Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Getting It Running

Got a chance to go over the new motorcycle yesterday. The one downside with this motorcycle is the notoriously awful TK Carb. I had one on the TTR-125 and it just never worked -- but I never did switch it out. The girls had gotten into horses by that time.

The trouble with the TK is that it is cold blooded and takes forever to warm up. That was a leg breaker on a bike without electric start. A battery killer on one with.

I thought I'd try to clean and start the stock carb on the TW200 -- but when I looked, the float bowl drain screw was completely stripped. Not a good sign.

Instead I came inside and ebay'd a new BW200 carb from China. New throttle too since the TW uses a side mount push-pull system. Should be here by the end of the week. Goody! More toys in the mail.

Meanwhile, the old battery is toast. I have a gel battery laying around that will do the trick, but it is smaller. Still seems to charge up and crank the TW no problem. I think it is the old battery out of my VSTAR but I'm not sure.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Babe the Blue Ox

Well the CT is in parts in the basement. When I did ride it around out in the fields, it was pretty rough. Clearly this is a supercub made for rough gravel roads and not for riding off road out in the fields. I got bounced all over and at times had trouble keeping it under control.

Upgrading the suspension will help, I'm sure, but in the mean time Grace has been wanting to ride and I've been wanting something a little more old-bones friendly to ride with her out in the fields. The horses are nice, but they are high-maintenance. I wanted something I could push a button, put on my gear and go on a sunny afternoon before heading to work.

I've always wanted a TW200 - the ultimate trail motorcycle.

I finally found one that fit my budget.

Babe is a 1992 TW200 that sat in a Forest Service cabin most of its life. I bought it from a guy in Seattle that had it up on Craigs for a great price. Being a Forest Service bike, it had never been registered with DMV (so that's one cost I won't have to pay until I want to put it on the road.)

I headed up to Seattle in a wind and rain storm and arrived after dark. He had a garage full of TW200s. He told me he used to fix them for the Forest Service and gets them surplus. Sometimes they get a lot of use from the rangers, and sometimes they just sit.

Mine did not look like it had much use. The plastics are all in good shape and the pain looks like it has never been outside. Must have been a dry environment too -- no rust that I can find!

The downside is that it comes from the factory with the same crappy stock carb as the TTR-125. Since the seller was a TW expert I picked his brain for a few suggestions. His advice was to Seafoam the fuel system and then buy a $30 carb and swap it out when it arrives. He showed me his daily rider -- a well farkled TW -- and the cheap dualsport carb on it. "Starts faster, warms up faster, runs smoother."

I've got the plastics off now and am hoping to have it running around the fields by the end of the week.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Cee Baileys Windscreen and Maintanence on Piaggio MP3

Chiron with the new Cee Bailey windscreen. 
The Piaggio MP3 has been running great and getting me good gas mileage. With summer here, I've been driving it back and forth to work every day. It is very relaxing to hop on after a long night of work. Motorcycle therapy is good for the soul.

I put a new Cee Baileys windshield on and love it. It is a custom job in light green to take up the glare of sunshine on wet roads. Works -- and looks -- very nice.

When the spring rains were still constant, I had the big bug shield on -- which was okay for cold weather. I hate looking through a windshield rather than over it, but I'll put up with it if it means I can ride dry 4 seasons.

That said, I think I'll ride with the Cee Baileys as long as I can. It is very comfortable and sheds light rain over my shoulders. It forms a great cushion of air around me that makes the ride very easy while still cool on a warm day.  I'm very happy with it and the price was very reasonable even with the custom color.

Already I've added 3,000 miles to this bike commuting to work and hopping on it for rides whenever I can. It is amazing I've ridden that much since December, but it really is a great all weather bike.

I've changed the oil, but now it is time to do the 6,000 mile service. Too far from the nearest Vespa dealer, I'm on my own. Actually, I have the help of the Modern Vespa community which is very friendly and helpful with great how to videos  and pdf files on everything you need. I set my laptop up next to the scooter and began removing layers of plastic.

Under all the covers, the CVT is pretty simple. 
The job itself is straightforward, but I'm always very nervous when tearing apart a perfectly fine running motorcycle.

It pays to have a breaker bar and good torque wrench. What it didn't know was that I'd need an 8 mm socket to remove 7 cover bolts. All I had was an 8 mm open end wrench so that was tedious. Seating the new belt was also tricky -- the video has you pound in a dowel to make space for the belt to go down - that spooked me but worked fine.

 I got it all back together and gave it some throttle while it was still on the stand to see if the belt change was a success. The engine cut out -- panic loomed. I tried it again, then noticed that the dang parking break was on. (facepalm). So I went for a little ride and everything seems to be okay.

Still need to do the other stuff on the list, but it now has a new belt and Dr Pulley sliders which seem to smooth out the acceleration. I start my commute back to work tonight. Wish me luck!

Modern Vespa Wiki - MP3
Cee Bailey Windscreens 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Year and COLD

It's been pretty cold in Grays River the last few days.
But that hasn't stopped me from riding the new scooter as often as I can. Here it is on the Rosburg Bridge. I love how easy it is to hop off and take photos. 
And it looks cool .. at least to me. 
I am new to scooters, I love how easy it is to run into town and get some groceries. Lots of storage under the seat.
And I live in a great place to see beautiful scenery. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Rain riding

I took a ride to Naselle and around the valley the other day. Here are a few pics.