Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: December 2009


Garmin Zumo 550: Long-Term Motorcycle GPS Review

The Garmin Zumo 550, a portable GPS (Global Positioning System) unit, was released by Garmin several years ago. Marketed as a "rugged, motorcycle-friendly" device, this product fulfills the needs of motorcycle riders who needed a GPS for both commuting and long-distance trips but were concerned with potential damage to their units due to weather and vibration from the motorcycle. I have personally used this device on a daily basis for two years and 50,000 miles, and during this time it has become an asset to me both as a motorcyclist and as a car driver.

Durability: The Zumo 550, is rated IPX7 waterproof, meaning that it can withstand "accidental immersion in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes" (from Garmin). In addition to that, the unit can withstand temperatures over 100°F and lower than 25°F. The Zumo runs just fine in torrential downpours, intense heat, and the freezing cold. During trips that I have taken where weather can fluctuate 50-60 degrees, the Zumo has not failed, powered down, or stopped operating. Along with this, the unit powers up, time and again, through miles and miles of travel attached to my motorcycle. It has withstood the vibration and battering from my 2007 FJR1300 and the daily commutes through the urban jungles of Los Angeles and the long, cross-country interstates. This durability is wonderful when the unit is accidentally dropped, too. Being my clumsy self, I am glad that this Zumo is not fragile at all. Also, direct sunlight does not affect its UV-resistant screen; I can still read its display during the very sunny days. However, I do have an additional plastic screen cover on top of it just for a little more protection on my investment.

In fact, the Zumo 550 can be seen mounted on the BMW R1200GS Adventure motorcycles of Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor in their pan-African documentary, "Long Way Down."

Easy to mount on motorcycle: The Zumo 550 comes with everything you need to have it running right out of the box. The Zumo uses a custom cradle and the RAM Mounting System, a very popular universal device mount. The mount can be attached either to a handlebar or your motorcycle's brake reservoir clamp. You can power the Zumo either by directly connecting to your motorcycle's battery or by using the Zumo's internal, rechargeable battery. I've went with the direct hard-wire route and have only had to replace the connection's fuse once in the last 50k miles. If you're using this device every day, constant power from the bike is the best option to keep it running.

Motorcycle-friendly controls: A distinct feature of the Zumo is that it possess five waterproof buttons: a power button and four function buttons. The four function buttons are located on the left side of the device (the clutch hand) so your right hand will never have to leave the throttle. Also, its touch screen is glove-friendly so poking at the screen with motorcycle gloves is possible. Buttons on the screen are also very large so choosing your options doesn't require perfect precision.

MP3 Player: The integrated MP3 player on the Zumo 550 has done away with my iPod. The Zumo has an SD (Secure Digital) card reader that accepts high capacity cards. I use a 4GB SD card that holds about 750 songs, and that's enough to get through a 6,000-mile ride and then some. The Zumo's cradle includes a heavy-duty, mini-stereo headphone jack that can connect to a pair of bud earphones (I use Skullcandy buds underneath my full-face helmet), an in-helmet headset, or motorcycle speakers. In some cases, I've been known to attach it to a guitar amp to listen to my XM radio while I'm doing maintenance on my bike. I will be discussing the XM radio feature next.

XM and Bluetooth Capabilities: Before the Zumo 550 was released, integrating XM radio on a motorcycle required a little imagination and a lot more devices to attach to the bike. Garmin has simplified this through the use of a special XM antenna. Like the GPS, this antenna is durable and weatherproof. It can be mounted anywhere on the motorcycle thanks to its strong, magnetic bottom or attached behind the cradle using a metal base, an optional accessory. This XM attachment costs about $250 and cannot be substituted with an regular XM, car mounted antenna. The reason for this is that the XM attachment IS the radio and the Zumo 550 only acts as the pass-through system.

The XM radio is excellent and can get a signal anywhere, provided that the XM attachment is exposed to the sky. I've been very satisfied with the combination of an XM radio and MP3 player; the music never ends. In addition, having access to XM's traffic reports is an important tool during a daily commute or when entering an unfamiliar city.

Another feature that comes in handy is the Zumo 550's Bluetooth option. You can connect your phone to the Zumo, enabling you to make and take phone calls using the GPS' touchscreen. However, you will need an additional microphone accessory to talk on the phone; there are several companies that make this. Otherwise, this feature can be simply used as a caller ID device.

