Sportbike Touring on an SV650S

2003 Suzuki SV65S touring luggage tank bags givi T470 spectrum ultra reflective red vest


I'll admit, it's not that comfortable. But here are 3 inexpensive ways to instantly improve your sanity while riding over 350 miles/day.  


1) Tech Spec Gripster Tank Grips

I have a fully stock set up on my 2003 Suzuki SV650S, as far as bars/seats go. One of the best $40 investments (I got a special price at the Tahoe Adventure Rally) I spent last summer was on a set of Tech Spec Gripster Tank Grips. You can see all 3 pads on my tank above. They're an absolute necessity on ANY sportbike. Not only do they help you grip the tank better but they just make longer rides a little easier. The more you can grip your tank, the better you can hold your position squeezing the tank. And if you've used your body position to lean harder, you know how important it is to have a solid place for your opposite knee. :D

They make grip pads for many makes/models of bikes and even sell the material in sheets so you can make your own if necessary. They come in two different compounds and the one I have is the "C3 Grip" ($51.95). They aren't just pads, to protect your tank, but they provide so much more comfort on a long distance ride. I have a much easier time holding my body in place.  

If you ride a sportbike, why don't you have these???

Where to Buy: Tech Spec (online), Scuderia West (San Francisco)

Cost: Starts at ~$45 depending on the compound you choose.  They're having a daily contest to get yours free, but it's not clear on their website or Facebook page as to how you can win.....

 Tech Spec Gripster Tank Pads



2) Seat Pad / Custom Seat

I forgot to bring my trusty sheepskin seat pad. How did I forget something so crucial??

A few years ago I bought a sheepskin pad from Alaska Leather Online. I didn't start using it until last summer when I went on a ton of long weekend trips, riding over 250 miles/day. I don't kno why I forgot about it this time! I just know that it would've brought me much comfort on this 990 mile weekend. For $65 your butt will thank you! At least, that was the cost for my bike. Since they don't make one specifically for the SV, the Pillion seat worked perfectly. 

alaska leather online sheep skin pad 2003 sv650s seat


Where to Buy: Alaska Leather Online

Cost: ~$65 (for an SV, other bikes may vary)


3) Tank Bag

It seems obvious but having something right there for you to lean on is such a huge relief. Especially if it's magnetic. I can reposition the tank bag by shifting the magnets forward or back. Since I've only ever had magnetic tank bags, I'm not sure how else this would work with a strap mount tank bag since you have to preposition the straps.  (this photo is pre TechSpec)

I usually stuff mine pretty full (not extended) but full enough for me to push forward so I can lean in. Here's another shot of the pic above so you can see how perfectly placed my tankbag is. 

2003 Suzuki SV65S touring luggage tank bags givi T470 spectrum ultra reflective red vest


Givi T470 Tank Bag - I believe this is discontinued but there appear to be some other versions on Givi's website. Also check

Also, if you're wondering about the vest I'm wearing it's from Spectrum Ultra Sports

Textile Overpants and Magnetic Tank Bag

Join me on the Two Wheel Power Hour at 3:25pm PT / 6:25pm ET. I'm going to give some updates regarding the Progressive Motorcycle Show, as well as a couple of products I've been spending time with recently:

Givi Silver T470 Tank Bag MSRP $80 Givi Silver TankBag I'll be posting a full review later this week. But I just wanted to briefly mention how much I love this bag. It's about the same size as my Cortech magnetic tank bag, but less square shaped and tapered in front. The one thing I really like is the sealed zipper around the top of the bag. This means no additional waterproof covers needed! It expands and comes with straps in case you don't have a magnetic tank, or you want to strap it to your scooter! Givi makes very friendly scooter luggage. If you're searching for options for your scooter, I'd make Givi's website your first stop.

Revit Zip Overpants $139.99, XXS - 4XL, Standard, Short and Long sizing available These are unisex overpants starting at size XXS for the ladies, going all the way to 4XL for the men. I have to say that these pants fit women better than men in some cases, due to the slightly tapered waist. I have fit these pants in more curvy, plus size women than I can count. If you have hips and have trouble finding pants, you have to try these out.

What I really love about these pants is how fitted it is in the waist, hips and thighs. They are still overpants, so they do flare a bit at the bottom so you can wear them over your boots. But compared to the Olympia Pro's I used to wear, they're far less bulky. Unfortunately they're less warm as well. But I wanted something lighter for San Francisco winters and so far, these are doing pretty well. I'll update you once we hit our actual wet winter. I'll be posting a full review this week as well as more photos. Stay tuned! Revit Zip Pants

New Givi Cases, Test Rides

If you're looking for a new top box for your scooter or motorcycle, Givi is usually the first name you may think of. And for good reason!  Recently, they've upgraded the design on 3 of their boxes. The lower left box, the 46 Liter (46N) is what I'll be getting my hands on this time next week!  If you have a scooter and are looking for a new top box, you'll want to check out the E300B, which has a white cover and clear reflectors.   You won't find these boxes on Givi's website yet.  Don't ask me why, because I have no idea. I'm just lucky that I know the Bay Area Givi representative, who turned me onto these new boxes. I really like the style of the new reflectors on the 55 liter (E55NT), but that's just a touch too big for me. I think the 46 will look perfect on my tail. Pics to come after I get her mounted up.

Contrary to what you might think, I'm not planning any long trips or adventrues anytime soon.  The main reason I want/need this box is so that I can ride even more.  Having the flexibility of a secure place to stash my motorcycle boots, full face helmet and puffy overpants is something I've been wanting for a really really long time.  I make decisions on where/when I'm going to ride, based on the type of places I'm going to ride to.  When you live in San Francisco, it only makes sense to ride everywhere you can. But if I want to put on some peep-toe high heels, and a cute jacket, it isn't convenient to carry overpants, a jacket, boots and a helmet with me. I don't expect to put all these items in my box, but if I can manage to at the minimum, stash 3 out of 4, I'm happy to carry something.

Most recently (last week) I accepted a full time position to work as an office administrator for a really cool engineering firm in downtown San Francisco.  As much as I love the part time schedule, I need the full time pay in order to keep up with my motorcycle addiction activities.   I anticipate I'll be running around town picking up things, and having this box is really going to help. Especially when parking costs an arm and a leg for more than 15 minutes.   If you're interested in ordering one, email me and I'll put you in touch with my local rep.

I've also got a sneak peak at some photos taken by an amazing photographer, Robert Stokstad last week on the Suzuki GS500F test ride and photo shoot I went on for CityBike magazine. I'm also wearing the Corazzo jacket I'll be reviewing soon for CityBike.