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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/06/20 in all areas

  1. 7 points
    Stopped on the way home to mark a milestone...
  2. 6 points
    After being forced to sell my beloved 1200 4 years ago due to some family medical issues and riding my 5th Gen for the last two years, I've come back........ Found this lovely thing with only 18K miles. She's got a few cosmetic dings but those will be taken care of shortly. I cannot overstate how much I have missed the power of this bike. I LOVE my 5th Generation VFR and all of her 105K miles but she's getting long in the tooth.
  3. 6 points
    Less Than Zero I crashed my beautiful red VFR Friday July 3. It happened on the Blue Ridge Parkway and was witnessed by my friend Angel. I’m glad Angel was there because it was no small task to extract the bike from the brushy incline and wet grass. In fact a big thanks goes out to Angel, a Jeep Owner, and another kindly stranger who helped stop traffic whilst we muscled the VFR upright again. So, what happened ? Obviously a skilled experienced pilot such as myself ( ahem) must have faced some type of overwhelming technical challenge or a laser death ray straight out of 1950s comics. Nope. Nothing dangerously glamorous like watching my Moto-GP heroes crash at warp speed and fly through the air ( high side ) or slide on their backs ( low side ) like some Ninja Turtle. The TV crashes I like to watch have the rider slide, get up, and walk away uninjured. Sometimes there is fist shaking afterwards. My crash was like this. Turned onto the Parkway from Hwy 181. Headed North. Maybe ½ mile in. While accelerating past 35 mph glanced over at an overlook area. For whatever reason continued glancing backward ( No Hot Chicks just a Harley ) and when I returned my gaze to the road found myself to be on the far right edge. Instead of correcting my position to left of center I froze. Keith Code would refer to this as a Survival Reaction. The bike followed the right edge of the road into a conveniently located rut and onto wet grass. In less time than it takes to type this sentence, I was on the grass with the bike. Instead of impressing Angel with my wet grass sliding skills, recovering and getting back on the road, I went with plan B. The bike with me on board slithered left right and then flat onto the grass. Kerrr-Whump. I extricated myself from beneath the VFR and leapt to my feet, charged with adrenaline. Nothing seemed terribly amiss with me. The VFR lay on it’s right side with the front pointed towards the road and the rear ensnared in vines and grass. Two bicyclists happened upon the fresh crash scene. One of them made this inquiry ? “Is that ( my VFR lying on it’s side like a sick horse ) a Ducati ? “ No, it’s a Honda. I would have thought a more appropriate question would have been “Are You OK ?” but this apparently was not a Good-Samaritan cyclist, more like an Asshole-cyclist. Oh well. Earlier this year on a different ride I was temporarily stuck on the side of a country road ( close to home ) when an ( asshole ) cyclist said something along the lines of “Next Time Ride a Bike”. Perhaps they were related or this vitriol is something that cyclists have recently been taught to do. Hmmm. Having once avidly ridden pushbikes on and off road, I’m not sure if this was Karma at work. Not once in this life have I happened upon a crash scene ( on a bicycle ) and asked what make or model the crashed vehicle was in lieu of proffering assistance. You are supposed to offer assistance first then make any query s about vehicular pedigree afterwards. Example : “Hi Need any help” ? Later after the passengers are OK or properly attended to you can opine (as the vehicle is being pulled out of the brush)” I think it probably was a Porsche 930 Turbo because it left the road backwards”. I wrote earlier about different levels of messing up while on a ride. Let’s have a review of that list. Understand the limit: Keep riding and smiling. Lets call that a positive one ( +1 ) Misinterpret the limit: Varying degrees of not smiling... - 1; Momentarily crossing a double line on an empty road. Only you know you screwed up. - 2; Momentary crossing into oncoming traffic. Horn blowing and fist waving only. Traumatizing others is anti-social activity ! - 3; Whatever the mistake was, you find it necessary to pull off the road and while stopped, ponder the meaning of life and controlling what you can for 10 minutes. - 4; Running off the road, not hitting something, you are ok the bike is ok but, a change of underwear is advisable. - 5; Running off the road, hitting something , and rendering the bike unrideable while you remain ok. - 6; Like -5 except you require medical attention and EMS. - 13; Running out of room off the road and over a cliff never to be seen or heard of again. I understand this can/has occured at Deal’s Gap. On every ride my goal is to be +1 all the time. I have personally also experienced levels -1, -2,-3,-4 -4C -4Z. - 4C; Running off the road, hitting something, you are ok the bike is not ok but, you can still ride it home. As the result of the “off”, It may be missing body work or you may be riding with recovered damaged body work strapped to the bike. Change of underwear still advisable. -4Z; Running off the road ( Road Atlanta to be exact ) at a California Superbike School. You run off the track, dump the bike in Red Clay . The unfaired school- provided bike ( 600 Ninja ) is undamaged save for a slightly bent handlebar that gets straightened back at the pit. You don’t get to finish the session and What we have in this Blue Ridge Parkway situation sounds like a 4C. To get the bike pulled out of the tangles required a Jeep, a tow strap and three adults pushing and pulling in a somewhat co-ordinated fashion. After extracting the VFR and parking it on the right edge of the road, I thanked the Good Samaritans. The VFR in typical Honda fashion, started right up and idled fine. Angel wisely suggested that I slowly ride it back to the overlook and then check the damage. Damage assessment was as follows.There was a small dent on the gas tank, a crack in the right rear cowling, a bent fairing bracket ( left side ) and the left front lower fairing had some broken tabs along with copious amounts of fine North Carolina dirt packed everywhere. Apparently both sides(Left+Right fairing ) had seen traumatic force ...wished there had been a video or maybe not. This crash was a category 4C Light. My riding shorts were clean. No body parts were missing on the VFR or me. Guess the ride, now ruined, warranted turning tail and going straight home. Wrong answer. After this “break” in the action we continued with the original travel itinerary. North on the Parkway along the Lynn Cove Viaduct and Grandfather Mountain. Off the parkway to Blowing Rock via Hwy 221 which is normally a twisty excellent road but we were inconvenienced by some super slow pick up trucks that should have pulled over for us. Normally this situation would have been handled decisively but, I was a bit gun shy after my speedway worthy get off. Hwy 321 is the direct mostly straight and boring way home . My confidence started coming back which meant at several stop lights we exercised our machines briskly when the lights turned green. I of course needed to exceed 100mph to make sure all systems were properly functioning on the VFR. It was Angel’s first trip to the Parkway...hope he wasn’t too traumatized by my shenanigans. My previously pristine VFR now has some battlescars....and an even lower opinion of my riding ability. The next morning my right thigh was sore along with a few fingers , and my right forearm had a bruise similar to one from a beating I could have received from my Ex with an extension cord ( I took a picture but, you don’t need to see it... the bruise not the Ex ). Thank You to Dainese and the ATGATT concept. Embrace it. My goal when riding is to enjoy and not crash...or write about crashing later. In 9 years of SV650S ownership I never did. Have to go back to 2004 when I low-sided and pretty much destroyed cosmetically my 500 Interceptor. That was also a 4C. Rode it home with a bloody knee and a bruised shoulder and a twisted fork. Ride alert, watch the road. Don’t crash although grass, even wet grass, is preferable to asphalt. Ask me how I know. The Friday a week before I felt like a Hero as I “dabbed” in front of some digital cameras on the Dragon. Hero to less than Zero in the blink of an eye. A lucky zero. P.S.Not all bicycle riders are jerks either. Ok some might be.
  4. 6 points
    With a K&N oil filter fitted, the answer occasionally is from the inside to the outside....