Bike-to-Car Portability: The Zumo 550 can be used in the car, too. Along with a motorcycle cradle, Garmin also includes a suction cup mounted car cradle with an external speaker for voice-assisted directions. So, if it's snowing and you can't take your bike, take the Zumo in the car with you!

USB Connectivity: Updating and adding files to the Zumo is relatively simple. When plugged via USB cable into a regular PC, the GPS is read as two separate devices: the GPS' internal memory and the SD card's slot. This makes it very easy to upload songs, pictures, routes, and other files onto the unit.

Accessories: Theft is a big concern for GPS owners and even more so for motorcyclists because the device is always out in the open. Unfortunately, the included cradle and mount for the Zumo does not have any locking capabilities, forcing a rider to remove the Zumo when leaving the motorcycle unattended. RAM offers a locking version of its attachment arm and Touratech has a cradle clamp that makes the easy-to-remove cradle latch inaccessible to a would-be thief. I have both of these accessories mounted as well which allows me to leave the unit on my bike for longer periods of time.

If you're looking for that do-all GPS, this is definitely a great solution. However, it doesn't come cheap. A brand new Zumo 550 runs between $600-900, and if you're lucky to find its discontinued predecessor, the Zumo 450 (basically the same device without XM radio connectivity), it'll still run about $400-500. Additionally, this GPS is no longer sold at mainstream stores such as Best Buy so going online would be the best bet to acquiring this product.

Despite its made-for-motorcycle design, the Zumo 550 isn't perfect. There is a significant delay of finding GPS signals from a cold start (powering on) of up to several minutes. Additionally, it can take several minutes for the unit's MP3 player feature to load up songs, especially if a high capacity SD card is used. Lastly, typing an entry for a location or attempting to find nearby POIs (Points of Interest) on-the-fly will cause MP3 music to skip or stagger until the Zumo is finished processing your request.

Also, the MP3 player can only play MP3s. It cannot play WMA or AAC files so all music must be converted to MP3 or it cannot be played. There's also an "audio book" feature on the Zumo that I still haven't figured out how to use yet, and there's no mention of it in the user manual. That actually has been a concern of many Zumo users over the years and I wonder if Garmin has fixed that yet or given it any real functionality.

Lastly, there is still a lack of headsets and/or motorcycle mounted headphones that allow the use of both the audio and microphone outputs of the device. Companies such as Starcom sell in-helmet headsets, but they are quite pricey and require the purchase of their base systems to even deem them useful. I hope in the future that there will be a cheaper alternative that will make the Bluetooth phone connection feature of the Zumo more than just a fancy Caller ID.

The Garmin Zumo 550 is an excellent, but expensive, addition to your motorcycling experience. If you're a serious motorcyclist that needs a GPS, this is definitely one to consider if you're looking for durability and versatility. It's not perfect, but it does come pretty close to meeting your needs for getting directions and on-bike entertainment.

Garmin has released the Zumo 660, a smaller, fully touch-screen based unit that promises the same weather-resistant qualities in a sleeker case.

You can read about the Zumo 550 and Zumo 660 on Garmin's website @


Issues to Consider When Preparing for Your Long Distance Motorcycle Road Trip

Here's a small informational article I wrote a little ways back in regards to long distance motorcycle rides. For most people in the Midwest and East Coast, these guidelines may have to wait until the spring. Regardless, I still know no seasons when it comes to preparedness for a trip. Enjoy!

Check your tires for adequate tread and for any visible signs of damage. If tread is low or the tire is damaged, replace tires before departure. With normal use, a standard rear motorcycle can last between 8-10,000 miles and a front tire approximately 10-15,000.

Maintain good tire pressure. Check your tire specs for standard inflation levels. It is okay to add a few extra pounds of air; that helps with ride comfort, extends tire life, and increases fuel economy.

Flats can happen on the road. Be prepared and bring emergency supplies such as tire plugs and motorcycle-specific tire inflation foam. Better yet, prevention starts at home. Apply a tire sealant/protectant such as Ride-On® when the tires are new to instantly seal punctures in the center of the tire tread where they’re most likely to happen. Visit for more info on this product.

If you haven’t gotten that oil change or that major service, do it before your trip. A properly maintained bike is a more reliable bike. If your trip is more than 4000 miles (one-way), consider arranging for an oil change at a stop or switching to longer lasting synthetic oil.

