Episode 212 – Harleys at Bike Week

Episode 212 - Harleys at bike week October 5, 2015 ThePaceFINAL-300x116
Let’s get caught up on the last month off Catch up topics (any, all or none of these are fine by me):
  • OC Bike week
  • My brother bought a Harley - at bike week
  • Chris is back on a cruiser
News: Feedback:
  • Jonas Petzall - new bike options

What’s for sale…?

ThePaceFINAL-300x116 I decided to take a look at the bikes-for-sale listings on one of the popular motorcycle forums. The forum in question has a focus on ADV bikes, but it's a large global market place. Anyway, here's a listing of ads that had activity (new posts, new replies, etc) in a one-day period (business hours, Eastern time). Just found this list interesting. Discuss: ready... set... GO!

Download (PDF, 34KB)

For sale: 1995 Honda Magna

Thanks to a drunk driver, I was in a nasty car crash a couple weeks back and it's going to be months - lots and lots of them - before I can ride again. Horrible time of year to try to sell a bike, but ... I could use the money for upcoming medical bills 'til whatever happens with the lawsuit happens - which could take years. HmArSS2It's a 1995 Magna, yellow, ~17,000 miles. When I got it, it was all decked out in cruiser-typical fashion, and I mechanically returned it to (mostly) stock. Took off the forward controls, all the chrome stuff, etc. It has steel brake line, new pads, a Trailtech Striker digital gauge/computer in place of the stock gauges, and a Honda 919 headlight (much brighter and wider swath of light). Includes tail rack and a tail trunk. I can pull off the tail trunk and put the normal back rest back on if you like. Located in Northern Delaware, $2500, pretty firm but open to reasonable offers, obviously not interested in trades. WqN4gtxPictures are before I swapped out the headlight; the headlight assembly is now black and chrome and larger. No surprises with this bike; the Magna uses the 2nd(?) gen VFR 750 engine with chain cams rather than gear cams, and this one is a rather good example of one. It's not a chromed-out show piece; it's a rider's bike and in very good shape. For those out of the area, I can assist with delivery or meetup, likely in exchange for gas money (if necessary) and/or overnight accommodations (again, if necessary). I have a trailer and tow vehicle. I'm easy to work with.  

Giveaway time again: Cardo Scala Rider

YAY! Giveaway time again! IMG_20150114_204455328Up for grabs this time is a original Cardo Scala Rider helmet audio communicator and entertainment system. This gently used, fine working item was donated by listener and friend of the show Ed Day. Thanks, Ed! To win this Scala Rider, simply reply to this blog post, and tell us about a time that having a helmet communicator would have made one of your rides better, more enjoyable or safer. Winning entry will be chosen by random selection after all entries are read for content by James & Chris. Contest runs through Jan 31, 2015. Ready... set... GO! IMG_20150114_204505638IMG_20150114_204510597

The wisdom of maintenance

Motorcycles are something of a modern miracle wrapped in a thin layer of insanity. Take a lump of metal with some holes in it, add fuel and oxygen and light it on fire, creating a series of rapid, controlled explosions, and somehow deliver all that energy to a rotating assembly bolted on to the back of this crazy contraption, spinning on a metal rod held in place with tiny little fasteners. This is all happening on something that can't stand up on its own, mystifies riders and physics experts alike in how it does stay upright, and provides a rush of excitement and joy that relatively few people have ever felt. The motorcycle. A visceral, crazy, fun, enjoyable, dangerous, beautiful piece of mechanical art made of metal, plastic and dreams. And at the center of all this exists a machine. Like all machines, motorcycles require certain maintenance and attention to keep performing safely and at their peak. ID08L1HG27If you do all your own maintenance, there's a good chance you're very much in tune with your bike. When you put wrench to machine, you create a kind of intimacy and knowledge of that machine that no one else likely has. You'll know if something has loosened up. You'll feel if a wheel bearing you replaced three years ago feels a little odd. You'll understand that vibration you're feeling might indicate a tire has gone out of balance, or the chain has developed a tight spot. You know your bike better than anyone else ever could. Sure, mechanics get paid to know a lot about repairing and maintaining bikes... but only YOU know your bike like you do. If you don't do your own maintenance, consider getting involved in at least some of it. Even as a rider, you know your bike better than anyone, and doing even a small bit of the ongoing maintenance gives you opportunities to see things, to catch problems or to deepen your understanding of the machine that you might be missing if you take your bike to a shop for all of its maintenance. There are a number of tasks you can do on the maintenance list even without possessing a lot of mechanical aptitude or specialized tools. Kette_einsprühen_u._einwirken_lassenIf your bike is chain drive, you're probably already familiar with cleaning and lubricating your chain. If you're not, get your owner's manual out and get to work. A decent chain cleaning and oiling should only take you a few minutes once you're familiar with the task, and can be invaluable in prolonging the life of the chain (and the bike!), and increasing safety. It also gives you a chance to visually inspect the chain, the sprockets, the wheels and tires, and while you're at it, if your bike has rear disc brakes, you're probably only one head tilt away from looking at the thickness of your brake pads. You could potentially identify trouble spots on 3 or 4 different systems on the bike just by oiling your chain! If you're able to make yourself a cup of coffee in a modern coffee maker, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say you've got all the mechanical knowledge you need to at least attempt to do a basic oil change. Let's look at the steps necessary to do a full oil change on most motorcycles. Step 1 - warm up the engine. Step 2 - stop the engine, position the bike properly for the oil change (see your manual). Step 3 - slide a drain pan under the bike and take out the drain plug(s). Step 4 - remove the oil filter. Step 5 - replace the drain plug and install new filter. Step 6 - refill with oil. Step 7 - start bike, warm it up, shut it off, and check the oil level. Motorcycle-Oil-changeSure, I'm simplifying things, but your owner's manual - or better, buy a service manual - will have all the detail on those steps that you need to do the job. Some bikes will drain better on the side stand, also known as the kick stand. Others will drain better on the center stand, so do pay attention to your manual and do the work according to those guidelines. But all in all, it's a pretty simple job that will save you money, will allow you to really get hands on with the bike, and isn't that easy to get wrong. Once you've done it, you'll wonder why you never did before. You'll also be happy with the money you saved. Other maintenance tasks that might be worth doing include changing your air filter, replacing brake pads, or cleaning, lubricating and adjusting brake levers, and clutch levers and cables. Doing a lot of the little tasks can add up to huge savings over time, not only in keeping your bike out of the shop more ($), but in catching potential problems early and turning a costly repair into preventative maintenance. With any job you're doing for the first time, it's a good idea to have a little guidance. Always consult your owner's manual. As mentioned, getting hold of a service manual for your bike will not only give you detailed information particular to your model of bike, but may also list specific tools and equipment you'll need, and will walk you through the whole job, step by step. DSCF4183If you're a member of any online forums or local riders' groups, you might be able to find and attend a local tech day. A tech day is a great opportunity to meet other enthusiasts, and work with people who may be considerably more experienced in repair and maintenance, and can lend you all the guidance you need. If you can't find or host a tech day, you should still be able to make an online request for help and find someone local (enough) to lend a hand, or at least walk you through any trouble spots you may have. It's important to note that some maintenance is best left to those with more mechanical ability and experience if you're not comfortable with engine design, etc. For instance, throttle synchronizations or engine valve clearance checks can be very involved, and if done incorrectly, could render your bike unable to run, running poorly, or perhaps even damaged. What this article is discussing are the smaller, more pedestrian tasks. NickLabCoat2005Look for follow-up articles discussing the details of these and other home-based motorcycle maintenance tasks in the coming weeks. Who knows... we may even shoot some video! Keeping your bike running at its best doesn't need to include trips to the dealer for mundane things, spending a whole day waiting around, or writing a big check. Chris & James both have older bikes that require the occasional bit of attention, and the guys are hoping to start capturing more of that at-home maintenance with pictures and video... stay tuned.

