Today, is the first day of spring. This last week has been full of “firsts”. A week ago I rode the SV650 to work instead of the Ural for the first time in 2011. I’ve ridden it every day since, but it looks like snow tomorrow, so it’ll be in the garage for a few days. Back to the Ural.
On Friday, I received my first motorcycle wave in return. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the first bike I’ve seen this year. It also rained on Sunday for the first time. It washed a fair amount of the salt away, but there is still plenty of sand to catch out the unwary.
Today, was the first time I put gas in my R1150GS in 2011, and the first time I’ve started it up this year. I’ve been working on it for several weeks getting it ready for riding season.
I was excited to finally be able to start it today. I had drained the tank when I removed it, so the fuel gauge showed empty. I put a little gas in, turned the key, and pressed the starter. Nothing. The display showed an “E” next to the fuel. I guess it needs more gas. I rode the Ural to the gas station and got a couple gallons. The sidecar makes it an easy task to haul stuff.
Back home, I added two gallons, turned the key, pressed the starter, and nothing. My thoughts started racing. What did I do wrong? Did I forget something when I put it back together? I turned it all off and tried again. Nothing. I checked the battery since I’d been playing around with the electrics. It still had a good charge. I tried everything again, and still nothing.
Oh yea, I had put it into a higher gear when was doing the valves, so I bumped the gears back down from sixth to neutral. Ah, yes, I have a gear indicator on this bike. I only rode it for a week, and I don’t have the owners manual. The display now shows “0” and the green neutral light is on. I guess “E” is sixth. The time is off now too from my battery antics. Hopefully google can sort that out for me. I felt very silly once I realized my mistake.
I turned the key and thumbed the starter. The bike choked and died. Oh right, the choke/advance needs to be cranked open. I did that and the bike roared to life. After letting it warm up for a bit, I took it for a very short ride to celebrate. We did some figure eights in a parking lot, and tested the ABS.
I’ve done a lot on the bike this winter. I installed LED aux lights, replaced nearly all of the auxiliary wiring, installed a fuse block, replaced the spark plugs, alternator belt, air filter, fuel filter, adjusted the valves, replaced some plastics, added a rear rack for my top case, and fixed the throttle grip. I still need to sync the throttle bodies (idling a bit rough), install the engine guards, install hyper-lites, and order a better windscreen. The stock screen makes way too much noise, so I took it off. I’m excited it’s running again. I have some big plans for it this year.
Below is a photo of one of the St. Paul snow dumps. It covers the entire parking lot of midway stadium, home of the St. Paul Saints. All that brown stuff in the background is snow. The little round mound, is also all snow. It is quite impressive.
It was nice to ride three bikes back to back. I think the SV may have some competition from the GS even if they are completely different. The downside of riding three bikes back to back, is it highlighted the Ural’s faults and made it seem more like a Russian lawn tractor than usual with it’s vague brakes and wimpy throttle.
More snow and rain the rest of the week. Spring in Minnesota!