Friday, February 16, 2007

On the Road Again

Good ol' Willie. Anyone know if he's paid off his taxes yet? ... Oh well.

It actually happened on Wednesday. I picked my Suzuki up from the dealer! (What? You don't think that's exciting? Just because I've done that about 2 dozen times in the last few years? Ah, okay, here's the important point -->) WITHOUT A TRAILER!

That's right boys and girls. It's alive and kicking and coming to a yuppie-biker-hangout near you.

It runs pretty good in the mid rev range. I'm not sure it's getting enough fuel once the revs pick up. It's a little early to say. My hope is to push a tank of gas through it this weekend. (If the weather cooperates.)

I've covered about 25 miles so far. And I've learned a few things already:
1) Mirrors are almost useless on a bike. But not as useless as having *no* mirrors.
2) If you have a short rear fender and you ride when the road is wet, you're going to get a nice disgusting stripe of grime on the back of your jacket.
3) Riding a cruiser with forward controls is absolutely nothing like riding a sport bike. (Although the riding position is oddly similar to the driving position in a TR6.)

Work items left:
- Polished / chromed final drive.
- Polished / powdercoated lower front legs
- Replace the oil cooler with something slimmer.
- Hide / cleanup the bluing on the front pipe.
- Get a speedometer cable.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Sit Happens

I decided to move forward on the Suzuki last week. I need to get a seat installed before it will be safe enough for the guys at the dealer to ride it, and that's a pre-requisite for them to be able to tune it.

So I called Richs Custom Seats. Explained that I'd need a new pan and a new seat. I got the "bring the bike down and we can figure it out" response I expected. I made an appointment for Saturday.

I figured the process would look something like...

1. Bring the bike down Saturday morning.
2. Spend 15-30 minutes talking over what I wanted, what was possible, and deciding on a plan. Leave the bike behind.
3. Come back a week or two later (once the pan was done) to do the foam fitting. Take the bike.
4. Come back a week or two later to pick up the completed seat and sign over my first born son as payment.

Instead the process was...

1. Bring the bike in 10:45am Saturday.
2. Spend 15 minutes talking about what I wanted and what could be done with what I had.
3. Hang in the shop talking motorcycles with Rich, his employees, and a number of other customers (most of whom we're also a little surprised by Richs process).
4. About a dozen times get asked by Rich to verify that the shape / style / fit of the seat was what I expected.
5. Leave about 6:00pm with the bike and the finished seat.

Yeah, it cost me the day but now I have the seat done instead of waiting until the end of the month. Plus it only cost about 60% of what I expected. (Partly because they were able to modify my existing seatpan instead of having to create a new one from scratch.)

Next time I'll just have to remember to bring a book.

If you look close at the picture from the right side you'll also see the other little change I had to make. I had to move the rear brake reservoir to keep it from touching the exhaust. One of my finer successes: I spent 45 minutes and about $0.89 to make the bracket.