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Well, my Termoscud (I always call it that, because I like the blank looks the term generates) arrived from Athens today, and is now downstairs mounted on my 400. So far, though I haven't tried to ride it yet, I'm both pleased and impressed. The materials appear to be of high quality, it fits fairly well considering it's made to fit many different large scooters (though not the 650, sadly) and I had it installed in about thirty minutes. The thing looks like it will perform exactly as advertised, though I fear a couple of features make me a little nervous (like the little tiny "straps" I'm supposed to sit on to avoid flapping at high speed). I haven't tried a test-drive because the rest of my winter gear hasn't arrived yet; it's a little on the cold side here just now, and I'd freeze my hands off if I tried it today. But it's supposed to be warmer tomorrow and I'm planning to run about 40 miles up to get a Corbin seat installed while the weather is in my favor and I have a day off of work.

I'll do a formal review later, once I've lived with the termoscud for a bit. However, I'll share what I've already learned here. First, Motorrad in Athens where I bought it (I'd post a link, but they never work for this particular site for some reason) was very friendly to work with. Shipping to Tennessee, USA, was only, like, thirty bucks, and took about the same amount of time as shipping my Corbin from Oneida, New York. Motrrad has a guy working for them who went to college on the East Coast, and he speaks (or types, rather) good if not quite perfect English. Communication was not a problem. Second, as stated above, the product looks to be a quality item and is of excellent construction. Third, it probably _will_ scar the paint on my bike. It comes with little clear tapes to protect the paint, which I am still debating putting on. I don't know if it's worth the work, now that I've got the thing all nicely snugged up in place without them. (I've already dropped my bike, so it's not perfect anymore anyway. Besides, I plan on putting lotsa miles on my 400 before all is said and done, so it's not exactly going to remain pristine in any event.)

In the back of my mind, when I made the purchase I hoped that the termoscud was something I could leave on all year long, to use in the summer rain as well as winter's cold. At this point, I'm not sure that this is practical. Installation proved to be much more involved than I figured (though still a thirty-minute job, first time out) and I don't know that I'd want to go through that every time it rains. While the manufacturer claims that the device can be kept rolled up alongside the fairing "on warm days", I have yet to figure out exactly how this is accomplished, or if it's something I'd want to do year-round. Besides, it blocks easy access to the glove-box. (I still don't know if this is true in the rolled-up position or not.)

I have two small complaints so far, as well. One is that there are lots of long straps left hanging in the wind. Some I can and will cut down and shorten, once I am dead certain that everything is in order and that I'm not going to need any more slack later. Others, however, appear to be related to the strap system that allows the termoscud to be rolled up alongside the fairing. These, I think, will simply have to be allowed to flap. The good news is that at least they flap against the termoscud, and not the fairing.

Another interesting "feature" is that there is a strap which the rider is expected wear around his neck. This strap is equipped with what looks to me like a pretty foolproof and very sensitive velcro safety breakaway, and I'm sure I'll get used to it. The strap looks very safe and well-engineered to the rational, thinking part of my brain. The unthinking, easily freaked-out part, however, is in massive rebellion at the idea of what could theoretically happen in an otherwise minor spill. Being leashed by the neck to my bike is going to take a little willpower at first, well-engineered breakaway be damned...

While I haven't actually ridden with the termoscud yet, it looks to me like getting one's legs up and down to stop will not be that hard. That was one of my early concerns, and it now looks pretty much unfounded. WIth the bike on the sidestand it's not possible to operate things in an enitirely natural way. So far, however, it does not seem to inhibit movement very much.

One final note, an _important_ one. When I was finished with this first, tentative install, one loose strap was long enough to interfere with and even wrap around the left brake handle. WATCH THIS, if you buy one of these. It is completely unacceptable, in my book. (I tied it off to something convenient for now, will trim it later.)

I don't recall how much I paid total, but it was under $300 including postage. So far, I don't feel in the leat bit ripped off. Plus, it's kinda cool to have what may be the only one of these things in North America. Probably it's not actually the only one, I know.

But hey! A man can dream...
 
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