Four Wheel Commuting

rideIconI’ve been commuting on four wheels the last couple months.  My bike had a catastrophic electronic failure and I’ve just not had the time or cash to get it repaired or trucked off to the shop to get diagnosed.  Consensus in the Monster community is the dash has failed and is stuck in key pairing mode.  New dash means a new ECU means a shit ton of money which I don’t have.  It needed a bunch of other work too, some of which I had the parts in the mail when it failed.  Hopefully get it sorted over the Christmas holiday.

In the meantime, I’ve been commuting by car which sucks but at least I can grab some cool sky pictures while secured in my metal box.

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Seven Tips for Buying Used Gear

Gear ReviewBuying used gear or parts is a great way to save yourself some money.  On the flip side, it’s a great way to make a few bucks and subsidize new moto-purchases.  But seriously, some of you folks need to polish your skills on being a buyer.  Shitty sellers exist too, but I’ve found FAR more shitty buyers in my time.  Based on a recent experience I had, here are some tips on buying gear and parts.

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First day of School

rideIconTook the day off to take my little one to her first day of first grade.  I wanted to squeeze a ride in but the sky was hazy and I didn’t have much time so I shot down to the beach to get some pictures.  Unfortunately, they have the high tide berm built up so you can’t really see the ocean from the parking lot.

Sprinted home in time to catch lunch with my girl at our local.  Beers and BBQ always make the day better.

 

Gas is my kryptonite

rideIconYes.  I ran out of gas.  This time not in my garage like the last time.  I was at work. Fuel pump made a funny should when it primed – a sound it only makes when I’m out of gas.  I usually get gas around 160-180 miles.  I checked the trip odometer, 222 miles.  Shit.  Well beyond even stretching it.

Thumb the starter – no joy.  Stand the bike up, can’t even hear any gas sloshing around.  How did I even make it into work?  Try again up right, no start.  So I start pushing the half-mile to the gas station.  About half way there a bike pulls up:

“You OK?”

“Yeah, just outta gas.”

“Are you gonna make it up the hill?”

“One way or another, I will.”

“Let me park and I’ll come back and help you up the hill.”

(wow)

I coast down the hill and make it nowhere close to up the hill so I start pushing again.  Stranger comes up and starts pushing from behind, me on the bars.  It’s easy work now, but man, wearing all that gear and pushing a bike suuuuucks.

He needed gas too, so as we get into the station I insist on buying him a tank of fuel.  He tries to deny me, but I mean, really, how much does it cost me?  The guy went out of his way to help some yahoo who can’t watch his odometer.  $10 is an easy penance to pay.

So Jason, on the 1198, whoever and where ever you are, thank you.

gas

Jason on the 1198

Electrical problems-again

techIconSome of you might have noticed I’ve been pretty scarce and posts even more scarce.

I’ve been working through some personal stuff and on top of that my bike has been down, off and on, since the first of June.  Ten days of downtime and I thought I had it fixed, but it only ran for a couple days.  It’s been in the garage ever since in varying states of disassembly.  A month of commuting by train and two weeks driving my car, a week of that on a bad rear wheel hub.

I think I finally have it fixed after I found this:

Pro top – when your Ducati starts having electrical problems, check the effing rectifier.

Brevetti Ducati

techIconYou’d think a company that started as an electronics manufacturer would have good electronics on their motorcycle.  Think again.  My Pops told me something once like “Ducati has brilliant mechanical engineers, and horrible electronic engineers.”

Blows me away how a tiny little $15 part can completely take your bike out of commission.

After a week of not riding my bike to work, just too busy to diagnose, find the parts, and install the parts, I’m back on the road with some NAPA parts.  Big thanks to Howie and Nick over at Ducati Monster Forum. Two $15 relays from Autozone brought my bike back to life.  Maybe it’s just the car-commuting-cabin-fever talking, but it seemed to run much better on my Friday commute.  Better than it has in months.

I don’t know how people do it.  Thursday it took my 1:20 to get home from work, and that’s only 20 miles.  It was awful.  When I ride, I almost always see the same cars to- and from- work.  I don’t know how they can sit there chugging along at 10 miles per hour for an hour.  The worse part is once you realize you’re completely screwed, exiting the highway and going another way isn’t going to save you any time.