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INNOVV Power Hub 2: Early Release Review

Introduction

How time flies; it seems like it was only yesterday since we published our first look at the INNOVV Power Hub 1 product – I’ll blame it on cabin fever generated largely due to our lousy and continuing winter…

NNOVV Power Hub 2 - Smaller than Power Hub 1

But like the original Power Hub 1 reviewed in December 2016 to be exact, the newest iteration, now called the Power Hub 2 still provides five switched in-line fused outputs, but in a much smaller form factor – taking up about half the space needed for the original Power Hub 1.

And it is this ‘downsizing’ that is, at least for me, the biggest change to what is one of the most versatile and economical power output products on the market.

The INNOVV Power Hub 2

Welcome to 2019 and the INNOVV Power Hub 2. Unlike the Power Hub 1 that is a more 3-dimensional shape (think The Borg Cube), the Power Hub 2 is packaged in a smaller ‘brick’ form factor with identical dimensions to that of the INNOVV smart power supply module supplied with the C5 single and K2 dual channel camera systems.

NNOVV Power Hub 2 and K2 Power Supply

Comparatively, both Hub variants are totally sealed, including the flying lead cables used for input and outputs – features allowing the modules to be mounted and used externally or in a more protected or hidden unused spot on the host platform.

But the newer smaller Power Hub 2 is far more likely to fit into a wider variety of spaces, especially when footprint and clearance are paramount; the five output leads with ATM fuse modules occupy more space than the module itself…

NNOVV Power Hub 2 with coin for scale

wBW has tested, installed and used virtually everything power distribution and management system on the market over the years, be they large, small, switched or unswitched, wired or wireless managed; and, the INNOVV Power Hub products remain great representatives for their genre.

We truly are well served regarding power distribution products for motorcycles. However, in comparing many competitive products, the INNOVV pieces still stand out, not only for their simplicity and flexibility but also pricing.

Power Hub 2 Features

NNOVV Power Hub 2 layout, inputs left and outputs right
At almost half the size of the original, the down-sized Power Hub 2 still features three input leads and five output leads – all with individual in-line ATM fuse modules. The two LED display found on the Power Hub 1 is now represented by a single small Blue status LED on the Power Hub 2.

NNOVV Power Hub 2 features information on box

Power Hub Comparison Table

 

Feature Power Hub 1 Power Hub 2
Dimensions 64.2 x 39 x 40mm (2.5 x 1.5 x 1.6in) 46.2 x 31 x 18mm (1.8 x 1.2 x 0.7in)
Input Leads Pos (fused), Neg, Ignition trigger Pos (fused), Neg, Ignition trigger
Rated 40A maximum 20A maximum
Output Leads 5 x 5A fused flying leads (15A max) 5 x 3A fused flying leads (5A max)
Boot Delay 10 second On and Off 10 second On and Off
LEDs Red = Fault, Blue = Flashing on/off and Steady for power good Blue = Flashing on/off, Steady for power good

Power Hub 2 Leads & Lengths

  • Yellow = ignition (trigger) – connected to ignition switched power source, sends electrical signal to trigger the Power Hub to turn on and activate the five output circuits (115cm/45in)
  • Red = positive power lead input connected to positive terminal of battery, ATM fused (100cm/39in)
  • Black = ground lead input connected to negative terminal of battery (100cm/39in)
  • 5 x Red power output leads, with ATM in-line fuses (57cm/22in)
  • 1 x Black common ground for connected accessories (33cm/13in)

Installation

NNOVV Power Hub 2 installation instructions on box

As the Power Hub 2 is so small and totally sealed with input and output connections done using the flying leads the module is mountable almost anywhere, making it such a simple solution for virtually any powersports platform, especially motorcycles.

Since its release, I have installed many Power Hub 1 modules in a variety of motorcycles (sports, touring, adventure and scooters) with a suitable spot always found, although sometimes it took a bit of scoping and creative mounting to get it installed in the best location.

Not so for the Power Hub 2 – it is proving to be much easier to find a good spot or spots on the exterior or interior in which to mount it and with its long input and output leads routed, there aren’t a lot of limits to just where and how the system can be installed.

NNOVV Power Hub 2 output leads
NNOVV Power Hub 2 module on exterior
Being in the middle of cabin fever mitigation activities – otherwise known as winter period accessorizing, the arrival of the Power Hub 2 was timely as some additional unswitched power was needed for some additional USB outlets, handguard LEDs and rear-facing auxiliary lighting.

NNOVV Power Hub 2 installation

An initial outer side wall installation of the module was done on the 2019 F850GSAdv for assessment but was then moved over to the 2018 R1200GS Rallye where it had a temporary home and now a (permanent) location.

On both the F850GSA and the R1200GS, the module was initially mounted on the right outer sidewall of the under-seat housing before being moved to its permanent home under the back deck and just to the right of OE DWA (Alarm) module.

NNOVV Power Hub 2 installation, module closeup
All the locations work fine, although with different fastener material used for fixing the lightweight module in place. The external mountings use 3M VHB adhesive strips while the under-deck placement is more than adequate using low profile 3M Dual-Lock pieces, so the module can be lifted out of the way easily – the deck area is crowded…

NNOVV Power Hub 2 full deck view of installation
While the Red and Black power leads, housed in a length of Flexo F6, run up to or forward (depending on the motorcycle) to the battery box, the Yellow trigger wire has a couple of connection options.

NNOVV Power Hub 2 installation under deck

All the home fleet motorcycles see a lot of accessory ‘test mule’ activity, so extension leads via Posi-Tap pieces from the Brake, Left and Right Turn Signal and License Plate Light leads are installed and run to a six terminal common connection (barrier) strip to facilitate ongoing access and eliminate repeated access to the thin OE wiring.

The remaining two terminals are used for 12V switched power sources with a separately dedicated ground block mounted under the deck as well.

So, the ignition switched yellow trigger wire can go to the nearby Posi-Tap on the 7.5A 12V switched lead of the 10A/7.5A dual accessory circuit module located to the right under the rider’s seat section or to the terminal block hosting the license plate extension lead.

With the ‘input’ side of things taken care of, the one, it is time to utilize the five output leads with their ATM in-line fuse pieces to get things wired up. I typically mark the circuits one through five for documented use identification.

NNOVV Power Hub 2 installation, waterproof Posi-Locks

Two of the output leads run forward along the right wall, joining up to their respective accessory leads using waterproof Posi-Locks. A third output, also with a waterproof connector, routes behind the OE alarm module as 12V switched power to the Admore Lighting ADMSB Smart-Brake light bar (these are among the first accessories installed on all home fleet motorcycles).

The remaining two output circuits, with fuses removed (bagged, with spares and secured in an accessible spot) are sealed off, wrapped up and tucked away between the DWA and RDC modules – but fishable from the deck cutout.

Function & Performance

NNOVV Power Hub 2 Blue LED indicator light

Turn on the ignition and wait 10 seconds – when the (visible or not) Blue LED lights up the Power Hub 2 is up and running along with connected accessories. Turning the ignition off sees another 10-second delay (along with any onboard system delay), then the PH2 shuts down.

Performance, including reliability, is easy to assess…none of the (many) original Power Hub 1 units I have installed nor either of the two newer Power Hub 2 systems has ever shown any sign of weakness or failure.

Conclusion

NNOVV Power Hub 2 module installed with deck reinstalled

INNOVV has stayed the course regarding general features of both the original Power Hub 1 and now the new Power Hub 2; the biggest visual takeaway regards the difference in overall size between the two.

