Thursday, 17 March 2016

New Look Rhonda Revealed!

After so many faithful miles on the road I decided it was time to give Rhonda a make-over! I felt she deserved a bit of a spruce-up. There were also a couple of things I wanted to address. The external framework put on in Sumatra was now rusting and cracked. It was no longer giving any support. Since our crash in Colombia, my side bags had holes in them and were no longer waterproof. With my continued shoulder concerns and the wilderness of Alaska to face soon, I wanted to make her as lightweight as possible and to distribute  the remaining weight around the rest of the bike, putting less pressure on the tail. This would make manoeuvring and handling smoother. It will also give me a slim chance of being able to pick her up with just one good arm (hmmm!). It would take pressure off the subframe and of course give us a sexy new look for our next leg! With a bad shoulder and damaged cartilage in my hip, it was also time to address the positioning on the bike to see if we could reduce my reach and increase the seat support!



Of course Rhonda had already got her new screen from bajaworx.com in LA.

Next stop was with Pro-Cycles in Eugene who checked the subframe out for me. They confirmed what I thought. The inner repairs were holding strong and the outer framework was about as useful as a chocolate fireguard. This was easily removed and they kindly also replaced my broken headlight bulb! Rhonda was looking better already!

Now it was time to visit Harold in Bend.  Giant Loop is Harold's Brainchild. I wanted to try out his system which I hoped would provide me with the weight distribution I was hoping for. Changing luggage for me was like moving house. I was anxious. I knew where I was with the old system. It may not have been perfect and yes it was now leaking, but I knew where I was with it. I knew how to pack and unpack, I knew where everything was and it was comfortable! Even after all these miles and all the changes in my life, I still found it difficult to let go of what I knew! Hilarious when you think about it!

Harold had to practically prize the old kit out of my hands and coaxed me gently into the new system. I was not convinced at first 'where will I put my coffee so I can get to it easily?' I complained! Harold was patient and just kept on building up the separate compartments on to Rhonda's front and rear. It wasn't until I rode her that I changed my thinking! The difference was wonderful. It felt like there was nothing on the bike. It would take time I knew, to settle in and get things how I wanted them but soon it was coming together and I was smiling again, relaxed in my new home.

Harold's system also provided me with an alternative to my bulky fuel carrier. A neat little fuel bag that rolls up and fits in to one of the pockets when you don't need it.

The only problem I could see now was that I didn't have a centre stand if I got a puncture (I used the topbox as my stand in the past). Luckily my short visit to Kris and Nathan over in Hillsboro provided me with the answer in the form of a parting gift! A neat little gadget. Simple yet effective, a little adjustable bar that basically fits under the foot-peg and provides the lift you need to get either wheel off the ground! Easily storable and simple! Perfect!



My final visit was to Don Webber of Mr Ed's. Don has been customising seats for people from all over the world for 40 years! He is pretty good at it as you can imagine. Not only that, but he is a great guy to spend the day with and we had a real giggle in his workshop as he worked his magic to produce a perfectly fitting seat. Not only would it help with my posture and support my hips, but would also look good - which, of course, is important, right? My bum was in safe hands! Don would also replace my bar riders with a set that went backwards as well as up.



And so this is the last time you will see Rhonda as you know her! Follow the photos below to see the final result.........

If you are interested in getting your own seat made by Don then you can do it all online with consultation via email etc. - Contact Don Webber via his site - www.mredsmoto.com

Thank you to everyone involved in Rhonda's transformation: The companies and people already mentioned of course; Randy Perkins, who ran me around when I was unable to ride and gave me a place to rest in-between;  Grace Grignon, who took the lovely 'before' pictures; John Claire in Eureka who surprised me with a new header pipe and to everyone else who has offered or given their support in so many ways in the last few weeks - More updates coming soon on that.