If your motorcycle is chain-driven, bring a small can of chain lube. Ideally, a chain should be lubed every 600-800 miles. A little squirt every now and then will help the chain last longer and keep you on the road.

Ideally, luggage on a motorcycle should be mounted as low as possible and as balanced as possible. This will ensure that the motorcycle’s center of gravity stays low and that control of the bike is not compromised.

Straps and bungees are essential to keeping cargo attached to the bike when saddlebags/sidecases, sissy bar bags, tank bags/panniers, and tail bags aren’t enough. Make sure that all strapped cargo is attached firmly to the bike. Attaching points vary from bike to bike but make sure that where you attach doesn’t interfere with the bike’s normal operation. Consider load limits on your motorcycle’s mounting areas. Exceeding them may compromise your safety of cause racks and/or plastics to break.

Pack lightly. Limit the amount of luggage you are carrying. If you’re making frequent stops, consider using local amenities such as Laundromats and hotel sinks to wash clothes. Take what you need and select multi-functional gear to bring. Multiple uses for a single product makes the load a lot more compact.

Motorcycle gear, like weather, changes with the conditions. Do a little research and get the weather forecasts of your proposed destinations. Weather is also quite random. Prepare for weird instances of rain, hail, or snow. Bring the layers even if you think you don’t need them.

A couple things to remember: 1. Layers = flexibility and 2. Adjust accordingly.

The “perfect” outfit setup for you may change with time. Ride through various weather conditions to experiment with and adjust your equipment. Try different gloves, jackets, and combinations of clothing. See what fits and see what doesn’t.

Hydration: Get that H20 in you!
With the exception of a flat tire or mechanical failure, nothing will take you off the road faster than dehydration. Weather and distance will take a toll on you. Sharpness and awareness of surroundings begin to fade. The ride becomes arduous and taxing. Don’t let this happen to you.

Ideally, one should drink ½-1 liters of water every 125-150 miles, especially in hot weather. Frequent sipping from an ice-filled water backpack reservoir (Camelbak™) will keep your inner core cool. As an Iron Butt rider put it, “Drink so much water to the point that you have to pee at every gas stop.” Also, drink lots of water 24 hours before the start of your journey. This will get you used to this higher level of liquid intake.

Resting the Wrist
Does your right hand get tired after all those hours on the throttle? Help it out! There are several types of cruise assists ranging from the simple, yet effective CrampBuster ( to the mechanical Throttlemeister ( Find the one that works with you and install it on your bike. Your hands will thank you later.

Also, giving your driving wrist a stretch before you start riding will relieve a lot of the strain. A simple exercise is as follows: With your arm out in front you, place your right palm up, take your left hand and push the fingers of your right hand toward your body. Hold for 20 seconds, rest, and repeat. You should feel an easy stretch on the bottom parts of your wrist.
You went shopping on the road…now what? Have you run out of space on your bike for all those goodies? Ship them back home!

Many tourist stops provide means of shipping goods home. Often times you can use those services to ship unnecessary supplies or cargo ahead of you. If timed well, your shipped goods will meet you right when you arrive home!

The Road Isn’t that Lonely…
If you’re travelling by yourself and happen to be part of a national motorcycle organization (i.e. Women on Wheels®, BMW Motorcycle Owner’s Association, etc.), utilize your club’s nationwide member directory as a resource. Thousands of riders have voluntarily given their contact information for networking and also to provide services for travelers in need (i.e. tools, phone access, lodging, and in some cases, even towing). If you’re not part of a motorcycle club, join one! You’ll never know who you’ll meet.


Finding pockets of good weather to ride in.

Winter is upon us. Most of the Ohioans I talk to are quite optimistic about the season's temperatures with reassuring words such as, "It's only going to get colder" and "Hope you have a good coat because you'll freeze."

For the last week or so, my bike's been under a cover and hibernating. Then again, so have I. Temps this week have been in the low 20s, the point where road gutters have frozen into skateable surfaces, as seen from the example below.

