Holy poop on a stick.
I finally threw in the towel on the Sherpa. A kind friend offered up a contact with a trusted mechanic and I jumped on that. Why not. I figured that two hours of expert time would seal the deal. Either it was going to run for him or not. I dropped it off last week.
Two hours later (right on schedule), I had an answer. I was assembling the slide diaphragm the wrong way.
I was just dumping the slide into the bore and sealing the diaphragm into the groove, inserting the spring, and fitting the top cap and bolts. Well…. It turns out that you are supposed to hold the slide open while doing all of this. Holding the slide open allows the diaphragm to fold up properly in the vacuum chamber. Installing it the way I was doing it caused the slide to basically stick shut and the constant vacuum effect was not able to materialize.
I would have never figured that out. I’m searching through manuals now to see if it is something written down somewhere that I should have read and followed the instructions on. The mechanic said that it is just a fact of CV carbs, a sort of apocryphal knowledge.
This explains how the bike ran once – I probably was goofing off and held the slide up without knowing it was important.
Whatever. The Super Sherpa runs once again and I rode it home. I’m happy. I might even try to do the rejet just to prove that I can do this crap. I also now have a resource when I need it – a great mechanic who’s nice and fun to talk to, too.
Way back when we were less well-off, I used to take ketchup and mustard with a bit of olive oil and use that as BBQ sauce. Basically, hot dog condiments. Sometimes, if we had relish, I would throw that in, too. Over time it evolved to include a bit of balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and lemon juice.
3oz ketchup (Heinz 57, please. No imposters!)
1oz mustard (prefer real Düsseldorf style, but any ground mustard will do)
1T olive oil
1T maple syrup (or more!)
1T balsamic vinegar
1t lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1T tomato paste if you are using crappy ketchup
This is enough for about two pounds of cut up chicken breast. Mix it up, soak the chicken for 1-2 hours, then throw on grille until the edges are blackened. The blackened edges are sooooooo yummy!
I’ve been trying to learn about taxation in my current home state of MI due to today’s vote on Proposal 15.1 – the road tax mess. I learned enough to vote NO. Here is something that I realized early on and that I think is key to Michigan’s problem: Michigan has a bad habit of slicing and dicing tax revenue so to make the name of the tax and what it supports pretty much completely unrelated.
In most states, a fuel tax goes to pay for road construction, a school tax goes to pay for schools, and so on. But not in Michigan. In Michigan, the fuel tax pays some portion to roads, some to schools, and some to other programs. Nearly every tax levy in Michigan has a slice taken out to fund schools. This obviously helps get the tax passed (think of the children!), but in reality, it makes it almost impossible to use the tax for what it was intended for. Hence our road situation – the fuel tax has been sliced and diced so much that it no longer has any positive impact on road funding. But the children!
Had the state legislature put their collective foot down and said “you know, we’re going to shift the slicing around and make the road tax on fuel actually 100% for road repairs and size it appropriately” and then called it a day, the citizens of Michigan would likely be voting YES. Instead, they made the slicing even more complex (and expensive, and progressive).
Hopefully, today, my co-residents will also say NO to this absolute cluster of taxation and send the legislature back into session with a mandate to do something useful.
I was back in Germany again for the last two weeks.
The Jeep Renegade is a huge hit over there. Not only did I see a bunch of them, but all in nutty loud colors and parked to be seen. I like this vehicle a lot and I think FCA hit a home run with it. The popularity in Germany is proof.
Motorcycle parts are far more widely available, as usual. I managed to warp a rear rotor (yes, I actually warped it) due to the crappy Brembo 11mm master cylinder corroding again. In the US, the best fit rotor is the stock BMW one, for $248. EBC makes one that I haven’t seen yet for about $150. The OEM TRW rotor is a whopping 68€ from Louis. Yes, I brought home a brake rotor. The CBP guy who stamped my passport back in looked at his deskmate and said “I clearly need to go over there and buy some parts.” Yes, you do, Mr CBP Officer. A set of matching TRW pads cost a whole 37€. With the exchange rate at stupid lows, that was a no-brainer. I haven’t really addressed the spares situation in the past, but thanks again to Motorrad Alexander who delivered an annoying piece of wiring harness to my desk for 20% of the cost new. It’s in great condition and should resolve some nagging issues I have with harness damage on the BMW. I’ll be repairing the old one and saving it for the other frame.
