Friday, December 31, 2010

A Review of 2010

I’ve been reflecting on 2010 since I started making the previous photo post and subsequent video post.

It made me realize a couple things. The first is that my wife was there with me for most of my fun adventures. I consider my self very lucky that my best friend was there to share the experience. She has been my biggest supporter. Thanks honey!

The second, I was also very fortunate to meet many other friendly riders and bloggers. The interactions with others on this blog (including YouTube, twitter, Facebook), have really made 2010 special. Thank you for your support and comments!

I spent some time looking at my 2009 review and 2010 goals. Here are some of the fun facts and adventures from 2010 in no particular order:

  • I can’t believe how many photos I took in 2010! I took over 9000 photos, most of them ended up on flickr.
  • I created over 100 hours of video. Most of which is still on my hard drive, but some made it to YouTube and vimeo as 58 published videos! This is mainly due to my purchase of the GoProHD and the Canon T2i.
  • For the geeks out there, that’s 376GB of content (photos & video)!
  • I published 156 posts (91 in 2009).
  • This blog has it’s first birthday, and I missed it. (Aug 6) I have a good excuse since it was the second day of the Great River Ride.
  • I did my second “big” trip. This time it was two-up on the trusty SV650. My wife and I rode 4723 miles in 19 days covering 19 different states.
  • Bought my 5th bike: 2001 BMW R1150GS. There are now seven bikes in the garage. (5 mine, 2 my wife). She says we have room for two more. She is the best! The question is, whose will they be? Mine or hers?
  • I rode 17,561 miles (14,198 in 2009) – in order of use: SV650, Ural, R1150GS, WR250R, Super9, My wife’s GS500 and GZ250. It is interesting and sad that I had the BMW for a week and put more miles on it than the WR. To be fair, the WR was in pieces for two months while I replaced the handlebars/top clamp, and lowered it not counting the time we were on our trip. My wife put on over 5,000 miles as a passenger!
  • I’ve made it the entire year without driving or owning a car -- a total of 15 months now without. (Yes, my wife still owns a car. She’s not the enthusiast I am).
  • I broke my coldest and hottest riding temps.
    New coldest is –12.6F (Minnesota in December). It was –11F.
    New hottest is 105F (Mississippi in August). It was 97F.
  • I took six riding courses: four advanced street from two different schools, one flat track, and one sidecar course!
  • Bought 12 tires: six for the SV650, five for the Ural, and one for the BMW.
  • I motorcycled in 19 different US states in 2010. (I had 11 in 2009). My total motorcycled states looks like this now (27):
    Motorcycle Visited States Map as of 2010-Dec-31 (27) 

Thank you for a great 2010! I’m excited to see what 2011 will bring!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Video: 2010 Highlights

I just loved the photos in the previous post, so I decided to make a short video using the same images (with captions this time).

I’m still working on the 2010 wrap-up. Hopefully tomorrow I will have it posted.

YouTube video in 1080p (click the HD link!):

Thanks everyone! You’ve really helped make 2010 a GREAT year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 Highlights in Photos

The following 32 photos represent significant or memorable moments from 2010. They’re in order from January to December. Hover over a photo to get the caption, and click on it to see a bigger version. I will follow this up with a 2010 wrap post soon.

The full flickr set is here if you’d rather scroll through them individually.

Ural and Minneapolis Skyline at Sunset #4 winning the 3rd Annual John Larson Memorial Ice Race Ural on Lake Josephine super9 and snow

Carlos Avery The start of numerous rides GS500 ride home with broken clutch

flying the chair in a mud pit wr250r on the bluff Flying the Chair leaned over 

ZARS-2010-06-06 - 2975 TC DualSport doing the Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail SV650 at the Apostle Islands National Park sv650 at DCTC with ZARS

Flattrack school crash Gary France and his Harley Road King "The Leading Ladies" 2-up on the sv650 leaving Bash3r Motorcyclist and Biker in the Rain 

Welcome to Florida! Eve Sweatman SV650 in Fog on the Cherohala Skyway Meeting Sojourner 

Great River Ride 2010 Route Map Sidecar Rally at the National Motorcycle Museum First Thursday at Dulono's Kevin adjusting the alignment on the Ural 

Hanging out with the Ural First ride of a 2001 bmw r1150gs Snowy Thanksgiving Day Ride 2010 with the Ural Sunset at Lake Phalen

Monday, December 27, 2010

BMW Goodies

Thanks to some very generous gifts, I was able to buy a bunch of goodies for the bikes this past weekend. I was very surprised today to come home and find two packages had already arrived!

The first is a Givi E189 top case plate for the BMW. This will allow me to use my existing V46 case! Look for the install write up of this later.

Givi e189 mount for bmw r1150gs

I also received these driving lights for the BMW. I want the bike to be more conspicuous to other road users. I also want to improve my night-time visibility. If they work out well, I’ll probably buy another set. They are very highly rated on advrider.

Pair of 24w 1500 lumen LED driving lights. 

