Diecast Models
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Ratings indicate increased usefulness or "coolness," from one to five stars.

Formotion Clock and Handlebar Mount *****

My R100 Mystic does not have a clock and I never knew what time it was. I purchased this Formotion clock, which is housed in an anodized alloy case, has a Citizen Movement, and is shockproof and waterproof to 3 ATMs. And the hands and numbers glow in the dark. Because I didn't want to stick a clock to the chrome dash, I purchased a handlebar mount for it. The mount has an adapter that allows attachment to either 7/8" or 1" handlebars, and it's chrome, so it looks good. The mount holds the clock securely to the bars, and the combination looks very nice.

The black face clock is priced at $49.95 and the mount is $19.95. Both are available from a variety of sources. I got mine at Cycle Gadgets in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.


CamelBak Siren *****

After seeing many people with CamelBaks and knowing that I need better hydration at rallies, I finally broke down and bought a CamelBak.  I purchased this one—the Siren model—at Recreational Equipment, Inc.  A CamelBak frees your hands from carrying a waterbottle around the rally grounds and it’s handy on hikes or bicycle rides.  While motorcycling it can be worn under a riding jacket for continuous hydration, although CamelBak carries a model intended for hunters that has a much smaller profile for wearing under garments.  I added CamelBak’s cell phone holder, which I attached to the left shoulder strap.

This model carries 1.5 liters of liquid, which can be poured in through CamelBak’s wide-mouth exterior filling port (blue) located under the flap.  To fill the reservoir you hold the pack by the black plastic piece below the filling port; this “extends” the reservoir so that it can be filled fully.  I’ve found that filling the reservoir requires a cup or some other water container in order to avoid getting the pack and the straps wet in the sink; if you hold the pack under the faucet, the dangly parts fall into the sink.  Filled, the CamelBak weighs about 4 pounds.  The pack features two zippered pockets large enough to carry keys, granola bar or cell phone.  One pocket is located under the flap and the other is near the bottom of the pack.  The pockets are handy without being bulky.  The shoulder straps are mesh for added coolness.

If it’s hot be prepared to have a sweaty back, which you would have anyway but it will be worse.  The trade-off is that you’ll have all the water you need, carried conveniently.  Also, if you put Gatorade or any sugary liquid in your CamelBak, be prepared to get it thoroughly clean and dry immediately after use or you may be lip-to-lip with ugly fuzzy stuff the next time you use it.

The CamelBak Siren is priced at $40 and the CamelBak cell phone holder is $10.  CamelBaks and accessories can be found at most outdoor stores and bicycle shops.


BMW Atlantis Pants ****

BMW's Atlantis pants are great pants if you like the weight and price of leather.  The temperature range of these pants is quite good... from the mid-40s to the mid-70s.  The pants contain CE armor at the knees, two zippered pockets, an expansion area above the knees, and zippered cuffs with a strap cinch.  The finish is suede-look and the leather is highly water resistant.  The pants are machine washable.  I have not tested the pants' waterproofness, nor have I washed them yet.  the pants come in men's and women's sizes and the price is $599 (which is why they get only 4 stars!).  However, even though they are pricey, these pants are "investment clothing," meaning that you'll have them a long time and they will wear well.  To buy, see your local BMW retailer.


BMW lighter made by Dongzhu ****

This is a Chinese or Japanese lighter that uses the BMW logo.  When the lid is opened the logo lights with a blue light, and as you can see, the butane flame is a pretty green.  The case is hefty steel and it's refillable.  You can amaze your friends with this lighter, and if you don't smoke, as I don't, you can use it to light campfires or candles.  But hurry if you want one--the Logo Police will go after Dongzhu at some point and these lighters may disappear from the market.  I purchased the lighter at BMW Motorcycles of St. Louis but that dealer has gone out of business (as of December 2005).  I gave it 4 stars because it's very cool--ask the millions of people whose faces I've thrust it in--but not 5 stars because no one should be tempted to smoke!  Cost is $24.95.


Eureka Backcountry 2 Tent *****

This is a great little three and a half season tent for motorcycle camping.  It weighs just shy of 6 pounds, including the rainfly, and packs into a small bundle 15” by 6”, which leaves lots of room in your duffle for the sleeping bag and pad.  At $130 it won’t shrink your wallet too much, either.

