Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Commuting - September 29

It was dark and cold (38F) on the way in this morning. I used all my liners, but forgot to add the windproof part to my gloves until I was half way to work. My hands were cold.

I was smarter on the way home and rode around enjoying the sun and blue sky. I also ended up following a ZX10R for a while and he showed me a clever way to cut through St. Paul and Roseville by avoiding stoplights and using less traveled roads.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Commuting - September 28

It was a cold ride in this morning at 50F and pretty windy. I took the Super9 again to get more practice with it; I also wore my winter gloves and my liner. I stayed reasonably warm, but probably should add my liners if it gets colder.

I forgot about an off-site meeting I had this afternoon, so I got to ride the scooter there too. When I went to leave the scooter wouldn't start, and large rain clouds were looming. I tried playing with the choke, but no luck. I gave the scooter a shake to move the fuel around, and it fired right up. I was warned about the fuel gauge not being accurate, and after it started up it went from 1/2 to E. I keep a spare 16oz of premix fuel in a compartment in the floor of the scooter, so I wasn't worried. I rode it very gently all the way home and the fuel needle was to the left of the E when I pulled into the garage. I did get a bit wet, but luckily it didn't rain too hard since I didn't bring my rain gear with me.

I also started brain-storming today for ways to make the Super9 and me more resistant to winter. I found some scrap sheet metal in the garage and will think about how to fabricate a new airbox and some fenders. I also had a great idea to put a 12V battery under the seat to run my heated gear since the scooter doesn't have enough power to do it.
The power requirements are:
Vest 12-Volt DC 52 Watts 4.5 Amps
Gloves 12-Volt DC 24 Watts 2.1 Amps
Chaps 12-Volt DC 43 Watts 3.8 Amps

I own the vest now and have been dreaming about the gloves. I'll spec the system out for chaps too, but won't likely buy them. The above would use 12V at 10.4 Amps, so if I get a 30 amp hour battery I should have two hours of use after the decrease in capacity because of the cold. My commute is less than 30 mins each way, so that would give extra time. If I charge it every night, things should work out great.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Riding around lakes

What a great day for riding! I went riding around the north east metro today on a on-the-fly lakes tour. I followed every road named something trail or some lake drive I could find. I think I rode around twenty or so lakes. I started in St. Paul and ended up near Stillwater. I rode back southwest on main roads until I found the Mississippi and took that north home. It was a short ride, only a few hours and seventy miles.

I also stopped at Moto Primo this morning and ordered an Olympia Phantom one peice riding suit in Pewter. I should get the suit by the end of next week. I'm quite excited as it has a good insulated liner and is completely waterproof; it should really simply commuting for me. Moto Primo has a deal on the suits for $400 (normally $460). If you're interested, call and ask for Zach as the deal isn't advertised just word-of-mouth.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Commuting - September 25

Today was my first day commuting on the Super 9. It took about the same amount of time to come to work, and was a pretty fun ride. I also enjoyed being able to park at the bike rack near the door. It's raining right now, so I'll get to test the scooter and my rain gear again on the way home in the wet.

I'm still getting used the different handling and spent an hour last night riding around in a parking lot and some side streets to get some practice with the quick turning and breaking. When I first started riding my WR250R it felt super light and responsive compared to my SV650. The Super 9 is that same feeling again, but compared to my WR250R. I think it is mainly due to the short wheel base and small narrow tires. I'm also working on getting a feel for the power band in the throttle. It has a large amount of movement compared to my motorcycles, but wide open throttle isn't necessarily the fastest.

I'm enjoying learning all the new things about two strokes and scooters. I'm also still on my search for more wind protection for the scooter this winter.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Ride!

Tonight, I rode home my new (to me) scooter. It is a 2005 Kymco Super 9 50cc scooter. I'm quite excited as this is the first part of my plan to ride this winter.

Riding the Super 9 was quite a different experience from the motorcycle. First, there are no gears or clutch as it is a continuously variable transmission (CVT), so the left hand grip has the rear brake and your feet don't have anything to do. Since it is a two stroke engine, there isn't any engine breaking which was surprising at first. It also turns much quicker than a motorcycle which I think will be quite fun once I get more accustom to it.

