31 December 2010

2010 Year End Review

Every since the weather turned cold, I've been thinking back over the year trying to decide if I did what I wanted to do.  In 2008 and 9, I didn't get enough riding in due to theWolf and one of my goals for the new year was to ride more.  I also wanted to finally do some of the "beauty" mods I had on my wish list.  It actually started at the end of last year around Thanksgiving, when I finally bought the "racing pegs" I'd been watching on eBay.

26 December 2010

FZ1 Mod: Gen2 Handlebar

After riding Cruzman's Stella on the Short Ride, I decided it was time to put the Gen2 handlebar I bought during the summer on the bike.  Problem was the handlebar was silver-ish and didn't match the frame.  I priced powder coating but frankly I didn't want to spend the money to get it powder coated.  The other option was to paint it and after talking to EricR I decided I'd give it a shot.

07 December 2010

DIY: Heated Gear Controller R&D

Sometimes it is better to check your bearing before you get to the destination. When I first started making my heated glove liners last year this time, I did a thorough search to see how different manufacturers and DIYers connected their gloves and controlled the heat. I decided to take a little bit of a different approach to the connectors by using mono audio plugs and jacks. After riding with the gloves for a while, there were some tweaks I wanted to make like a smaller controller and moving it out of the tank bag since that was not my original vision.

Motorcycle Gear: The Helmet

The HJC Lesson.

At the beginning of the year I got a new helmet for the first time in 3 years.  My old Icon Mainframe was falling apart and needed replacing.  After some research, I settled on the HJC CL-SP.  It had good reviews and a popular name.  I found a good deal at Competition Accessories and bought it along with my first pair of motorcycle specific boots, Vega Touring Boots.

06 December 2010

Impressions: Long Term Gear Review.

Over the course of the year, I bought a lot of gear.  I took advantage of closeout deals to replace things and buy things I wanted for a while but didn't think I needed until this year.  Gear includes stuff for me (like motorcycle specific boots, a new helmet, and jacket) and stuff for Baby (like luggage).  I'm not going to include farkles, like the exhaust, levers, or frame plugs, because for the most part I don't need to live with them to know if I like them.  I decided to wait until I spent some time with my new gear before posting my long term impressions.

27 November 2010

Ride Report: The Short Ride

21 November 2010
I planned to ride by myself last Sunday but I wanted to do it with the heated gloves but I didn't get the new controller made in time.  The week before this ride on the test, it wasn't exactly what I wanted so I tore it apart to rebuild it differently.  I didn't finish that before this ride but the weather was forecasting warmer temps so it wasn't so much an issue.  That and we planned a shorter ride with a later start time to accommodate EricR.  He'd missed The Ambitious Ride with an exposed nerve and the ReRun ride because of his allergies.  I fully expected Cruzman to tell me something else had gone wrong and he'd miss this one too.  But as I got ready to leave, no word so everything was still on.

26 November 2010

Ride Report: Backyard Romp

31 October 2010 -- The ReRun Ride
This is another Dual Ride Report.  (My words will look like this.  Cruzman's words will look like this.)
The discussion about this ride started before we even finished the last one.  David wanted to meet up with EricR and FZ1_Vadar who were talking about doing a Cherohala run.  With the seasons changing and the daylight waning, I advised Cruzman that going back to the Cherohala or riding Hwy 28 South this time of year might not be a wise decision.  I reminded him that there was no telling what the weather will be like on the top of the Cherohala.  When you combine that with riding three hours to get to one road passing all the really good ones that are in our relative backyard, the idea is crazy.

29 October 2010

Nothing to do with motorcycles: Earth's Children Book Series

I promised myself I would keep this moto oriented.  If I found myself wanting to post non-moto stuff, I'd just start a new blog.  Well, I'm not starting a new blog, but I thought you'd want to know about one of my other interests.  You see the counter for the Earth's Children books on the left side of the page.  As well as being an avid fan, theWolf gave me the desire to write fan-fiction.  I say theWolf gave it to me because I lurked on the ECFans site and never contributed for years...until theWolf change my life.

