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Toshi's thread

Discussion in 'Northeast' started by Toshi, Apr 20, 2002.

  1. ALEXIS_DH

    ALEXIS_DH Tirelessly Awesome

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    i envy you so much... the bikes you listed are dirt cheap...
    a new versys is over $9500 here (and has to be special order), the f800gs runs $21k, the 900adv close to $20k......

    are those 2nd hand versys for under $4k widely available, say near port cities like miami or la?, at the prices you mention it could be worth the headache to import one.....
     

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  2. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Most sellers are still trying to get $4500-5000 but I don't think their bikes are selling. Isn't importation a pain (by design)?
     
  3. Fool

    Fool Turbo Monkey

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    You'd have fun on a 29er SS on most if not all LI trails. You can pick up one of those SE Stouts cheap at Jenson. Stillwell Woods is a good trail, and connects with the LI Greenbelt to take you down to more flat but fun, wind (like a clock) -y trails at Bethpage State Park. Also Cunningham is nearby you in Queens. More good stuff in there.
     
  4. Fool

    Fool Turbo Monkey

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    Also, being a stout fellow, why a 29er?
     
  5. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    I'm not tough on wheelsets, actually, and the very xc-oriented hoops on my DBR Axis lasted for many a season. I'm intrigued by 29ers because I think they look goofy yet cool :D and because I want to believe that something has advanced in the state of the art besides 10 speed groupos for roadies in the last few years. Where is my belt drive, my integrated gearbox, my cheap carbon frames?!
     
  6. Barbaton

    Barbaton Turbo Monkey

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    Belt drive and integrated gearbox are here, but you have to either be hipster or german :)

    carbon got expensiver when the A380 and now 787 went into production.

     
  7. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    The Cycle World International Motorcycle Show came to town here in New York this weekend, and I took the opportunity to round up a small crew with whom I would brave the throngs. This crew included my loyal sidekick and wife, Jessica, who is somewhat interested in scooters but mainly came since she's a good sport; Sergio, a motorcycle-riding friend from a local scooter club (yeah, our scooter club has motorcyclists, strange, no?); and Christina, a former classmate and roommate from med school who coincidentally was on vacation this week in NYC. We also met up with Arzhang, yet another med school classmate, at the Javits Center but he did not partake in the motorcycle-y goodness.


    Javits Center, with the line actually being for a concurrent boat show, not the motorcycle show


    Jessica being a good sport


    Christina clowning it up

    The show was packed. In fact, it was somewhat insane on the show floor around noon on Saturday. The variety of showgoers was impressive, with people anywhere from 5 to 75 swinging a leg over the bikes out on the floor. There were urban hipsters, Joe Sixpacks ("Joes Sixpack"? heh), motocross junkies, middle-aged touring bike aficionados, and, of course, many Harley owners in requisite black Harley-Davidson bike Owner Group leather vests. The most memorable quote seen on a H.O.G. vest was "**** you. I don't need any more friends." Classic.

    That said, everyone got along, and there was a bike out there to interest nearly everyone, even my wife. I'm not going to post all of the images here both due to the number of them and because many of them are otherwise boring and unartistic shots of one of us sitting on some bike. Instead here are links to the three galleries:

    NY Motorcycle Show - Machinery is the gallery of most general interest. Click on the link to see the full gallery. NY Motorcycle Show - People astride bikes and NY Motorcycle Show - Portraits and scenery are just as described, and they are probably of limited interest unless you know us.

    The following images are a few of the highlights in my mind, with images snagged from the above galleries.


    Zero Motorcycles had their electric Zero X and Zero S models out for display, with the S being their new street-legal offering. The Zero S actually is somewhat disappointing from a purely ergonomic point of view, as the reach to the handlebars is too short and their height too low. It's set up like a freeride mountain bike, not a motorcycle, and in this case I don't think that's a good thing! I'm glad to see Zero and Brammo both making valiant efforts to popularize electric motorcycles but there still is a ways to go.



    A slick little Honda racing bike.


    A somewhat pornographic look at the backside of a Ducati.


    The absolutely bizarre Confederate Motorcycles offering.


    Fancy paint and chrome galore, and the sleeves to match on the bored-looking guy sitting nearby.


    Going buck-wild with the anodization. No, I don't know why the graphics have little dudes playing baseball.

