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.

The Mods:
I did a lot more this year than I really planned or thought I'd do.  The only mods I had in mind when the year started were "beauty" mods to make Baby stand out to me from the other FZ1s.  There were some on the FZ1OA that were no longer made that I had on my wish list, like Devilsyam's Frame Plugs and Schlumpf's multi-guage (aka The Gauge of Eternal Coolness) that I never thought I'd get.  I did do Racing Pegs, Levers, Frame Plugs, and the Windscreen this year.  All of it makes the bike look so much different than the one I rode home a couple of years ago.

Black Billet Racing Pegs
ZG Touring Screen and FDB Adjustable Levers (Black on black!)

Later on, after viewing some of the mods others had done to their bikes on the forum and at the FZ1 Rally, I ended up with a longer list of "beauty mods".  After the Rally, Luke (Devilsyam) announced he was making the frame plugs again!  As I gathered my pennies, he came out with the black ones.  It was perfect timing as it came when I got my last pennies together.

Devilsyam Billet Frame Plugs
Then, jwhelan65 came out with his RadGuards for the Gen 1 and I couldn't pass it up!

jwhelan65 Rad Guard and Badly Painted Rad Covers.
I also finally painted the rad covers, albeit badly, because the contrast between the OEM gray and the black frame had finally lost it's appeal.

Un-painted rad covers
Ultimately, I repainted the rad covers so they wouldn't look so bad when I painted the brackets for my Aux Lights.
Doesn't that look better than the OEM color? The Light Brackets look better too.
There were some unplanned mods that happened during 2010.  Like removing the rear turn signal stalks so they weren't so affected by the saddlebags,
Left:  With Stalks, Right:  Without Stalks

mounting a hard case to the seat, and succumbing to peer pressure and getting a new to me muffler!

I did plan to get the saddlebags in the picture.  My old ones didn't exactly go with the bike.  They were also faded and worn.

To go with the muffler there needed to be a performance mod.  Cruzman and I did RavenRider's Gen1 Carb Stuff a few months after I got the new pipe.  So not only did Baby look different, he sounds and rode different too!  No more 9 to 10k on the twistiest mountain roads, now it's more like 5 to 7k for the same performance.

Along with "Beauty" Mods, I did safety mods.  I think jetting and the levers should be included here too.  In addition to those, there's more lighting.  Those were other mods I did that I didn't know I wanted until I rode a twisty road on the darkest night I can remember.  In August, I changed to HID Bixenon headlights and added power LEDs for Auxiliary Lights.  Pictures don't do that justice so here's the comparison vid!

As the year was winding down, I couldn't believe all the changes I'd made after making virtually none the previous two years.  What had changed?  I'm not sure but I think the possibility of riding to Alaska next year had a lot to do with it.  I didn't know if I would be able to do it but I wanted to be ready in case I did.

As the weather turned cold, I decided to add hand guards to block some of the cold air:
Raider Handguards
After riding Stella at the FZ1OA rally and after we jetted Baby, I decided to get the Gen2 bars.  They're straighter than the Gen1 bars and offer a more aggressive riding position that I found very comfortable.  Since they are only silver, I wanted to paint or powdercoat them before installation.  I finally painted them and replaced my grips when I installed them right before Christmas.
Gen2 Bars and Rizoma/Driven D3/Yoshimura Knockoff Grips
There's a heated gear saga that saw me ending this year the same as the last, working on diy heated clothes.  I finished all the projects I started last year and abandoned when the weather warmed and purchased grip heaters that still need to be installed.

Other than tires and the change to the r1 shift arm, that's about all of the changes Baby got during the year.  More than I planned but I don't think none of it is too much.  The only thing left to do is get the mechanical cruise control bar ends (should buy them early next week), do the seats so I stop sliding forward--if I was a guy this would already be done, and find better all rubber grips so I can install the grip heaters.

