The penguin's motorcycling and Jeep blog

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Windshield came in!

Yeppers, the World's Ugliest Windshield came in for the 'Strom. I tried to install it on my V-Strom, but my V-Strom has a Madstad windshield bracket, not the OEM one, and has bar risers. The bar risers raise the mirrors up to the point where they miss the cut-out in the windshield and hit the plastic instead. So I adjusted the windshield forward and the bars back towards me (remember, I have those funky Rox adjustable risers on my bike), but I think the real solution is to move my mirrors out of the way. Like with these mirror extenders, which would also move the turbulence from the mirrors away from me and also make it easier to see what is behind me rather than having a nice view of my shoulder.

Funny how this works. All I wanted was a better windshield, and now I'm doing all this other stuff? WTF? Heh. These beasts always seem to work like that...

So anyhow, I'll test the windshield tomorrow, assuming it's not raining. My trip to the Mojave Desert on the V-Strom showed that the windshield was one of the two weaknesses left in the bike -- the other one being lack of a throttle lock or cruise control, which resulted in my right hand getting somewhat tired. Hopefully I'll get this all sorted out soon and have the bike really dialed in. It's close -- really close. But not there yet.

-- Badtux the Wrenchin' Penguin

Friday, October 17, 2008

Craig Highline down

Kawasaki KLR-650 rider Craig Highline hit from behind while stopped at a red light, killed, while riding his KLR.

First Cary, now this. I think it's time to put an armed mortar shell facing backwards on a stalk on my KLR so that if any son-of-a-bitch hits me, he gets his ass blown to the next kingdom at the same time I get mine sent onward. Fucking bastards. Too fucking busy talking on their goddamned cell phones about nothing important to watch where the fuck they're going...

-- Badtux the Targetted Motorcyclin' Penguin

WIndshield for the 'Strom

To deal with the upcoming winter rainy season I just ordered what must be the world's ugliest windshield for my Suzuki DL650 V-Strom: That is the National Cycle VStream. The weird cut-outs are to make room for the mirrors and the handguards on bikes that don't have bar-backs like mine, otherwise the windshield is too wide for the bike. The cut-outs also help with reducing buffeting behind the windshield, since the air coming around the cut-outs helps reduce the backpressure behind the shield.

We'll have to see what happens. This windshield was at least $80 cheaper than the other high-end windshield I was looking at, so hopefully it'll work. Otherwise I'll have to sell it off on Fleabay and fork out more money, bummer :-(.

-- Badtux the Motorcyclin' Penguin

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

R.I.P. Cary Aspy

Cary Aspy was the creator of the 685 and 705cc overbore kits and "Big Valve" modification for the Kawasaki KLR-650 at Schnitz Racing. That was what he did when he felt like riding in the slow lane, which was when not building race engines for some of the quickest motorcycles in history. He built complete race engines from superstock, to nitrous injected and turbocharged. He hand ported every cylinder head and fit every piston.

Cary was truly dedicated to what he loved... spending 7 days a week at the shop when he wasn't enjoying a ride or weekend trip. He was involved in a fatal motorcycle accident Monday evening when a SUV hit him while he was riding his KLR on his way home from a weekend riding trip to Tennessee.

Dangerous hobby, we motorcyclists have. I was thinking about buying one of his 685cc kits for my KLR, which is getting a bit tired in the engine department. Now... I guess not :-(.

-- Badtux the Saddened Penguin

Monday, October 6, 2008

A reminder

Change your wiper blades!. With the crap rubber they sell nowdays, you should always change'em every six months. Unless you're out here in California, where for six months of the year there's no rain, then you can just change them before rainy season starts. Which is exactly what I did -- last week I bought some new blades and changed'em. So when the rains hit this weekend, well, no problem! I could see -- and, alas, most of the other cars on the road couldn't.

The time to do this shit is before you need it. So have you changed your blades within the past six months? No? What the f*** you waitin' for?!

-- Badtux the Wrenchin' Penguin

Heated grips for the Weestrom...

They're coming along. I finally found the heated grip connector that everybody was telling me about. It's a small connector just dangling in mid-air behind the radiator immediately below the lower throttle cable. I had to pull all the $%@!#@ plastics off, *and* loosen up the radiator so I could tilt it out of the way a little to make room to get back there, in order to plug in my heated grip cable from Eastern Beaver into the thing. I then loosened up the cable clamp that the wires and throttle and clutch cables go through and ran it through there and to the Rick's Shelf from whence I could hook up the grip heaters. This stock cable connects to the signals circuit, which means that my turn signals might work slower with the grip heaters on. Oh well!

I am using the el-cheapo Symtec motorcycle grip heaters with the round (not toggle) switch. It goes well into the Rick's Shelf that I bought previously for the Wee-strom. So right now my status is that I've put the heated grips on, but I need to hook up the electrical circuit before I can put everything back together. Hopefully I'll be able to do that tomorrow night, so I can get to commuting on the Suzuki V-Strom 650 again!

-- Badtux the Wrenchin' Penguin