This is Not News

Good day to you, fine reader. Although I don’t post much, I do get frequent visitors to this site. To you I bid welcome. I’m not a great one for self-promotion or self-aggrandising blogs, but I do like to keep friends and relatives up to date on my latest information.

Really I’ve been busy. I mean really busy the last couple of weeks both at work and at home. This doesn’t seem likely to change any time soon, so I won’t bore you with details. Suffice to say that I’m going to stay too busy to post for the next couple of weeks… but believe me I’ll have a lot to say after.

Latest changes are really minor stuff. Had the first really annoying problem with my bike; namely that I had problems with hard starting for a couple of weeks in the mornings. This resulted in the occasional morning when I just gave up trying to start her because I figured she was flooded.

Fast forward to last Thursday, and I’m headed out to lunch with my co-workers. I get astride the bike and try to start. Odd… she’s turning over but sounds REALLY slow. I think to myself “I wonder if the battery’s not healthy”. After 20 minutes and several phone calls on my cell I get a friend of mine to give me a jump start (does NOONE carry jumper cables any more????). I hook the bike up and she fires up swiftly and with no problems. Once I have her running, I figure I’d better skip lunch and head home… which is what I do.

I get home, keeping RPM’s up all the way home in the hope I might pick up a bit of a charge. I get home and into the garage, park her. At that point I hook my up multi-meter to the battery. 9 volts. Ungh. For those who don’t know, a bike battery is made up of 6 electrical cells, each providing about 2 or so volts of electricity, adding up to a total of somewhere between 12 and 13 volts (there is a deliberate fudge-factor there, but it usually amounts to about 12.8 volts for an average fully charged battery). What this tells me is that I’m at least 3 volts low, so I’ve got one cell that’s probably completely dead, and one other that’s only providing less than half of its total output capacity. A quick cacluation tells me that I’m maybe pulling 160 cold cranking amps max… my bike needs 180 and most batteries put out about 210.

So now I have a problem, and I know the solution; change out the battery. However, I determine to myself that I’m going to make the effort to find a maintenance-free battery for my bike rather than the type that needs constant input of distilled water and electrolyte. Basically during the time I’ve owned the bike I was constantly checking levels, and had to top up the water a couple of times. This got old.

OK… so now I’ve just screwed myself! Have you TRIED finding a maintenance-free battery in the right size, voltage and amps through retail outlets??? Let me tell you, this is something that’s near impossible. Sure, I can ORDER it through retail outlets, but we’re talking a 14 day turnaround at most of these places. SOOOO… I go online and find the battery I want. It’s cheaper than I can get it retail, shipping is free and it oughtta work a treat. Score! Only one problem; shipping will take about a week.

SOOO, today I’m still driving my car to work. However, I’ve now got my maintenance-free battery installed and attached to my battery tender. I get up this morning intending to ride my bike to work and check the weather forecast. Damn. 70% chance of rain. You know, if it had been a 50% chance of rain I probably would’ve bought the bike. I don’t mind riding in the rain, but it’s not one of my favorite things to do. 70% is just beyond my “feel-good-factor” of wanting to ride. As a result, maybe I’ll ride tomorrow, maybe not. Ah well.

Not much else to tell, news-wise. Hopefully in about two weeks I’ll have a nice big update that you can read with lots of pictures. Stay tuned.

Random Thoughts

It’s been a while since I posted. Quite frankly time has been scarce of late. Basically I’ve been talking to my father again… for those that know me they know this is unusual. It’s been good, and I’m enjoying communicating with him again. Hopefully we’ll stay in communication this time. On top of that there’s been the usual hectic work schedule and home life… and of course just generally living life instead of spending it in front of a computer screen typing in a blog. Hmm.

Anyway, some thoughts on using a motorcycle as a daily “driver”;

  • Be prepared to be consistently 10 minutes late for work because you’re (a) donning safety equipment, (b) flooded the bike or (c) (more likely) you decided that “the twisty route might be quicker.”
  • When you’re on a bike, you’re part of the environment. You’re a piece of the world that is travelling through it. Your vision is unsurpassed. Be prepared for other bits of the environment to become one with you… like flies, mosquitos and occasionally (painfully) june bugs.
  • On your commute to work, pass cattle trucks at least two lanes over. Failure to do so will add another piece of the environment to the above list.
  • Prepare your co-workers for the fact that most days you’ll come to work smelling of exhaust fumes, oil, gasoline and chain lube. Failure to do so may limit future advancement prospects.
  • Be prepared to explain the other smell caused by… ahem… environmental factors (see above)
  • When wearing your safety gear, be prepared to be greeted dependent upon age as (a) Robby the Robot, (b) Darth Vader/Stormtrooper, (c) Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.
  • Trust me, other people don’t drive like you’re invisible. You are.
  • Have fun! You’re combining a fun and absorbing hobby with work. After work you can look forward to doing it again. Most of your co-workers can’t do this and only have their cars to return in. If your co-workers drive a Porsche they might know a little about the exhileration you feel… but they’ll also know a lot more than you about expensive repair bills.

    Hope you enjoyed… Comment if you want to add more!