Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring, walking and wheels

Well, the first day of Spring has arrived and I got a chance to try out a lot of wheels. On my commute to work the other day I decided to turn on my Oxford Heated grips. It wasn't that cold, around 2 cdn (34 us). It wasn't until I was about half way to work when I noticed that my grips were not even warm. All the lights on the electronic controller were making all the right moves and the LED's had the right colours, but nothing. I turned them off and on again, still nothing. I made arrangements for my Suzuki dealer to take a look at them first thing Saturday morning.


I hopped on my V-strom and headed over to Kitsilano for breakfast with friends like we have done for over a decade. Then over to the dealer where I dropped off my Wee and also had them perform my 2nd service which included LOF . (Lube, Oil & Filter) . I was originally going to wait for them to diagnose the Heated Grips problem, now I had to leave the bike and come back mid afternoon. It was a beautiful, sunny, spring day and my riding plans were thwarted. In my full riding gear I decided to take the 10 wheeled transport home

(10 wheeled articulating BUS, public transit vehicle)

I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier and take off my riding pants and jacket liner and just left them in my side cases as it was getting very warm in the bus. Later I would end up having to carry all this stuff back, as it was too warm to wear.

I was at home trying to pass the time trying to decide whether to drive my car down to pick up my bike, but then I would have two vehicles down there. Plus the fact that we had to meet friends for an eary dinner. I decided to walk the mile to my nearest Skytrain Station


I arrived at the dealer and notice that they are still working on my Wee. The LOF has been done. They had cleaned and lubricated my chain, checked tire pressures, etc. All had been done except for isolating the problem with my heated grips.


You are able to view into the shop from the customer area. I spoke briefly with the mechanic (Dillon) . He told me they checked everything. Fuses, connectors and with their VOM there was power into the controller but it was not funnelling the output to the grips.


I was a little disappointed that they had not found the cause so I mentioned that perhaps the controller was faulty. I was lucky that they had a spare controller lying about so they connected it and it worked. As I purchased my bike there and they installed the unit the repair was done under warranty, including labour.


The traffic was very heavy as I prepared for my ride home. The first day of Spring has not been kind to me. Late Friday night I heard some water dripping in the basement. It turned out to be a burst hot water line in the laundry room. I shut off the valve beneath the sink but for some reason it was still seeping. I put a small container underneath to catch the water but soon realized that it was filling up too fast to trust, so I had to turn off the input line into the hot water tank. I also learned that I had to turn the dial to Pilot (from ON) to minimize steam build up. This meant that we were without hot water until Sunday morning when my friend Gord, volunteered to come over and get me back on-line.

(Gord, contemplating corrective action)

It's nice to have friends such as Gord whom I have called upon numerous times to help repair things around the house. He came over bright and early on Sunday morning. We went to Home Depot to purchase this stuff . . .

(Doesn't look like $160. worth of plumbing bits)

Saturday evening, with 8 of our friends, we ended up with dinner at a cosy Italian Restaurant in Burnaby . It was a great and not so great day to welcome Spring and the passing of Winter .

(Penne with Prawns in a white wine sauce)

I have not taken the Skytrain in many years so I as unfamiliar with where the stations were and how the stations were laid out. And had to ask assistance from the multitude of Skytrain attendants. I hope you like the following video of my Skytrain experience, and also the last part when my Wee was ready to be picked up

NOTE: Mistake on Video Title. It was recorded using a Panasonic Lumix ZS3 NOT GoProHD as the title infers. sorry, had GoPro on the brain


  1. Seeing the Science Center brought back memories from a past trip. I don't remember the SkyTrain though. When was it built?

  2. Fun video of the skytrain, though I'm sorry you had to use it under the circumstances. I want to get heated grips for next winter. Cold hands (fingers only really) are the one thing I haven't been able to resolve satisfactorily yet. I'm glad you got your heated grips and hot water all back on line again! :)

  3. Sorry you had trouble. These things normally come along in three's. Heated grips and plumbing problems - was there a third?

