Tuesday, July 27, 2004


Managed to get off the awful sissybar. The bike looks a lot sleeker now. I'll hold onto the sissybar, simply because it's so, well, awful!

Also managed to get on the new bars, grips and mirrors. Will take some fiddling to figure out the best position. On the ride today, couldn't see anything out of the mirrors but my pits.

All that's left now is a good cleaning and replacement of the flaking sidecover.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Finally home

So it’s here.

My MINI had to go into the shop tomorrow (to get a check up before this weekend’s track event), so Kendra grabbed my jacket and helmet and met me at the dealership. Then, we made our way back up to Hiway to collect the bike. After a short wait as Mike finished up with another customer, the R5, in all her glory, was rolled out to the street. After gathering up paperwork, making sure everything worked, putting a little oil and gas in it, and paying the man, I hopped on, kicked her over, and stalled. Whoops. Another kick, and I was speeding out into the gathering dusk, leaving a thick greasy plume of blue smoke behind me. Poor Kendra - she was following in the convertible.

For my first ever ride in traffic, I opted to take Street Road all the way over to State Road as my way back to the Northern Liberties. I didn't think I was quite ready for I-95, plus that route also goes directly past the house in whose garage the R5 had been lanquishing these many years. All was good - the R5 is a bit jerky, doesn't really like cruising at a steady speed. But the brakes are good, and acceleration is pretty good. When feeling brazen, I could keep up with everyone at 50mph no problem (hey, what do you expect for my first ride?)

Street Road was fine, I stayed right and no one gave me a problem, or rode my tail or anything. Surprising, actually. The bike smokes quite a lot of stinky stuff, and it got pretty bad at the intersections with long lights. Didn't stall at all after the first few times coming out of Hiway's driveway (!) getting used to the clutch.

Got to State Road. Starting to get dark. This is another first. Nothing to do but grin and bear it. Kendra is still behind, somewhere in the smokescreen. It's taking a while because I'm going relatively slow. We wind our way along the river and eventually get to the more thickly urbanized areas of the Northeast. Almost home. Then, all of a sudden, we're stopped at Aramingo - repaving the whole thing. Damn! OK, turnaround and try some of the side streets. No go. Pretty much lost now. Everything leads to a dead end. Finally after some backtracking, actually manage to get onto Aramingo, before the repaving. They're letting people thru that way. OK. But then I notice everyone merging into one lane. Now, eveyone is cutting me off and snaking around me as I sit in traffic. Smoking like hell. Getting hot in my jacket and helmet. Once I finally am able to stop the hemmorraging of cars in front of me, I start moving... only to happen upon Aramingo completely torn up for resurfacing... exposed tracks, manholes, everything. Screw this. One minute later, I'm on 95.

And it's fine. The bike is up to 60 or so. Running strong. Felt great. Got off an exit later. Finally home. About four hours since I started. Absolutely exhausted. Forearms hurt slightly, a little from the clutch, but mostly from the vibration of the bike.

Lock her up. Cover her up. Go to bed, cuz I'm doing it all again in the morning!

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Getting close!

Stopped by the shop yesterday to check up on the bike... all the parts are here - front tire and float needles. Mike and Mike (the Japanese bike specialist) worked on the thing last night and today... it’s inspected and ready to go! As an aside, Mike (aforementioned Jap bike guy) told me to hold on to this bike, as it will be worth something. Agreed.

However, as the bike sat with a full tank, everything got flooded up with fuel again, making it hard to start. Mike disassembled everything again and cleaned out the exhaust baffles. He wants it to sit overnight to be sure it will start and everything works well prior to my picking it up.

Got a chance to look up close at the paint on the bike when I was there last night. Most notable is the bubbling on the cover on the oil tank. Right now there’s a prime example of a whole tank, cover, emblem good paint and all, on eBay, so hopefully I can get that replaced.

Got the 699 Superbike grips... and, of course, despite UPPER CASE EMPHASIS on the order form, still received closed-ended grips. Not that it's hard to cut out the end of gummy rubber grips, but how hard is it just to get what the heck you order?

The Hiway show was rained out last weekend, and is postponed to this weekend. I can’t attend, however, as Kendra and I will be at a PDA track day up at Pocono Raceway. Kendra got a helmet this past weekend, for the dual purpose of attending the track day and riding passenger on the Yammy. Perhaps (and this is her suggestion) she can move to getting a bike of her own...

Tuesday, July 13, 2004


Hiway is having a motorcycle show this Sunday. Wonder if my bike will be done by then? Still waiting on the front tire, and inspection...

The 698XL Superbike grips I ordered wound up being closed-ended, despite the description on the site, and they didn't carry the open-ended ones. That's OK, though, as I really wanted to get the 699 Superbike grips... same stuff, just look cooler. They're on their way...

Wednesday, July 7, 2004


Got the call from Langel that my title had finally been posted this past Friday. Got the plate and registration today! Heading over to Hiway now to drop it off and check the status of the Yammy.

Also ordered an M2R MR-25 replacement shield (scratched the original up pretty bad), Progrip 698XL Superbike(!) grips for the clubmans (open-ended to accept the bar-end mirrors), and a Kryptonite New York Chain (so you can’t take her, thank you very much). All from motorcyclesuperstore.com.