We got it

Snow that is.  Finally hit on Saturday December the 5th around 6pm.  I had to leave work early because of the fantastic flu that's floating around.  So in between much needed sleeps I got to watch snow fall and fall and fall.  At least 15cm of snow fell and the city probably dumped about 50cm of salt on it all.  This put a rather giant crimp in my plans to keep riding.  Sure, if the snow melts I can ride, but what about all that salt everywhere.  Do I really want all my chrome melting off?  I got some thinking to do...

While I'm on it...

The Honda bashing, that is.  I have issues with this

I'm gonna sound like an elitist jerk here, but so be it.  Here we go...beautiful bike, but things like this are going to make motorcycling a little too accessible.  This is a fully clutchless 1200cc machine and the only thing I can think of is that someone will be screaming down the highway talking on a cell phone because - WOW, now I have a free hand!  My prediction is that the more prolific these types of bikes get the more you will see things scarier then someone doing a wheelie down the highway.  A motorcycle is what it is because every part of you is involved in making that machine work and stay on the road.  You don't pay attention...you pay the price.

I know this isn't a first and it certainly isn't a first for Honda, but I can't say the DN-01 ever worried me that much.  Interesting "bike", but not much staying power.

Yes I know you can get the bike in manual, yes I know you can make the automatic into a shifter.  The fact is this type of full production bike opens the door for others to go, "We can do that..." The thought horrifies me as there are enough things to worry about while riding.

So there you have it, I'm an elitist.  So say what you will and correct in where I'm wrong, but I don't want tons of people discovering my favourite thing to do, and I don't want them ruining it for the rest of us.  I certainly don't want to see someone cruising down the road at or above speed limit while trying to answer that desperately important phone call.

Disclaimer: No disrespect to scooter riders.  I know you are all a cool respectful bunch that would have better sense then to do that.

Honda...what have you done...

They've taken the Sabre name and swapped it to yet another bike.

Good gods...we've gone cookie cutter style just like the VTX...which I had no love for to begin with.  Oh hey!  The Fury looks cool, let's make different versions!  Oh, and let's use the the cookie cutter VTX engine!  Brilliant!

So along with the "Sabre" we have the Fury

and the Stateline

So once it's time to move on from my Sabre (which I know is a rebirth of the V45) I won't be staying with Honda.  I didn't think I would anyway, but this just cements the thought for me.


First snowfall of the season last night.  Fantastic...Old Man Winter making a small but cold announcement of his impending return.

Not the best pic.  It was taken with my phone, in the dark, behind patio door of my cozy apartment.  Still, it's snow and it doesn't deserve a picture that makes it look good.

Here we go again

Well, we're back to the chilly weather again, summer is mostly a memory and I feel like starting up a hibernation cycle.  The last couple of days have been our typical fall weather...windy and rainy.  Neither of which makes for a very enjoyable ride.

Seeing blue skies and sun this morning made for a mixed bag of feelings due to the frost warning we've had in effect for the last two nights.  But it made for a nice ride to work regardless.  The old thermometer read 2C (35F) so I found myself going back to an old routine...layers.  All in all it wasn't too bad, the sun kept me warm for the most part and it was an invigorating ride because of the chill.

I both enjoy and hate this time of the season.  It's beautiful and at no other time do you see colours of this sort in nature.  The cool crisp mornings have a "new" feel to them and each day seems like a new adventure.  The hate part?  Essentially, summer is dying and soon we'll be covered in a monochrome blanket that makes even thinking about going outside a chore.

Hopefully the winter will be a short and mild one and at most I'll be off the bike for a mere three months.  There, that's a pleasant thought to hold onto.

How I spent 09/09/09

In short, I travelled around 200 KMs and didn't burn any of my own gas.

In long form, I headed over to the local Harley dealer to get in on the "Test Our Metal" demo day for the 2010 models.  There is no better way to spend a beautiful sunny day then to ride a bunch of different bikes at no cost to yourself.  It's like a free brothel....whoa...hang on, gotta think about that...

The day started at 9am with registration and perusing of the bikes.  There were nine rides in total, but I was only able to get out on eight of them.  All the good bikes were spoken for by the time I got there for the first run.  That didn't matter much, though.  I got to ride on every bike I wanted to try.

To start with, me and Joey tried the Road King as we wanted to know if this would be the next step for us.

The seat was quite comfortable for both me and Joey, but I didn't like the riding position.  I'm not sure if it was the seat, the handle bar position, the floor boards (hated them) or a combination of all of them.  It felt like I was being push forward the whole time riding and all my weight was on my hands.  I also figured out that I really don't like the "wall" style windows.  Other then those things, the bike itself was great to ride.  Very smooth, very powerful.  I didn't put it through it's paces due to Joey being on the back, but it did track very well in the turns and was way more responsive then I expected.  Throttle and clutch reacted near instantly which really took me off guard.  I quickly found out that all the bikes were like that.  I wonder if that's because they are new or are all H-Ds like that?

Next up was the Dyna Wide Glide.  Joey had to head off to work, so it was time for me to play on anything I could get my ass on.