I placed my order for some new Kenda K761 "dual sport" tires. The sizes are 120/70-12 and 130/70-12. I've read the K761s are good in the snow, and we'll soon find out. Next step is to figure out the premix process.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Commuting - September 22

This morning's light sprinkling made it slightly difficult to see with the glare from the headlights, but otherwise didn't do much to get me wet. Supposedly, it was 60F, but it felt a bit colder. It wasn't enough moisture to get the WR250R clean, so perhaps on the way home since it is supposed to rain all day.

I didn't finish the chain and sprocket replacement. I spent almost two hours trying to get the front sprocket bolt off. I had to get a helper to stand on the front brake while I used a four foot breaker bar with both hands on the bar and both feet on the right footpeg. I also used a generous amount of liquid wrench and PB blaster. On the way home tonight, I need to stop and get some axle grease and maybe some front brake pads as they seemed a bit worn worn on the SV650.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Commuting - September 21

The ride in this morning on the WR250R was a bit chilly at 55F. I think I might need to think about using my liner or another thin coat. I am also stuck with the clear shield as the sun isn't quite up enough to need the dark smoke when I ride in. I did find the ride a bit distracting as I kept looking at my now very accurate speedometer. I installed the SpeedoDRD last night, and I really like it.

I was lucky to dodge the rain coming home. On the way, I stopped at Sears and bought a 32mm socket which is needed to change the front sprocket on the SV650. When I got home, I was very excited to see that my new sprocket and chain kit has arrived from Sprocket Center! I ordered on 9/17 and received on 9/21 via standard USPS shipping. Very nice!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

WR250R Sunstar 12T Front Sprocket Install

To combat the increased size of the D606s and to get a cheap feel for 13/46 gearing, I changed the stock gearing from 13/43 to 12/43 with a new Sunstar 12T sprocket (520) part number: 90-1512 or Mfgr# 38812

The first step was to loosen the rear wheel and slide the axle part way out so the adjusters were free. That created enough chain slack to pull the chain off the rear sprocket

I used a 10mm socket to remove the front sprocket cover's three bolts.

Then I grabbed a huge breaker bar and a 22mm socket. I stood on the rear brake and loosened the nut on the front sprocket. An impact wrench and 22mm impact socket would have been easier.

The old and new sprocket side by side. The stock is on the left and has a lot of rubber on it which reduces chain noise. I haven't noticed a lot of new chain noise with the new sprocket.

Install the new sprocket, put everything back together, and tighten it down. The last step was to re-adjust the chain.

The new sprocket definitely compensates for the gearing change by installing the D606s. Removing a tooth from the front is the same as adding three teeth to the rear. By adding the D606s I added about 1-1.5 teeth in the rear, so this change isn't as much as I had originally hoped. I do notice a difference, but it isn't as much as I expected; in all gears there is slightly more zip.

I am likely going to change the gearing to 13/47 when I can afford a new chain and sprocket kit. I will also keep the 12T around to swap to get really low gearing for trail riding.

The speedo is way off now with both the recent changes, so the next step is to borrow a GPS and get my SpeedoDRD installed.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

WR250R D606 Tires & Fly HD Tubes Install

I received my Dunlop D606s for my WR250R last Friday, but I didn't receive the new heavy duty tubes to go with them. Since I was lazy and didn't want to remove the tires twice, I waited. Last night I was finally able to get them installed! This is my first time changing motorcycle tires, so I hope I don't pinch a tube.

We will be installing:

Dunlop D606 90/90-21 Front Tire
Dunlop D606 120/90-18 Rear Tire

Fly Racing Heavy Duty Tube - 2.75/3.00-21 Front
Fly Racing Heavy Duty Tube - 4.50/5.10-18 Rear
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  • The first step for me was to remove the front tire. I used a 22mm wrench for the axle and a 10mm wrench for the axle pinch bolts. Then slide the spacers and the axle out.

    Breaking the bead before using the tire spoons!

    Then carefully remove the tire and tube. I want to use the stock tubes to carry as spares since they pack quite small compared to the new HD tubes.

    Here the stock Trailwing TW301/TW302, D606, and a dirt bike tire are compared:

    As you can see, the D606 seems to be a good street-able balance between the three, it is also about an inch more in diameter compared to the trailwing.

    Here is the new Fly HD rear tube compared to the stock rear tube. The Fly HD is on the top.

    These are the two best tools you can have when changing a tire:

    (an extra pair of hands, not the gloves!)

