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.

Thanks to fixing the bike from the wreck, I'm just now completing all of the maintenance I hoped to have done before now.  On Monday I ordered the last two things I needed for maintenance:  Front Brake Pads and a Chain kit.  Then yesterday, I went by Cycle Gear to get another can of Bike Spirits and took advantage of their chain tool deal.

I'm really pleased with how well Baby is running after I finally changed the thermostat and did the carb sync.  The Gen1 FZ1 is simply an awesome machine!  I can honestly say the bike has never performed better since I've owned it.  I guess it (and I) is finally fully broken in.

With the bike pretty much ready, it was time to think about my stuff.  I plan to camp most of the way and wanted to replace my bulky Coleman sleeping bag with something less bulky.  I read a lot of threads on the motorcycle and camping forums and still hadn't really made up my mind.  In the end, I decided to get a 0°F mummy bag from Sierra Trading Post.  Maybe it was the persistent emails advertising their great deals but I was finally sold on an ALPS Mountaineering bag, the Echo Lake.  I'm hoping it packs better than the Coleman:
On the way there
I bought a compression sack to try to get it a little smaller.  It didn't work as well as I'd hoped so instead of folding it they way it should be, I just rolled it up for the ride home.
Got a little smarter for the trip home
I'll likely have the same setup on for this ride, except with the smaller sleeping bag and my other tent.  I'll try to put both of them in the dry bag I got from Walmart like I've seen in the pics on ADVRider.com.  I'm still debating about the air mattress.  That thing is not comfortable and has me wondering if a pad would be a better (and easier to pack) option.  At some point if I find I'm motocamping a lot, I think I'll add a cot to the setup but for now the bag and pad/air mattress will have to do.

Just looking at that site to get the link reminded me I forgot all about a stool or chair!  This just adds to the growing concern I've had for the last few weeks that I'm not as ready as I wanted to be for this trip and a general feeling that I'm struggling to get caught up.  Maybe I'd feel better about my preparedness if I were leaving in June instead but I'm so anxious to be on the road, I don't think I could stand another month!

The work:
The brake pads arrived a couple of days after I ordered them with the chain kit following it to the door two days later.  As soon as all of it was here, I got to work.

Here are my parts before I put them on the bike:
Pads are from maccycles-parts.com
RK 530XSO Chain Kit from Sprocket Center
I've done brakes before so I didn't waste any time getting the Left side done.  When I took the tire off a couple of weeks ago, I noticed the inner pad was mighty low.  What I didn't see was how low mighty low was!

Yep, you can barely see any meat left on the bottom pad!  Thanks to some pics posted on the FZ1OA, I wasn't worried about that because it seems that type of wear is normal.  The guys suggest rotating the pads with each tire change.  I'll do that from now on.

The right sides looked a lot better.

I had the digital caliper out but I didn't measure them to see how close they were to spec.  I'm a firm believer ignorance is bliss!  Here are both sets of the old pads:

I got the pads replaced in under an hour!  On to the chain kit.  This is the first time I've replaced a chain and sprocket.  Before I went out to the garage, I watched a video on a chain tool to be sure I understood how mine worked.  It made the process go smoothly.

I was able to break the chain with so little effort, it didn't feel like breaking at all.  Once I got the chain broke, I put the rear sprocket on  and remembered I forgot to get the washer.  It was too late by then so I just re-used it.  Before you get all excited, I'm going to the Yamaha demo at the dealer tomorrow so I'll pick up one while I'm there.
New front sprocket with re-used washer that'll get replaced on my next trip to the dealer
It's kinda nasty in there but I didn't want to waste any energy cleaning it up.  theWolf forces me to make choices.  Since I have to go back in there, I'll ungrime it then.  I'm glad putting the chain on was fairly easy.  I just had to get used to handling the chain tool.  I wish I could have figured out a way to put the master link on off of the bike.  After fiddling for what seemed like forever, I got it done.

In the frustration of getting the thing riveted, I forgot to measure the pins before I riveted them.  I'm fairly certain I got the mushroom I needed though.

I replaced the chain, sprockets, and brake pads after 31,376 miles.  I believe the chain and sprockets had even more life in them though.

Took Baby for a short test ride to make sure I had everything all right and it was!

To my surprise, when the postlady showed up with the chain kit, she had the replacement grip heaters too.  They'll get put on this weekend sometime.  I'm still waiting on the LED signals I ordered last month though and I ain't happy about it.

Now that all the maintenance is done I am relieved.  I still feel like I'm behind though.  The sleeping bag is on the way from WY via the big brown truck.  My big brother cleaned out the garage so I'm still looking for the other tent.  I may end up with the saggy sided Wal-mart tent because I'm too lazy to look for the non saggy sided tent.  I'll be doing routing all next week and will likely leave on Friday or Saturday.

Thanks for reading,
patrice, theWolfTamer
Got 'er done!


  1. Patrice,

    It's Chuck, David's friend and I am just wishing you a safe and fun trip. Once you get on your way things will begin to 'purr' right along. HAVE FUN! What's the old song? "Be happy, Don't worry..."


  2. Thanks for getting THAT stuck in my head!!!! Baby is definitely purrring along and ready for the trip.


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