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  1. Yesterday
  2. T7 would be my choice also. I just have to take delivery, whenever Yamaha gets around to shipping mine to the Dealership. That would be nice. I have a good size dent on one of the side 37L Outback Trekker panniers that I've yet to straighten out. doh!
  3. That's exciting! I almost got one myself but opted for the Tiger 900 Rally Pro
  4. Welcome! Def the T700!!! GIVI USA is the title sponsor of our rally Sep 3 so maybe you can win a set of their panniers!?
  5. I've finally registered here in the forums. I have tickets to this event under the same name. Thanks!
  6. My Ceramic Ice is supposedly arriving JUL/AUG time frame. Looking forwards to it's arrival. I was looking for a dual sport or more capable dirt oriented ADV bike. Hoping for no more delays on the delivery, so I can take it out on the Sept ride. The T7 hits the nail on the head for me. It'll fit right in with my 4 other Yamahas' in my garage. I have a pile of parts and accessories waiting for it.
  7. I don't see too many Versys 650 locally on the SOCAL fire/forrestry roads and single track trails with it's limited suspension travel and the 17" wheels. It does fine with the other heavy ADV bikes. Bike Armor: T-Rex Racing - Engine Guard Crash Cage T-Rex Racing - Skid Plate T-Rex Racing - Center Stand T-Rex Racing - Fork Axle Sliders Radiator Guard -Stainless Steel frame and aluminum black mesh Barkbuster - Hand Guards with VPS Shields w/ DRL & Indicator LEDs Luggage: Givi - XS320 Tanklock Tank bag/ Givi BF26 tank mount Givi - Top Box Brackets (SR4114) Dynamic - Brackets and Long Rack Top Case Mount (13"L X 10.5"W) - Givi MonoKey top box & RotopaX mount compatible Givi - Outback Trekker 58L top box (aluminum color) Givi - Side Case Racks (PL4114CAM) Givi - Outback Trekker 37L side panniers X2 (aluminum color) Other: Rear wheel inner fender mud guard hugger Rear Fender Double Sided Splash Guard composite plastic and CNC cut steel plate Tool Tube - 4.25"D X 12.5"L RotopaX - 1 Gal. gas tank with LOX pack mount (lockable), can be mounted onto top rack. Seats: Sargent Seat (WS-613) Terry's Custom seat Suspension: Öhlins STX46 STREET shock absorber (KA 713) Wheel and Tire - I have two sets of OEM wheels for Road Tires and ADV Tires Road Tires: Wheel set #1 Front Tire: Pirelli Angel GT 120/70ZR17 58W Wheel set #1 Rear Tire: Pirelli Angel GT 160/60ZR17 69W ADV Tires: Wheel set #2 Front Tire #2: Continental Conti Twinduro TKC80 120/70-17 Wheel set #2 Rear Tire #2: Mitas E-07+ Dakar 150/70-17"
  8. Hello from the Inland Empire/ San Bernardino County. Looking forward to the event in September. Gear and bike ready to go. Not sure what bike I'm taking. Either my Versys 650 set up for ADV riding or my new Tenere T700 if it arrives at the Dealership in time. The T7 looks like a JUL/AUG delivery, so I'll have to set it up quickly. I have most of the part/accessories ordered and much of it delivered already and piled up at home. I just have a few more decisions to make: soft pannier models, tires, and fresh new gear. I have a couple sets of Givi Outback Trekker boxes, but I'm going soft for the T7. I'm down with riding up to the event from San Bernardino, Los Angeles counties. Just hit me up.
  9. Last week
  10. I’m planning to wire up my TrailTech Voyager but use that primarily as a way to find good dirt roads. It doesn’t have the same navigability or points of interest as a Garmin but I also plan to use the maps.me app and my phone. There’s a company that does a sweet gps mount for the 900 but they only have brackets to hold a Garmin or TomTom so I will most likely mount it off my bars like I did on the 990.