Aside from having issues with finding the kickstand afterward, WOW...what an amazing ride!  Smooth, powerful, responsive and a reasonably comfortable seat.  The low center of gravity on this ride made it so easy to cut through corners and scrape...things.  I have no idea what I was scrapping, but damn I could get this bike low!  I'm not sure what Joey would think of that passenger seat, but I would definitely love to have one of these in my stable.

The third ride was a Night Rod Special.

Holy crap...there just wasn't enough road for this thing and the speed limits were taunting me!  Before starting off, the ride director came up to me and asked if I ever rode a bike with a wide tire before, which I hadn't.  He suggested taking it easy in the first couple of turns to get used to it.  He also said, "If you really want to enjoy this bike, keep the revs around 4 and 5 thousand."  Then he smiled at me.  So I did both.  The seating position was an exaggerated "flying C" which felt okay until the first pothole.  After that, I was in a fair amount of pain which I relieved by cranking the throttle.  The guy was right.  Between 4 and 5 grand, this bike wakes the hell up!  It would take no time to catch up to whoever was in front of me, but then I'd have to back off again.  I didn't find anything different with a wide back tire, maybe I would have to ride it for a few days before really noticing anything.  I'd never be able to ride one of these consistently though...I have enough back problems.  Oh, and to really enjoy this bike, you need an oval track...seriously.

Next up, the Fat Boy Lo.

I forgot to take a shot of it, so I stole one off the Internet.

The Night Rod wrenched my back, this bike just decided to beat the crap out of me.  Excellent riding position, but damn this thing is rough.  Every bump in the road shocked through the bike and into me.  I'm not sure if that's because of how they set up the shocks or if it's because of how low it actually is.  Come to think of it, there probably isn't a lot of travel room for the suspension.  Aside from that, I could easily go with this one or another Fat Boy.  Damn near perfect riding position.  Very easy to sling into corners and maneuver at low speed.

For the fifth ride, a Street Glide.

I can see why this bike is so popular in my area.  Also, I'm in love with the bat wing fairing.  It's so effective in keeping the wind away from your chest that it has to be experienced.  The wall type windshield on the Road King acted like...well a wall.  The wind hits it, goes around and there's tons of buffeting around you.  The bat wing seems to cut through the wind and keep you in a pocket just behind it.  There was still some minor buffeting around the top of my head, but that was perfectly acceptable.

The ride position was dead on and very comfortable (aside from some back pain...damn you Night Rod).  Unlike the Road King, I barely noticed the floor boards here.  As a matter of fact, it seemed like I was using pegs for the whole ride.  It would seem that the design of the floor boards help a lot as these were swept more forward then the ones on the Road King.  Oh, and once I figured out the stereo (didn't take long) I was in bliss.  Just a really fun bike that's easy to throw into turns.  It's heavy though and I required a bit of help backing it into position once done.

The next ride was taken on the suggestion of several of the riders there.  The Cross Bones.

I'm glad I took this one after all the punishment to my back.  Double the shocks equal double the comfort.  Combine that with the mini apes and you've got a fun cushy ride.  Very comfortable and it literally rolls into turns.  I found myself giggling like a school boy while riding this bike, it's just that fun.  The seat is kind of awkward when you are sitting still, but once you're riding it fits perfectly.  The only drawback is the fact that you are sitting straight up in the wind, so you take it all.

My final "new" ride of the day was the Road Glide.

This bike really surprised me.  It's big and it looks like something you should take it easy on.  The ride director came over to me and with a smile said, "Be aggressive in the turns with this one."  So, like before, I took his advice and I'm glad I did.  This bike handles like a spinning top in turns.  It's balanced extremely well and I found myself swinging it around like the Wide Glide.  Once again, the riding position was dead on and the fairing blocked a fair amount of the wind.  Not quite as much as the bat wing, but it was still a comfortable ride.

Having the stereo at the top of the fairing is great as you don't have to look down very far to see things.  The hand controls for it are identical to the Street Glide and at the flick of a thumb you can change volume with very little distraction.  The fixed fairing for the 2010 model is quite different and almost made for a bit of a disaster on my ride.  When heading out to the street with the pack, my mind thought the bike was going straight even though I was turning.  Minor panic, but nothing bad happened and it didn't take long to get used to.

There was one ride left of the day, so I took the Dyna Wide Glide out for another fun filled spin.

All in all, it was a hell of a day and I left with a renewed appreciation for Harley Davidson motorcycles.  I love the standardized control scheme and how responsive the bikes are.

The drawback of the day?  When I hopped back on my bike, I thought there was something wrong with it.  The throttle was sluggish and the clutch was a hard squeeze.

It will be a while, but my next bike will be a Harley Davidson.  I've got my rides in and my top three bikes, so now I just wait and mull things over in my head.


Shadow Phantom? I like the name and I like the looks. It almost seems like it was put out there as competition for the 883 Iron. Both are meant to be blacked out affordable cruisers with that bobbed and minimalist look. And I thought I wouldn't see anything from Honda that would impress me again. I've always loved the Shadow line and to see it slowly give way to the VTX made me cringe. I've never liked the VTX's styling and hated the demo rides I've had on them.