    Half the fun of being at a show with so much hardware out there is that one can swing a leg over and hop on any of the machines unless it is roped off or otherwise explicitly prohibited. Although we didn't crash the gates we did get to the show early enough that we could sit on several of the high-demand new bikes, in particular the Ducati Multistrada 1200. Later in the day, as we were leaving, a bunch of skintight leather-clad female and male models were having some sort of fashion show on the podium where the Multistrada was resting, so clearly no average dudes were trying out the bike's ergonomics at that time.


    Yours truly all stretched out on a Suzuki V-Strom 650


    Jessica happily atop a Yamaha Zuma 125, which she felt fit her the best of all the small bikes and scooters that she tried


    Christina on a tall 250 motocross bike


    Sergio looking nonplussed while straddling the Ducati Multistrada 1200

    Finally, I'll leave you with one last unfortunately framed and angled shot of Jessica and me sitting on/in a Honda Gold Wing:



    Once again, check out the NY Motorcycle Show - Machinery gallery for more shots that don't feature my mug, or see above for the other galleries that do.
     
  8. DaveW

    DaveW Space Monkey

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    The new Ducati multistrada is an improvement, but why oh why with how sexy they make their other bikes look, do they always manage to make the strada look so bloody odd/ugly??? :(
     
  9. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    I got it! Picked up a 2008 Kawasaki Versys tonight from a city about an hour away. Its inaugural ride was an hour on the Long Island Expressway and across a long tollbridge. Only one person cut me off, too.

    :D
     
  10. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    I installed the (motorcycle, not portable) battery harness this afternoon. It was an easy job and everything worked on the first try. The hardest part was figuring out which of the two controller knobs on my dual controller is responsible for the gloves (left/yellow one) and which is responsible for the jacket liner (right/red one).

    Taking the bike for a quick spin around the neighborhood revealed that in 40 degree weather adequate heat is put out with both the gloves and the jacket set to about 1/3 on.

    :thumb:
     
  11. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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  12. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    The intercom setup arrived in the mail today.

    Mounting the installation bracket was pretty easy: two kinds of brackets come with the kit, one of which uses double sided tape and the other which uses tiny allen bolts and a backing plate to clamp onto the shell of the helmet. I elected to use the screw-type plate.

    Installation of the two speakers that go in the ear recesses and the microphone was also a piece of cake, with the hardest part of it being the task of holding the helmet in one's lap while sticking on this and that with double sided tape-backed pieces of velcro. The wires were of ample length and I tucked the extra length into creases in the helmet's padding.

    Unfortunately both units come shipped from the factory with depleted batteries so it won't be until a after full charge (6 hours for the first charge, 3.5-4 hours for subsequent charges from empty) that I can pair my unit with my iPhone and test out its abilities.

    What abilities, you ask? Things that it should be able to do include:

    - Output the turn by turn directions from the Navigon GPS app on my iPhone via the helmet-mounted speakers
    - Allow one to receive and place phone calls with the audio streamed like any old regular Bluetooth headset, albeit in stereo
    - Not only stream music from the iPod app on the iPhone (in stereo via the A2DP profile) but also control play/pause/stop of this same music via the buttons on the outside of the helmet (via AVRCP).
    - Have voice activated (or manually if one prefers) full-duplex stereo intercom communication between me and my passenger, Jessica, at up to 220 meters range. Thus if Jessica gets her own scooter at some point we could still chat provided we were close enough together on the road.

    If it works this will be great! I'm glad it doesn't involve any wires beyond those that I hid when installing the devices this evening. We already have enough wires to worry about as it is, what with the heated gear harness emanating from under the motorcycle's seat and the two sleeve connectors linking up the jacket liner to the heated gloves…
     
  13. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Yesterday I verified that my heated gear worked. Today we verified that Jessica's jacket liner and gloves heat up as designed. On a 40 degree evening with speeds from 30-50 mph typically she was toasty warm with the gloves at just over half power and the jacket liner just shy of the half mark. Meanwhile, my hands were frozen even though I was wearing ostensibly "winter" riding gloves!

    Once the bum portable/rechargeable LiPoly battery pack comes back then we should both be able to get our heat fix simultaneously: Jessica will stay hooked up to the battery harness on the bike so that she could dial in full power (90W + 30W for jacket and gloves, respectively) while I'll have the portable battery in my pocket driving my liner and gloves at a combined output of up to 30W. I don't want to overburden the Versys's charging system with two harnesses and controllers, not to mention that that would be a waste of money for the majority of the time.
     
  14. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    New parking spot in the parking structure. Not as close to my apartment as I'd like (about a quarter mile away) but semi-enclosed and endorsed by the security guys. Note the yellow reinforcement girder running from floor to ceiling: apparently these were retrofitted for structural reasons, and the cars' loss of a usable parking spot is my gain.





