31 December 2011

Ride Report: Last Ride of 2011

28 Dec 2011

A month or so ago, Cruzman said he had some days off after Christmas and hoped the weather would be nice enough to get in a ride.  I hoped that I could contain my spending and still have money left for a ride!  As the days grew closer, we learned we would be able to ride after Christmas it was just a matter of which day.

30 December 2011

Ride Report: Christmas Day

25 December 2011:  It's going to be a rough day.

At least I expected it to be since it would be my first Christmas without TheMomma.  I didn't have to cook this year and didn't have to be at my family's house for the festivities until the afternoon.  What could I do to keep busy and not think about Christmases Pasts?  Ride, of course.  When I checked the weather, I knew that it would be iffy, but thought I could beat the afternoon showers.

24 December 2011

FZ1 Mod: Auxiliary Lighting Revisited

The fork swap necessitated a different style of front fender that required me to review how I mounted my Aux Lights.  I wanted to retain the low position that gave me the high visibility triangle pattern.  I also discovered a little problem with my lights.

08 December 2011

Ride Report: Suspension Setup Ride

4 Dec 2011
I was so ready for this ride I had my things laid out on Wednesday!  I still wasn't sure where we were going.  Cruzman mentioned Blood Mountain as a good place to start the ride but what would we do after that?  The night before, I didn't know what time we were going to meet.  I got a late email letting me know the usual spot at the usual time.

28 November 2011

FZ1 Maintenance: Front Tire Change

20, 26, and 27 November

That's right, three damned days!  This is a saga of stubbornness.

I was very excited to finally get my own tire changer at the end of the Summer.  It's not one of those high dollar ones and needs mods to be effective but still it meant freedom from tire install fees or riding across town to get Cruzman's help.

25 November 2011

I missed it!

Our four year anniversary.

Somehow I let the day pass without noticing it!  I'm truly ashamed of myself.  However I think I've made amends.

23 November 2011

FZ1 Mod: Front Suspension

R1 Fork Conversion.  It's been a long time coming but it's finally happened.  Back in August, I posted about sourcing parts to do this year's mods.  At the time I was planning one way but as the doing came about, my plans changed.

When I decided to do this back in February, I optimistically said I'd be installing it around this time.  I thought I was lying when I said it but it sounded real good.  It also turned out to be truth!  I'll start this from the beginning so it's all in one place.  

20 November 2011

Ride Report: Riding in Circles

19 Nov 2011: Going to Cheaha

Cruzman and I tried going to Alabama this earlier this year with bad results.  I was thinking that I wanted to have a successful  trip there this year when he asked where I wanted to go for the ride.  At the time we planned it, I thought I'd have the new front end and this would be a test.  Some unexpected emotions delayed that install and made this ride even more important for me.  I needed to ride.

14 November 2011

DIY Heated Gear: New Heated Glove Liners

The Glove Liners 2.0 work a little too well.  I've discovered it was over kill to use two 5' strands of nichrome wire heatshrinked together.  Those liners are 26w each glove at the 13.3v my bike produces while moving.  They are much too hot when I connect them to the battery tender lead!  I found that even with the controller on it's lowest setting, I still had to turn it off to prevent burning my hands.

04 November 2011

Ride Report: Rattling theWolf--It's gonna be a long day

29 Oct 2011
Not long after we (Cruzman) changed the rear wheel bearings, Cruzman said something about riding in a few weeks.  A few weeks from when he proposed was my big brother's birthday weekend.  I knew we wouldn't be doing anything on Saturday because he has to work but I wasn't sure about Sunday, his actual birthday.  I hadn't done anything for my big brother on his birthday beyond calling and singing happy birthday off key.  Since it's been a rough couple of months, I wanted to be sure we did something on his birthday so I told Cruzman the only day I could ride that weekend was Saturday.

29 October 2011

Baby in 3D

In my last post, I referenced Project Photofly.  It's a program by Autodesk Labs that lets you make 3D movies of objects.  It's fairly simple to use once you get the photos and as long as your object doesn't reflect light.  I had a little difficulty getting my first attempt right, but I didn't give up.

21 October 2011

FZ1 Mod: New Slip-on Muffler

GPR Grand Prix Evolution Speed Cone

At the end of May when I was browsing the "Yamaha FZ1" listings on eBay I saw a muffler that really caught my attention.  I sent an email to the seller because I was confused by the title.  It read "EXHAUST SYSTEM YAMAHA FZ.1 FAZER 1000 06 GPR POWER CARB".  Did that mean it was for the carbed FZ1s?