Capacity and output are downsized – from 40A to 20A, with the expected reduction in recommended individual circuit maximums, from 15A to 5A (Hub 1 and Hub 2 respectively).

This could raise concerns over limitations, but as (most) of the accessories in use between four different motorcycles typically draw 0.5A to 4A tops (another benefit of using LED lighting) this reduction isn’t a major concern, although it needs to be considered.

And multiple circuits could be ‘ganged’ together for heavier duty demands, like the previously mentioned heated gear.

A small nit – there is (still) no choice between switched and unswitched output as many other products offer; once the 10-second bootup step is completed, all the circuits, properly fused, are available for use.

An observation made in the Power Hub 1 review over the 10-second boot and shut down delay is possibly still applicable here, although it doesn’t seem to have arisen as a major issue for users.

But it would still be great to see a time-delay shutdown provided if the motor is not actually started within a specific time…

Our bottom line from the original Power Hub 1 review bears reuse, although updated to reflect the new product; “the INNOVV Power Hub 2 is cost-effective with a list price of $69.00 and is a near perfect small form factor solution for adding multiple accessories where a rugged hands-off operating environment is key.”

Pros

  • Very small simple module
  • Simple battery and trigger lead connections
  • Five fused switched output circuits (3A nominal, 5A maximum)
  • Totally sealed module and leads
  • Long leads facilitate installation
  • Installable almost anywhere desired
  • Price

Cons

  • Hard plastic ATM fuse modules are (very) hard to open
  • No switched/unswitched output option

 

Specs

  • Manufacturer: INNOVV
  • Price: $69.00 USD
  • Made In: China
  • Alternative Models: The original Power Hub 1
  • Sizes: Small, ~50% smaller than the Power Hub 1
  • Review Date: February 2019

INNOV Power Hub 2 Image Gallery

The post INNOVV Power Hub 2: Early Release Review appeared first on Web Bike World.

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The INNOVV K2 Motorcycle Camera – Great System, Great Versatility, Great Insurance

The Breakdown

Like the original K1, the new INNOVV K2 is a dual-channel (front/rear or ??) video recording system, specifically designed for powersports but physically and functionally optimized for motorcycle use.

INNOV K2 Retail Box Contents

As the replacement for the tried and trusted K1 system, the K2 reflects an updated design and application approach in using a sealed DVR module, two hardened low-profile camera modules, a small GPS module, and a Smart Power module, all effectively brought together with heavy-duty cables and IP65/IP67 weatherproof connectors.

The K2 powers up after a slight boot delay and starts recording automatically (user intervention is allowed). The wide range of view lenses (horizontal and vertical) are just about perfect and the HD video quality is very good even in low light or nighttime conditions; this is indeed a 24/7/365 functioning system.

The WiFi link and iOS/Android apps provide a live-view or monitoring capability, with mirroring as desired while GPS data tagged to the video files provides an even more detailed record of riding activities that can be especially important in the event of incidents or accidents.

Overall First Impressions

Pros Cons
Very worthy successor to the original INNOVV dual-channel powersports system No separate remote-control, other than in using connected device and app
Excellent design and build quality Front and Back cameras cannot be set to differing resolutions/frames
Easy to install, everything needed is provided Park Mode features need fine tuning
No user interaction needed unless desired Mapping playback procedure can be fussy
Very good quality video under all conditions Recessed storage card hard to remove
Live monitoring, mirroring front and back Recorded audio not very clear or loud
Video/GPS data playback directly from camera, paired device, or as download
Great system, excellent value & investment

INNOVV K2 Overview

There is no doubt that in a technology-based fast-moving society that we sometimes need help to cope with it all and having a motorcycle-mounted accessory that enhances both the riding experience and riding safety isn’t a bad thing, especially when the Mark 1 eyeballs have other situational awareness tasks to handle.

Just such an accessory is the INNOVV K2 dual-channel camera system. Its front and rear views (or wherever the lens point) and always-on HD video recording, augmented with time, speed, and positional data tagged to the video files make it truly one of the easiest and most reliable ways to ‘capture the ride’.

And given its features and functional parameters, the INNOVV K2 is also a passive and discrete safety tool, keeping a visual, audio and positional record of riding time; but when and if needed, this record can become critical information.

While not all original K1 features were carried over to the new K2 (I’m sure the team had some difficult choices to make), this new system is not lacking – its stylish low-profile design, upgraded components, increased robustness, and new features more than offset what was left behind.

The original INNOVV K1 dual channel camera system had a feature-rich footprint for lots of powersports applications – dual-channel HD video capture, integrated GPS data, external speaker and remote, hardened waterproof cameras (one with a shock sensor), integrated LCD display, park and impact back-up, and the list went on…

With the introduction in June 2017 of the single channel C5 system that was specifically designed for rugged harsh environment use, INNOVV added WiFi connectivity and a smart device (iOS/Android) app – features that by themselves added a host of capabilities; it all served to validate INNOVV’s momentum and commitment to the market.

Now we have INNOVV’s latest iteration of a purpose-built turn-key system, the K2 – evolved from both the original K1 and the C5 to deliver a turn-key dual channel powersports HD video camera system.

The dual-channel K2 components are designed to withstand the rigors of powersports use. The main components are either IP65 (dust-tight/water pressure resistant) or IP67(dust-tight and immersion up to 1m of water) rated and its overall operating/storage temperature range is -20C ~ 70C (-4F ~ 158F)

K2 Kit Contents

INNOV K2 Retail Box Contents

INNOVV aims to provide all the essential pieces and with the rare exception, everything needed to get the system up and running is indeed inside.

  • 1 x DVR module (IP65) with microSD storage (up to 256GB)
  • 2 x bullet style camera modules with integrated 1.5m/3.0m cables
  • 1 x 12/5V DC Smart Power Converter
  • 1 x GPS Module with 1.2m cable (IP67)
  • 1 x hardware bag (lens holders, L-brackets, 0.25 in (20P) hardware and Allen-key
  • 1 four-way folded installation and instruction sheet

K2 Component Description & Function

INNOV K2 Basic System Connectivity Layout

This section serves to describe a progressive build-up ‘what’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ of the main components providing a ‘sum of the parts’ walk-through of the K2 system.

Smart Power Supply

INNOV K2 Power Supply Diagram

This sealed component is a 12/5V DC converter with some electronic smarts onboard. It provides the proper 5V switched power supply to system components and teams up with the DVR G-Sensor to enable the Park Mode feature described below. The system is lightweight electrically, drawing less than 500mA.

INNOV K2 12-5V DC Smart Power Converter

Layout-wise there are two wiring bundles exiting the top of the sealed module. On the top right are the Red positive and Black negative wires that go to the battery along with the Yellow trigger or switched (accessory/ACC) wire that connects to a switched lead on the motorcycle or third-party power distribution system output (Centech, PDM60, Neutrino Black Box, etc).

The second group exits as a three-wire (output) cable from the top left of the converter module. The cable terminates in a waterproof connector that is mated to its (keyed) counterpart on the flying lead of the DVR.

As described earlier, activation of the Park Mode feature is contingent up three conditions being met

  1. G-Sensor activation under the app
  2. Park Mode activation under the app, and
  3. Battery State at/above threshold

Battery State

The power supply monitors motorcycle battery voltage and Park Mode activation is contingent on a voltage of greater than 12V being present (motorcycle on or off) as described below:

 

  • Motorcycle battery power is greater than 12V (>=12V)

 

      • Ignition On – after 10 to 15 seconds, from the output side, ACC gets 5.0V and the Positive 5.3V; the DVR starts recording.
      • Ignition Off – after ten seconds, on the Output side, ACC gets 0V and the Positive gets 5.3V; the DVR stops recording and goes to Standby/Park Mode; if the motorcycle is subsequently disturbed or there is an impact of some sort the DVR-imbedded G-sensor activates the camera system for 60 seconds of recording.

