Sunday, June 29, 2008

Winter protection

I know it is 90+ degrees but winter will be here before we know it and we get a little rain that can be problematic as well.

My last bike was a GoldWing that offered great rain protection and after getting caught in a rain storm on my GY-5, I started looking into rain suits. My last rain suit was a one piece that lasted over 15 years but I think I want a 2-piece suit this time.

I took this picture of a scooter in Paris last year and I think something like this will someday be imported to the USA as gas priced increase. This could truly be a daily driver in all weather.

This type of protection could be added. The cover is fastened to the fairing and it straps around your waist and drapes over you legs, yet lets you put your feet down when needed. Fastening it across the bike keeps your seat dry while you are not riding it.

With no fairing on the GY-5 something like this would not work but it does get the gears rolling in my head about how to best accomplish a reasonable about of winter protection for my ride to work.

I know coveralls, rainsuit, and waterproof boots will work but I am exploring other possibilities.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Motorcycle withdrawals

No my Lifan is not broken, I am on vacation at the lake.

For those that have not checked out my "other blog", we live fulltime in this travel trailer. The Dodge 2500 is our "family car" and the S-10 (that I have mentioned) is my work truck. The trailer weighs in (loaded) at about 14,000lbs. and the Dodge diesel gets over 10mpg pulling this mammoth trailer.

We are at BEAVER LAKE in the Ozark mountains of northwest Arkansas. This would be a great place to ride the GY-5 but I could not bring it as I have not fabbed a carrier for the back of the camper yet.

The campers frame has an extension for the back bumper that will make a nice mounting point for a carrier. The heavy spare tire is mounted on the bumper, so when I remove it that will help counteract the additional weight.

I switched from a phone line based DSL to an "air-card" so we could have internet on the road.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

10 miles on reserve

After writing about riding home in the rain, I found my bike had fallen over during the night. It had fallen against the tree that I chain it to. It didn't fall all the way but at about a 45 degree angle.

I smelled gas as I picked it up but did not see any on the tank. It must have leaked a little out and the level got low enough to stop leaking.

On the way home today I had to use "reserve" and I traveled 10 miles before running out of gas. I just decided to push the bike a little over a mile to the gas station.

It held 2.9 gallons and the odometer showed 275km (170 miles) and that worked out to 58 mpg. So I know it had leaked a little gas when it fell over.

At least I know the reserve works. I passed four gas stations but wanted to find out just how far I could travel on the reserve.

Monday, June 9, 2008

750 miles

I checked the chain again at 1250km (about 750 miles) and decided it would not make it to 1000 miles before it needed adjustment. After adjusting the chain, I cleaned it with WD-40 (yes it does a nice job of cleaning oily grime) and wiped it dry before applying a liberal coat of spray on chain lube.

I haven't owned a motorcycle with a chain since the late 70's and back then I cleaned the chain with kerosene and used 50w motor oil to lube it. I liked the way the spray on chain lube looked and had to ride home in a heavy down pour, so I will see how it looks tomorrow.

This little bike just seems to be getting smoother and more powerful as it racks up the miles. I know 750 miles is not an indicator of how it will hold up but so far I really like it.

You will not just hear the good points about it but also any negatives that might arise. Every part that needs replacing for repairs or upgrades will be documented.

One thing that needs improving is the "monkey butt" seat. I know my last bike was a GoldWing but this seat needs help. The seat has a little more padding (still not enough) in the center but as I more rearward to be comfortable, I find little to no padding.

Friday, June 6, 2008


I fueled up at 1065km and had traveled 319km (198 miles). I still did not have to switch to reserve even though I put in 2.598 gallons.

198.20 miles / 2.598 gallons = 76.29 MPG

I think that 75 MPG will be my average for riding to work and back. I will start doing a few modifications (one at a time) to see how it improves the bike and effects the gas mileage.

I checked the bike over and did not find any thing that needed attention. Not loose bolts and even the chain did not require adjustment. At 1000 miles, I will clean, lube and adjust the chain. For now I have "oiled" it while I research the lube I want to put on it after I clean the chain.

So far the only thing that the bike needs is a better quality battery. The battery was down when I bought the bike and it will now start the bike but if I have to spin it over for just a few seconds it will run down. I will replace the 7amp battery with a 9amp battery before cold weather but for right now it starts it fine.