Eggs. When you go to the breakfast buffet in Germany, the scrambled eggs are real eggs. I forgot how awesome this is until we went to San Antonio for a long weekend a few weeks ago and had the American version made from powdered eggs. Not even close.
I always forget how much I miss riding the trams and walking everywhere. It’s sooooo nice. A totally different kind of mobility.
I do have a gripe with airline food. I have Celiac disease, which can suck for a variety of reasons. One of them is airplane food. I finally figured out what is going on with the grilled chicken breast, broccoli, and rice that I get on every. single. flight. It’s not only gluten-free, it’s Kosher, Halal, lactose-free, low sodium, and whatever else you can come up with short of vegetarian/vegan. It’s also generally flavor-free and boring. Everyone else gets something different each flight, I get that damn grilled chicken. I have to beg for butter, explaining that I am not lactose intolerant or anything else. I do love the rolls that I get on the flight home, they are way the hell better than the rice cakes I get on the flight out. One positive note is that Delta flight attendants, pursers, and stewards are generally quite food allergy aware. This time, I was able to
get scam an ice cream and it arrived with no cookie! I know that the airlines are kind of dependent on LSG or whoever their food service contractor is, so I don’t want to come off as bagging on Delta. But I would like some fancy food once in a while!
I was counting cars in the parking lot for a project and discovered that Germans like big window glass just as much as Americans do. I wonder if the area of the greenhouse is why people here like SUVs so much? With sedans losing glass at every increasing rates, it seems that eventually the only way to get a real rear window will be in a minivan or other xUV. Hmmm. Now I want to call hatchbacks UUVs – urban utility vehicles. I guess minivans would then be FUVs – family utility vehicles. Let’s tacticool name all the vehicles!
I was completely shopped out from my last trip, but not enough so to avoid looking in the windows at Hein Gericke. Oh, damn, another pair of gloves – from Richa and size Ladies’ XL. What a concept – I have a difficult time finding gloves with long enough fingers, hopefully these will do it. Thankfully, LS2 seems to be doing a great job of bringing HG back into form. The new assortment is quite attractive and continues the tradition of high-end product lines.
I (finally) learned how to pronounce Garching. I used to say /gar’ shing/. Now I say /gar’ hing/. With that silly-sounding Bavarian hissing H.
I had to look it up. My new suspension is wallowing. It seems as if the fork springs are too soft when I get up to freeway speeds. Weird.
Time to play with the suspension, I guess. Might have to do a spring swap with the old forks.
Last year, I wrote about getting my lean back. This year, it is about how it gets better.
It’s spring, and from the looks of things, it’s the first, second, third, and many other seasons for riders. It’s the first few seasons that I’m thinking of. Bikes are approached with wonderment, desire, and maybe a bit of fear or concern. Am I going to be able to ride well? So many long-term riders seem to be able to start and stop riding with such ease, will I ever be one of them? Will riding ever come naturally (after a break)?
My first season was short – a month and a half. Then winter break for a month or so. Getting back on was a bit touchy. I had to basically teach myself to ride again. My head got it, but my body didn’t, and that resulted in a lot of confusing signals. It was work.
My next season was my first full one, and it was good. Coming back after winter break was easier, but I still needed some time to equilibrate. My third season was similar – I needed time to get back on my horse, and then my horse decided to die, which caused all sorts of other issues. Namely, the need for a spare horse. Which I then had to acclimate to. The next winter brought a two-and-a-half-month break and a move back to the US. Different land, different rules, different roads. Oof, it was really a challenge to come back. I had lost my lean. I had lost a lot of things. But slowly, it all came back.