    The finished front and rear:

    Luckily, I didn't pinch either of the new tubes or the old tubes. The new tires are much more substantial than the stock trailwings. The tire carcass is much stiffer and the knobs much taller.
    I haven't had the chance to test the tires in the sand yet, but they seem great so far on gravel and the street. I can't wait to finish breaking them in to really test them on the street.

    Specs on the tires:
    Dunlop D606 Dual Sport - 90/90-21 Front
    Dunlop D606 Dual Sport - 120/90-18 Rear
    Specs on the tubes:
    Fly Racing Heavy Duty Tube - 2.75/3.00-21 Front
    Fly Racing Heavy Duty Tube - 4.50/5.10-18 Rear

    UPDATE: 2000 miles later, I’m loving this setup. The D606s work better on every surface compared to stock.


    Related Posts:

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009

    Chain & Sprocket

    When I was lubing the chain on the SV650 yesterday, I noticed it seemed to be catching at one point and didn't have a smooth rotation anymore. Today, I just ordered a new chain and sprocket kit from sprocket center. I ordered a D.I.D. 525VM2 chain with a 15 and 47 steel sprocket. The stock is a 15 and 45. The couple extra teeth should add some extra zip. ;)

    Since the new chain is a rivet type and I don't own a chain tool yet, I also ordered a Motion Pro chain tool from ThumperTalk. They were a bit cheaper than buying directly from MotionPro. I also ordered some tire tools since I am also lacking in that department. The last bit I need to change the chain/sprockets on the SV650 is a 32mm socket which I will attempt to get from Sears. I just love the lifetime warranty. I've heard a grinder is handy to grind the rivets off the stock chain, but I may try my hand at cutting a link with the dremel first.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009

    Commuting - September 15

    The sunrise was not as brilliant today as yesterday, but it was still good, and it was 56F. I was quite happy to ride both the Yamaha and the Suzuki today. I took the SV650 to work because I needed to haul some boxes. After work, I took the WR250R to the movies.

    The WR250R is a unique bike and will get random people asking questions and talking to you about it. I love the bike, so I don't mind the attention.

    Monday, September 14, 2009

    Commuting - September 14

    I'm quite sore from my weekend of trail riding. I'm also riding the SV650 today since the WR250R took quite a beating in the forest. I'll go into detail on that later, but the quick version is I need new handlebars, bark busters, and levers. I had a really good time riding!

    The sunrise today was amazing, and the picture just doesn't quite capture it. Great ride in with perfect traffic and weather.

    Friday, September 11, 2009

    Commuting - September 11

    Today's commute was quiet as Friday's usually are. I took the SV650 today as I needed to stop at the grocery store for a few more items for this weekend's trail ride.

    I will be leaving in just under and hour and riding down with some friends to the Theilman Trail Ride with the Golden Eagle Riding club. It should be a fun time of riding all day Saturday and most of Sunday. I am quite excited to get the WR250R into the forest on some proper dirt trails.

    Wednesday, September 9, 2009

    WR250R Fasteners and Battery Tender Cable Install

    I was frustrated having to use three different tools to remove four bolts to clean the air filter on the WR250R, so I decided to "fix" that problem today. I went to the hardware store and bought some new M6 bolts that were all the same size allen as the side covers on the WR. Unfortunately, they didn't have the thumb screws I wanted for under the seat in an M6, only standard.

    I replaced the 8mm bolts (left) under the seat with these two new allen bolts (right):

    I replaced the air filter cover screw (right) with the allen shown (left) here:

    Instead of this:

    I only need this to remove the seat and access the air filter:

    I also installed some rubber washers between the skid plate and the frame. They seem to reduce the harsh noise a bit at idle. I will have to see later how it sounds on the road. I think I will end up coating the inside of the plate with something like liquid rubber or rhino skin used in truck bedliners.

    Finally, I installed the battery tender cable on the WR250R. Here is a shot of the finished install:

    I routed the cables along the existing ones and shoved them inside the rubber caps. I then zip-tied everything down nice and tight. There is also a 15A fuse inline arrowed above. I left the end of the cable out stuffed behind the toolkit with two zip-ties holding everything close to the frame to prevent movement. The end of the cable has a cap on it to prevent water and dust from getting inside.

    I am happy to finally have this done since my extra cable is arriving next week which will allow me to finish making my custom heated vest cable! The battery tender cable makes a great standard plug for all my bike accessories since all my bikes have one.


