Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Maintenance for SV650 and WR250R

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I’ve been getting behind on my motorcycle maintenance for my SV650 and WR250R. I took this past Monday off work, to try and catch up. I badly needed new tires on both bikes.

The SV650 got a new pair of Dunlop Q3s to replace the worn out Q2s that were on there. I went about 6,000 miles on the Q2s which is about my average and something I am happy with for such a soft, sticky tire. I really liked the Q and Q2, so I am looking forward to the Q3. Since I had the axle loose, I also spent some time cleaning, lubing, and adjusting the chain.

Last on the maintenance list was to change the brake fluid. The speed bleeders I installed a few years ago makes this a very easy task. Just loosen the bleeder, and pump the fluid out with the lever. They have a valve to prevent air from coming back in at the bleeder.

wr250r

Next the WR250R was up. I haven’t ridden it yet this year because the rear tire was so bald I didn’t feel like it was safe anymore. I put a new set of D606s to replace the set I was taking off. I went about 3,600 miles of mixed street and trail riding with am emphasis on street. I’m moderately happy with their longevity and very happy with their performance.

new vs used d606

The new on the left and the worn on the right. The new tires went on decently with just hand levers. After the tires were on, I also cleaned, lubed, and adjusted the chain.

Then a replaced the brake fluid as I did on the SV650. Even without the speed bleeders it was still a pretty quick job. The brakes feel much better now.  I also replaced the battery and cleaned the air filter.

I took both bikes out for a quick test ride, and they seemed to be working as expected. I am really liking how the brakes feel much more responsive. The fluid slowly degraded, I didn’t realize how spongy the levers had gotten.

Time for some more riding!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Uraling Carlos Avery 2015

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Sunday’s are a popular day to ride motorcycles. For our Sunday ride, I decided to take the Ural. I haven’t ridden it all year due to my injured shoulder. I’ve been feeling much better, so decided to take it.

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Laura had also not had a Ural experience yet, so it was time to find out what she thought. A Ural experience isn’t complete without gravel roads. I also had it on good authority that Laura needed to explore more State parks, so I settled on Carlos Avery Wildlife Refuge as a first visit. I’ve been here many times with other bikes.

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There are very few roads inside the area, but I still manage to get turned around. We entered on the North end of the preserve and wound our way through. The roads were in decent shape in most places. On previous visits, there have been giant mud holes to deal with.

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The “park” is full of “ponds” for different wildlife to enjoy. There is also a nice forested area. While in the park we spotted a variety of song birds, a big white egret, wild turkey with babies, a loon, a goose, and a turtle.

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It was a good two hour ride. The park was a great escape to the heat which soared into the 90s. We both had a fun time puttering around on the Ural. Not having ridden a sidecar in many, many months, I was happy it all came back very naturally.

Laura said she still prefers the SV650 to the Ural. I totally agree. She said while she enjoyed the view on the Ural, she felt more engaged and had more fun on the back of the SV.

 

All pictures, except the second one, courtesy of Laura.

 

 

Related Posts:

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ride to Work Day 2015

RTW Button Art [Converted]

Today is the 24th annual motorcycle and scooter Ride to Work Day. I chose to ride my SV650 to work. I found the regular riders at m work also chose to ride today.

Ride to Work Day 2015

What did you ride to work today?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Guest Review: Transition Series 3 Jacket

Tourmaster Transition 3 Coat

This is a guest post from Laura at One Girl, Two Cities. She enjoys being a motorcycle passenger and was looking for a new coat. Motorcycle House graciously shipped us one to review. I really like the Transition2 and Epic coats from Tourmaster, and the Transition3 improves on both. Now on with Laura’s review!


Like nearly every other woman in the world, I struggle with finding clothes that fit. We tiresomely trek to store after store, pay to tailor clothes and order clothing online with crossed fingers. In the interest of full disclosure, I’m 4’10” and weigh approximately 125 pounds. On a good day, I’m a size 6. On a bad day, somewhere in the 8 to 10 range. We love this inconsistency, don’t we??

Tourmaster Transition 3 Coat

Aside from an overly long sleeve from time to time, I usually manage pretty well with coats so I decided to try out the Transition Series 3 jacket in a women’s small size. It’s a reasonably-priced  coat that retails at $188.99 and fits me surprisingly well! The sleeve length is just about right, and it fits comfortably even while wearing riding pants.

Tourmaster Transition 3 Coat

Let’s jump to my one criticism: the adjustable Velcro wrist cuffs. I have gauntlet gloves and struggled to fit them over the bulky jacket cuff which led me to attempt tucking the gloves in. Not such an easy feat either. Lo and behold, I went to adjust the left wrist strap and it completely tore off! Now, the day before I had lifted weights for the first time in about two months, so I was feeling pretty bulked up, but by no means did I feel I used excessive force with which to tighten said wrist cuff.

Tourmaster Transition 3 Coat

So… I guess I’m not sure how I feel about this. The overall jacket seems really well-constructed and has several attractive features that led me to selecting it so let’s move onto to those for now. To start, check out all these tags!

motorcycle tags

1. It’s neon yellow. Sure, it’s not the most flattering color but it’s as good as it gets when it comes to safety on the road. There are also several Phoslite® reflective strips for added visibility. And I’ll admit I do have an appreciation for shiny things.

Tourmaster Transition 3 Coat

2. It’s waterproof thanks to the Rainguard® barrier. I haven’t ridden in the rain, but Chris offered to spray me with the garden hose to test out this feature… You understand my hesitation in this, but for now, I like the fact that it should keep me dry and therefore snug and warm should the skies crack open while we’re riding.

