Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Moose is Loose

Hooray, another farkle arrived for Max. Not only do we have the grip heaters, the frame sliders and the IXIL slip on exhaust installed, but the hand guards were delivered yesterday. After looking online we opted for the V-Strom hand guards. I'd seen them on another Gladius on one of the forums and didn't mind the look.

Last night after dinner we did the install. First up a picture of the left and right side the way they were....

I apologize for the background in the pictures. When you have 3 motorcycles crammed in a one car garage with 4 bicycles, the washer and dryer, a work bench, and a shelving unit space is limited.

I did assist with the project, but Troubadour did the bulk of the work. I was mainly there for support. Hand me that wrench, hold that nut, I need a washer, get out of the way...... you know how it is.

We started with the left side.

Then the right.

A short time later and we were done. The project from start to finish took less than an hour.


And after.....

Might have to nickname the bike "Moose" while the hand guards are on. In some strange way I think it suits it. Must be the black instrument cluster cover that completes the look.

I've never had a bike with hand guards before. I am looking forward to riding to coffee Saturday morning and arriving with warm hands. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we'll either be able to go for a ride after coffee or even on Sunday. Maybe a chowder run is in order. Will try and get better pics of it on the weekend.

One more farkle on the way....a fenda extenda from Pyramid in the UK has been ordered for the front fender. It has shipped and we are just waiting for delivery.

-Au Revoir

"Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without." ~ Confucius, Analects

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Big Warm Fuzzy....

I saw this picture on the net today and had to chuckle.

And no, I will not be putting fake fur on the is just soooo not Max's color.

- Au Revoir

"Advice to children crossing the street: damn the lights. Watch the cars. The lights ain't never killed nobody." ~ Moms Mabley


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Signs of Spring

Hooray, today is the first day of Spring. I decided to wander around the yard this morning while it wasn't raining and take a few pictures of the signs of Spring that are emerging.

The Camellia Japonica (Magnoliaeflora)


Sambucus Black Lace

Magnolia Stellata Rosea Jane Platt (star magnolia)


Bridal Wreath Spirea

Tree Peony

Siberian Windflower

Daffodils (of course)

Muscari (Grape Hyacinth)

Here is one other sign of spring.....

That's right. Troubadour secretly put insurance on the America so that we could sneak out for a ride if weather permitted. With the TU sold, the Tiger at Eddy's getting her new rack and no insurance on the America we were down to just the Gladius. It was a nice surprise to take it out, as I didn't expect to until the Tiger comes home. He knew I didn't want an audience or a group ride for my first venture out on Max so he kept it on the down low. He's so good to me.

Luckily the sun decided to shine some yesterday and we got out for a quick ride. So far I am loving it. I did have to pull over about 2 block from the house so Troubadour could adjust the shift lever for me. I couldn't get my toe under it to shift up. That fixed we headed out.

I did notice that the seat trys to slide you forward into the gas tank a bit. I fixed that by pushing back a little further on the seat and it was comfy. Round trip was probably under 20 miles but with no heated grips and the rains chasing us we were satisfied with a quick ride.

It was nice to stop for a few photos.

And then we remembered we had a self-timer on the camera

Luckily there was a metal pipe in the ground at the right height. Might have to invest in one of the gorilla tripods that SonjaM has been sporting.

Sure was nice to have power at the ready so I didn't have to shift down and get a run at the hills. Bike seems really easy to ride and stable in the corners. Looking forward to getting out and riding it again, hopefully when it is a few degrees warmer. I am such a cold weather wussie.

- Au Revoir

"Awake, thou wintry earth -
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
~Thomas Blackburn, "An Easter Hymn"

Friday, March 18, 2011

Again With the March Madness....

March madness has hit again this year. Last year I posted about how for some reason we always manage to purchase bikes and cars in March. Last year we purchased the TU 250 at the end of March and this year we sold the TU 250 and also purchased the Gladius.

But wait, there's more..... we'd had enough of our Nissan Versa (which was purchased in March 2007) and the gremlins needing to be fixed so last Sunday we traded it in for a 2011 Subaru Forester. Now we will be able to not only tow a trailer, but haul more as well. One of the things we didn't like about the Versa is that it wasn't rated for towing. When we bought it we had Troubadour's pickup truck. We sold it a few months later since he was only riding his motorcycle and the truck had turned into a lawn ornament. When the Versa became our only 4-wheeled transportation we realized it wasn't as versatile as we'd like. The Versa was paid off and it was nice not to have a car payment but it was time for a change.

The Forester is much more utilitarian. So far we are loving it. Of course the AWD, panoramic moonroof, and heated seats and mirrors help with that too.

This was a random picture found on the net but it is the same year and color (Camellia red pearl) as the one we purchased. It has been too dark and rainy to take any pictures of our car. I hear we are supposed to get sunshine on Sunday.

On Wednesday the new slip on exhaust was delivered for Max. It is a stainless steel IXIL Hyperflow purchased from

Last night we did the install. First up, remove the stock exhaust.