  5. 5 points
    Hello everyone, my name is Tom and I have a process to overhaul the older Honda water pumps, see model list below. I have been selling mostly on eBay as user Baxter7092 with 100% positive feedback and over 275 pumps overhauled. I have had a few people from this forum purchase pumps from me and wanted to make my overhaul services known. I hope this is the correct spot to do this? I have seen several discussions about what to do when your pump is leaking out the weep hole, so decided to post my solution. I started out doing restorations on V65's and found that the water pumps were a difficult problem to solve, especially with cooling problems on those V4's. It was then I decided to disassemble a pump and reverse engineer a solution for overhauling them. I found a bearing manufacture that would laser cut the U channel for the oil pump with OEM precision. This was the most difficult to find and actually took me over a year. Please note that the bearings I have will not fit the 94-97 VFR's. This model has a longer engine side shaft and although I can order them, the cost is very high as they need to be specially made. However, I have found that the bearings are very durable and actually rarely fail, so I can reuse the old bearing if they pass my inspection. I have attached some photos of pumps I have just finished, they are listed on eBay, as are more photos. You can see the light gold color, that is called Alodine, which is an excellent aircraft corrosion protection and I have often used in my 35 years of aviation quality and maintenance. If you have a press and are skilled, I also sell a parts kit that will include a specially made tool and detailed instructions e-mailed to you after purchase. Due to the unknown and the possibility for damage etc. there is no warranty on the kit. I do inspect every kit before shipping. LIFETIME WARRANTY: The advantage of having me rebuild your pump, or purchasing a pump, is that I will give you a lifetime warranty. If the pump ever leaks at the weep hole, I will repair and ship back to you at no charge. This does NOT cover the cost of removing the pump, shipping back to me or ANY misc. damage. Do remember it is up to you to maintain the cooling system in very good working order and always use distilled water when mixing with antifreeze. Please feel free to contact me if you have pump problems or questions etc. Thanks Approx cost is $220 to overhaul your old pump. Kits for you to OH your pump $145 Honda Model Years Honda Pump P/NCBR1000F 87-88 19200-MM5-010CBR1000F 93-96 19200-MZ2-315CBR1000RR 08-10+ 19200-MFL-305NT650 88-91 19200-MN8-020PC800 89-90 & 94-9819200-ME9-040VF1000F 84 19200-MB6-020VF1000R 85 & 86 19200-MB6-020VF1100C Magna 83-86 19200-MB4-010VF1100S Sabre 84 & 85 19200-MB4-010VF500C Magna 84-85 19200-KE7-010VF500F, Interceptor 84-86 19200-MF2-020VF700C 84 19200-MB0-771VF700C 85-87 19200-MB4-010VF700F 84 & 85 19200-MB2-010VF700S 84 & 85 19200-MB0-771VF750C 82 19200-MB0-771VF750C 83 19200-MB0-771VF750C 88 19200-MB4-010VF750F 83-84 19200-MB2-010VF750S 82 19200-MB0-771VF750S 83 19200-MB0-771VFR700F 86 19200-ML7-692VFR700F2 86 & 87 19200-ML7-692VFR750F 86 & 90-93 19200-ML7-692VFR750F 86, 90-93 19200-ML7-692VFR750F 94-97 19200-MZ7-000VT1100C 85-90 & 92-94 19200-ME9-040VT500C 83-86 19200-MF5-010VT500FT 83 & 84 19200-MF5-010VT600C 88 19200-MM9-000VT600C 89 & 91-97 19200-MN8-020VT600CD 93-98 19200-MN8-020VT700C 84-87 19200-ME9-040VT750C 83 19200-ME9-040VT800C 88 19200-ME9-040XL600V 90 19200-MN8-020
  6. 5 points
    Hero I rode my VFR to The Dragon and back on Friday. Round trip, door to door 525 miles and 11.5 hours. For motor enthusiasts worldwide the Dragon is a place of legend. 318 turns in an 11 mile stretch of asphalt that has no houses or side roads to distract from the task at hand. I feel fortunate to have a little history with this place. I first heard about The Dragon in the middle ‘80s. Someone was wearing a T Shirt with the inscription “I survived Deal’s Gap 318 Turns in 11 Miles”. WTF ? Where is this place ? I want to try it out ! One Sunday after encountering that shirt I drove my CRX from Chattanooga,TN to where I thought the Dragon was located. In typical male fashion I asked not ( for directions) and found not ( The Dragon ). Later after retreating empty handed, I learned that I was only a few miles from the lookout that marks the north end. Time passed . I moved from Chattanooga to Charleston. Then on to Ft Lauderdale and finally Charlotte. In 2000 I finally found myself ripping through all those turns for the first time in my Celica GTS. Aside from a Harley rider I talked to on the North end ( The Lookout ), the Dragon was empty. I would come to learn that having this place to oneself is a rare treat. I rode ( Dragoned ?) my Honda 500 Interceptor round trip sometime in October of 2001. The ride started at dawn ( in the cold ) and ended at dusk. The store parking lot where everyone congregates on the south end was packed. This store is home to the “Tree of Shame” where unlucky riders and drivers have bits and pieces of parts or gear ( from accidents on the dragon ) nailed to it. So far earning a place on the tree has eluded me. My personal gear on this trip reflected my evolving attitude towards PPE and the necessary funding to obtain it.My feet were shod with leather work boots. Soon I would own proper motorcycle boots. No more Penny loafers sans socks. My next round trip pilgrimage was aboard my Suzuki SV650S. On this particular cloudy Saturday traffic on the Dragon was light and I was able to ride the entire length aggressively. If I recall, Mother Nature served up a brutal thunder storm the last hour of the return ride home. Later I felt lucky to be in my garage soaked, mulling over the day’s fortunes and my sore back side. Planning a day trip can be fun. You pull out the map or maps, think about optimizing a route that minimizes traffic and maximizes fun on twisty roads. Look at distance, fuel tank capacity and gas stops. This could be a WW2 foray into Germany with Mustangs flying bomber cover....but it’s not. Ideally I want to ride the Dragon with a half empty tank of gas and fill up on the way home. My VFR has good range, over 250 miles in most cases. The final route I choose takes me out on back roads including Hwy 28 ( The Moonshiner ) and back on Hwy 74 and Interstate 40 . My trip started Friday at 0545. Garage door up, VFR rolled out and started. I’d already checked the air pressure, brake light, turn signals...all the normal preflight stuff. Thursday night’s internet showed the makings of a good day (Friday) with moderate chance of rain in the afternoon. The first 15 minutes of most rides I take require me to shake the cobwebs out of my brain and make sure that the interaction between me,the bike, and the surroundings are crisp. On some rides that confident feeling is instantaneous and on others it takes time. Weather was ideal, a bit chilly for the first 2 hours as I rode across Hwy 11 in SC , twisty 178 back into NC , and then Hwy NC64 into Highlands and Franklin. Moonshiner 28 starts outside Franklin and its freshly paved asphalt was a delight. Even with the occasional slower vehicle that had to be dispatched, the ride was fun. When everything comes together you’ll notice that idiotic involuntary grin or an occasional whoop to punctuate an especially tasty sequence of twists. “I just came from the Dragon and saw Tennessee Troopers bust 10 bikes at one time !” This revelation fresh out the mouth of a Honda ST rider I talked to at Fontana Dam. I’d occasionally heard stories about crack downs on the Tennessee side but, never had any personal dealings. NC Hwy 28 Intersects Hwy 129 at the store where all the motorcycles and cars congregate. At that moment of my arrival the small section of 129 that climbs past the store to the Tennessee state line was empty. I turned onto that road, nailed the gas and accelerated vigorously up the hill in front of the parked masses making glorious V4 music. It was my 5 seconds of fame. I was keenly aware that this display of bravado would be short lived. Upon crossing into the volunteer state I was greeted with 3 sights. 1) A parked TN State Trooper Tahoe ( Blue Lights Flashing ) 2) A freshly apprehended sport bike rider ( Repsol Leathers ) with a BMW GS TN trooper behind him ( Blue Lights Flashing ) 3) A speed limit sign. Posted speed 30 mph. Welcome to the Thunder dome. The last time I remember looking at the posted speed limit it was years ago and 55 mph. I’d always laugh because aside from a few short straight sections anyone would be hard pressed to exceed 40 mph in the overabundance of hairpin turns that make up the bulk of the Dragon. My ride from south to north was a low speed procession . I was behind 4 cruisers, a Triumph Speed Triple and a Grom. The police were seemingly everywhere. Damn. The return North to South was little better. Once again I was stuck behind 3 cruisers but, at least they were being ridden in (for them ) a spirited fashion. Dragon Photographers took a bad-ass picture of me doing a one handed dab. Not hard to do when you are probably going less than 30mph and mainly concerned about not hitting slow moving traffic in front of you. I took 28 back to 64. Fueled up outside Bryson City. Drank some gator-ade and gobbled down a sandwich during that stop then proceeded to smoothly and rapidly slab it back home. The first part of the trip was mainly 2 lane twistys. The last part divided 4 lane highway and interstate where the main challenge was not conspicuously speeding. Like Harrison Ford’s quip about “flying casually” to Chewbaca in Star Wars, the VFR maintains a vigorous pace with little perceived effort. If you aren’t diligent, triple digit speeds appear all too easily. Descending Black Mountain eastbound on I40 felt like dropping into Dante’s inferno. Soon enough I was back in my zip code. As I rolled the hot VFR into the cool garage I thought about the day’s excellent ride. Tennessee’s highway gestapo excepted, it had been exceptional. My bum didn’t even feel too bad. Thanks Sargent ! Thanks VFR. Many motor enthusiasts feel compelled to make a pilgrimage to the Dragon. Might I suggest planning a trip in the middle of the week? You don’t have to do a 500+ mile round trip like I did. Stay closer by and enjoy some local hospitality. Ride safe.