Tourmaster Transition 3 Coat

3. The armor is CE-approved and it’s removable for easy washing. They make me look like I have shoulder pads; I prefer to leave those where they belong - in the 80s - but for the sake of safety I’m willing to make an exception. The jacket also comes with a “triple density back protector” which is pretty awesome.

Tourmaster Transition 3 Coat

4. Adjustable waist belts for a more feminine fit! Ok, so I don’t really care about looking curvaceous when it comes to riding but I did feel locked and loaded, which is the purpose of the belts. The coat also has straps that tighten at the bicep and forearm, but when Chris tried to help me adjust them, it only resulted in pinched skin. Maybe I’m more buff than I thought!

Tourmaster Transition 3 Coat

5. The liner is removable and the coat has several vents for those warm riding days. And I’d like to note that I live in Minnesota where in one day (back in 1982) the temperature has gone from 78F to 7F - that’s right, a 71-degree difference - so all these features are a must when it comes to jackets. I also like all the pockets for stashing my cell phone, some cash and my lip balm.

Tourmaster Transition 3 Coat

With all of these well thought-out features, I would recommend the Transition Series 3 jacket. In the end, I can overlook the wrist cuff problem, but it does seem like it would be better served with an elastic cuff to cut out the bulk. I appreciate the plethora of safety features the most, and the fact that the jacket is quite comfortable to wear at the same time. Happy riding!


Laura also made a video guest review of the coat too.  

 

The coat was generously provided by Motorcycle House for review.

Company Profile: Motorcycle House has been serving riders of all types since 2007. We’re a quick growing company of similar minded riders who want to help make a difference in the Motorcycle Industry. The company was started when we realized that there wasn't a company that was passionate about riding. We’re passionate about Motorcycles regardless of what Model and Make you ride. Our company goal to help riders save money and also provide the best customer service possible. We’re tired of big motorcycle retailers that don’t understand the motorcycle lifestyle. Since we’re committed to bringing the best values and comparable products. We can use our overseas manufacturer connections, and offer necessities like Motorcycle Jackets, Chaps, and Gloves for much better prices without sacrificing our own integrity or quality. We’re always improving and looking to expand, be sure to let us know what we can improve on. There is also a company named Viking Bags which is our sister site. Viking Bags has become the motorcycle luggage authority for bikes of every type. You can see that they are producing top rated motorcycle saddlebags for all type of bikes.

 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Motorcycle First Thursday–June 2015

Motorcycle First Thursday June 2015

Last night was Motorcycle First Thursday in Minneapolis. I showed up straight after work. The weather was fantastic, so lots of people showed up. I had a great time as usual. Here are some of the motorcycles I enjoyed looking at.

Motorcycle First Thursday June 2015

A nice clean Bimota.

Motorcycle First Thursday June 2015

The above and below bike was easily my favorite bike of the night. A 90s Honda turned into a trash bike. There was so much to see. I looked back at it several time. There are so many little touches. I really like the side panniers from cat litter boxes. The little stick on the windshield is nice too “The Buck Stopped Here” I am guessing he hit a deer and totaled the motorcycle.

Motorcycle First Thursday June 2015

A very clean Kawasaki. I like it.

Motorcycle First Thursday June 2015

If you have a heavy bike, this is why you use a sidestand puck. A large hole in the parking lot.

Motorcycle First Thursday June 2015

Scary hello kitty on an all pink bike. I like it.

Motorcycle First Thursday June 2015

Extra gas tank instead of a passenger seat provides this rider 350 miles of range. She said she has even ridden the 300 miles several times without stopping. Wow. Nevermind iron butt, that’s iron bladder.

Motorcycle First Thursday June 2015

Madass 125. I like it.

Motorcycle First Thursday June 2015

A really custom pit bike.

Motorcycle First Thursday June 2015

Newer EFI Royal Enfield.

Motorcycle First Thursday June 2015

Custom moped! Can pedal or use the engine to drive the rear wheel.

Motorcycle First Thursday June 2015

Hundreds and hundreds of people throughout the night. Motorcycle First Thursday June 2015

One of the few sidecars I saw.

Motorcycle First Thursday June 2015

Interesting vehicle.

Motorcycle First Thursday June 2015

A GSXR rear and a ATV front-end… I wonder how it handles.

Motorcycle First Thursday June 2015

This front wheel is huge! And yes, the whole bike is about an inch off the ground.

Motorcycle First Thursday June 2015

It was a fun time. I am looking forward to next month.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

TBT: Three Years Ago: Fairbanks, Alaska

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Three years ago I was in Fairbanks, Alaska on my Everyday for 7 Weeks trip. Click the link if you want to see the daily posts and photos. I rode my SV650 for seven weeks and 12,000 miles from Minneapolis to Fairbanks to San Diego and back.

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While I was in Fairbanks, I had the great fortune to meet and stay with Richard and his family. We also went on a couple rides. It was great fun.

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Check out the other posts:

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Everyday for 7 Weeks - San Diego by way of Alaska

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Teaching My First BRC of 2015

Teaching a BRC

This past week and weekend, I taught my first Basic Rider Course of 2015. I have seven courses scheduled for this year.

This class was at Century College. The normal schedule is a weeknight classroom session followed by a half day Saturday and Sunday.

Teaching a BRC

I had the afternoon class this past weekend with eleven students and a co-coach. The class went well. It rained a lot on the second day, which I think makes the students better since they can get over being scared of rain.

Most of them did very well, and only one failed. She is determined to come back and give it another try. Maybe I will see her again. I have a couple weekends off before I teach my next BRC. It was an enjoyable experience.