The above are a pair of 24 watt LED driving lights which provide 1500 lumens of light. Each is the equivalent of a regular 55w motorcycle headlight. I plan on mounting them near the front beak and removing the existing driving lights since one is broken and the other mismatched. I will move the working light to the Ural to improve my visibility there. The LEDs are from ADV Monster. I will do a write up when I get around to installing them later this winter.

 Moving ural fairing to tighten mirror

The Ural’s left mirror has been giving me trouble. Some how it came loose over the weekend, and it was a huge pain to ride without a left mirror. I was constantly looking over my shoulder. No fun! To get the mirror tight again, I had to remove the Ural’s fairing, so it could spin tight on the handlebars. A quick 10 minute job.

Sidecar windshield folded back to stay warm and reduce buffeting

I folded the sidecar windshield back under the tonneau cover. The sidecar windshield keeps my wife warm, but I’m warmer without it.  It sits behind the main fairing and the air moving off of it goes directly into my right side.

Cafe covered in snow

The above will give you an idea of how much snow we’ve gotten in the last two weeks. More is on the way!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Day Ride

For Christmas, my wife and I went on a ride around the area and some lakes to look at the sights. We made a short holiday video. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas!

YouTube Video:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Heat Inspired Silliness

It was 33F yesterday in Minnesota! Way too hot! It was –12F just last week. Today, it is back down to a more reasonable 24F.

Being too hot for the Polar Bear Challenge, I decided to find the next letter for the Solar Bear Challenge instead: “O”. I couldn’t think of any roads, so I had to use google maps to find one. A short ride later, I was at Old Towne Rd. The video is quite silly. I hope you enjoy. (video embedded below)

Solar Bear - Letter O - Shenanigans

I also gave the Ural a much deserved bath after all of the shenanigans.

washing the ural 

The camera angle makes me look like a giant!

washing the ural2 

After drying it, I recoated it with the ACF50. It looks very shiny and clean now!

My festive holiday decorations also arrived today via the brown Santa (UPS).

motorcycle party lights

I’m going to put them on the Ural, but wearing them is fun too! Click on the photo for a bigger version.


YouTube Video for “O”:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ural Maintenance and the Solar Bear Challenge

Every week, I try to look over the Ural and check the common things to make sure I don’t have any problems while on the road. For example, this week I did:

  • put 2-3lbs of air in each tire
  • a couple loose spokes on front and one on cart
  • compliance fitting on left carb was loose
  • tightened fuel line at petcock
  • front tire is cupping slightly 8.5-10.5mm of tread in center
  • pusher tire is 6.5-7.5mm of tread in center
  • cart tire is 10-11mm of tread in center
  • oil was down 1/4"" on dipstick added 20w50 to full

I also keep the above notes in a google docs spreadsheet. Every bike has it’s own tab where I track each detail of each bike.


This helps me keep on top of how things are changing. The tire tread depths for instance, let me guess on when I should order new tires. My K335s have just over 1000km on them and the pusher is half gone.

 K335s on Ural

The goal is to stay proactive and out in front of any potential issues, so I can spend more time riding and less time wrenching.

20w50 and funnel


This week I also found another YouTube challenge to participate in the: Solar Bear Challenge aka SBC.

The SBC is more fun/silly tan the PBC. The goal is to find signs that spell out “Solar Bear” Make a video of the sign and then walk/run/dance/skip/etc around the sign or your bike while chanting “Solar Bear”. Of course all of this on video, an audience is encouraged. :) It was more fun than I expected.

I found my first sign yesterday for the letter “S” and included it in my latest PBC video #12.


PBC #12/SBC #1 YouTube Video:


Chipotle Snow Storm Run PBC #11 Video:


PBC #10 Video:

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Best Part of My Day

Sunset at Lake Phalen

The best part of my day the last couple days has been the beautiful sunsets on the ride home. The one above is from today when I was riding near Lake Phalen in St. Paul.

I’ve been enjoying my participation in the Polar Bear Challenge. The other participants are very friendly, and I am really enjoying the interaction with the other polar bears.

In trying to mix it up, I’ve been experimenting with new mounting options for my GoProHD instead of my regular chest mount. One day, I put the chest mount on backwards.

Lookig Backwards from the Ural

I think it worked pretty well for a different kind of view.

I also mounted on the GoPro on a RAM mount attached to the rear rack on the Ural.

GoProHD + RAM Mount on Luggage Rack of Ural GoProHD + RAM Mount on Luggage Rack of Ural

I really like this angle, and for some great footage, watch PBC #9 below.

Lake Phalen

I have a couple other ideas for the RAM mount, so stay tuned.

This week, I have been failing on the once a day video mission. I spent most of the week in bed with a nasty cold. I’m all better now, and I am very happy to be back outside and riding.

Here are some quick photos of a frozen Lake Como I visited yesterday.

Lake Como Lake Como

While I was walking back to the Ural, I sank into a snow drift up to my waist! (see PBC #8). I was out of it as fast as I fell into it, so no worries.


The latest three PBC videos are below.


YouTube Video PBC#9

YouTube Video PBC#8


YouTube Video PBC#7