4 Motorcycle Accessories to Add Your BMW GS Motorbike

The BMW GS series of motorbikes is seen as one of the most popular range of motorbikes in its class – the dual sport / adventure bikes. They are even extremely popular outside of their class, possibly losing out only to Japanese racing bikes and Harleys. If you own a BMW GS bike and have not yet taken it on overnight (or longer) trips, it's high time you do so because this is what they were built for. This article suggests five common accessories you can add to your bike, which you'll certainly appreciate regardless of whether or not you are already a seasoned adventure motorcyclist.

Motorbike Luggage carriers / panniers

Motorcycle luggage carriers are probably the first type of BMW GS accessories you should be looking at. Not much point in taking overnight trips if you can not carry any substantial amount of luggage with you, right? There are several options available:

Tankbags are placed just in front of you, between your seat and the handlebars. These are usually quite small bags, very convenient for storing items you need to get to quickly like your wallet or camera. Topcases are another option which are mounted on the back of the bike. You may or may not need to install a rack or adapter plate to hold the case, especially if you're installing a non BMW topcase.

BMW GS panniers or "side bags" as they are commonly called hang off the sides of the bike, at the back. Soft panners offer less protection to its contents, hold smaller volumes but are less bulky. Hard panniers are manufactured from metal (usually aluminum) can be costly and are definitely heavier and bulkier but usually offer excellent protection from crashes, water and dirt. They can sometimes hold up to 40L each, which ads the same capacity as a very large backpack right on the rear of your bike – get 'em if you can afford' em. If you can not fit all your stuff in a pair of these panners, a rollbag and tank bag then you seriously need to reconsider the amount of stuff you are taking.

Motorcycle Lights

Motorcycle lights are a useful addition which adds an element of safety to your riding experience. You can see better, and you're also seen better. Xenon headlights are available and these make your bike stand out more when you appear in other driver's mirrors – the extra visibility could save your life one day. Several companies manufacture additional light sets that are mounted on the front of bike, to be used in foggy or other low visibility conditions. These are ultra bright lights which allow you to see the road in front of you and any possible obstacles better.

Perhaps they should not be used only in low-vis conditions: I've heard car driver sympathetic to us motorcyclists say that (while being as attentive as they can) "I just do not notice bikes on the road. notice ONE light at all ". Anyone who drives a car through cities should be able to confirm this – a single light just does not stand out. A set of extra lights on the side of your bike results in a "triangle" of lights shining out of your bike: one main light with two extra lights below and to the side of it. If you've ever seen a big GS bike kitted out with this kind of setup you'll know what I mean. Although a little extravagant, these extra lights DO make you more visible in the rear view mirrors of car drivers. Hopefully they will realize a motorbike is approaching before the swerve out of their lane and nail you.

Finally, aftermarket brake lights are available that shine brighter and can be configured to blink or flash quickly when you brake. I'm not sure if they are legal, and they may be annoying to car drivers but they allow motorists driving behind you to notice you quick – very useful in case traffic slows down abruptly and you're worried about getting rear ended by inattentive drivers .

Aftermarket exhausts

Motorcycle exhausts are toys for the boys. They rarely offer practical improvements, other than a great rumbling sound for that extra satisfaction when you're revving the engine at a red light. It has to be said that aftermarket exhausts are usually also lighter than the OE ones and may save a couple of pounds in weight – who does not want a lighter bike? These exhausts usually also give you a little bump in horsepower – not as much as with aftermarket car exhausts, but maybe noticeable nonetheless. One thing to look out for is that exhaust does not get in the way of any panniers or pannier racks you have hanging off the side of the bike. Exhausts are not cheap but will only widen your grin and give your bike more of an individual character.

Fairing & windscreens

Motorcycle fairing is the "shell" that's placed over the frame at the front of the bike and is designed to reduce air drag. It improves the aerodynamics of the bike and protects you from wind blast and debris flying your way. Assuming you have not mounted a fridge sized box on the back of your BMW GS, its aerodynamics are probably good enough for overnight trips. However, the protection from wind and debris offers a substantial improvement. Modifying the fairing on BMW GS bikes is usually done by the real pros and in rally conditions, but casual travelers can seriously benefit from an extended windscreen which can save strain on your body and neck when driving at moderate to high speeds during highway cruising.

