Friday, October 30, 2009

Commuting - October 30

The rain and fog made this mornings ride interesting. It was cool (40F) and very dark. My new Tourmaster Epic coat in blinding hi-viz worked great at keeping me warm and dry. The new hi-viz pants just barely fit over the new Tourmaster Venture pants. The recurring rain has given me plenty of opportunities to test the waterproofing of my new gear. I am happy to report, that I have been warm and dry.

My heated vest failed a few days ago. According to the Tourmaster warranty, I'm covered for three years as long as I have the receipt (check!) and I bring it back to the store where I purchased it. I brought it back on Thursday morning, and they ordered up a replacement. I am hopeful that it will arrive this coming Tuesday. I've been lucky that the temperature has been steady between 40-50F, so I can survive without the vest.

I received my digital voltmeters (two), and I hope to get at least one of them installed this weekend. I am still trying to decide how best to mount them without breaking out the zip ties and tape.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Commuting - October 26

A few blocks away from my house this morning, my heated gloves stopped working. It was dark and cold (39F). I figured I would try and tough it out for a while which didn't last long. I only made it a few more miles before I pulled into a gas station. Was my battery dying? I pulled into the light to look things over. After I stopped, I looked down and found that the power cord had caught around my leg, and it must have tugged at the cord just enough at one of the stop signs and unplugged it. I finished my ride in with toasty hands. I will need to pay more attention to cord placement next time.

The clouds broke in the afternoon to let a little sun and blue sky out. The trees looked great, so I took the slow and scenic road home to admire the oranges, yellows, and reds. It was a great ride home except for the infrequent, impatient driver who was too busy on the phone to notice the great scenery. I probably should have taken a photo or two, but I was too busy smiling and riding as I turned a ten mile ride into twenty.

A friend was very generous today and gave me a pair of hi-viz pants to wear while riding. He bought them at a tent sale ($8!!) and said he just couldn't deal with how bright they were. Lucky me! I will wear them over my regular riding pants since they lack armor. They are bright yellow, waterproof, and windproof. The pants fit a bit big, but should match my new coat beautifully.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Riding Around - October 24

The sunrise this morning was brilliant. Everything has a slight layer of dew and frost which was melted by the time I hit the road. It made everything sparkle. The air was cool (35F) and the roads were empty which made for some fantastic early morning riding. I was toasty warm on my SV650 with all my heated gear. It was also really nice to be able to use my tinted shield again; I haven't used it in at least ten days with all the clouds and early morning commuting.

My feet have been cold lately, so I purchased this pack of Merino Wool socks at Costco $10 for four pairs! They are also the same blend (71% merino wool, 21% nylon, 7% polyester, 1% lycra spandex) as the $20 pair at REI. They work really well and have been keeping my feet warm and toasty since I purchased them.



Unfortunately, I was only able to get this one photo before my camera ran out of batteries. Apparently I forgot to charge it. The photo is of the St. Paul Cathedral. It was built in 1904 and is the 12th tallest building in St. Paul.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Scooter Commuting - October 23

I enjoyed the ride in this morning. The super 9 didn't want to go at first, but a quick choke and it was ready. Sure, it was 35F and it raining pretty hard, but I had my rain and heated gear going and was very comfortable. I had a smile on my face the entire way in.

After lunch, I became really excited when I saw the snow coming down in huge flakes. My co-workers started to give me a hard time about having to ride in the snow. They thought it was a bad thing?! I was very disappointed when the snow turned to a hard rain by the time I left. I still enjoyed my ride home in the rain.

I should be able to pickup my new tour master coat and pants tomorrow at moto primo. I still haven't seen the new one piece suit on tour master's site, but I did find the tour master centurion on Revzilla and it looks like the PDF that Zach showed me either this week.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Digital VoltMeter

After reading RedLeg's Rides, I also purchased a voltmeter for a couple of my bikes. Putting a voltmeter on the bikes has been on my list for a while, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. I am running a lot of heated gear lately and it would be wise to keep an eye on the battery. I decided to be lazy, so I copied him and bought the same one he did. He has the same requirements and goals I do, so it should work out fine. I purchased the XScorpion DVM3R from ebay for $20 after shipping. Thanks Domingo!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Kymco Super 9 Front Tire Replacement

This documents putting on a new Kenda K761 120/70-12 front tire on my Kymco Super 9.



Tools needed:
  • impact wrench
  • 19mm impact socket
  • 14mm wrench
  • Philips screwdriver
  • torque wrench
  • axle grease
  • tire gauge
  • Velcro strip (to hold the brake lever)

Step 1: Loosen the front axle nut with the 14mm wrench and the 19mm impact socket. I also used the Velcro strip to hold the front brake to make it easier to loosen the nut. After loosening the nut, remove the Velcro strips from the brake lever.


Step 2: Get the front tire off the ground. I used some carabineers from climbing around the handlebars attached to a deer hanging frame and pulley system. I purchased the pulley system from a sporting goods store for about $20 and use it to easily haul tires and other heavy things into my attic.

