20 November 2008
Biggest thing this month was getting the chain and sprocket set changed on the bike. Now I probably should have done this myself however it is too cold to work on the bike much this time of the year, and such a fiddly job, I left it with Just Motorcycles. Not only were they able to fit me in the very next day after I called, but it was finished in a single afternoon. I wonder if that speed is simply because there may be less work this time of year? In any case, if you have a major bit of work to be done to a bike, now would be a good time of year to have it looked at!
Since the new set has been replaced, the bike pulls so much better and a lot smoother. Well worth keeping up on maintaining a chain and ensuring the is is lubed and tightened to its specs. That is why mine was replaced, if I had looked after it better I could have kept the old one.
The only other thing to have happened, actually on my way home from picking the bike up from above, was the glue failing on the heated grips. I opened up the old girl accelerated away, then suddenly lost power as the throttle closed slightly. Thankfully I wasn't far from home and gently got her back and applied loads more glue. Hopefully it won't happen again.
01 November 2008
29 October 2008
Hopefully tomorrow is another day and a slightly warmer day, well at least not freezing!
21 October 2008
Due to the fitment of the new grips my old bar ends wouldn't fit as the grips are slightly longer. As such I asked my Father if he could make up some new ones for me with the exact fitting needed. He has and I have a nice set of aluminium ends for the bike. I just need to polish them up and clear coat them (stop the from tarnishing) and I can get them installed. Picture on the right.
17 October 2008
I toke so long as because they aren't official Suzuki grips they don't have the grooves and flange recesses that the original throttle has. As such a Dremel was needed to remove them. However I didn't want to risk wrecking my original and kept an eye (occasionally) on eBay for a cheap replacement. Finally one came up that I won and I set to work hacking it apart.
Once all the unnecessary bits were removed I installed them onto the bike, ran the cabling down into the headlamp and back down towards the battery. I could wire them direct to the battery, that is a risk though if I accidentally (or someone else) leaves them running and I come back to a flat battery! Hopefully I should have them wired up by next weekend. Just in time as the weather gets colder.
13 October 2008
11 October 2008
Kawasaki have updated their website pages to account for the new 2009 bikes. The ER-6F has had an overhaul on its pages an I found this video to advertise it. Anyone know where this is, I'd love to ride round there!!
There is also a PDF download for a factheet available too.
09 October 2008
It has a good weight to it as the fabric seems of a good quality and feels very robust. Overall it is a good buy for what little money it costs.
06 October 2008
Bless her, my mother also brought me a tank bag from Lidl (I believe). Haven't got that yet from her, but will be interesting to see how it fits onto the bike. My main thing I am looking for with that is to hold my phone in, so that I can see the screen when it is in GPS mode.
04 October 2008
Now comes the time to see if it really does stop this annoying leak.
Oh and my tickets for the NEC Motorbike show turned up this week, really looking forward to it now!
27 September 2008
Playing around on the computer I have manipulated the image of the bike to give a feel for the other colours I feel should be made available on the bike.
That said it is easy enough to have it resprayed but why should we have to pay the extra money when it wouldn't cost much (anything?) more to supply them out of the box like it.
22 September 2008
21 September 2008
2009 KAWASAKI ER-6f
SPORTIER PERFORMANCE PLUS NEW NINJA LOOKS.
Building on the key values of its highly acclaimed predecessor, the new ER-6f continues to offer a package that is both fun and easy to ride, and matches its sporty street performance with aggressive new Ninja supersport styling.
COMPACT, QUICK-REVVING ENGINE
The balance of compact size and good power offered by the ER-6f's predecessor was the key to its success. To fit into its trim package, an in-line four would have been too wide and a V-Twin too long. The only engine design that offered both good power characteristics and the requisite compactness was a Parallel Twin. While maintaining this balance, the new engine gets a number of tweaks that offer smoother low-mid response and a quicker-revving character.
The key to the ER-6f's compact size is its amazingly compact Parallel Twin engine, which permits the use of a narrow, lightweight frame. The result is a bike with the dimensions of a 400 and the power of a 650 that welcomes beginners with a "Come on, let's go for a ride!" attitude, while also offering plenty of performance for more experienced riders. Changes to the frame, swinging arm and suspension result in reduced vibration and lighter handling, making the new ER-6f more accessible than ever.
