Thursday, May 30, 2013

Following in ErikR's footsteps

A while ago Erik wrote about fixing his snow blower (link here).    You know how it is, you fix the snow blower and it stops snowing.  Well his trick nearly worked.   It seems to rain a lot in Vancouver, so you carry an umbrella and guess what ?   It doesn't rain.   You wear a heavy warm jacket and you are sweating but if you forget your jacket you will be cold

Most of the riding jackets I have, have the rain liner underneath so your jacket gets waterlogged and the liner under the jacket keeps the water away from your skin.  In the meantime your jacket now weighs 20 lbs and you have to dry it every night and if it is too wet then it will be uncomfortable the next day.  I just don't understand why this is the way.   I have an Olympia AST Hi Viz Orange Jacket which has a membrane built into the outer layer which acts as the rain barrier so the jacket does not get soaked but for some reason they leak in the elbow region

Anyway, I bought a JR: Joe Rocket alter ego ballistic 11.0 riding jacket last year which I wore to Oregon.  It changes into a full mesh jacket by removing fabric panels.   This year I will be riding through some hot places and my plan is to use the mesh feature but it seems silly to have the rain layer underneath so I decided to purchase a rain jacket which you wear "on top" of your jacket.   This is a motorcycle specific rain jacket which is more than nylon.  It is made of high tech stuff which breathes like gortex, and it also folds into its own pocket

I flip the pocket inside out to let the jacket "fall out".   Most low end jackets are all black, this one is sort of Hi Viz Yellow and has reflector tape integrated into its design

In hot weather I usually wear my shorts under my riding pants which are Tourmaster Flex and also turns into full mesh with removeable panels

When it is hot I wear a muscle type shirt under my riding jacket

and now I am wearing the rain jacket OVER my riding jacket.  If I do it this way then my jacket will keep dry and not be waterlogged anymore.  Since I plan to ride during the heat of summer, being July and August it is my plan to not bring the factory rain liner, nor the vest.   I will bring a thin summer jacket instead

I am not used to wearing a jacket over a jacket

I am also not used to modeling but I wanted to show you the rear

and the front view.  It has pockets on the front and a nice tight collar to keep the rain out

I think I like it.   What do you think ?  Of course I don't have any plans to test it out.   I bought it because I know that if I have a rain jacket, then it won't rain, right ?

I already had rain pants so I put them on to show you the whole outfit.   Yes Richard, I know that the tags are still attached.

it was getting warm under all that rain gear so I had to get that jacket folded back into its own pocket

and here it is, folded and ready for use .   It's one of those things you buy and hope to never use, at least that's what I'm thinking . . .

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My twin cylinder Boxer engine needs Four

I was trying to get comfortable riding my Nu2me Beemer so last week I used it to commute to work

I'm still trying to get used to the German way of using the signal lights but it seems not as hard as it was before.   The clutch is hydraulic and engages with the lever farther out than I am used to and the brakes are 4 times better than my Vstrom.   The engine requires premium fuel due to the higher compression ratio and you can feel the power when you accelerate.

On my way home I went over a speed bump and it felt as if my tire squished out and nearly hit the rim, due to the low profile Michelin Pilot Road 2.  On my Vstrom I would accelerate over speed bumps and the suspension would just absorb it, but now on my Beemer I have to be more careful and slow down a bit.  I seem to feel every bump & ripple on the uneven roadway.   I guess I prefer my Vstrom on these rough, badly maintained roads we have in Vancouver.

Both bikes are insured right now but for the first while I would always choose my Vstrom over my R.  I guess I am more familiar with riding it, after all it has taken me many places since I purchased it in 2009.

I was just thinking the other day that I would trust my Vstrom to take me anywhere in North America on a moment's notice.   I could leave today if I had the time and funds.  It is ready to roll,  then why I ask myself did I buy a pre-owned R without maintenance records.   I have already spent a fortune getting this and that done, spline lube, diff oil change, transmission flush,  engine oil and filter change, new tires and I still have a new battery on back order.   I had to buy a new rack so I could buy a top box.

I decided to go to a different dealer on my way home to buy some spark plugs.  I was not sure that I needed them but I think the ones I have are the originals and I didn't wish to undertake a long trip without replacing  them.  Who would have thought that they would be as expensive as they are.  I even checked ebay, but I decided to just pay the premium for being a Canadian

I am replacing everything that I can think of so that I don't have to worry about it when I am in unfamiliar territory, far from home.  I can handle an oil change if I had to do it myself.   I also wanted to install new brake pads front and rear but upon inspection, they look like they are new

Yes, my plugs cost a fortune up here and remember that this price already includes a 10% discount.  My R1200R uses two plugs per cylinder and are of the 2 electrode design

I tried to find them elsewhere for less, but no one carries these, except the BMW dealer.   With these new plugs installed I don't feel any difference in operation.  The bike appears to react the same but perhaps they will burn a bit cleaner and give me more mileage due to better burning but it makes me feel good that I have one less thing to worry about

Oh Oh,  my "R" is a chick magnet but that's another story for another day . . .

