Twisted Throttle and Denali lights


So, working with many of the motorcycle aftermarket parts companies, I’ll occasionally get asked to try out products, good gig, huh?
Old friend Erik Stephens from Twisted Throttle and his marketing director Marisa McInturff offered to let me try out a set of their Denali D-7 4.5” flood lights. Hard to say no to an offer like that? Right!?! ( I gladly accepted)
Because I was already on the road and heading west, I had them sent to my friends Steve and Patty Loster’s house in Tucson. Steve and Patty both work at the Kawasaki, KTM and Triumph dealer in town. Steve is the service manager and Patty is the financing manager. Since the shop is also a Twisted Throttle dealer, Steve was more then qualified to do the install. He was able to do the install in his garage while I was out getting my hitch carrier upgraded at Joehauler in San Marcos a few weeks back. The install is the simplest form, the D-7’s are hooked directly to the battery and controlled by a single switch that’s activated when the key is on. It’s all 15,330 lumens on or off, there isn’t a dimmer wired in. They are mounted to the SW Motech crash bars tucked in as far as possible to avoid being knocked off in case of a tip over. THANKS Steve for the seamless install!

Here is the product description of the Denali D-7’s from the Twisted Throttle website

At over 15,000 lumens the DENALI D7 light kit is one of the brightest LED lights under 4.5 inches period. A pair of D7s feature 14 high-intensity 10-watt LEDs that are focused through a proprietary single-piece optic specifically engineered to create a full bodied spot beam that can reach over 1500ft at an intensity of 1.0 lux. A pair of D7s will outshine 14 D2 lights and produces more than twice the light output of the D4. Not only are the new D7s incredibly bright but they’re strong too. The robust heatsink and Active Thermal Management work together to keep this high-powered lamp cool enough to maintain maximum light output when you need it most. 

Because the new D7 has so much power there’s no need for a selection of optics. The standard optic set benefits from the raw power of this array to have best-in-class spot coverage at a distance perfect for picking out wildlife way beyond the range of your motorcycle’s normal high beam. With lumens to spare the D7’s optics were designed to preserve a near-flood-beam pattern resulting in an amazingly wide (200ft) beam that helps illuminate the sides of the road. In a way the combination of incredible intensity and optics that are neither too distance-focused or flood-oriented is the best of both worlds. 
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I can say without a doubt that these things put out lots of light!
When taking pictures for this post, it was difficult to take night shots because of a mount of lumens these things produce. I also haven’t fully mastered taking good pictures yet 🤭😉


In addition to the D-7’s, I had requested a Denali B-6 license plate brake light. The B-6 normally mounts to bottom of your license plate but because of the Camel ADV tail tidy and the angle the plate sits at, Steve thought it best to mount it on top of the plate. It gives the LED’s a more direct rear facing mounting point. The double brake lights along with the Cyclops multifunctional turn signals all together, make a VERY visible rear end in full daylight or at night.


I hope this little post helps sell a few Denali lights , it’s all really good products from a company I’ve done business with for over a decade. Heck, even the founder of the company has hosted me twice at his house, thanks Erik! Also, personally knowing most of the people behind the scenes that run all the companies I’ve mentioned here makes me want to help out where I can.
Twisted Throttle , Camel ADV, Joe Hauler and Cyclops Adventure Sports

TEXAS! ( pt 1, because it’s so big)

Another great trip through Texas! As I’m making my way west this year, I wanted to get the suspension upgraded on the T-700 and for me, that was only one place to go. Alex Marten of Konflict Motorsports has kept the suspension tuned on the 1200 Super Tenere for several years now so it wasn’t a question to drop off the the T-7 for an upgrade. His team re-sprung and re-valved the forks and rear shock for my weight and riding style, they also removed the 1/2” lowering link I had added when going to that taller tire in Montana last year. Thanks Alex!


