Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 2011

We have a grey market dealer in our area who specialize in selling bikes not originally imported into Canada. They also have unusual bikes for sale. They were originally located in Squamish but moved to Vancouver during the past couple of years and I had not been to their new location


If you were looking for an all weather scooter, then you have come to the right place

(complete with trunk and windshield wiper)

There are two rear wheels and the cab leans into the corners with you

They also import AIR BAG protective riding gear


There is a tether which attaches to your bike. If for some reason you become "detached", the air bags automatically inflate various air chambers as a protective barrier

(your choice of vest or jackets)

I haven't been able to ride for the past couple of weeks as I re-injured my left foot. It was actually a struggle even attempting to walk . I originally had a mishap many years ago while working on my car, which damaged my left tendon. I have stressed it many times over the years and recently stressed it again. I did see my doctor as I was afraid that I may have required orthotics . Luckily I just need to not walk so much and take anti-inflamatory medication.


On Saturday it was a beautiful sunny day and with my errands done I decided to give it a try. I suited up and headed south towards the highway. It was a struggle working the gear shift lever due to my boots being not so flexible so I thought I would check out some other styles that would make it easier to walk in


Imagine my surprise to see nearly every Triumph model on display. I wanted so much to throw my leg over a couple of these machines but with my foot not yet back to normal, I resisted.


All I could do was touch and look. Then I wandered over to the BMW side. There's nothing wrong with just looking

I really liked this white Street Triple


It has an unusual headlight system


It was nice to get out on my bike again and experience the freedom of the road. I only did a short loop south to Richmond, then East to New Westminster taking a mixture of highway and urban roads. I didn't want to exercise my foot too much as it is more difficult to "lift" the lever. Clicking down is Okay. I didn't stop for any photos preferring to just watch the telephone poles blurr by .

Every year the Vintage Car Club of Canada puts on their Easter Parade with a display of classic cars


This classic Bugatti caught my eye. It is such a beautiful car


It is probably worth over a $1M , or how about an old Aston-Martin ?


Probably during James Bond's grandfather's time


the fenders move with the wheels


it was a pleasure to see these old machines moving under their own power


sometimes I think it would have been great to have been a teenager during the turn of the century and experiment with the possibilities of transporation that were being developed.

We were fortunate to be able to celebrate our Easter with family and enjoy a beautiful sunset


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Vintage M/C show & swap meet


more info from their website HERE

It was a beautiful sunny Sunday morning. I was all prepped up for the bike show to see all the classic bikes. It was early and Mrs Skoots says,

MS "What do you want to do today ?"

Me: "I'd like to go to the Motorcyle Swap meet"

MS: "NO you don't, your foot isn't well enough yet. We'll gather some stuff, sit in the sun somewhere and have a picnic"

You see, I've been struggling for the past week barely able to walk, hobbling around with my walking stick. So in SULK MODE I put on my shoes and went for a crawl around the neighbourhood all the while looking at the clock watching the minutes, then hours tick away. Soon it was going to be too late. My plan was to have breakfast "on the fly" then get there late morning. It was now around noon, and when I arrive home after my jaunt around the block it was time for a quick home-made breakfast of bacon & eggs and oatmeal.

With every bite I was looking at the clock again and counting the revolutions of the second's hand. All the while there was clunking and clanging as Mrs Skoot was getting out the plastic picnic set, boiling water for the thermos and dusting off the insulated bag. She asked where we should go to enjoy the sunny day. It was now after 1pm and it would still take at least a half an hour to get there (to the M/C show).


We were nearly at the point of no return, meaning it would be too late to even consider going. Then out of the blue, she asks . . . If you really want to go then Okay "we'll go" . With a glint in my eye, I gathered my camera and walking stick and hobbled out to the car. All along the way as we were heading south on the highway, many bikes were coming back to town in the opposite direction .

Some solo riders and many separate groups all returning to the city from Tsawwassen. You can't mistake the deep growl of their exhausts.