Step 3: Remove the fender with the Philips screwdriver (optional). You don't have to do this, but I found it easier to work around the tire.

Step 4: Remove the brake caliper (optional). I didn't do this, but I will next time. It was a pain to get the side collar and the speedo pawl lined up while dealing with the rotor and caliper.

Step 5: Remove the axle. I found it helpful to keep my foot under the front tire to keep things steady and lined up.

Step 6: The side collar will likely fall off during step 5. If not, remove it now along with the speedometer gear unit.

Step 7: Replace the tire on the rim. I did learn one tip this time through that was helpful -- I put the tire in front of a space heater on low for about 15 minutes to warm it up. It went on easier than I remember putting the rear tire on.

These two links helped me learn how to change tires:
1) Neduro's Tire Changing Class
2) Easy Tubed Tire Changing (yes, I know the Super9 doesn't have a tube, but it is still a good video) Here is my old and new:


Step 8: Grease the axle, side collar, and speedometer pawl. Then, reinstall the axle. I found it helpful to again have my foot under the front tire as I lined things up. Make sure to line the tabs up on the rim with the grooves in the speedometer pawl. The speedometer assembly also has a slot that fits into the tab on the side of the fork. After reassembling the front axle make sure the tire spins freely.

Step 9: Torque the axle bolt to 49.0 N-m.

Step 10: Check the air pressure and set to 25 psi.

Enjoy your new front tire! Remember new tires are slippery for about the first 100 miles and first few heat cycles.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Commuting - October 20

It was only 44F this morning, and it felt slightly damp. It was supposed to rain all day, but it doesn't look like it will now until tonight.

I rode the SV650 today, but I wanted to ride the Super9 to test out the new front tire. I'm almost done with the post, but have to link in the photos first.

The SV was required today because of the storage capacity. I'm returning the leaky Olympia Phantom suit, and hopefully, will get all of my money back. I may replace the suit with tour master caliber pants and perhaps a new epic jacket. I've heard that tour master has a new one peice textile riding suit, but they don't have it on their website or anywhere else online that I can find.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Kymco Super 9 Rear Tire Replacement

This documents putting on a new Kenda K761 130/70-12 rear tire on my Kymco Super 9. When I purchased the scooter the existing rear tire was badly needing replacement.


Tools Needed:
  • flat head screwdriver
  • socket wrench
  • 10mm socket
  • 12mm socket
  • 13mm socket
  • impact wrench
  • 13mm impact socket
  • 24mm impact socket
  • torque wrench
  • allen wrench
  • zip tie and wire cutter (hold brake caliper)
  • axle grease
  • tire gauge
  • velcro strip (to hold the brake lever)

Step 1: Remove the rear axle nut with the 24mm impact socket. It helps to hold the rear brake with a strip of velcro

Step 2: Get the rear tire off the ground using the center stand or a floor jack if the center stand is missing. The center stand mounts make a good jack point.

Step 3: remove the exhaust muffler by removing the two bolts from the rear fork and the two that attach to the engine. Tools used: 10mm (near engine), 12mm (top), 13mm impact (lower)


Step 4: remove the rear brake caliper by using a 12mm socket on the two caliper bolts. If you used the velcro strap in step 1, remove it now. Do not touch the rear brake lever after removing the caliper from the rotor or else the pads will compress together and make installation impossible. If the pads do compress, use a C-clamp to push the piston back in to make room for reassembly.

Step 5: free the rear brake cable by removing the allen head bolt on the middle cable support and the 10mm on the rear fork

Step 6: secure the rear brake caliper out of the way by using a zip tie to attach it to the lower grab handle.

Step 7: remove the collar with even pulling pressure. I used two flat blade screwdrivers for this

Step 8: remove the rear fork with even pressure

Step 9: remove the axle spacer

Step 10: remove the rear wheel again even pressure helps here.

Step 11: replace the tire on the rim. Rather and write (and show) how bad I am at changing my own tires. These two links helped me learn how to do it:
1) Neduro's Tire Changing Class
2) Easy Tubed Tire Changing (yes, I know the Super9 doesn't have a tube, but it is still a good video)
Here is my old and new:

Step 12: reverse the steps put everything back together. I greased the axle and the rear fork bolts when I reassembled.
Step 13: torque all the bolts to spec:
  • Rear fork bolts: 29.4N-m
  • Rear axle nut: 98.0N-m
  • Two bolts on rear caliper: 34.3N-m
  • engine exhaust bolts: 11.8N-m
Step 14: Fill the rear tire to 28.5 psi for one rider or 32 psi for two.

Enjoy your new rear tire! Remember new tires are slippery for about the first 100 miles and first few heat cycles.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Riding Around - October 15th

I took the SV650 out on some errands today. It was a moist 44F, so I left the heated gear at home. I didn't trust the Phantom to be waterproof, so I wore my Tourmaster rain suit over it. It kept me dry and it also added an extra wind barrier to keep me warm. It was pretty time consuming to put it all on and take it off, and I'm pretty sure I resembled the Michelin Man.