    Related Posts:

    Commuting - September 9

    I took the WR250R today since it was supposed to rain. I thought my gear and the bike would get a free wash in the predicted thunderstorms, but it didn't rain. I also took the clear shield today which worked better than the dark smoke.

    The ride home was humid and slow, and the storms should be here soon.

    Tuesday, September 8, 2009

    Commuting - September 8

    The ride in was lighter than usual with lots of school buses along the way. It will be interesting to see how they change the flow on of traffic. The sun was quite low in the sky this morning, so I don't think I'll be able to use the dark smoke visor in the morning for much longer.

    I took the SV650 today as the air filter for the WR250R was still drying. I cleaned it thoroughly after the ride yesterday which is needed as it was quite dirty from all the gravel roads lately. On the way home, I stopped into the hardware store to look for some replacement M6 bolts for the seat bottom, side cover, and air-filter cover. I want to get something that can be done all with the same tool or preferably just fingers. Currently, I need to use a 8mm wrench, philips screwdriver, and an allen wrench to remove four bolts to clean the air filter.

    I also desperately need to clean my riding gear as my co-workers gave me quite a hard time with pants, coat, and boots covered in mud and dust. Next dualsport ride, I am wearing my off-road pants and boots.

    Monday, September 7, 2009

    Dual Sport Ride - September 7

    I am still excited and I have had a giant grin all day which can only mean another dual sport ride. It was with the TC_DualSport folks again and this time we had a huge turn out: 19 bikes!

    We met up at Bert's Coffee Cafe in Hudson, WI around 9ish. On the way, I spotted Dave and Darcy on their DR650s riding east on 694. I caught up and waved, and then they followed me into Hudson on I94.

    The ride was led by Judson "Jud" Jones. He said he didn't have a route planned, but just made most of it up as he went. He said he'd been riding those Wisconsin roads for the last 35 years! He found some amazing roads, both paved and unpaved. These two are my favorites from the ride:

    The first is what Jud calls the "church" which is a fantastic dirt road covered in awesome trees. The second photo is Rustic Road 51 aka R-51. The water splashes were fantastic. I'm sorry I didn't stop to take photos of the riders behind me going through. I was having so much fun myself I forgot to take photos!

    We stopped for lunch in Maiden Rock, WI. Lunch was mostly what we could find at the local gas station -- candy bars, nuts, and Gatorade! Then we road some more great roads and stopped again in Pepin, WI for more food and gas. Then we road up near Ela and Plum City to a bar near River Falls, WI where the ride finished.

    Paul was kind enough to take me back to civilization with his GPS and I got home just before 6pm after putting almost 240 miles on the WR250R.

    Sunday, September 6, 2009

    Ride Report - September 6

    The SV650 and GZ250 rode up to Lake Mille Lacs today to meet some family. It wasn't a very exciting ride as we just took 94, 101, and 169. There are definately more interesting roads we could have taken, but our goal was to get there fast to maximize spending time at the lake. I haven't done the trip in a while, and I found it disappointing the large number of billboards on the way up. They detracted from the scenery like a strange visual pollution.

    Saturday, September 5, 2009

    Ride Report - September 5

    Today, the WR250R and GZ250 finally went for a ride together. We road all the way around the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway. It was a good, leisurely ride which took almost two hours and covered about fifty miles. Theodore Wirth is probably my favorite part with the Mississippi River section a close second. I like TW because for a few miles you are surrounded by dense forest and can forget you're in the middle of the city. The river is also great with parks lining both the Minneapolis and the Saint Paul sides.

    The Grand Rounds Scenic Byway was designated a Minnesota State Scenic Byway in 1997 and in 1998 it was designated as a ‘National Scenic Byway’ by the Federal Highway Administration. You can find out more about the history here.

    Maintenance and Commuting - September 4

    The ride in today was another beautiful one with the fog melting away as the sun came up. It was hard to continue into work with the weather so nice and the traffic so light because of the holiday weekend.

    After work, I decided to spend some time doing some maintenance on the bikes. I started by checking out the GZ250. It was low on oil, so I added some. I guess the little engine burns some oil while flying down the highway. I also lubed and tightened up the chain. The tires were already set, so no adjustment there.

    On the WR250R, I replaced the broken front brake lever with a new one. I will save the shortened one for my on-bike toolkit. It makes a great spare because of the small size. The chain and tires were set, so I just added a bit of lube to the chain.

