Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bike Servicing

There hasn't been much happening at all around Chiller HQ of late for a number of reasons, some of which I will fill you in on, in an upcoming post. For the last 2 weeks I have been bike less due to dropping the R1 off for a 50 K service at the local Yamaha/Triumph dealer. (just read that back and it looked like I was saying that I'd dropped it - heaven forbid I had images of all you bloggers out there cringing behing your keyboards)

I have pretty much serviced the bike myself since it had its 10K service done at the dealers many moons ago. If you have a bit of know how and a Haynes service manual so you can get those pieces to go back together again without a) breaking them, b)busting your knuckles, c)swearing profusely then its not that hard to keep the thing maintained yourself. The Haynes Manuals are pretty comprehensive and will show you how to pull just about everything apart just as long as you have the right tools and the time and patience. And then if you can overcome the biggest hurdle of them all.

What could be harder I hear you say than getting in to all those hard to get at spots, like under the tank and in between the frame to get at those nasty bolts that your normal socket won't fit into the slot because said frame is in the way. Well in my case of late it's been pure LAZINESS.

There were a few things that I needed to have done like lube all the levers and cables, and I've found it hard to get motivated to get out there and get stuck in and do all that. I'd also noticed that after the last 2 -3 rides that the chain was loose after each ride. I hardly ever have to adjust the chain as I am fairly good at keeping it clean and maintained. My cleaning process on the chain is the same as Tarsnakes but I usually clean it a bit more often, with kero and a brush every 3 or 4 rides or after a big ride of several days whichever comes first.

I looked at the chain and checked it at the back sprocket and it had about a 4-5mm gap when I pulled it out at the centre of the rear sprocket. The recommended amount of slack there is only 2mm. Looking a bit further at the rear sprocket I noticed that the teeth looked to be spiked instead of peaked at the top and it was starting to get hooked shaped as well. Yep she's ratshit alright. I replaced the original chain at about 25000 km's, not because it was worn out but because I thought I should as it was getting on in age with some high mileage. I replaced the originals with Renthal Sprockets and a RK chain. The renthal sprockets were quite cheap and made of light weight anodised aluminium.

It was quite easy to get the old chain off when you have an angle grinder handy. I just knocked the heads off of one link and a screw drive wedged into the chain and she popped right off. The sprockets fitted in nicely, the hardest part was finding a socket big enough for the nut on the front sprocket.
New Chain and Sprockets
The Renthal sprockets and RK chain didn't last as long as the original Jap fitment chain and sprockets. I'd accumulated about 28000 km's on these but they were totally knackered. I thought about putting something else on but then came to the realisation that it would be unlikely I would still have the bike and put another 25000 on it. Hopefully by then I'll have convinced the minister of finance and warfare of the benefits of a newer bike.

Looking around the dealers whilst waiting for them to find my key I decided to have an ogle at the new bikes. There were lots of sports bikes, tourers, cruisers and sports tourers. One bike really caught my eye and even I surprised myself as I'd never even considered the brand before having only owned jap bikes before. But looking close up I really liked the triumph speed triple 1050, with its trick single sided swing arm and under seat exhausts whats not to like. (Christ I can see a giant sized head across the ditch). Ahhh to little money and not enough time.....sigh.

Over the winter I'd gotten a bit lazy and couldn't really find the motivation to replace the chain, so I thought I'd get it serviced at the dealer. I noticed a difference right away when I got on and pulled the clutch lever in, it was so easy to pull the lever and hold it in for extended periods even in traffic on the way home. The clutch lever probably hadn't been lubed since it was new. It's only about 5km's from the dealer to home, but that's just far enough for some F%#kwit in a blue magna to change lanes into not only my lane and cut me off, luckily I had an escape route to my left as my turning lane just showed up as he did it, but he also cut in front of Mrs Chiller in the car cutting her off and causing her to brake hard enough to set off the ABS in the process of trying to avoid hitting him. Probably some drugged up coke head. He didn't even turn his head and look, I know I was watching him. Tool. Rant out.