It’s a freestanding tent that measures 7’ 6” long, 5’ wide and 3’ 6” tall at the center.  Although it’s billed as a two-man tent, I find it suitable for solo travel.  I use the extra room for my gear and riding clothes and if the weather is rainy and I choose to stay in the tent, I’ve got a little room to move around.  Setup is easy.  Two aluminum poles are inserted through short sleeves at the top of the roof and the ends of the poles go into grommets at each corner; clips hold the tent sides to the poles.  An additional pole holds the rainfly taut and the fly is attached via side release buckles at each corner of the tent.  It can be staked out at each end if desired.

Ventilation is good.  The large Race Track door is also a window, and there is another window on the opposite side.  The roof has a vent.  All windows and vents are made of no-see-um mesh and are closeable.  In addition, they are overhung by the rainfly, so if it’s raining the windows can be left open for ventilation, and to look and see if the side stand of your bike is about to sink into the soggy ground.

 For more nitpicky details see Campmor’s website.


Lid Loc ****

I recently purchased a Lid Loc, which is a device for attaching a helmet with a D-ring to the side case of a BMW motorcycle.  You slide your helmet's D-ring onto the device and lock the device under the handles of the sidecase.  This only works on BMW system bags.  The manufacturer claims that the attachment is secure enough to ride the bike with the helmet attached but I have not tested that, nor do I plan to.  My helmet is always on my head. 

The Lid Loc can only be used on my R1150R because the K75's bag handles are not configured properly for the Lid Loc to fit under them.  However, I can fit my helmet into the left side bag of the K75, whereas the helmet will not fit in either of the R1150R's bags.

I found the attachment process a little cumbersome, but it will probably become easier with practice.  The difficulty arises because you have to insert your hand through the visor opening and hold the Lid Loc in the proper position while you press the handles down.  This is done by feel because you can't see the Lid Loc while locking the handles.  If you pull up too much on the helmet trying to get your other hand under the helmet to help, that displaces the Lid Loc and you have to arrange everything again.  But, as I said, practice makes perfect.

Overall, I think this will be a useful product.

Price is $19.95 directly from Lid Loc or participating dealers (listed on Lid Loc's website).


R1200C Key Blank *****

This little item, although pricey at $26, gets a full five stars for "coolness."  Most BMW motorcycle keys can be cut on the R1200C key blank, which can be purchased from your dealer.  This one is for my R1150R and it looks very nice with the bike's brushed aluminum dash.  The key blank has a disadvantage, however.  It does not have a hole for a keychain so it must remain solitary in your pocket and you won't be hanging it on any keyboards.


Motolights *****

Last winter because it was dark as I rode home from work, I had a set of Motolights installed on the R1150R. I chose the brushed silver, caliper-mounted model. Having extra lighting is really a confidence builder because the side of the road is lit up and seeing around corners in the dark is better than with a headlight alone. Having the lights mounted low keeps the beam out of other road users' eyes, and even though the lights are mounted low on the fork, I do not notice much shaking or vibration in the beam. I liked the lights so much that I had another set installed on the K75, but I chose black caliper-mounted units for it because the forks and engine are black. I've received lots of compliments on the looks of the lights, and some have asked where I purchased them. In addition to buying from Motolights directly, many dealers carry stock. Cost is in the $350 range.

Addendum: Now, in 2009 after having the lights installed for about 3 years, I am not sure I like these lights very much. I've had a lot of water leakage into the lights on the R1150R, so much so that I've gone through over a dozen bulbs in a year. Even though there is an O-ring between the glass and the outer aluminum ring, the glass does not fit well and water gets in. I've replaced the O-ring to no avail.


Sargent Proprietary Seat for the R1150R *****

It didn't take long for me to find that the stock R1150R seat--both the low seat and the higher one--were not to the liking of my butt.  I did a little research and found that the Sargent seat would be a quick alternative, i.e. I would not have to wait for a seat to be made.  I also liked that Sargent had a 30-day return policy if I didn't like the seat.  How could I go wrong?  The seat is flat to slightly concave; it's a 600 mile seat and it's pretty to boot.  The fit and finish are perfect and there's a small storage area under the seat.  Cost for both the front and rear seats is $550.