Yes, I did help. I managed to look at the bolts and picked the right size socket out of the toolbox first thing. Wasn't quite strong enough to undo the bolts so Troubadour stepped in and did it for me. He removed all the bolts and then had me pull off the stock exhaust.

(What's up with those stock peg feelers?)

As you can tell, the bike is really dirty right now from commuting with Troubadour these last two weeks.

With the stock exhaust off it was time for another pic.

I slipped on the new exhaust and troubadour tightened up the clamp for me.

(Don't all men wear kilts when working on motorcycles?)

I held up the stock exhaust just to see the difference in size. I wish I would have put them on the floor side by side for reference but this will have to do.

We started it up and I am really happy with the sound. It isn't an obnoxious over loud rumble like you might find on some cruisers, but instead is more of a 'something stuck in your throat' growl. Almost gutteral, but not quite. Troubadour's Tiger has an off-road exhaust on it and it is like a big cat's growl. The Gladius is like a kitten in it's imitation of the growl, but I like it.

We're still waiting for a switch housing to hook up the heated grips. We ordered one online but the company sent a new model so instead of a nice black switch it was a large fugly red standing in stark contrast against the bike like a kill switch. That was returned and a new one is on the way. If only we could have found something locally.

If it is sunny on Sunday I am hoping to take Max out to get some pictures of the whole bike with the new exhaust on it, but for now a few more from last Friday.....

-Au Revoir

"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination." ~ Oscar Wilde

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Yesterday I bid adieu to my little TU. We'd known since Thursday that we had a seriously interested party. A gentleman from Seattle had been riding a scooter and then took his MSF course and wanted to step up. He sold his scooter and was looking for a small bike to get around town. He'd ridden a TU as a demo and it was what he was looking for.

The catch was that he had no way to come and get the bike from Oregon. We were nice enough and borrowed a truck and delivered the bike yesterday. So begins our adventure........

I picked the truck up late Friday afternoon and we loaded the bike that evening. Saturday morning we were up at 5:00 am and out of the house just after 6:00 am and it was raining like crazy. North on I-5 we headed. We made a quick stop at a rest area and then didn't stop again until the Olympia/Tumwater region for petrol. Fuel was more expensive in Washington so we were happy to find a Costco. With Costco pricing we paid what we would have in Oregon. Luckily it happened to be close to a Starbucks. Fortitude was required to carry on after being up so early.

I took the opportunity to take a few last pics of the TU on it's way to it's new home.

I didn't notice until looking at the pictures that you can see a Starbucks sign on the Fred Meyer building in the background. Funny because we were at an actual individual Starbucks store located behind where I was standing to take the picture. More than once we've seen a Starbucks right across from a Starbucks. Caramel Macchiatos in hand we headed off again.

About an hour later we arrived. Unloaded the bike in the pouring Pacific Northwest rain and completed our transaction. The man who bought the bike was super happy and very excited with it. I think it went to a good home. He fit the retro image of the bike perfectly.

By this time it was noon and we were hungry. Checked the GPS for restaurants in the area and saw a vegetarian Thai restaurant. Found parking around the corner. I swear in the area of Seattle that we were in, that little truck was the biggest vehicle around. Parking was scarce and roads were narrow. There were some really cool older homes though with lots of character. Unfortunately the Thai restaurant was closed. (damn GPS doesn't give you hours of operation) This turned out to be a good thing.

When we had initially gotten out of the truck I noticed an organic Indian food restaurant across the street. Turns out they were open and had a weekend brunch buffet. It was some of the best Indian food I've ever eaten. When you are vegetarian in an unfamiliar town and looking to eat, you can't go wrong with Indian food. They have so many veggie dishes. The restaurant was called Chutney Bistro. Very nice. It was good to have some new flavors compared to the two Indian restaurants we have here in Corvallis.

As we were eating Troubadour mentioned that we left the camera in the truck. Doh! A little bird told me recently that a pocket camera was to be kept in the pocket, you know, ready to use at a moments notice. Unfortunately we don't have pockets big enough for the Canon. I think we'll have to invest in an actual pocket camera small enough to fit in a pocket or my minuscule purse.

We realized the restaurant was in an old school. It was the Interlake Public School which has been transformed into a little shopping complex called Wallingford Center. Two floors of shops and the waitress told us there were apartments upstairs. We would have liked to take some pictures of the interior decor, but did not go back in. I did manage to take a few pictures of the exterior once we returned to the truck.

The yellow striped awning you can just see at the bottom right corner of the above picture indicates where Chutney Bistro was located. They were in the basement area.

Sufficiently full we headed South. We stopped at Eagle Leather in Tacoma and wandered around for a bit. They had their Fulmer helmets on 20% off. I managed to find an XS helmet that fit pretty well. It doesn't come down as far on my neck/shoulders as my Scorpion. Will be easier for shoulder checking I think. The helmet is not the orange and white reflective one I had mentioned in a earlier post. It a reflective white and black/grey one that is similar. It is not a modular but has the reflective properties I wanted. I was a happy camper. It is Fulmer D5 Flamethower Shaman II. They have a picture of it on their website I pilfered.