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Manual Rotating GoProHD Hero1

When I first got my GoProHD Hero1 I have always wanted move it around so that I could shoot on either the left or right sides, and also to the rear when I have someone riding behind me.  Most bike videos are shot looking straight ahead which becomes a bit boring after a while

I am leaving on a trip soon and I wanted to get my mount ready and also mount my Spot2 to my handlebars using RAM mounts.  I am also powering my Garmin Nuvi GPS using a USB power cable.

I am using a combination of RAM mounts to get the Hero1 away from the windshield so it hangs out into the wind as if it is floating over the road

I have the large tripod mount which is attached to a tripod head.   Most ball mounts only have ONE knob so you cannot rotate it.   I went looking around for one with TWO knobs but they are very expensive or only come attached to tripods and not sold separately.   I have exhausted all the local photo shops but then I remembered that I have just such a head which I do not use because it has the stupid Arca Swiss removeable quick release.  If you own one you will know what I mean

Here is my conglomeration of parts.   A U-mount to the handlebar then a short extension connected by a double 1" ball and then a normal extension.  I do not want to shoot video looking through the windshield, so this allows my Hero1 to peak out to the side, or over the top

I recorded my first test video last week

and last week commuting home from work, I decided to take the freeway home on my BMW  R1200R

Since I am going to be using my small 11.6" Acer i3 Laptop for my trip I decided post this entry with it.  The keyboard is a little cramped as I am a touch typist but I have to get used to it as it has to be my friend for a few weeks and I want to be able to post daily as long as I have WiFi

I also edited and rendered the following video using this small laptop.  I have an old version of Premier Elements installed and I wanted to see how it handled the large files.

Here is the 2nd test video

On Saturday I headed down to Gastown where I snapped this photo of Nu2Me

Mrs Skoot has been house bound for a couple of weeks now so on Sunday we decided to take a short drive so she could see what was outside of our 4 walls.

As you notice I transition into Spring mode quite easily

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Reflector tape & decals

Last week was a relaxing 3 day Holiday weekend to celebrate Queen Victoria's Birthday.  Since Mrs Skoot is out of commission and house bound I decided to just stay home after making breakfast of eggs, bacon and  oatmeal.  I mean it wouldn't be fair to just gallivant around the countryside and enjoy myself while she had no choice but to stay home, would it ?

So I brought out my package of Canadian decals and relector tape to make my bike more visible at night.  Last year I attached some reflector tape to my OEM sidecases but when I installed my new bracket and topcase I never got around to it

I am following the pattern of my Vstrom, on the left.   I am of the opinion that if I found myself riding at night and a car came up fast from behind whilst on the highway, that I would be more visible.   I have tried all colours and I find that the white reflector tape is better than the red ones

I also have a package of Canadian decals

I like the smaller decals and was surveying where to place them

Here's a rear view of the reflector tape and a couple of strategically placed Canadian ones

It was strenuous work and took a lot of brain power to place these into their exact positions.  It tired my brain and

I had to take a much needed rest

Monday, May 20, 2013

Service completed & some slight adjustments

It turns out that my dry Final Drive spline appears Okay.  There are no metal shavings and the splines look to be in good shape, only a trace of white grease in there from the factory

I was reading some BMW forums and the best stuff to use is Honda 60 moly which I had to special order from my local Honda dealer and it had to be shipped in from Calgary.  As Richard mentioned, there is not much flexing on my R1200R.   Originally the factory made mention that this did not have to be lubricated for the life of the bike, but due to drive line failures on their GS models they revised their recommendation to lube the splines every 2 years or 40K kilometers.  So for now I should be okay for a while

I was also going to replace the 4 plugs (2 per cylinder) but my R uses the 2 electrode model and I have to get them from the BMW dealership.  Then I was going to have new brake pads; front and rear installed

I had them order them in last month so that they would be "on hand" but it seems that they must have sold the rear set.  Upon closer inspection my brakes are both nearly new and it was their opinion they should last for my trip this year.

so the plugs were removed but then re-installed.

The exhaust is re-attached and my bike is bolted back together so I can head on my way.   I ordered a new battery which should come in next week.   I am trying to replace anything that needs replacing so that I don't have to worry about these things whilst "on the road".   Except for oil/filter changes I should be okay

I now prepare to leave and head home.  I still have to do some grocery shopping as Mrs Skoot has requested what she wants for dinner tonight.   I decide to park my R1200R and head out on my

Vstrom.   I am still not used to riding my R and I am a bit unfamiliar with the querky signal light system.   I mean why can't they use one button on the left like everyone else.   Sometimes I just don't bother to change lanes because my right hand has difficulty pushing the "signal off" button while turning the throttle at the same time.  I must have small hands

Here I am riding my Vstrom home with  groceries in my topcase.  

I am getting my R ready for my trip this summer and I purchased a special Garmin power cable.