  11. What's GPS do you plan on using? Are you going to have tracks laid out or just a general route?
  12. I think that's a good point that the SPOT is still a good product. It also makes sense to use something you already have so it doesn't cost you extra money to purchase more hardware. I do really like the Garmin inreach mini for the form factor. Also since you'll already have a cell phone the app will be nice to use.
  13. Great question. I'm sending the SpotX, Trace and Global Phone back today and will be left with my Gen3 I can still use. I had reached out to Garmin in April/May about an InReach (we're doing a review on the new Zumo XT) and they did offer me a nice industry discount so I may look at that too. Like I said, I never had any complaints with Spot product or service. I'm really neutral on either. I think it's clear they both offer these services to a reasonable degree of success.
  14. So even if you get your money back are you going to still use SPOT on your trip or is this going to push you to Garmin?
  15. I received a response saying they'd requested the refund but I haven't seen it yet. I was told this back in roughly April and had inquired back twice with no response. Encouraging news though. Another follow up email says their customer care dept has been working on this. At least I know now that they weren't giving me the Heissman.
  16. I just read the contract and I knew it said a term of one year but their two previous marketing managers, Erica Kelt and Samantha DeCastro, continued our agreement until at least the point at which Samantha left Globalstar (SPOT's parent company) in Jan of 2019. The new marketing manager, Denise Davila, never notified me of any changes. The contract says they'll pay for service for my original SPOT Gen 3 (since deactivated), a global phone and the Trace device. It does say the devices are the property of SPOT and that they need to be returned (shipping today). How can I be responsible for the service of their devices unless at some point they explicitly ask me? I didn't buy the devices. I didn't ask to keep them. I never said "hey, can I go ahead and keep using your devices if I'm willing to pay for the service?" Nope. The SpotX device was sent by Samantha DeCastro in 2018 AFTER the supposed expiration of our contract. She first notified me on May 17, 2018 and the contract supposedly "ended" Jan 31 of 2018, four months earlier. May 31, 2018 I said "would you want to deactivate my Gen 3? Don't think I'll need it now with the SpotX." She responded 15 min later: "why don't you hang onto it and lend it to someone when they need one." To which I assumed meant SPOT was going to keep paying for that even though at that point they had already billed me and my bank card paid (unknowingly) it. And here's the money quote (1/17/19): "all your contracts will be good through June 30th." That seems to prove I had been erroneously charged if my contract was still valid until June 30 of 2019.
  17. It is not surprising to hear that. They pulled a similar thing when I wanted to cancel my contract with them. I am not sponsored like you and just wanted to stop the service for a year. They kept trying to invoice me and in the end had to ask the bank to stop them for trying to attempt to take funds from out account. Now that we are in lockdown we emailed them to ask if they could freeze the time we do not ride and just extend when we get going again, yes, you guessed right, no bloody way would they even consider it. I did not ask for the remained of the term off, just stop it now and when lockdown is over continue again.
  18. That’s terrible Eric! I still have a brand new Spot sitting inside a drawer because I was so displeased with their customer service and out right lies when trying to activate my device. They wanted a restocking fee to send it back for a refund so I said the hell with it. Spot needs to do better! FYI - Garmin customer service is awesome.
  19. So turns out my bank decided in my favor and was able to claw back the $450 from March so that means they still owe me $850.
