A needed to take a trip downtown Minneapolis the other day. I used to work there, but am now in downtown St. Paul instead. Parking a motorcycle is always a pain as many of the ramps have signs banning motorcycles.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Once a year the Motorcycle RiderCoaches in Minnesota get together and go for a group ride. We met early on a Saturday morning in the fog in the southwest corner of the metro area. The moist morning air was cold. We were all squirming around before the start trying to stay warm.
Friday, September 23, 2011
What’s missing from this picture? I’ve mentioned before how the brake line failed on my R1150GS motorcycle making me take the SV650 on my trip earlier this year. I also posted about the drama getting the old lines off due to a stuck banjo bolt. Well, now it’s time for a self-induced problem.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Today’s (August 12, 2011) destination was Chicago! Since my visit last year, Sharon aka Sojourner of Sojourner’s Moto Tales have kept in touch regularly. When she heard about my trip this year, she graciously offered to let me stay at her place in downtown Chicago.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Friday, September 9, 2011
Imagine, you’re on your motorcycle. It’s beautiful weather outside – sunny, blue skies, and the temperature has just crept up to 81F. You’ve just spent the whole day in a cubical, and now it is time to ride.
You are waiting to turn left out of a parking lot onto a one way street. The street has three lanes and each one of them is full of cars. The one-way street ends in another one-way street a half-block away. All the cars are trying to make a right turn, but they are on their cellphones and are quite sloppy. The car on the far right is trying to turn into the far lane blocking traffic. It’s a mess. He can’t go because the other street isn’t moving either.
You sit and watch while waiting for a chance to pull out. The light changes twice before you get your opportunity. While sitting on your motorcycle waiting, you notice a ant crawl past you. The light changes again, and you move five feet.
Traffic sucks. What do you do? Sit there watching the light change slowly creeping forward? If you’re in California or anywhere else outside of the US, you lane-split and this story ends. But, this story takes place in Minnesota no lane-splitting or filtering here.
You look up from the ant and notice in your mirror that the cross street behind you is open and flowing. If only this wasn’t a one-way street. hmm… You pulled over to the side of the road and your motorcycle off. The people in the cars are looking at you now. What is he doing? Is something wrong with the bike?
They watch as you turn your bike around and pushed it up onto the sidewalk. With the engine off, and wearing all of your motorcycle gear, you pushed it down the sidewalk like it was a bicycle. They look on in envy. The street just one half block to the south is open and flowing.
You push it around the corner and back onto the street. Don’t worry, you’re only slightly sweaty now. Your leg swings over the seat, and the engine roars to life. You ride away into the sunset. A little sweatiness was worth it. A beautiful escape.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
I finally got the new brake lines for the BMW a week ago, but they didn’t have enough DOT4 brake fluid at the motorcycle shop. I had planned to get some on the way home, but got distracted by a fun detour. A week later, I still didn’t have the DOT4.
Did I mention the Spiegler lines above are CHEAPER than the stock BMW rubber ones? How about all the front, rear, and clutch in stainless steel for less than the front BMW lines? The stainless has a lifetime warranty too which is much nicer than the stockers which are supposed to be replaced every four years or so.
Monday, September 5, 2011
I had two goals today (August 11, 2011), one was to see the AMA museum, and the second was to get as close to Chicago as I could. My plan was to spend most of the day on the slab.
That is until I received a tweet from @FuzzyGalore (thanks!). She suggested I visit the Palace of Gold (PoG). A quick check of their website showed that it was on my way. I typed in the GPS coordinates and set off. The GPS took me through some beautifully twisty (and empty) roads on the way to the PoG. The twisty West Virginia roads were a lot of fun!
I turned off the small road onto a smaller road just a few miles away from PoG. The road was in terrible shape. There were spots that could swallow whole cars if you weren’t paying attention. It was still a fun little ride. Then the trees opened up and I saw this.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
It was a slow start to day 13 (August 10, 2011). I was in no rush to leave, and Jack wasn’t chasing me with away with a stick. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast together, and then I packed the bike. This would be the first serious day of riding west back to Minnesota.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
I usually do most of the maintenance on my SV650, but there are a couple tasks that I do not enjoy on this particular bike. One of them in syncing the carbs and the other is the valve adjustment. The main reason is taking the entire bike apart – radiator, tank, handlebars, airbox, and seat. I also prefer adjusting valves on screw adjusters rather than the bucket/shim setup.