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.

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