For the real fanatics, Touratech is able to convert your GS motorbike in to a fully fledged Paris – Dakar clone. Their "desertio" range of bikes renders the original GS bikes almost unrecognizable. Conversions like this come at a price, but if the environment is appropriate you'll appreciate these full on make-overs.

It's clear that adding BMW GS accessories to your bike are a great way to make your bike safer, unique, better looking and more travel-worthy.

Happy trials and ride safe!

Next-Level Marketing With Business Cards

Merely walking around with a few business cards in your pocket isn’t going to get you the number of leads you necessarily want. It will more likely be worth it to your business to take a thousand cards and strategically placing them – in the right place or with the right people.

Here follows a number of easy tips to improve this section of your marketing mix. Keep in mind that these may be adjusted to suit your target demographic better or even to work WITH your product or service. A crucial part is to know your business and your target market and to keep thinking beyond the obvious.

Simple Tips for Effective Business Card Marketing

1. Get permission to leave your business cards at local restaurants’ welcome desks. In some cases – you might have to pay for this.

2. Locate local businesses that have products or services related to yours and place your calling cards at their counters.

3. Bulletin boards on college campuses or community centres are a greats spot to pin up these handy little numbers, and it’s usually free.

4. Produce your own viral image or video and feature your business card in it.

5. Leave them in post boxes or local houses’ doors.

6. Hand them out on various local campuses by a few students, for a little remuneration.

7. Negotiate with hotels to place your cards in their guests’ rooms.

8. Make use of a mailing list comprised of your target audience and send one along with other forms of direct mail.

9. Take advantage of areas with much traffic and pay people to hand them out on your behalf.

10. Ask your friends and family to keep a few business cards with them, in case they can give them to a prospective client.

11. Network and swap business cards with local business owners.

12. Offer a finder’s fee to people that hand out cards for you that results in a deal.

13. When doing the handing out – give more than one. Having copies makes it possible for recipients to dish your contact details out to other interested parties.

14. Consider a print design that look like miniature greeting cards.

15. Offer discounts via promotional codes attached to cards.

16. Form your own ‘street team’ to do hand-outs to people together with promotional items or hampers.

17. Leave a bunch of business cards in areas where people queue in your place of business. Some of the most likely individuals to be tempted take a business card are those who are currently using your products or services and wish to see what else you have to offer.

18. Use one as a notepad, when you are making a note for someone else.

19. Ask cab companies or drivers to keep a stack somewhere visible or reachable in their vehicles.

20. Attach your cards to your invoices and estimates etc that you send out.

21. Ask community groups that hand out welcome packs to new members to include your cards.

22. Find out if any of your local estate agents have a list of recommended or local services that they give to clients and ask to be added to the list, as well as giving them enough stock to hand out to their clients.

23. Use a digital version and upload it to design galleries, for example, CardObserver.

24. Upload your digital business card to online classifieds, such as Gumtree or the like.

25. Print standard or personal business cards for all your employees. As an added extra -it can improve employee confidence and team spirit.

26. Place a one in all your product shipping parcels.

27. Go to, network and hand out your calling cards at local or community events.

28. Negotiate with shopping centres and get permission to leave your cards on vehicle windows. Make sure to find out beforehand that it’s not illegal in your city.

29. Join forces with estate agents and get them to give new/ prospective homeowners your card.

30. Make sure you partner with a reputable and efficient printing company to print your business cards.

I hope these quick tips have inspired you and that you’re ready to start your marketing campaign.

Traveling With a Toddler – 5 Tips to Keep You Sane!

Traveling can be taxing and difficult on its own, nonetheless, traveling with a toddler. In order to ensure a good, fun, and happy trip, here are a few helpful tips!