(courtesy of Honda)

2010 Honda Shadow Phantom Specifications:

Model: VT750C2A
Engine Type: 745cc liquid-cooled 52° V-twin
Bore and Stroke: 79mm x 76mm
Compression ratio: 9.6:1
Valve Train: SOHC; three valves per cylinder
Induction: PGM-FI with automatic enrichment circuit, one 34mm throttle body
Ignition: CD with electronic advance, two spark plugs per cylinder
Transmission: Wide-ratio five-speed
Final Drive: Shaft


41mm fork; 4.6 inches travel
Rear: Dual shocks with five-position spring preload adjustability; 3.5 inches travel

Front: Single 296mm disc with twin-piston caliper
Rear: Drum


Rear: 160/80-15

Wheelbase: 64.5 inches
Rake (Caster angle): 34o
Trail: 161mm (6.3 inches)
Seat Height: 25.7 inches
Fuel Capacity: 3.9 gallons, including 0.9-gallon reserve
Colors: Black
Curb Weight*: 549 pounds
*Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel--ready to ride.

Gotta say...hate the rear drum brake, but I do like the bike.

Sons of Anarchy

Tomorrow night...must watch...


Okay, I admit that I beat myself up about dropping my bike...a lot.  Calling it an amateur mistake and thinking myself stupid for doing it.  Let's just say that my ego got the better of me.  I'm fine about it now, but I was a limping (twisted foot) bear for a couple of days after the incident.

Yesterday I read the post on Road Grits Cafe about the "Cherry Drop".  Genius naming, by the way.  And it made me realize how stupid those thoughts I had are.  Everyone has their moment and that day was one of mine.  The one line in his post that jumps out is, "LACK OF FOCUS AND ENVIRONMENT DISTRACTION".  That day was a result of lack of focus on my part.  I was distracted by thoughts other then my motorcycle and I had tried riding with tunes again.  Both of those things led to me not watching what I was doing and dropping Selene.

Really, there is no other excuse then that.  Any time that something like this has happened, it's been the result of me not focusing on what I'm doing.  Whether parking or riding, your focus needs to be on piloting that bike.  Once you are off, feel free to do as many things at once as you wish.

Focus brothers and sisters, your life is in your own hands while riding.  Make sure your mind is all about that.

September 1st...ugh...

Can you feel it?  The impending doom that is the end of riding season?  Well, at least the end for us that actually experience winter.  I know I'll be doing my usual "push riding season as far as I can", but I'm gonna miss those hot summer days.  I'm working on getting something to help out with the cold while riding, but it will be a while before that pans out.

It's September and I'm wondering where the hell my summer went.  I remember everything that we did, but it feels like it all happened in one day.  I guess that's the joy/pain of having a summer full of things to do.  You enjoy it and remember it, but it goes oh so quickly.

We had our trip to PEI...in the midst of a hurricane that didn't really happen.  Bill was fore cast to pummel the Maritimes, but barely did anything.  We had beautiful weather the whole trip and only got wet because of the late evening fog as we rolled back into town.  The wind was a battle on the way back and Joey thought we were goners a couple of times...ah the joys of solid rims.  No matter though, it was an awesome trip made better with the accompaniment of friends.  And the Confederation Bridge?  What a blast to ride across!

After that it's been work for the club and getting to the events that I can.  It's odd to look past September and see months with no bike events.  Man...winter is going to be boring.

In other news, I dropped my bike again.  No excuses, just lost my footing in a parking lot.  Thankfully no one was around.  Once again my left saddle bag took the brunt of the damage.  It's all scratched up and will have to be left for the winter to get repaired.  We just can't afford to get it done right now.

Two upcoming things that I'm looking forward to in September though?  Sons of Anarchy starts up next week so there is some quality motorcycle oriented TV watching right there.  The day after that premieres our local Harley Davidson dealer is having a Test Our Metal demo day.  I think that will be an early day...I want to get my butt in the seat of one of those Road Kings.  You know...so I can further cement into my head that I want one.

Busy and Fast

That pretty much describes this summer.  Lots of things going on and not really enough time for myself or the things I want to do.  Well...the other things I want to do...aside from biking and being involved in bike related things.

The weather hasn't been the best on the east coast.  There's been plenty of fog and more then enough rain.  It's actually on record as the wettest summer for our area.  But the nice days we've had have been really nice.  I can't remember a summer where I've been able to ride with just a shirt on this much.  Yes, just a shirt.  I know...ATGATT.  I accept the risk and I won't bitch about it if I ever hit the pavement with just a t-shirt on.

Things are good on the home front though.  I'm very much back to how I used to be before the surgery and the only real reminders are the numb area and the scar itself.  Financially, though, we're screwed...LOL.  But hey, not the first time we've been there.  My wife was talking to a financial planner (that was pleasantly forced on us by a credit card company) and the planner was going through everything that we are paying out.  One of the things she asked was, "Can your husband go without the motorcycle?"  My wife broke out laughing.  The conversation soon ended.

