Sunday, June 8, 2008

Bike Preparation

Well, it's time to get the bike completely ready for the ride. Doesn't need a lot of work, but there are several things that need attention.

Rear tire. About 8K miles ago, I tried a new tire just released on the market. A Michelin Pilot Road 2, which was supposed to give superior mileage in the center of the tire and superior grip on the sides. A 2 compound tire, it was supposed to be the best.

Well, my experience wasn't exactly like that. First of all, I went down on the bike the very first time I rode on the new tire. My fault; cold tire on cold sealed asphalt and the bike just went out from under me in the parking lot in front of the house. Engine guard protected the bike, so no real harm. Oh, and the tire wore out about 5K before the previous tire did. So, all the hype was false in my case!

Bought a Metzler Z6 (same tire as the one that previously lasted 13K miles. Got it put on last weekend; hopefully it will make the whole trip. I think it will be close, but if the roads have a lot of roughness on the surface, it will probably have to be replaced before the ride is over.

Pulled the fairings and gas tank off to re-do some of the communications previously on the bike. Since I've gotten a different walkie-talkie (FRS) , I needed to remove the cable for the old radio and install a push-to-talk switch connecting the radio to the Autocom unit. Also needed to remove the telephone cable because I had bought a bluetooth dongle for the Autocom. About 2 hours of sweat (very hot outside!) later, the cables are removed and installed, the bluetooth is paired to the phone, the FRS installed, and everything seems to be working as it should.

Reinstalled the gas tank and cleaned up for the day.

Planning to start working tomorrow morning before the heat gets bad. Need to replace headlight bulbs, all 3 of them. Then remove engine guard, pull the valve covers off, and adjust the valves. Never done it, but have watched it on video and live and know I can do it. When the valves are right, reinstall valve covers. Then change oil and filter. If time allows, reinstall engine guards and fairing panels. If time doesn't allow, finish on Tuesday morning. I'd like to have it finished this week before leaving town. I believe the RT will be ready to go this week!!

Only two weeks and a day before we hit the road. I'm getting more excited every day!

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