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Decided to use this forum and blog

Posted October 21st, 2016 at 01:32 AM by sparklenation

Here is where I will keep notes about achievements, learning, maintence and everything else that is going on with me and my bike.

So far I have done 2 oil & filter changes, updated the bolts, taken the air filter out cleaned it, flooded it with oil, so much that about a quart would just drip out of that poor soaked filter. Fixed that.

Next, I need to fix the speedo cable where it connects at the tire part. Some little thing fell of the end of the stick in the cord and needs to be able to touch what ever the stick touches when screwed in.

Oh, and I cannot forget the U-turn. 10/19/16
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Old

Zen and the art of mutual transformation

Posted June 10th, 2016 at 09:22 PM by lizardywizard

Since this site doesn't let you post blog entries for 30 days after joining, I've got a bunch backed up. So for "today", in this, read "several weeks ago".

***

So I've been reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance; and of course nobody is surprised.

I haven't finished it yet. But one of the themes seems to be that tending to something is an artistic, creative work. I think I understand what Harley guys mean now when they say "motorcycles are built, not bought".

Of course you buy the machine. But over time, if you do your own maintenance, it becomes a machine that you built. You choose what oil to put in, the tightness of the chain, the calibration of the brake and clutch levers. Do you keep the factory footpegs, kickstand, muffler, suspension, or swap them out for ones you think are better? Over time, the choices you make when tending to this bike will become manifest in how it responds when...
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Old

The still small voice

Posted June 7th, 2016 at 09:06 PM by lizardywizard

Since this site doesn't let you post blog entries for 30 days after joining, I've got a bunch backed up. So for "today", in this, read "several weeks ago".

***

A lot of people have this image of motorcycling that involves screaming down the highway with ďBorn To Be WildĒ playing as loudly as possible in the background. I did as well, actually.

You can play music from a motorcycle, if you want to. You can get a speaker system installed (though a huge hog-style system would look a bit funny on a sleek Ninja), or you can get Bluetooth-compatible helmets. Or you can go the budget route, like I did, and stick in earbuds.

Iíve seen people do this, though it works a lot better with a barely-covers-anything pot helmet, which I refuse to wear. In a full-face, itís a struggle to keep them in while you pull it on over your head; a well fitting helmet is tight. (For this same reason, Iím probably going to end up letting...
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Old

Close to road rage

Posted June 6th, 2016 at 01:00 PM by 1wardogusmc (Some people and their kids...)

Friday on my way home from work was a pretty average Friday commute in SoCal. Lots of slow bumper to bumper traffic and lots of white lining. So I was about 3/4 of the way home, white lining between the 1+2 lanes of a 4 laner when I noticed a tan SUV about 7 cars ahead of me in the 1 lane start to merge into the 2. Traffic was probably going between 10-20 mph and I was doing about 30-40 tops. So I slow down a bit and wait for him to finish his unsignaled lane change and after about 10 seconds of following him with his right tires in the 2 lane and the rest of his vehicle in the 1 lane it dawned upon me that this guy was being a bag for a feminine product after traffic cleared in the 2 lane I pulled next to him and said " why would you block me? Lane splitting is a thing" his reply was to point towards the sky with a single finger extended between his ring and index finger. His wife/sister/significant other/whoever in the passenger seat was clearly a bit distraught and did not...
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Old

pretty average commute this morning until...

Posted June 3rd, 2016 at 09:46 AM by 1wardogusmc (Some people and their kids...)
Updated June 6th, 2016 at 12:59 PM by 1wardogusmc

I went the whole ride with no real issues until the last turn in to work. There was a bicyclist going the same direction as me as we approached a stop sign where I make a right to get to work. I put my right blinker on, stopped and proceeded to go right and almost got t-boned by the bicyclist who I guess thought he didn't have to stop...
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Old

tunnel vision

Posted June 2nd, 2016 at 03:15 PM by 1wardogusmc (Some people and their kids...)
Updated June 6th, 2016 at 12:57 PM by 1wardogusmc (i put the wrong lanes for the second incident)

