Saturday, June 30, 2012

Happy Canada Day 2012

Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadian friends and to my family, especially my brother Barrett for sharing this video.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Midas Touch

In preparation of a couple of trips and an upcoming summer of riding, I thought it best to prep the bikes, especially now that we have the Gladius suspension dialed in to where Trobairitz is happy.

I started the usual maintenance check on the Tiger, inspect the tires, check the brake pads, fluids and of course, change the oil... but what the?

Okay breathe and try again, grunt, swear, grunt and snap! I finally broke loose the drain plug.
Why was the drain plug on so tight? I had the oil changed when the sprag clutch was replaced.

New crush washer on left, "crushed" washer on right

Someone took the term crush washer literally.

I have never, ever, ever seen a crush washer this flattened. I replaced the crush washer and drain plug and filled her up with fresh oil...

Then I had to try to find from where the oil was leaking. Awwww man!?!

I went through the first stage - denial "This can't be happening".

I removed the drain plug, drained the fresh oil, confirmed the source of the leak and went right to the second stage - anger "Why me? It's not fair".

I immediately searched Bike Bandit and ebay for a replacement pan, cross referenced part numbers, posted up help requests on forums, checked the calendar, cursed, calculated downtime, cursed some more and jumped right to the third stage - bargaining "please let me find an inexpensive replacement part".

I emailed friends to politely bow out of an upcoming weekend ride, checked the forums, checked finances with the CFO and plodded onto the forth stage - depression "oh, what's the point?"

It wasn't until I went to bed before finally arriving at stage five - acceptance "It's going to be OK."

Tuesday morning I took Brandy's bike to work wondering what I was going to do. Through a couple of friends came a recommendation of a local aluminum welder and with nothing to lose I gave him a call. He asked me to remove it, degrease it then take it to the car wash and power wash it before bringing it into him. Since Brandy wouldn't let me near the dishwasher it was off to the car wash.

The first crack

Is it? A second split in the case?

From the inside

Tim does great work explaining exactly what he did, why he did it and how he did it.

Good as new
He also explained to me how these pans are made, their weaknesses, faults and the importance of torque wrenches. We chatted for nearly an hour telling me stories of his most memorable rides, many of them 1000 mile day rides, yes, I said day rides. And I thought 300 miles was a good day.

Evidently the inside was a b*tch to weld

Next was to find a gasket, I called around today and found one in stock at Hansen's in Medford, four hours south of us and I asked them to send it Priority Mail to me so I hope to see it Friday.  Now to wade through the gasket/sealant debate to find the best method to reassemble and wait for the gasket.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Making a boat out of stone would be a hardship.

There is a concrete dock sitting ashore on the Oregon Coast that drifted across the Pacific from the tsunami last year in Japan. I'm not sure it is big news across the world or even the United States but it has garnered a lot of attention around these parts. It was immediately deloused of any invasive aquatic life and now it is attracting tourists by the carload, talk about an invasive species. Agate Beach normally sees 400 cars on "any given Sunday" but the numbers reported last week are as high as 11,000 in 5 days.

From the parking lot

A crowded beach

Trobairitz and I normally don't do the touristy stuff as neither one of us do well with crowds, but we decided that the coastal crowd would be more manageable than the OSU Commencement crowd. It was an excuse to ride, a destination and a chance to give Brandy a bit of reprieve from her allergies.

The local news is reporting that bids to remove the dock from Agate Beach are being accepted and work may begin as early as next week. So taking Cesar's post as inspiration, Trobaritz and I rode our bikes down to Alpine, through Alsea Falls and meandered westward towards Waldport before turning north to Newport and Agate Beach to take a look before it was too late and the dock was gone.

We didn't really blend in with the crowd. I'm sure it is one thing to see two motorcyclists on a coastal beach, but it must be another to see them playing in the surf wearing ATGATT.

I'm not one to care too much what others think but it was fun to watch everyone else scatter as the waves came in. I sure love my SIDI waterproof boots!

The dock isn't as big as the news made it out to be, I know it is heavy at 165 tons but I was expecting it to be much, much larger. I imagine if it was parked in the middle of the street at 66 feet long, the size of two semi-trucks and trailers, it would seem bigger, but not so much just sitting there on a wide open beach. I guess it is the significance that it came all the way from Japan and what it represents that is drawing the crowds.

We snapped a few pictures then stumbled through the sand back to the bikes and headed for home and the warmth of the valley.


Tsunami dock that washed ashore on Oregon beach will be dismantled instead of moved

Monday, June 4, 2012

Slow Ride...

So we rode down to the Triumph shop Saturday afternoon and found several Triumph Tiger Explorers in the showroom. This pretty blue one just happened to have a key in the ignition, I popped off the seat, set it on it's lowest setting so I could at least tippy toe it outside and thumbed the starter.

Ohhhh.... ahhhhhhhh. Pretty, shiny.... then my mind went into financial calculations while my CFO was giving me every excuse she could think of for me to get it. In the end I simply couldn't justify that much money for a bike, even if it is my main mode of transportation. I hefted the new Tiger back into the showroom and set her up on the centerstand. It weighs about the same as my 955 Tiger does and that's plenty heavy enough, maybe I'll stick with drooling over the Tiger 800 as it's $4k less and considerably lighter. Speaking of being light, while Chris from "Everyday Riding" was here the other night he suggested buying a Yamaha WR250R to futz around on and have fun. It is light, nimble and plenty powerful enough to commute to work or run up into the woods for some serious adventure. However, I have yet to find a used one on Craigslist within my price range and under Chris' price point advisement, but I'm still looking.

We wandered about the showroom and sat on the Tiger 800,  a much more manageable bike than the 1200cc Explorer although still a wee bit out of my price range. It actually fit Trobairitz quite well with her long inseam and she is warming up to the idea of buying a Tiger for herself.

But while we were both admiring the Tiger 800 something caught my eye, something shiny. Well hello good looking, how are you? Aren't you a beautiful little thing? Come on out, let's take a look at you...

The two of us hit it off quite well and before I knew it I was falling in love. I must resist, can I even do this? Am I ready for a scooter? We took a bit of a break, I had to walk away. We hopped on Lucy and ran some errands about town but it wasn't long before we were back and she called to me.

Yup, it wasn't long before we were flirting again and before I knew it I was wearing protection and ready to go.

She's a way back machine, transporting me to a time when life was simpler. I can't, I mustn't. She's just a two stroke temptress, a tease, I had to leave before I completely lost my composure and my cool.

She's a slow ride...

Take it easy...