While that was the main purpose to get to Texas, I decided to take my time and enjoy time with friends and family as I made my way across.
After coming southwest from Arkansas, my first stop was my aunt and uncles in Dallas for some Good Friday crawfish 🦞 It was Max and Luke’s first time to boil them up and they did a fantastic job after several calls and texts back to cousins in South Louisiana for critical seasoning consultation.


Then it was south for a couple nights at the Star Ranch outside Austin to wait for my appointment to drop off the bike with Alex. It keeps getting better every time I stop in. Great people there!


The T-7 was going to be at Konflict for a full week, so I dropped it off and headed down to the sleepy little town of Bandera in the beautiful Texas hill country. Down there are the parents of a good friend back in Olympia Wa. Larry and Cybil Marsh had been living on the road in a Class A RV for over a decade when they stumbled across this cute little town with a golf course and inexpensive houses. They had been after me for a while to stop by, I hope my week there didn’t over stay my welcome. Larry is a retired US Navy diver and correctional officer while Sybil is also retired from the Washington state Department of Corrections HQ office. They are living a life they have always dreamed about. 🙌

Bandera isn’t too far outside of San Antonio and there was one place I had to check out so a day trip was in order off the bat. The Black Rifle Coffee Company is a veteran owned small batch roasted coffee company started by a few Special Forces Operators a couple years back. Checking out some of their pretty funny YouTube commercials quickly gives you an idea of who they are… I’ve been a fan for a few years now, really love their coffee.


While in Bandera, Rebecca Cunningham, a documentary film maker I follow on Social media, told me of a biker event that was happening close by and suggested I go check it out. The weather was going to be nice so I headed up to Fredericksburg to check out the “Fandango Vintage Motorcycle show” and flat track races. It was very cool to see all the custom bikes and meet a few great people there. Larry and Sybil even met up with me part of the day to see the show.

One of the bikes that stood out for Larry was this old beat up hard tail chopper, after a little digging, I found that it’s owner is quite the colorful character… meet “Danger Dan

After saying my goodbyes to Larry and Sybil, I headed back up to Austin to get the bike from Alex. With a couple hours to kill, I found a nice little beach not far from Konflicts shop right on Lake Travis. It’s well known with the locals for being the only clothing optional beach in Texas so I had to go check it out! ☺️🤭😁 The beach was practically empty, I only saw a couple others. It’s quite a liberating experience that I’d highly suggest everyone to try at least once!


I’ll end this blog post here, as there needs to be a part 2 just for the Big Bend National Park and my ADV nomad buddy Jay Masterson down in Terlingua.

ARKANSAS!

Well, I’ve gone and done it! After 3 &1/2 laps around the US, I found a spot that checks off all the boxes for the “ideal” piece of land that’s been bouncing around in my head for the last 5 years. 

1. Great riding (on and off road) near by

2. Warmer more of the year then cold

3. Inexpensive land on a south facing hillside that’s fairly secluded. (don’t see any neighbors, little to no light pollution) 

4. Enough land for a potential main cabin and a few camping spots that can serve as a travelers (motorcycle/vanlife or overlanding) rest area. More on that in a bit….

I had also thought of Idaho, Kentucky, West Virginia and Northern New Mexico but nothing hit the sweet spot like North Arkansas.   I met up with realtor Glen Swafford of Diamond G Realty in Mountain View  to put some feelers out on any 8-15 acre parcels for sale.  It took a couple weeks of back and forth but we finally came to an agreement on this 10 acre patch on Stagecoach Rd, outside the small area known as Oxley just off state highway 66. And the price was just right too! Thanks Glen!


Earlier this month I booked a stay at my friend Sandra’s Air B&B cabin in Mountain View to use as a base camp while I explored the area. I had also flown up with my Aunt and Uncle Kris and Jon Martin  in their private plane a couple times to join them as they looked for property. 

While at Sandra’s cabin, I had put out in a few different  Tenere  groups on social media that I was looking for someone to join me.  DJ Suter from Memphis on his Super Tenere was able to join me for 3 great days of riding. He had been out this way a few times so he knew the general area which was great and we explored many new areas for him too! 