    Note also the chain running through the swingarm. I have a cover on order ($17.99 including shipping from Hong Kong! Modern commerce is incredible) and will idly look into webcam/remote monitoring setups. Since there's no accessible power nearby I don't think this last idea will be feasible.
     
  15. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Oh, and for the record it's 21 degrees out right now, and wasn't much warmer if at all when I was out riding an hour ago. The heated gear kept my torso and hands warm but my chin was bitterly cold. So was my face as I had to crack open the shield to keep my glasses from fogging.

    Overall the experience was very unpleasant, and that's without even mentioning that the locks on my chain, the ignition/steering lock on the bike, and the gas tank cap were all frozen. I got the first two working after 10 minutes of jiggling things around but the gas tank cap wouldn't budge even after a shot of deicer. Thus my planned quick run to the gas station was a failure. At least I found the parking spot above…
     
  16. DaveW

    DaveW Space Monkey

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    What you need for your cold face/chin is something like one of these......The neck warmer part also does a surprisingly good job of reducing noise coming into the helmet and help prevent fogging from your breath.

    Light Weight Thermal Balaclava
    or one like this
    Light Weight Thermal Neck Warmer

    They come in heavier and lighter weight fabrics etc etc so you can tailor to the climate in your neck of the woods. ;)
     
  17. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Hmm, I like how far down the neck/upper thorax those extend. I already have a balaclava but don't tend to wear it since blocking the top-of-helmet vents makes fogging even worse, not to mention that the extra few mm of thickness noticeably adds to the squeeze of the helmet on the braincase.

    Something like that neck warmer might work, especially if I wore my contacts and cleaned my visor :D … or I could make like a sane person and avoid riding when it's really, really cold.
     
  18. dan-o

    dan-o Turbo Monkey

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    Toshi, the balaclava I wear snowmobiling gave me similar helmet fit/venting issues. I simply cut off the top, above the eyebrows and ears to improve venting and sizing, while still retaining the face/neck protection. I look like a complete f-tard when I pull of the helmet but mainers don't seem to notice. We routinely cruise @ 100mph at very low temps and it works perfectly. (helmet is full face with electronic defog visor).
     
  19. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Thanks for the tip. I'll give that a try tonight and bust out the scissors on my unsuspecting balaclava.

    How much of a difference does the electric visor make? I have a Scorpion EXO-700 street helmet for which Scorpion offers a retrofit kit:

    http://shopping.scorpionusa.com/C55...sories&sc_id=5F0649FCF0BE4804A9877B42EAFD4449

    Overkill for the street? I have an extra Powerlet connection hanging out doing nothing so wiring something up would be easy, and my bike's alternator is supposed to be good to drive heated gear on full at 2500 rpm, so 4000 rpm + heated gear on halfway or less + extra ancillary bits shouldn't be an issue, either.

     
  20. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    Just modify the bike a little. Move the radiator to just above the tank, that should keep you warm.
     
  21. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    After that I could add a roof and some sort of side panels. Might get kind of heavy to hold up at stoplights so two extra wheels would fix that... and at that point a steering wheel might be more appropriate

    :D
     
  22. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    Enough cardboard from old cereal boxes and some duct tape you could build a vent system to bring warm air off of the radiator and have it keeping you warm.
     
  23. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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  24. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Here's something much cheaper that might work at the expense of pinching my nose :D

    http://www.respro.com/products/urban-commuting/motorcycling/foggy_mask/

    Respro Foggy Mask.

     
  25. Westy

    Westy the teste

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  26. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Post photos of it when you get one... :D
     
  27. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    Looks like a battery powered shop vac and some bungee cords would do the trick.
     
  28. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    That + some resistor elements would make for heating but the a/c problem is a little less trivial with off-the-shelf parts, methinks
     
  29. dan-o

    dan-o Turbo Monkey

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    The electric visor is a must IMO for a street style FF helmet. When its warm out (20+), or if we're riding tech trails, I sometimes wear my TLD moto helmet with winter liner & goggles but there's way too much air intrusion for cold weather and high speeds.

    Other than the visor, heated grips are a godsend. I just layer under my goretex mountaineering bibs/jacket otherwise. I wouldn't want to be relying on electricity if I'm stranded on a frigid night (we go to the boonies and mechanicals are common if not easily field repaired).
     