24 October 2010

DIY More Heated Gear

23 October 2010:
After the last ride, I knew it was time to make sure my heated gear was ready for the cold.  I've been happy with the fan controller for running the gloves but at only 30w, I doubted it's ability to power the pants I started just as the last cold season was breaking.

20 October 2010

Ride Report: The Super Ambitious Ride

17 October 2010:  From Waffle House to Sushi
After the last trip and the failure of the Ambitious Route, Cruzman and I decided we'd try to re-ride part of that route to get the taste of that failure out of our heads.  I also wanted to get Baby's bad performance out of my memory and the misery of that ride home.  I know you're wondering what I've been up to and why I haven't posted since then so here's why:  Route Planning and theWolf.  

27 September 2010

Trip Report: Camping with Cruzman Day 3

Sunday, 20 Sep 2010:  Dragon Torture and Hwy 28 Bliss
After deciding to pay for an extra night at the campground so we wouldn't have to hurry to break camp and ride with loaded bags, we planned to hit the Dragon and Hwy 28 toward Bryson City, NC.  When we were up that way during the FZ1 Rally, I rode through there going to Fontana and wanted to be sure to hit it again when we were in the area.  I made sure I packed my things before kyfa25 got there to make departure as easy as possible but I was still moving a little slow in the morning.

Trip Report: Camping with Cruzman Day 2

Saturday 18 Sep 2010:  The Ambitious Ride
Sometime in the middle of the night, I woke myself with my own snoring then couldn't go back to sleep because I thought I heard a bear in the camp.  It wasn't a bear, the noise to was too regular for that!  No, it was just Cruzman making a noise that resonated off the trees or something making it sound like he wasn't where I thought he was.  It was too early to get up, so eventually I fell asleep again.

Trip Report: Camping with Cruzman Day 1

17 Sep 2010:  Leaving Home
I've delayed this for long enough!  I took some great pictures I want to share and learned some interesting lessons that kind of made this trip ambiguous upon reflection.  Cruzman and I planned to try to meet some of the FZ1-Forum guys while they were close on their planned Deals Gap Trip in September.  After taking kyfa25 to the Cherohala last month, he wanted to come along too.  Up until a few days before we left, it was ambiguous as to whether or not he'd camp with us.

12 September 2010

FZ1 Mod: Auxiliary Lighting

9 Sep 2010: plamaled 008 high power LED modules

About the time I ordered the Bi Xenon HID kit from kryptonbulbs.com, Cruzman showed me a link to a youtube video for LED modules.  He suggested this could be a solution to adding aux lights to the FZ1 without overtaxing the charging system.  Until then, Aux Lights was on my list of things I wish I could have but probably wouldn't along with the R1 Fork Swap.

10 September 2010

2005 FZ1 Retrospective

As promised, video of Baby with all his mods.  I decided to do a picture diary from a week after I got him until now.

04 September 2010

Video Tech: Learning to use effects

Now that I understand how to mount my cameras, I'm ready to work on "post production".  It was the RavenRider Carb Stuff video that made me realize 20 minutes of on road video can be boring.  Okay I already knew that, but now I'm learning to do something about it!

01 September 2010

Fizzy Mountain Ride Video

29 August 2010: My video from our ride

See the Ride Report for more details.

The music is by Positively Dark.

31 August 2010

Ride Report: Fizzy Mountain Ride

29 August 2010: Feeling Fizzy
Total miles: 413.4

(Note: This Ride report is written by Cruzman and theWolfTamer. My part will look like this. Cruzman's part will look like this.)

Since my last ride was the aborted boot test ride with eflyguy, I was really looking forward to this ride, now more than before for another reason: Baby got jetted 8 days ago and it was time for a true test ride! Our planned ride was set even before the Jetting happened. The planning started mid-month with an email from Cruzman, "what do you think about this?" and something really offensive about trailering the bikes to Murphy, NC. I okayed the proposed route but refused the trailer offer.

