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About francois_payen

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  • Birthday 03/15/1977

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Profile Information

  • Location
    Montréal, Québec
  • In My Garage:
    '02 VFR800A

    '99 Shadow Aero (SOLD)
  1. Engine cutting out randomly

    Thanks, I'll check it out.
  2. Engine cutting out randomly

    Thanks for the replies guys. At first I did suspect the kickstand switch too, but then I thought the starter wouldn't crank at all if it was the cause, no? And it wouldn't explain the ABS light flashing on the dashboard. Might be a cocktail of electrical gremlins, as Terry pointed out.
  3. Engine cutting out randomly

    My '02 nearly left me stranded yesterday coming back from work. I was riding in the city at moderate speed when engine cut off completely without warning. I pulled over by the curb, put her back in neutral and tried to restart: the starter would crank but the engine wouldn't start at first. That's when I noticed the ABS light was flashing. I was about to call a tow truck when I tried to start again and this time it did. I rode for about 5 minutes before it cut off again. I noticed the fuel injection warning light coming on, but it went away after riding for a bit. So I managed to start again and then rode for about 10-15 minutes before it happened one last time (about 5 blocks from home), then I made it home. I'm obviously going to take it to a mechanic early next week, but just wondering if any others have had a similar problem, and what was the issue. Except for the ABS light flashing, all other conditions seemed normal: Engine temperature, oil / coolant levels, etc. The bike is an '02 with just a bit over 67,000 km on the clock. According to the maintenance log I keep (and the service manual) my spark plugs should still be good for another 15,000 km (I replaced them all 20,000 km ago). The only maintenance I've skipped is the second valve clearance check (7,000 km overdue) but only because it's a very expensive job to get done. For everything else I've followed the service manual like gospel. If you have any idea what this could be, let me know! EDIT: Forgot to mention that this happened over a 20-ish km commute.
  4. Touring Iceland

    Hello all, This summer I'm going to Iceland for 11 days (first two weeks of July), and one idea I'm toying with is to rent a bike and tour around. I know this a definitely a long shot, but if any of you have any experience motorcycling in Iceland and have recommendations for me (things to see, places where to stay, rental companies to contact, etc.), or better yet if you live in Iceland and would be willing to rent your bike to me for a week or so (or know someone who would), drop me a line. I'm currently exchanging emails with someone from the Biking Viking company over there, but if someone here has other options to recommend me, I'd appreciate it. So far all I've booked are my flights, if renting a bike is infeasible / too impractical then I'll turn to other activities (such as hiking / camping - which I'll still do but to a lesser extent if I end up riding). I've seen a few videos and it really looks like riding there could be a blast! Cheers!
  5. Recommended solutions to reduce wind noise

    Finally had the chance to get on the bike today and try my newly-adjusted MRA X-creen, along with my windjammer and a fresh set of earplugs (NRR 33). The windjammer does make a noticeable difference at slower speeds (riding in the city, 70 km/h and below), but the effect is much less dramatic at highway speed (anywhere between 110 - 150 km/h for me). In fact, I think the noise level is nearly the same as before, when I was just wearing a neck tube instead of the windjammer. Anyway, the riding season is almost over here...the temperatures have dropped in the last week or two, and it's getting windier and rainier too. Probably won't be riding much more, if at all, this year. I guess I'll have some decisions to make during the winter: Selling / getting something different (implies a reinvestment) ? Giving up bikes entirely? I'll also try to book an appointment with a hearing specialist in the upcoming weeks: If there's a way I could protect my ears better and keep my current bike, I'd prefer that, obviously.
  6. Recommended solutions to reduce wind noise

    That'd be cool. Also, good idea about picking up a set to try them out.
  7. Recommended solutions to reduce wind noise

    I have not...would they attenuate more than the 20-30 dB that good earplugs can achieve? Just curious: With this screen and at your height, where does the airflow hit you? Nice bike BTW. Oh I know tinnitus is serious business. To be honest, I feel fortunate that it's only starting to hit me now (I'll be 40 much sooner than I'd like) and that it's still at a very mild level all things considered. Spent many years in my youth playing loud music in garages and basements, sometimes with concrete floors bouncing all the noise around, and more often than not standing right next to the drummer's kit with the cymbals ringing right next to me. Then I worked in industrial environments where noise was usually present (always wore protection, but still, risk increases with exposure), and then there's motorcycling. I still play in bands but nowhere near as loud as when I was younger - and we all take care of our hearing as much as possible. I took delivery of my windjammer today: It arrived way sooner than the shipper's estimate. I fit it on my helmet after work but I must say I'm somewhat skeptical at this point. My helmet size is S and the windjammer doesn't seem to make putting my helmet on dramatically more difficult than before. The neoprene skirt does extend further under my chin and around my neck but the "seal" is not as tight as I thought it would be. If weather allows I'll take the bike out for a spin and give it a try. I've also re-installed my MRA X-creen now in single pivot mode, the gap between the windshield and the extension is much smaller than before so I'm hoping to see (or rather hear) a difference.
  8. Recommended solutions to reduce wind noise