From there we headed a bit further down the road to Triumph of Tacoma. The workers in there were all very friendly and we wandered a bit and Troubadour checked out the Sidi boots. They didn't have the right size for the ones he is wanting though. Sad panda. Time to head home. Back in the truck and onto I-5 South.

We stopped in Wilsonville for petrol and then at Sushi Kyo in Salem for dinner. We finally made it home about 8:00 last night. It was a really long day but worth it so that the TU went to a good home.

On a side note, Friday was a nice sunny day here in the valley and Troubadour stopped on his way home from work and took a few pictures of the Gladius for me. He is so good to me. Here is a sample.

- Au Revoir

"It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!" ~ Mark Twain

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Relax Max

We didn't manage to get our Versa back from the shop on Thursday as planned. Turns out it wasn't just the Body Control Module (BCM), but the fuel pump as well. The bad BCM was preventing the diagnostic equipment to diagnose the bad fuel pump. You know.... what we thought the problem was all along. The dealer managed to get a part overnighted to them and replaced the fuel pump Friday morning. The car started. They put the old BCM unit in to see if the car would start. No luck. They then had to reinstall the new BCM to get us race ready.

Fortunately they replaced the fuel pump under the drive train warranty. Not so much the BCM. At least it was under $500 for the fix. I was able to pick it up mid afternoon on Friday. Was nice to have the car back again. Much easier for running errands.

On Friday Troubadour received a phone call from the Suzuki dealer that the rectifier had not come in for the Gladius. Sad Panda.

Saturday we were set to take Troubadour's Tiger to Eddy to have the rack made. We had made prior arrangements to borrow a truck thinking we'd drop off the Tiger and bring home the Gladius without having to ride in different vehicles. It was also scheduled to rain. With the Gladius not being ready and waking up to sunshine Troubadour decided to ride the Tiger to Vancouver.

While dropping off the Tiger and visiting with Eddy and his wonderful wife and kids, Troubadour received a call from the Suzuki dealer. The parts came in early Saturday morning and we could pick up the Gladius in Beaverton about 3:00 pm. Hooray. An unexpected surprise. But wait, we didn't even take the camera with us as we weren't expecting to pick it up.

We left Eddy's and drove around a few car lots. We have been debating about whether or not to trade our car in for something more versatile than a little economy car. It would be nice to have something to tow with or that would haul a bit more. Nothing impressed us and so we headed to Beaverton.

Stopped at a Triumph shop for fun (where someone might have found himself a new Triumph jacket) and then on to Suzuki. We picked up the bike without any problems. Also bought some grip heaters while we were waiting. We were a little disappointed that the bike was back on the showroom floor exactly where it was after we put our deposit down on it two weeks ago which leads me to believe the salesman never did take it off the floor and put it in the warehouse liked he promised. And, it didn't even have a "I'm sold, please don't sit on me" sign on it.

Aside from that they did fill it up with petrol and checked the tire pressure. Luckily Troubadour had his riding gear from his morning ride. We didn't leave Beaverton until after 5 pm and took the long way home on Hwy 99W to vary the speed and help break in the motor, I-5 would have been easier but at a steady 65 mph not as good for the new bike. We made it home by just after 7 pm and I put a nice big pot of coffee on. The temperatures had dropped as soon as the sun went down and it didn't have heated grips installed yet. I felt so bad for Troubadour and his chilly fingers.

While driving behind Troubadour for that two hours I had a lot of time to think. I was thinking of the rides I'd had on the TU and the great rides to come on the Gladius. Because I plan on keeping the Gladius for a long time, I started to think of actually naming it.

Naming a bike or a car for that matter is an oddity for me. I've never done it and didn't really know why people do it. I figured why not, I might give it a shot. If nothing else it gives me a way to distinguish between bikes when writing the amount for petrol in the checkbook.

So I stared thinking. Gladius..... a sword used by the gladiators. Then I started wondering the name of a famous gladiator. Couldn't think of any. Then I started thinking of the movie Gladiator staring Russell Crowe. Not a huge fan of his but I did enjoy the movie. For some reason I thought his name was Maximilian in the movie. I thought Max would be a good name for the Gladius.

When I got home I looked it upon the computer. Turns out the name of his character was Maximus. Well that suits it even more. It shall be a Gladius Maximus. Not to be confused with gluteus maximus. Works with my sense of humor, but I think I'll just call it Max for short.

We managed to get the frame sliders installed on Sunday. We also removed the obnoxious orange and white warning sticker that was on the fuel tank.

Haven't installed the grips yet as we are waiting for the switch mounting hardware to arrive. Fingers are crossed for tomorrow.

Troubadour has been riding it to work since he is missing his Tiger. He reports that it is much more nimble to ride than the Ninja and that it isn't as bulky either. I am hoping to take my maiden voyage on it to coffee on Saturday and to take some photos of it in it's natural habitat if the weather cooperates. Ride report and first impressions to follow.

- Au Revoir

"My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next." - Russell Crowe as Maximus in Gladiator