(Honda: 350 Four)

Eventually we arrived. The parking lot was thinned out quite a bit but there were still some bikes there

(Honda S90 custom)

Many riders bring their vintage bikes to put on display and show them off. I like to see all the older stuff and also what is for sale


IMG_4077 (Italian something, Mr Conchscooter should know)


(Triumph, with sidecar)

(Italian: Harley ?)

Parked all by itself out in the grass field was this neat 3 wheeled machine


There are two jugs sticking out the front, similar to an "R" type BMW engine


it would have been nice to have the engine panels opened, but the owner was nowhere to be seen. It appeared to be a front wheel drive with one wheel in the rear


it looks like a neat 2 seater roadster


There were a lot of bikes out there today

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

ABCD: will YOU take Part ?

Here's a challenge from Gary France

Gary France ABCD

Maybe you would like to join in with this.....

A Bloggers Centerline Day, or ABCD, will take place on Sunday 1st May 2011.

The plan is to inspire as many bloggers as possible to go outside and take a photograph of themselves on this day, wherever they are in the world. The photo can be creative, arty, contain more than one person, be in any type of location and can contain anything else you like. It must however contain the centerline of a road and at least part of you, the blogger.

There are 5 rules....

Rule 1 - the picture must be taken on 1st May 2011.

Rule 2 - the picture must be of yourself, and you must be a person that publishes a blog. You can include whatever else you like in the picture, including other people if you wish.

Rule 3 - the picture must include the centerline of a road.

Rule 4 – you should publish the picture on your blog on 1st May 2011, along with a few words about the picture and why you chose that location or pose.

Rule 5 - when you have posted the picture on your own blog, put a comment on and include in that comment the address of your own blog post containing your own picture.

Gary France will then pick his favourite photos and publish these as being the winners. There will be a prize of $100 awarded to the overall single winner, as chosen by Gary.

In order to get this event known as widely as possible, please copy and paste this posting onto your own blog, including the title. Please do that today!

As a reminder to yourself to take the photo and post it, put an entry into your diary for 1st May 2011.

Let’s see if we can get as any people to join in as possible.


Sounds easy enough

Grab a tripod, calculate where you are going to sit, aim your camera in the appropriate direction, set the self timer or remote control and sit there in the middle of the road waiting for the traffic to stop around you waiting for the camera to fire.


Just to let you know how proficient I am at a simple task such as changing a burnt out light bulb. The other day I noticed Mrs Skoot returning home and backing the WRX Subaru into the carport and the left, rear brake light was not lit. Well you never know what type of bulb is in there. There was a time where all double filament bulbs were 3057 type with double offset bayonnet which had to be installed in the right orientation. I thought it would be a good idea to remove the bulb and find out what the part number was so I could get a replacement.

Well, firstly on the Subaru there are two plastic type clickable rivets to remove to get the cover panel removed. These have an expanding centre where you lift the centre post out a bit to unmount the rivet. Upon assembly you click the centre which is like an expanding cam to spread the plastic at the bottom which holds it in.

2nd step is to get out the socket set to remove the threaded metric bolts which fasten the plastic lens assembly to the body. 10mm, extension, and 1/4" drive needed to remove the two bolts. Now there are no other bolts to remove and the lens is still attached on the left side, somehow. I didn't want to "force" the unit for fear of breaking a plastic tab. On the Subaru forum they say to just gently PULL and it will be freed of the rubber grommet. Luckily I didn't do this as I found that this grommet needed to be "pushed" farther left to clear the body. There was an expandable plastic tab which locked it in place through a rubber body grommet. I then got some grease to smear on this rubber piece to make it easier to remove the next time.

finally the plastic lens assembly was removed and an 1/8 turn to remove the bulb socket and found that the bulb was a glass bayonet type with NO visible Number. Sure enough it was a double filament (running light + brake light), and one filament was burnt out.