 

  • Motorcycle battery power is less than 12V (<=12V)

 

    • Ignition On – after 10 to 15 seconds, from the Output side, ACC gets 5.0V and the Positive 5.3V; the DVR starts recording
    • Ignition Off – after ten seconds, from the Output side, ACC gets 0V and the Positive 0V; the DVR does not record (battery is below the threshold), even if Standby/Park Mode is activated the G-sensor does NOT enable recording (avoiding further drain on the battery)

The ten-second power on/power off delay provides start-up protection when the ignition is turned on and the engine started and a graceful time-delay power off so that any active recording can be saved off and not lost.

Camera Mounts

INNOV K2 Newest Camera Mounting Bracket
The pre-production kit had the (upgraded) thicker plastic brackets found in the C5 kit, with new black lightweight pinch brackets sent along a bit later – these well-machined pieces have side and top mounting points using the standard camera mount 0.25in (20P) thread.

INNOV K2 Standard Pinch Camera Bracket
The standard pinch brackets are great for most installations – low-profile or otherwise and with the non-skid cushioning material added to the inner ring (as done for the plastic C5 holders as well) the lens pieces are (very) secure.

INNOV K2 Standard Camera Bracket Kits

But in responding to feedback from users, the K2 team came up with a multi-piece design (see photo), two of which were received just before submission of this review. While the use of them is pending, they should provide another very good mounting option.

Camera Modules

After the release of the single channel C5 and while developing the K2 system, INNOVV decided to standardize on a single style camera component – so the K2 kit uses two of the small solid billet tubular camera modules like those used with the C5 system.

INNOV K2 Front and Rear Camera Modules

Each camera is sealed (IP67 stated) module with a 6G hardened medium wide-angle lens (diagonal 145⁰/horizontal 120⁰/vertical angle 100⁰) that provide an optimal field of view for the way ahead and behind enabling road and traffic monitoring and capturing the surroundings from whatever angle they are mounted for.

Available video resolution settings are 1080p at 30fps and 720p at 60 fps.The video format is H.264 compression in MP4 format. Both cameras are now set to the same resolution as a pair, unlike the original K1 that allowed differing resolutions for each camera.

INNOV K2 USB-C Camera Connector
Of the two camera modules provided, one features a 1.5m (4.9ft) and the other a 3.0m (9.8ft) connection cable – both terminate in weatherproof USB-C connectors that plug into the right end of the DVR module, secured in place with small thumb screw assemblies.

INNOV K2 Heavy Duty Camera Cables Feature USB-C Connectors
Note – when installing or removing the USB-C connectors, make sure the very small thin O-ring seals stay in place…two spares are provided in the kit parts bag.

INNOV K2 USB-C Connector with O-Ring
GPS Module

INNOV K2 GPS Module

At a squarish 42 x 42 x 15mm (1.6 x 1.6 x 0.5in) this IP67 rated module with rounded edges is very low profile, although it needs to be mounted in a high-profile or clear line of sight location to the sky for synchronization purposes – top-cases, windscreens or high front fenders work well.

With its 1.2m (3.9ft) cable (longer than the pre-release unit) connected to the GPS-marked waterproof flying lead on the DVR module, and activated under the App ‘Video’ settings, recorded video is enhanced with position, time, date and speed data for an even more complete record of activities.

INNOV K2 App Live View and Track Mapping

Exploiting the GPS tracking data during video playback can be done during playback on an iOS or Android device (if the needed access permissions (location and possibly storage) are provided) or playback on a PC. The user also needs to select the correct mapping system on the App (Baidu or Google Maps) as well when activating the feature.

When the GPS is connected and synchronized, a small icon is displayed on the app live-view screen and another related icon lets you know that the data is being recorded to the video track.

INNOV K2 Live View Status Icons
DVR Module

INNOV K2 DVR Module with Power and GPS

This stylish slim aluminum and plastic housing with integrated leads, recessed ports, and weather resistant features can be mounted externally but its ideally installed in a secure hidden location; particularly now that monitoring and user interaction can all be done via the WiFi connection and paired device app.

INNOV K2 Waterproof Connectors

Two flying leads (marked Power and GPS) with waterproof connectors exit the left end of the module, while two recessed USB-C ports on the right end host the waterproof screw-type front and back camera cables.

A slim weather resistant silicone insert flap on the top edge hides a (reserved use) micro-USB port and micro-SD slot and, a small pinhole audio pick-up.

INNOV K2 Micro-USB and SDMedia Slot

Note – a modified DVR housing with an external audio pick-up port is now in hand, but results so far have been inconclusive; an update will be provided regarding the audio feature.

The large button on the face is the manual On/Off control that works even if power is being supplied.

Above the power button are four LEDs as function and system status indicators. From left to right they are:

  • WiFi (Green) – flashes when awaiting connectivity/solid when connected
  • Recording (Blue) – flashes once per second when recording/solid when stopped, and flashes three times per second when there is no media card in the DVR
  • Photograph (Red) – flashes three times for a photo, and flashes on/off rapidly when SD card is being formatted, and
  • GPS (Yellow) – flashes when awaiting synchronization/solid when connected

Note – all four LEDs flash together when a firmware update is initiated – the system automatically resets once done.

Media Storage

Media up to 256GB is supported, but FAT32 formatting needs to be maintained and accordingly, using the App – ‘Settings’ and ‘Format’, is the most expedient means to do this – described in the ‘App’ section below.200GB SanDisk UHS-1 A1 rated media is being used with very good success.

G-Sensor

Now housed within the DVR module, this feature is a welcome carry-over from the original K1 system.It can be turned On/Off and set for Low, Mid or High sensitivity under the App and works in conjunction with the Park Mode setting to provide movement or shock detection and system activation with short-term video recording for a record of any event.

WiFi, App, & Firmware Versions

As of this submission, the posted firmware version is K2.20180925.V0.39; the latest posted iOS app is v1.1.2 and for Android it is v1.2.5; it pays to keep both system firmware and interface apps up to date to optimize system use.

WiFi Connectivity

INNOV K2 Network ID on Smart Device

The INNOVV WiFi feature provides local (no Internet) connectivity. During pre-release testing, both the WiFi and app were slow and prone to dropping out, but between iterative updates and release of the retail box kit, everything is now pretty much seamless and quick. The network ID is ‘INNOVV_K2_xxxx’ and the default login is ‘12345678’.

With many devices, the INNOVV network connection won’t be remembered; this is done in large part to that any default network connection doesn’t get bumped out. So once the K2 is up and running, the K2s network ID needs to be scanned for or found and selected.

iOS and Android Applications

When launched two quick splash screens will appear while the app loads, then the main function screen comes up and goes live once the connection is made.

INNOV K2 Main App Display Screen

The middle tile on the main screen is the Settings (gear wheel) tile – activating it brings up a multi-page scrollable settings list – best explored first, then followed by a feature by feature customization to achieve the initial settings.

INNOV K2 App Settings Screen

Some settings of note:

  • Loop Recording – settings of Off, 1, 3, 5 and 10 minutes are selectable; files are maintained on the storage media until space requirements dictate that the oldest files be overwritten. Park Mode generated files are stored under the ‘Park’ folder and not overwritten’
  • Photographs – single or time-lapse photos can be done using the ‘Camera’ tile; settings for the time lapse feature are Off, 100/200/500ms.
  • G-Sensor – Off, Low, Med, and High settings are available. Once the system is installed and if the Park Mode feature is going to be used, the user needs to try the different sensitivity settings relevant to the motorcycle to determine the best setting.
  • Park Mode – the Smart Power component and G-sensor combine to provide this feature. With G-Sensor and Park mode settings activated under the app, unplanned movement or impact of some sort causes the system to activate during which (up to) 60 seconds of video/audio is recorded for each ‘event’, then the system returns to Standby.