26 August 2010

FZ1 Mod: Bi Xenon Conversion Kit

25 August 2010:  Can you See Me Now?

Last year when I met Cruzman, he had the 8000k xenon lights in his FZ1 and they were very noticeable.  After the ride, it got me thinking about headlights.  His lights didn't put out more lights than mine, they were just different colored.  I wondered if oncoming traffic would see him before me because of the color I chose.  I chose the 6000k xenons so I could see, never thinking about being seen.  At some point, I decided to stick with the xenons I had rather than changing colors.  But I did start thinking about lighting.

23 August 2010

FZ1 Mod: RavenRider Jet Kit

21 August 2010
The aftermarket muffler restricts less air than the stock one so the proper thing is to re-jet the carbs to match the new configuration.  I read and re-read most of the posts on carb jetting on both of the FZ1 specific forums before deciding to go with the RavenRider carb suggestions.  His tips offers the best bang for the buck.  The only real expense is for new main jets and the day it takes to follow all the instructions.  His kit is also very flexible.  You can do either or all the steps to get a noticeable improvement.

15 August 2010

Ride Report: Never trust radar

14 August 2010
I finally got to put a face to the name of eflyguy.  After "flaking"--his words, not mine--out on our ride earlier this month, we planned to get together so I could test out my new boots.  We both wanted a short ride and after exchanging several emails settled on a route very similar to the last half of my last ride and maybe adding 75 to the fun.  I was looking forward to it but as the week progressed, the weather forecasts and the skies started doing some things we hadn't seen in a while.  It would get really dark when it was supposed to be light and water would fall from the sky after shorting something out sending sparks flying way above our heads and presaged by deep rumbling sounds.

13 August 2010

Motorcycle Tech: 2005 FZ1--"Baby" Touring Edition

Samuel, 1993 Suzuki VX800
My life with the FZ1 began at the intersection of un-balanced carbs and no mechanic who could correctly diagnose/fix the problem.  After I returned to GA, My VX800 (Sam) stopped being the reliable bike I'd fallen in love with in California.  He reeked of gas and after spending too much money on mechanics with worsening results, I was fed up.  Enter Providence and the quest for a new steed.

09 August 2010

Motorcycle Gear: Riding Boots

I purchased my very first pair of motorcycle specific riding boots last winter, a low end pair of Vega Touring Boots, to see if I wanted motorcycle specific boots.  Even then, I settled on them because I preferred the Sport Boot but they didn't make them in my size.  After reading some things on the forums, I decided a Touring Boot would work just fine.  After the FZ1 Rally, I realized how wrong I was.

06 August 2010

Ride Report: Feeding theWolf

1 Aug 2010--FZs Playing in Northwest GA:

The ride was supposed to be eflyguy, Cruzman, and me going back to Alabama to ride the Little Grand Canyon since we had to cut the ride short.  We wanted to leave as early as possible so we could beat a lot of the heat.  It was looking like I'd have to leave home an hour before dawn when eflyguy's family obligations forced him to cancel a few days before the ride.  I was a little sad but when Cruzman suggested we do a longer route, my spirits improved.  I wanted to ride part of the route we rode the first time we met so Cruzman put a good ride together.

31 July 2010

Still too hot to ride...

...But after all the stuff I bought earlier in the month, I'm too broke to mod!  I did get one more thing though.  It was something I wanted since I first saw them on the FZ1OA forum but they were no longer available.

13 July 2010

Ride Report: Northwest Georgia

11 July 2010
I don't know what we were thinking when we agreed to this route.  Going west in July is insane when there's a heat wave covering the Eastern part of the country.  Morning temps were in the comfortable mid 70s when I left the house a little after 7 to meet up with TopWop and the eFns at the eFn House.

02 July 2010

When it's too hot to ride, Mod!!

My neice is annoying me...My niece and nephew are here for the holiday!!  Great except that little girl is getting on my last nerve.  She thinks she's cute and nobody can tell her otherwise.