On a serious note, sub-freezing point temps combined with prolonged rain can add an additional hazard to the motorcyclist because of the risk of slippery surface and in a worse-case scenario, black ice. If considering to ride in these conditions, some questions you may want to ask yourself can include:
  • Have ice warnings been put into effect in my area and my destination?
  • Has it rained/snowed continuously over several days?
  • What is the weather forecast for my destination and the points between?
  • Have I checked my motorcycle's tires, brakes, and controls (T-CLOCK)?
If you've answered these questions and deemed your journey to be feasible, bundle up with your favorite combination of safety gear and go for it! I am still adamant in keeping my FJR1300 out of winterization mode. Believe me, there will still be a pocket of good weather here and there. Look forward to it and ride on!


Long Distance Cold Weather Riding - Part Two: Your Motorcycle

I believe that successful cold weather riding is finding the perfect combination between the motorcycle gear that you're wearing and the motorcycle that you ride. What I mean by the latter is rigging your ride so that it does provide the best wind protection to help your layers effectively block out the cold, allowing you to continue riding longer. Here are a few general items to consider when preparing your motorcycle to go the extra mile in the chill. These accessories apply to any motorcycle and are very general.

Windshield: The windshield is probably the most effective motorcycle accessory for blocking out a good portion of the wind blast that comes from moving forward. Many motorcycles have windshields as a stock accessory and there are many companies such as National Cycle and Memphis Shades, to name a few, that can outfit your bike, regardless of shape or size. They also come in handy during summers when the bugs are larger than your head. Find the windshield that matches your height and riding style.

Seat: Keeping your butt from freezing to your seat can be an easy task with a sheepskin seat covering. Like the seat covers that are used in cars, natural sheepskin assists in temperature regulation and also helps to keep you dry by preventing water and moisture from pooling in the recesses of the saddle. I personally use the sheepskin pads made by Alaska Leather on my FJR1300. They make lots of sizes to fit the many types of seats out there and are definitely worth the investment. Did I mention that their fuzziness also adds a little plush as well?

Legs and feet: If you don't have the bike that has a decent amount of leg covering, some alternatives include leather engine bar covers, leg chaps, and leather leg gaiters. For the most part I've found that a combination of on-the-bike and worn equipment will help legs stay warm effectively. Unless you're riding a Goldwing-esque bike, this will always be a challenge.

Hand coverings: If you're the proud owner of a dual sport or enduro-style bike, there's probably a company that makes hard plastic hand guards for your model. Some possible alternatives to this extra layer above the gloves include ATV mitts and Hippo Hands. If you're using the removable type of hand covering, be aware that wind can push the fabric into the brake and clutch levers as that can activate them earlier than you'd want them to so please test them before riding.

Aside from typical luxury items such as a GPS or radio/MP3 player, these additional accessories can help make cold weather a lot more tolerable and your bike a lot more versatile. Don't forget to follow proper maintenance schedules, have fun, and ride safely!


Long Distance Cold Weather Riding - Part One: Outfitting Yourself

Nearly seven years of riding in CA has gotten me spoiled.

I was fortunate to have begun my motorcycling career in Southern California, a place where the weather is always tolerable and/or pleasant and the traffic made every freeway and street a jungle gym for two-wheeled vehicles. To touch on the first part of that last statement, preparing for a constant streak of truly "cold" weather (this definition will cover temps below 45°F, also known as a "state emergency" in Southern California) in combination with ATGATT (All The Gear, All The Time) never crossed my mind. Back at home, a normal ride would consist of throwing on all the gear and riding across the freeway with the breeze flowing through the helmet with any and every air vent on the jacket and pants wide open to prevent sweat. On some days, we Californians may have had to *gasp* put the liners in our mesh jackets. A tragedy to say the least.

Flash forward to a December in Central Ohio. While many motorcycles in my area have already been winterized and have begun their several months of hibernation, Matt and I are still riding our mechanical beasts for as long as the winter weather doesn't bring the snowfall. I am still a believer in riding year-round, although this adjustment to Midwest conditions will make this a slight bit more challenging. One of the largest hurdles in this accomplishment (and I emphasize that word, accomplishment, because it does take willpower to pull off what we do), is bundling up and riding against potentially painful cold winds and weather.

Earlier this week, Matt and I rode 600 miles in two days from Columbus to Urbana, IL and back. We had decided to ride because, well, it's cheaper, and weather forecasts stated that there was less than a 15% chance of any precipitation at all the major cities we would cross (technically, just Indianapolis, IN). In preparation for the run, we planned our riding gear and stops for this trip. I will try to break this down into "factors" we had to consider during this journey.