Giant Loop can also be ordered online via many outlets - giantloopmoto.com 































24 comments:

  1. That looks really comfy, nice job...

    ReplyDelete
  2. The 'Badass' leather seat looks really 'Badass'. Rhonda does look different, you'll be the one to write back to tell how much better she really feels. Sorry to hear the shoulder problem and the hip problem. HOpe both get better. You really are a very brave woman Steph. Hope you stay warm in Alaska. Safe Riding.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Can see you're pretty infatuated with the new seat Steph' ... And looks really good too. Had a single seat recovered on my old GS650 before I went travelling, and was amazed how much it transformed the bike ... You didn't make too much of your aches & pains in this post, so guessing they're not so debilitating at the moment? But would encourage you not to put treatment off, if it's continuing to be painful. With long mileages and holding both legs and arms in the same position for days at a time, it's not going to do anything to help the healing process ... So do please take care of yourself, not just your bike ... Meanwhile thanks for the latest post. Keep 'em coming, as they always brighten my day

    ReplyDelete
  4. BTW. Just noticed too, that you're coming up for your 2nd anniversary on the road. Will raise a toast to you (for safe travelling) on the 23rd!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nice work, the new luggage looks great!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow, huge makeover for Rhonda! Can't believe it is almost two years ago when I waved you of at the Ace Cafe. I will be in Wales last week of May at the Mach1-venue of Nick Sanders, enjoy the scenery and say hello to some dear friends. Take care, Steph!

    ReplyDelete
  7. The transformation is remarkable. And that seat looks the business! Safe riding to you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi, Its looks good however I would off left the old stuff that has got you this far. maybe just the seat but not trusty top box and loops added to the looks. Still very good :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Where's your sense of adventure? He he! Too easy!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Fantastic, bike looks great now and thank you for sharing the links to those magical humans that spruced your bike. Just as an FYI, riding to Alaska is a piece of cake. I just did it this past summer on a super heavy bike alone, just watch for the wolves and bears!! The only bad thing that happened was a nail on my front tire, but my lover boy who I met up there fixed it right away. If you decide to come back to the lower states, use the Marine Highway. It is worth every penny on a fantastic vessel, you can pitch your tent on it. I even saw an eagle flying side by side the ferry, phenomenal experience. Highly recommend the ferry.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Well done Steph. You took care of your bike. Make sure you take care of you.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Tex & Bundy18 March 2016 at 00:50

    Hey Steph, glad things are working out and coming together for u. Remember, u have a lot of good friends down under & always a bed for u if u get back here. Enjoying reading ur adventures. Take care & shiny side up!
    Tex & Bundy

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow! Pretty excited about that 'gator seat. I'm so glad you hooked up with the Giant Loop guys. Rhonda looks amazing! I've got the Great Basin saddlebag for Buttercup, and love it. Happy trails to Alaska. I'll be along in spirit.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Awesome picture and bike! Glad the transformation worked out for you.
    Thanks for the post.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Quite a transformation. Very impressive.

    Now get the shoulder into similar shape :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Motorcycles are rapidly developing in fame in light of rising fuel costs around America. This article traces what Motorcycles proprietors can do to restore their old Motorcycles into working vehicles once more.

    ReplyDelete
  17. The Honda Pilot was totally overhauled in 2009, and in 2010 little has changed. However the Pilot which situates eight travelers is still an a la mode looking games utility vehicle and has turned into a well known pillar with Americans since the time that it's commencement in 2003. The autos execution is sold keeping in mind it can deal with the most tough landscape, despite everything it performs awesome around town and on the parkway, also the load limit that it helps.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Legend Honda as of late split from its innovation accomplice organization Honda however that has not halted them from keeping redesigning their vehicles. In Pune, the new 2011 Karizma has been spotted and trust you me, you won't have the capacity to make out in the primary look.more information

    ReplyDelete
  19. Honda does not do a good job with its concept cars. No, they are not design failures - rather, they usually are not truly concepts. When Honda displays a concept vehicle at an auto show, visitors need to ask Honda show representatives if the car they are seeing will be built.

    ReplyDelete
  20. This is a great post. I like this bike. Very nice pics.

    ReplyDelete
  21. A few day's ago I had bought Rhonda for my grandchild. It's an amazing bike.

    ReplyDelete