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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Forgive me father for it has been over 2,100 days since I last commuted to work on 2 wheels. I endured your trials of adultery committed against me, divorce, unemployment and 3 years of under-employment. I suffered through the ailments of Cataracts and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, lost my home, my family, most of my belongs, over half of my net worth, all without the comforts of drink, drugs, or allowing myself to wallow in self pity, all the while denying myself the pleasure of twisting the throttle.

But I finally paid attention to all the signs you were sending. The expos at this Nation’s capital you brought me to. The friends waiting for me via the Internet, the rumble on the road that put me on 2 wheels oh so long ago. To tempt me with a machine of such perfection and in my favorite color was the sign I could not ignore. What other reason would anyone create such an excellent machine and paint it ORANGE if not to entice this lost soul back into the fold.

Then you make me wait for so many days to mount this new beast, to send rains and other obligations only to make me renew my habit when it’s under 50 degrees (F) outside.

Ok, I can’t keep this up. (No offense to anyone about the Our Father stuff. It just came to me on my commute to work this morning.) I’ve had my Wee for 2 weeks now, most of the time it’s been raining. It is April, go figure. My new Arai Vector arrived yesterday and I wanted to try it out during the 3 day trial period. The vendor allows 1 size exchange without hammering you for shipping. Purdy generous. I have a busy weekend coming up and won’t get to ride (even though it’s gonna be 80!) So I just had to ride to work today even though it was only 47 on weather.com. My previous low was 55 and that had been the limit I set before I got some cold weather gear. I had so much crap on this morning I felt like a schooler when your mum bundled you up to go out in the snow. Good thing I didn’t have to pee. It was still very cold on my 40 minute ride this morning but it was worth it. The ride home will probably be twice as long since it’s going to be in the mid 60s.

I won’t rave about the Wee, we all know it’s the best scoot on the planet. (Not intended to start a flame war, just speaking the truth.) I did want to provide a quick review of my Arai Vector and put in my $0.02 about wind noise and buffeting.

I’m 6’3”, 200 lbs with a 35” inseam. I got no problem reaching the pavement flat footed. I haven’t adjusted the default setting on the wind screen and am assuming that it’s in the low position. Needless to say, I tower over the windscreen. For my first 90 miles, I rode with my 15 year old FM helmet. The one that the dealer took one look at and said “man, you need to replace that antique.” This helmet always gave me what has been coined as Shoei forehead. Putting a slightly oval head in a round helmet produces pressure on the forehead causing a red blotch. My fiancé stared at me pretty hard the first time she saw it. I’d read some reviews, looked at high end and low end lids and the dealer measured my head, deemed me a medium, slightly oval (neither round nor oval) and had me try on an Arai Vector. This helmet is currently being discontinued so the value of this review will be short lived and directed to those seeking a bargain as the helmets are being heavily discounted. I wasn’t going to look at Arai because of the sticker shock, but at a 35% discount off list, slap one on my head.

The medium seems tight to me, but the large didn’t feel much different and the dealer said I measured a medium and the pads would loosen up a little in time so it’s better for them to be tight from the get-go. I probably had way too much side play in my old FM, I think it was an XL. The Arai Vector shape is perfect for the top of my head, but my cheeks are a heavily squoozed. (There are optional, different width cheek pads available.) I can’t imagine getting this helmet on with a head liner until it loosens up. I rode for an hour without having to push on the back of my helmet to relieve the pressure on my forehead. That was common with my old FM. I didn’t have a headache or nausea after more than an hour in this helmet. The other thing that was common with the FM was the beating I took whenever I turned my head at speed. It had a lot more room in the chin area and I think this was more externally oval (the helmet, not the padding, which was more round.) The thing I noticed first off about the Vector was the reduction in wind buffeting off the windscreen and total lack of additional buffeting with your head turned 90 degrees. I could turn my head in gay abandon and not risk having the wind twist it off. Not that you need to crane your head.

Contrary other reviews, I didn’t find the view port area any smaller than I was use to. (Come to think of it, the opening seemed to hinder putting on my large sunglasses.) I was hard pressed to spot the edge of the opening in my peripheral vision or when cranking my eyes over to try to see it. Also despite reviews of this helmet being quite, I find it loud compared to my FM. With the FM I wondered why people now suggest using ear plugs, with this new Arai, I hear the reason, so plugs will become my habit. I was at a light and some twerp came up in a tricked Honda Civic. The thing was so loud. With my neck insulated I had lots of issues with my sunglasses and the visor fogging this morning. One review had posted negative comments about fogging. Opening the chin vent at speed cleared both glasses and visor. With my neck insulated in this tight helmet, I knew the plastic didn’t stand a chance of not fogging. With the chin vent closed, I still feel considerable air flow in the chin area. Not enough to make me cold even at 47 degrees, but noticeable. At my normal riding temps I’ll have the vent full open. I didn’t try the head vents, will do that on the ride home tonight when it’s warmer. Unfortunately, a real world test won’t provide any valuable data until I can ride when it’s 80 to see how badly my balding head sweats.

