Tag Archives: Motorcycle

Looking forward to Summer, 2014!

It’s been a while since I’ve last posted due to finding a new job, working massive hours, coming home too tired to blog, and getting busy with projects. I’m getting super sick of the cold weather and could use more of the sunshine and above 40’s warmth that has only flirted with us during midday hours. 


Ok, I’m better now.

So here’s a fun list of projects I’m tackling, planning, or just talking big about for the 2014 year (you know, now that I have a job, paying my bills consistently, being one of those responsible adult-types….yuck. Whatever, at least I’m making money, which everyone loves, right? ugh…I feel like we could get by with less of it, just saying.)

  • Clean the garage, organize my tools, paint the walls white, install exhaust system for painting bike frames (epic!)
  • Build electric brewing system so I can finally brew indoors again
  • Clean  basement, paint floors, fill cracks in walls (2 cracks, leak every spring with the melting snow)
  • Build an entertainment room in basement
  • Build a brewing room in basement with vent hood
  • Insulate the porch so it’s not an unbelievable hotbox in the summer or an unbearable freezer in the winter
  • Build a “car bed” for my son
  • Finish the cafe racer (Suzuki 1977 GS750)
  • Setup recording gear (..find some bands, record some demos, get back into music!)
  • Replace carpet in living room, refinish hardwood floor, replace window blinds
  • Build trellis system for my hops (15 varieties, around 30 plants)

So, it may look like a lot of work, and some of the projects are a lot of work, but these are the things that help men to stay men. Projects. Building. Using our hands to create something. Whether it’s art, a house, or a meal, we like to be the ones to craft and step back and say “look what I did”. It’s a skill we learn as children, and it’s funny to me how we never change, the medium just becomes more expensive. From crayons, playdough, and sand castles at the beach to motorcycles, houses, and landscaping. These are the things that make us men, and it’s these projects that keep us young at heart. 



Just a few more months

It’s almost here! Can you hear it? Can you feel it? No! You can’t! It’s too bloody cold! It’s winter in Wisconsin and we’re gonna be waiting a while yet. But this is the (near) perfect opportunity to check over our bikes and make sure everything is in tip top shape! We don’t want the riding season to pick up and leave without us, do we? It would be terrible to feel the warmth of the sun on a beautiful, dry day with a slight overcast maybe naught but a gentle whisper of a breeze in the air and miss it completely BECAUSE YOUR BIKE IS IN PIECES!!
Yeah. Been there. It’s not pretty.
So, let’s make sure we’ve got everything in line this year. Spark plugs, oil filter, oil changed, drive chain lubed, axles greased, brake calipers adjusted, brake pads replaced if necessary, check for cracks in ALL wires, tension on spokes (if applicable), ignition system (points set, choke cable lubed), battery charged (it was on a trainer, right?), throttle cables lubed, idler set, clutch plates replaced if necessary, brake fluid changed or topped off, brake and clutch cables lubed and adjusted, battery fluid maintained (if applicable), all major hardware tightened (…most, if not all, hardware is essential and critical on a two-wheeled vehicle), windshield and dash gauges cleaned and visible, handlebars adjusted (they can come loose so give em a quick check), fuel petcock adjusted, fuel filter replaced or cleaned (if necessary), tire air pressure adjusted, gas in the gas tank, carbs cleaned and adjusted or regasketed (I’d say 90% of first-run-of-the-season problems are associated with the carbs), air filters washed or replaced, light bulbs checked and maintained, sprockets checked for wear, drive chain checked for slack (or drive shaft oil replaced or topped off), etc.
You realize that as I’m saying all this I’m nearly drooling at the mouth with excitement and anticipation. I don’t claim to be an authority on bikes. I’m just sincerely, genuinely excited about motorcycles. More about what makes me go ga-ga for two-wheels later…
The nice thing about motorcycles is that there really isn’t that much to them. Everything I listed above is pretty standard stuff that I just pulled off the top of my head. I’m sure if I was standing in front of my bike I’d slap my head and say “how did I forget to mention that!?” But for the most part this is a good start.
No, wait.
Want a great start? Buy the 3rd party service manual for your bike. These books are worth their weight in gold for the novice motorcyclist and hold their value for a long time to the owner as he progresses in his motorcycle knowledge, which we now know is relative to the amount, shape, and cut of the rider’s facial hair. Chuck full of information about how to disassemble and check every component associated with your bike, it is an invaluable tool. And I think they are usually somewhere in the range of $20, or thereabouts. But there are online resources that sell the books used for a fraction of the cost; invest in reusing materials when you can. Plus, the knowledge you will learn will help you become a pro with your bike, but the practice you have repairing your ride will make you stand out amongst the other riders as a wizard or some knowledgeable source, and allow you to help novice riders with the maintenance and troubleshooting of issues with their bikes.

Of course, there is a small risk associated with repairing your own bike: all the responsibility is yours and yours alone for any incorrect repair made. Are you prepared to deal with the consequences should the repairs prove detrimental to your ride? Or even worse, cause injury?
Just making sure…
Oh yeah, that helmet that’s been sitting for a few months, time to dust him off, clean the visor, check the padding and maybe shine the whole thing. Gotta look good, you know?
But it’s too darn cold out there right now. Guess I’ll start preparing the bike in a few more months, when it’s warmer, and the snow melts. Ah, the joys of Wisconsin winters…said no one ever.