Initial Installation

For reference purposes, the applicable K2 component connection lead lengths are provided:

  • Camera module cables = 1 of 1.5m and one of 3.0m
  • DVR Module – Power and GPS Flying Leads = 15cm (5.9in)
  • GPS Module = 1.3m (ng Lead (DVR) = 15cm or 5.9in
  • Smart Power (12/5V Converter) Module
    • Input Leads = Positive & Negative are 60 (23.6in); Trigger Lead is 80cm (31.4in)
    • Output Cable, 3pin Connector = 53cm (20.8in)

2018 Triumph Tiger 800Xca

INNOV K2 installation for the 2018 Triumph Tiger 800Xca
The pre-release K2 system supplied for initial comment and testing was installed on to the Tiger, which also hosts an INNOVV C5. This double-banking was good as it allowed for direct comparison between the two systems.

INNOV K2 Front Installation with both K2 and C5 cameras
For better standardization regarding the frontal field of view both the K2 and C5 front camera modules were mounted on the left and right sides respectively – essentially level with the headlight. The K2 module used the newer black billet pinch-style mount and L-bracket while the C5 module used the plastic ring mount with spring assembly and L-bracket.

INNOV K2 Pinch-Style Mount
I did test-mount the front module under the upper front fender or beak – it is almost totally hidden from view (as it does with BMW GS models as well) and the overall field of view is limited and, the lens gets dirty quickly.

Front Installation of the INNOV K2 on the 2018 Triumph Tiger 800Xca

In considering the factors and from testing, the higher profile placement offers an unobstructed wide-angle view relevant to both horizontal and vertical axis and in being hung out in the breeze so to speak stay quite clean. A few front edge dings are evident on the module, but the lens remains undamaged.

Rear Installation of the INNOV K2 on the 2018 Triumph Tiger 800Xca
Rear Installation of the INNOV K2 on the 2018 Triumph Tiger 800Xca

The K2 rear camera mounts to a shaped light steel L-bracket that shares a mount with the adapter plate for a SHAD ST38 aluminum top box (a prototype that never made it to market).

Small metal and fiber washers from the kit form a sandwich style isolation washer between camera bracket and L-bracket; this is one of the most effective means to reduce vibration and stabilize video.

GPS Module Installation for the INNOV K2 on the 2018 Triumph Tiger 800Xca
The GPS module was originally secured to the back of the top box lid using squares of low-profile 3M Dual-Lock but with the newer longer 1.2+m cable the component is now mounted to the top of the BMW Locking Cradle and Navi V combination fitted to a home-made heads-up navigation mount bracket.

INNOV K2 Installation Wiring on the 2018 Triumph Tiger 800Xca

Both the camera and GPS module leads run back between the side panels and frame to the (fully usable) rear under-seat compartments that are perfect for electronic accessory installations including multiple leads and harnesses.

As the K2 12/5V DC Converter module is sealed, it is stuck to the left outer side of the under-seat housing right next to one of the ~24mm oval holes found on both sides of the deck housing.

INNOV K2 DC Converter Installation

The holes provide easy access and routing of the input and output wiring for the Converter module, but also allow moisture and dirt in, so appropriately-sized grommets provide a better seal.

With ring terminals crimped/soldered on and sealing sections of heat shrink applied, the 2A mini-fuse from the converter’s positive in-line holder and the negative battery lead were removed, the ring terminals were put in place along with the main battery leads and everything tightened up – negative terminal last.

The Yellow switched or trigger/ACC wire runs back to the under-seat accessory USB harness with a red Posi-Tap making a clean and unobtrusive connection into the White wire of the USB harness.

With the 2A in-line fuse replaced, the waterproof connections for the Converter output and GPS harnesses are made to the ‘Power’ and ‘GPS’ marked leads on the DVR (the connections are ‘keyed’ – they can only be fitted in the correct manner, eliminating installation errors).

And with the two waterproof USB-C connectors on the lens leads fully seated in their ports on the DVR module and the insert screws tightened up, the initial installation is done.

Turning on the ignition and waiting ten seconds sees the K2 system power up and the LEDs twinkle and shortly thereafter video recording starts. Time to make the WiFi connection, launch the app and configure the system.

Note – this pre-release system installation has since been replaced with the updated retail box (Rev 1) kit.

2018 BMW R1200GS Installation

INNOV K2 Installation on the R1200GS
Using the second retail box kit provided. Overall its installation parallels the approach taken with the Tiger.

INNOV K Front Installation on the R1200GS
INNOV K Rear Installation on the R1200GS

The installation process had only two deviations:

The Yellow trigger wire draws switched power from a Posi-Tap added to the 7.5A power lead of the under-seat accessory plug.

Power Installation for the K2 on the R1200GS
The DVR module sits in a light foam cushion under the front (rider’s) seat section.

Custom DVR installation for the K2 on the R1200GS

2019 BMW F850GS Installation (Pending)

As the Tiger is likely to be a short-timer in the home fleet, the first retail box kit installed on it is being moved over to the recently arrived 2019 BMW F850GS, that might also be a short-timer, given that an order for the F850GS Adventure is pending…

No issues are foreseen for either F850 model – thankfully given the new layout of the battery, sensor and main electronic modules, there is a fair bit of readily accessible real estate under the deck component.

K2 System Feature & Performance Observations

The K2 system with its components and features is an excellent plug-n-play accessory with near seamless set-n-forget performance – it just keeps on recording, with tagged GPS data and producing great HD quality front and back facing video.

Camera Versatility

One of the best features appreciated with the K2 system, specifically the cameras, is the lens versatility – providing an outstanding field of view in the vertical and horizontal axis, a key factor in being able to use the system for road and traffic monitoring and scenic captures.

Wireless & App

While I might still miss the original LCD on the K1 DVR, having the same preview/live-view ability, along with other abilities, via the WiFi connection and smart-device application provides far more versatility and ease of use – all good.

Cameras – Hidden or Exposed

Many will question why the K2 camera modules are not hidden or at least placed in a lower profile mounting on our home fleet motorcycles and it is indeed a fair question.

But the objective for use is to provide a clear optimal view of the front and back in respect to their respective fields of view so that optimal video capture is done, for a variety of purposes.

Once set-up the K2 system captures two channels of HD video that along with the GPS data and audio provides a scenic and enduring record of the ride. And over the years there have been some noteworthy incidents where the K1, C5, and K2 video, audio and reference data has proven valuable to us and other parties…

Standby/Park Mode

the power and sensor-based solution provided in the K2 for the Standby/Park Mode feature seems to work OK depending on the motorcycle and where/how the DVR is installed and the ability to adjust settings is also good.

But overall the feature is a bit of a miss and when activated, no matter the setting, a lot of Park Mode folder files are generated, even when the system is operating on relatively even road surfaces. And conversely, disturbing or physically moving the motorcycle often doesn’t activate the feature at all.

In being very familiar with the camera module-based sensor of the K1 and in using other systems that have G-sensor based capabilities to detect motion, etc., I’m not convinced that putting the single G-sensor into the DVR module is best, especially given where the DVR is likely to be installed (around the mass of the motorcycle).