Windchill factor: The temperature in Columbus on the day of our departure was 37°F (and falling). That's before factoring in that we were maintaining a constant speed of 65-75MPH on I-70. This meant that the actual temperature we would be experiencing would be significantly lower than what my on-bike thermometer would read. I've pulled the wind chill chart from NOAA to show this point.
Using the table, 40°F in calm weather combined with a speed of 60MPH brings down the temperature to 25°F. Yeah, that's below water's freezing point.

Now, consider that our return to Columbus averaged approximately 25°F in calm weather. That combined with a speed of 60MPH brought the ambient temperature down to 3°F. So, our riding temperature range during this trip was anywhere from 25°-3°F at 60MPH. Since our speeds were, at times, reaching 70-75MPH (Indiana's speed limit is 70MPH), the range lowered even further to 19°-1°F.  That's what we were riding through for 600 miles. Holy crap, that's cold.

Constant exposure to cold temperatures: If this was a short, typical ride to work on I-270, dealing with 19° degrees (assuming freeway speeds) wouldn't be that bad. However, long distance riding also compounds the cold weather problem because you are exposed to a constant stream of wind, like getting locked in the giant dairy refrigerator room at Meijer with nothing but a polo shirt on.

As much as you bundle up properly, the equipment that you wear doesn't have time to defrost or warm up when it's being battered by the wind. So it's either doing one of two things: (1) keeping you insulated for the first 60-70 miles and then beginning to slowly refrigerate your appendages or (2) if it's electrical gear, trying to cancel out the cold by producing its own heat, leaving your body parts "comfortably" cold but not freezing.

Unfortunately, after the use of wind-blocking gear and thick, heat-conserving clothing, there aren't many solutions to steady refrigeration without resorting to heated gear and constant breaks. Of course, there are short-term solutions such as chemical heat packets as well. My personal strategy for defrosting was to take a break that was long enough to allow my gear to return to room temperature. That would give the gear more endurance against the effects of the cold until the next stop.

Insulation factor: As a veteran of four cross-country trips over 2,500 miles (as of 2009), I've learned that having a wide selection of gear to mix and match makes riding in any possible condition more comfortable and increases ride confidence and stamina. In this situation, I thought about my gear and came up with this pretty effective combination for this winter riding. Please keep in mind that some of this gear has been in my collection for a while; these were not whim purchases. Links are included for your reference.
In the end, all this gear fit comfortably and movement wasn't a factor at all. In addition, this gear fit in a such a way that there were no holes where wind could enter. Typically, weak points in gear are the neck and hand areas. Those are sensitive areas to cold so we took extra diligence to seal any openings.

So, what does it really feel like? Depending on the bike you own, whether or not you've got a windshield installed, and other factors, it is cold, but covering your bases on the areas I mentioned above will make the ride more tolerable and enjoyable. Besides, it would put a smirk on your face when you can tell all your CA riding buddies, "Hey, where I ride, I can freeze ice cubes!"

Some important tips to remember while preparing yourself to ride in the cold:
  • Check your tire pressure on your bike before leaving. Cold weather will decrease your tire pressure and affect control and fuel economy. Invest in a small tire gauge and keep it in your bike. It's a good habit to do so anyway, regardless of the weather.
  • Layers are your friend. The basic rule of thumb when dressing for the cold is to keep your core warm by wearing the tightest layers first and then building over them. Find your own combination of compression shirts, wind blocking jerseys, face coverings, and other riding gear that will keep you protected while still allowing for a good range of movement.
  • Block the wind. Cover every part of your body. Once wind finds a hole in your gear, your ability to ride through it will diminish because you'll be spending your time freezing as the air will shoot up any area you leave open. Remember that insulation is useless unless you've properly sealed every orfice that wind (and in some cases, water) can enter.
  • Consider electric gear. So far, I only have a pair of electric gloves, but they have been excellent in keeping frostbite and loss of feeling to the hands at bay. Although, this is a luxury option for most people, it can greatly enhance the cold weather riding experience, given that you've already bundled up properly.
  • Stay hydrated. You will stay warmer if you have liquid in your system. Drink water. Have a hot chocolate at your stop. Your body will thank you later.
  • Stay dry. Ever had cold water poured on your skin? Not fun. Moisture attracts the cold, so stay dry and you'll last longer out there.
  • Take more breaks. Being cold already takes a lot of energy to manage so try not to wear yourself out before you arrive at your destination.
  • Practice riding with your gear. Please experiment with your gear at shorter distances and in familiar areas before trying to go for the big trip. An effective collection of motorcycle gear takes miles to perfect. Even after 100,000 miles on my own all-time odometer, I'm still enhancing equipment on both my bike and my person.
It's not an easy task to ride at these temperatures, but with a little preparation and understanding of cold weather, you can extend your riding season by weeks, months, or even close to year-round. Good luck!