  7. 5 points
    Not Tail of the Dragon but much closer to home for me here in North Queensland, Australia. Just outside of Cairns, Gillies Highway has 263 corners and 800 metres of elevation in just 11.8 miles (19 kilometres) And in just over a week I am heading to this area for five days of riding 🤤
  8. 4 points
    Story 2 When Your Ride is a Flying Saucer Everyone Notices...Including POPO Part 1 I’ve drawn cars, airplanes,and motorcycles since childhood. Many of you can relate to imagining or drawing something that doesn’t exist but, hoping someday, someway it would. Also there’s nothing like the shock to the senses in seeing something new/radical/beautiful for the first time.It might be metal (Lamborghini Miura) or mortal ( 1983 Miss America Vanessa Williams). Does that seem like a strange comparison ? Bottom line. Beauty is inspirational. Beautiful design can also inspire. I was in the market for a motorcycle in 1983 but, nothing had struck my fancy. My short list included Honda’s CB750F and either Kawasaki’s GPZ 550 or GPZ 750 models. Although these motorcycles were solid choices , I didn’t feel inspired enough to commit and pull the trigger. This all changed the night I drove by the Honda dealership in Florence SC . I glanced over and noticed a shiny blue motorcycle in the display window. Actually it was more like I glanced over my shoulder, saw this blue object gleaming under the lights and was instantly smitten. I spent the next 30 minutes in the dealer’s parking lot staring. I’d never seen anything like it . A radical design unlike any other. Kind of like seeing an SR71 Black Bird for the first time and wondering what was Kelly Johnson ( The Black Bird’s designer ) thinking ? Urban Myth credit’s Johnson’s inspiration from recovered alien technology. For all purposes this radical Honda, appropriately named The Interceptor, looked like it could have come out of the same flying saucer. Something I drew in my youth. I wasn’t concerned that there was no printed information about this bike, I felt excited and inspired. The next day I visited the dealer during my lunch. This new 1983 VF750F 750 Interceptor listed for $3200 but, the dealer ( citing Florence as a cruiser market ) offered it for $2800. I made a beeline for my company’s credit union with the VIN and pricing and rode it home that afternoon. It’s my understanding that shortly after the magazines tested 750 Interceptors, dealers began commanding MSRP plus $1000. Timing was on my side...for once. That first ride home was a bit strange. My previous riding history included a 1970 Kawasaki 250 Samurai I rode from age 14 to 20 and a Honda 360 I rode briefly while working at a salvage yard one summer. Short shifting at 4000 rpm ( max break-in rpm first 600 mi ), it felt slow with a deep non-descript ( lawn mower like ) rumble. Soon I came to appreciate the power delivery for what it actually was .... smooth and deceptively fast. Spring was coming to the Carolinas in February. The first weekend I had the Interceptor, I rode it to Columbia SC so my friend David could look it over. David was like a big brother to me. We shared the passion of internal combustion. David was a Honda man ( 1979 CBX ) from way back so he was also delighted that I had entered the fold so to speak. I traveled country roads to get to Dave’s place and during the ride there would be little boys playing outside. Was it my imagination ? but, the little boys always seemed to be jumping up and down and pointing at me as I rode by. They were reacting to the rare sighting of a blue space ship. Many Carolina towns to this day have low speed limits and aggressive law enforcement. Darlington, the little town where I worked was no different. My employer was located about 6 blocks east of the town square. There were 4 traffic lights between work and the square. I was aboard the Interceptor cruising along not far from work. I’d just crossed the square heading east on Main Street being careful and mindful of the crazy low speed limit of 25 mph. Well, a perfunctory glance in the rear view mirrors reveals a local constable in hot pursuit of me. Blue lights blazing. WTF !!! I tried not to curse back then but, that’s what I was thinking ! I pulled over in a KFC parking lot literally across the road from my employer. Let’s call the officer Barney and go over the interaction. Barney: “You ran the light back in the square and you were speeding.” Me; “No I didn’t run the light and I wasn’t speeding”. Barney: “License and Registration ”. I think by this time I had removed my helmet. Barney ( looking at my Alabama issued driver’s license ) ; “What Nation-Ality are You ? “ Note: I spelled nationality the way Barney said it. Nation-ality with a long A in nation. Me; Nation-ality ??? WTF !!! Internal thought only. Me; No response for 10 seconds. So blown away by the Nation-ality thing I needed to count to at least 10 ( One Mississippi Two Mississippi....) lest my immediate response be something to really regret later. Me; “I’m American.” Barney; “Wale, slow down and be more careful.” What Barney was thinking was probably more like WTF kind of motorcycle is that ? After I pulled off my helmet revealing Brown skin and long locks ( yes, I had a lot of hair back in those ‘80s ) that probably prompted the whole Nation-ality thing. Darlington SC is not the most progressive place . No ticket, just another curious soul ( with a badge ) wanting a closer look at the flying saucer I rode. Part 2 I started dating a girl the same spring I bought the Interceptor. She was pretty and knew it. She also was not afraid to speak her mind. I’ll call this girl Miss Sassy. MS for short. Hanging out with MS was fun ( at first ). My male ego enjoyed having a girlfriend who was stunning enough to turn the average man into a cheesy-grinning,head-rubbing,finger-pointing mess. She was Bad. One time we were playing miniature golf in Myrtle Beach and MS had on a sun dress. I swear a car full of young men just about crashed looking at hot little MS putting. Let’s see what happens when you combine a Hot Sassy Girlfriend with a radical spaceship. I worked in a small town that was backward. I lived in a bigger town that was equally backward with a larger unenlightened population. You might say Dude, you grew up in Alabama so don’t throw stones you hypocrite ! Huntsville,AL , my hometown is like Austin,TX. A city of radical intellectuals surrounded by the KKK . I grew up in the south and like it. Life is full of contrast and contradiction. MS was visiting me in Florence ( SC not Italy...sorry ) for the weekend. We got up early Sunday to take a slow helmet-less ride around my neighborhood. Cue the POPO here we go. Once again it’s a quiet Sunday morning with hardly any traffic on Second Loop Road. We’re cruising along enjoying a slow easy ride and each other’s company. I look back and there’s a motorcycle cop with his blue lights on waving at me to pull over. WTF ??? This motorcycle riding enforcement officer looked like your quintessential southern Po-lice officer. Big belly and all. Let’s call him “DD” for Deputy Dawg. Here’s the exchange. DD; “That Your Baahk ?”. Me; “Yessir”. DD; “License and Registration” Me; “Woops I forgot to bring my license, we were just going for a short ride and I forgot it”. DD; “Well that ain’t good. How old is she ?” Me; “She ( MS) is twenty. DD; “You Know that in the state of South Carolina, you have to be 21 to ride without a helmet”. Me”GULP”. We got off the Interceptor. DD; Now addressing MS “Let me see your ID”. MS; I don’t have any. DD; Starting to write a ticket...”Where are you from ?” ( this question aimed at MS ) MS; “Fayetteville.” DD; “Spell It.” MS; “You’re So Stupid You Don’t know how to spell Fayetteville ??? !!! “( Hands on those cute hips). Me; “Noooo...WTF, Holy Sh***t !!!”....I said this to myself. DD; Turning incandescent Red “I’m going to call a squad car, haul both of y’all into jail and impound that baahk.” MS; “You wouldn’t do that.” Here’s how the rest of it went down. DD followed us back to my place where I got my wallet and dropped the hot MS off. DD then followed me to an ATM. I withdrew $100, placed the money in his fat little hand and that was that. No ticket. No squad car. In the rest of the world that is called graft or in Mexico “The Bite” I believe. All because of a radical spaceship motorcycle and a hot, quick-on-the-trigger-no-filter girlfriend. After that MS and I rode with helmets and ID . Life is good. Where it all started. 14 years old 100 pounds aboard my 250 Samurai along with Jim and his Bridgestone 200 One Blue Spaceship The Author and The Hottie circa 1983
  9. 4 points
    In case you've missed it, MotoGP "re-starts" the season this weekend with a round at Jerez, Spain. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the schedule has been completely revised, with this weekend's race being followed by another race at Jerez next weekend. In fact, as the calendar stands at the moment, the "double rounds" outnumber the single rounds (five to three), and if you like watching MotoGP races in Spain, you're in luck, as there will be seven of them this year... Roll on! Ciao, JZH
  10. 4 points
    My best use of motorcycle protective gear in a non-motorcycle application was the luge at Rotorua. Rode down with my mates, and took a ride while wearing leathers and boots; a good thing too as there was a highly competitive spirit in place and I got shunted off the track at high speed, fairly sure I would have broken an ankle if not for my boots. This video is not mine but gives an idea; Kind of like riding a plastic tray down a mountain. https://youtu.be/rS-qG2hqrHo
  11. 4 points