I then re-assembled everything but now I know what the bulb looked like. The complete operation took around 5-8 minutes. Everything is now back together but still the brake light was burnt out.

How easy it is to find information by using the internet to find the bulb number. All the google searches gave results pertaining to complete brake light assemblies for different models but none gave the bulb number. Eventually after about a half an hour I found the number was 7443 .

Now I was off on my V-strom to the large car parts distributor to find "the Bulb". There was a place for the bulbs on the wall, there was a place for these 7443's but both rows were SOLD OUT.

I then went to Canadian Tire to find that all theirs were sold out too.

In desperation I decided to go to the Subaru dealer and get the bulb. I left them to last as I didn't wish to pay their inflated price. I got there, parked my bike and noticed it didn't seem very busy, for some reason. The windows were darker than normal and when I got to the door there was a sign which stated that they were closed on Saturdays . With luck I managed to get a new "friend" to get these bulbs from the village of Steveston.

That evening when Mrs Skoot comes home I am ready to finally install this rear brake light bulb. It was slightly raining but I thought I could endure a little wetness to do this simple 5 minute job.

Off comes the plastic rivets and the cover. Socket set in hand I remove the two 10mm flat head bolts and push the lens assembly to the left to POP out the plastic retainer. In about 1 minute I have the bulb out and the new one snapped in. I am now smirking to myself that so far this is going very smoothly. Mrs Skoot is going to think that I am now a master mechanic.

I go to thread the first of the two bolts and it slips out of the socket and falls between the body and bumper. I look all over the ground hoping it fell out, but NO, it is somewhere inside the bumper assembly. I get my magnetic tool out and try to fish it out. Now I have spend over 10 minutes crawling all over the dirty ground and trying to squeeze my hand between the bumper "feeling" for the bolt, which I never found. I install the 2nd bolt just to hold the assembly in place, but I have botched the job and I need another bolt.

I can't sleep all night trying to figure out where I am going to get this bolt. I assume that it is metric, perhaps M6, maybe even M5 x about 25mm long. I visit my friend Gary, my scooter mechanic for I know he has a whole drawer full of metric bolts of varying sizes. On Sunday I go and meet up with Gary and he tells me he only carries M6 bolts and nothing smaller. The M6 bolt is too large in diameter. I ask him if he has an M5, he says NO. We look around in in junk box and he finds a smaller diameter one which seems to fit but smaller 8mm hex head, instead of the factory 10mm hex which came with the car.

At least everything is bolted back the best I can do, and the brake lights are now all working.

So this 5 minute job has taken me around 2 or more hours (to get the bulb) and has involved 2 people and now to remove the plastic lens assembly you will now need 2 different sockets to remove (10mm & 8mm), and I am not finished yet. I still need to find the correct 10mm hex head bolt to put the car back to OEM specs.

Mrs Skoot was right, take it to the mechanic next time.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

April musings

Other than commuting to work not much is happening on the adventure front. This year I am getting a head start on getting my bike ready for multi-day travel. The first thing I purchased was my GiPro Gear Indicator . It's not like I don't know how to change gears BUT I often gear up around town and find my speed creeping up. Now I just keep it in 4th or below.



that it's a nice day and this rider is minding their own business keeping with the flow of traffic without regard to peering at the actual speed. This rider sees a mini-van coming up fast and slaloming back and forth to get ahead of other traffic. Now this rider can't stand the sight of this aggressive driver and also slaloms back and forth to keep ahead, shifting gears along the way with ever increasing speed. Finally there is a backlog of traffic and this rider checks their left mirror and slaloms to the left lane, just as . . . a traffic, motorcycle riding enforcement officer, riding a police issue Harley Davidson happens to look at this particular rider "In the eyes" and immediately turns on this flashers and is in U-turn mode.

