Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Lotus Comes to Coffee

And by Lotus, I mean the car, not the blossom.

Our friend David, of the Ford GT 500 fame bought a Lotus a few weeks ago and we got to see it up close and personal at coffee on Saturday. 

I let David know I thought it was might nice of him to buy a Lotus in blue to match my bike.  If I'd ridden to coffee I would have taken a pic of the two together.

Brad was the only one at coffee that got to sit in it and make vroom vroom noises.  He's lucky that way.

(Troubadour in a Lotus)

(Cell phone photo by our friend Sasquatch, aka Sassy)

(David giving him pointers on the best way to exit a Lotus)

(Almost out)

(David heads home before the rains arrive - the Lotus matches that Connie too)

We haven't been doing much riding lately.  Our weather has been waffling between sunny for 20 minutes and pouring down rain for hours.  It has been really hit or miss.

Until Monday, then the skies cleared up and the weather warmed up.  Yesterday it was 80˚F (26.66˚C) at 4 pm when I got home and today it is forecast to be 88˚F (31˚C).  Unfortunately it won't stick around for the weekend.  By Saturday and Sunday the rain is forecast to return along with the 59˚F (15˚C) weather.  Not cold by any means, but not always fun to ride in the rain.

Basil turned 9 on April Fools Day and just takes life and the weather in stride.  He alternates between napping on the sofa.....

....... to laying on the dining room floor waiting for some canned food to arrive in his bowl so he doesn't have to resort to dry food.

He looks ready to starve doesn't he?

- Au Revoir

"I'm just a simple guy, I live from day to day.  A ray of sunshine melts my frown, and blows my blues away." - Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and John Bonham, "Out of the Tiles" (Led Zepplin)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Introducing Max 2.0 - Cool Max

Troubadour and I managed to find some time after work to apply/install the tank pads.  Hardest part was not running right out to the garage after receiving them, but waiting a day or two until we could take our time and do it right. Before I get into the install I figured I'd best show you a picture of how it looks complete.

Introducing........Max 2.0 - Cool Max

I am super happy with the way it looks.  Just exactly as I thought it would.  Max, but better.  Who knew a little plastic body enhancement would suit him so well.

This post will contain a bit about the contents of the kit and the install.  I wasn't able to find any information about it on the interweb when I was searching for info months ago.  Hopefully this will help others that may be debating about whether or not to add the kit to their Gladius.  If you don't want to read about the install just scroll down for more pics of it complete.


What is included in the kit:  2 tank pads, 2 smaller decals for the covers by the seat, 1 cleaning towelette, 1 pkg soap concentrate, installation instructions.

(Suzuki Part # 990D0-44H03-PAD)
1.  Remove the original silver S badging front the tank covers.  A hair dryer will aid in removal.

2.  Clean the surface to remove any decal residue.  Take the cleaning towelette provided (large alcohol wipe) and wipe the surface of the tank covers and also clean the covers beneath the seat where the smaller decals will be applied.  Let dry.

3.  Mix the soap concentrate with 5 liters of water and add a good portion of it to a spray bottle.

4.  Remove the backing from the double sided tape inside the tank pad, spray the back of the pad and the actual tank cover with the solution.

5.  Apply the tank pad.  Center it into place and press.  Within 10 seconds it adheres on its own.   Press around the edges where the tape is located to make sure it is secure as it dries.  Repeat steps 4 and 5 for other side.  Gently wipe any over-spray of soap solution off of tank.

6.  Apply smaller chequered/checkered decal to each side of cover beneath the seat.

Photos of Process:

(1.  Remove original silver S badge)

(2.  Clean the surface using towelette provided)

(4.  Remove backing from double-sided tape)

(Chequered tank pad after application)

(Cover beneath seat ready for decal)

(Cover with decal applied)

Overall it was an easy process that took more time to prep for than it did to apply.  I find it to be great quality with thicker pads than anticipated.  The small decals might wear in the weather like any decal would, but the tank pads should last. (provided there are no petrol spills).

I am looking forward to riding to coffee on Saturday to see how many people notice the difference. Maybe we'll get out for a ride after and find some spring blooms as a nice backdrop for some more photos.

Thank you again MB, you really are too kind.

- Au Revoir

"  I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder." - G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Surprise - What's in the Box?

Any guesses as to what is in the box?

(Special delivery from across the pond)
It has come from across the Atlantic Ocean........ I am sure it travelled on planes, trains, and automobiles before it arrived safely at our door.

(The instructions remind me of Ikea, all photos)
I think the preceding picture pretty much gives away the answer if you look closely.  If not, the next picture certainly does.

(Oooh, some nice goodies in that box)
(Left side chequered tank pad)

That is right.  The coveted farkles have arrived.  How you ask, did they arrive at my door?  Well, let me explain.......... 

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away..........

I was contacted by a fellow moto-blogger who had (much to my surprise) purchased the chequered tank pad set for me after reading my Coveted Farkle Post.