The club has been keeping me very busy.  It's amazing how many motorcycle events I've discovered around here.  There aren't too many weekends that are devoid of things to do.  There's always a group that has some ride planned or some event going on.  As a matter of fact, we have our own east coast rally August 21-23.  We have a big group of riders going and we all have cabins rented in the same area.  It's should to be a blast...can't wait.

We are also creating a calendar to help fund the club so we can start our own charity events.  All the bike photos are member bikes taken by our resident club photographer (not me).  It's skipping along rather nicely and it'll be great to have a calendar hanging on the wall with my own bike in it.  We should have them printing off within a week or two.  Aside from all that we have two bike shows to be in before the summer is done.  Ugh, before I know it I'll be complaining that it's time to put the bike away.  I really don't want summer to end...

Oh, one last thing.  I had my daughter on the bike a while back (she's 13 already?!).  She was a natural!  I barely even knew she was there.  The fact that she sat back there and didn't even have to hold on to me blew my mind.  That's my girl!

I have discovered...

That I really don't like my days/life being planned.  Being on LoA from work really brought a sense of zen to my days.  Waking up with no reason to rush gave me a chance to savour the day and do what I wanted to do.  Dare I say that my LoA was a holiday in the true sense of the word.  Let me explain...

This "holiday" started out with surgery, which put me out for a couple of weeks.  No heavy lifting, no running or jumping about, no real expectations.  After the first week I had a fair amount of mobility back, but I still couldn't do anything strenuous nor was anything expected of me.  The month of July was probably the most relaxing and stress free month I've had in a long time.  Isn't that what a holiday should be?  Do what you want for the time you have with no deadlines or real expectations.

Once I was able to ride again, I was in heaven.  Wake up in the morning, have a bite to eat while surfing the web for bit, check the weather and go for a short ride.  I know...hard life, eh?  Mind you, I didn't turn into a lump that just laid in bed all day.  I still got things done around the house, but usually got scolded for it.

The only true downfall is that LoA means no income.  So we are pretty hard pressed right now while we wait for UI and benefits to come in and cover the time I missed.

Personally, I think that anyone who owns a motorcycle should have the whole summer off.  Yeah, that would do just fine...

Happy Canada Day!


Figured I’d get this up before the day completely dwindled away on me.  It’s nice that I was able to get out for a ride today and it’s only fitting that it’s my last day of my leave of absence from work.  Back to the grind tomorrow, I guess.

It was a fun ride with a couple of guys from the club.  I got a little patriotic and zip tied a flag to bike.  That combined with the flag patches and Canadian themed club symbol you could say we were a little decked out for our country’s birthday.

I’ve taken a bit of a break from the blog while I was on LOA.  There are reasons for that, but I won’t be getting into them here.  I’m all healed up from the surgery and things went fine.  I just ended up being off a little longer then expected.  Can’t say it wasn’t a nice “vacation”. :)

No more riding

At least for a while, but I'll get to that in a minute.

Yesterday was "ride it like you stole it day" for me.  It was my last day to ride for a while and I took advantage of it as much as I could.  I took Joey out for a spin before she went off to work and then the rest of the evening was mine.  I hit the back roads and did some of the most aggressive riding I've done in quite some time.  Nothing too far over the speed limit, but I was pushing my own limits on the twisties.  it was great though and I haven't felt quite that "alive" in some time.  It's nice to ride with my group and go on leisurely country rides, but every now and then you have to break out.  Yesterday reminded me of why I usually ride alone.

I took my camera with me, but for some reason I didn't want to stop.  Stopping meant taking me out of my groove and I was having way too much fun to do that.

Now to the reason I won't be riding.  I have to go in for surgery tomorrow and it's going to put me out for a bit.  No heavy lifting for two months, no work and no riding for a minimum of two weeks.  So you can see why I hit the road as hard as I did yesterday.

I have no doubt that I'm going to be a bear to live with and every sunny day is going to make it worse.

I'll report back when it's all said and done.  We'll see how long I'm actually kept off the bike...


Posted via email from Jason's posterous

How to Save 300+ Bucks...

Or, how I changed my own coolant.

So, on Easter Sunday I finally pushed myself out the door to the garage and got to work changing the coolant in my Honda Shadow Sabre 1100.

I had been delaying this out of fear, mostly. It's one of the most daunting things I've ever considered doing on to my bike. Well, no longer. And here I will impart my "wisdom" to you so that you need not worry or think that this is beyond your technical reach...cause it ain't.

Before we go any further...

NOTE: This guide was created to help out anyone looking for more information on changing the coolant in a Honda Shadow Sabre 1100 (VT1100C2). I am not a mechanic in any way shape or form and I do not/will not take any responsibility for any damage done to your bike. If you are unsure of doing this work, then by all means take it to the dealer to get it done.

Still here? Okay, let's move on...