She insisted that I write a whole entry about her and is trying to be the grammar police.  She don't even know how to say bugle!  Either way this post won't just be about her.

She said I should put that she's sweet.  So far she's been all right but there are days when I could just choke her.  Don't let the innocent looks fool you.  She is James Brown Crazy.

Now, on to the actual post...

24 June 2010

Motorcycle Tech: Baby's Command Center--The Tank Bag

I call it my command center.  My tank bag holds all the stuff I need to be a modern sport tourer:  GPS, mp3, comms, etc.  Some bikes come with this stuff already attached.  Other motorcyclists add them with various mounts and stuff but I think that makes the cockpit look cluttered.

11 June 2010

FZ1 Maintenance -- becoming a Shade Tree Mechanic

During the rally, Cruzman learned me how to service my EXUP.  It was something that was overdue but I was too chicken to do it myself.  Up until this point, my idea of maintenance has been to change the oil, clean and oil the chain, and make sure the tire pressures are right.

Trip Report: FZ1OA Rally Departure Day

6 Jun 2010:
Total Mileage -- 191

After feeling a little lupie before I went to bed, I didn't think I'd even feel like riding the morning when I woke up.  The first thing I did was wiggle my fingers to see if they were swollen.  It's usually a sign of how the rest of me is feeling physically.  I was so pleased there was no swelling I interrupted Cruzman who was making up his bed to tell him.  He said I should wiggle my toes to be sure.  They worked, I could ride.

10 June 2010

Trip Report: FZ1OA Rally Riding Day 2

5 Jun 2010:  Cherohala Redux
Total Miles: 188

We hoped to get to the meeting place, the Deals Gap Resort, as early as possible in the hopes of getting breakfast and an extra run up the Dragon before KSU at 9 a.m.  I'm not sure why that didn't happen but we didn't arrive until very close to 9.

Video: Birthday Dragon Run

Riding the Tail of the Dragon on 3 Jun 2010 with Cruzman and Teddy from the blocked end towards Deals Gap.

09 June 2010

Trip Report: FZ1OA Rally Riding Day 1

Friday 4 Jun 2010:
Total Miles for the day: 185.

Cruzman had committed us to ride with PJFZ1's Group for lunch in Highland.  I think his route was just to take 28 into Highland then do whatever after lunch.  He'd also promised to help me service my EXUP and we wanted to ride the Dragon before Kick Stands Up (KSU) at 11.  Unfortunately, it took a little longer than Cruzman thought for us to Service the EXUP and we didn't arrive at the Deal's Gap resort until 15 or so minutes before KSU.

08 June 2010

Trip Report: FZ1OA Rally Arrival Day

3 Jun 2010

I felt so bad the day before, I didn't get to do any of the last minute things to get ready so all I'd have to do was get on the bike and go like I planned.  Instead, I had to pack, get my tags, and pick up Mom's medicine before I could contemplate getting on the road.

31 May 2010

FZ1 Mod: Shortened Turn Signal Stalks

31 May 2010:
When I put the saddlebags on with the Seat Case, I noticed the turn signals were in the way a little bit.  I didn't really think it was a big deal because I don't really plan to use the Seat Case and saddle bags together.

24 May 2010

Ride Report: Taste of Sautee

22 May 2010:  Surprising the eFnWife.  274 Miles.

Cruzman and I planned to ride today not long after I received my new muffler.  I'd hoped to meet up with va_rider to get some jet work done but I found out a couple of weeks ago the day didn't work for him.  The alternate plan was to go see the eFnWife's art display at the Taste of Sautee.  After an exchange of emails, TopWop decided to join us and I put together a route that would include Wolf Pen Gap Rd and the newly re-opened Richard Russell Scenic Highway.

Trip Report: wheatonFJR's Appalachian Camping Meet: Departure Day

16 May 2010:  about 190 miles
I woke up early to the sounds of people leaving.  I got my stuff together so all I really needed to do was put it on the bike and take the tent down, but I didn't get up until I heard a familiar voice.  It was a while and I dozed back off.