SLEEK, SUPERSPORT STYLING
Styling inspired by our Ninja supersport models gives the front fairing of the ER-6f the look of a modern supersport machine. Sharp edged lines move forward, giving the bike a more aggressive, crouching appearance. Simple in design, the ER-6f avoids all superfluous design flourishes; lines were made to flow as long as possible. The new, taller fuel tank, minimalist-design bodywork and sharp tail cowl give the bike a compact, purposeful appearance. Attention to the smallest detail contributes to the new bike's high-quality finish and undoubted appeal.
So what is different, well from the pictures the styling is much more in line with the Ninja brand providing a more aggressive and angular style. Gone are the soft rounded corners, in are the sharp lines. Still retained is the under slung exhaust, but now the rear end sports a very tidy set of LEDs for the side/brake light, as very much in vogue at the moment. The dash seems to have had a major uplift, gone are the two analogue dials and in is a LCD pod.
Here is a little montage for use as a desktop wallpaper.
19 September 2008
Brake and Clutch levers
Dash lamps changed to LEDs
As posted up a while ago I changed my helmet to an Aria Chaser. Here is a picture of it on the beach when I went down to the coast.
14 September 2008
They have now changed the website to the new look for 2008 with a great new "mascot", if that is the right word.
Hopefully there will be more details later, I am interested if Yamaha are bringing along the new 2009 XJ6 Diversion to the show.
12 September 2008
As always with Busters the item was in my hands a short two days later (well with my neighbor two days later, I wasn't in when it was delivered!). Once I had them I got them installed on the bike. Unlike the ones that I have taken off, the new ones have a slight reduction in the reflected image. I guess, should they have been factory fitted, it would have the little sticker saying; "Warning, objects may appear smaller then they actually are!". This seems to be a good thing in reality as it shows less of my shoulder and more of the road around me. Have yet to take them out on a good old road trip but hopefully they will be as good, if not better, then the last pair!
06 September 2008
04 September 2008
Although the blue of the levers isn't quite to the same as the tank but hopefully they are far enough away to not be that noticeable.
02 September 2008
Brought a new set of levers (both sides) anodised in blue so assuming that they turn up this week, I have a job to do at the weekend.
29 August 2008
27 August 2008
24 August 2008
Despite that it is a fantastic looking bike with very sleek lines and aggressive styling. Due to it being an automatic it doesn't have a clutch lever or a gear selector for your foot, so you have nothing to do with the bike on your left hand side. Unlike a moped you still have the rear break controlled by your right foot. Gear selection is either done automatically (duh!) or you have a manual control via two buttons on the left control gear. It would be interesting to find out how intuitive that control system actually is and if having the gear selector still done by your foot would be any better or worse. The HFT features 3 modes, two fully automatic and one manual. The two auto modes allow for different riding styles; a "D" mode for normal riding and an "S" mode for, well more sporty riding. In these two modes you get a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) for a smooth ride with no gear changes. In manual the 'box seems to simulate gear changes with 6 distinct 'gears'. The engine is a rather nondescript 680cc V-Twin 8v developing 60bhp(45kW) and 47ftlb(64Nm) torque. From asking around it seems the bike should be available for around £10k which does seem a little steep but for such a unique looking bike with its futuristic styling and choice of gearbox modes to suit your fancy, it could be a reasonable buy for those looking for an interesting commuter bike.
11 August 2008
Anyhoo, she got through and only cost me a little under £50 to ensure that she can stay legally on the road. Well until the tax runs out this month!
06 August 2008
04 August 2008
Not being a big web developer I would really like to have this as a stand alone application that has better verification but as I am not, I will rely on people not abusing it. Any locations found not to be valid will be removed. You will also need a Google account to edit the map.
Biker Parking Places
02 August 2008
Something else that I got today was a set of helmet headsets from UKBikeGear.com. They are the SHS-300 MP3/CD Headset and they work a treat with the music comming through loud and clear even at motorway speeds. Comfortable in the helmet, they stick in place with velcro, while not pressing on the ear and for £14.99 a great buy!
01 August 2008
29 July 2008
28 July 2008
27 July 2008
View Larger Map
Was also followed, while filtering, by a few other bikers. Not sure how you 'nod' to bikers who are behind you, but sorry if I was going a little slow, still a bit nervous when filtering.