All while this was happening, Ken Doss, a Super Tenere rider from North Little Rock and the Adventure Riders of Arkansas reached out to invite me to a “Camp and Ride” he was planning in the Ozark NF later in the month. I met up with him and what turned out to be more than a dozen riders from all over the state and even a few from Missouri. We set out on a very scenic loop through the forest with several water crossings. Lunch was at the little Catalpa Cafe, WOW! those were huge burgers ! We then returned to the forest roads for another way back to camp stopping for a really cool pic under a waterfall. An epic day for sure, can’t wait to ride again with the Adventure Riders of Arkansas. A huge thanks to Ken for the invite! 🙏

Now back to the property…. For the last 5 years as I’ve traveled, finding hosts to “couch surf” or now “driveway surf” with has been a huge blessing. I want to return that hospitality afforded me with the purchase of this land. The lower 1/3 of the property will be a travelers rest area with camping spaces, water, power hook ups and a small cabin with a bathroom, shower, laundry and kitchen. It will cater to the Adventure Motorcycle, Moto Vanlife and overlanding communities, sorry but there won’t be enough space for travel trailers or Toy hauling motor homes. It also won’t be open to the public but remaining private property, restricting access somehow because I won’t be around all year to maintain it. Keeping it simple and minimal but unique. I also don’t plan to charge admission (but I will take donations to help keep the lights on) The rough timeline is to get a driveway with camping spots, utilities and a pad for the small cabin in before the end of the year. As for a cabin, it will be like these but updated a bit😉 That’s a year or more out though.

When doing the research for the property, I realized that the Trans American Trail passes by just 35 miles south as it crosses over US 65 in Bee Branch, Arkansas. Sam and his community will hear of the property when it’s up and running. I’m looking forward to doing a few sections of the “TAT” myself! 😁


This has all really been a blessing to find such a great place that will work for the plans I’ve had in my head for so long. I’m very thankful for the community that has supported me over the years. Now I hope to give back where I can. A huge thanks to everyone that follows me on my journey!🙏🙌🙏🙌

And one last thing as an FYI, beware of the green slime on the low water bridges that you will traverse if you are in the Arkansas backcountry. 🤭🙄🤣😂

Ride to empty #2 w/Camel Tank (for Texas BBQ)

Yesterday I took off to meet up with Richard in Ragley La. on my way to get some BBQ is Jasper Tx. It was a chilly day, never breaking 60F. Burrrrr


I was able to make it 292 miles(469km) with the 5.5 gallons/20.8 L of regular unleaded 87 octane in the main tank and  #CamelADV Camel tank bolted on.  That’s about 20 more miles then my first attempt a few weeks ago. The differences between attempts were the octane of the fuel and average speed. I kept an average speed of about 55-60 (88-96 kph) keeping the ECO light on as I shifted through the gears.  With both the main and Camel tank full, the gauge will read full for a very long time. Yesterday it went like this. FULL to 140 miles (225km)then approximately every 15-17 miles a bar would go out. At the 228 mile (366km)mark, the last bar started blinking and it blinked for 64 miles (102km) when I ran out of gas. It was an actual 53MPG. I had a 1 gallon roto pax fuel can strapped to the seat to get me to the next gas station, which was only around the corner. As I’ve stated before, YOUR MILAGE WILL VARY! There were only small differences that got me 20 more miles but I’m glad I have the Camel tank so thanks Cory Hanson for another well thought out product from Camel ADV🙌

Oh and I almost forgot, I rolled 9000 miles (14,440 km) as I crossed back into Louisiana on my way back from lunch. Not bad since pulling it out of the crate in June. 😁

Camel tank Part 2 Your mileage WILL vary!

