Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

To all of the mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, daughters, sons, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and friends of the brave military women and men who have given all they had I SALUTE YOU on this Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Summer Didn't Sneak Up This Year

Monday, April 18 and it is the thirteenth consecutive day of 100 degrees or more in the Phoenix area. In fact it is already the fourteenth day to reach 100 degrees of more this year. Last year April 18 was the first day to reach 100 and this year the official high was 107, a new record high for this date. It appears we are in for a long, hot summer.

Riding in this type of heat can be stifling. How to cope with it, without parking your bike, isn't really all that hard.

This is a Kafka Cool Tie.

This is a Kafka Cool tie after it has been hydrated.

I have been using these cool ties for at least the last eleven years and can attest to their value in the heat of the summer. I have used them while riding as well as working outside. Steve Kafka, who I met years ago when he pin striped a Goldwing I owned, developed the Cool Tie. Inside the tie are little crystals that absorb water, swell up, and act as an evaporative cooler to keep your neck and head cool. Here is a link for the original Kafka Cool Tie. I needed a cool tie one day and purchased a couple of them at a sporting goods store, but they weren't Kafka Cool Ties and they didn't work as well as the original.

The only interest I have in this product is as a very satisfied customer that continues to ride my bike as comfortably as possible in the heat of an Arizona summer. If heat is an issue where you ride, or will be riding, order yourself two Cool Ties. I always have two because on the really hot days it evaporates in three hours or so and I have one in a bag of water getting ready to replace the one I'm wearing.

I hope this review is helpful to everyone who rides or finds themselves outside during the summer months.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How Does She Run?

With almost 1000 mile on her, it is time to evaluate Petunia's updated form. In her new configuration she has a set of S&S 510 gear driven cams, a Baker Direct Drive 6 Speed gear box, and Bassani fishtail mufflers.

Starting with the Baker 6 speed. The shift points are very close together and have a positive, solid, smooth feel when shifting through the gears either slowly, or when jumping on her. With the old 5 speed, I was always thinking I needed to shift again. That feeling has totally disappeared now. When rolling at 70 mph in sixth gear there is plenty of power to accelerate up to 80-85 to pull out and pass a cage that is getting in the way. On down shifting it seems like I am not going slow enough to enter the lower gear. It might just be getting used to the new gearing, but I am really loading her down when I down shift. This unit saves about 650 rpm at 70 mph. In fifth I used to turn 3050 rpm to run 70. Now the tach reads 2400 at 70. On the flat highway, with the cruise set at 70 I rode 80 miles before the gas gauge ever moved. I reached 170 miles before I stopped for gas and the low fuel light hadn't come on yet. Overall I would rate the Baker unit a 10 and am sorry I waited so long to have it put in.

The Bassani fishtails really dress Petunia up and the old school look is exactly what I had hoped for. These mufflers were extremely loud at first, but as they are burning in seem to be getting quieter. One thing I noticed is the left pipe has little to no exhaust exiting the muffler and the right side of Petunia is really hot. So, I have ordered the Bassani True Dual head pipes to finish the job right. Looks alone give these mufflers a 10.

The S&S gear drive cams really add the power to the motor. Some of the gain is from the mufflers, but Petunia has never pulled from a standing stop or jumped hitting second and third like she does now. Acceleration is quick and smooth throughout the entire range I've put her through and I haven't been gentle because if it is going to break I want it to be in the warranty period. In my reading the only complaint I've run across was a whining sound, but I don't hear any thing like that. On max acceleration she just winds up and sings a happy song. S&S cams are a 10.

I am very happy with the results of Petunia's update. I am holding off on reinstalling the pig pen until after installing the head pipes and then I will have to decide if I'm going to put the wide white walls on Petunia then or in a couple of thousand miles. I installed the one for the pig pen and it looks great and will infulence my decision.

Now, I think I need to go for a few miles just to get out of the house.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

She Is Baaaaaaaaaack

Petunia is back. I picked her up Tuesday before last and only rode her for 30 or so miles and had to park her to make the trip with my dad. I got home last Monday morning at 4:00 AM, took a short nap, and was out the door to ride. I took the back roads out to Lake Pleasant where I could open her up and kick it into sixth gear. It was here that I realized I really did need to install the Speed Recalibration Unit I had purchased. The clock was about 14 miles an hour too slow and the feel was just wrong.

I headed back to the house, but wasn't in a hurry and took the long way to get there. Getting home I let Petunia cool off for about an hour and then pulled out the battery to access the triangular connector that is between the speedometer and the transmission speed sensor. Two possible ways were listed to adjust the speed: follow a car or use mileage markers. Grabbing my watch with the second hand, so as not to have to wait for someone to get off of work, it was back out to Lake Pleasant to set the speed. On my way there I noticed, this time, the City of Peoria was nice enough to have a This Is Your Speed zone set up in an area where they just completed some serious road construction. I filed that away for the return trip. From Lake Pleasant Boulevard and Carefree Highway to the US 60 interchange is 26 miles, more than enough road to set the speedometer. Unless it is a perfect day and all the snowbirds are out looking at the desert. I finally shook loose of them, figured out the proper up and down on the Dakota Digital unit, and got it set. I rode to US 60, turned around and clocked 10 miles on the return trip at 60 MPH and it took 10 minutes 4 seconds according to my watch. I set my cruise at 52 as I approached the Peoria Speed Zone and it flashed Your Speed Is 52. So, I'll accept that my watch was right.

The only visible signs of her surgery is the Baker chrome cam support plate on the left and the Bassani fishtails on the right.

While the pictures above show the only visible proof that Petunia had some work done, the real proof is here;

I will post a review of the performance later. Right now I am going for a ride!

Before I forget, like last year, Happy Mothers Day to all the moms out there. I hope your day is special.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cinco de Mayo No More

Today is Cinco de Keegan. Two years ago today this tiny vision of loveliness came into our lives. She is the cutest, smartest, grandest little darling in the whole world.

Happy Birthday Keegan!!!!!!!!!!!

Picture stolen from Nene's blog and used without permission. Forgiveness is easier to ask for than permission.