15 October 2011

Maintenance: Changing Tires

Getting the tires changed is one of those things I find that I dread and look forward to at the same time.  I dread it because I have to take them off the bike to get, what I think is, a reasonable rate for the tire change.  I look forward to it because once the "new" is worn off, it's like having an all new motorcycle!

Trip Report: Arkansas Fall Gather Leaving Already

25 Sep 2011
And I'm heading home...

With the bad news about my bearing, the next morning I got up early so I could get help getting Baby back on the trailer.  Almost every one was getting ready to leave any way.  thepopularjock was going to join FZ1_Arao and his girlfriend (who still hasn't decided on a motorcycle) on a short ride but he woke up feeling like crap; instead he chose to sleep in to get ready for his long ride home.

10 October 2011

Trip Report: Arkansas Fall Gather Ride Day

24 Sep 11
My first riding day

After the stress of just getting there, I was so keyed up, I think I could have left to go on a ride right away. V10 and motoed both said they didn't know what time the ride would leave. It varied but they'd wake us up in plenty of time to join them. I felt confident in speaking for my roommate because the last message I'd gotten from thepopularjock was something along the lines of he definitely wanted to ride in the morning and he'd leave a key in the door (but not the light on).

Trip Report: Arkansas Fall Gather Day 2

23 Sep 2011: Secondary Departure Day
Since my plan to leave on Thursday fell victim to my apathy, I was determined to leave for Eureka Springs come hell or high water, as the saying goes. I didn't expect either so I woke up and went straight to U-Haul to have the hitch installed on the HHR. I know you're wondering why I didn't buy one with it already there. I would have if the dealership had any. They didn't so I got what I got.

09 October 2011

Trip Report: Arkansas Fall Gather

22 Sep 2011
Day 1:  Still getting things ready to go.

I should have been packed and gone the day before.  But I was waiting.

At the end of June, I saw the post about the Fall Gather.  I'd wanted to go to Alaska this year but that didn't happen so I was hoping I could get as many trips in this summer since TheMomma was doing so much better.  So well, in fact, that she could stay home by herself if she chose.  We were both excited about this new turn in her health.

04 October 2011

Trip Report: There and Back Day 3

11 Sep 11:  Back

We woke up to another perfect day!  We'd paid for the campsite for an extra day so we could ride in the morning and pack up to ride home in the afternoon.  It's one of the advantages of camping at a place so close (relatively) to home.  Cruzman had a plan or an idea that we would ride the Dragon and the Foothills Parkway.  It didn't really matter to me much as long as we were on the bikes.

30 September 2011

Trip Report: There and Back, Day 2

10 Sep 2011
The Skyway, Road to Nowhere, and Hwy 28

The night before, Cruzman said he wanted to go to the Road to Nowhere.  Great!  Now what do we do with the morning?  The Road to Nowhere is maybe a half an hour from where we were camped at Cheoah Point Campground.  There's always the Skyway, so it was off to Tellico Plains early.

29 September 2011

Trip Report: There and Back Camping

9 Sep 2011
Turning a ride into a Camping Trip

I'd planned this trip before TheMomma died.  It's still hard to think or even type those words some 39 days after it happened.  Anyway, I decided I would go ahead with the trip because I am still alive and that's what she'd want me to do.  I knew that's what I was going to do but the days leading up to the trip I wasn't doing anything to get ready for it.

Ride Report: R6 Shock Test

4 Sep 2011
Solo Ride

I think this was my first solo ride in a long time.  I'd almost forgotten how it felt!  My plan was to go somewhere close where I could take multiple runs up and down the mountain to get a feel for my new shock.

31 August 2011

FZ1 Mod: Multiguage

I've mentioned this thing on the blog several times.  When I first saw it I knew I had to have one, if only for the gear indicator function.  Earlier this month I finally purchased the Multigauge.  It arrived about 12 days after I ordered it.  If you can solder a bit, it's a fairly easy install.  schlumpf has instructions on his site that you can download and Pat did an excellent page of an earlier version that helps too.

29 August 2011

FZ1 Mod: Rear Suspension Upgrade

The Poor Man's Shock Upgrade:  An R6 Shock and new dogbones.

When Devilsyam posted on the FZ1 forums about his version of a Penske or Olins shock, I decided that I should do my rear suspension too.  The R1 Fork Conversion is coming along better than I expected which means it should happen a lot sooner than I originally thought.  I decided to let a real mechanic tackle the front end conversion but for this upgrade, I'd do it myself (with a little help from Cruzman).