Merch and some other stuff!

Next month The Pace Motorcycle Podcast will celebrate its 5th anniversary. Chris and I have been doing the same thing in the same way since the beginning. That's to say, on a shoestring and out of pocket. That's fine. We do the show for the love of motorcycling and the community that lives around it. It's a hobby that we are happy to drop some cash on. Now, 5 years in we'd like to do more. More costs money. We're still not looking at this as a potential profit center. We would just like to expand our capabilities beyond what we would be able to do on our own. To that end, we are exploring several avenues to generate a little cash flow. Those avenues include:
  • Stickers (Available now)
  • A Patreon campaign
  • T-Shirts, sweatshirts, hats, etc. Tell us what you want.
  • Merchandise associated with future rally events
  • Selling off reviewed gear that we have purchased (not gear that vendors have sent us)
  • Advertising on the web page (not in the podcast)
You may be wondering what you can expect if we're successful.
  • Better hosting for our media files. We are currently storing our media files, that's the actual podcast, on shared storage with our web host. That storage is not optimized for keeping and moving large files. We'd like to move to a solution that will provide better throughput. Especially for those of you who stream the show rather than download it.
  • Better hosting for the web site. Right now we're on one of those super cheap, shared hosting platforms. It's slow. We would like to move to either a dedicated or scalable platform.
  • More reviews. We get some gear from vendors or manufacturers for review. That doesn't happen all that often. We generally cover the stuff that we buy for our own use. That leaves us with little choice in what we review. We would like to be able to review more gear suggested by listeners.
  • More event coverage. Travel. 'Nuff said.
If we are not successful, the show will continue as it has. The content will always be free. Thanks for listening!

Motorcycle Podcasts

Some of our Facebook regulars have been talking about other motorcycle podcasts that are in their feeds. As it happens, I listen to all of the same shows plus a couple. I thought I'd put a list up for easy reference. In the list below you will find links to the show's web site, iTunes page and RSS feed. Podcasts suggested by listeners. Let us know if we missed anything.

Cast your votes!

Cage match is on! ONE VICTOR WILL STAND ALONE. Or some crap like that. We narrowed it down to 7 finalists, and we need help making the final decisions. Please cast your votes in the blog comment section. In no particular order... (photos should be clickable to get the full-sized versions where applicable) Mr. Bohnert's sunlit cruiser bohnert_1 Bryce's VFR, standing out in the crowd: bryce_1 Clay's flat tracker bringing sexy to the party: clay_1 Dan Yowell's R6/HDR: dan_yowell_1 Mr. Gillenwater's Maximus Veus: gillenwater_1 Kevin Kocher's traipsing 'Strominator: kevin_kocher_1 Will Munck's Painted Italian Water Monster: will_munck_1 What say ye...?

Happy Vallumtimes Day

Sadly, we're unable to get a show out this week. The last several weeks have been awful in terms of people being sick, long day-job hours and various commitments. Call it a Winter break, if you must. Yeah, that's it. We're back next week with a full show with news, opinions, feedback and all the goodness. Want a teaser...? HONDA! So, go hit the card store, get your sweetheart something pretty and enjoy the upcoming weekend by NOT thinking about burly, hairy (except the bald one) podcasters moping around in snow and ice, barely remembering how to even start a motorcycle, much less ride one. Happy Vallumtimes Day.