British biking

IAN WESTLAKE ianwestlake at
Tue Jan 6 23:14:24 PST 2009

Hi Steve, thanks for the welcome. The HID has got to be the best £60 I've spent on any bike. Going from a twin head lighted bike to the single on the GP was a struggle as I ride pretty much year round and get a lot of night-time home from work rides. Tried an illegal 100watt bulb which helped a bit but I saw an HID conversion on a bike at the BMF tail end and was impressed. Managed to pick a conversion kit of Ebay and had it fitted in a lunch hour. Went for one with a slimline ballast as not a lot of space to spare. Mounted  it under the left hand fairing top cover with a bit of all-round-band (strip of holes some call it) and some cable ties. The connections are all plug in, the existing bulb connector comes off the old bulb and the new harness plugs into it. The only non "plug and play connection " is an earth connection which i took from the mounting bolt for the clocks and a seperate live. The kit I got had a live lead with an in line fuse and
 large ring terminal for connection straight on to the battery. This lead was a tad short but was easy to extend. I ran it under the tank and popped it onto the battery through the rubber live terminal inspection grommet which left the in line fuse in an easy to get to place under the seat and also meant not having to take the battery out to connect. 40 minutes start to finish. The result is little short of spectacular! when i first fitted it i was looking for any excuse to go out at night just to use it! 
Back on the winter biking thing, I also found too many layers caused a problem in doing up my jacket and struggling to turn my neck with a helmet on, especially as I have a rugby players 20" collar size! What i did was buy a basic unlined waterproof HI Vis bomber jacket from Arco ( the type road workers wear ) . They did them up to 5XL which made getting one to go over the top of my normal bike jackets was easy and as it was on the outside and over sized it doesn't hinder the neck. It gives an extra waterproof layer, keeps out the annoying tiny drafts that seem to find their way into the textile jacket when really cold, gives extra warmth by trapping air between it and your jacket, the HI-Viz helps with SMIDSYs and best of all it keeps an awful lot of cr*p of your expensive bike jacket.
Hope this helps , I bet you guys in the warmer parts of the land across the water must be pi**ing yourselves with light hearted laughter at us Brits tales of woe .

--- On Tue, 6/1/09, 4runner <4runner at> wrote:

From: 4runner <4runner at>
Subject: RE: British biking
To: "'Ian Westlake'" <ianwestlake at>, "'Gpz List'" <gpzlist at>
Date: Tuesday, 6 January, 2009, 9:14 PM

Hi Robert Welcome to the list. We could do with evening the numbers up against
our American cousins.

I suffered my first bout of carb icing late in November, took me 10 mins of
riding to realise what it was. Pulled the hose on the carb warming circuit to
see if working and sprayed coolant everywhere. So I guess it was working OK. 
Next day I let it warm a few minutes longer and never had a problem since.

Was the HID easy to fit and is it worth it? 


-----Original Message-----
From: Ian Westlake [mailto:ianwestlake at] 
Sent: 06 January 2009 13:12
To: Gpz List
Subject: British biking

Hi Robert & all listers. Had my GPZ just over a year now but never got  
round to joining the list til now. Not so cold here in south east  
England but cold enough! I used to find icing a problem but this  
winter I've been letting her warm for longer before setting out & had  
no problems. I put this down to engine warmth getting across to the  
inlet manifolds better without the flow of cold air once you get  
moving and once warm they seem to stay ok. Had the heated grips & £150  
gloves on my B*W but to be honest I still got cold fingertips. These  
days I wear a pair of disposable vinyl gloves (the ones mechanics etc  
wear these days to stop oil & skin contact) under my £40 HG
gloves which seem to help a bit (tried proper inner gloves but I found  
they made things so tight my circulation suffered). My biggest winter  
problem is seeing where I'm going. I have an HID conversion on the  
headlight which is ace but trying to keep the visor on my helmet clear  
is a real pain once the spray off the roads dries on it. The built in  
wiper blade on the Heine Gericke gloves helps but if the visor dries  
that's game over. I have a small spray bottle of water and a cloth in  
the top of my tankbag but it normally means pulling over to use it.  
Playing with the idea of mounting a car washer jet on the bike screen  
but knowing my luck I'll spray it when the visors open & blind myself!

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