Monday, May 19, 2008

Oil Spots

Well after having my bike serviced there are oil spots appearing where I park my bike. I'll have to take it back to the shop to see what might have happened. Let's just hope nothing is too seriously messed up.

Putting some teeth into this epic ride.

I ran to Rose Kawasaki on lunch today and picked up a new front sprocket. It has 15 teeth instead of the factory 14, and it is supposed to lower highway RPMs by about 2200. That's a huge difference that will save engine wear and increase mileage even if it hurts acceleration a bit. There is a guy in town that is allegedly returning 82 mpg with one of these. I'm installing it. This blog may soon become Life at 5000. :-)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Planning and More Planning.

This is going to be one meticulously over-planned route. Ray and I started off with Google Maps, then clicked to "avoid highways" to get an idea. Then we set up a custom Google map [see sidebar] and collaborated online to set points for stops along scenic places and tried to pace it for a quick break every two hours or so. Now we're in the step where we find places to eat, sleep, and visit along the way. We're using a site called TripAdvisor that lets you pull data from people that have been to those places and made recommendations. Then we're going to use Google Earth to view crime stats for the areas, etc. before we settle on a hotel. Lastly we'll program the points into our TomTom One 3rd Edition GPS units as a route, and we'll use them on the bikes to ensure we don't get lost. Both of our cell phones are location-aware as well and will map to within five blocks or so by triangulating from the cell towers.

We should at least know where we are and where we're going. That's a solid step.

The Break-In Procedure is Complete.

Well, the little Ninja is properly broken in now and is doing just fine. I exhibited much self-restraint and avoiding rolling on the throttle too hard or too often while she was new, and I managed to keep the RPMs low the vast majority of the time. She has over 900 miles on the odometer already, and I'm hoping to have a touch over 2000 before this summer's ride so that I can sustain higher RPMs with confidence. I'm keeping a maintenance log on the motorcycle through this site, and so far she has averaged 67.3 mpg. Not too shabby! Couple that with a 4.8 gallon tank, and the bike has a working range of over 300 miles to a tank. Even with regular fuel at around the $3.50 mark, that range only runs me about $16. Nice!