23 August 2011


20 Aug 2011 3:23 PM

This is a day that has changed my life forever.  The reason I exist is gone.  On Saturday 20 Aug 2011 at about 3 in the afternoon, My mother died.  My brother and I performed CPR for nearly twenty minutes before the EMTs arrived and took over but she could not be revived.

09 August 2011

FZ1 Mod: Sourcing Parts

I'm getting closer to completing my Dream Mods:  R1 Fork Conversion and The Multiguage.  Earlier this year I posted about getting the spacer and forks for the fork conversion.  So far this year I've been diligently gathering parts, taking advantage of some great deals!

07 August 2011

Ride Report: Last minute get together

31 July 11:  Anywhere as long as we include Wayah RD
323 Miles

On Saturday evening I was reading the FZ1OA forum and thinking about riding some of the roads I missed from the last ride.  eflyguy posted something about finally getting his baffle removed and mentioned that for the first time in weeks he felt like riding.  We were essentially exchanging posts real time over a couple of threads and I started think about asking him if he wanted to join me on Sunday.  As I switched over to my email application, I got a mail notice.  It was from efly, asking if I wanted to ride on Sunday!

FZ1 Maintenance: Cleaning the header pipes

I'm categorizing this maintenance because while I was doing it I looked at some parts of the bike I never think about.  I check to make sure all those bolts were tight, felt around for some holes, and inspected for rust.  I'm sure there was some other stuff I was supposed to be looking for but didn't bother with!

02 August 2011

Ride Report: Rain or Shine!

24 July 2011:  The Skyway, Hellbender, Dams, Lakes, and Waterfalls.
425 Tire eating miles

A few days after our last ride, I got a one line email from Cruzman:  We're going to ride on the 24th.  Or something like that.  Later he said something about the Skyway and Hwy 28 then we were talking possible routes.  After a long conversation we had the basics of the ride decided and he was going to email me the final route.

15 July 2011

Ride Report: New Roads

10 Jul 11:  A Full Day in the Saddle

I don't remember how long we planned to ride this weekend but I know it was more than a week's notice.  At first I thought we were going to have to ride in the northwestern part of the state so Cruzman would be closer to home but after sending him a preliminary route and having it rejected (strong word), I decided to plot up some roads I've wanted to ride but hadn't yet.

11 July 2011

Moto-Videography: Lessons learned!

From yesterday's ride I learned:

1.  The high mount cam worked better than I thought it would.  I guess doing it that way is a keeper!

22 June 2011

High Mount Cam

I know it looks like I've been busy with this flurry of posts but all this stuff has been in the works for a month or so now.

A few months ago, I saw a video with an "anti-gravity follow cam" that made me just drool.  I wanted to emulate that shot!  After I used the monopod on the rear, I started thinking about other uses and remembered that video.  I don't want anything mounted to me like he did, but with the monopod mounted to the bike maybe I could get what I wanted.

Micro Cameras OnBoard!

Finally got a chance to test the shock mounts on board the bike.  Unfortunately I wasn't so careful about aiming the cams but I really was more interested in how the shock mounts performed than perfect framing.  It took me all day to get this darned video loaded.

18 June 2011

Waiting on the rain

It's supposed to rain today.  The sky has been filled with clouds since I woke up.  The air is humid enough where one hopes and prays for rain.  We NEED rain.  So I'm waiting on it.  But while I'm waiting, I've been playing with some mini dv camera mounting solutions!  I've been following the Techmoan blog since shortly after I got my first D005 cam.  He really likes the keychain cam and I really like the d001/md80 and d005.  So I took his idea and adapted it for my cams.

16 June 2011

Trip Report: FZ1OA Rally, Day 4

12 Jun 2011:  Going Home
Approximately 185 Miles

I woke up to gray skies!  The night before when eflyguy said he was leaving at the buttcrack of dawn, I told him good trip and I'd let him know when I got home safely via text.  I did not want to leave at the buttcrack of dawn.  In fact, I wasn't ready to leave at all.  With such good company and great roads, I wasn't ready to go home.

I tried not to think about all the plans I'd made for the past weeks that culminated with the FZ1 Rally because it didn't come to fruition.  I spent two months servicing my bike and modifying my gear with an eye on riding to Washington to see my best friend then maybe going on to Alaska to see what I could see.  TheMomma and I had talked it over and she was prepared to live without me for six weeks but not the 3 or 4 months I wanted.  Then around Christmas, TheMomma got sick and hasn't really been the same since.  For a while, it looked like she was getting better but then it got worse.  We still don't know what's wrong but suspect it has something to do with her meds.  I love my momma but I wasn't ready to go home just yet.  I wanted to ride the Dragon unencumbered and wearing my boots to make up for the squidly ride on Friday.  The gray skies made me reconsider.

