of pole. Arrived in 3 working days. Coleman was ZERO HELP

Chair – REI Flex Lite – Major increase in camping comfort and small and light to pack. 2 issues. Small feet will sink into soft soil. Pull string opening on bag a touch too small and hard to get in bag. Walmart now sells a similar one under Ozark Trail name for fraction of cost. I have had good luck with the brand but have not tried this chair.

Coffee – I need my morning coffee and 90% of stove use is boiling water for coffee. I have a GSI Commuter Java Press. It is a press pot and mug in one so no extra item to pack other than mug. Works well and has provided many hundreds of cups of coffee for me.

Sleeping Bag – Nemo Disco 15 allows me to sleep on side and stay warm below freezing without being too hot if a bit warmer outside. Waterproof treated down.

Sleeping pad – Therm-a-rest Prolite Sleeping Pad 1” thick small pack size. A little thicker would be nicer.

Stove – I have an Optimus stove that screws on top of propane bottle. It used more than twice the gas to heat water as Nuke’s JetBoil so I am seriously considering replacing. Small propane bottles were not easy to find. The large ones for small grills were common but the backpacking sizes were not. Canadian Tire a good place to find them in Canada. With his more efficient stove it was not an issue for Nuke.

Cot – At TOK campground a fellow inmate had an Alps Mountaineering Ready Lite Cot. I am considering purchasing one for next trip. Light, packs reasonably small, plenty long and wide, off ground and comfortable.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Part 3 of 3 from ADV


Roads. Totally different than my van trip in 1986 when Alaskan highway was more than half grave. That was actually a prettier ride as highway stayed in mountains with 1940 technology not able to deal with building on Muskeg. New straight road in valleys has taken 100 miles of the route. The majority of the trip from Daswon Creek into and including what we did in Alaska is fairly straight flat roads except when crossing a mountain range. Stay off Top of World, Dempster, and Dalton and the roads were similar quality to home. In fact, 670 said mostly better roads than Illinois with good pavement and wide shoulders. Construction zones could provide a gravel challenge, a few were 10 miles of gravel. Frost heaves and other issues were well marked with orange cones on side of road. For me these largely became an issue of crying wolf as few were anything I considered worth slowing down for. Depends on your ride though as the Goldwing behind me complained of bottoming out suspension and motor homes were seen to be testing their suspensions. Be careful though as occasionally there was a real bump. Frost heaves were probably worse earlier in the season as when the 4’ deep frost if fully thawed many will go back down. One time near Dawson City there was a 100 yard patch of gravel with no warning and we hit it over 60 mph. Cassier gets a bad rap for rough surface that wears tires. Some of it is especially at north end, but most is smooth and similar rough can be on many of the roads. Northern concept of chip seal uses rock that would be suitable for rail road bed. Do not expect to get as many miles on your tires in the far north as you do at home.

Gas - I averaged 51 mpg with individual tanks ranging from 35 mpg 5th gear at 80 mph into strong head wind to max of 62mpg. Side cases and extra weight reduced mileage about 5 mpg from normal. Not doing Dempster or Dalton gas was never a problem. Furthest between stations was 130 miles so no stretch on tank range. Do think twice on passing a gas station with half a tank of fuel. It can be just as far between stations in places like Wyoming or Montana. Lolo Pass is over 100 miles between gas stations. Garmin had many nonexistent stations in the updated data base. If you had a signal, Google Maps was pretty accurate. The credit card I intended to use required a PIN at Canadian gas stations. A guick call to USAA got a PIN added so I could use it. My other card (Sam's Club) had excessive fees for currency exchange. If your ride needs premium be aware that it is not readily available. Even some major U.S. interstate gas stations didn't have premium.

Cell and Internet Service – It could be 300+ miles between cell service. Data over cell service was slow and when internet was available it was slow. 670’s carrier told him his phone would work but it didn’t. Nuke and I had Verizon and ATT and both worked.

11,731 miles total trip for me was in 41 days for 286 miles per day average. Max was around 450 on interstate crossing plains and we had 3 down days. I highly recommend some down days to rejuvenate on a trip like this.

