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Thursday, July 28, 2016

I got your app right here!!! - must have applications for your motorcycle

With the heat and the weather being what it is, I've been sort of self limiting on the time I spend on my bike.  However I've been playing around with a few phone apps lately and thought I should write a bit about technology and how it affects the biker. 

Lets be honest, our phones are part of our lives (like it or not) and although I do not recommend staring at your phone while on the bike - there are various applications that a biker can use.  These are a few that I've used and highly recommend.

I've already wrote about the Crash Detection and Response application (CRADAR) here.  A crash application is something I highly recommend for every biker.  While I have that application installed, I have to admit that I rarely use it.  This application, indeed every phone application I'll be writing about, requires the GPS function of your phone to be turned on.  This in turn, eats into your battery life. 

Since nearly all of my riding is commuting, Susan knows where I'm at since she knows the (general) route I take.  I'll admit to mixing it up sometimes just for something different.  

I also used to use Waze as well, which I found to be much better than my phone's built in Google Maps function.  I loved that the application could be updated in real time for things like construction, letting you know where a speed trap was or a broken down car.  Although I ended up deleting this function since I could not delete the built in Google Maps.  Frankly I saw no use to having two navigational functions in my phone. 

Plus, when your on the bike it's best not to look at the screen.

Gas Buddy is another one of those applications that everyone should have downloaded into their phones.  Once again it uses crowd sourcing to provide you with the location and prices of the gas stations around you.  It even allows you to get directions to that gas station. 

If your budget conscious like I am (OK, I'm a cheap bastard) it even has a trip cost calculator.  It even gives you which gas stations you should stop at. 

Recently I've been playing around with the Pirella Diablo SBK application.  Let me state that this has absolutely nothing to do with Pirella tires (which I highly recommend by the way).  This application is designed more for the serious sport bike rider or sport bikes in general. 

It has both road and track factions (including lap times) and allows for the calculation of lean angles....even G forces.  Each route is saved to the website, in case you find that special road, and it also records mileage, time and speed.  It even has a function to allow you to send your results to friends or share it on social media. 

That being has no way to download a route that you wish to take or send a crash notification to your loved ones.   At least not that I'm aware of. 

I'm still playing around with this application to a great extent and the more I learn about it the more I like it.  Although for what ever reason you have to go to the companies website to log in, which means everything is in Kilometers.  If your using English units, your data is record on the application in miles. It's not a major issue, I know how to convert from KM to miles, but it is annoying.

Really how hard is it to have that option on the website?   I can share the data to my Facebook account, but I can't login via Facebook even though that is an option?  Am I doing something wrong?  Again, more annoying than anything.   

If only there was that magical phone application that would let you do all these things and more, all in one convenient place.   You would need something like five applications in one. 

Along comes the Eat Sleep Ride application which supposedly does everything we've talked about.  In the interest of full disclosure I've not used this application yet but it seems to be getting rave reviews in the various forums I visit and on various motorcycling sites. 

In addition to everything the Pirella application does, it also allows you to track your mileage and discover routes that other bikers share with the application (I'm still not telling you where my secret road is).  For an additional cost you can by their "Crashlight" function which will send a text and voice message after 3 minutes if you go down.  It also allows you to instantly share photos. 

This application supposedly is great for setting up group rides and keeping track of everyone in said group ride.

For what ever reason however, I can not get that application to work in my android phone.  It's probably a memory issue and I'll try downloading it later once I play around with my phone.  

So I'm curious, anyone use any of these applications?   Any reviews you would like to add? 

All these applications are available via Google Play or your Apple Store. 

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