We exchanged several emails and then DHL visited us just after we got home yesterday and made the special delivery.  The set is better than I imagined it would be, and seems to be a high quality heavy duty molded vinyl.

Now this gentleman, who I shall refer to as MB for 'Moto-Blogger' and/or 'Mysterious Benefactor' (since he would like to remain anonymous), went out of his way to provide me with this special surprise.  It was unexpected and is much appreciated.

He would not let me reimburse him for the price of the goods or shipping, but luckily he will let me treat him to a meal or two if he ever decides to come to the USA, or we hop a plane across the pond for a visit.  Just know MB, how touched I am you did this for me.

The internet truly does make the world a little smaller and even though I have never met MB in person, I believe it is as Bobskoot always says: "There are no strangers, just friends we have not yet met."

I will do a more detailed post after the installation. It looks fairly easy; just a matter of cleaning the parts and mixing a solution to spray on before adhering.  I can't ride it for 24 hours after application so we will have to do it prior to Friday morning so I can ride it to coffee on Saturday.

- Au Revoir

" There is magic in long-distance friendships.  They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound." - Diana Cortes 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Wuzzle Bee and Garden Art

No moto related content in this post, but I wanted to share a few pictures I took on Friday afternoon.

(aka Huge Bumblebee, aka B-52s)

We had a spell of unexpected sunshine and I was out on the deck and noticed a huge bumble bee sipping up the nectar from a few flowers waiting to be planted.   I quickly jaunted inside to grab the camera and hoped he would still be there when I returned.  He was.  It looked like he was having his own little garden party as he buzzed along from flower to flower.  


A weekend or so ago we decided to re-vamp a shrub bed by the back deck.  A few plants died over the winter and the old white lattice we'd had hanging on a small pergola had seen better days. With a little recycle, reuse mentality and a few can of spray paint we got in touch with our creative sides.

An old steel trellised gazebo was dismantled years ago and we'd saved the corner panels.  We took the panels and spray painted 4 of the 8 different colors and hung them from the pergola, then planted some evergreen clematis at the base of the two posts.

Voila functional garden art........

I really should have tidied up a bit before taking the pics, but oh well.

We still have 4 panels left and we are now debating painting them and hanging them from the sides of the large pergola with the swing at the back of the yard.  A little continuity to the yard and also some privacy when the vines grow through them.

Has it been warm enough in your neck of the woods for any garden puttering yet?

We are forecast for clear and sunny skies this coming up weekend so I am hoping to get in a ride. Now is the time of year when we try to find enough time for all of our hobbies.

- Au Revoir

"Garden Party" - Ricky Nelson, written 1972

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Can You See Me Now?

No, this post isn't all about hi-vis, although it may sound that way from the title.  It is mostly about a little extra help with people seeing your stopped bike when coming at you fast from behind.

I am sure we've all been there.  We stop leaving enough room for an escape route.  Not only do we watch the traffic in front and beside us, but we keep a keen eye on our six as well.  

Before you know it a car is fast approaching and you do the fancy dance on your rear brake and/or repeatedly squeeze the front brake to flash your brake lights hoping they'll slow down and stop, as you quickly rethink said escape route.

Enter flashing LED brake lights by Hyper-Lites.

I am really lucky in that Troubadour not only ordered a set for both Max and Lucy, but when I got home from work at noon last Friday they were already installed on Max, he just needed to connect the wires.  See, I told you I was lucky.

I can say this - they are bright.  When either pressing the rear brake or squeezing the front brake they will flash for 5 seconds then stay on while either brake is applied.  So, if you are stopped longer than 5 seconds when that car approaches from the rear, you simply need to squeeze the brake once to alert them of your presence rather than repeatedly.

Of course this may also alert your fellow riders when you are getting into a corner a little hot and scrubbing off some speed.

Here are a few of the photos Troubadour took of the process.

(Installed by license plate frame on reflector bracket)
(top view - they don't stick out too far)
(A view of both installed)
He also took a picture of the wiring, but I couldn't tell you what it all means.  It isn't that I am ignorant in the ways of electronics, but I wasn't present for the install, yeah that's it.  Red wire connected to the blue wire?  No, that's not it......

(one wire, two wire; red wire, blue wire)
The following pic was taken with the hyper-lights on while the bike was in the garage.  Next time we're out in the wild, I'll try to get a quick 5-second video of the flashing.

(Post flashing........ now on until brake lever is released)

I am also planning on purchasing the Rev'it Hi-Vis Indigo jacket, but I am patiently waiting until the end of May as they can usually be found on sale for Memorial Day.  I currently have the Rev'it Siren in black (the Indigo predecessor) and have had it for over 3 years.  I like it, but it is quite worn. And with a black helmet I think a hi-vis jacket would be a good idea.  It will be quite the contrast to Max's blue and white.

(Stock photo from

So.....have you done anything to your bike or your gear to make yourself a little more visible?

- Au Revoir

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