Friday, April 29, 2011

Last Farkle.....I think....

I think we've put the last farkle on Max. Or at least the last farkle for a while.

While in Eugene two weeks ago we ordered some reflective blue wheel tape from Discount Motorcycle Parts. It arrived promptly but we had a hard time trying to find the time to go back down and pick it up. RickRick happened to be in Eugene on Saturday and graciously agreed to make the stop and pick it up for us. Thanks Rick.

Once we saw the kit we were amazed that the color matched the frame and tank of the bike so well. Because it was a special order the color blue was sight unseen until it was delivered. These pics of the pkg and roll of tape were taken after the install so it there isn't much tape left on the roll.

Saturday night we (yes, I mean Troubadour - sorry you don't have a 'we' Bobskoot) decided to apply the tape.

Actually as I was making dinner Troubadour was puttering around in the garage and before I knew it he had the rear wheel on the paddock stand and had one side done already. After dinner. I sat on the bike and rolled the bike forward and back as needed while he applied the tape to the front wheel. (no front stand)

Here are a few pictures:

(Front wheel before)

(Front wheel after)

(with flash to show reflective properties)

I neglected to get a picture of the rear tire before tape. Here is a picture with tape. I made sure to get some of the frame in these shots so you can see the color match.

(no flash)

(with flash)

Will be nice to go out this weekend and get a picture of the whole bike with all of its farkles.

There are a few things I have seen others do on the forums but I don't know if it would be too much blue on Max. For now I shall ponder it and share some pictures of the ideas I like. The following pictures were pilfered from the SV/Gladius forum.

(Ermax seat cowl)

(Rizoma bars and levers)

I have also seen where owners are removing the plastic side covers and exposing the blue frame like a Ducati Monster. No the following picture isn't Max, just someone that has the same hand guards and has added a small fly screen. It does give you an idea of what the bike looks like without the side covers though.

(Side covers removed)

For now I am happy with the way Max looks and have found a nice combination of function with the grip heaters, hand guards, frame sliders, and front fenda extenda and a little bling with the IXIL slip on exhaust, wheel tape and valve stem caps.

I hear rumors of a sunny weekend and even 74˚F for Sunday. We shall see.

- Au Revoir

"There are no grades of vanity, there are only grades of ability in concealing it." ~ Mark Twain, Notebook, 1898


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Just sad

You know you have it bad when you go to the store to buy toothbrushes and you come home with ones that match your motorcycles?

As I was doing my weekly shopping on Friday I knew we needed toothbrushes. Looking at the choices I tried to determine which color to buy for each of us.

I picked up an orange for Troubadour since that is what color he had been using (received from the dentist last visit). I knew I didn't want another yellow liked I'd received last time. Then I spotted a nice blue and white one and I thought "why not?"

So now we have toothbrushes color coded to our bikes. It does make it easy to tell which one is his and which one is mine. Sad isn't it?

- Au Revoir

" Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change." ~ Author Unknown

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mr. Whiskers......

When I was came inside after taking pictures of the fenda extenda last weekend Basil was in his usual spot on the back of the big overstuffed chair. Since I had the camera out I couldn't resist taking a picture.

Funny, he doesn't look amused. Must not have liked that darn flash. Sorry Basil, if you didn't look so darn cute I wouldn't have to take pictures.

- Au Revoir

" There's no need for a piece of sculpture in a home that has a cat." - Wesley Bates

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mental Wish List

I know that I will need new winter/cold weather riding pants this year, but I also need some new riding boots. Okay, I'll probably need summer gloves too. It's never is the actual motorcycle purchase that costs a lot, it always seems to be the goods, farkles and gear to go with it.

I had been using non riding specific HH Brown Opanka pack boots as riding boots when I was a passenger. They were a pretty good fit and wore well for 7-8 years I used them. The heel was a problem for me as I've had ankle surgery many years ago and the angle was not good for walking.

Last year, for riding the TU, I switched to HD Melia riding boots.

I liked the style, low heel, and the fact they aren't bulky. They are big enough for my warm socks, but they roast my feet in the summer and my feet freeze below about 50˚. I am happy with the way they are wearing, but feel these have stretched a bit and it would be nice to have a slightly tighter fit and something with ankle protection. For them to be vegan would be a bonus.

I started doing a little research this afternoon (slow day in the office) and came up with these: the Sidi Jasmine Rain Boot.

