Sunday, May 24, 2009

Lazy Saturday......

I got to go shake my brain out a bit today. While pulling the old Russian out of mothballs, I discovered that the starter relay is still kind of dodgy. I think I will replace it and clean all connections between the battery and the starter. That should give me a better feel for it. That being said, rainy days are the best days for bike-workin-on. Saturday was nice in the morning, so there was riding.

Since the weather was kind of nasty all directions from Austin, I decided to just run around the back roads. My initial plan was to make a lap around the lake. That was when muscle memory took over and I just let the bike go where it felt like going. I took our old loop down around dripping springs and wimbery. I ended up in San Marcos. Since I was there, I decided to get pizza at my old college hangout. Valentino's Pizza is still the worst pizza around, but it is nostalgia. What the hell. After some Pizza, I went over to the Humidor to hang out and have a cigar. Rob got in a couple boxes of the Auturo Fuente Reverves so I picked up a few. After that I went out to Mikey's shop and hung out for a while. I needed to drop some stuff off with him, and I happened to be in the area. While I was there, I picked up a set of anti-dive springs for Kel's bike too. The trip back was where things got interesting. I made it almost 5 miles back before the flying midget with a firehose found me. Little bastard followed me all the way home. This was the first time I have had the R90 out in heavy rain, so I am at least glad I know how it is going to handle now. I also learned that those new brakes are really good. In the wet, I get a lot better feel out of them so I don't have to guess where lockup is. After this little ride I think those brakes are the best money I have thrown at the bike.

One thing I do want to find out is who left the cage open.....all of the idiots got out and they were on the road. I had my rainsuit on, the one that is all reflective, and all of the reflective stickers on my bike. Reflective materials only work if the other vehicles have their lights turned on. I saw more cars running in driving rain with their wipers on high and their headlights turned off. No scares, no close calls....just a front row seat for the parade of stupidity. I know there are sobriety checkpoints, there are discussions of insurance checkpoints, I have even heard rumors that there might be insurance checkpoints in the future. When are there going to be roadside IQ tests. I am sorry sir, you are too stupid to be allowed to live....pop...pop...

Oh well, off to work on the russian. Have fun.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

More upgrades on the R90

I did the final upgrade on the R90 before the summer road trip today. I got the brakes upgraded from a single sided disc to a dual disc. Basically, I gained 30% more stopping power and dropped about 60% of the hand pressure required for stopping. While we had the front end apart, we went ahead and put a set of anti-dive springs in the forks. These help control the way the forks compress during heavy braking. While we had everything torn apart, we also put in stainless steel braided brake lines and new fork seals.

I can tell a big difference with the new setup. Before, I had a whole lot of "go fast" but very little stop. Now, I can reel in the speed much more comfortably. I don't feel like I am breaking walnuts just squeezing the brake lever. Since there is a disc on each side of the wheel now, I don't get any lateral torque when I grab a handful of brake. It is very even and tends to run straight, instead of drifting left. The brakes also feel like they recover faster than they did before. The new suspension setup in front is also very nice. I can grab some front brake to start my weight transfer going into a corner, and it feels much smoother.

Now it is time to finish off the suspension update on Kel's bike. We got her heavy duty progressive shocks on the back, and the new progressive fork springs for her forks have come in. Now it is just a matter of installing them.