The plan for the experiment was to run to empty….for meat pies😋. I started the day with 4.2 gallons in the main tank and 1.3 in the Camel ADV Camel Tank for  5.5 total gallons. An extra rotopax with 1 gallon was packed for when I ran out of gas on the side of the road. My goal is to hopefully reach 300 miles on the main and Camel tank combined.  That was the plan, and as with most experiments that’s not exactly how the day turned out… it’s called science! 🤓

I met up with my cousin David and his lifelong friend Wayne who are both long distance Harley riders for a day loop up to Natchitoches Louisiana for their famed meat pies. Because finding out how far I can go on a tank just to eat is the perfect idea for ride! 

With the Camel tank installed, Cory at CamelADV did say that I’d show full for a long time as the fuel feeds from both tanks simultaneously. Well, it wasn’t until the 130 mile mark that the first of 6 bars went out on my dash.  Our route had been planned to take backroads all the way and to stay off the freeway but that didn’t happen. We had gotten on the road a few minutes later then planned so we needed to make up some time to meet up with LtCol Christopher Ritter in Natchitoches. Chris has ridden down from Ruston on his FULLY farkled T-700, complete with a Camel ADV wrap! 

Natchitoches was at the 177 mile mark and you’ll notice I’m down 3 bars on my gauge, Most likely from the 50 miles of  freeway riding in a headwind at 75-80MPH 

After lunch of meat pies and seafood gumbo we said good bye to Chris and headed back south on a mostly different route.  Thanks Chris for meeting us! 

The reserve light started blinking at the 211 mile mark and pleased to know that I can get 60 more miles on the tank before it starts to sputter. So many riders don’t know how far they can go on reserve, this is the way to actually find out! Some may call it extreme, but now I know! So, 273.3 miles on 5.5 gallons is a 49.7 MPG. While not terrible, I sure was hoping to hit 300. I quickly added the 1 gallon from the rotopax and found a gas station about 7 or 8 miles down the road and sure enough, it took 3.2 gallons. 

We made it back after dark for a total of 351 miles for the day.  Thanks David, Wayne and Chris for a fun day! 


Final thoughts….

After posting my results on social media, it was suggested by Longhaul Paul Pelland that I try using regular unleaded fuel to see if that makes a difference. He is getting about 45 MPG with regular 87 octane (on 6 gallons of fuel) then what I got on super 92 and he’s running much faster speeds(80MPH average) over the 25,000 miles now on his loaded T-700! So YOUR MILEAGE WILL VARY! All this adds up to GET OUT AND LEARN YOUR BIKE!

CamelADV Camel Tank (Pt1)

Check out Cory’s videos on the story of the 1.3 Gallon/ 5 Liter Camel tank for the Tenere 700 and it’s install.

With these instructions, I headed over to Monty’s garage where Whitney joined us to mount the Camel tank. Rolling up with 2 lbs of Billy’s Smoked boudin and a 6 pack of beer didn’t hurt either.😉 I got to work removing the R&G tail tidy that got taco’d( most likely from the taller 140/80/17 Heidenau Scout tire I’m running) while riding off-road and turn signals from Cyclops Adventure Sports.
I highly recommend using the Camel ADV tail tidy, it’s made for the Camel tank and keeps the license plate farther away from the tire. 


Monty and Whitney watched the install video and got to work soon thereafter.

The tank goes on really easily, it took me longer to get the tail tidy wired and on then it took Monty and Whitney to get the Camel tank mounted and plumbed. That goes to the simple design of Cory’s tank.  


While I was still fighting with the tail tidy swap, they also installed the R&G case cover from Twisted Throttle that protects the water pump. It was a pretty straight forward install also.

With the weather not the best this weekend and holidays next week, I’ll be postponing the long distance test ride. Expect another blog post when that’s done. It will either be a 300+ day up to North Louisiana and back or an IBA “Saddle Sore” 1000 “iron butt ride” Not quite sure yet, but it will be an adventure! Everyone have a Merry Christmas!
A huge thank you to Monty Chustz and Whitney Granger! That would have been a much longer install (with cussing and yelling, if not a few bloody knuckles) without the well equipped shop and tools. Monty, you have the shop I’d like to have one day! We will have to get out again soon for another ride like the last one. Hopefully with less mud! 😉