My MF has a nifty chin strap buckle that partially sold me on it in the first place. (Too bad I paid more attention to that then to the helmet fit.) The Arai Rocket has the standard double D rings. I find the rings a lot more cumbersome, especially when you are anxious to get out of your helmet, but the rings may be more secure than a buckle. I know there are aftermarket buckles available, don’t know if I’ll go that route. The liner isn’t removable, neither was my FM’s. The dealer said to take it into the shower with me. Think I’ll save that action for my fiancé. The helmet came with a little vile, I think it is deodorizer. (Haven’t read the instructions yet, shame on me.)

There is no pressure on your ears, it was difficult to get my sunglasses on, but my current ones have pretty heavy plastic bows. Good excuse for getting new glasses or a smoked visor. Only one little bug-a-boo is there is a flexible plastic flange that pokes up about ¼” near your nose. It seems a bit flimsy and it was off center with my nose. I don’t know if my big snoz is bent or if my head is just a little uneven or if the padding is. In any event, it doesn’t touch my nose, it’s just not centered when I look in the mirror. I expect my fiancé will do that more than I will.

My helmet is solid blue, a really cool blue but I can’t comment about the fit/finish of decals. The paint job appears excellent, no imperfections, blemishes or thin spots. I had no desire to pay extra for stickers though I think it would be cool to set this helmet up for advertising Rotella T Synthetic oil. It’s the perfect base, same color as the oil jugs. My fiancé is getting the Racing Red. I hope that doesn’t clash with our Tangerine Machine. I got both helmets for under $650 for both, about the same that I paid for 2 FM (Shoei forehead) helmets 15 years ago. Oh, this helmet is also about half the weight of my FM. When I picked up the shipping box, I could have sworn it was empty. (Yes I used the dealer for advise and to try on helmets and I bought via the internet. I supported the dealer by overpaying for the bike, so don't flame me about the helmets.)

Back to buffeting, as I said, I haven’t played with windscreen height. I did notice the head buffeting pretty dramatically on the highway with my FM. It was GONE with the Vector. I was still exposed to the buffeting on my chest. I can’t recall from my days on my VTX what sort of beating I took there, this seems worse. I guess the windscreen is directing more concentrated air flow at my upper chest vs. an open front end that lets the air spill all over you more evenly. I do plan to get the GIVI windscreen to use for longer trips. I have a 15% discount at the dealer till the end of the month and have purchased crash bars and am about to order the GIVI windscreen. I won’t do any lengthy reviews on the windscreen, there seem to be plenty of them out there.

My baby got her first oil & filter change at 75 miles. I used Rotella T dino and a Zuk filter (made in China) $8.75 with my 15% new buyer’s discount. At 600, she’ll get the good stuff and some filter that I haven’t decided on yet. Need to decide if I want to buy a stash of OEMs while I have my discount or seek out something better if it exists.

Guess I’m getting off topic so I’ll stop typing now…
 

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Welcome back to two wheels! Sounds like it's been a long tough road, but you came through it with your attitude in tact. Glad you came back to motorcycles by getting a Strom! It's an awesome bike!

BTW, if you really miss the buckle on your old helmet, you might give this a try: http://www.cbxmanmotorcycles.com/productinfo.aspx?productid=ECHO-QUICK-RELEASE&affid=4
I haven't used one, but it seems to be getting pretty good reviews.
 

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Welcome back! I did 6205 days without commuting, or even having a street bike. Ah, what joy this motorcycling brings to the mind:D
 

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Welcome home and congrats on the new scoot; the orange color is indeed the bomb...just wished they offered it for the Vee as well. On a personal note, I've been on two wheels now for 10,950 days and counting. Ride safe, ride often. :cool:
 

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Another prodigal son comes home
 

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Welcome back.

I was 16,950+ days before I ever had a street bike or every really owned a motorcycle, and have been in the industry for 5,875+ days. Just waiting for the right moment I guess.
 
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