We camped about half the time. Bugs were only a major nuisance at river campground in Dawson City, but deet kept them at bay. A couple of spots we chose to hotel would have been major bug problems; mosquitoes on Cassier and gnats on Mississippi in Iowa.

Bears – We saw plenty along the highways but most of the campgrounds we stayed at had no precautions such as bear proof trash cans. One camp host told us the reason was too many people and many with dogs which bears don’t like. More remote campgrounds and government parks were more likely to have preventive measures for bears and typically had camping more spread out. We all bought bear spray and I have a can for sale if anyone interested. Shipping a problem though.

Wildlife – I braked hard for a moose, a sheep and was too close to hitting a bear testing my antilock brakes. Be careful and not in too much of a hurry.

Service – Some planning and flexibility will make things OK. Waiting until tire is worn out may result in a wait to have what you need shipped to the far north. I arranged ahead of time for tires at Honda dealer in Kalispell, MT. Found a replacement chain at Yamaha in Whitehorse, but failed at 3 dealers prior to them. Awesome dealer with good selection of tires and parts. To keep things going they had tent and some tools for you to do some work yourself such as removing tires. I removed old chain with their grinder and they cut new chain to length for me. People got in without appointments, but they said it had been slow this year up to that time. Cycle North in Prince George also a great dealership with lots of tires in stock. We called 2 days ahead to make sure we could get in. Brenny’s Motorcycle Clinic in Bettendorf, IA another great dealer / shop to help. No appointment but they put me at head of line to get tube in and back on road. Harley Dealership in Anchorage had free camping for any motorcycle.

Overall is was an awesome, truly epic ride for us. It is a long way but nothing to be afraid of doing. Other than Dawson City for D2D we never had firm plan more than 24 hours ahead and frequently changed plans based on new information, road conditions (Great River Road), weather, extra time available etc. It turned out there were plenty of last minute hotel rooms available in Dawson City.
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Yes Fuzzy, I second Fastoman's sentiments.

For us Vx-300 owners, would you mind commenting on your breakdowns; i.e., headlight, chain and also your tire choice? You mentioned the headlight was an LED replacement...

Would also like to know about how you and your bike fared keeping up with the two Goldwings.

Thanks in advance.
I rode Shinko 804/805 tires. Had them replaced prior to entering Canada with 8,000 miles on them, Replaced again with 5,000 miles which was a bit early but on norther roads they wouldn't have gone 8,000 and wouldn't have gotten me all way home. It was a convenient time to get them changed. They didn't have Shinko rear so it is a Mitas E07 which is doing well after 4,000+ miles.


Chain came off in British Columbia after 4,000 miles. Can't say why and I should have watched it better. Possibly clip put on backwards but don't know. Real problem was dealer couldn't source the DID I asked for and substituted a different chain. Communication of substitute didn't get to me so my spare DID links didn't work properly. When it came apart my DID connecting links wouldn't fit. Pins too short to get clip on. Got by by peening pins with back of a hatchet, Replaced 700 miles later when I found a chain in Whitehorse. Might have made trip but comfort level with chain I knew was right. Went to see dealer when I got home and they refunded over $200 for chain and labor to install since the missed communication caused extra trouble on road. We were in area 300 miles between cell signals.

Headlight a Cyclops put on by dealer who rode demo bike himself before I bought it. Light separated from the retaining ring. Able to wrap with duct tape and jam in place and it is still good 9,000 miles later. Admore tail light came apart on rough roads. Mounting posts that screws go into broke letting lens drop off and electronics attached to lens. One side came off and I cable tied it. Looked later and other side broke. Glued it on and put two cable ties on. Still good 6,000 miles later. Apparently not a rough road accessory.

Had front tire go flat. Put Ride On in it and road 400 miles where I found a dealer to put new tube in . Had a tube and tools but took the easy way out. Tube had a 1/8" slit in it. Possilby from tire iron mounting tire and not fully punctured. Cut opened up after 2,000 miles of flexing. . no cuts in tire and nothing inside when tube removed. Still had a slow leak with Ride On in tube but only leaked over night when sitting still.



Bottom line 300X and great choice for trip and everything OEM on bike was flawless.
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