Monday, January 30, 2012

Ordered More Parts

I am hoping to have the bike back together this weekend. Last night I ordered a new rear tire IRC GP-110 which are the same tires I had before. When I bought the bike it needed new tires and already had the GP-110's on it so I went with those again. i currently have about 4000 miles on them and I probably can get another 1000+ out of the rear before changing it so I won't change it for a while, I just wanted to have one on hand. I also ordered a new tube for it. I keep the old tube as a backup on trips and always put a new tube in when I change the tires. My front hardly looks worn so I won't replace that one for a long time yet. I wear back tires out so much quicker because of the weight I carry.

I also ordered a new chain along with a front and rear sprocket. The rear sprocket I left stock but the front I went up one tooth just to bring the rpm's down a bit on the freeway.

Not in the maintenance department but I ordered another tail bag. I already have a GIVI tail bag that I used on a few trips. I also have an aluminum tail box that a friend of mine built for me that I haven't used on a trip yet but I have used it around town a few times. The problem with my current tail bag and box is that they are perfect for me... traveling alone. There is a trip in the plans that my wife Kari will be coming along on. Granted I know I pack too much for myself but even if I skimped on my own packing I wouldn't have enough room for her. So I ordered the Twisted Throttle DrySpec D66 bag system which gives me 66 liters of space compared to the 30 I had with the GIVI. That should be enough for whatever Kari can come up with to pack. Check the bag out, it is pretty sweet and the price is right.

I got the rear spring in. I will be putting that in once I get the motor closed up. I am hoping to get the motor closed up this weekend. Then I can get the rear spring swapped along with the sprockets and chain.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Tool List

So this is a tool list and spare parts that I came up with for my bike. This is bike specific so you would have to pick and choose for each bike. I think everything in here is self explanatory.

  • Phillips/Flat Tip Screwdrivers
  • Small pair of Vise-Grips
  • 13 & 12mm wrenches
  • Small adjustable wrench
  • Sockets: 19, 18, 12, 8 regular and deep well, 10mm regular and deep well.
  • Adjustable Wrench
  • Air pump.
  • Zip ties
  • Multi-Tool
  • Tire gauge
  • Duct tape
  • Electrical tape
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Side Cutters
  • Allen Wrench Set
  • Valve stem tool 
  • 3 tire spoons
  • 3/8 and 1/4 ratchets
  • 3/8 and 1/4 socket extension
  • Swiss Army knife

Spare Parts
  • Spare fuses 
  • Spare Master Link
  • Extra rear axle cotter pins
  • Tubes
  • Tire/tube repair kit
  • Extra valve stems and 
  • Spark plug

Twitter and Domain

Got a Twitter account up and running @wiadvrider. The twitter is going to be pretty boring until Spring gets here.  Also this blog is available at now rather than digging through blogspot.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Technology and Traveling

I won a netbook off of ebay tonight. It is very small with an 8.9 screen and I am hoping that it will pack very well. I wanted it mostly for transferring video and pictures to as my SD cards fill up. I also think it will be nice for updating posts along the way and for communicating with family when out of the country. The best part is that I paid less than $200 for it so if I end up breaking it along the way I'm not out much.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bike is Still in Pieces

Yep, the bike is still in pieces and will be that way for another couple of weeks. I got the last shim for it last week. As you know I put a new doohickey in and closed up the left side of the bike. I was putting the finishing touches on the cams when I realized that the cam chain guard didn't fit with the oil line that runs between the cam brackets. I took off the left exhaust bracket and that is when it happened. All I saw was a glimpse of something metal and heard '"tink, tink, tink" as the piece fell... where did it fall? Right into the engine. It was the dowel that fits into the bracket. With a flashlight and a magnet on a stick I went fishing for about an hour. I realized that I wasn't going to be lucky enough to get it without pulling the left side apart.

When I did the doohickey I only ordered the doohickey and a generator cover gasket thinking that I would only have to take of the outer cover. as it turned out I needed to pull the inner cover as well. I also didn't have a replacement rotor bolt and you are supposed to replace it every time you take it out. When I put the left side back together I used the original bolt and both the original gaskets.

So I pull the generator cover off and still have no luck finding this dowel. I end up pulling the rotor and the inner cover. Finally I found it! But now my bike is back to square one. I was not going to attempt to use that rotor bolt again as my friend Isaiah who has been helping with this whole endeavor was scared to death to torque it up the last time for fear it would break. So I have ordered a new bolt and inner cover gasket. This time I will put the bike back together properly. This weekend we are going out of town fishing so it will have to get done the next weekend.

Always plan for your repairs, I started mine on a whim because I was watching TV and someone was working on their bike so afterwards I decided to go out to the garage and pull mine apart. It started with the valve check and then grew. I had nothing in stock to do this project nor did I have any sort of plan. Now it has been four weeks that the bike has been sitting open and with be another week or so before it gets finished.

I ordered my rear spring from Top Gun motorcycles. That is also in the mail. Only maintenance I have left after that is a new chain, rear tire and maybe the front fork springs. Then it is a matter of waiting for the snow to melt off the roads.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Motorcycle Camping List

So it doesn't matter if you are going for a week or a year, your camping list isn't going to change much if at all. The only thing that changes with a trip is the amount of food you eat and clothes you wear. There are always grocery stores to pick up more food and you can always wash clothes. That being said, here is my list.
  • Tent
  • Ground Tarp
  • Tent Poles
  • Tent Rain Fly
  • Tent Stakes
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Pillow
That takes care of my place to sleep. I list everything out so I know that I have it all when I pack it. Nothing worse that having a tent with no poles to hold it up.