Trip Report: wheatonFJR's Appalachian Camping Meet: Riding Day 2

15 May 2010:  about 250 miles

With a little more sleep than the night before, I was up and showered early so I could tend to my bike.  A thunderstorm, complete with hail, blew in the previous night before I could put my bike cover on.  I needed to dry the bike (like the others without covers), pick tree droppings off if him, and oil the chain.  While I was at it, I checked the tire pressures.

19 May 2010

Trip Report: wheatonFJR's Appalachian Camping Meet: Riding Day 1

14 May 2010:  about 285 to 320 miles.
After the long day before, I was skeptical that theWolf would be interested in allowing me to get out of bed for the planned ride.  It must have been the environment.  The call of the bull frogs and crickets must have felt like home to theWolf because there was no argument when I got up around 7 to take my shower and be ready for kick stands up at 9.

Trip Report: wheatonFJR's Appalachian Camping Meet: Arrival Day

13 May 2010:  Aprrox. 184 Miles

A few months ago, Bobby told me about the camp meet and suggested I should come.  At the time, I didn't really consider it.  I knew I wanted to go to the FZ1 rally and was concentrating on it and the trip with Dad.  But as the event drew closer, the more appealing it became.  On a whim, I posted in the thread on the FJR Riders Forum that I wanted to come and asked if it was okay for an FZ1 to ride with FJRs.  I was welcomed and tentatively set about getting ready to go.

12 May 2010

Farkling on the cheap

I first read the word "farkle" on the advrider.com forum.  I had no idea I'd been doing it for years.  A farkle for a motorcycle is like the shoes or earrings for the dress.  I have known people who have bought shoes then the dress to match.  I'm not sure if one buys a farkle then the motorcycle to match but I have known those who have bought a motorcycle because of the farkles.

10 May 2010

Ride Report: Taking the Skyway to Hunt the Dragon

8 May 2010:
I met TopWop at his house a little after 7:30 a.m.  The plan, as far as I knew, was to finally ride the Dragon.  I'd been thinking about it since I aborted joining the gang after the races in mid April.  Since then, I hadn't really been riding.  Just a few quick outings to test the camera or the exhaust.  Nothing was going to stop me from riding this day.

06 May 2010

FZ1 Mod: Yoshimura TRS Stainless/Stainless Slip On Muffler

5 May 2010:  New (to me) Muffler install
It finally arrived!!  This afternoon when I pulled up to the house from picking up Ebony from the groomers, it was sitting on my front porch!  As I suspected, the USPS Track and Confirm was useless because before I left, I checked and it showed the same darned thing.

02 May 2010

Videoing the Ride

Every since I started riding, I thought about videoing the ride.  My first attempts were comical, trying to tape a Mustek Mini DV to the inside of my windshield.  Later I got a little more advanced--the $5 Camera Mount--but the mini dv was long gone by then, I'd broken the battery door!

27 April 2010

Ride Report: Therapy Ride

3 April 2010:  Toxaway, NC (up and back)

I found out I like up and back rides.  I enjoyed riding the same roads back to back.  Not many words this post.  Just Video.  Bad video, due to the vibrations of the camera.  I'm looking for a better way to mount it to the bike rather than the helmet which is the only way I've found so far not to have the vibrations.

26 April 2010

Waiting is the hardest part

On a sunny Saturday morning two years eight months ago, I rode home on my new to me 2005 Yamaha FZ1.  Three days later, I purchased new tires.  The next weekend, I did my first mod:  replaced the stock headlights with bright white xenon ones and added a tank pad.  Over the next two years, I learned the difference between riding a motorcycle with two cylinders and one with four cylinders.  I did more mods, mostly cosmetic like adding spinning/flashing tail lights, frame sliders, luggage anchor points, and gel grips.