My recommendation here is that the feature is revisited – some form of (wider) dynamic range could possibly be implemented or a secondary sensor installed in the cameras or GPS module could provide a better averaging approach with (perhaps) better sensitivity – this valuable feature could and should be more effective.

Audio

With the module tucked away somewhere and the silicone weatherproof cover in place on the DVR module and appreciating the typical motorcycle environment, audio is usually very muffled and can be hard to understand.

INNOV K2 Audio Pick-Up Pin-Hole

A workaround of sorts is to lift up or remove the silicone cover over the small pin-hole (shown above) – this can dramatically improve overall audio, although not without some compromise to DVR integrity and audio still isn’t as good as many other PoV systems…

Note – a modified DVR housing, just received, now features a weatherproof external pick-up port and while early testing is inconclusive, some improvement is noted; the K2 team is keen to get this addressed.

Media Management

A lesson learned over the years in using body or motorcycle-mounted POV cameras is that it (really) pays to review stored files on a regular basis and download them to safe storage especially if lower capacity onboard media is used.

When commuting or riding the local terrain, the files get reviewed and downloaded once or twice a week or more often if there is a specific activity or incident that needs to be looked at or if it could be needed (first responders or insurance related).

On the road, where hopefully video recorded is or can be scenery focused rather than traffic-related the files are reviewed and saved off daily to the travel PC and/or a portable drive.

INNOV K2 Diagram on Recording Time Based on Drive Capacity

Apps for Video Playback

INNOV K2 App Video Listing Local Playback

The INNOVV identified solution for displaying the dual-channel video with GPS tagged data captured by the K2 is Dashcam Viewer.

I used the free version initially but have since paid for the full version. It isn’t the only app on the market supporting multi-channel multi-sensor data, but it works well once the needed plugins are installed. The software supports the original K1 system, along with other PoV systems I still use.

Conclusion

This the third INNOVV camera system reviewed for wBW and although the original K1 system had some (still) unique features its predecessor, the new K2 system is better in virtually every way.

I never go out riding without having at least one helmet, body or motorcycle mounted camera actively recording constantly; an amendment to the personal ATGATT approach.

And you know what? It is rare (very rare) that one of the active camera systems doesn’t capture something of note or by the same token help in de-conflicting traffic issues… including ‘your motorcycle is in my space’ scenario where succinctly identifying the presence of a camera works wonders…

Otherwise, the INNOVV camera products just keep on running in the background, capturing video, audio and GPS data discretely, all typically with minimal intervention required. And by the way, one of the original K1 systems is now installed on the four-wheeler… as the K2 can be.

wBW has reviewed most of the INNOVV products over the years and in doing so, contact is typically maintained between reviewers and product team leads – a fact that allows us to sometimes get involved in pre-release testing or in refining requirements; and, done without compromising wBW principles regarding publication of honest objective reviews.

So, while my experience may admittedly be different than other users, this continued positive support and interaction with INNOVV needs to be acknowledged, whether as a consumer or product reviewer.

The INNOVV K2 dual-channel camera systems set a high standard. It is an excellent solution for a wide range of requirements and at a typically listed $338.00 USD, very much worth the investment, for lots of reasons.

My comment from the original INNOVV K1 review bears repeating here, “while we may not want to accept the need for this technology, it is a fact of life of many of us, unfortunately.”

Pros

  • Very worthy successor to the original INNOVV dual-channel powersports system
  • Excellent design and build quality
  • Easy to install, everything needed is provided
  • No user interaction needed unless desired
  • Very good quality video under all conditions
  • Live monitoring, mirroring front and back
  • Direct video/GPS data playback
  • Great system, excellent value & investment

Cons

  • No separate remote-control, other than in using connected device and app
  • Front and Back cameras cannot be set to differing resolutions/frames
  • Park Mode features need fine-tuning
  • Mapping playback procedure can be fussy
  • Recessed storage card hard to remove
  • Recorded audio not very clear or loud

Specs

  • Manufacturer: INNOVV
  • Price: $338 USD
  • Review Date: November 2018

INNOVV K2 Image Gallery

The post The INNOVV K2 Motorcycle Camera – Great System, Great Versatility, Great Insurance appeared first on Web Bike World.

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GoFast Innovations JIS Screwdriver Set Hands-On Review

The Right Tool For the Job

Tool Snobbery

Speaking as a licensed Heavy Duty Mechanic I admit to being a bit of a “tool snob”.

That doesn’t mean I must always use premium brand tools like Snap-On or Mac, but more that if there’s a tool available specifically for a task I want it in my arsenal as opposed to just making do with what I have.

In my experience not only does it save time, but it’s also safer for the technician and those around them. Specialty tools are often expensive and that’s why people pass them up. Specialty tools aren’t always expensive and so each should be considered on a case by case basis and the value weighed.

When in doubt, I suggest spending the money on the tool.

Specialty Screwdrivers

Image showing the difference between a Phillips and JIS screwdriver tip.

Years ago our staff writer Brandon thoroughly explored the difference between Phillips screwdrivers and JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard) in this review.

He did a great job and even though I’m a professional mechanic I didn’t fully understand the difference until after reading his review. The gist of what he discovered is this:

  • Phillips screwdrivers will work on larger JIS head screws but will strip small ones.
  • JIS screwdrivers will work on any size Phillips or JIS head screws AND won’t strip any of them.

So why bother buying Phillips screwdrivers? In truth, you actually would be better off just buying JIS. Weird, eh?

Since then WebBikeWorld has reviewed other JIS screwdrivers from Hozan and Vessel which scored well enough, but they don’t stack up well when compared to the tools I received from GoFast Innovations recently. These ones are extra nice while still being reasonably priced.

Full Tang Shaft Design

The protruding hex headed end of the GoFast screwdriver.

Here’s the best part about these tools. The full tang end makes the screwdriver better balanced in the hand and the hex head butt end gives the option of putting a wrench or socket on it to provide tons more turning force for stubborn fasteners.

Pro Tip For Stuck Fasteners

Sometimes when a fastener is really tight or old they need some persuasion using a hammer to break them free. If you try and do that with a screwdriver lacking a full tang the hammer strike will crack the plastic handle and eventually fall apart.

Not so with these screwdrivers, although you shouldn’t be wailing away like a blacksmith on them with a hammer. Just give it a couple of light taps to loosen things up.

This is the reason air or electric impact guns rattle when you use them. The light tapping helps break up any buildup of corrosion or dirt in the threads or around the head of the screw or bolt when impacted.

Chrome Vanadium Steel

The chrome vanadium shaft on the screwdriver is polished, but not to a mirror finish.

A close up of the chrome vanadium shaft on the GoFast screwdriver.

This is the industry standard for screwdriver shafts and it holds up well to even heavy duty usage. They will still rust if used in a corrosive environment, but resist well overall. The shaft on these screwdrivers isn’t mirrored polished like on Snap-On or Mac ones, but it should still hold up well over its lifetime in a backyard mechanic toolbox based on what I’ve seen.

Chrome moly or Bondhus steel would be harder and longer wearing than chrome vanadium, but would also inflate the price on these screwdrivers.

Ergonomic Handle

The grip is made of thermoplastic resin and coated with a textured rubber layer. It’s a good combination that gives positive feedback when used for a long or short time.

The “rubber hairs” or comb tooth areas on it will trap grease and dirt quite well though and will need to be cleaned out. I generally use WD40 or Varsol to do this without harming the handle, but Brake Kleen should be avoided as it will break down the rubber coating over time.

