gearlogo by Gus Breiland

Hey gadget guys and gals, have I got a deal for you. As the winter months slowly turn your thoughts to spring while you sit around the house lamenting the job you could have had in Arizona. Instead you are snow bound in the land of
10,000 strip malls and you set out on planning the ideal motorcycle trip. One you will venture out on as soon as your kids turn 18, you win the lottery and tell the boss they have a new surgery to dislodge his head from his backside.

With the map of Europe splayed out on the kitchen table and a cup of hot coffee staining the paper as a plume of steam swirls off the surface you reach for your pack of assorted highlighters and your trusty Online 5 Electronic Map Measurer.

The next 10 minutes are a little dicey as you try to remember how to work the damn thing. Yeah, the instructions are folded neatly in the nice hard plastic carrying case but who the hell can read the damn things? Considering your glasses are up on the nightstand which would mean standing up, climbing stairs and potentially waking the wife who is armed with a list of “things to do”, you opt for the memory challenge and start hitting buttons.gear50

The process for turning the Online 5 on, programming it and measuring distance is fairly straight forward, once you have done it 6 or 7 times. This is a tool that should be used by the competent and well rested. If you’re sitting under a gas stations awning at 2 am, trying to find the distance from Sleepy Eye to Erskine, they will find you curled up in the fetal position mumbling something about “So many buttons…”

Positives:

Heck it is a gadget! Who doesn’t like stuff with buttons, plus you can make engine sounds as you race from Reno to Vegas and screeching sounds at Tonopah as you take a hard right south. I even found myself humming the tune from ChiPs as I raced through LA. It is compact and lightweight and if you have to verify mileage before a rally, it can be a handy tool.

Another nice feature is that you can back off the miles if you find yourself “riding” down the wrong road. Simply throw it in reverse and watch the miles spin down.

On the other hand:

I found that depending on your tracing ability, your mileage could be off anywhere from 10-20% minimum. You kids who stayed within the lines while coloring should do better.

The most glaring problem in my opinion is that I cannot save mileage, reprogram and add mileage from map to map. If you are going from map to map or atlas page to atlas page, you have to stop, write down the mileage and start over. I found this to be a little more than just inconvenient.

On top of that, programming with mush brain under the stars trying to compute 6 hours left in the rally and 8 hours of riding left could short circuit you central nervous system and cause you to howl at the moon and buy “Sonny and Cher sing the Blues” in the truckstop discount bin.

The Online 5 Electronic Map Measurer is available from Aerostich Riders Wearhouse for $47.00. Aerostich will be more than happy to talk with you at 800-222-1994 or at www.aerostich.com.

M.M.M.

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