3 days before heading on the road – gear time

Getting my sissy bar reinstalled for the trip. This trip is going to be significantly longer than my October cross country trip. So I decided to switch from my very awesome Saddlemen S3500 to a more weather resistant Biltwell Exfil 80. Both come with a rain cover, but this time I’ll be doing more camping so had to rethink my storage options. Added a Biltwell EXFIL 11 to the gas tank, and a Biltwell EXFIL 7 to the fork.

After spending weeks deciding on a three season jacket, I decided to go with the Alpinestars Andes v2 Drystar Jacket (10% Veterans discount at CycleGear). Took it out today, it passed the warm weather test. 🙂 Lots of vents, and includes shoulder/elbow padding.


I spent months looking for motorcycle jeans that would fit me, wasn’t having much luck. Then I stumbled upon Draggin Jeans, who make jeans for “bigger men”. Well, alrighty then! I ordered two pairs of jeans in two sizes, and ended up returning the smaller pair. No, I didn’t go up one size, they told me to go with the bigger size due to the kevlar lining. 😉 Tried them on, perfect! Washed them an they’re ready for Saturday!

Since I’ll be camping this trip, decided to leave my favorite Harley Davidson boots at home and instead picked up a pair of KEEN Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots (5% Veterans discount). Learned long ago, gotta go with something that’s waterproof…plus Keen wide toe box always fits me well. 🙂


Avoiding cotton like the plague, picked up half a dozen pairs of their Instinct 2.0 Over-The-Calf Crew Socks while I was there. Decided not to over spend on underwear, so went to Walmart to get some Jockey wicking boxer briefs, and some Fruit of the Loom wicking t-shirts. Figured 6 pairs of each should cover the trip, since I plan to camp out as much as possible to save money, then when I stay at a hotel I can wash/dry the stuff without too much of a hassle.

Stay tuned for…Danali D2 2.0 install and Gasbox Sissy Bar reinstall…

COUNTDOWN: 21 days left

Thanks to Florida’s “use it or lose it” law, I have 21 days before the beginning of my 3wk road trip!

Planning my road trip to wherever is a lot of work. The route is the easy part. Avoid cities. Camp wherever possible to save money. Blog every day. Hope for good weather, be prepared for the worst weather.

For emergencies I have my Garmin inReach Explorer +, which supports GEOS (24/7/365 search & rescue), so if the shit hits the fan out in the middle of nowhere I’ll be able to get help. Paired with Garmin Earthmate iOS app and you’re ready for anything.


I picked up an REI Co-op Quarter Dome 1 tent and footprint, and a Big Agnes Dumont SL 30 sleeping bag (had my eye on it – who would’ve thought the price would go down 50%?!). I couldn’t believe how small these items were. The bag will easily slip into the sissy bar bag, the tent will have to be strapped on the outside.

I have no idea what route I’m taking, except that I plan to avoid states that don’t have a reciprocity agreement with Florida (sticking to the blue states).reciprocity

The biggest issue I have right now is I need to put my sissy bar back on to mount the sissy bar. This means my Pelican saddlebags will only open to 45 degrees. #firstWorldIssue

I’ll have to call Anarchy Motorcycles to schedule my 30,000 mile maintenance a little early,

Hello WordPress…goodbye Bluehost

I’ve been using donmontalvo.wordpress.com for years, and have been planning on transferring donmontalvo.com. I got an alert from Bluehost that my domain auto payment went through on July 5, so now I have a 60 day wait before I can transfer.

Not happy.


I needed to get this done now so I called WordPress and was told I can use an A-record for now, until the 60 wait is over. At that point I’ll be able to complete the domain transfer. They helped me set things up in less than 10 minutes:

Changed nameservers to:


Set A records to:

I’m a happy camper. I’ll be happier once the domain transfer is complete, so I can get rid of Bluehost once and for all.

If you want to blog, there’s only one game in town…WordPress (personal opinion).


Dakota Digital MLX-3012-K

Whether its a car, or a motorcycle, speedometer design is important. When I bought my 2017 Harley-Davidson Dyna Street Bob (FXDB), the dealer upgrade the gauge so I could more easily see the RPMs. I love the upgraded gauge.

Or should I say I loved it. It had an issue fogging up in humid weather. Noticed it from the first month when I was in California, and the issue persists today. I called Harley-Davidson but didn’t get a response.

I did some research, and found this can happen to any speedometer, but folks who bought a Dakota Digital gauge have reported it doesn’t happen to them. Not sure what the difference is, but I’ve had enough of being on the highway and not being able to read the digital numbers at the bottom of the gauge.

Whether I’m checking the time, or the trip mileage, the fog in the gauge made it unusable. I decided the cost of a speeding ticket, or the inconvenience of running out of gas warranted looking into an alternative.

Looking through the Dakota Digital site, I found the model I need for my motorcycle is MLX-3012 (chrome) or MLX-3012-K (black). I was pleasantly surprised to find that every retailer was out of stock. To me, that means its a hot item!

I called Dakota Digital and they pointed me to Dennis Kirk, who had a couple in stock. Ordered it, should be in by Saturday. The instructions say its a straight swap, not sure yet if I’m going to risk doing this on my own. FWIW within a few minutes of ordering mine, the second one flew off the shelf.

It isn’t the prettiest display, but the numbers re huge, and you can customize colors, criteria to display, etc., and amazingly offers a Bluetooth app to manage these things!

Can’t wait, will post a full report once I get this baby installed and give it a whirl.

[UPDATE] Device arrived, installed it but it’s raining so didn’t get a chance to take photos of it installed yet.

The unit appears to be made of cast aluminum, and machines do the edges are smooth. Excellent workmanship.

The Harley-Davidson upgraded unit is a lot lighter, appears to be make entirely of plastic.

UPDATE: It’s installed! I set all the display items to white. There are a ton of possible display items, and colors, and even inverting the center of the display (for a white box and black characters). For now I’m displaying voltagegear, and time. Very happy with this baby!