Things you need:
  • 2 Litres of Honda coolant (I bought the pre-mix in 1 Litre bottles)
  • The usual assortment of sockets and wrenches (these are kind of important)
  • Replacement washer for the coolant drain plug (you may not need it, mine was fine)
  • A drain pan (mine could hold 4 Litres)
  • A disposal bottle (mine could hold 4 Litres)
  • Phillips head screw driver (the one from my bike tool kit worked fine)
  • Funnels (or you will make a big ass mess)
  • 2 Litres of distilled water (drug store)
  • Flashlight (great for seeing fill marks so you don't over fill things...don't ask)

If you follow the maintenance manual (not the owners manual, but the thick one you buy at the shop), you'll end up doing more work then necessary to get this particular job done. The biggest pain in the ass is taking the gas tank off. Here's where I'll stop you. Don't do it. In order to take the tank off, you have to shut off the fuel, pull the gas line off the petcock, then pull the vent tube off the other side. I say again...don't do this. I ended up smelling of gas for the rest of the damn day because that little petcock just wouldn't stop dripping. Yes...I did turn off the fuel.

Here's what you do. Remove the seat and take out the bolts holding the gas tank in place. With that done, just lift up the front part of the tank until you can see screws for the neck cover. The front part of the tank should stay up due to the rubber mounts on the frame. If it doesn't want to, just use something to prop it up and keep it out of the way.

Get your screw driver and remove the two plastic screws holding the neck cover in place. Two reason to be careful here:
  1. These screws are plastic and easily messed up if you use too much force on them.
  2. The screws go into expanding plastic inserts that actually hold the
    cover in place. These inserts can easily be lost and/or broken.

Once the neck cover is off you have full access to the radiator fill cap and you've skipped past the ridiculous process of taking off your precious gas tank. My biggest worry was me accidentally kicking the tank and that would make for a very bad day.

Okay, moving on. Remove the filler cap and move on over to the other side of the bike. It's time to remove the bolt to drain the system. I was doubtful about what bolt it was because it really doesn't stand out. It looks like it's a normal part of the coolant pump, you know, a bolt that you would take out to disassemble it. Seems it serves a dual purpose. It's the bolt right behind the kick stand. Put your drain pan in position and use a socket or wrench to start loosening it.

To prevent a recreation of the first time I changed the oil (read: oil forced through small hole creates a strong stream and big mess), I only loosened the bolt to the point that coolant started dribbling out and straight down into the pan. I left the bolt partially in place until almost all the coolant had drained out. As the coolant drains, loosen the bolt more and more until you have it completely removed. Careful, there's a washer on there and you don't want to lose it. It takes a bit to drain, got your favorite beverage handy?

Coolant drained? Good, check that washer on the drain bolt and make sure it looks in good condition. If it isn't, replace it. Put the bolt in a safe place and we'll move on to the real pain in the ass part.

Now you have to drain the coolant reserve tank. This part I hated. It's located between the back of the engine and the rear wheel. You can spot it by looking for the siphon tube which goes into the right side. Did you spot that siphon tube? Good, move the drain pan underneath it and remove the siphon tube from right side of the reserve tank. This took me the most time. I wasn't prepared to fight with a spring clip and a tube fitted over a flared plastic spigot. I'm guessing a couple pairs of needle nose pliers would have helped a lot at this point. But I was dead set on getting that tube off right then and there. Be prepared for a bit of a mess because you won't have much control over the speed of the coolant coming out.

With the draining all done, it's time to move onto flushing. You can skip this if you want, but only if the drained coolant isn't discoloured too much. Move the drain pan back to the original drain hole and grab that distilled water plus a funnel. Start pouring it into the filler hole in the neck and let it drain out the bottom. You have to do this with the reserve tank as well, so save some water or just have a second bottle nearby. An easy way to flush the reserve is to remove the bolt holding the reserve filler tube (beside the right rear shock) and pull it away from the bike. You can easily stick a funnel in there with that done.

Once again, wait for the system to fully drain. Got another beverage? I bet you do...

Alright, pop that drain bolt back in, snug it up (tighten to 13 N*m 115 in.-lb) and have fun putting that siphon tube back on the reserve tank. Note to self: ask for more tools for Xmas. Everything snug? Okay, let's start putting the real stuff back in.

Get your funnel and slowly start pouring the coolant back into the radiator fill point. I'll say it again...do this slowly. You don't want to introduce too much air into the coolant system. You want it to reach the bottom of the filler neck. Once that's done (don't put the filler cap on yet) fill the reserve tank to it's upper level. I propped a flashlight under the bike so I could see exactly where the coolant was in relation to the upper level mark. It's hard to see due to the fact that it's squirreled away under/behind the rear brake fluid reservoir.

Alright, now that the filling is done, we can start with the bleeding. Start the bike (yes, leave the radiator fill cap off) and let it idle for two or three minutes. Snap the throttle. As you give it throttle, should see the coolant level in the radiator fill neck drop. When you let go of the throttle the level should come back up and you will see bubbles. You have now bled some air out of the coolant system. Do this a few more times to bleed out more air and then just shut off the engine. Add coolant (if needed) to bring the level back to the bottom of the filler neck and replace the filler cap.

Start up the bike again and let it run at idle speed until it reaches normal operating temperature. Make sure the reserve tank stabilizes at the upper level, if not, add more coolant to bring it up. Cap it...your done.