Trip Report: FZ1OA Rally, Day 3

11 Jun 2010:  Little River Road...Again!
Approximately 263 miles

Last night at the gathering, eflyguy made a plan for us to ride from the end of the BRP over to 107 and then 281 before meeting the others for lunch in Franklin.  In order to do that, we needed to leave a couple of hours before everyone else and no one seemed inclined to join us that early.  Must have been the copious amounts of beer and fun we were having around that fire.  So efly said I should be at his cabin no later than 7:30 (adjusted for CP time).

15 June 2011

Trip Report: FZ1OA Rally, Day 2

10 Jun 2011:  The Dragon and The Road to Nowhere
Min of 137 miles

HWY 28 in front of campground
I woke up early but I didn't know what time it was.  With no cell phone coverage, I chose to turn my phones off to conserve their batteries and I was too lazy to turn them on just to find out the time.  I used my ears instead.  No one was really moving around the camp ground and I debated getting up and disturbing the serenity.  I knew eflyguy was supposed to be coming to the campground but I had no idea when, just the vague "before the squids are out" was my last recollection of a possible meeting time.  Since I stayed there last year, I knew I would hear him when he turned onto the campsite road so that's what I listened for as a sign to get up.  In the meantime, I put my clothes out and contemplated going to the bathroom to brush my teeth or doing it at the campsite.

14 June 2011

Trip Report: FZ1OA Rally, Day 1

Thursday 9 Jun 2011 about 216 miles

My original hope was to be going to the rally at the end of a long cross country trip to see my friend in Washington but due to some problems with TheMomma's health, I was leaving from the house after getting about three hours of sleep because her sugar dropped to 31 as we were putting her to bed the night before.  Since eflyguy and I would be leaving at roughly the same time, we agreed to ride into Fontana together taking basically the same route Cruzman and I had a couple of weeks before when we went to the same area.

07 June 2011

Trip Report: BRP Trip Day 4

Sunday 21 May 2011:
The Road Home
Approx. 221 miles

I think we were both eager to get home.  We were both up and ready early.  I was beginning to really worry about TheMomma, who I left in my brother's care, and as usual Cruzman was beginning to miss MrsCruzman and JrCruzman.  Even though we were eager to get home, we did take the time to explore the end of the road near Joyce Kilmer Road.  It was one of those "Let's see where this takes us" kind of things.

06 June 2011

Trip Report: BRP Trip Day 3

Saturday 21 May 2011:  
Black Mountain to Horse Cove.
Mileage:  About 185 miles

The night before, we decided not to see how far north we could get and instead chose to return to Robbinsville and camp beside the river.  For some reason, the almost 300 miles the day before had been really tiring and neither one of us wanted to risk getting to fatigued again. After looking at several options, we decided to re-trace our steps back down the BRP.

29 May 2011

Trip Report: BRP Trip Day 2

Friday, 20 May 2011:  
Cheoah Point to Black Mountain.  
Distance:  About 280 miles.

Thanks to my new sleeping bag, I had my first good night's sleep while camping.  Cruzman and I were sharing a tent and he was already up and about the second time I woke up.  We'd gotten to bed late and had no fire so it goes without saying it took a little longer to get up and rolling than he would have liked.  Okay, it took me longer to get rolling!

26 May 2011

Trip Report: BRP Trip Day 1

19 May 2011:  Half Day.  184 miles

When my Mom got sick around Mother's day, I knew I would have to postpone my planned trip to Washington to visit my old High School Friend and her family.  I've been looking forward to the long trip for about six months now and even though I didn't feel like I was as prepared as I wanted to be I was still going to leave around the 13th of May.  Mom getting sick changed all that and as the stress mounted, I was longing for a trip of any length!  Enter Cruzman, the super Moto-hubby.  His planned BRP trip was postponed twice, once for Mother's Day and again because of weather/possible flooding.  I told him I was going to take a moto-camping trip within the next two weeks and he proposed we do a pre-run of his BRP trip.  Good deal, a departure date was set and all I had to do was wait and take care of Mom.

06 May 2011

Last minute things

I've got the big trip coming up.  I'm going across the country to see my best friend and her family.  I'm trying to be even about it--not get too high or too low so theWolf doesn't start acting up--but the closer D-day gets, the harder being even is.  Today, I ordered the last piece of kit I was certain I wanted to replace before I left.