    Grum and BLS are on to something here. People that do these mods are often disappointed, figuring that anything that lessens the sound attenuation on their can will make it sound pleasing. It will certainly make it louder, but the tonal quality may not be what they expect. That aspect of it can be compared to the brass section of a band. Trombones are maybe the easiest to visualize as the changes they make are readily seen. Tone / pitch is a function of many variables (beyond what I'll mention) but starts with the musician's lips and how tightly they're pursed in the mouthpiece and what pressure is applied. That produces a frequency that travels down the tube of the trombone. Less pressure / and looser lips will produce a lower tone and vice versa. That's analagous to the bike's engine. That is changed by rpm and throttle application. The staggering of the firing pulses are fixed (and well documented on this site). But on our V-4's they're different from an in-line 4 and thus have a noticeably different tonal quality (but may be equally loud). Two other variables in the mix are the diameter of the tube (a trombone has a lower tone than a smaller diameter trumpet and a higher tone than a larger diameter tuba). The diameter allows the sound waves to reverberate back and forth, the larger diameter allows the waves to travel further across the tube giving them a longer wave form resulting in a lower tone. The other obvious change to the tone from a trombone is the slide. The longer the tube, the lower the note that comes out given the other factors held constant. A longer and larger can will produce a lower tone than a short can that's been chopped off. The trombone player "tunes" the instrument to get the desired result from his inputs (lip frequency and slide length) given the constant (tube diameter). Makers of aftermarket slipons can tune the diameter and length to get the best blend of both (as well as packing, baffles and other factors) to come up with a pleasing tone. Yes they'll be louder than stock, but don't have to be obnoxiously loud - and if done right, may well produce a more pleasing tone. I gutted my stock 6th gen cans, and while they sound pretty good, it's not as good as my Remus cans - the 4 smaller outlets produce a different tone than two larger ones. When I have the baffles out of the Remus's (making the outlet larger diameter) I find it interesting how many thumbs up I get from passerby or drivers that love the sound. It's a very pleasing, mellow sound - and I've asked others if they find it obnoxious as I accelerate hard and I've never gotten a negative feedback on it. My neighbors love it when I come and go (figure that). So a cut off can or even a gutted one is not likely to sound like a well tuned after-market alternative. Once you hit that sweet spot, you'll find it quite pleasing to listen to the sound of the engine even droning on the interstate. A raspy sounding can gets on my nerves and I just find it loud vs something I like to listen to. That's one (of many) reason I so love the V-4 formula - when the sound is properly tuned, there is just nothing else like it. The best sound IMO is my 5th gen with the Two Brothers can on it. When it's warming up on a cool morning, I've had passerby stop to watch as the hot exhaust contacting the cool, moist air makes smoke rings clearly visible on each pulse. That and the sound (both of the exhaust and GDC's) is pure sex! As for the economics of it, I don't really care what the bike is worth (except for insurance purposes). I do this for my enjoyment and don't view it as an investment. The addition of mods that are reversible I don't think really devalues a bike much, if any. A slip on, risers, lowering blocks, power outlets, a voltmeter, etc - no big deal. IMHO what truly degrades a bike's value are things like stickers, chopping fenders, altering the intake system, amateur paint jobs, poorly executed rim stripes, things such as that. But that's just me.
  12. 4 points
    Warning: This is a very long read. Entertaining, I hope, but long. If you're up for it, grab a beverage and settle in for a long story about a not-so-long ride. There are several photos at the bottom if you want to just skip to those, but understand you'll miss the explanation about the tire photos. The last paragraph is kind of important, too, so if you read nothing else, please check out the very end of this very long ride report. I planned a 3-day tour for last weekend, centered around riding the 105-mile length of the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park (in Virginia) for the third time, and the second time in the last year. I had planned to ride from home in NE Ohio to Front Royal, VA, on Friday, ride the Skyline Drive and the northern section of the Blue Ridge Parkway on Saturday, then make my way home Sunday. It didn't quite go as planned, but I'm not complaining. If I'm being completely honest about the brief tour, I kind of waited until late last week to even decide on my destination. I'd just ridden the Skyline Drive last September, and didn't really feel the need to go back there this soon, but it's a nice relaxing ride for the most part, and I decided I could really use that kind of an excursion. Other than the paid holiday on July 3 (in observance of July 4th), I hadn't had a vacation day in over three months. While I had thoughts of riding to Washington, DC, New York City, or some other tourist destination, the last thing I wanted to do was be stressed out over traffic and be surrounded by thousands of people. As I said above, I'd had a 3-day weekend during the Independence Day holiday, and I'd thought of going down to ride the Skyline Drive then, but thought better of it knowing it would be packed with families, tourists, minivans, SUVs, SUVs towing campers, and RVs. (As it was, I did three 1-day rides that weekend, so it worked out.) The speed limit on the Skyline Drive is 35 mph its whole length, except for some tourist areas, where it's 25 mph. There are some passing areas, but they are pretty well spaced out. While I'm not willing to risk a ticket doing 50-60 mph on the Drive (and it's very easy to go that fast), I also couldn't bear the thought of following lumbering camper trailers and RVs at 25-30 mph for miles at a time. So I waited until this past weekend, and thankfully the weather was great. (More on that later.) As usual for me, unfortunately, I got on the road about an hour later than I'd planned. By the time I'd packed and checked the bike over, I headed out around 9 am. No biggie, as I had all day to get to Front Royal, the northern entrance to the national park, which, by the way, charges an admission fee. It's not cheap, and it's more than I remembered it being from my last couple visits. Maybe the price is about the same, and my memory is just not that great anymore. But the fee for a single motorcycle is $25. At least you feel like you're getting your money's worth, because the road surface is terrific, and the facilities are great. Also, your pass is good for a few days. If you're going to visit more than once a year, buy an annual pass for $55. It would be worth it if you visit the park three times or more. From home, I took some state routes to get SE to OH 7S, which got me to I-470E, across the bridge into Wheeling, WV, and onto WV 88S, which led me to US 250, which would take me through about half of West Virginia. You can take 250 out of Wheeling, but the route takes you way out of your way, so it's shorter to cut across on WV 88. The ride was pleasant, but by noon it must have been 90 degrees, but at least the humidity wasn't too bad. As long as I kept moving I was fine, so I kept moving. I should have stopped more often to stay hydrated, but I did a few 90+ minute stints on the bike that day. US 250 has some nice sections in WV, but I wouldn't say it's the best road. Still, for a US highway it's okay. I took 250S to US 50E, and had planned to take that highway to US 220S to US 48E, then VA 55S into Front Royal. But it was so hot I decided instead to stay on US 50E to Winchester, VA, then slab it most of the way to Front Royal. And that was knowing I'd be hitting some late rush hour traffic on I-81S, and that the heat coming off the expressway would be pretty intense. (It was.) Still, that was a better option at that point. I stopped in Winchester to book a hotel room in Front Royal just before hitting the freeway. Room booked, run a good 70-80 mph for some miles on the interstates, and I sailed into Front Royal around dinner time. I stopped to fill up the tank so I wouldn't have to do it again that evening or the next morning on my way out. I rode 354 miles on Day 1. The lodging was adequate, nothing special, nor very cheap, but acceptable. I wish the little motor lodge where I stayed a night last September had been available. I like little places like that, where you can park your bike right outside your door. (Also, it brings back fond memories of the VFRD Tmac events when we stayed at the old Franklin Motel.) I was feeling pretty cooked by the time I parked the bike, so I just headed up to my room to soak in the air conditioning for a while. After relaxing and cooling off - and drinking probably a gallon of water - I thought about dinner. There was a cool brewery and burger place across the street, but it was crowded. They had a takeout menu, but instead I opted for Thai food from the restaurant in the same building as the hotel, so I could just walk down the sidewalk for my takeout instead of having to actually get on the bike again and ride somewhere. The entree, the Pad Pak with chicken, was tasty, but I really liked the spring rolls more. That was my last decent or even halfway decent meal for almost 24 hours. I ordered my food, then went to take the hard bags off my