  20. I really hate going negative. I’ve never used this forum to do that before. Honestly I get kind of handcuffed being in the industry because it’s not worth upsetting a company because other companies see that and then don’t want to associate. There’s this other company I can’t mention whom I consulted and helped quite a lot in the launch of their product. They made a lot of promises. I helped them a lot. I did my part. And then they forgot all about me. I can’t say who it is though. But let’s just say I won’t be helping them anymore. And it’s a lesson to me not to give away my help for free. In the case of SPOT, I really have nothing bad to say about their products or services, just that that they owe me $1300. Id take them to small claims court but I’m leaving shortly for this trip. Court records are public. So is this forum. So how do they owe me $1300? I became one of their brand ambassadors a few years ago. I did a bunch of YouTube videos, FB and IG posts, gear threads and product reviews. I also promoted their sales on Instagram and here. So when I was in Colombia in early March my bank texts me with possible fraud charges on my debit card and asks if they’re legit. One was about $450 from SPOT. I was thinking well that’s odd! I’m a brand ambassador and they’re supposed to cover that. They sent me their global phone, Trace and SpotX to use. So I called and basically got nowhere. There’s a Facebook group of SPOT ambassadors and I posted there. Someone from their pr agency contacted me and said she’d handle it. After that I spoke with their new brand manager and she asked to see my contract. I’d forgotten I’d even signed one but found the email and sent it to her. She said “your contract was only for one year.” Huh? The contract may have been for just one year but her predecessors (2 of them) continued to correspond with me, treat me as an ambassador and continue to ask for my help posting content on their behalf which I did. The last I spoke with the previous brand manager was Jan 2019 right before she left the company. So I got on my bank statements and looked back and son of a bitch! They charged me two years prior too!!! For a total of $1300! The reality is they owe me much, much more because if I was in fact no longer under contract then I should invoice them for all the social media posts I did on their behalf. Just off the top of my head that would be at least $1,000 but I will research that now. So there’s the fact they still were treating me as an ambassador, effectively continuing our contract. But furthermore, this was never my equipment; it was theirs (I will double check the contract). And at no point did they ask for it back or ask if I wanted to keep it nor ask if I was willing to assume financial responsibility for the service charges. You kind of need someone’s authorization to do that. They also erroneously charged me for the period I WAS under contract for. Im packing up their stuff in the original boxes I kept and send it back because I know they did NOT belong to me and I’d have to send them back at some point. I still don’t have my money back even though I was told they would refund me. They are no longer responding to my inquiries either. I’ve heard people complain about their billing practices so I’m really curious now to see if I’m the only one here. What’s your story?
  21. Day 4 [Ohrid - Thessaloniki] 290 km, 3h40m. Ohrid. North of Mount Varnountas, for others National Park «Pelister». Finally, when i arrived at my house's parking lot, i was thinking about the previous days’ ride. I made sure of how much i enjoyed the whole trip, simply by observing the dirt and mud covering my entire motorcycle. Be Safe.
  22. Day 3 [Kotor - Ohrid] 360 km, 7h45m. Kotor. Starting early in the morning, i entered Albania and through small provincial roads (SH46), i crossed the Ulza Dam, the small town of Burrel and via the SH36 road i rode towards Peshkopi. Side winds made me do this. After a quick border crossing near the town of Divri, i drove south and parallel to the Black Drin River, to the town of Struga and finally to Ohrid, where i spent the night. Ps: Fortunately, my fellow travelers remembered my birthday, since ι had completely forgotten about it.
  23. Day 2 [Tirana - Kotor] 260 km, 5h30m. The area of Crnojevica River in Montenegro was the day’s goal. To reach to the point i was interested in, i first had to drive a small provincial road, the P16, which started almost right behind the Albanian border and continued at a high altitude next to Lake Skadar, which is shared by the two countries. The rainy weather and the cloud cover at the height of the road created an incredible scenery and if i hadn't placed incorrectly my gopro, i would have had some really awesome material. It took me about 2 and a half hour to cover the 80 km of the lakeside route, and finally the view of the river fully compensated me. The river Rijeka Crnojevica. The omonymous small town is associated with Duke Ivan Crnojević, and it is said that in 1494 the first book in Cyrillic, the «Oktoih prvoglasnik», was printed in a city's cellar. Of particular interest at the entrance to the city is the «Danilov most» bridge, built in 1853. Then, via Cetinje, i rode the small road P1, which surrounds Lovcen National Park. The road was under reconstruction works and especially near the village of Njegusi, was irregularly paved with thick stone. A little later, i found myself again above the clouds, with stunning views of Kotor Bay. I ended my day with a walk in the extremely well-preserved old town. Rest in the - ship's hold like - room.