Anyhoo back to the story at hand, it is about an hour and halfs ride from Basingstoke to my destination so in total was on the bike around 3 hours. By the time I got home my head was killing me due to the helmet pressing onto my forehead. I decided that it was a good time to buy new one and this time not skimp on it. Last time I spent about £50 on the helmet as I was going for my CBT and wasn't even sure I would like riding, so didn't see the point in shelling out £200+ for a Shoei or an Arai. Now I do see the point, that said the helmet has done its job that I brought it for. So a trip out to Infinity Motorcycles in Farnbough was in order, would have gone to Mott Motorcycles but they were closed. After speaking to the guy in the shop about options (he was very passionate about getting the right helmet!) I decided on an Arai Condor in plain black, then was swiftly lightened of £200 from my wallet! Compared to my current helmet (an RDM) it is so much more comfortable with better padding around the face and cut more noise out. After putting it on all I could say was "wow" it was just so comfortable. Even my partner has brought the same one after saying the same comment! It is now on order and will have it, hopefully, on Tuesday. Unfortunatly I have to pick both helmets up so have to go in the car (want to keep my current helmet as a spare).
17 July 2008
Biker Friendly Hotels and B&Bs
Recorded for posterity.
14 July 2008
Amusingly I had to get all the way into the Portsmouth area before I had another biker nod at me! All of the ones on the Alton Road didn't respond. Ahh well.
Map of the route:
View Larger Map
09 July 2008
Have another idea on how to apply it, if it works I will post up, otherwise avoid!!
29 June 2008
25 June 2008
"A crazed motorist is being hunted by Australian police after he attacked a speed camera van with an axe.
The unknown motorist smashed the window of the camera vehicle before fleeing the scene when the camera operator triggered an alarm.
Police in Melbourne hope to use the speed camera footage to trace the motorist, who they believe was upset at being photographed."
As much as I find camera vans annoying, maybe a little extreme?!
24 June 2008
There we were shopping around sampling helmets when we found a few that fitted nice and snugly. The interesting thing was that it didn't have the "sealt belt" buckle similar to my helmet, it had the "Double-D" type. We're told that the double-d is actually safer then the newer buckle type. Asking why, it seems that many people don't check the tightness of the strap often and can be riding with a helmet that may not stay on in the event of a crash. The x2D strap means you have it tighten every time you use it, so you get maximum safety.
So anyway, I was riding to work when I was caught by a gust of wind that lifted my helmet enough that the chin bar obscured much of my lower vision! The moral of the story, ensure you check the tightness of the strap regularly.
18 June 2008
I am not a specialist in impact testing so cannot comment on how accurate the simulations are compared to real life events, however it must be good that there is a standard test that shows how good or bad a lid is at absorbing impact energy, regardless of label or price band.
Why not had a look and see if your helmet is on yet, if it isn't it should be soon once they (SHARP) have got round to it. Interestingly my helmet manufacturer isn't even listed!
17 June 2008
Worrying as it could explain why so many car drivers pull out into other road users, they just don't see anything else on the road, if it isn't directly in front of them, it isn't there...
15 June 2008
What happened? The dozy idiot that I am, forgot to remove the disc lock off of the wheel before I rode off. I had put it at the top of the calliper which meant it had to go round over 3/4s of the revolution before hitting the other side of the calliper! Given the size of the wheel and tyre about 2 feet of travel. Luckily there was only two people around who saw it (didn't stop it spreading like wildfire the next day!) and one of them graciously helped me pick up the bike again.
Had a good laugh at myself, decided to now put the lock just under the calliper so I can only move less then an inch before stopping.
Lesson learned and a very nice member of GB Bikers has offered to send me one of those reminder cables (big thanks to Mr Mandy!).
04 June 2008
26 May 2008
First time I had ridden in strong winds and boy, do you notice them! Having got used to a small lightweight car I thought I understood what it means when you get side swiped by a strong wind. How wrong was I. On at least two occasions I was pushed across the lane I was in, once almost into the oncoming traffic. It was a good ride out and I really enjoyed being on the bike for pleasure rather then getting to and from work!
I still don't understand why people (i.e. the motorbike press) continue to berate the little GS500. Yes it isn't the most powerful bike in the world, even less so as I have had to have it restricted in accordance to my driving license, but it is a hoot for someone of little biking experience under his belt (me). Now my confidence is building I am able to flick it from either side with no fuss or complaint from it and it handles both town riding and longer distance (200miles in a weekend or about 3-4 hours riding). And it is wonderfully economical too, returning 60mpg average thus far.
I also used the bullet camera to record the run. I will look at converting some bits of it and loading it up to view on here. The only problem is that the microphone is rubbish and picked up more of its own rattling then the sound of the bike. Will probably silence the audio as it is painful to listen too!