So I wake up at 330 to get to work by 6 most mornings. I like to shower, shave and catch up on current events prior to leaving just before 5. Fast forward to about 530 and me on a 4 lane highway a little over half way to work. I'm in the 2 lane doing 85 in traffic doing about 75-80. I'm coming up on a pickup truck so I put my right blinker on for about 5 seconds and start to go over when a blue Prius in the 4 lane zips over without a signal or a care. I calmly get right back into the #2 lane accelerate past the Prius and get into the 2 lane. Fast forward about 3 minutes. I'm in the 3 lane coming up on a new yellow corvette so I put my left blinker on and start to merge when a blue Prius (it's always a Prius trying to kill me) zips from the 1 to the 2 without a signal or a care. Road rage took hold and about 15 seconds later I looked down and saw I was doing 167 and the yellow blur of a corvette passing by as I slowed down. I'm guessing he thought I wanted to race...
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Old

Skill development: Can I? vs. I Can!

Posted June 1st, 2016 at 03:27 PM by adouglas

TL; DR: That magic moment when your brain flips from "Can I go faster?" to "I know I can go faster."

Just got back from a couple of very productive track days. Musing on how much progress I've made, I was thinking about how I felt going into certain corners this year, vs. the same time last year.

For those that haven't done it, riding the track is intensely mental. You've got a whole lot to process and you're fully engaged, both physically and cognitively. You're staring your limits right in the eyes, even at beginner group pace.

As you get faster, the markers shift and your speed goes up, but that at-the-limit-of-mental-capacity feeling remains, at least for awhile.

This past weekend I passed an important milestone in getting past that. Before, I'd be going through a corner under control, but not quite sure if I was approaching the limit and about to crash. Evidently I wasn't, since people were passing me...
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Old
Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

Rider aids and skill development

Posted February 3rd, 2016 at 01:24 PM by adouglas

TL;DR: IMHO rider aids (that work as intended) can help you focus on the skills that matter.

A recent thread from a member who's thinking of upgrading from a fairly new 250 to a 300 solely because the latter has ABS got me thinking about rider aids.

The observation was made by those who know first-hand that aids like ABS can actually hinder proper bike control under certain circumstances (threshold braking on the track). Having no experience with an ABS-equipped machine, I'll take that at face value.

Nevertheless, I'm in favor of rider aids in general. The reason is that they alleviate some of the worry associated with screwing up by lessening, or potentially even eliminating, the consequences of rider error. As a result, the rider can focus more on skill development and less on disaster avoidance.

My first exposure to the track was in a car, back in the early 1990s at the now-defunct and sorely missed Bridgehampton circuit on...
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Old

Living In The Fast Lane | 2015

Posted January 21st, 2016 at 03:56 AM by johnydecali

Now that we are towards the end of January, I can reflect at 2015 as a year of fun on two wheels, hell there were times when I was living in the fast lane. I hit a stupid fast personal best top speed of 168 mph, rode a slew of different kinds of motorcycles; from Harley Davidson's Sportsters and Dynas to Suzuki's, Triumphs, and even a Can Am Spyder. Since I live in the wonderful San Francisco Bay Area, I had the opportunity to ride year round from the FREEZING December weather to scorching 100 degree weather. Rode with friends and family throughout the Bay from Stinson Beach to Alison's and Four Corners to Angel's Camp. Had one too many close calls while splitting lanes to riding with a friend that low sided. 2015 gave me a solid year of riding under my belt while at the same time gives me excitement as to what 2016 will bring. I leave with you below a video montage of my 2015 year. See you out there on the streets and ride safe.

Link to original page on YouTube.

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Old

Installing A USB Charger On A Motorcycle

Posted January 17th, 2016 at 06:26 PM by johnydecali
Updated January 17th, 2016 at 06:30 PM by johnydecali (Correcting YouTube link.)

Spent the day doing a quick upgrade mod to the Lil Green Monster by adding a USB charger to it. The install of the USB charger is a simple plug and play that requires simple tools (screw driver and a set of Allen wrenches) to install.



I picked up the USB charger that is specifically designed for motorcycles, from Amazon, for a little over $13. After a simple removal of a few panels and the seat, fishing the electrical wire through the frame, and cinching everything down with zip ties, this project was completed in less than an hour.

Now Iíll be able to charge my iPhone or keep my GoPro powered on long rides thanks to this USB motorcycle charger.

Link to original page on YouTube.

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