VFR, put them in the room, then grabbed my food and went back upstairs to eat and relax the rest of the evening. When I'm touring on the bike, I prefer not to stop all that much. As such, I have to carry food and usually a couple bottles of water with me. You need food that won't perish, of course, so two of my go-to's are granola bars (or this time Clif Bars) and beef jerky. No, this isn't the healthiest option, but the Clif Bars (I usually go with peanut butter crunch) and beef jerky both have protein, which keeps me from getting too hungry either between meals, or lets me skip a meal if I choose to forgo breakfast or lunch. It also keeps me from buying pure junk food and sugary treats from convenience stores. So during my infrequent stops, I snack a little, in the morning on the granola or a Clif Bar, and at other times the beef jerky. These are also fairly inexpensive options, because I try to keep my tours pretty cheap, too. The Thai food was a splurge for me - it was my one food-related treat to myself this tour. Now, when I parked the bike when I got to the hotel, I sprayed chain wax onto the chain, as I do every 400-500 miles or so. I didn't see it at the time, but when I went back to get my luggage, I noticed my rear tire was a bit worn. It was a little squared off, but not too bad. However, the tread depth was a little concerning, considering I was headed away from civilization for at least the next day. Plus, it's Friday night. I don't want to spend half a day Saturday riding to and waiting for a shop to replace that tire, especially when it looks kind of worn but okay. But also, Sunday - if the tire gets eaten up Saturday - it's going to be next to impossible to find a shop to replace the tire. Plus, of course, you're looking at hundreds of dollars for a new tire and labor at most shops, even though it's just four lugnuts to take the rear wheel off a VFR. So I opted to go with what I had and deal with it later if necessary. Would that decision come back to haunt me? Keep reading to find out! I got up early Saturday morning, packed up, loaded the bike, and headed south out of town to Shenandoah National Park. It was a nice, cool 75 degrees or so, but the forecast was 96 degrees for the day. I paid my admission fee and headed up the Skyline Drive., where the first several miles are just amazing. It's unlike anywhere else I ride regularly. I had started even earlier last September, hoping to catch the sunrise (and I pretty much did), but found many squirrels laying on the road, I think keeping themselves warm overnight on the residual heat coming from the road surface. As I'd approach, they'd jump up and scamper away, sometimes crossing my path. It was a little unnerving, partly because that day I had started up the road around dawn, and the critters were hard to see until you were maybe 20-30 feet away. Thankfully this time wasn't nearly as bad, and I only had to dodge a couple squirrels. If other VFRD members are like me, and I'm sure many of you are, the main point of a ride like this is the riding, not the sightseeing. So I didn't stop very often at the wonderful overlooks. As usual, I preferred to keep moving. At 35 mph (or even a little faster), it takes 3 hours to ride the length of the Skyline Drive, and that's if you never stop. I stopped at 2-3 overlooks, and once for a restroom and drink/snack break. Don't get me wrong, I love beautiful scenery as much as other people, but again, the point of a tour for me is the ride. So when you're checking out the photos below, you might note there aren't that many scenic pics, because I didn't take that many. About halfway through the Skyline, I started increasing speed, averaging maybe 45 mph. But between the slower speeds earlier, a few scenery stops, and a rest stop, it took me about four hours to finish the Skyline. The photos, by the way, were taken with my Canon EOS 77D digital SLR, a wonderful gift from my family for my 50th birthday last summer. I'd wanted a digital SLR for several years, and my family surprised me with this gently used but like-new Canon. I've not used it nearly enough, and I still have much to learn about its features and capabilities. I have two good lenses for it so far, but need to buy a few filters for them. While mapping out Saturday's ride, I had previously thought about two options when I came to the end of the Skyline Drive: 1. Continue on to the Blue Ridge Parkway, heading south until at least VA Route 56, then turn west to begin the trek home, stopping somewhere for the night maybe halfway home. 2. Head west on US 250 at the end of the Skyline Drive. Two things made me choose option #2. I was worried about my rear tire, and there were two warning signs near the end of the Drive. One read, “Loose gravel ahead. Not advised for motorcycles and bicycles.” (Or something to that effect.) I thought, well, I’ve done gravel before, but I wonder how long a stretch it is. The second sign said, “Road construction next 28 miles.” And that was it. Coupled with worrying about the life left in my rear tire, I took US 250W immediately. US 250W in Virginia is a nice flowing road, with mostly good pavement. Most of the towns along the highway are fairly small, so they don’t hold you up too badly. There are some nice curves but there are also places to pass. And then you get west of Churchville, VA, and things improve dramatically. There are 2-3 mountain passes that are just completely excellent for sportriding. Unfortunately, during the first stretch I was stuck behind a couple much slower vehicles. There’s nothing like riding up a mountain at 30 mph, watching your VFR’s engine temperature climb, too. I would occasionally drop back to I could have a better run for a few turns, but I easily caught up with the folks in front of me. But at the end of the sweet stretch of road, I turned around, rode back up and down the mountain with nothing in front of me, then turned around again and headed back west. There were a couple more sections like that afterward and it was glorious! What a treat to be on an amazing mountain road with nothing holding you up. We should all be so fortunate most of the time. By the time I’d had plenty of fun on US 250 and was in West Virginia, it was already mid-afternoon, the temperature was a scorching 96 degrees, and rather than continue on 250 all the way through WV and into OH, I decided to make some time. Despite having about half a package of beef jerky left in my tankbag, I stopped in Elkins to have a fast food meal – my only real meal of the day - taking a break to sit in the very welcome air conditioning and drink 5-6 cups of ice water. Afterward I continued on 250 to US 119N, then took I-79N toward Pittsburgh. Just like the day before, the heat coming off the road surface was intense. People who don’t ride probably think cruising down the freeway at 70+ mph must feel refreshing. But it doesn’t in temps like this. It feels more like being shot through the world’s longest blast furnace. When it’s that hot, I’m choosing between the lesser of two evils. Either make time and deal with the heat on the freeway, or have a bit more pleasant ride on 2-lane highways, but face slowing down and/or stopping at lights and stop signs in the small towns I’m riding through. As much as I dislike slabbing it, sometimes that’s the better option. I had checked my rear tire during most rest or gas stops on Saturday, and it was holding up. The visible tread kept getting thinner, but thankfully I wasn’t seeing cords. I had considered that instead of heading home I would route myself toward Columbus, OH, home of the Iron Pony (in the suburb of Westerville actually), where I usually buy tires and have them mounted while I wait. They’re open on Sundays, and I thought perhaps I’d ride through most of West Virginia and maybe even into Ohio, find a place to stay, then finish riding to the Iron Pony on Sunday morning. I’d get a new tire mounted, then ride the rest of the way home. But I decided since the tire was doing okay, I’d just make for home. I got off the expressway at Washington, PA, and took state and US highways the rest of the way home. I arrived home around 8 pm, pretty tired, but feeling better than I had Friday night, because I stayed better hydrated on Saturday. I logged 457 miles on Day 2, which is a lot, especially considering it took me about four hours to ride the Skyline Drive. But what’s funny is that’s not even my longest day of the year, as I’d done a 477-mile day several weeks ago, though it wasn’t in such tremendous heat. First thing I did when I got home was to apply another coating of spray-on chain wax, as is my custom after every long day. (This is why a centerstand is a must on a chain-driven bike in my opinion.) I let the bike sit for the chain wax to stick while I unloaded the bike and starting putting things away. I realized a few minutes later I hadn’t actually inspected the tire again. So I went to the rear and looked. At first it looked fine. I thought, “Oh, good. It made it okay. Maybe I can actually ride down to the Iron Pony tomorrow and have a new tire put on.” I have done this several times. I carry T-shaped tire iron with me down to the shop, strapped down to the rear seat under my emergency pack. When I get there, I pop the rear wheel off (Again, hooray for centerstands!), take it inside, and get a new tire. Why pay for an hour of labor when you can just hand them a wheel and pay much less for installation? The bonus is I have a favorite route to get down there from home, and one of the roads in particular, while not epic, has some really nice curves. Confession time: I have ridden rear tires into the cords a few times. Not really on purpose, but I’ve known a tire was worn, and