    Good video of the train though. The people on the train and at the station must have thought you to be a tourist.

  4. Hi Bob,

    As a former Railway employee I could watch videos of trains all day, the EMU's shown in your video are almost identical to those trundling around London.



  5. We had a mini sort of blizzard on our first day of spring. About 1/2 inch of ice with about 2" of snow on top of it with 40 mph winds. Really bad conditions, but my Canadian Subaru got me around just fine.
    I followed a Suburban around a bit saturday morning with a driver that had no clue and was all over the road.
    It warmed up yesterday and I rode to work today (Monday).
    Plumbing parts can be ridiculously expensive.

  6. Richard:

    The first Skytrain line was completed in 1985, hard to believe

    we now have 3 lines spreading out in different directions


    I also had heated grips on my prev bike, Suzuki SV650nK4, but they had the Hi-Off-Low switch which wasn't very good. It was either too HOT or not warm enough. My Oxfords are too hot even at 40%. At 75% they are boiling. I think it makes a difference with hand guards which deflects the wind from your hands
    I have a spare set of heated gloves which I don't use


    Hey Gary, NO hex please. Twos are just fine


    As a Railway employee you must have travelled around the UK a fair bit, you lucky duck


    Sorry about the snow but don't send any here, the Winter Olympics are over and we don't need it anymore.
    I am thankful to have a good friend willing to help me, otherwise I would have a whopping plumber's bill too. If only I knew a good accountant . . . that doesn't throw important documentation into the dumpster

  7. Dear Bob Skoot:

    I am confused. You started out by claiming there was leak in the hot water line, and that it did not respond to switching off the valve under the sink. That would have put the leak between the heater and the first cut-off valve. But it looks like you replaced the faucets, the u-joint/pipe, both the hot and cold water feeds, and other stuff. Did your friend have a look and decide it was time to repair the whole lot?

    It would appear that heated gear on motorcycles can be tempramental. I've heard a lot of guys complaine about broken connectors, wires, and other things, especially with regard to handgrip heaters. I do not yet have these on the K75, and am thinking of going with heated gloves instead.

    The seat is heated on my bike, but I have yet to have occasion to switch it on.

    I admire your "common man" approach to transportation with your bold forray to ride home on a city bus. I have not taken a bus in 39 years. I carry a razor blade in my wallet, so I can cut my own throat if the eventuality ever arises.

    I do love the thrill of a train though, be it a city subway or an overnight run to Chicago. Your Skytrain stations look immaculate. I would love to ride the "RR" in New York City with you. We'd get on at Canal Street, where you can see the rats scurrying around on the tracks and where the fragrant smell of urine fills the air in a joyful celebration of humanity.

    Temperatures here hit the mid-70s on the first day of spring. To celebrate, "Fireballs" rolled out the garage with roar. I rode 228 miles to the Jersey Shore and back. Details later this week.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  8. "All the lights on the electronic controller were making all the right moves and the LED's had the right colours, but nothing."

    This situation,my friend, is not limited to heated grips. I'm sorry to say that a lot of people suffer from a lot of show but no go.

    You should have worn your helmet on the transit. Then quietly taken video of their reactions. Just tell them you had a bad experience on public transportation as a child.

  9. I'd like to try heated grips and hand guards. I don't know if I will be able to find any for my next bike, but I think that would be the combo that would work for me. I don't want to mess with heated gloves and wiring to unplug. It's good to hear how hot the heated grips can get.

  10. The more stuff you have, the more it breaks. had you nopt had heated grips you'd have been riding all day (with cold hands).

  11. I am with Irondad on wearing your helmet on the bus. Maybe told people you were the Canadian "Stig" and were racing the boys from Top Gear.

  12. Even if you wore your helmet on the bus, unlike the real Stig, people would know who you are - they would recognise you because of the pink crocs!

  13. Sorry about your heated grips. Heated stuff on the bike can be a pain... I prefer grips to gloves because they are always with the bike, but heated gloves are much warmer.

    Bob as Canadian Skig LOL! He'd have to get a tinted shield fist ;)