25 May 2008
I am going to be changing the accelerator, decelerator and choke cables in case one of them is sticking or damaged. Cheap enough to do and I don't know when they were last done either so good for maintaining anyway.
16 May 2008
View Larger Map
This is a route which I am planning to do at some point over the summer.
Starting just outside Winchester on the A272 heading down towards Petersfield. A short hop onto the A3 to miss going through Petersfield and then down B2146(Sussex Road) and then left onto the B2141. At the end of the B2141 joining A286 heading for Midhurst then on to Halsemere. Total trip approx 46miles and around 1:15-30 hours.
15 May 2008
14 May 2008
With the bike I was hoping to have an increase in the miles that I get out of every drop of petrol that goes into it, and, to my real surprise, I have. The current average is 61mpg, which personally I think is a fantastic figure, even my car tops out at about 45mpg. That gives me roughly a range of about 240miles to a tank of petrol in the bike (17 litres) to only about 300 miles to my car (33 litres). Given the approximate amount of miles that I am doing a year from the car and bike; that gives me a fuel saving of around £170-210, more then the cost of taxing, MOTing and insuring the bike even at the lower figure.
So as long as you don't go mad with the size of the engine in a bike (although I have no doubt I will go up to a 600-650 later!) you can get some amazing mileage out of a bike and save money in the process!
12 May 2008
I want to talk about PMR radios. I recently brought a couple of cheap radios for myself and the other half to use when we go out. £25 each from Lidl. To be honest they are worse then rubbish for motorbikes. Once you get above about 40mph you can't understand a word that comes through them, the mics just pick up the wind noise. Another little issue is the push-to-talk button is hard to position. I ended up putting it onto the clutch side handlebar, which was the only place to put it and still be able to use it, but it meant I couldn't hold the grip properly. Not only that, I had nowhere to put my right thumb and ended up hitting the horn too often. The radios themselves work well and they are quite clear without the headsets. For the price you also get all the sub-channels. So, good radios in their own right but no use for what they are sold for, on bikes. That said they were actually cheaper then models that only have the eight main channels.
09 May 2008
05 May 2008
-UPDATE- Received the screen yesterday (8th) will try and fit tonight.
03 May 2008
The whole process went smoothly, except the oil catch tray I brought from Halfords is rubbish! When the oil came out it poured faster then I thought, it hit the grooves on the tray and spurted over the road. It is a six litre black gerry-can style cost about £4.50, avoid!
Another thing that was accomplished today was changing the lamps on the console to LEDs. Here is a picture, unfortunately I couldn't time getting the indicators, but it is as bright as the neutral lamp.
30 April 2008
Found out about "BikeFest" being held at Donnington on June 7th (the day before my birthday!) so was thinking about going. Try and get up there on my bike, would be the longest single trip it has done if I do.
Actually looking at going out on the Kawasaki ER6F and the Suzuki SV650S with the BSM Ride-outs that are running, as both are bikes I am ultimately looking at getting in about a year and a bit. Would be great to have a go on them and see if they are comfortable on the roads for me.
Maybe see some of the people I chat too on-line there!
23 April 2008
Have done about 100 miles today, which is the largest single amount I have done, 47 miles of that in one go. Had a bit of a numb bum by the end of it! Great fun though and varied riding on backroads, trunk roads and motorways.
The only thing I need to remember is to take my summer gloves with me even if I am wearing my winter/waterproof ones. I forgot them and by the end of the ride my hands were boiling.
Here is a picture of the bike in the sun :)
21 April 2008
All in all it was a reasonably pleasant ride it.
19 April 2008
17 April 2008
13 April 2008
Well until next week, unless I have it back earlier. Fingers crossed!
05 April 2008
Found this and end up watching it with a little bit of morbid fascination. The two that get me are the very last one, I have no idea what that person was trying to prove! Also the one where the second bike tries to overtake the other one turning left.
Thought I would share!
02 April 2008
12 March 2008
This has basically made it really difficult to be able to get out and sort the bike alarm out, simply put, I can only get the bike out when it is dry. So far the weather forecast isn't good for the weekend. Here is hoping that the weather blows over before then, I'm not holding my breath!
05 March 2008
I am working on the theory that the alarm has died as the carbs now work and it is the only way to stop me getting on the bike!!
01 March 2008
Fingers crossed that the bike will fire up into life again!
09 February 2008
No the only remaining problem is that I have to get the float bowls off of the bottom of them, which isn't as easy as it sounds because the screws seem to be welded to the unit! During the week I'll look at getting them apart and replacing the screws.