There are some unattractive seams on the rubber coating because excess rubber wasn’t trimmed away carefully after being molded at the factory. It’s not a big deal but is a notable difference between this price point of tools and the much more expensive Snap-On brand. Still, they both remove screws equally well and this is merely cosmetic knit-picking.

Magnetic Tip

The blackened and heat hardened tips are also magnetized much to my delight. The magnetism on the smallest screwdriver isn’t really strong, but just about right.

I used it to install a Pinlock on the AGV Sportmodular Carbon helmet I just reviewed. The tiny screws were easy to drop, but the magnetic tip made this an easy job thankfully.

I began doing this task with a Phillips screwdriver and right away realized I needed to switch to the JIS instead as the Phillips started climbing out of the screw head slots and stripping them. The JIS bit in perfectly tight and didn’t move. This illustrated perfectly what Brandon talked about in his review. JIS is the way to go on small fasteners!

Final Verdict

A set of three GoFast Innovations JIS screwdrivers.

These are exactly the kind of tools I like to buy for my own home use. They’re inexpensive and well designed to get the job done right.

The full steel tang makes these tools more functional than most on the market and coupled with a no quibble lifetime guarantee from owner Paul Jones I’m sure they’ll be the last JIS screwdrivers I’ll ever need.

Coming Soon

GoFast Innovations is about to release a set of JIS bits for use in ratcheting screwdrivers or impact drivers as well. They’ll be a short and long bit set and will be available at the beginning of August 2018.

I’m sold on these.

 

The post GoFast Innovations JIS Screwdriver Set Hands-On Review appeared first on Web Bike World.

Categories
Accessory Reviews Cruise Control Cruise Control Hands On Review Gear Reviews MCCruise Motorcycle Accessory & Parts Motorcycle Cruise Control Reviews Other Motorcycle Blogs review Web Bike World

MCCruise TBW Aftermarket Cruise Control Hands On Review

***My Pick of the Year So Far***

The Rationale

When I discuss which products to review with our content manager I push for:

  • Ones I hear other people recommend strongly in forums or in person.
  • Products I personally believe will be useful or have a clear, positive impact.
  • The more expensive ones. I want us to take the financial risk so you don’t have to.

The MCCruise system fits this criterion exactly. To this point, I haven’t reviewed a product that I like or will appreciate having on my bike more than this one. It’s not even close.

I’ll cut to the chase and reveal that the only reasons MCCruise didn’t get 5 stars out of 5 come down to the cost of buying the system being fairly substantial ($550 which is a lot of cheddar) and the fact it does take moderate mechanical skill to install it.

Some people might also point out that the control switch assembly is too big and will ruin the look of their bike as well. I’m on the fence about that one.

FYI: ***The kit only took about a week to arrive here from Australia and I had to pay $25 of duty as well., just FYI.

Not a Throttle Lock

Practically everyone has at one time or another spent $20 to $100 on some variety of throttle lock in an attempt to save their wrist and hand from cramping up on long trips. I’ve tried more than a few myself and they’ve always left me wanting and unsatisfied.

The MCCruise is a sophisticated electronic add-on that works the same way the one in your car does… only smoother and better.

This review is for the Throttle By Wire compatible MCCruise system made for KTM 1190 Adventure bikes, but there are also numerous kits available for bikes that have cable operated throttle assemblies instead. They’re quite different with the cable systems costing more to buy and being more complicated to install because of the need for an actuator servo to be installed correctly in order to work safely.

This means that there’s an MCCruise available for pretty much every bike on the market.

The Overall Experience

I installed the throttle by wire system in my 2014 KTM 1190 Adventure S in about three sessions lasting 2 hours each. I think that’s roughly how long it took but I’m not totally sure. I was battling illness and sub-zero temperatures in my garage which made me have to take breaks for a couple of days before coming back to it. Add to that my OCD tendencies forcing me to wait for parts I had ordered, needed to finish other repairs/maintenance while I had the gas tank removed like:

  • Cleaning the engine air filter
  • Removing the emissions canister
  • Replacing both fuel filters
  • Installing a kickstand relocation kit
  • New chain and sprockets
  • New mounting bolts for the bash plate under the engine

What can I say? I wanted to make sure my bike was totally ready to go for riding season. My point in telling you this is that the kit wasn’t difficult to install, just a little time-consuming. I’ll go into greater detail about the installation later. First, let’s talk about the performance of the MCCruise.

A “Quick” 160 Mile Test Drive

When the weather finally warmed up enough in this unusually cold month of April for me to contemplate road testing the MCCruise, there was still plenty of melting snow and ice on the ground outside my garage.

I steadied my nerves and bulldozed my way through the 4-inch deep pile of snow and ice built up in front of my garage and made it to dry pavement. It was an uneasy slip and slide lasting about 35 feet to the road, but then I was free of winter’s grasp! I’m now looking at replacing my Continental Attack 2 tires with something that would have an easier time to get traction in snow as a result.

During winter here in Alberta, city snow removal crews throw down copious amounts of pea-sized gravel to give better traction to cars traveling on the snow and ice covered roads. That gravel is still very much thereafter everything melts and it creates deadly mayhem for motorcycles every spring. I was very much aware of this danger and tried to ride accordingly once I reached the clear asphalt. That’s tough to do on a bike as powerful as my KTM and I wisely took it out of my preferred SPORT mode in favor of STREET.

My plan was just to ride a big lap around the outskirts of the city I live in, lasting about 25 minutes and allowing me to adequately test the MCCruise at a variety of speeds, and on differing terrain.

Red Light?

As I got out of town and onto roads where I could safely engage the system to try it out I was caught by surprise when a red indicator light appeared beside the ON button after pushing it. For whatever reason, the red color made me think something was wrong or not working because I didn’t remember reading anything about it in the instructions to indicate that was normal.

I decided to throw caution to the wind and risked pushing the SET button.

Scenes from the old Stephen King movie Maximum Overdrive began flashing through my mind. I briefly imagined the KTM taking me on a terrifying and unstoppable ride right up to my bike’s insane top speed. Would I perish in a fiery crash brought on by my own incompetent installation of the MCCruise system? A glitch in the programming maybe?

Oh well, at least I would die doing something everyone would remember and talk about for years after. Remember that crazy motorcycle writer guy crashing at 200 mph into that field full of cows outside town?

What an idiot he was thinking he should have cruise control on a 1190.

The Red Light Means MCCruise Is On, But Not Engaged… Phew!

My irrational thoughts disappeared after the red light turned yellow and the bike very smoothly locked at the desired speed and stayed there until I squeezed the brake lever or pulled in the clutch just as advertised.

You know how most cruise systems jerk when you hit the SET button and let off the gas abruptly? MCCruise doesn’t do that. It’s super smooth when activating, but immediately drops off when you cancel it. Full credit for making this a truly motorcycle friendly system. No herky-jerky on a motorcycle, please and thank you. Well done!

Solid and Accurate

I was so pleased with the initial test that I HAD to ride longer than just a lap around Airdrie, so I headed west towards a huge hill that slopes upwards at a 45-degree angle for at least a couple of miles to see how well the speed would hold. I set the cruise at 75 mph at the bottom of the hill and it didn’t waver even 1 mph in the ascent!

I ended up riding further west into the still snow-capped Canadian Rockies that I love riding in so much. I logged a total of 160 miles to make up for some of the long winters I had to endure without any riding time. The MCCruise was flawless and completely earned my trust and confidence over that time and distance.

How Low Will It Go?

Most cruise control systems won’t activate until you’re going faster than about 25 mph and I was curious if that applied to MCCruise. After some experimentation, I found that I was able to activate the MCCruise at a surprising 18 mph as it turns out. That’s going to come in handy riding through construction zones this summer.