Bolt the reserve filler tube back to the frame, if you took it off for easy filling. Put the neck cover back on. Push the tank back down and put the bolts in. Mount the seat back in place. Okay, it's time for a test ride. When you get back, check your levels again and check for any leaks.

That's it, you're done. Pat yourself on the back, have another beverage, but above all else...congratulate yourself on saving a few hundred bucks in labour charges. In total I spent around 34 bucks to change my own coolant and was rewarded with a great learning experience and the pride of working on my own bike.

I hope my fellow Sabre owners find this helpful.

Today was the day

Looking out the window this morning, I was greeted with everything covered in frost, but the roads were bone dry.  It was a balmy -6C (21F), which accounted for the frost, but there was no wind.  How could I resist?

I grabbed my gear, suited up and blissfully enjoyed my ride to work.  I think I may have enjoyed it a little too much though...I was 11 minutes late.

I even managed to get out for a while yesterday.  It was much colder, but a quick stop at a Tim Horton's for an extra large warmed me up.  I got to hook up with one of my Officers from the club as well.  After coffee we went for a little spin and I put in the first tank of gas for the season.

Before I headed out for that ride though, I put one of my Xmas gifts from Joey to use.

Excuse the crappy dark pic, but I only had my cell phone on me at the time.  That's my ride bell with a Canadian flag on it.  Love it.

That's it for now.  Check back later for a write up on how you save 300+ dollars on maintenance for your bike.


IIS gave me a few issues...okay...a lot of issues.  But I think everything should be working as normal.  If you see any issues with images (aside from slow load times) or you get prompted for a password, give me a heads up in the comments.

By the way, Windows Home Server rocks.


Okay, so some things are missing from my blog right now...  I bought a new server for home and installed Windows Home Server on it.  So as it stands, I'm still getting used to things.  I'm also in the process of transferring around 400GB of data back to the server, so it's taking a while.  Once that's done I'm hoping to get the web server portion up and running again.  The blog still works, there's just a few missing images.

Be careful out there

The season is only just starting in Canada, but stuff like this is already happening:

March 18, 2009 05:43 PM - A man and woman have been rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries after the motorcycle they were riding collided this afternoon with an SUV at a busy Mississauga intersection.
The female passenger on the motorcycle was rushed to Credit Valley Hospital with critical injuries and has since been transported to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, where she continues to fight for her life tonight.
The male motorcyclist was airlifted to Sunnybrook in Toronto with critical injuries. Emergency crews say he may need to amputate both legs as a result of the crash.
Peel Regional Police responded to the Hurontario St./Eglinton Ave. scene just before 5 p.m. after numerous 9-1-1 calls from drivers reporting the crash between the Suzuki motorcycle and Honda CRV.
The driver of the Honda was uninjured.
The crash brought traffic to a halt, as police closed a large area surrounding the intersection. Lane closures are expected to last well into the evening.
The Major Collision Bureau is investigating.
An officer on the scene said the traffic light change likely factored into the collision.

March 19, 2009 12:20 PM - Police are looking into the possibility that a driver of an SUV may have illegally entered a busy Mississauga intersection late yesterday afternoon before crashing into a motorcycle, sending the driver and his passenger to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Peel Regional Police said today that the motorcyclist, 30, and his female passenger, 22, are expected to live following the rush-hour collision at Hurontario St. and Eglinton Ave.
Motorcyclists from across the GTA are outraged. Several will be at a rally tonight at the intersection because they believe there needs to be increased awareness among drivers of larger vehicles to be cautious sharing the road with
motorcyclists. Police will also be at the rally.

"The weather is warming and more and more riders are on the roads. This tragic incident should be a reminder to all that cars share the roads with bikes and that we must all be aware of each other," said Shaun de Jager, an avid motorcyclist who organized the rally. "There is no excuse for paying anything less than 100 per cent attention to the road and our

The motorcyclist was airlifted to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto after his Suzuki collided with a Honda CRV at about 5 p.m.
Peel Cst. J.P. Valade said the man's condition has improved.
He has serious leg and arm injuries, but is expected to survive.
The passenger, who suffered internal injuries, was initially taken to Credit Valley Hospital. She was also transferred to Sunnybrook. She, too, is expected to live.
The 62-year-old female driver of the SUV was not injured.
Officers with the Major Collision Bureau are investigating whether the woman entered the intersection improperly, believing she had an advanced green light to make a left turn.
They say "no witnesses to the collision remained at the scene, despite the dense traffic conditions at the time". Investigators are appealing for witnesses to the come forward.
The accident brought traffic to a halt, as police closed off a large area surrounding the intersection. Lane closures lasted well into the night.

That's two reports on the same accident.

It's early in the season and we all need to be careful out there.  As usual, no one is watching out for us.

GTA Motorcycle.com (Toronto and Area Motorcycle Enthusiasts Online) organized a rally for that evening to bring awareness to the fact that we as motorcycle riders are out there and that there is no excuse for nothing less then 100% attention when driving.  Peoples lives are at stake here.  The following videos show the rally that was held.  Be careful out there.

