Saturday, March 24, 2007

Weekend Wrenching

Today I set about doing the annual service on the bike. I had previously picked up the fluid for the final drive and the trans. DOH! I realized already I forgot to get engine oil. I thought I had some around, guess not. So I took it out for a brief drive around the block just to warm it up. Then I set about changing the tranny fluid. DOH! The drain plug for the trans is a 14mm hex cap and the largest I have is 12mm. I guess I can’t do that today. So I decided to go ahead and do the final drive. I did have the annual service done last year at 1000 or so miles. The bike now has 4911. So I drained the final drive and the fluid was very clean. Now I am wondering if I should even bother with the transmission fluid. I guess I will go ahead and do it tomorrow once I get the proper hex cap bolt.

I also decided to remove the rear tire and install the carbon hugger I got over the winter from MLS on eBay.

The hugger mounts where the factor shock guard goes using the factory hardware. I decided to use two washers on the bolts when installing it.

The mounting holes

I am a little disappointed. I would have to say its more of a splash shield than a hugger. Over all its got a nice finish and I guess that’s what you get for $59 USD. I guess you get what you pay for.

The left side installed

Right side

I also installed my Rick Mayer seat I had made back in November. I got the basket weave vinyl finish. I am pretty happy with how it game out. It looks great, it doesn’t pitch you forward like the old one, and in the 5 miles I rode it seems pretty comfortable.

one more view of the seat

I decided not to change the brake fluid today also because I am going to be installing stainless steel brake lines and I haven't received the rear one yet. So I will just wait and do it all at once.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

First Post

I have decided to keep a log of my motorcycle travels this year rather than sending everyone a separate link to pictures and telling the story in an email. I will also chronicle various upgrades or services I perform on my motorcycle throughout the year.

Winter still has a pretty good grip here in Upstate NY, so it will be at least one month before my adventures commence. Within the next week I plan to perform the annual service changing of all bike fluids before taking any trips.

I recently purchased a Big Agnes Summit Park Sleeping Bag and matching Air Core sleeping pad. I opened up the sleeping bag and it is giant. I took out the sleeping pad and must admit since it is not self-inflating it is a little bit of a bummer, and it took me 5-10 minutes to blow it up completely. People have recommended blowing it up all the way then letting a little air out, but I think I prefer it full. The pad was comfortable and I laid on it for 5 minutes on my side to see if I would get sore, and I didn't. The pad slides down into the back of the sleeping bag and becomes the bottom. The bag appears high quality; the zipper is nice and a draft collar runs along its edge. The bag is so roomy I can lie on my stomach and stretch out my arms, or lie on my side and roll around. There is plenty of room for my feet to move, too. I may have to wear warm socks so I don't get cold feet even though there is extra insulation in the foot area. It has an internal pocket up by the head where I can stuff a jacket or other item to use as a pillow. The hood on it is nice and draw string can be pulled even with the bag zipped up completely. My first impression of the bag and pad is very high and I am glad I got it. I will update the review further when I get a chance to camp with it in April, and I will provide pics.