19 April 2010

FZ1 Mod Update: Seat Mounted Top Case -- Case installed

I finally finished mounting the case to the seat.  It took a little longer than I expected due to a slow imagination.  However, after spending Saturday at the AMA Suzuki Superbike Showdown at Road Atlanta I was too tired to do the planned Sunday ride to the Dragon.  After sleeping in then cooking dinner, I decided it was time to finish the seat mounted case.  (See these posts for more details:  New Project, Update 1, Update 2)

11 April 2010

FZ1 Mod Update: Seat Mounted Top Case--Hardware Installed

After riding every weekend for the past month or so, I decided to take a break and tend to some of the bike's needs.  I replaced my burned out tail light and discovered NOT to use red bulbs as they look too dim, I have some white LEDs on order.  Then I cleaned up the gunk that resulted from using Maxima Chain Wax and changed the oil.

05 April 2010

Ride Report: Twisty Butt Ride Part Five

27 Mar 2010:  Tellico Plains to Chatsworth

Everything after Cherahola was like cake for me.  Once I made it past that hurdle, I knew I could and would complete the ride.  The cathartic tears I shed upon seeing the Cherahola Market sign combined with the phone call to theMomma was all the inspiration I needed.  We had about 100 miles to go and something like 2.5 hours to do it.

Ride Report: Twisty Butt Ride Part Four

27 March 2010:  near BRP to Tellico Plains

Later, Mike admitted he had to wing this part of the route because the route transfer from the computer to the gps was not successful.  With road closings and his lack of knowledge of the area, it must have been pretty stressful.

04 April 2010

Ride Report: Twisty Butt Ride Part Three

27 March 2010:  Clayton to near BRP
After a longer stop in Clayton to eat a quick bite, gas up, and use the restroom, we took Warwoman RD to Hwy 28 toward Highlands NC.  I was relieved to feel the weather was finally warming up as forecasted but it was short lived once we climbed into the mountains.

02 April 2010

Ride Report: Twisty Butt Ride Part Two

27 March 2010:  Suches to Clayton

From Suches, we took Wolf Pen Gap Rd (SR 180) to US 19 toward Helen.  My beef jerky was giving me a little bit of energy and my mind was beginning to really wake up.  As usual, I fell back a little so I would not be distracted by the others.  I'd made the decision to do this shortly after I decided to do the ride.  It was the only way I felt I would have a chance to complete the entire 500 miles.

01 April 2010

Ride Report: Twisty Butt Ride Part One

26 Mar 2010:  Meeting Mr&MrsTwisty

After I got back from Savannah, I expected to be exhausted but Sunday came and went without me feeling tired.  I checked all the forums and found out the ride for next week was going to be a Twisty Butt ride.  The simple definition of a Twisty Butt Ride (TB) is 500 miles of twisty roads completed in less than 12 hours.  It is a take on the Iron Butt Saddle Sore 1000 (SS1000), which is simply 1000 miles in 24 hours.

30 March 2010

Trip Report: Savannah Trip Day Five

20 March 2010 -- Going Home

I chose to go a different way home than the way we came so we could see some other stuff.  With all the GPS problems on the way down, I let the iGo8 make the route instead of using the one I'd created before we left using Street Atlas.

Trip Report: Savannah Trip Day Four

19 March 2010 -- Sightseeing

After another late night, Dad and I slept late.  We didn't have a plan for the day so we decided to do a little sight seeing.  We didn't want to take one of the tours so I searched online for a driving tour.  I didn't have much luck but I thought we might be able to find something if we went downtown.  Dad remembered a sushi restaurant we passed on St. Patrick's Day and suggested Sushi for our first meal.  That was fine with me.

29 March 2010

Trip Report: Savannah Trip Day Three

18 March 2010 -- Going for Broke

For Thursday, we decided to do a little recon on the Diamond Casino Cruise that Dad heard about from co-workers.  We asked about it at the Savannah Info Center on River ST the day before, but the lady there, who was a little irritated by all the revelers seeking shelter from the rain, said the only casino cruise she knew was in Brunswick.