I plan to address issues on the actual motorcycle in Part Two of my commentary on long distance cold weather riding. Stay tuned!


Food Review: Siam Terrance (Urbana, IL)

Thanks to cut hours at Meijer, I was able to take a quick vacation to visit an old friend in Urbana, IL who is attending medical school at the University of Illinois. Of course, this was also a perfect opportunity for me and Matt to jump on the motorcycles and finally get our odometers ticked over to 80,000 miles each, which I hit somewhere en route to Indianapolis, IN and he upon reaching IL during this 600-mile round trip tour. Although the interstates were clear, the weather was quite nippy (averaging 35-37 degrees heading west and 25-27 heading home to be exact). I'll be addressing my first experience in extreme cold weather riding in another post. Now, on to the food. (There, Susy, you happy now?)

So Susy, Matt, and I traveled to Downtown Urbana, a hop from the University of IL campus, to try out Siam Terrace, a restaurant that specializes in Thai cuisine and...sushi? Yeah, you heard me, it's a restaurant that serves Asian food items from two separate regions but it's not a weird fusion concept place. With our group of hungry testers, both sides of the menu were going to be put to the test.

In terms of the inside appearance of Siam Terrance, it is simple with an eatery feel. It has an open seating area and a sit-down sushi bar toward the back of the room so it would be more like a place to bring friends for a casual dining experience.

As standard practice for me at any Thai restaurant, I ordered Thai Tea as my drink. It was made to Thai specs, mixed well and very creamy. With the food, there was quite a bit more customizing involved. Since Thai food is notorious for its levels of spice, Siam Terrance makes guessing your torture preferences easier using a spicy scale of 1-4, one standing for "spicy as a chewing a burlap sack" from four for "true Thai or sadist." Matt went for the level four on his Spicy Fried Rice while Susy and I went for absolute zero whimp status spice for our plates of Pad See Eew (a favorite I inherited from my old coworker), done with chicken and beef, respectively. In addition, we ordered another plate of Thai shrimp fried rice to share around.

Overall, the Thai food was delicious and authentic. The Pad See Eew had a just enough sweetness to complement the meat and thick, yet tender, rice noodles. Both this stir-fried pasta and the shrimp fried rice were full of flavor and not greasy at all with just the right amount of onions, carrots, and other various veggies to add color and texture. The "full" feeling we got was not from heavy amounts of oil but rather from the fact that our plates were completely empty because we couldn't stop eating! Matt inhaled his Spicy Fried Rice without sipping a single drop of water; I refused his offer to kiss me afterward and took his word for the food's hot factor. To put the level of his rice's spicy in perspective, I tried half a teaspoon of rice from his plate and still felt its effects even after several sips of water and trying to chew it off with the broccoli from my own noodles. Yeah that stuff is spicy, yet happily approved by a person who can eat habanero peppers without crying.

After finishing our Thai dishes, we ordered one of their cooked sushi rolls, the "New York," to split between the three of us. This roll consisted of shrimp tempura, cream cheese, imitation crab, asparagus, masago and topped with avocado slices, tempura crunch, and a sweet/spicy sauce. The presentation was beautiful and made the roll even more tantalizing to eat. It looked a little something like this...

The final verdict? This restaurant still upholds its case for having a multiple personality disorder. Once again, here's another sushi place that upstages any sushi I've had near the Pacific Ocean and we're located more than half a day from the East Coast.

We were stuffed, so dessert didn't make it to the menu, although it would be nice to take a shot of the Fried Banana with Honey on a return trip.

If you're stopping in Urbana, IL, I'd definitely recommend this place to get a Thai food and sushi fix. It is nice to know that there are good Asian restaurants in these parts of the Midwest; it really does take a little of the homesickness away...although a little bit of pad see ew and Thai Tea from The Original Thai BBQ Restaurant in CA with friends would be nice as well. Those are memories I'd like to keep.

 Siam Terrace on Urbanspoon