Bike changes and the 5 quid SatNav

Latest news on the National Road Rally preparation; some ebay activity and building a cheap Sat Nav (ie for less than a fiver)

Roger has been active on ebay and has acquired a Yamaha XJ750 Seca, from 1985. This is an interesting move and though Roger can cite the ‘solid’ nature of the engne, its torque etc, there is no hiding that this is a cruiser. Its only one step away from the chaps and moustache. Its got a ‘sissy bar’ and a bag on the front forks. Hmm

For my own sins, a spur of the moment bid (whilst stick at Woking station) sees me picking up an 1987 VFR 400 NC24. It was cheap and _looks_ in good condition. More on this later, but its more likely to be thrashed round the lanes or Mallory rather being used on the , as its a bit small and focus. Pictures and write to come.

Google Roadbook

Reading through some of the notes on scatter rallies and the NRR specifically it seems that SatNav’s are becoming the standard tool. for these events. Though Daniel has a Garmin, I don’t intend to spend £400 on one, so have been working on the plastic lunchbox roadbook holder and then getting my head round the Javascript API for Google Maps.

The lunchbox roadbook holder seems a good idea for route-finding on the rally, as with the schematic routes and controls being published. There is an Acerbis roadbook holder and I went down to Pontrilas to have a look at one at LG Racing but wasn’t too impressed at the build quality for £50. Time to make one.

There are a couple of examples from an Australian desert rally site , but I went for a £1.20 plastic box and aluminium winders. It needs some modification to create Mark II and to ensure that I can get large rolls on.

The aim is to use Google Maps, rather than drawing a traditional roadbook you might see on an enduro, you could use something like RBEditor for that. Managed to get one map on the page and some nice legible direction arrows. Its work in progress but have a look at

Also, best picture we’ve got of Graham at the moment, about to chuck the KTM into a Welsh corner….more team photos to come.

Graham / KTM

But need to get the Transalp sorted, as its had a considerable oil leak, which seems to be somewhere around the oil pressure switch. More on this, but it seems that the switch is not working and a replacement is ordered.

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