  • T-shirt
  • Carhartt Pants
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Riding Jacket
  • Riding Pants
  • Riding Boots
  • Helmet
  • Riding Gloves
  • Heavy Gloves
  • Waterproof Gloves
  • Long Underwear
  • Hat
  • Fleese
  • Belt
  • Camp Pants
  • Sweater
  • Wool Socks
  • Sock Liners
  • Camp Shoes
So this is everything I wear on the trip. Depending on the days you are going depends on what you bring for T-shirts, socks, and underwear. I would never leave with only one of each. I enjoy clean socks and underwear so I am going to have a pair for each day up to five days, after that I can do wash. T-shirts I would never bring more than three. The camp pants I wear zip off into shorts. They are also light weight and windproof so I can always add them as a layer to my riding gear.

  • First Aid Kit
  • Advil
  • Deodorant
  • Gas X
  • Imodium
  • Pepcid
  • Toilet Paper
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Wet Naps
  • Towel
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Tums
  • Icy Hot Muscle Rub
My bathroom. I come prepared for any stomach ailments as I hate feeling ill. My first aid kit is a standard backpacking kit that I picked up from REI about ten years ago and by all rights should be thrown away and replaced. My towel is a small shammy style towel. The wet naps will save your butt... really, you don't want a dirty butt while riding, you will only end up with a rash that will ruin your trip.

  • Stove
  • Stove Fuel
  • Water Bottle
  • Pots
  • Pot Holder
  • Bowls
  • Utensils
  • Matches
  • Lighter
  • Salt & Pepper
My kitchen. Nothing special just easy.

  • Camelback
  • Straps
  • Pack Rain Cover
  • Stuff Sacks
  • Dry Bags
  • Spare Keys
  • Ear Plugs
Ok, this list is general items that go on the bike. The Camelbak is great while riding. You always have water and stay hydrated. Pack rain cover is for my tail bag. It has a separate cover for the rain which is great because it is a bit oversize and fits over my sleeping pad which gets strapped to the front of it. My stuff sacks are all different colors and I chose colors that correspond with the colors of my home. I have a green kitchen so I keep all my cooking supplies in a green stuff sack. Blue bathroom, blue stuff sack. I have a couple of dry bags that I keep my tent and sleeping bag in and strap to the top of my panniers. My motorcycle spare keys are zip tied to the frame of the bike under the seat. They are a pain to get at but are there if I need them. Also when I say spare keys, I mean to everything that has a lock, not just the bike.

  • Flashlight
  • Lantern
  • Headlamp
  • Bugspray
This is my camp list. basically a short list of what I need to be comfortable at camp. I suppose I could add this to the list with the other sleeping gear but I keep it separate.

  • Batteries
  • Camera
  • Camera Case
  • SD Card
  • GO Pro
  • Go Pro Mount
  • Go Pro Case
  • Go Pro SD Card
  • Go Pro Charger
  • Phone
  • Phone Charger
  • GPS
  • GPS Charger
  • Tripod
General electronics gear. One tip, if you are camping every night like I do, keep your phone on the charger all day while riding otherwise you will just have a dead phone all night. Phones make great alarm clocks when you get to bed at one in the morning and need to hit the road at six.

  • Plastic Bags
  • Wallet
  • Maps
  • Cash
  • Pen & Notepad
  • Copies of Paperwork
  • Drivers License
  • Insurance Card
  • Registration
  • Passport
  • Out of Country Insurance
Keep everything in plastic bags. Rain can get in anywhere. Always carry paper maps, don't count on GPS. Now I haven't traveled enough that I have come into dire straits because I didn't have a paper map but I can tell you that my one of my first trips the GPS already had me off track and I had to pull out the paper map. Make copies of all your papers. I like to scan all my documents and then email them to myself. That way if I lose anything I can always access them with an internet connection. Some countries require proof of insurance. Canada is one of them, you need to prove that your insurance is good in a different country. Technically you are supposed to have it to get into the country but probably will never get asked for it. The reason to carry it is in case you do get into an accident, because then you will be asked for it.

Tools are going to be another whole different post. There is just so much that goes into it and I am sure I don't have it all down yet.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bike is Torn Down

So with the first snow finally here I figured it was a good time to tear the bike apart and see what needs to be done.

I started with pulling the valve cover to check the clearance. I found two of the four out of whack. Then since I had it pulled apart that far I figured I might as well dig into the "doohickey" as the call it, it is actually the "Balancer idle lever". They have a problem with these going bad in the 07' and earlier bikes. The 08' and newer bikes have a better doohickey but the spring is too long. I ordered the new doohickey before I got too far into the bike because I didn't have a rotor puller. Since I had to order a bunch of other crap I also ordered a new doohickey and springs.

Once I got the parts I pulled the rotor and found that yes in fact the spring was quite loose. Since I had it pulled apart this far I just put the whole kit in even though the stock doo is fine the new one was a bit beefier.

Now I am waiting on one more shim and the bike should be back together on the engine side. I would like to replace the rear spring in it to relieve some of the sag the bike gets when I load it up with gear.

Another List of Rides

Well, as of every winter, thoughts of ride ideas come. Here is what I am currently planning.

April: If the weather is nice, I am going to get the Iron Butt out of the way.

May: Nova Scotia is still in the talks although I may be riding solo.

June: One Two night camping trip with our wives in Door County.

July: Lake Superior tour.

August: Nothing as of yet... but there will be.

2013: Trans America Trail.

2014: Arctic Circle? (Maybe)

2015: Panama.

2016: South America.

This is all I have in my brain right now. I am sure rides will be added and probably some will be removed.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Ahhh... The First Ride of the Year!

Yep, my first ride in 2012 was today and it was a good one. Not sure how many miles we put on but I can check later.

We just bombed around the Kettle Moraine, stopped at the cheese shop, and came back to town. Didn't see one other bike the entire time.Wimps.