(Look For Bikes pt.1)

(Look For Bikes pt.2)

(Look For Bikes pt.3)

Woo Hoo!

Happy 1st day of spring to all my fellow two wheeled riders out there!  Isn’t it nice to shed off that winter mind set!

Courtesy of FreeFoto.com

In celebration, I went out and bought some things to help me keep Selene clean.  And last night (this morning actually, around 2am) I went over to the garage and changed up the final drive oil.  That’s the second of three fluids that needed changing.  The last, and most daunting, is the coolant.  That might be a two man job as I have to remove the gas tank in order to get at the radiator cap.  Things like this make it annoying to own a liquid cooled bike.  And really…do we need liquid cooled bikes in Canada?  LOL.

Ah yes…

It’s 4C (39F) with high percentages of sand and water on the roads, but I got out for a ride today.  Selene got a little dirty, but not quite as bad as I expected.  I put on around 20km (12mi) or so, just far enough to take Joey to work, get me home and get my hands cold.

The roads are in ridiculous shape.  I didn’t realize how bad they were until I could actually look down and see them.  Some places aren’t even pavement anymore.  It’s so chewed up it may as well be dirt.  It will be interesting to see if they actually have a budget to fix them after the horrible winter we’ve had.

I can’t say I’ve ever had an issue with riding a motorcycle with a lot of dirt around.  Hell, I learned how to ride my first street bike on the dirt back roads of my home town.  You just have to keep your wits about you and not enter turns fast or on a steep angle.  Selene took it all like a champ and it was nice to be able to completely dodge the pot holes littering the streets.

One other thing I kept in mind was to increase my follow distance with cars.  Not only did this have the benefit of keeping them from spraying me with dirty/salty water, but it also allowed me to watch for the pot holes obscured by the car.  Keeping the distance to two/two and half car lengths seemed good for the amount of water on the roads.

I have to say, it was great.  Even with all the obstacles to avoid, it was a great little ride.  It’s great to be back on two wheels.

Happy Blog-iversary

Well, I'm at the three year mark.  This is officially the longest running blog I've ever had.  I guess I really do like motorcycling...as if that was ever in doubt...

The weather here lately has been great.  We are on a steady upward climb for temperatures and we haven't been hit with any wacky snow storms.  One of the women in our riding club has already been out twice and is making us all jealous.  But it won't be long before we are all on the road.

I'd be out myself, but there are a few things holding me back.  My maintenance isn't completely done.  I've changed the oil and filter, but I still need to do a coolant flush and change the final drive oil.  The last thing holding me in place is all the ice in our parking lot.  We received a lot of snow this season and with a lot snow comes a lot of melting.  Our temperatures are still around the freezing mark so every morning all the melted snow becomes shiny ice.  I keep gauging the roads as I drive in to work to see where all the danger spots are going to be once I'm finally back on two wheels.  I'm guessing early April before I can ride safely, but I'll definitely try for sooner.

15 Days

Until the first day of spring.  I know that we won’t be able to actually get the bikes out for a ride, but at least it’s a milestone showing us that it really isn’t that much further until everything starts melting.

On another note, daylight savings time begins on March 8th.  I consider that to be another milestone.  Even if we do lose that comfortable hour that we gained last year.

Bloody snow...

Hang in the, fellow buried riders.  We’ll be out of this soon!


To anyone that saw me start following your blog and then shortly there after stop following your blog.  Apparently when you import the blogs you are following into blogger from google reader, it quickly duplicates all those blogs back into your google reader in a folder/tag that can't be deleted or changed in anyway.  Luckily you can stop following and they disappear from google reader.

Until they fix this "feature" I'll stick to following you all on google reader.  Sorry about that.

Valentines Day

What did you do?

Here's what I did...

Me, my wife, my daughter and several members of my chapter of CMC went to the biggest motorcycle show in the Atlantic provinces.

It was a full day of drooling over every two wheeled machine you could think of from practically every manufacturer out there.  Even the new V-max and Fury were there.

We also got to meet several members from the Halifax, NS chapter and renew acquaintances with members of the PEI chapters.  Seeing so many of our patches around was fantastic.

The show filled the Moncton Coliseum which included three ice rink sized floors and one upper level of booths for groups, charities and clubs.

You started off with the booths which advertised local clubs, charities and events.  The best showing there was the Bike Klub of Bernice MacNaughton High School.  The group of kids in the Bike Klub built one fantastic looking bike and now they are looking for donations to help pay the way to a competition that I hope they win.  Seriously, check it out.  It's a beauty of a bike.

After that, it was downstairs to where all the camper/trailer/mobile garages were setup.  Very interesting way to have a place to sleep, eat and store your bike.  Also on that level was the Yamaha Riding Academy.  They had a small indoor course setup for giving basic training to kids up to 12 years old.  Try as we might, our little one would not venture out.  I'll get her into motorcycles yet!

Once you were finished there you wandered out into the first of the main areas.  Here was Honda, OCC, and BMW, plus numerous advertising booths.

Honda & BMW

Honda had it's brand new Fury on a pedestal and seeing it in person is quite a different experience.  It's a good looking bike and one I wouldn't mind test riding for a few years hours...