  30. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    A better photo of the parking spot that I shot this afternoon walking back from work prior to heading out on my cold, cold ride:



    How cold is "cold, cold"? 23F + 20 mph wind = 9F windchill while standing still. Even with the heated gear, wool socks, and waterproof riding boots I had frozen fingertips and feet after two hours in the elements. Still was fun in a perverse way, but not the kind of experience I'd expect Jessica to enjoy. :D

    An interesting thing is that I found that I can't turn the heated gear all the way up because the heating elements themselves get too hot for comfort.
     
  31. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    I stumbled upon this tonight, which looks like a pretty awesome setup, actually:

    Bags-Connection vibration-damped camera mount for SW-MOTECH Gascap Mounting System



    Yeah, it locks into the gascap! Smart design and a good position to give context to the video by shooting through the windscreen and showing the dashboard.
     
  32. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    I think good airflow would take care of most of my cooling needs, especially since I really only care about it at standstill. For heat airflow is your problem, heater elements only.


    We had a good cold snap here last month and I rigged up a proof of concept heated insole and grip design using some heater wire off of ebay for the MTB bike. Used some old high capacity light batteries I had laying around.

    Didn't move past the prototype stage as things warmed. Above freezing the trails are nasty slush. Can only ride below freezing or above temperatures where additional heating is needed. If nothing else I am just a few switches away from toasty extremities during the next deep freeze.
     
  33. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Despite the below weather just before leaving riding conditions were actually pretty good today: sunny and clear, not too much wind. With adequate layering + the heated stuff I was comfortable, even!



    What's "adequate layering," you ask? From inside to out:

    - wool socks
    - synthetic long underwear pants
    - fleece pants
    - waterproof liner of armored pants
    - armored outer pants

    - synthetic T-shirt
    - heated jacket liner with heated gloves attached at the wrists
    - wool/synthetic long sleeve jersey
    - regular insulated liner that came with my armored jacket
    - armored outer jacket, all vents closed, of course!

    - fleece neck gaiter but no balaclava or other face-wear
    - full-face helmet, faceshield closed all the time except a block at a time to defog

    I must have looked like a high-viz yellow Bibendum…



    I didn't make a GPS track of today's ride since I'm still playing with my Bluetooth intercom/Navigon GPS app setup, trying in vain to get turn by turn directions projected into my helmet reliably. (Playing music did work well, however, and in the afternoon when riding alone I made it through 22 tracks!)

    In any case, in the morning Sergio and I rode from Seaford to the Long Island BMW Riders Club meeting at a local diner. Despite the weather there were 8 or 10 bikes that showed up, with additional riders who came by car having wimped out for one reason or another. :D I actually got along with the people there pretty well given that they're probably 40 years older than me going by median age, but anyone who knows me could have guessed that beforehand…

    After the BMW gathering we headed out, riding in the mid-island area trending north and ending up at the usual scooter club gathering spot at the Central Ave Cafe. No one besides us showed up, again likely due to the weather, and afterwards we swung down south through Jones Beach to check out the boardwalk and the sand.

    Sergio returned home at this point but I continued on, riding basically all of the North Shore roads that I know, after briefly visiting at his house. With the heated gear cranking away, the weather warming up gradually to 28 or 29 F, I stayed warm, safe, and had a great time. The bike is not as scary now, and I'm getting smoother on my upshifts. (Jessica would relate that I had lots of room for improvement on our first two-up ride!)
     
  34. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Oh, and for the record wearing contacts (that I already have for skiing) plus a drier day today pretty much solved my fogging problem. I guess it was more my glasses than the visor proper. In any case I will be taking the simple, non-electric route for once and will just wear my contacts when riding in sub-freezing weather.
     
  35. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    I dropped the bike for my first time today.

    I'd been riding all week without incident in very cold but dry weather and was going to ride in today: my wife wanted the car to use for work, as taking the bus home would have taken just shy of an hour. Last night it snowed, however, and the roads are still wet albeit clear. Add in 28 degree weather and you have a recipe for disaster.

    Thankfully my "disaster" was a minor one not involving any injury: I dropped the bike coming out of the parking garage, not 500 feet from my parking space. I locked up the front with what I thought was a pretty reasonable application of brake on a slippery piece of concrete and the bike went sideways in a snap. It was still running when it hit the ground so I hit the kill switch, thought for a moment on how to pick it up (it's 450 lbs with fluids so is no tiny beast), righted it, hopped back on, restarted it, and rode right back to my parking spot.

