Saturday, April 4, 2015

Getting ready.

My regular readers are probably tired of me and every other rider in the northeast complaining about the lousy winter we’ve had and the late spring delaying that first ride of the season well into April. So I won’t complain any more. Besides, a recent scientific study comparing the level of vitriol spewed in the direction of the weather gods and the hoped-for results has proven they (the weather gods) don’t really give a damn what we think. So we suck it up.

It was –5C this morning as we enjoyed (!) a fresh inch or so of snow that fell overnight. My driveway is still covered in places with 4” of ice, and where the ice is gone the mud is equally deep and very, very slippery. In other words, perfect conditions to spend some time in the garage going over the bike from stem to stern. (Nautical terms, I know, but I don’t know the motorcycle equivalent.)

There is no shortage of checklists offered up by virtually every motorcycle mag and various bloggers providing a step-by-step process to ensure the safety of your ride when you do hit the road, so I won’t go through them here. Suffice to say Google is your friend.

But I did find a few things that, left unchecked, could have created problems, probably at the most inopportune time, as usual.

Tires. The new Dunlops I put on a couple of years ago have not worn well. Actually the rear is still okay, but the front is worn out after only 6,000 miles. I thought I might get a bit more out of it but looking at it today, nope, needs to be replaced. And why not? It’s the perfect storm. This spring I need to put new tires on the Escape, the Focus, the 4X4, and now the Dyna. Take a number. Get in line.

Discovered a few loose bolts here and there, including a saddle bag mount. Maybe that’s the rattle I was hearing at the end of last year’s riding season. Now it’s been found, and fixed.

My 12V to USB cable and connector arrived, so that needs to be installed which will happen tomorrow. Getting the wires properly routed will take some time but better that than having them melt against a hot pipe, or chafe through at a rough contact point. 

Other than those things, and the fact that it’s filthy dirty, everything looks good. No decent weather is expected any time soon, so next week I can go searching for tires so I’ll be ready to ride when Old Man Winter finally says “Enough!”.

14 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Karen - One of the benefits of having a heated garage.

      Delete
  2. Winter chores, what would we do without them.

    Next time try out Metzelers. I found them to have a much better grip than Dunlops.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sonja - Looking at the Metzler ME888s. Seem like they might be what I need. How are they in the rain?

      Delete
    2. After having had a lot of slippage with the Dunlops last year I have now opted for the ME880 Marathon, because they were recommended for exactly that purpose: riding in wet weather...

      Delete
    3. And, yes, the grip of the rubber is way better!

      Delete
  3. I still haven't figured out a good/easy place to mount my dual USB panel. I picked it up mostly to run the GoPro but it'll be useful to recharge things while on the road.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've tried sticking it on the side of the steering head with double-sided tape. I'll see how that works out, but I'll need to find something more permanent if the tape is a problem.

      Delete
  4. A good time of year to go over the bike. Let's hold old man winter gives up at some point soon so you can get back on two wheels.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trobairitz - Long range forecast is for good early riding in about a week. Let's hope the weather guessers are right.

      Delete
  5. I run Metzlers on my bike as does my hub, love them, good rubber, handles water well. Hopefully ole Man Winter will be kicked to the curb soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dar - It was a toss-up but I eventually decided to go with Michelin Commanders. It's always a bit of a chance as there are so many interrelated factors - bike, rider, riding style - that go into the 'perfect tire'. Once I get back on the road I'll know pretty quickly if I got it right or not.

      Delete

Please feel free to comment, but any comments with commercial links will be deleted. You have been warned.