Except for the fact that the traffic was very heavy in this officer's direction and he was unable to make a hasty U-turn due to the cement median which separates the opposing lanes. The hesitation in making the U-turn allowed this particular rider to make a quick right turn into a residential area and zig-zag post haste out of the area taking quick evasive action into lanes, parking lots and backtracking until the coast was clear enough to continue onto this rider's original destination and also to avoid this particular area for a few weeks. It is just mere co-incidence that this particular rider was wearing riding attire similar to mine with a black adventure bike to match.

(the engine was idling . . . just in case)

Lately I have been experimenting with adhering to the speed limit and I find that I am the slowest vehicle on the road. Everyone is in a rush to nowhere and I usually catch up at the next signal light anyway.

(V-strom without saddle bags)

The other morning I was running late for my commute to work and I forgot to connect my side cases. I felt nude without them. It's sort of the same feeling as forgetting your wallet, only worse. We have a two car carport and my bike is very wide with both cases on. If I am the last one home I have to detach the cases to squeeze between two cars to get to the carport in the rear. I feel safer with a larger footprint, thus I ride all the time with the sidecases . It also gives me more storage options if I want to buy anything on the way home. Each case can hold my 3/4 helmet

(Fully farkled Kawasaki Versys)

The other day after work I rode my bike over to 2nd Gear, whom recently moved to a larger location. They sell used bikes and other accessories. I was looking for a larger magnetic tank bag. They are a Twisted Throttle distributer and this was where I ordered my Madstat windshield bracket. I also wanted to install highway pegs but it seems that there is nothing that can be used with my GIVI crashbars. I was thinking of changing over to Mototech but I will see if I can get one custom made first.


They have a very nice selection of pre-owned bikes. I could fancy myself on the Ducati, or . . .


this very nice Honda VFR 800 which had been meticulously cared for by a Doctor. Comes complete with factory side cases and ready for touring . (Psst: SonjaM, there is also a cheap Vespa GT200 here for a very good price)

In British Columbia we have Government mandatory insurance. We are able to purchase excess coverage from private insurers so I require two policies. One for basic through ICBC: Insurance Corporation of BC, and my excess through Beacon for specific motorcycle coverage, thus I had to renew my excess coverage. Of course we only do this for the tremendous savings as they only insure better than average risks.

I went down to see my insurance agent Paul, who is also a Concours rider and found a suitable space to park my bike. My left foot has flared up again and I am hobbling around, barely able to walk. I think I aggravated it by wearing my ill fitting motorcycle boots as that's all I can think of. It was murder trying to push the clutch on my commuter car so riding the bike was easier and less painful. I am going to have to find another pair of boots with a lower profile and perhaps one increment wider.


Last week I rode past these cement pipes and thought it would be neat to pose my V-strom, but looking at the results it doesn't seem like a good idea


The light was better last week. Today it is cloudy, overcast and more dreary looking

A couple of weeks ago I met someone who was restoring a Honda CB350. He had ordered some tires on the internet and was having them installed on his classic spoked rims. I remembered that I had a virtually, brand new, unused Clymer's repair manual on my shelf which I offered to give to him. I have had this manual for nearly 30 years and I am glad it is going to a good home. It was the third printing 1979 . I told him I wanted to hand it to him personally so we met at EMS and I thought the red bench accessorized with the red Yamaha


It also came with a tachometer


I'm not a mechanic but I was thinking that one day, when I retire I should find a project to work on to keep occupied. Either that or an Airhead as I will have more time than money


Friend:(at breakfast last week) "How's your new TV working ? "

Me: "Still sitting in my hallway since Christmas (Dec 26th)"

F: "You mean no one has come to take away your old TV ? "

Me: "Nope"

F: "Okay, I'll come on Monday after work with my Son"


So after nearly 3-1/2" months my old TV got taken away and I don't have to trip over it anymore in the hallway. I managed to drag the new box over to the old TV stand


and a short time later we plugged it in and now we get to see moving pictures . The picture isn't as bad as we thought. It is a 1080p resolution but we do not yet have HD service installed. There are a few choices before we decide upon a provider or whether we go satellite. So for now we are viewing it as standard definition. We would not have purchased this new TV but for the fact that our old Toshiba going on the Fritz with the picture often blacking out with "no picture".