This winter’s break was different for some reason. It was longer – three months. I changed my horse up again by swapping out the suspension for some better-fitting kit. I didn’t take a BRC this year. I’d spent the three months dealing with a back injury. I still faced a few jitters about getting back on. Was it going to be iffy again this year?
That’s what I’m here to tell you. It got better. Not just a bit better, but way better. This year, when I hopped on my bike, my body responded without my brain needing to tell it what to do. I had my lean back from the get-go. The onset of riding is better this year, because finally, my body completely gets it. It gets it well enough not to forget it. I was surprised, I admit. My brain needs to do a little catching up, but doggone, my body… So good. So many things that I notice myself doing right, without even considering the situation consciously. Trusting myself is good. Knowing that I finally have the muscle memory down pat is really good.
So if it’s your first or second spring back from break and you’re not 100% sure of yourself, don’t worry. It gets better every time.
This damned 11mm Brembo brake cylinder…..
It seized up again. This time, I knew what was happening, so I was able to address it before it totally went nuts. I was able to recover the white sleeve and do the repair to the main bore without burning through one of my precious and rare rebuild kits.
The critical element is a PTFE sleeve that is 18mm long, 2.5mm wall thickness, 16mm outer diameter, and 11mm inner bore.
Given an endless supply of white sleeves, one could conceivably simply continue to clean out the poorly-designed master cylinder bore quite a few times before it was completely beyond salvage.
I have read many complaints about how difficult it is to remove the carb from the Super Sherpa. Let me help you with that.
To begin with, lift or remove the fuel tank so that you have some room to work. Then remove the rear throttle cable, the front throttle cable, and then the choke cable. Remove most of the hoses from the carb. This will make it easier to remove.
Loosen the two hose clamps that hold the intake boots in place and push the rear one to the back of the boot near the airbox.
Procure a large flat-bladed screwdriver and insert it into the rear boot, prying it backwards and off of the carb funnel. Push the boot to the middle of the carb funnel.
Remove the screwdriver and reinsert it from the rear. Lever the boot over the far side of the carb funnel and push the carb toward you.
The carb will free itself neatly and pop out of the front boot.
Pull the carb out of the bike and you are home free. Installation is the reverse of removal.
Every summer, some rider crashes without gear and gets shredded. Pictures get posted. Stories get told. Wounds begin to heal.
I cannot imagine not wearing all of my gear when I get on one of my bikes. I mean, who wouldn’t want to look this cute?
I admit, wearing leathers to work is fun(ny). What few other riders there are see me and some shake their heads, others ooooh and aaaaah and tweak me for it, knowing that they would do the same if they actually rode to work. Of course, they probably wouldn’t look like a giant pink and white Peep. The non-riders pretty much scatter, which I don’t get, because I’m hardly intimidating. But maybe it’s not me. Maybe it’s the aggression that leathers in general signify in American culture. Really, though. Pink and white leathers are not aggressive. I promise. It’s only a motorcycle. It’s not going to hurt you as long as it’s off.
Truth is, I have lots of nice, well-fitting, decent-looking gear. The suit above is my riding-while-beautiful suit. It’s not the heaviest-duty suit I own, but it’s a tonne more protection than jeans and a tshirt. It also helps to have nice big side boxes to pack work clothes and shoes into and so on. If you’re a new rider on a little CBR with only a backpack, your options are more limited. And the looks I get when I roll into work in leathers. You’d think aliens had landed. Imagine being a new rider, showing up looking like Bibendum or SpiderMan, and having to answer for it. I’m old enough to just look down my nose over my glasses and say “I like looking this good” and mean it. But I’d hate to go through my first year of riding again and have to answer all those questions again. Especially as a teenager.
No one should ever be ashamed of gearing up or how they look with gear on. It’s a badge, kind of like a scar that you can take off. A reminder to yourself that you want to always be able to take your scars off at will, that none will be permanent. At least, none of the riding scars.
So don’t you want to look cute, too? Go ATTGATT. Wear your leathers. Ride while beautiful.