figured I *might* get into cords by the time I got to the shop, and a couple times I did. Not a good practice, I know. So looking at the rear tire and thinking maybe I could make it to Columbus the next day, I spun the wheel a little…and saw a couple cords. “Hmm. Well, I won’t be riding again ‘til this is replaced, but at least I made it home.” Again, I’ve ridden a rear tire into the cords, so I wasn’t too disturbed. Then I spun the wheel a little more, and “Whoa.” There before me was a rather wide and shiny steel belt. At that point I felt extremely thankful to have made it home without a flat or a blowout. I was also quite thankful that: a) I decided to head for home when I did, and b) I avoided any sharp edged objects in the road, including gravel, lane reflectors attached to the roads, and large snakes with large fangs who might bite my tire as I was riding by them. (Just kidding.) Before anyone blasts me for being such an idiot (duh), please remember that I did check my tires before I left for this trip, checked them again Friday evening, and checked the rear often on Saturday. Other than interrupting my trip for a day or two (and having to then take additional time off work) to find a shop and overpay for a new tire and installation, there is literally nothing I could have done to avoid that very worn rear tire. I’m fairly certain the combination of hot roads and a loaded-down bike contributed to much faster tire wear than I expected. I haven’t weighed the loaded bags, but I’m guessing they’re in the neighborhood of 15-20 pounds each when I’m touring. Plus I’m heavier than usual, having gained some weight over the last couple months. Believe me, I’m not happy about having ridden a tire in this condition. But maybe I can be a good (or very bad) example for others when planning a tour, especially in the middle of summer. Yesterday morning, I got up early again, removed the rear wheel from my VFR, hopped in my ND Miata and made for the Iron Pony, taking that favorite route I mentioned above. Top down, driving some sweet twisty state highways, and having a blast, especially before it got hot again yesterday afternoon. Got the tire on and headed back home, again taking a combination of freeways and state highways. All in all, a terrific weekend on the bike. In fact, I’d go as far as to call Saturday’s ride "epic," which is a word I don’t use very often to describe my rides, even the really good ones. I felt great, riding quick, even fast sometimes, nailing most corners, choosing the correct lines, and easily avoiding trouble where it suddenly appeared. I don’t think I had one “Oh crap!” moment the whole weekend. Keep in mind, however, my ‘fast’ is not your fast. Really, my fast is probably more like your medium pace. So I’m not bragging here; just saying I went quick for me, and it felt amazing. I totaled 811 miles for the motorcycle trip, and it was worth every gallon of gas and every ounce of sweat those two days. I’m not even really disappointed that I didn’t get my planned 3-day ride in this weekend. The terrific morning drive yesterday in my wonderful roadster made up for any disappointment I might have felt. Besides, why should the VFR get to have all the fun? And this evening, new tire installed and inflation checked, I went for a little ride. Only 50 miles or so, but it felt great. I won’t be able to ride this weekend, unfortunately, but I’m already looking forward to my next long day or trip, and hoping to get down south before the season is over, maybe all the way down to North Carolina to some certain roads we all know and love. Some observations: One of the harder things to do on a very hot day is to just find adequate shade for a rest stop, particularly in the middle of the day. You don’t even want to stop at a gas station or convenience store, because the heat coming off the parking lot is awful. I found shelter under a bank drive-thru (closed at the time of course), and have found it under an awning in front of a church and other similar places. The only downside is there usually isn’t a place to sit, but just getting off the bike and standing in the shade is a welcome relief from the sun and oppressive heat. I'm still pretty happy with the ergonomics on my VFR, though my knees start to balk after a few hours or a couple hundred miles, particularly the right one. My hips get a little sore, and my neck gets stiff and a bit sore during very long rides, too. But what I found interesting on the Skyline Saturday was how much more effort it takes to keep yourself upright when you're only doing 35-45 mph. Faster than that the wind resistance helps you, but it was definitely more tiring - and more monotonous - going slower. Along with idea of the riding being the main attraction for me during a tour like this, I find the scenic overlooks to be amazing, but also kind of repetitive. I mean, after a while, don't they all start to look kind the same? There are definitely different features at some overlooks, but especially on the Blue Ridge Parkway, I've found most overlooks are similar. That's probably another reason I don't stop at very many of them. That and the time it takes to park the bike, take off my gear, grab my camera, take a few pictures, put the camera away, don the riding gear, and get moving again. It just eats up a ton of time. Time I'd rather spend riding. Some people are great, and will wave you by when you’re clearly able to go much faster than them. I always wave a big “Thank you!” to such folks. And some people aren’t so great. May karma bite those folks on the ass at some point. There were a couple times this weekend that actually made me wonder whether my riding jacket would fit into one of my hardbags. Yes, it was that hot. It’s extremely rare I ride without a jacket, and even then it’s usually just a trip to the gas station to fill up the tank. I haven’t ridden more than a few miles jacket-less in many years. But the heat this weekend actually made me think about ditching the jacket, if only for a little while. But I resisted that temptation. I’m not fully ATGATT, as wear jeans instead of actual riding pants, but the rest of my body is geared up - helmet, riding jacket with armor, riding gloves, and boots (hiking boots, but at least they're over the shin). I don’t know how or why people can put their skin and their very lives at such risk by riding with minimal gear, or none at all. I’ll just never understand it. And if that sounds judgmental, so be it. Maybe that sounds ironic coming from a guy who finished a 2-day ride with a rear tire showing cords, but that was accidental. People riding without gear do so on purpose. Motorcycle touring during a pandemic: I want to share some thoughts about motorcycle touring during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially right now when the US is seeing dramatic increases in the number of new cases. A brief background: I have asthma, but it’s not usually a problem. I take a daily pill for it, can go about my everyday routine, exercise normally and be fine, and I carry a rescue inhaler if I need it, which thankfully is rare. But I get an annual flu shot because if I get the flu, it can be pretty nasty. I'm in the at-risk population, so I’m taking COVID seriously. I’m wearing a mask in public, I’m social distancing whenever possible, and I’m using hand sanitizer after leaving a store or pumping gas. But the threat of the virus hasn’t stopped me from going to the grocery store, from going to motorcycle shops, or from doing long rides on my VFR. It *has* made me think twice about going into a convenience store for a drink, for paying for my gas with cash at the register, and about going into restaurants for meals while I’m on the road. In stores, some people are wearing masks and properly distancing, and some aren’t. Consequently, I pay at the pump with a credit card, and on the rare occasions I’m going into a store, I put on my mask, I distance if possible, and I’ll buy two bottled drinks to save having to go into another store later on for another drink. I’ll stop at a restaurant to eat, preferably fast food rather than a sit-down place, and even then I'll try to pick a fast food joint with outdoor seating, but will avoid any restaurant that looks crowded. Thankfully, most of the fast food places have taped off some booths and seating areas so there is always several feet between available seats. (While touring I really prefer to eat at mom and pop establishments, but for some reason fast food just feels a little safer right now, probably because I can get in and out more quickly.) I think with common sense measures like these, and maybe even more than what I’m doing, we shouldn’t be afraid to get out there and enjoy our summer riding season. Staying in a hotel did give me some pause, but I had to have faith the staff adequately cleans and disinfects everything I would touch. Honestly, however, by the time I got to my hotel on Friday evening I was almost too drained to care. That’s not great, but it’s the truth. To sum this last section up, and perhaps the message I really want to send is this: If you’ve been holding off doing an epic ride of your own because of the pandemic, I would strongly encourage you to take some standard precautions and just go ride. Pay at the pump. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in your tankbag. Wear a mask if you have to enter a store or gas station. I don’t blame people for being anxious, but you can’t let fear rule your life. We take calculated risks all the time while riding, whether it’s across town or across the country. This is the same. Live your life. Live it responsibly, of course, both for yourself and for your loved ones, but go out there and truly live.