Although the appear to be leather they are actually made from Lorica®. What is Lorica you ask? Well, to quote their advertising Lorica is "a composite micro fiber material created from strands less than one-thousandth the thickness of silk. When injected with special resins, these fibers act like natural leather skin, but with the addition of better strength, softer texture, lighter weight and better moisture protection. Lorica is also highly resistant to abrasion - yet it still breathes - with more than three million pores per square centimeter. Easy to maintain, Lorica doesn’t stain and can’t be scratched and offers, reduced weight, more flexibility and more feel than leather racing boots."

I'm intrigued. Several sites have these boots listed for $200. For Sidi, that seems a good price to me. Considering I paid about $119 for my HD Melia's with no ankle protection, it seems a good value.

Now if only I could find a place around here to actually try them on. I think Cycle Gear in Salem can special order them in and if they don't fit I don't think you have to buy them. Maybe Troubadour even has a coupon hiding around here somewhere. If nothing else my Melia's were ordered off the internet. I'd never ordered boots online before, but was impressed with customer service and exchange policies if they didn't fit. If shipping were free, I don't think I'd hesitate to order online again. Good thing we built the walk in closet in the spare room or I'd never be able to store all my old discarded gear.

I am in no rush for boots right at the moment but I'll definitely have to add these to my mental wish list. Now if only pants or gloves were that easy.......

- Au Revoir

"A bargain ain't a bargain unless it's something you need." ~ Sidney Carroll

Sunday, April 17, 2011

What do you get......

When you cross 'function' with 'sparkles'? FARKLES

Or at least that is where I like to believe the word came from. I decided to look it up on Urban Dictionary. Sure enough the first definition is exactly that. It must have been an easy one, if I guessed it right off. It also give the definition as an acronym for Fancy Accessory Really Kool Likely Expensive. Hadn't heard that one before.

I bring this up because I've added a few more farkles to Max.

First the function......Okay, they sparkle a bit too. We added aluminium spools and bought a rear stand. Will be much easier for cleaning the chain.

Little bit more function..... we finally installed the Fenda Extenda purchased from Pyramid. I think it will really help keep the road grime off the engine, oil filter and exhaust. It went on quite easy, 4 bolts removed and the fender was off. We (and by we I mean Troubadour) used the double sided tape that came with it and he was smart and used a little leftover super duper silicone from when we installed the exhaust venting on the pellet stove. We know that stuff sticks. Left it all day and it was quite secure. Reinstalled the fender and voila.

We had the choice of black or black but at least you can see how much more coverage it will give and how small the original fender was.

And now for gratuitous sparkles.....

While at Harbor Freight this last week I picked up some blue valve stem caps. They were on clearance and by far the cheapest farkle added to the bike. A little bling for Max, I couldn't resist.

We also have blue reflective wheel tape on order from Discount Motorcycle Parts. We were there last Saturday and Steve said he'd order it. Not sure how they did it, but it was already in on Tuesday. One of these days we'll have to sneak down and pick it up.

Looks like the sun has finally decided to peek out from the clouds. Must be time to have some breakfast and think about a ride.

- Au Revoir

"My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income." ~ Errol Flynn

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April Showers Bring........

I have come to the conclusion that Oregon has only two seasons: wet and dry. The dry season lasts 3 months - July, August and September. The wet season however, lasts the other 9 months. Ick blah.

Needless to say I haven't been doing much riding lately. We did ride to coffee last Saturday which was nice, makes 3 times I've been out on Max and the first time with the hand guards. I had to turn my grip heaters down on the way home as they were too warm, that was a good feeling.

On the ride home I also realized my winter riding pants are so large I think they are becoming a hazard. I was hoping they would last until it is warm enough to wear my mesh, but I don't think so. They were sightly large when I purchased them about 18 months ago, but recently I have lost about 15 pounds and they are way too loose now and I feel like the saggy baggy elephant wearing them. Unfortunately when I buy pants with long enough legs they usually start out a little on the loose side up top. I could deal with baggy drawers on the TU because of how flat the seat was, but with the forward lean angle of the seat on Max if I do any kind of abrupt braking I slide inside the pants so far forward and into the tank that I feel unstable and unsafe. Not a good thing. More gear shopping, oh joy. At least I have it narrowed down to either REV'IT, to go with my jacket or Aerostich since Troubadour loves his so much.

Saturday afternoon Troubadour was taking the America down to the Triumph dealer in Eugene to put it on consignment and I opted not to ride, as we would have had to return two up on the Gladius. Two up on Max would have been doable but not necessarily comfortable for an hour ride.

He did have a riding buddy with him though, our good friend Jim, who also owns a Tiger, rode down with him and I followed later in the car.