    So...I put about 600 km on the bike yesterday with the X-Creen fitted on in "dual pivot" mode, and the verdict is a resounding "Meh": big disappointment. I tried several heights / angles and it doesn't seem to make much of a difference - it actually makes matters worse when it is extended the highest (it seems to create a "tunnel" in the gap between the bike's windshield and the extension, resulting in more turbulence). Best results were obtained when the extension was kept low and close to the stock screen and only used at a steeper angle to "break" the flow, but even then it is deafeningly loud at highway speed. It does result in fewer bugs ending their lives on my visor, however. The only big difference is when I'm leaning on the tank: Directly behind the x-creen, turbulence is reduced and the louder, "bass" component of helmet noise is eliminated...but this ain't my natural riding position, it puts an uncomfortable bend in the neck that I can only stand for a few minutes at a time. Plus, I kinda feel ridiculous to be in a full MotoGp tuck when doing only 120 - 140 km/h on the highway! Anyways, I'm going to try it again but this time in "single pivot" mode, which should keep the extension closer to the edge of my stock screen, maybe results will be different then. My windjammer should come in between now and first week of October, so I'm hoping this will have a bigger impact. I'll look into high quality earplugs, too...maybe a -10 or -15 dB set for band rehearsals/gigs and a high-damping set for riding. Any product suggestions are welcome, if you have any. If you're wondering why the sudden concern with noise level, let's say that my tinnitus has become more noticeable in the last 2 years. I always protect my ears when I know I'm walking in "loud" situations, but helmet noise is the only thing that still feels uncomfortably loud despite the earplugs. ...Or maybe I'm just officially getting older and need to look into less sporty / more utilitarian and/or touring-focused bikes with taller windshields. I'll ask a friend of mine to take his V-Strom for a spin to see if it's less painful, noise wise. If it comes to this, it will definitely break my heart to part with the VFR, but...I'll do whatever it takes to save my hearing! Thanks for bearing with me.
  9. Recommended solutions to reduce wind noise

    Thanks for the info, digitallyhip. Anyway, I just went ahead and ordered an X-creen touring clamp-on extension and a Windjammer helmet skirt. From what I read these two items seem to give results for most people, so I'm going to give it a shot. I'll report back when I've had a chance to try both, which could only be at the very end of the season (the windjammer ships from England and I didn't feel like paying 90$ for express delivery of a 25$ item, and the X-creen is backordered).
  10. Recommended solutions to reduce wind noise

    I was looking at different windscreen reviews (GIVI, ZG, MRA Vario) and it really seems to be a crapshoot. Has anyone tried fitting an "universal" clamp-on extension to their stock screen ? Something like this: Vario X-creen Touring clamp-on extension This, maybe along with something like that: Windjammer ...seem like attractive options at the moment.
  11. Recommended solutions to reduce wind noise

    Thanks for the replies. I just got back from a 4-day trip and I think for me, there will be three aspects to the solution: Discard earplugs earlier. These things are super cheap and available everywhere. They seem to lose their compression/expansion properties after a while. I leave them in a box inside my jacket so I guess it's easy to forget about them, but I should make it part of my routine to change them after 1 or 2 days or riding. Try to fit some kind of "skirt" at the base of my helmet. My helmet was noticeably less noisy when I was wearing a neck tube, now I just have to find one that would also work for warm weather. Taller/different angle windshield. I've had the bike for almost 10 years so it's embarassing that I've only paid attention to this now, but when sitting in my normal riding position, the angle of the windscreen makes a straight line with my visor. It basically channels all the wind and the bugs directly at my face. It only takes about 15 minutes of riding for my visor to be full of bug guts. I need to swing by my local bike shop for a tire change this week, I'll check if they have some kind of deflector I could experiment with for my upcoming weekend trip.
  12. Hello all, I experience pretty loud wind noise when riding my '02. At first I thought it was due to my previous, low-budget helmet, but I've recently upgraded to a better one (HJC RPHA ST, which is supposed to be on the quiet side from what I read) but the noise level seems to be similar. I'm 5'8'', my bike has the stock windshield, and I wear earplugs whenever I ride. From the bug splatter pattern, it looks like the wind is hitting me right in the visor or slightly above. Should I look for a taller windshield to deflect the wind above my head? Or a shorter one so it goes on my chest rather than my head? Or look into a laminar lip type spoiler? If you have experimented and have some advice, please let me know! Thanks!
  13. A trying weekend to say the least