28 March 2010

Trip Report: Savannah Trip Day Two

17 March 2010 -- St. Patrick's Day

The whole point of the trip was to find out what the hype was about SPD in Savannah.  After the late night before, we woke around 10 to discover the parade was about to start.  We hurried to get dressed and decided to find food in the area of the festivities, either on the famous River ST or at the City Market.

24 March 2010

Trip Report: Savannah Trip Day One

16 March 2010 -- Departure

Dad and I decided to go to Savannah for St. Patrick's Day a couple of months ago.  He would be riding his 2002 Yamaha Road Star Midnight and me on my 2005 Yamaha FZ1.  This was something we'd talked about since we both got bikes but nothing ever happened until this year.  We booked our hotel using priceline.com for arrival on 16 March and departure on 20 March.  I plotted our route using Street Atlas 2008 to avoid the interstate.

Ride Report: theWolf gets wet and dirty

14 March 2010 We must be crazy!!

I'd spent the Saturday washing clothes, probably for the first time since it got cold by the amount of loads I washed and getting ready to leave on Tuesday for the Savannah Trip with Dad.  I hadn't given riding this weekend any thought until around 9 or 10 when I got a text from Bobby asking if I was riding with them tomorrow.  Heck Yeah!!  The only thing I had planned was watching the first Formula One race of the year, riding would be so much more fun.

13 March 2010

FZ1 Mod Update: Seat Mounted Top Case

The top case has been ordered and is on its way.  Instead of going with a top case/trunk from Ebay, I chose to order one from Sears.  Yes, Sears.  I didn't know they had motorcycle accessories until earlier in the week when I saw a couple of posts on a forum.  I decided on a medium matte black travel trunk.  It appears to be the same case that JCWhitney offers but it was on sale for $32.49 - 10% because it is an automotive product.  That is about $42 delivered.

After deciding on the case, I took some preliminary measurements to see if I needed to go to the extent of cutting up the rear seat foam and building a full mounting platform like the Ninette guy.  On the Gen 1 FZ1, the passenger grab rails do not extend above the seat.  The mount plate for the travel trunk is 1" high, that should be high enough to clear the rails once the case is mounted.

08 March 2010

Ride Report: The Extended Suches Loop

7 March 2010
The plan for the next ride began almost immediately after the last one.  We all had such a good time together (like I guessed we would) that I suppose it was inevitable.  I suggested we take Wolf Pen Gap road because how can I be theWolfTamer never having ridden that road?

05 March 2010

Long Term Review: Bridgestone Battleax 021 Tires

My impressions after riding with a set of Battleax 021 tires for about 12,200 miles.

I bought the first set the week after I bought the bike at the end of August 2007. When I purchased the bike, he had a bt020 on the front and some kind of Metzler on the back. They had a decent amount of rubber on them and didn't need replacing right away. The ride from the dealer to the house was a little over 40 miles. I knew before I even pulled into my neighborhood from the bike dealer that the tires would have to go.

04 March 2010

Safety Project: Tire Kit

A few years ago I got a flat rear tire on a solo ride.  I was in Dahlonega, GA at mid day during the week.  Everyone I knew was at work and I had to wait until long after the sunset before anyone could come rescue me.  The experience stayed in my head, tucked away as something that needed rectifying.  As prepared as I try to be, buying gear or carrying water and snacks, beyond my factory tool kit stowed beneath the seat on both bikes, I had done nothing to be prepared for a flat tire.

FZ1 Mod Seat Mounted Top Case

While visiting some of my favorite motorcycle forums, I discovered a mod I wished I could do.  It was something I thought about when adding hard luggage to Sam (my Suzuki VX800).  There are currently two generations of my current bike, the FZ1.  The 2nd Generation, or Gen2, has a two part seat the 1st has a one part seat.  I own the first gen (on the right).