The Rides:
As for wanting to ride more, I definitely did that!  I started the year with around 20k miles on the bike.  That's only 16k more than when I bought him back in Aug 07.  I'll be ending the year with close to 30k.  It started in February with rides to Cheaha, AL,

then March to Suches, GA,

Blairsville, GA on a day that wasn't supposed to rain but did,

a trip to Savannah, GA with Daddy for St. Patty's Day,

and ending the month with a bang by riding The Twisty Butt 500!

In April there was Lake Toxaway, NC where I scraped my boot for the first time during a curve,

my first time at a motorcycle race when I saw the AMA Races at Road Atlanta and missed riding the Dragon because theWolf didn't like being in the sun all day the day before.  I made up for it though when TopWop1 and I hit the Skyway and Dragon in May, popping my Dragon Cherry!  Little did I know, I'd spend a lot of time up that way this summer.

I "crashed" the FJR Camp Meet and was the only FZ1 rider represented, but not the only Non FJR Rider there.  It was my first motocamping experience where I had to carry all my own stuff.  (The first was the Twisty Sister Rally with EFJAXX the September after I came home from California in 2005 on Sam.)

I ended May with a ride to Sautee, GA to see the eFnWife's Art.

June started with my first FZ1OA Rally,

I left the rally Moto-Married to Cruzman!  After that, my riding slowed to once a month.  The increase in temps and modding made weekly rides difficult.  So in July the ride was to NW GA to finally see Cloudland Canyon

and when I knicked my newly installed long awaited for adjustable knockoff levers!  Stupid new tires!

In August, Cruzman and I did a redux of our first ride together, Almost Twins.

Then I got new boots and met eflyguy on another day that was supposed to be dry but wasn't.

By the end of the month, I was feeling Fizzy and met FZ1_Vader.

September saw my last trip when Cruzman and I went camping and I learned the K&N filter was not for me. I still have mixed emotions about that trip because of that stupid air filter (it's also still for sale, so email me if you want it!)

In October, we got Ambitious,

and I learned October is too late to start working on heated gear projects!  I should have done it in hot ass July when it was too hot to ride.

In November, with shorter days come Short Rides and I finally got to meet ericr!

Barely 700 miles from my 30k by the end of the year goal, December has seen me pretty much shut down.  Hopefully I'll get a ride in on New Year's Eve.

New Year Planning:
It's been a great riding year.  I've learned a lot about riding, the bike, and myself.  I hope 2011 is just as good or even better as I won't have any mods to do and I can just ride.  What's the plan?  I'd like to do Key West, FL in January, another trip with Daddy--maybe my first Bike Week or New Orleans, Alaska around my birthday, riding more like I started this year, and more moto camping trips!

I love riding two or three times a month even though the family didn't like it.  They seemed to think riding makes me feel bad when it's just the opposite.  Sure, I may be in bed for a day or two afterwards resting theWolf, but my mental state was much better when I rode more.  I found that more gratifying than the last part of the year spent modding or finding ways to get the stuff for the mods I thought I needed (not wanted).

So 2011 will be about the rides and trips.  I can't imagine anything else I'd want to do to Baby other than the R1 front end conversion that, barring a winning lottery ticket, I don't think I can do.  I am on Schlumpf's waiting list for the Multi-gauge--another mod that I'd like but don't think will happen.  I'm not going to say never on either one of these because I never thought I'd have Devilsyam frame plugs and I do!

Happy New Year and thanks to all who stopped by to ready my little blog.

patrice, theWolfTamer

1 comment:

  1. Patrice,
    Been a follower since about mid-year (you were recommended by Cruzman - a dear friend of mine) and I have really enjoyed your trip logs, modifications to Baby and the blog in general.
    And as far as the 'Wolf' goes, if you didn't mention it, no one would ever know you fight it (and quite well I may add...).
    I hope you reach all your goals in 2011, and I feel quite sure you will. Have fun girl, you deserve it!

    What in the world are you doing writing this at almost 3:30 in the morning???? Ha! Ha!



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