    Thanks Dutchy! Not a bad idea (and feasible here too). I was considering either that or renting a small "standard" 500cc bike for a weekend just to ease back into it. The half day with an instructor could be a cheaper option, though...I'll look into it.
  14. A trying weekend to say the least

    Hey it's been a while but...I'm back! I just graduated from school 2 weeks ago and landed a good job in my new trade (electronics engineering tech), so now I can finally afford to take my beloved '02 out of storage and get her running again...yay! To be honest, with everything else I had going on lately, motorcycles were not on the top on my list until one of my friends called me last week. He had registered for some demo rides at the local BMW dealer but couldn't make it anymore, so he offered to give me his spots. I accepted but I was a little apprehensive: after all I hadn't sat on a bike in 3 years...but it's true when they say you never forget how to ride. I was hooked after the first few gear shifts...and now I NEED to have my bike back. I tried the F800GS and the R1200GS (realized boxer twins weren't my thing), but the most fun I had that day was on the F800R. As for my VFR, I'm getting a few parts tomorrow, then dropping her off at the local dealer for some maintenance and a thorough inspection hopefully this week or next. She should be all good to go and street-legal between now and July. Looking forward to planning my next trip...I miss that feeling so much. As for the other issue, I'm now fully divorced and feel great about it (no sarcasm here). Excuse my language but...I thank the universe almost every morning that I'm not with this b***h anymore! In retrospect, I now fully realize the extent to which she mastered the art of manipulation and how much I've been a fool. I deserve better, and my life is already SO much better now that she's totally out of the picture. See you guys around!
  15. A trying weekend to say the least

    Thanks for all the replies, guys. The battery is indeed an easy fix, and I must admit I had it coming. I've been putting off replacing it for too long (it looks like the original battery, and it's a 10-year old bike). I've always used a trickle charger and the battery showed no real sign of weakness...until Sunday. I'm going to check local bike shops for a Yuasa battery or equivalent. I'll also check Canadian Tire, maybe they have bike batteries that could match (had good results with their store-brand batteries in my other vehicles, and their warranties are usually very good). As for the bag, I might turn this into a project and repaint the whole bike. Last November, some crazy strong winds knocked my bike off the centerstand and the front cowl has some small cracks near the right-hand side signal: I want to repair them soonest otherwise they'll grow wider from the vibrations. The side panels have some minor road scars as well. I might decide to take it off the road for the season, take it apart, buff everything, fix the cracks and nicks, and repaint the whole bike a different colour. I really like the pearl white of the more recent models. I'm thinking pearl white, with red decals (to match the red piping of the Sargent seat). If you have any suggestions/warnings/words of wisdom regarding repainting a bike different colour, all input is welcome. And just in case he's reading: No, Tim, I'm not interested in flat black. And regarding the "other" issue, thanks for all your kind words. The least I can say is that it's been a shitty year, and I've been subjected to a lot of stress from a lot of different directions. I don't mean to bore you all with my life story, but, in short, I'm leaving my job in a couple weeks to head back to school in an effort to turn my life around and do something I might actually enjoy for a living. Even though this is a planned event, it is still stressful to know that the paychecks will soon stop coming in after 9 years with the same employer. Also, the education system of the province where I'm registered to take the course is currently at a standstill (student protests against proposed tuition fee hikes) and I don't know when that's going to end, how it's going to affect the fall semester and what kind of climate I'd be going into...All this coupled with our numerous relationship issues, amongst which is our "geographical disagreement" (I want to move to Montreal for better employment opportunities, cheaper cost of living and overall better quality of life, she looks like she wants to stay here forever and just bought a huge house), the sale of my house (I have to leave in 5 weeks and I don't have a place to move to yet, and I haven't packed either - this kind of improvisation is not like me at all and honestly I'm starting to freak out), etc. So the small bike misadventure of last Sunday was the poverbial straw that broke the camel's back... Anyways, thanks again. PolarBear: I take good note of the invitation and might take you up on it. Probably won't be this year, but sometime in the near future. I love the west coast and it's been way too long since my last (and also first) cross-continent trip.