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God Bless Global Warming

March 26, 2012

March 22, 2012.

I’m sitting on my deck watching my motorcycles sparkle in the sunlight.  It’s almost 80 degrees and not a cloud in the sky and it’s March.  Why just yesterday, I rode in complete squid mode – shorts, flip flops, t-shirt and no helmet to the quick mart about a mile away.  Smart?  No, fun? Yes.   It’s absolutely gorgeous at my new home on the Connecticut shoreline.  Eff Vermont and those six month winters!

Right now I have a massive amount of free time as I’m a man of leisure (unemployed).  The ski season just ended – not that it really ever began this season anyway, and I’m quite happy to sit on the deck and try and get a boozy suntan and enjoy lazy days as summer approaches.

bikes

I’m almost done with spring maintenance on the Aprilia’s. Over the past year or so I noticed the Futura’s clutch pull at the lever was a bit soft.  A few pumps of the lever would bring it back up and I seem to have always forgotten about it.  Tuesday morning it was completely limp.  My immediate thought was a blown clutch slave cylinder.  Checking AF1 Racing showed a replacement for about $200.  E-Bay had some Oberon’s for $169.00.   Yikes, for an unemployed guy, that’s a lot of bucks.  So, first things first.  I pulled the clutch reservoir cap and to my utter surprise it was almost empty and almost caramel in color.  Looks like someone completely forgot about flushing the fluid……  Not like me at all. 

The Futura is completely clad in plastic body panels.  So after removing about 15 stainless steel alien head fasteners, and the panels,I could begin to see the slave cylinder and bleed nipple.  Which of course, was buried behind the voltage regulator and an aluminum heat shield.  My Allen wrenches would not fit, so I got out my custom fabricating tool (an angle grinder) and shaved a bit off the end of the wrench.  Off came the heat shield and I was able to quickly flush and bleed the slave cylinder and then top it off with Motorex 5.1 brake fluid. The clutch pull now is smooth and strong.

Since I had the bike apart, I might as well and go ahead and change the oil.  I rode over to the local Cycle Gear and bought a gallon of Motul 5100 semi-synthetic (15./50).  As far as oils go, this was by far the cheapest oil I’ve ever used in that bike.  My favorite oil is Specto Platinum full synthetic or Maxima.  But like I said, I’m broke and $45.00 oil would have to do.  I’m not saying Motul is cheap stuff, but it is significantly cheaper than what I would normally choose to use.  I’m a victim of either internal foolish pride – as if somehow spending $18.00 s quart is actually worth it, or marketing…. Who knows.

Anyway, I changed the oil and filter, cleaned the nooks and crannies behind the body panels and buttoned the bike up.  It shifts the same as with the $$$ oil and as always, neutral is easy to find.  So maybe I’ll use Motul in the future.  So, fluids flushed and filled, oil changed and everything else checked over, the Futura is ready for summer. 

The Caponord has had a chain adjustment, fluids checked and topped and is only waiting for an oil change.  For the Capo, no scrimping on oil.  I only use Amsoil in that bike and full synthetic.  It’s got 61,000 miles and feels like a new bike.  Amazing.

Last week I decided I was seriously hankering for some BBQ.  I know, east coast BBQ is a joke, but I needed a fix.  Goggling found Chester’s BBQ in Groton, CT. 

I saddled up the Caponord and headed out with my friend Nick on his BMW F650GS.  Nick’s a new rider so this ride was designed to be a variety of highway, back road and costal routes.  After a pleasant ride, we arrived at Chester’s and settled down for some lunch.  Nick ordered Brisket and I had the Ribs.  The ribs were ok, but the sauce, was fantastic!  I almost emptied my soda cup out and filled it with their sauce.  It was really good.

I’m looking forward to the summer and racking up as much seat time as possible.  Oh yeah, I have a bunch of old trip reports to post – so watch this space for more from my 24,000 mile trip of last summer.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. James O. Springate permalink
    March 26, 2012 12:30 pm

    Glad you’re back! I love your ride reports.

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