Rod was busy which was good to see. You always want your favorite shop to be bustling, keeps them in business. Since Troubadour rode down he had all of his riding gear and the new Tiger 800 was calling him like a beautiful siren luring an unsuspecting sailor to doom. He heard the call and answered it with smirk and proceeded to steer straight into the reef. I'll let him describe his test ride, as it is his tale to tell. I can tell you that his smile lasted for hours and outshone the sun.

(taken on our first visit to see the new Tiger)

We were at the shop for a few hours and then had lunch at Laughing Planet Cafe. We wanted to try it out as one will be opening here in Corvallis in May and they have quite a vegetarian menu. We were not disappointed.

The weather wasn't great on Sunday so we just puttered around the house and ran a few errands. Back to work on Monday and the weather has been a mixed bag of tricks since. Raining one minute, hail and sleet the next interspersed with some sunshine. Sometimes rain and sun at the same time. Mother nature is definitely in her bi-polar phase.

The forecast for the coming week is more of the same. Right now the weekend looks dry and we are hoping to go for a ride and get some yard work done. I don't think I'll hold my breath.

- Au Revoir

"The trouble with weather forecasting is that it's right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it." ~ Patrick Young

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday Rest Stop

Today was a typical Sunday. Wake up, drink some coffee, putter on the computer, drink some more coffee. You know how it is.

By 9:30 we decided there should be more to our day. The sun was shining and it looked promising. There were two things we wanted to get done were to wash the car and install the trailer wiring harness and also to give Max a good scrubbing. Okay, I guess that is actually three things. We managed to get the car washed and wiring harness installed quickly with no problems.

We then moved the car closer to the end of the drive and brought Max out of his hiding spot in the garage. Armed with a sponge each we started scrubbing all the road grime off him.

I will admit that Troubadour did most of the scrubbing. I didn't get any pictures of the bike all suds up, as that wouldn't be proper. No one wants a picture of them taken while in the bath.

It was after 11:00 when we finished and decided we should go for a ride. Troubadour opted to take the Tiger rather than the America. We headed out thinking we'd be going to the coast for chowder.

A little ways down the road Troubadour pulled over in a parking lot to reevaluate our destination. The clouds towards the coast and Mary's Peak looked a little ominous. Change in plans.

We thought we'd meander towards Salem on the back roads and see where we'd end up. We took a roundabout route North of town and East across 99w to head North on Independence Highway. Troubadour was wondering how I was doing since we didn't have the radios with us and found a spot to pull off the road. There isn't really a designated rest stop on the way but he did manage to find something.

For us it was a simple Sunday rest stop, for many it is their final. We pulled over at the Hilltop Cemetery, just 3 miles south of Independence on the Corvallis/Independence highway.

This gave us a chance to stretch our legs, chat a bit and decide whether to continue or head back. Oh yeah, and it gave us a photo opportunity too.

We took turns passing the camera back and forth to get shots at different angles. I admit, I asked him to stick out his tongue....

He returned the favor. Unfortunately the wind was blowing my hair in my eyes so I'm all squinty in the picture he took.

Me thinks Troubadour is much more photogenic than I. We took a few more pictures before deciding the weather was not as warm as we'd hoped and our hands and feet were getting chilly from just standing. The sun wasn't shining and neither of us really felt like going to Salem and having sushi for lunch.

We pointed the bikes towards home and thought of the pellet stove and a steaming pot of coffee. We were about a mile from home when a fairly young deer decided it needed to cross the road. Oncoming traffic stopped and we did too. I revved the bike a bit thinking the IXIL exhaust would spook it into deciding which way it wanted to go. Cross the road one more time or head into a park... It opted to cross the road one more time, as we figured it would. This occurred at the crest of a hill on a left-hand corner so we were glad both bikes were equipped with hazard flashers. We both thought to put them on in hopes that no one would rear end us.

It was a shorter ride than we anticipated but at the same time it was nice to get back out on Max and get more comfortable on the new bike. The hand guards were money well spent. Between them and the grip heaters my hands weren't cold. The tips of the fingers were a little chilly but nothing compared to what they were like before. I also appreciate the power and weight of the bike. It is nice to have power in reserve to roll on it if needed and I also feel as though I am cornering smoother and even leaning a little more, as it just feels right to lean this bike.

I am definitely looking forward to warmer days and putting many more miles on Max.

- Au Revoir

"The feeling of Sunday is the same everywhere, heavy, melancholy, standing still." ~ Jean Rhys