This model can be connected to the internet either wired, or wirelessly via the optional dongle, without a computer


Gas Report:


equals: $5.136 per US Gallon (3.785 litres/us gal)


I'll end with a photo from False Creek showing the retractable roof of our stadium being installed


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Attempted ride, farkle & weaving

Whilst having breakfast with the guys, my phone rang. It was Mark and they had unplanned a quick spontaneous ride to Squamish for lunch. Now I wasn't prepared as whenever I go on the highway I have to have my GoProHD videocam with me, and I was also dSLR challenged, which means I have to go home to gather my photographic equipment. I also arranged to meet someone from Craigslist for purchase of another M42 Super Takumar manual focus lens to add to my growing collection so as it looked at the time I was going to be very late to the checkpoint. I told Mark and his companions, Tony & Jeff to look for me heading North as they were heading South, just in case.

(Metal sculpture, False Creek, Olympic Athlete's Village, Vancouver, BC)

I wandered about False Creek snapping photos while waiting for the seller to arrive. Then I went home to gather my "stuff" and headed towards Hwy 99. Traffic was very heavy through town and I eventually headed north towards the Sea-to-Sky highway. All the while I was fiddling with my GPS and looking at the clock in my instrument cluster (Standard equipment on the Suzuki V-strom) . I was over an hour and a half behind so I decided to abort my ride and head down to the North Vancouver waterfront for a photo of my bike with the Vancouver skyline in the background Tried as I did I found the light very backlit and I could not come up with a suitable photo straight out of the camera as the skyline was "blown-out" and when I EC +1 it was really "blown-out" . I even tried fill flash but it didn't help much. I eventually had to resort to HDR +/- 1 , fiddled around with colour temperature, and slight curve adj and this is it

(Mighty V-strom DL650, Vancouver in the background)

I was heading back to town riding along the waterfront and decided to stop for some train porn for my buddy in West Chester, PA . I ride past the railyards all the time but this is the first time I have stopped for a photo .


About a year ago I puchased my GoProHD videocam and they announced that they would have an accessory LCD screen available "soon". I placed my order with GPScity and patiently waited, and waited, and waited. A year had gone by and suddenly the screens are now available.


I wasn't sure if I really needed one but then decided it would be worth it if only to review your video 'footage' whilst "on the road" . I had a minor problem uploading and installing the software update but eventually it worked


The box contains the LCD SCREEN, and all the waterproof and non-waterproof doors. I can now use it just like a regular camcorder.

(Here it is in Action, ready to record)

Now that I have the LCD BacPac screen, I also decided to use the GoProHD more and purchased the FAT GECKO HD suction mount on my car windshield. It also gives me more virsatile mounting options on the V-strom as it can stick to the bodywork, and also to the windscreen


NOTE: the following comments are conjecture based upon rumours and other comments from other riders where facts are not confirmed and the police investigators are still sifting through the physical evidence and to yet form a definite conclusion as to what actually happened. Read for yourself and form your own conclusions from the photos and the person who was on scene

On a serious note, there was a fatal motorcycle accident last week where a new rider, 27 years old was involved in a fatal accident where speed was most likely the determinating factor. Speeding on an urban road where the speed limit was 80 kmh and was reduced to 60, then 50 kmh as it approached a residential area. The intersection was just after a blind curve where parked cars blocked the view of the vehicle attempting to make a left turn in front of the rider. The rider took m/c training and passed in February, 2011 and was riding a Yamaha R6 sportbike.

It has created some discussion within our biking community and started further comments here

within these discussions a poster made reference to a video about "weaving" to help differentiate yourself from the background, where you blend in and make yourself invisible. It was produced by an advanced motorcycle instructor in the UK. I have heard mention about this before and it sounds like a good idea