This is actually a serious review of a keychain. No, it’s not that slow of a day for content, I just really like this thing. I got it as a Christmas gift last year and I’ve been living jingle free for months now. The concept is about as simple as it gets: let your house keys hang down below your triple clamp by the wiring harness. No more scratched-to-hell top clamp, no more jingling of keys all the way to work. Well, unless your top clamp is already scratched to hell like mine was.
Before I was a keyboard jockey, I had a real job making big-bore kits and building motors at Thumper Racing. The shop is in Santa Clarita and I live in Inglewood. That’s roughly 40 miles each way, 5 days a week. Way back when I was riding a Ninja 250, I couldn’t be bothered to care about silly things like the appearance of my motorcycle or rattly, jingly things. The bike had been crashed pretty hard before I bought it and all the bodywork, except for the hideous bright yellow gas tank, was gone. The whole bike rattled and jingled as parts loosened themselves and fell off. I once lost my kickstand bolt on the way to work. The spring held the stand in place until I set my boot on it in an attempt to put it down. Imagine my surprise when rather than swinging down like it did every other day, it just fell off and laughed at me from the ground.
When that lovely motorcycle finally gave up the ghost, I wasted no time in buying a real bike. Not that there’s anything wrong with Ninja 250s, just that mine was a particularly terrible motorcycle. Lacking a few thousand bucks in cash, I went out and financed a brand new GSX-R 600. Not only did it function properly, but it came with fancy things like a warranty, shiny paint and adjustable suspension. It still blows my mind that a 20 year old loser mechanic with no credit can walk into a dealership, sign on the dotted line and ride off into the sunset on a 100+hp sportsbike.
I’d never owned a vehicle that wasn’t a barely running pile of junk and it never even occurred to me that I should do stuff to prevent it becoming a barely running pile of junk. Enter the keychain. My loving girlfriend (and occasional photographer) noticed that the top clamp on my then 18-month-old GSX-R was taking a beating and out of the kindness of her heart, she forked over some serious cash to buy me a fancy triple clamp saving keychain. Having previously never heard of or seen such a device, I was amazed both by the fact that motorcycle stuff existed that I didn’t know about and by the simple fact that it worked so well. The top clamp already ugly, but the reduction in maddening key-jingle noise was amazing. There have been many thousands of no-scratching, jingle-free miles since then.
Aerostich sells these things for $5, but there’s no reason you can’t make your own out of some paracord and heat-shrink tubing. If you don’t have supplies lying around, it’d be cheaper just to buy it and pay for shipping. The only real downsides to these is that it can be kind of tricky to wrestle a motorcycle key on and off with a key-ring attached and I suppose purchasing one could act as a gateway drug to wearing head-to-toe Cordura while perched on top of an R1200GS.