    The SV650 needed more attention. It wasn't starting right, so I tore it down. I charged the battery on the tender for 24 hours, removed and re-gapped the plugs, checked the air filter, checked the oil, lubed the chain, and adjusted the tire pressure. While the plugs were out, I turned the engine over manually by removing the cover on the left side and using a 17mm socket. I still need to change the radiator fluid, but now the bike is running great again. I'm not sure what the problem with the bike was, but it wouldn't start. It seems to be resolved now.

    Looking over my maintenance book for the SV650, it looks like I need to check the valves and probably adjust them. The carbs also need to be synced and cleaned. Both jobs are a bit beyond my skill at the moment, so I'll have to find some help.

    I also found a bonus while I was inspecting the hoses under the tank. I am embarrassed to say, I never noticed this battery tender cable before and I've been under the tank a number of times. I removed the other battery tender cable and the heated vest cable as I will be making my own cable soon to plug into the tender cable.

    Friday, September 4, 2009

    1st Thursday - September 2009

    Last night was first Thursday again at Dulono's Pizza. I think there was more bikes this time than last month. I took the WR250R this time, and I didn't see any others. It seemed quite popular when I was leaving as a number of photos were taken. I did see a pair of WR250Xs though.

    All in all a great time looking at all the different bikes; the full flickr set is here.

    A 1922 Harley Davidson:

    Wednesday, September 2, 2009

    Commuting - September 2

    It was slightly warmer today, 50F, and I was dressed more appropriately, so I wasn't so cold. I am still thinking about heated grips. I did buy another cable last night, so I can make a custom cable to hook my electric vest to the battery tender cable. Since all my bikes have the same battery tender cable, it will be easy to use the vest on all of them.

    I still haven't received my license plate for the WR250R and my 21 day permit just expired, so I called Waldoch. I spoke to the owner, John Waldoch, who was pretty confused and just didn't understand that the WR250R is NOT the WR250F, but a street legal dualsport. Unfortunately, this seems common with other owners having similar experiences in other states.

    When I purchased the bike almost four weeks ago, I paid for license plates and a DNR sticker. They sent the DNR sticker last week, but never processed the license plate. The excuse was "it was on page two and she didn't see it." He assured me that his staff would get the plate tonight and they would call me in the morning when I could come get it.

    This is strike two after the leaky oil fiasco, and I'm reluctant to give them another chance. They are supposedly the only Pro Yamaha dealer in the area, but so far, they just can't seem to get things right on the first try.

    2001 Suzuki SV650

    IMGP5066This is my 2001 Suzuki SV650. I purchased it used in February 2009.

    Click here for posts about my SV650.



    My SV650 Accessories and Modifications

    Tuesday, September 1, 2009

    2008 Yamaha WR250R

    IMGP5707This is my 2008 Yamaha WR250R that I purchased brand new in July 2009.

    Click here for posts about my WR250R.

    My WR250R Accessories and Modifications


      2001 BMW R1150GS

      First ride of a 2001 bmw r1150gs
      This is my 2001 BMW R1150GS which I purchased used in November 2010 and sold in April 2013.

      Click here for posts about my R1150GS.

      My R1150GS Accessories and Modifications

      • Fastway Evo footpegs F3
      • Stebel Air horn
      • Ricardo Kuhn's Pro Taper Conversion Kit
      • Hella Aux Driving Light
      • Hippo Hands

      Commuting - September 1

      I'm finally back from my first motorcycle camping trip. It was a great time, and I will write about it soon.

      Today's commute was cold and I should have worn different gloves; it was 45F with a slight breeze. I was wishing for another plug for my electric vest! I've been dreaming of replacing the current connector with one that plugs into the battery tender cable to make things interchangeable between the bikes.

      The scenery was pretty great though with fog rising off all the ponds and lakes.

      2005 Kymco Super 9

      Kymco Super 9
      This is my 2005 Kymco Super 9. I purchased it used in September 2009. I use a 32:1 premix.

      Click here for posts about my Super9.

      My Super9 Accessories and Modifications

      2009 Ural Patrol

      Ural and Minneapolis Skyline at Sunset
      This is my 2009 Ural Patrol which I purchased brand new in November 2009. It is my winter motorcycle as I do not own a car.

      Click here for a review of my Ural.

      Click here for posts about my Ural.

      Click here for IMZ Ural USA

      My Patrol Accessories and Modifications

      In the Trunk