The cable on the right is the standard cigarette lighter power cable with the mini USB on the other end to power my older model Garmin.   A standard USB cable will not work as then it goes into USB mode and will not charge nor power the Garmin GPS unit.    The cable on the left is the special cable which is powered by a standard USB plug

It is made by 3br powersports, and here I am holding my dual USB adapter

I wired a cigarette lighter socket onto my handlebar to power my Garmin but the supplied adapter cable is very large.   This is where I plug in my USB adapter.  I have two outputs; one for my Garmin and the other can be used to charge my Sena BT headset when I am parked for lunch.  I am trying to switch over to USB power cables whenever possible

I plug in my USB cable and now my Garmin is being powered by USB instead of their clumsy large 12v to 5v adapter

I also received a shipment of parts from so I wanted to mount my Spot2 GPS messenger

Another thing that has been bothering me is the large amount of buffeting I get from my Cee Bailey windshield.  So I get out my tool kit and remove the windshield

Most, if not all fasteners on my BMW are Torx bits of various sizes so I bought a set to carry with me

The R1200R is a naked bike.  Here it is devoid of windscreen.  It is held on by a bracket on the front, and two torx screws at the rear

I thought that if I could put some shims under this bracket that it would force the windshield to rake backwards a few degrees and let some airflow come under the windscreen from the front.   I only had 4 washers and I think I may need a few more and perhaps a longer screw.  I still think the windshield is too vertical and creates wind being aimed directly into my helmet and this creates a lot of noise

Here the front bracket is back in place and you notice where the windshield bracket goes into that U-shaped part.  That is all that is holding the leading part of the windshield frame

I get a bit antsy when there are chores to be done and my grass waits for no one.   It is actually too high for my mower and it struggles,

 but I eventually got it done

Sunday, May 19, 2013

I think we caught it in time

I was looking forward to today.  It is the start of a 3 day holiday weekend up here.  The weather wasn't great but I decided to roll out my Vstrom

For many years I have been going over to Victoria for the scooter rally and last year we met up with DAR who was an excellent group leader.  It was my plan to go again this year until, Mrs Skoot had her operation and I have to stay home with my household duties.   I wanted to test out my camping equipment before my trip.    I usually meet the guys on Saturday morning for breakfast but not today.

I stayed home and made breakfast for Mrs Skoot before heading out to do my errands.

It started to sprinkle but I was only headed to see my insurance agent so I could get my Beemer insured for the summer

My plan was to bring my BMW to get some maintenance items completed which were not done last year.  Here I am riding home in heavy traffic

Last September when I purchased my new to me R1200R, I asked the Previous owner for "THE FILE".   You know, the BMW maintenance file.  I know that I keep a file for each of my vehicles and all of my repair & parts invoices are kept there for future reference.   Anyway he said that he didn't have one.    This is why the first thing I did was to have an Oil/Filter change.   I was going to get new tires in the Spring, (and delay the expense) but they were so bad with the chicken strips nearly worn to the threads and the sides were nearly new, that I had no choice but to buy my tires immediately.  I settled for the Michelin Pilot Road 2's.  They are still nearly new with less than 100 kms on them.   I didn't ride my Beemer that much and I thought that I had taken care of everything

I park my Vstrom on the street in front and then I roll my Beemer out to the rear laneway.  This is the first time I had ridden it this year.   It feels so different, like a sports car whereas my Vstrom feels like a Jeep, a top heavy Jeep

I forget something so I roll around to the front and take a few photos of both bikes

How stupid could I be ?   Last year my intention was to do all the service on my BMW so I could start fresh and know what had been done.   Without the "File" I have to presume that nothing was done.   Now I have always had WET clutches and when you do an oil change, that's all you have to do.   During the Winter I had lots of time to read the various Beemer forums and then it struck me that I had a DRY clutch.  This means that I need to do a transmission flush, then there was the problem with the rear drive/differential and the splines on the drive shaft.  Then there was the ABS failures so last year I did a brake fluid flush

I arrive at my Mechanic's and he knows that I am going to observe and watch him change these fluids.  I asked ahead of time if I could do this so I change into more comfortable Crocs© .   I have already purchased all the crush washers, O-rings, special oils and Honda moly 60 and bring them with me

Here's another photo of that female sassy mechanic making faces again.   I feel right at home here, just like one of the gang

My bike gets loaded onto the lift and soon enough the rear tire is off, the exhaust is dismantled, the speed sensor is removed and the rear calipers are unhinged

The transmission fluid is drained and here's TED  refilling with new oil

The rear diff takes 180 ml and the transmission takes approx 800 ml before it reaches the top level and starts to seep out.   All input and output plugs have O-rings and these are all replaced.  The old ones feel very brittle as they are probably original and never changed before

This is where you fill the 180 ml into the differential, at about the 10 o'clock position behind the rotor.  O-rings here to including the drain plug below (out of sight)

A new happy customer.   This is Arthur the proud owner of a Triumph Street Triple with tires just installed.  This is the first time he has had his bike serviced here, and I know he will be back

There is a beverage fridge in the customer area which accepts "donations" .  I was getting a bit thirsty so I wanted a soda; coke or something like that, but it was full of something else

I wanted to drink something non-alcoholic so I had to wait

Now comes the moment of reckoning . . .   we break open the driveline to SEE . . .

DRY SPLINES . . .  boy was I disappointed and angry at the previous owner.    It looks like nothing has been done since new

and all my mechanic TED can do is to make faces and laugh . . .   This is no laughing matter

. . .  to be continued