1. Bring A Special Bag

My daughter is currently obsessed with Dora and Diego. So in preparation for a recent trip, we purchased a Diego backpack for all of her toys. Not only was my daughter thrilled with the backpack, but she was also able to wear it while traveling, so freeing my hands for something else!

2. Pack Lots of Toys and Drawing Supplies

Being prepared is the key for pleasant travels. You can never have enough books, coloring books, crayons, stickers or toys for a toddler. To make sure that it's really special and new, start buying supplies in advance. That way there is extra excitation and eagerness to read a new book or use new crayons. A great place to find inexpensive and small items is the Dollar Store.

3. Bring the Favorites

A great tip I learned from a season mom is to start putting away favorite toys before a trip and then re-introduce while traveling. Not only are the kids excited to see the toy, but you already know they will happily play with it!

4. Do not Forget The Snacks

Food and drinks are always a necessity while traveling. Juice boxes and goldfish are an essential; however, bringing new items may also work. Try making trail mix and have two bags … one for the trip there and one for the way home. And be prepared, if you are flying, security may seize your opened containers. I found that they allowed my daughter's sippy cup with juice, but that might not be the case at all airports. Bottom line, have a "plan B" in place!

5. Maintaining A Schedule

Although you're on vacation, following your typical schedule and routine can be comforting to a toddler. If your child is use to taking a daily nap, do everything in your power to maintain that schedule. Otherwise, you could be vacationing with a cranky and unpleasant child … which is not relaxing or fun!

Traveling with a toddler can be lots of fun, but be sure to plan ahead. Be prepared and expect the unexpected! If you can roll with the punches, everyone is sure to have a great time!

Get Light and Colorfully Dressed for the Summer

Did you realize that food, clothes and shelter, the basic requisites of humans, are decided by the regional climate and culture, customs and beliefs? Now that the torpid heat of summer is fast descending, it is time to rethink the wardrobe and bring out the flimsy clothing. Though you wish you could, you cannot really wear tees and shorts for every occasion! Some formalities need to be observed, no matter what the weather.

Goodbye to the darker shades

In keeping with the riot of colorful flowers blooming everywhere, light and bright colors are in. Are men and boys going to wear those delicate shades of yellow and green, blue and orange? Yes, and why not? You certainly will not wear the darker shades and certainly not black. That might turn out to be dangerous with excessive heat and active, busy lifestyles out in them could result in a stroke. Don’t forget to keep sufficiently hydrated with a variety of liquids.

Put away those heavy costumes and boots

It is time for the dry-cleaned woolens to rest before they are back in action later after you have perspired for months. While you sweat it out now and take to ACs and coolers, it is a relief to get away from those heavy suits, the footwear, and the warm underclothing. While those late night parties in the cold were enjoyable, it is a different carefree attitude now. Let go for the moment and forget those stories of the homeless freezing to death on snowy nights after sleeping on the pavement.

Cotton and silks will do the trick

Whether shirts or trousers, kurta sets with waistcoats, casual or formal wear, cotton will see you through the summer. If you didn’t try it before, give it a splash of color like the spectrum that comes from the light. Office wear may be more subdued with grays and browns, though traditions are changing. Plain shades or printed designs are very much in vogue and elevate feelings, bringing pep and zing to the productivity.

Silks can attain an ocean of fantasy and strike the right note in cementing relationships or making a fashion statement. Were you thinking of the ornate parties on official occasions where you meet up with some very privileged guests? Don’t forget to put on your best manners and speak the right things.

Working out

Those sessions at the gym may require a change of attire. Tees and shorts should be good enough, but make sure that you possess several sets if gyms happen every day. The diehards will do it one way or the other.

An accessory range

Don’t forget the caps to keep the fiery sun at bay while footwear often speaks the right notes. Light shoes perhaps of the sandal type will let the feet breathe. Make sure that the bag you carry to the office or the club is suitably light. Keep enough copies of the underclothing to facilitate a daily change. Perfumes and roll-ons also need be those airy types that speak the language of the winds and the sails. Fly through the weeks and months one day at a time like you never did before, with all the light colors of the rainbow on board. Never make it a dull day.