Something to pass the time between trips, amuse myself, & perhaps give a few guys a chuckle.....(each to their own)... Bought 15th August 2012, 2nd hand with 21,400 kms. 6 months on it now has 41,670 kms on the clock. The bike started off like this The first extras were the Givi E21 side boxes to end up looking like this looking terrifically black, which does not appeal to me or IMHO look good in photos. So next up was some white plastic plus Motech rack & soft bag on the back. still not colourful enough for photos it was time to add some stickers plus super duper loud 5-tone horns from Vietnam Then I decided that the side boxes were mounted a little too far forward , so had them mounted a little (too) further back. I actually want to move them forward a bit now. And none of this experimenting is a problem in Chiang Mai / Thailand, just pop along to your local bike engineering shop (Somchit's - Dang Glong Pratu) & its generally done on the spot & cheaply. You couldn't do this in the west without it costing you an arm & a leg! But back to the bling, I like some colour on my bikes to enhance the photos it's not just a black blob in the photo. You need a bit of colour a colourful bike pulls in the kids and the chics a backwards spill / slide in the mud-clay on Doi Phukha brought me down & broke off the end of the front brake lever. new trick folding / flick up levers went on next these levers feel so good in your hands, that I wonder how I ever rode the AT for 320,000 kms with standard levers, although I only went down once with the AT. They are highly recommended. I've had two rubbish Thai DID chains on the bike one was on there when I got the bike, wore out, & then I tried a 2nd Thai DID (because that's all I could get on the day) which only lasted 6,000 kms = 2 months. But of importance was how quickly the chains literally seized up & "fell apart." Both times I was in Nan coming back to Chiang Mai. I checked the chain in the morning in Nan & it looked ok - plenty of play & the Scott Oiler working. The first time when I got back to Cnx the chain was as tight as a piano wire. Links seized & O-rings missing - all in a few hundred kms; & I just thought it was a hooked sprocket, never bothering to look at the chain as I never ever imagine a chain could shit itself so quickly! Two months later, the same, leaving Nan in the morning I thought oops this chain too looks as if it could on the way out. Better take it easy on the way home. 100 kms down the road in Phrae I stopped for an inspection & sure enough some links had already seized up & some O-rings were missing. Unbelievable I thought. Shocked - twice now! Fortunately in Phrae I was able to source a 2,000 baht EK chain get it put on & carry on home to Cnx. The EK seemed to be quite ok, but I ordered in an RK chain from Japan to be safe & not get caught out again. TYRES I've had Pirelli Scorpion Trails, Michelin Pilot 3s & now Avon Distanzia tyres on the bike. I try to get all my tyres from Cockpit Sai Neua, on R108, past the airport & just after Tesco Lotus. Their service is first class, plus they will balance your wheels for you at the same time. Plus free aircon, coffee . TV & wifi while you wait. I've been highly impressed with the Pirellis on the AT & the Versys - excellent mileage, road holding, feel in the dry & WET. BUT you can never get them when you need them - appalling importer service! So I thought give the Pilot3s a go, why? Because my plan was to ride the Versys on the asphalt. However after just one short dirt excursion on easy gravel I felt as if I was just riding on marbles. No thanks. Back to Cockpit & asked for some other tyres. Avon Distanzias were available & 1,500 baht cheaper than unavailable Scorpions. Right now the Avons are only 1,000 kms old, but I do like them - lots of feel, road holding, good cornering & quick steering. Plus no complaints on any loose surface. How long they last & go in the wet remains to be seen. Just a note on the Pilot3s, I thought around town they felt very neutral with little feeling, however the faster & harder you went the better they felt & performed. But the extra performance only seems to kick in at approx 115kph+ & for me most of my riding in the mountains is not at that speed. You just need to ride faster & harder to really get the most value out of the Pilot3s. The Pikot3s will go back on at the start of the wet season & a big thanks go to Cockpit for holding the tyres in their shop for me. Cant ever complain about their service! Next step was a bit more bling, & a bit over the top some of you are saying. THE SEAT a new cover the seat has not yet bothered me enough to warrant repacking, so it was only a new cover. 650 baht at Sompong's on Chotana Road. the colour was supposed to be a dark navy blue to march the dark blue stickers on the bike, but this colour was as close as we could get. A bit too bright perhaps.. but for me it's better than dull black. and today was perhaps the last little colour tweak replace the black plastic belly pans with white stickered ones I let the sticker guy please himself what he did. It's not quite how I would do it, but go with the flow is the easiest way. The MarkII version will be better. You all take care & enjoy your rides now, whatever bike & colour you have - it doesn't matter just so long as you ride - big or small, fast or slow, on / off-road, but always with fresh air & a smile on your face........life is good, especially motorcycle touring in Thailand!