Honda Fury

Honda also had the DN-01 on the floor, but I can't say I have much interest in the bike.  It's a very interesting design, but it seems like more of a sexied up scooter.

Honda DN-01

Moving on to the next section is where things exploded.  You are first presented with Yamaha and their newly re-created beast, the Vmax.

Yamaha Vmax

Just sitting there it looked like it was ready to pounce on anyone that came near it.  Thankfully it's rear tire was securely held.  It's amazing to look at and I'm sure it would be one hell of an experience to ride.

Harley Davidson owned the other half of this floor and I spent a fair amount of time drooling over the bike that I want.  What really disappointed me was the fact that they didn't have the Iron 883 Sportster on hand.  The funny part about that is a H-D dealership not 15 minutes away had one for sale.  It was baffling to not see H-D's newest entry (and one of the most affordable).

Harley Davidson

In the next hall was Polaris Victory,

Polaris Victory

Ducati (I adore this bike)

Ducati Sport 1000 S
 and Suzuki.

Suzuki Gladius

By this time, everything is a blur and you're having daring dreams of taking off with one of these beautiful pieces of machinery.  But...you aren't done yet...

In the next hall we have Triumph,



Kawasaki Voyager

and KTM...sorry, no real pictures of KTM.  Maybe not enough chrome for me?  ;)  Here's an overview shot.

KTM, Triumph & Kawasaki

All in all, it was one hell of a day.  I got to hang out with my wife and my daughter at one of the largest motorcycle expos I've ever seen.  I also got to meet several members from maritime CMC chapters which is always a treat.  Nothing like total strangers treating you like family!

We were beat, but had a great time!

Minor blessing

For once, I can actually say I'm happy to see rain.  It's currently 3C (37F) out there with occasional rain showers.  It's nice to wake up to a day without heavy blowing snow.  I swear, this has been one of the worst winters we've had in years.

Last night, we had a small gathering of our club members to celebrate the second anniversary of our chapter.  For two years we've been slowly growing and getting the word out about the Canadian Motorcycle Cruisers.  It's difficult getting something like that growing in this city, but it's rewarding when you get everyone together.

The food was great, the company and conversation was even better.  We even had a cake made up with the clubs logo on top.  Once everyone was done eating, we all sat down to watch a little of the Ride Like a Pro video to make us all feel like amateurs.  We've all agreed that we need practice. :)

There are many things planned for the coming season including attendance at an east coast rally for our CMC chapters.  It's crazy to think that March is right around the corner and I already have to start organizing and planning things.  As much as I want winter to be over, I don't want time to go by too fast.

Here's to the coming end of a wacky winter, a warm and sunny riding season, and many exciting adventures to come! *clink*

I need a ride...

Work is hell.  Changes are being brought in that increase our workload exponentially.  This doesn't seem bad until it's put into this context: Four people taking care of satellite installations for close to 6000 hotels.  Even better when the changes are because of one mistake from one of the three you work with.

Winter is hell.  Yet another snow storm due to hit some time this afternoon.  I know you're sick of hearing me say it, but it's my blog...I'm sick of winter and snow and ice and driving the car. :p

I need a ride...

After work tomorrow, I may put the battery back in just so I can ride in circles around the garage where I have Selene parked.

Can't keep a good rally down

Looks like the City of Myrtle Beach can bitch and complain, but that ain't gonna stop the bikers.

With a quick name change and a minor location change, the rally still goes.  Now it's called "Cruisin' the Coast Spring Bike Week" and it's everywhere except the City of Myrtle Beach.  Myrtle Beach Harley-Davidson is taking one of H-Ds new mottos and running with it, Screw it, let's ride, they are saying and keep mentioning how small the city is compared to the rest of Horry County.

I know not everyone loves rallies, but it's long been part of the biker culture and it's nice to see them putting up a fight for this


That last post was in regards to a blog I set up on posterous. My motorcycle blog is not going dormant.

May go dormant

Well, seeing as I live in Canada and posterous doesn't support SMS in Canada, this account may go dormant for a while.  I love the idea, but until I get a better cellular phone (read: smart phone) posterous won't live up to what I want it to be.

Posted via email from Jason's posterous

Myrtle Beach rallies gone?

Apparently so...

Excerpt from Mayor's letter:

Myrtle Beach is no longer the location for two long-running motorcycle
events. After many years, our residents grew weary of three weeks of
noise and traffic congestion each May, and they asked City Council to
end the events. As a result, the Harley-Davidson Dealers Association
Spring Rally and the Atlantic Beach Memorial Day Bikefest will not be
held in Myrtle Beach.

New Rules & Ordinances

So that takes out two motorcycle rallies.  Honda has already canceled the annual Honda Hoot.  Here's hoping this isn't a growing trend.  Sad days indeed...


Finally moving back to Windows Live Writer.  Looks like they finally made it useful and none glitchy.  There is so much on the Windows side of things that make me want to use their programs more, but I’m a Google fan.  My life is on Gmail and all it’s many parts.  I wish they would come out with an OS and just get it over with…