  13. 4 points
    It is a VFRness. It isn’t in the budget to go to the 847 yet - but it is a future endeavor. That little thing is so clean, I started drooling. [emoji1786] For now - I’m headed for a stock r/r with a voltmeter on the instrument panel so I can monitor things. I am also going to run through every connection and ground to make sure they are solid and protected from corrosion - which means I need to correct a fuel leak from cracked washers under the tank while she’s torn down too. I’ve got orientation - this is my first attempt at actually fixing something on my own ride.
  14. 4 points
    After moving out of Illinois, I now live about 30 minutes from the Dragon and the Cherohala Skyway. Moonshiner 28 is another great road in the area. Truthfully there are so many good roads here I've gotten to the point where I avoid the Dragon in summer because of the sheer number of bikes and sports cars on it.
  15. 4 points
    Update, I adjusted my sync to jkson's suggestion, #3 20mmHg higher and #4 10mmHg higher. My VacuMate has a tach function that senses pulses, and I found it important to readjust (tweak) idle to 1200 rpm or vacuum readings spread more... of course, the VacuMate is very sensitive. I tried a CarbTune as well, but the resolution is much coarser with those moving parts. My cooling fan kicked on, and that will throw things off, so recommend you let it cool down again so the fan doesn't come on. I noted a much less lumpy idle at the new settings, and went for a shakedown ride, some highway and a lot of stop and go in town. Clutch action was much smoother, did not have to play throttle/clutch games nearly as much. Overall much better, and some time ago I was thinking of a new clutch pack next winter, but no longer is that a concern for me. So, highly recommend you try those new settings. I'm happier, thanks jkson for the analysis.........
  16. 3 points
  17. 3 points
    Please DO NOT torque those bolts to the above specs of 20 ft lbs. The correct spec for those bolts is from 7 to 9 ft lbs....20 will very likely strip threads. Those two bolts referenced in 1-13 are different (larger bolts), note it says Thread diameter of 8mm That should have been your clue that those are referring to entirely different bolts....which they are. The outer tensioner bolts have a 8MM HEAD but a 5mm thread diameter. If you check the following page of the manual (9-2) that shows the exploded diagram of the cam chain tensioner, it shows the actual (internal engine) tensioner that rides against the chain and shows bolts with a 9 ft lbs and 20 ft lbs spec (neither of these are the two bolts for the outer plunger, note that diagram does show that plunger with no spec for torque. A standard 8mm head bolt with 5mm thread diamter will generally be 7 to 9 ft lbs of spec. 20 will likely strip these bolts or the engine threads. I know the manual is totally confusing on this....but a little common sense tells you that 20 ft lbs of torque for a 5mm diameter bolt is way to much.
  18. 3 points
    Cut my wrist and it will bleed Honda red but HRC engineers have run out of Rs they need a V... Honda's pedestrian I4 street bike labors in the shadow of MotoGp technology as their MotoGp race bred V4 sits on the side lines... Throw me in coach, I'm ready to go... [youtube] [/youtube]
  19. 3 points
    Sorry to hear about that Ducnut. Enjoy your freedom while you can, I think we all take good health too much for granted.
  20. 3 points
    This looks remarkably like the calculations from the movie Apollo 13! Can I safely return home or will I run-out of oxygen on the side of the road...
  21. 3 points
    MM cleared to race. If he gets a podium then the rest of the paddock may as well just go home and self isolate for the rest of the year.
  22. 3 points
    Interesting - I don't ever recall seeing that company mentioned here or elsewhere. As I don't know anything about it, I don't have an opinion, but if true this would not be the first company to private label Chinese made goods with an overlay of slick marketing. Power Stop brakes is one example - Chinese made but a very well put together look. And who knows - maybe they're fine - I've never used them. And the same with this company - I have no idea where they source their parts or if from China maybe to a high standard. However, I've been bitten by the "China syndrome" enough times where I thought I was buying quality parts but instead got Chinese garbage (NAPA Auto Parts ranks high on my gripe list) that I've become a "prove it to me" consumer. I want to know where parts are sourced, manufactured and to what standard. Markets are highly price sensitive (the masses looking for a low price point vs good value), that outsourcing has become a prime way of doing that. So I suppose until a box from them shows up with the country of origin stamped on it there's no way of knowing. I have yet to be successful at contacting any company with that question - it's usually some non-answer answer - "we source parts from various locations at different times through our global supply chain - blah, blah, blah." To me that translates word for word to "made in China" and I move on. It is getting tougher as so much has moved there. There are exceptions though if one wants to look. It would be great if this is a company is on par with Shindigen and OEM Honda, as alternatives are good for everyone. Maybe someone who's ordered from them directly knows and can chime in. Again, I'm not knocking them - just don't know how they do things. As always, YMMV.
  23. 3 points
    For me there would be no replacement or substitute. So I guess I'd just walk. In a small way I'm nearly there. I realized at the end of 2018 my arthritis was too painful for continued long-distance riding. So I got my self a Siberian Husky puppy. She keeps me moving. And when I get my rollerblades I'll have replaced my hydrocarbon power with animal power. And my ATGATT gear will come in handy because I've never been on rollerblades. And I have old downhill skis for winter, her specialty.
  24. 3 points
    OK Gotcha. I use the centerstand on my VFR when taking off the rear with no other support. If I'm taking off the front at the same time I'll put an old worn out tire under the swingarm to stabilize it because the front fork stand makes the bike lean back a little on the center stand. Last night the air was too polluted and too cloudy to catch the comet, but I caught a cool aspect of the moon.
  25. 3 points
    Social Media of any kind sucks for content persistence. Any of the knowledge that was part of a discussion two weeks or two years ago is lost and nearly unsearchable.
  26. 3 points
    Four bikes and not even a shed to keep any of them in. Addicted you are.
  27. 3 points
    Dropped off to the workshop with no issues. Couldn't get the wire I intended to use to fit in the connector so ended up using a bit of garden wire....not ideal but it got me there😱✌ I actually bought this bike for a mate who isn't in a position to buy one. He hired a VFR a couple years ago and we rode to the Isle of Man and back via Wales over 3 days so I knew he'd be happy to ride one before I bought it.....but I wasnt counting on it breaking down on the way home! I'll let you know what the techs say, but here's hoping this old girl has a few more miles left in her yet.
  28. 3 points
    And she lives! After cleaning the contacts it was still the same, but when probing the red and white wore to check voltage, I suddenly hear the pump fire up! She started after half a dozen cranks or so, and boom, running again! So, question now is, dirty/loose contacts, or an underlying issue that caused it to brown up in the first place. Bearing in mind this bike is 16 yes old and has 46k miles on the clock. You guys rock, thanks to everyone who contributed, grum especially, he put a lot of time into helping me out, for which I am very grateful. Now its running, its going for a check over tomorrow evening with a proper mechanic and tech so they can sort that connector properly and give it the once over.
  29. 3 points
    I also have a cardboard drawing for screw orientation. Before filter removal I place aluminum foil over the exhaust piping and divert the oil draining to go into the catch pan underneath. Also bought a lot of extra push pins from the local Honda dealer.
  30. 3 points
    Off to Assen, playing crew chief to my RC51 pals (and one RC8) pals tomorrow. Them are trailer biatches Me? Why throw away a ride?? Coffee time
  31. 3 points

    From the album: Misc VFR

    San Diego
  32. 3 points
    Here's a low res photo that gives a better prespective of the slope behind the VFR. Less than a foot behind the bike it drops off pretty dramatically. It's good to be lucky sometimes.