DIY Heated Gear: Update

I had to make a few changes to my controller for the heated gear.  Partly due to inattention, I connected the fan controller board wrong.  When the lights didn't light, I turned it on again until I smelled something funny.  Only then did I realized I'd connected the yellow (hot) to the black (ground/earth) and the black to the yellow.  Oops.  I quickly turned it off and corrected the mistake.  The result was that not all of the knobs generate the spec amount of power.

23 February 2010

Ride Report: Cheaha AL

21 Feb 2010
After weeks of cold, rain, snow, rain, cold, and rain I was ready for a ride.  In December David, Cruzman from FZ1oa forum, suggested we ride together again but because of the weather and theWolf the ride got delayed until now.  The plan was to meet him at the Home Depot on Thornton Road in Lithia Springs, GA, about an hour away from me, at around 9 a.m.  I was getting excited about the idea of being able to get out for a long ride for the first time since Christmas Eve.  David chose Cheaha Mountain and Alabama's Highest Point for our destination.

22 February 2010

There's a reason the suspension is adjustable.

20 Feb 2010

Recently I'd been feeling a little discontent about the handling on my 2005 FZ1 (Baby). For some reason, when hitting the twisties hard, the front end no longer felt stable. I didn't notice it unless I was pushing it and then the front felt as if it were going to slide out from under me. I'm sure my corrections seemed comical to anyone watching as I tried to compensate.

17 February 2010

Impressions: Fieldsheer Flex Leather Jacket and All Season Overpants

Flex Jacket
I got this jacket last summer for my birthday. They had them at motorcyclecloseouts.com for $199 (and still have a few). It is my first leather riding jacket and I wasn't sure what to expect.

11 February 2010

Shooting video

I don't know why I want to do it, but I do.  Because I don't want to spend money on things like camera mounts until I know for sure this is something I will be doing on a regular basis, I chose to make my own.  I did a version of the $5 camera mount.

09 February 2010

Ride Report: Exhausting theWolf, an Ellijay Loop

7 Nov 2009:
Last Sunday's ride assured me theWolf's bindings were secure.  The week that followed found me re-energized for the battles ahead.  This weekend, I want it to stay that way.  I could be certain it would with theWolf tired.  With that in mind, I agreed to meet David (aka Cruzman on the FZ1oa forum) in far away Smyrna (some 40 miles from home).  I knew it would be a long day beforehand, just didn't know how long!!

Ride Report: Relashing the Bindings, a Northern Leaf Tour

1 Nov 2009

For the first time since the first weekend in October, I got to go farther than 8 miles from the house on my bike.  Between the weather, shuttling Mom to the docs, and being broke I'd been housebound for a month and it was driving me crazy!!

Riding is my therapy and without it, the Wolf attacks and I am powerless to tame it.  Little rides kept the wolf in it's cage, but it was pacing, waiting for an opportunity.  I could see it clawing at the fresh bindings I'd applied a couple of days before when I took a wet ride to the pharmacy at dusk.  They wouldn't last long without some better action on my part.

Suzuki VX800 Mod: Penny Tech Luggage Solution

A little history:  Last summer my brother had me very excited about the idea of being able to ride a motorcycle and make a little money.  I had a bike I could use, with a little modification.  My first motorcycle is a 1993 Suzuki VX800.  For me it was the perfect bike because it was forgiving enough to learn on yet powerful enough to keep once I'd gotten more experience.  When I got sick in the spring of 2005, the VX800 (Sam) had to sit for about six months.

29 January 2010

Journey to ATGATT.

All The Gear, All The Time.

When I got my first bike in September 2002 I had nothing as far as gear went. My first ride was in a t-shirt, jeans, some Earth Spirit boots, and the helmet that came with my bike's purchase. If I knew then what I know now I may have been more prepared. The next day, I went to the Great American Motorcycle Show that they were having at the North Atlanta Trade Center in Lilburn, GA where I bought my first two pieces of motorcycle kit: A purple bungee net and black perforated gloves. At the time, I only knew two other riders and I never saw them wearing anything "motorcycle" specific besides helmet and gloves.

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