I also wore my Tourmaster winter gloves. I was surprised I only needed the heated grips for part of the ride. I ended up riding around sixty miles. It was pretty nice to get out and ride the SV again; It is such a different experience from the Super9. I also lubed the chain up after I got home since I'd been riding in the rain for so long.

I purchased a can of ACF-50 anti-corrosion spray today for my bikes, mainly the Super9. It was designed for the aerospace industry and is primarily used on planes to prevent and halt corrosion. I plan on coating my bikes in it to keep the Minnesota salt and winter grime off of them.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Commuting - October 14

Today's 35F felt warm riding the Super9 to work. The heated gloves worked great to and from work and kept my hands very toasty. I'm very happy I purchased the battery yesterday to run them, so far I don't think I'll need the heated vest until probably below 20F.

I tried wearing my new Schampa Dickie Balaclava Combo for the first time today, and it didn't fit well inside my helmet. It was very tight, but very warm. The seams are rounded on the inside, so they pressed into my head and face and left large red marks that took about an hour to fade away. It also gave me a horrible headache starting at the ten minute mark and continuing until about an hour after I took it off. I'm contacting them now to return/exchange it.

I also purchased a Pharoah Deluxe Balaclava and will give that a try tomorrow. I have higher hopes for this one because it does have flat seams, but it doesn't have quite as much insulation or weather protection.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Commuting - October 13

I was able to ride the scooter to work today. It was dark and 24F! I think this is my new record for the coldest riding temp. I wore the Phantom suit again along with my mountain hardware winter coat underneath. I doubled up on socks and wore my tourmaster winter gloves. I was quite warm except for my hands.

On the way home I stopped at Batteries plus and picked up an AGM Sealed 12v 18ah battery to power my electric gloves. I tested it and it worked great. I should be able to get more than two running hours out of the battery if I run my heated vest and my gloves. With the cold temps, I think I should be fine if I charge it every night. Initially, I will just run with the electric gloves since it's a bit of a hassle using heated gear with the Phantom suit. There is no easy way to get the power cable and control cables out of the suit. The recommendation from Olympia is to cut a hole in one of the waterproof pockets which I do not want to do.


I've been talking to the owner of Olympia Motorsports, Kevin, about the leaky suit and he suggested I spray it with scotch guard to make the front vent zippers more waterproof. I'm a bit hesitant to do this since I have similar vents on my tourmaster coat, but I've never had to spray it and it is more waterproof. I'm also a bit confused because on the Phantom gear page, the second bullet is waterproof. A co-worker has the same suit and his leaks in the same way. I'm wondering if there was a defective batch since there seem to be a large group of happy owners on ADV and other sites.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Commuting - October 7th

I tried the hippo hands today and they kept my hands warmer. They are a bit awkward to use and have on the scooter, but they were functional. They are worth every penny of the $10 I paid to get them used.

The new Olympia Phantom suit is working, but failed miserably in the rain yesterday. The front vent pockets leaked heavily on the way in and on the way home soaking the inside of the suit. If I wouldn't have had the insulated liner, I would have been very wet and very cold. I called Zack at MotoPrimo and was told he doesn't work Wednesdays. I am waiting for him to get in at noon on Thursday.

The suit is supposed to be 100% waterproof. I made sure on the way home that the straps on the vent were very loose, the zippers closed, and the Velcro smooth. They still leaked horribly, so much in fact that the water began to pool underneath me and soak through the insulated liner to get my pants wet on the way home. Not fun.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Commuting - October 5th

Another dark, cold (36F), and foggy commute. I tried to take the Super9 this morning, but found the battery was dead. I mistakenly covered the ignition switch when I was mounting my new hippo hands. It's on the tender now, and I can hopefully take it tomorrow. I also filled up the gas tank and discovered that I am getting about 25km/liter or 59MPG.

I ended up taking the WR250R in to work and had a great time riding it.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

WR250R SpeedoDRD Install

I installed the SpeedoDRD a few weeks ago and have been very happy with it. I love having an accurate speedometer on a bike, and I wish I could get one for all of my bikes.

Step1: Remove the seat and left panel
Step2: Identify the stock WR250R speedo cable. Make sure to get the one towards the front of the bike as the rear one is the power for the tail light.

Step3: Connect the SpeedoDRD

Step4: Tuck the SpeedoDRD away and zip tie the cable


Step5: I went for a ride with a GPS to see the difference in speed. GPS said 60MPH, speedo said 70MPH. GPS was 51.8 and speedo was 60MPH.

Step6: Using their online calculator for setup I saw I should be using anywhere from a -13.7% to a -14.3% adjustment. I chose to use a -14.0% adjustment and am now within 0.5MPH on the speedo which is good enough for me since the stock gauge doesn't show tenths.

Step7: Follow the Detailed Calibration Instructions. I suggest reading them at least once before starting. I missed a step and had to start over on my calibrations. It sounds more complicated than it is to change, but once I figure out the procedure, I was able to make adjustments very quickly.

Step8: Enjoy having an accurate speedometer!

 

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