25 April 2011

Repairing the damage, part 2

It took a while, but all the parts finally arrived.  Even though I replaced the broken Zero Gravity screen with another one, a few weeks later I found myself with a second broken Zero Gravity screen making me regret my decision to stick with Zero Gravity.

17 April 2011

FZ1 Maintenance: General Thoughts

I was supposed to ride on Thursday but due to circumstances, I didn't.  Instead I've spent the last few days in the garage doing maintenance.  Since I replaced the battery on my laptop and I can use it for more than 3 minutes off of the power cord, I had it in the garage while I worked so I could consult Pat's FZ1 Page.  That page is the Bible for the Gen 1 (2001-2005) FZ1.  It's better than my Clymer and easier to understand than the Service Manual I downloaded a few weeks ago from partshark.com.

14 April 2011

I haven't been doing much, just planning.

When I started this blog, I wanted to build up to the big trip.  The Definitely Indefinite Tour of the US and Canada.  Well, the Tour got changed to a Trip.  The Trip got changed from Definitely Indefinite to something that is now nameless due to some foreseen issues.

23 March 2011

Ride Report: I Feel Fizzy, Again!

20 March 2011:  North GA gathering of FZ1OA forum members and friends.

The call went out on the forum a couple of weeks ago, GA SC NC TN Riders Sunday Ride.  At the time, they were shooting for the Sunday after my Waterfall Ride with Daddy.  I wanted to join them knowing the Saturday ride would be a slow one and the Sunday ride would be a chance to "let my hair down" but I didn't plan on it.  I was relieved when I checked back and found they'd pushed it back a week!

15 March 2011

Ride Report: Two Waterfall Tour

12 March 2010:  Cruzman meets a moto-in-law
Since I got home from California in 2005 (has it been that long?) and Daddy bought his bike, he's been saying he wants to see some waterfalls.  I've had a route ready since then.  We finally agreed on a date and I called Cruzman and asked if he wanted to tag along.

05 March 2011

Ride Report: Reunited

19 Feb 2011:  An easy ride to lunch in Helen
Cruzman and I made a "date" to meet his co-workers and friends in Helen for lunch.  I wasn't sure what would happen after lunch, but I knew we'd take it easy getting there.  Cruzman insisted he'd follow me up there, one concession to assure he wouldn't make another right in front of me and I wouldn't slide into him again!

17 February 2011

FZ1 Mod: Remember when I said I was done?

I knew you didn't believe me!  But in my defense, I did say there were two more things I wanted for Baby.  Neither I thought would ever happen.  Of course, after my experience with devilsyam Frame Plugs, I don't know why I thought never.

Solo Ride: America's Stonehenge

16 Feb 2011:  Georgia Guidestones, Elberton, GA

I was riding today "Come Hell or High Water".  Fortunately neither came and I had an awesome nearly 200 mile day on the bike.  Just enough to realize I need to toughen up my rider's butt!

09 February 2011

Repairing the damage

The weather combined with the damage from the wreck have limited me to short runs to the grocery store.  Not long after the wreck, I started ordering parts.  First the windscreen, then I found a used muffler to replace my rashed one.

28 January 2011

DIY: Budget Conscious Wiring

Or Cleaning up the Rat's Nest.

When I started adding electrical stuff to the bike, I never imagined I'd end up with so much stuff. At first it was simply the alarm and the accessory outlet. By the time I got around to the aux lighting, I had a mess under my seat. I searched for a way to clean it up using a budget conscious approach since I am broke!

DIY Heated Gear: Jacket Liner 2.0

The Nichrome Solution.
Last time I used the teflon coated single strand hook up wire that required one long length with the fleece jacket liner (v 1.2).  The liner is very warm but it's not comfortable under my First Gear Monarch jacket, especially around the neck.  It works great with the Fieldsheer Flex jacket, but I wanted something I can use with the winter jacket so it was back to the drawing board.  My solution was to use the nichrome wire and a light weight "wind" breaker.

14 January 2011

FZ1 Maintenance: The Tires

The Pirelli Lesson.
A few months ago, I needed new tires and purchased the Pirelli Angels based on reputation and price.  I decided to change from the Bridgestone BT-021s before I even decided which tire to use because I'd been reading how bad they were on the forums.  I thought that I needed to find out for myself so I'd try other brands for a couple of tire changes then decide my brand loyalty.

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