Anyway the R1 is ready for our spring time which is poking its head out at the moment. Just one more little hurdle to get over before getting back out there........ stay tuned.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Ducati walks into a bar....

 I saw this cool centre piece when I was in the city today so I had to stop and take a photo. I wish we'd stopped here for a drink instead of up the road.

Now this is what I call a centre piece.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Where are those whacky Kiwi's now.

Well then Roger my Kiwi friend lets take a look at the medal count now and see how Un Zed is fairing......

Mmmmm looks like business as usual.

Whats that you say? Where is Canada? Who can tell, maybe they went of drinking.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Review: SIDI Vertigo Boots

It's winter here and there's not a lot happening on the riding front so I thought I'd review the SIDI boots that I bought last year. It been about 12 months now so I thought I'd give a quick rundown on how they have performed over the last 12 months. Of course these things are highly subjective and these are just my thoughts on the boots.

When I first tried the boots on in the shop I was wearing jeans which are not as thick as my leathers which I normally wear inside my boots so that's exactly how I tried them on. When I zipped them up I thought geez these things seem a bit tight I wonder if I'll get my leathers into them. I ummed and rr'd about weather to purchase them or not. I liked the look of them and they felt ok just a little on the tight side when zipping them up. So I  though she'll be right and go with them anyway.

I took them out for a short ride only about 30 minutes. First thing I noticed was that they didn't squeak when I walked in them like my alpinestars did. I had trouble changing up gears for the whole of the trip. The boots seemed pretty stiff and didn't flex very much. I guess they have to be like this for safety reasons. Stops your foot from going into angles it's not supposed to. They actually fit my leathers inside the boot better than my jeans.

The next ride I went out for the entire day which you can read about here. After a little walking in them and a bit of riding I got accustomed to them and they seemed to flex a little better. I really noticed the ventilation system in these things on the very first ride, they worked great. It was pretty cool out in the morning but it warmed up by mid morning to the point where standing around in black leathers in the sun started to get uncomfortable. I had started to sweet a bit in the warm sun. When I hoped back on and got underway I could feel air flowing in over the bridge of my foot and around the back of the heal cooling down my foot. It felt strange at first. My last set of boots never had ventilation as I thought of it as just another place for water to seep in. That's not much of a problem these days as I tend to not ride much anymore in the rain if I can help it. The vent is also very easy to open or close when on the move which is a bonus.
Side foot vent
It was a bit strange at first feeling the air flowing around the heal of my foot as it felt a bit like the boot was too big and my foot was right at the front and I had spare space at the back of the boot, so I kept trying to move my foot back to the back of the boot which was quite impossible because my foot couldn't move inside there as they were a snug tight fit. The air flow was making me think that they were loose. It took me a little while to realise and adjust to it, but now is no problem.

After several rides now these boots feel like they have worn in and fit perfectly. They feel very comfortable to walk in and I reckon I could walk in them most of the day they are that comfy. Even though they are not made for that purpose. There also very comfy when riding as well and it didn't take long to break them in and get used to them. The only thing I have noticed is lately the left boot has started to squeak whilst walking in them. Damn, I'd thought I'd gotten rid of that when I got these new boots.

The calf has a little wheel that you twist to tighten the top of the boot up around your calf to get that perfect fit. After working out how this fang dangled technology works its now a cinch to have them done up snug.

The sixty four million dollar question is would I purchase them again if I was looking for another pair of boots. These types of boots are not exactly cheap to buy but that is not the deciding factor. First and fore most is safety and comfort in my opinion.

Well, would I by again? Hell yes is the simple answer. They are comfortable, fit well and look good all in the one package. The simple fact is that I'll have these boots for the next 5-10 years so they are relatively cheap really over that time and I know that they are comfortable and will give good protection if the unthinkable happens.