A Happy New Owner

Up until then, I was seriously considering selling my 1190 and buying a different bike equipped with factory cruise control. No more! That’s going to save me a pile of money and let me keep a bike that I’ll now really enjoy a lot more on long rides.

The MCCruise Brothers

The minds behind MCCruise are two Australian brothers named Tony and Frank Guymer. The testing data they provided me with showed that at 60 mph there’s almost zero variation in speed even when riding up big hills. My testing confirmed those numbers. It’s really well thought out and engineered.

Tony and Frank were easy to reach and prompt to answer questions via email or phone. Impressive considering they’re half a world away “Down Under”. I found them to be very passionate about ensuring their product is safe and reliable.

Firmware and BlueTooth

Tony informed me that coming in the next month or so you’ll be able to buy a Bluetooth connector to add to your MCCruise system to further enhance it This connector combined with an MCCruise app on your phone will allow pairing of the two devices.

When improvements to the firmware are developed by the Guymers you’ll be able to update the system this way.

Even better, the app will display your TRUE speed instead of just what your speedometer reads if you pair it with your cellphone and GPS app. The MCCruise app can be set up to warn you if you go over the speed limit for the road you’re traveling on. That could help save you money on speeding tickets and justify buying the system.

Intelligent Cruise Control

Tony Guymer told me that he and Frank had successfully programmed the cruise control system to automatically adjust the bike’s speed on its own to match the GPS road data. They chose not to release this feature to the public because the road speed limit data isn’t always accurate. All the same that is pretty cool to think this kind of potentially “intelligent” cruise control is possible with MCCruise.

The Installation

Now we get down to the nitty-gritty: getting the kit on your bike.

Instruction Manual

The instruction manual is written in a clear step-by-step style and has useful black and white photos in it for reference. It covers:

  • Removal of all parts necessary for MCCruise installation
  • Routing of the two wiring harnesses and where to attach tie straps
  • How to disassemble wiring connectors on the bike and in the MCCruise harness
  • Wiring color diagrams and what sensors and switches they correspond to. This also functions as a basic wiring schematic for the system and can be used for troubleshooting needs down the road
  • Calibration of the system when the install is completed
  • How to safely bench test the system in your garage before taking it out on the road

It Turns Out I Read “Aussie” Fluently

I impressed myself with my complete comprehension of the Australian dialect the manual was written in and how much it resembles our English language.

This page in the manual lists everything that comes in the kit and provides part numbers in case anything is missing. Everything in the kit gets used in the installation, including the packing foam. I found that out the hard way when out of habit I threw it away after opening the box weeks before I installed the kit. I didn’t realize that chunk of foam is used underneath the MCCruise electronic control module for support when installing on the bike. Oops. Good thing I had some extra foam kicking around.

TPS Harness and Main Harness Installation

There are two harnesses to be installed that run from just underneath the handlebar riser mounting clamps along the right side of the frame under the gas tank, all the way back to underneath the passenger seat area.

The TPS (Throttle Position Sensor) harness installation begins with removing the left side mirror and sandwiching the control switch housing mounting bracket in between it and the mirror perch (photo above). You have the option of a normal or high mount depending on what configuration you have to work around on your bike’s left handlebar.

I installed the standard height bracket as pictured above. There’s still plenty of room to use the buttons on the left handlebar.

You can alternately mount it underneath the left handlebar if you prefer as shown in this photo below. Looking back now that may have been a more discreet location for it.

The MCCruise TPS harness has two connectors on it that match the TPS connectors on the bike’s harness. You need to connect them in between the two halves of the bike’s connector.

In order to get access to the bike’s TPS connector, you need to remove the gas tank and the left side intake tube. Even after that, it’s a challenge to be able to cram your hands into the small opening in the frame available to access it. The instructions say to remove both intake or snorkel tubes, but I managed it with only the left side removed.

Photo Above: This shows the view looking from above at the small opening in the frame to access the TPS connector.

The bike connectors are all fairly difficult to pull apart using only one and a half hands while working through only a small opening, but it can be done if you’re persistent and use a very small screwdriver to help by pushing down on the locking tab.

Photo Above: The mess that is the TPS and Main MCCruise harnesses that are installed in the jumble of connectors located behind the triple tree clamp area.

In addition to the TPS connector, you’ll also have to pull apart the ones for the front brake and clutch switches located in the same small area and plug in MCCruise harness connectors. After doing up everything in this small area you’ll have twice as many connectors jammed in the space just flopping around. I wrapped tie wraps around the whole collection and secured them in an ugly looking ball to the frame. As you can see in the photo above it’s not pretty, but should hold together.

Now it’s time to route both harnesses towards the back of the bike along the inside of the frame between it and the airbox.

This photo shows the gap between the frame and airbox where the two harnesses have to be routed from the front of the bike to the back. The two steel tubes on the left of the photo make a good anchoring point and guide for the harnesses to follow as you route them.

That bundle of shiny wires is the TPS and main harnesses coming from the front and running along the right side frame all the way to the back of the bike where the MCCruise control module will be housed underneath and behind the passenger seat. You have to loosen off the orange body panel screws on the lower part of the photo in order to route the harnesses under the frame and then up and over it to the control module. Do all this while bearing in mind where the seat will land on the frame so that it won’t pinch the harnesses.

There’s also a wire with a clear plastic connector coming off the main harness that plugs into the diagnostic plug you see sitting on top of the battery in the photo above and another that you route to the rear brake switch located under the bike’s electronic control module.

Note: ***MCCruise offers a pass-through patch harness to support other accessories or “dongles” already plugged into the diagnostic port. Other add-ons can live downstream of the MCCruise connection with this patch harness installed allowing the MCCruise and another performance-enhancing system to operate simultaneously. No worries, Mate!

The final yellow wire off the main harness runs across the frame of the bike above the rear shock to end up connected to one of the spark plug coil connectors as seen in the photo below. Again, the way to do this is clearly explained in the installation instructions.

Install The MCCruise Brain

This is the “brainbox” for the MCCruise system that makes the magic happen. You’ll have to unlock the large, rectangular connector that plugs into it and insert several wires in the correct pin holes before you connect it to the brainbox (electronic control module if you want to use proper nomenclature). The instructions show and explain clearly how to do this, thankfully.

Once that’s done you can stick the brainbox to the roof of the pocket in the black plastic body panel at the rear of the bike. The instructions call it a “duckbill” if I recall correctly. Velcro tape is included to hold it there and then you stuff the packing foam from the kit (that you wisely didn’t throw away) under it to keep it in place. A perfect hiding place for this important computer module to stay safe.

That shiny black wire in the photo above with the clear plastic spade connector on it also needs to be plugged in to supply power to the system from the bike. You’ll find two wires with these spade connectors just hanging out in the back of that body panel waiting to put power into whatever you decide to connect to them.

Removing the Emissions Canister: Optional

In the last photo, you’ll notice two hoses on the left of the power wire, one of them has a blue dot on it and a bolt stuck at the end of it to plug it off.

Those hoses came off the emissions canister which I chose to remove from the bike in order to make room for the MCCruise control module and free up the area where the bike toolkit is supposed to be kept too. I don’t need the canister in the area I live to comply with emissions regulations. You, on the other hand, may need to keep it in there depending on where you live. Check and see what your local laws regarding fuel tank emissions are before removing this canister.

This photo above shows the canister in its mounting bracket and how it would take up all the space in the duckbill area.

The hose with the blue paint on it in the photo before the last one came off the nipple in the center of the canister. That’s the one you plug with a bolt. It leads to the PCV on the left side of the engine. You can verify this by trying to blow air into the hose. You shouldn’t be able to flow any air into it if it’s the PCV line.