  33. 3 points
    @RC79NC001 great shots!!! I concur that not all bicyliclist are jerks; I ride one each week...... And after a crash on my 4th gen they helped me as well See that left turn in the top left corner at the farm? Riding "spiritly" on a dike, I see an elderly couply approaching on bicycles, the man "wobbling"a bit. So I keep an eye on them as I approach them. The road ahead appears to go straight. As I've passed the couple, my full attention goes to the road ahead..... OOOOPS.... it drops away to the left, I slam the brakes, turn in but -you recognise this bit- I ran out of road and onto the grass. As the VFR slides away under me and spins, I recall "CROSS YOUR ARMS!!!"... The farmer's wife and 2 guys on sport bicycles help me get the VFR back on the road. The farmer's wife did comment: "you are not the first and won't be that last to go down in this corner "I can see you weren't going too fast or braked really well. Most of the time we collect man and machine from the gate/barbed wire 3 metres down at the bottom" In the end, it was a bit af ABS, a sprained ankle and a bit of pride Welcome to the club!
  34. 3 points
    Mystery solved! It was the speedometer app I downloaded and used that day to verify the VFR's speedometer that kept running in the background with a warning at anything over 20 kph. I initially didn't hear it because of the wind and must've forgotten about it. Also explains the mystery battery drain that day... I initially thought it was a warning beep to warn you that you have a passenger riding 2-up lol. It made sense since I could only hear it at low speeds, though the fact it completely disappeared at anything below 20 kph and kept going at anything above 20 kph was strange indeed for a passenger caution warning lol.
  35. 3 points
    I have been riding this for a bit now and finally got it fully licensed this week (took advantage of the COVID laxness and rode on a 10 day trip permit for 5 weeks 🤐). I had already changed tires and ordered a 520 kit, which should be here tomorrow after 4 weeks with USPS and another 2 weeks with Canada customs. I had to do the steering head bearings for the safety inspection so I went with the All Balls tapered rollers, changed fork oil and threw in some EBC HH pads while I was at it. I’ve got to say my favourite thing about it is the sound, it’s truly one of the most iconic sounding bikes ever made, and it will get me in trouble. When I started the steering head bearings I was trying to decide how to support the front end and had an epiphany. I enjoyed telling my wife “I told you I’d use those again”
  36. 3 points
    Turned 90k miles on the dial today. No valve checks, on my 4th stator, 3 sets of CCT, original RR. This machine starts within 1 or 2 revolution, runs smooth, pulls hard and strong. Of the 90k miles, 85k are mine. Bought it in '08 and loved every mile I put on it. Looking forward to hit the 100k mark in a couple of years or so. Enjoy your VFR everyone, it a great dependable bike.
  37. 3 points
    Thanks for sharing memories of riding the Dragon. I have been there (rode from Canada , so not a 1-day event!) 4 times. The first time down we came in from north (near Maryville, TN) and can remember it raining hard and just stopped and started to dry when we spotted the infamous "HWY 129" sign (off the 411) and thought here we go! After 5 mins or so we thought this is not that spectacular!? We kept riding thinking it would change, and we rode and rode until we finally hit the real 129 Dragon and where blown away. It was a weekday late in day so very quiet and remember how alert I become with heart pumping a large grin on my face. Over the next couple of times down we discovered more of the roads in the area and could not get over how many great rides exist and if I could just take 30 miles of one of many runs home to Ontario how grand it would be! Other notable ones I have experienced and are a must are: 1. The Entire Blue Ridge Parkway (lightly traveled and no trucks allowed) - 2days of bliss 2. Hwy 28 ("Hellbender on north and Moonshiner on bottom) 3. Hwy 421 ("The Snake") out of Bristol to Mountain City 4. Hwy 80 ("Devils Whip") near Little Switzerland 5. Cherohala Hwy 6. Hwy 209 ("The Rattler") to Hot Springs
  38. 3 points
    Empty Dragon +Good Weather= The Dream Shot !
  39. 3 points
    I've ridden the Dragon about 18 times now. My first experience was on a Suzuki SV650N with a couple of riding mates who were also on their first date with the Dragon. It rained hard on the way there, so much so that we had to pull over, fully bummed out, as this was the goal of our 7 day quest. After it let up, we had about a 20 to 30 minute ride to reach the start point on the North Carolina end. The sun suddenly came out and the clouds were gone. By the time we got there at about 11:00am the pavement was dry and there was not a soul around. No riders, no cops...no one. We had the entire Dragon to ourselves! We rode that bitch as hard as we could both ways. It was the best ride I've ever had and will likely never happen again. It was awesome to say the least.
  40. 3 points
    or build your own NR.....
  41. 3 points
    Nah, easy fix Mello, especially for a clever bloke like you, and all your ground woes will be gone. (Hopefully!) Here's a great example of the fix. Don't know who did it but its a very fine, neat example of soldering all the grounds together and adding an additional lead straight to the battery Neg terminal. Cheers.
  42. 3 points
    Old discussion we have hashed several times..... but really its not a question of what is better, its more of what is personal taste and preference..... Beers on me guys....
  43. 3 points
    Never take mine off unless I need space in the garage. You get used to that big butt, I cannot lie.
  44. 2 points
    Most major oil companies say to NEVER EVER add anything to their oils, because doing so will upset the oil’s carefully balanced additive package that was designed by their Chemical Engineers... I generally recommend that people choose a motor oil that is highly ranked to begin with, that doesn’t need any additional help. And to use that oil just as it comes, right out of the bottle, with no aftermarket additives at all...
  45. 2 points
    Ok Cogs...Allright you talked me into it.... going Yuasa, Made in Pennsylvania. Amazon order.... (Geez, what dont they have? lol) https://www.amazon.com/Yuasa-YUAM6RH4H-YTX14H-BS-Battery/dp/B000N5ST3C/ref=pd_di_sccai_1/131-8651496-4106231?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B000N5ST3C&pd_rd_r=202b994c-e64c-4781-aa9d-956d74bc4cb9&pd_rd_w=CjihG&pd_rd_wg=pV4ej&pf_rd_p=5415687b-2c9d-46da-88a4-bbcfe8e07f3c&pf_rd_r=T1V4YSY30M20NT72N8JV&psc=1&refRID=T1V4YSY30M20NT72N8JV For grins, walked to the garage to look at the OEM, and whatya know? Yuasa too. It only lasted 13 years..... --------------------------------------------- To @14thumper - mostly on things you get waht you pay for and those cheapo battery are lead acid..... for me, I wont go that way, I bought a cheapo once for my VFR and it pissed acid on my swingarm. Classic saying, one bitten, twice shy. - There's probly a Yuasa size 12 for reasonable money for your bike...... check cold cranking volts and amp hour rating to compare when you do...
  46. 2 points
    Rollerblades + husky would be an awesome combination, but not significantly safer than motorcycles. I have had experience of rollerblades plus a border collie that I think may have been a sled-dog in a previous life, and that was exciting! Remember: pictures or it didn't happen.
  47. 2 points
    It’s still in your best interest to at least wire up what you have the same way the Roadstercycle Kit is setup, as it’s the most reliable way to bypass the troublesome OEM harness. Get the connector out of there, as well. Plug-and-play isn’t always a good thing. Nope. Definitely not Rick’s. They be two different companies. That R/R sure looks offshore and like so many other discount offerings on the net that are repackaged in the seller’s packaging. That’s not comparable to an SH847, in any way other than being for a 12V system, I assure you. The Shindengen SH847 is the latest Series technology, an absolute hoss, and unlike anything else. The 1st pic is where I mounted my SH847 on my 5th Gen. I have one on my SV and the 2nd pic is comparing it to the stock R/R. The 3rd pic is a diagram how to reliably setup the VFR charging system.
  48. 2 points
    All done with deep clean and switched some parts back to oem, I am loving this bike
  49. 2 points
    Glad you're OK. As a hopefully-non-jerk bicycle rider, I learnt something from MTBing that's helped me a couple of times in "survival freezes" on my VFR. You tend to steer towards what you're looking at, and you tend to look at a source of danger (rut, cliff-edge etc). In my experience, it's easier to force yourself to look towards the safe route (the steering then following by itself) than it is to get your bodyweight and arms to steer you away from the danger.
  50. 2 points
    No. Opted out of Spacebook entirely.
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