    The damage tally: scratched bar end weight and random grey piece of plastic, cracked right tank shroud, loose right front turn signal. No damage to me, thankfully: I hopped off of and clear of it instinctively, just as on a bicycle. I think I'll ziptie the turn signal, clean off the plastic a bit, and try to glue the cracked tank shroud--I'm cheap, don't really care about appearances, and although this is my first, chances are this won't be my last drop.

    This experience kind of sucks, but it is a learning experience that I probably had to go through at some point given my exuberance for riding and the weather around here. Despite the technical ability to ride and not freeze to death granted by heated gear I should stay off the bike when it's wet and anywhere near freezing. Lesson learned.

    Immediately afterwards:



    Status post "repair" with four long zipties, a sponge, and some cyanoacrylate:

     
    #4155 -   Feb 3, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2010
  36. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    I love the Japanese: "Torque wrenches are linked to computers, and all measurements are saved and stored for each individual motorcycle so subsequent issues can be tracked."
     
  37. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Adding another (flimsy) layer of security:



    Under $20 shipped from Hong Kong (as were the mirror extenders that I also installed tonight). The wonders of modern global commerce…
     
  38. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    I did quite a bit of work in the "garage" today. I took the windshield and all the bodywork off:







    Note the mirror extenders (also under $20 shipped!) that I installed last night:



    Once everything was off I then put pieces of double-sided foam tape on every contact point between bodywork and frame that I could see. I used photos stolen from a thread on kawasakiversys.com to guide me in where to place the foam, and added a few more locations of my own volition. (This was to quell a very common 3-4k rpm cowl and instrument cluster buzz that plagues most Versyses. I hope that it works!)

    While the bodywork was off I also took the time to adjust the suspension. The Versys has preload and rebound damping adjustments at both the front and the rear. I didn't take the time to actually measure sag but instead went off of others' settings. (Any settings will be a compromise, anyway, since I ride two-up for part of the time.) For future reference I used the following settings:

    - Front preload at 5 full turns out (i.e., all the way clockwise/in, then 5 * 360 degrees counterclockwise)
    - Front rebound at one full turn out
    - Rear preload at 5/7, with 7/7 being the maximum. I might have dropped it to 4 except that I ride two up, and I also don't have the spanner that I'd need to change this! Heh.
    - Rear damping at 12 clicks out from full "hard"

    Finally, after putting the bodywork back on with frozen hands, attempting to keep the recalcitrant pieces of double-sided foam tape in between brackets and bodywork, I reinstalled the windscreen. It had been at the lowest of three positions but I reinstalled it at the highest position. Its top is still below my line of sight, and I hope that this setting will clean up the (noisy) air that currently is at ear level.

    Once I arrived home the RAM Mount + Aquabox for mounting my iPhone on the handlebars was awaiting me along with a hot cup of cocoa from Jessica 8-) . Therefore I think I'll be heading back out into the cold later today to install that RAM Mount as well as adjust the headlight aiming--although I get flashed by oncoming cars fairly regularly I feel that the cutoff for the low beam is much too low/close to me. The high beam is acceptable as it is.

    As you can see the bike isn't perfect. That's fine, as I wasn't expecting that, especially for the price. On the other hand, some sweat, $20 here and there, plus some foam tape should hopefully go a long ways towards fixing its minor flaws!
     
  39. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Done and done:



    That's my iPhone's foof case standing in for the actual item since I needed its camera :D (foof: http://foofshop.com/ ). Also seen but not obvious is the significantly higher aiming of the low beam. Adjusting it was quite the pain in the ass: it can't be done while it's light out else one can't see the headlight's pattern yet it involves turning little cog wheels hidden within the fairing with a long screwdriver…

    I solved the problem by strategically positioning the bike such that the overhead light shined into the fairing, allowing me to locate said cogwheels. I then used my iPhone opened to a white and bright blue webpage as a flashlight of sorts while actually adjusting the things.
     
  40. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    5+ hours out in the cold yet a most excellent day. I grabbed the LI ADVrider tag and moved it to a new home.


    The previous tag, up along Huntington Bay on Southdown Road.


    Moi. The rusty looking piece of metal on the seat is the token. Most tagging threads don't involve an actual token but Long Island has our "ADVTAG" metal piece.


    The new tag photo--the next person who hunts down the tag needs to replicate this photo with their bike to make it valid.

    Update: my F-14 tag at Grumman was already done earlier, no big surprise, so I went out _again_ and moved the tag to a new home:



    Clue: I'm a weird U-shaped sculpture who lives north of the LIE yet south of the north(ern), where red ground comes ashore.
     
    #4160 -   Feb 7, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2010