The other hose leads to the right side of the gas tank cap area and is a breather. If you blow in it air will flow out the end of the hose at the front of the bike if your gas tank is removed or into the tank if it’s still installed at that moment.

Trace the breather hose back to the area just in front of the bike’s battery/computer area and cut it there as seen in the photo above. Tuck the rear portion of the hose down out of the way. Feed the front portion of the hose back towards where it connects to the gas tank cap and then re-route it so that it runs straight down along the frame somewhere so that it can drain anything that comes out of the gas tank breather without pouring it onto the hot exhaust anywhere.

Doing it this way leaves the option open of putting everything back the way it was using a barbed fitting between the two cut sections of the breather hose if in the future you need or want to put the canister back in the bike. Don’t worry, removing the canister and plugging the PCV hose won’t damage anything or throw any error codes on the bike.

Final Checks

You should have the control switch box in place, all the wiring run now and the computer installed. Use the supplied tie straps to anchor the harnesses down tightly and so that they won’t get pinched by any moving parts of the seat when installed.

Now it’s time to check your work for errors and calibrate the MCCruise to your bike’s throttle position sensor. This is a way of making sure the cruise control will work without having to risk a failure while flying down the highway on the bike.

Self Diagnostic Mode and Calibration

The process is explained in the instruction manual of how to put the system in test mode using buttons on the control switch while watching the little LED light beside the ON/OFF button.

This video goes through the installation process and the way to test and calibrate the system.

Conclusion

I Wholeheartedly Endorse it

This Throttle By Wire MCCruise system is a super smart add-on for bikes like the KTM 1190 Adventure S or R, Honda VFR1200X or even the new 2018 Honda Africa Twin.

These bikes and many others have TBW technology on them but still no cruise control option from the factory.

How manufacturers can seriously say these are touring/adventure bikes and not provide cruise control is a riddle I’ll never solve. Some are coming around now and we’re seeing cruise control on newer KTM bikes for example, but this isn’t the case with many others. The legendary sport touring Kawasaki Concours has never come with cruise control for example.

Luckily MCCruise is a viable option that can make you as happy as I am now that it’s on my machine.

There have been issues reported with some of the earlier MCCruise systems for cable actuated throttles. Those systems used engine vacuum to control the movement of the throttle and from what I’m told Ethanol gasoline was leaving gummy deposits in the system causing problems with them. Those issues have since been resolved by Tony and Frank with some preventative measures and improved new designs like the mini electric servo systems.

The new TBW systems have no worries mate because they have no moving parts to gum up. If you have a TBW setup on your bike and no cruise control, the MCCruise is a no-brainer.

Pros

  • Cutting-edge technology
  • More accurate and smoother than OEM cruise control systems
  • Upgradable firmware and BlueTooth connectivity coming soon
  • Compact and reasonably easy to install
  • Self-diagnostic mode for troubleshooting
  • Customized cruise control kits are available to fit nearly any motorcycle

Cons

  • Expensive to buy
  • People with no mechanical skill will need to pay to install the system
  • Large control switch may clash with the looks of some motorcycles

Specs

  • Manufacturer: Motorcycle Cruise Controls (MCCruise)
  • Price (When Tested): Approx $550 (tax, duty, shipping incl.)
  • Made In: Australia
  • Alternative model: Mini Electric Servo Controlled Systems
  • Review Date: April 14, 2018

The post MCCruise TBW Aftermarket Cruise Control Hands On Review appeared first on Web Bike World.

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Get Lost Goggle Review

Summary

Get Lost Goggles are comfortable and inexpensive, and should last you a good long time. They come in a selection of 3 different tints that should cover all your on and off bike needs.

Background

At this time of the year my motorcycle is snugly tucked inside my garage under cover, and my helmet is replaced on the garage shelf with stocking caps and ice melt. But just because I can’t ride doesn’t mean motorcycles aren’t on my mind.

After the holidays I usually have some Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket that I can’t wait to spend on brand new gear. Because I spend a lot of time studying to improve my riding skills and researching motorcycle products, when the editor asked me if I want to test out these goggles – I jumped right on it.

Note…

Below zero temps are not ideal for riding, but that doesn’t mean we’re stuck hunkered down in front of the fireplace. Here in the heartland we participate in plenty of other outdoor activities in the winter, ranging from skiing to hiking. There were ample opportunities to try out the Get Lost Goggles.

Overview

I must confess I have never heard of Get Lost Helmets. The package they arrived in was of no help. There was no information about the goggles or the company included inside. So I googled them and it seems Get Lost is actually well known for their helmet accessories (think orange Mohawks). I’m not sure how they came up with the name, but it fits with the sort of rebellious products that they make, and the independent nature of motorcyclists.

Construction

These goggles are made with heavy-duty polyurethane frames.

Instead of foam lining the inside, like most goggles I’ve previously owned, they have a soft rubber interior with curved edges that make it nice and comfortable against your face.

The lenses are scratch resistant and come in three different tints: clear, smoke, and yellow.

Goggle

The bottom edge of the frame has 5 small slotted vents on each side to allow circulation up behind the lenses and there are also 7 vent holes on each side of the frames underneath where the strap attaches. These act as exhaust vents to keep the air moving.

The strap is not very wide but it has a large amount of adjustment leeway and I had no issues with it rolling or twisting.

The only branding is a small logo on the strap.

Package Contents

  • A microfiber cloth for cleaning.
  • A microfiber pouch for storage.
  • A hard-sided carrying case for added protection on the bike.

Goggle

Everything in the package was well made with no loose threads or blemishes.

Wearing the Goggles

I happen to have a very small head and my face is rather narrow (goes with the head), so I usually have to buy youth size glasses in order to get a good fit. I found the Get Lost goggles to be very flexible and comfortable. They fit both my narrow face and my husband’s larger, broader face with no issues.

The nose cut-out was large enough that it did not pinch or cut off my air supply – much like my ski goggles have a tendency to do. They have a kind of funky retro style – sort of 1940’s. However my Softail Slim also hearkens back to that era so they kind of fit with my ride.

Goggle

Yellow Lenses

  • I’ve found them to be very useful in overcast weather and at night.
  • The optical quality of the lenses is excellent.
  • The yellow tint sharpened the edges on overcast days and reduced glare for night-time riding.

I spoke to several of my racing friends who prefer to use the yellow lenses for racing under the lights, because they increase visibility and reduce glare from the overhead track lighting.

Strap

The strap is long enough to accomodate the outside of a ¾ helmet, but I found the goggles fit closer to my face when I wore them under my helmet. As you can see in the picture above, my very patient model had no trouble with the fit over the top of his helmet.

In Action

I did not find anything online that claimed these goggles are anti-fog, which is good, because they’re not. Putting them on in cold weather they can fog pretty quickly, but once you get up to speed (I wore them skiing) they cleared up with the excellent air flow coming through the vent holes.

As a temporary fix, I used a little saliva on the lenses and had no further issues. I’ll probably invest in anti-fog spray if I use them on the bike.

They do fit tightly against your face and they do get a little warm when you’re exercising vigorously. I found that flipping them up when stopping to rest kept my face from perspiring underneath the rubber edging. I imagine if you’re just sitting on a motorcycle with wind constantly in your face this might not be a problem.

Conclusion

In short, these are comfortable, well-made goggles.

With the inside use of soft rubber instead of foam, I expect them to last much longer than my other goggles – ones that I have been replacing every year.

At $19.99 on Amazon.comthey are a steal!

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