Almost there – Resurrection

Almost there … If you’ve been following along, my bike has been dead for a while now. After dicking around with it for several weekends, I finally gave up and resolved I was in over my head.  I had to manage a ride to the shop, but handled that finally around Christmas. Good news though, my mechanic has brought it back to life.

For those who aren’t familiar with the particulars of Ducatis, the key has a chip similar to many cars.  The chip talks to the dash, which turns off the immobilizer, which tells the ECU to start the bike, and they’re all paired together.  The dash, the ECU, and the key are all matched as a set.  One Monday morning after an uneventful Friday commute my bike wouldn’t start.

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Three Dudes in OC

My bike is still in the shop so I’ve been driving to work in my car.  Today the traffic was terrible in the afternoon.  I left work late, and it was worse than normal.  About 5 miles into my commute I see a stalled truck is causing some of the problem.  Older guy, white hair and beard, stuck in his F150 in the #4 lane.

We’re all kind of creeping around him and suddenly I see a guy who looks like young Marine cut across from the shoulder, walk up to his window, say a few words, then go to the back of the truck and start pushing.  He’s young, barely old enough to buy a beer, wearing full BDUs and the 8 point cap, I think it’s called.  And not faking it, his trousers were bloused properly and everything.

‘What the fuck?’ I’m thinking.  ‘We’re on a hill, no way is he going to get that truck moving.’  I’m a few cars back and I’m thinking “OK, I need to get out and help.”  I know how dangerous it is playing on the freeway, but this is guy will hurt himself and the truck isn’t moving.

As I’m looking for a way to pull to the shoulder and help, and I see a young Hispanic guy, 20’ish run out and get behind the truck and start pushing also.  Pretty soon they get it moving, and it’s picking up a little speed.  The little car behind them shielded them as they pushed the truck over to the shoulder while we all yielded and waited for them to get it to the shoulder.

As they finish, I see the Hispanic guy and the Marine shake hands and wave.  Hispanic guy waves to the old white guy in the cab. The Marine goes up to the cab and started talking to the driver, while the Hispanic guy ran back to his car, smiling.  For that small fleeting moment, it wasn’t a white guy, a green guy, and a brown guy out there in the road.  It was three American dudes trying to help each other get out of a shitty situation and find a better end to a shitty day.

I’m sure there’s a moral or something in here but I’m too dumb to string together enough words to make it meaningful, so I’ll just say: Look for opportunities to help a stranger. Find someone who needs a kind word.  The sun will rise and together we can win.

commuting

 

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.