  24. Day 1 [Thessaloniki - Tirana] 665 km, 9h10m. Through Egnatia Highway i soon arrived in Igoumenitsa and from there a route parallel to the coastline was chosen with direction initially for the area of Chimara, a strip of land 20 km long and about 5 km wide, defined by the Ionian Sea to the southwest and the 2000 m. high Keravnia Mountains (Llogara Pass) in the northeast. The name is derived from the Ancient Greek «Κεραύνια ὄρη», meaning «thunder-split peaks». This mountain range in antiquity was the boundary of the Greek world as it was the physical border between the Greek tribes of Epirus and the Illyrian tribes. In the area of Keravnia, the Chaones were settled and further south the Thesprotians. At their foot were the cities of Chaones: Phenicia, Himara, Ekatobeton, Panormos and Ogismos (see Strabo «Geography», book IV). I was particularly interested in visiting the Venetian Castle in Porto Palermo Bay. It is often referred to as Ali Pasha's Castle, but anyone with minimal historical knowledge can clearly discern Venetian design in the construction of this fortification. Finally, Porto Palermo was the ancient Greek city - port of Panormos, which served the walled city of Heimarra (Chimara). Most likely, Panormos was renamed during the Byzantine period by the Sicilians of the city of Palermo as Porto Palermo, since the original name of the Sicilian city of Palermo was also Panormos. Relatively cited by wiki. [Note: The aerial shots of the Castle that follow, come, after permission, from the personal account of Lana Sator on Instagram. This is my favorite account related to the area of abandoned and urban aesthetics]. In the Gulf of Porto Palermo is another «hidden» but very famous remnant of the Cold War era, the submarine base of the Albanian Navy, also known as the "Porto Palermo Tunnel". It was built in 1969, during the period of the Socialist People's Republic of Albania, under the rule of Enver Hoxha and even today the area is under military control. For some, it is considered a base for high-speed, short-range cruise ships, while other sources claim that it is the base of the four Soviet submarines «project-613», known in the West as «whiskey-class». According to wiki «..the Pasha Liman Naval Base in Avlona was the only Soviet base in the Mediterranean in the 1950s. An incident took place concerning the Base between the Soviets and the Albanians in 1961, when Albania came out of the Warsaw Pact unannounced and so not only did prohibit the use of the base by the Soviets, who had made large investments in it, but also seized 4 Soviet submarines..». These were withdrawn in 1998, and the truth about the use of the base can only be found in military records. A few more shots of the former Naval Base by Lana Sator. Stop for lunch in Heimarra. Continuation of the route with the famous Llogara Pass, which crosses the homonymous National Park. Panorama, some 650 m. above sea level, from something that initially looked like a half-finished building, but actually was the top of a Command Bunker. The entrance to the tunnel just below the building was open and for a second i had a thought to go check the interior but the weather changed dramatically and in a few moments i found myself in the heart of a dense fog, so i had to skip it. Scattered throughout Albania, small or large bunkers, are estimated at about 173.000, some 5.7 per square kilometer, were built under the leadership of Enver Xoxha, without any logic, as they were never involved in any armed conflict. Arrival late in the afternoon in the capital, Tirana. From the day's route i singled out the villages of Vouno, Dermi and Drymades beach, which i will definitely visit in the future.
  25. As every year, the riding season starts in March and my birthday, in the middle of the month, is always a good opportunity to explore the Balkans. Given that in many of the mountain passes the chance of encountering snow on the road was quite high, Albania and Montenegro were chosen as my destination.
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    A bit early to review completely so I'll leave this placeholder here. Impressed so far with power/weight, 21" front wheel and lots of bells/whistles: tubeless tires, cruise control, TFT display, heated grips and seat, led aux lights, etc...
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