Two-Wheeled Therapy

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/4, 1/1400 sec, ISO200
“Kiki” Cedar Park, 2020

Today I have the day off from work (actually the whole week!) so I decided to have a bit of fun riding my motorcycle around. Motorcycling is an intense experience, where all five senses are on overload. But I also spent some time practicing skills that need some work: u-turns at full lock. For these exercises, I went to the elementary school’s parking lot, which is perfect because I can use the parking space markers to gauge my progress.

My goal is to comfortably make u-turns in either direction, with the handlebars at their maximum position (full lock). The correct way to do this is to look at where you want to go (way over your shoulder), then turn the handlebars and initiate the turn. The trick is to keep the proper speed where you are slow enough that you can keep the handlebars at full lock, but with enough speed that you can lean over without dropping the bike. The secret is to use clutch control while revving the engine a bit to avoid stalling. If you are sensing that you are falling over, then you need to let out the clutch and let the engine power bring you up again. But not too much that you come out of the tight turn.

It’s a real skill to do this well, and only practice will allow you build up the muscle memory to feather the clutch to adjust the power without consciously thinking about it. It’s my one big apprehension when riding, so it’s worthwhile to take the time to make some progress! And even if I feel like I didn’t do such a good job with my skill training, I know that it is progress towards getting better!

In the afternoon, I went for a nice bicycle ride to relax a bit. Bicycling is a wonderful activity. Super fun and good exercise! Plus you can clear your mind and see some great sights. I always feel great after a ride, even if it is just around the block to pick up the mail, but it’s a real treat when the route takes me to see sights like this:

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/7.1, 1/600 sec, ISO200
“Mango” Cedar Park, 2020

I hope you had a nice day!

Motorcycle Maintenance

Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/60 sec, ISO111
“Maintenance” Cedar Park, 2020

Today was another maintenance day for Kiki! A quick trip to Walmart to pick up some motor oil, coolant, and distilled water and I was all set for a couple hours of motorcycle work.

Including last night’s work, here’s what I completed:

  • Bled brakes/replace brake fluid (DOT4)
  • Changed oil (20W-50 dino oil)
  • Changed coolant
  • Topped up battery water (distilled)
  • Lubed the chain (PJ1 Blue)

Changing the oil and coolant is not difficult, but it’s a bit messy and more complicated that it should be. Did you know that BMW stands for “Bikes Made Weird”? I can attest! 😄

Ready to vroom-vroom! 🚀

Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/40 sec, ISO112
“Kiki” Cedar Park, 2020

She’s Back Home!

Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/60 sec, ISO125
“Kiki” Cedar Park, 2020

My BMW F650GS “Kiki” is back home! I had to get the fuel pump replaced, and the fuel system cleaned which took a few months, but she’s back. I went for a little spin and I really need to perform a bit of maintenance on her. Specifically some new brake fluid! The brakes feel a bit spongy, which isn’t a good thing. And then I should probably do an oil change while I’m at it. And clean/lube the chain. But those things are pretty fun to do, actually. Gotta give Kiki a bit of love! 😘

Vroom vroom!

Needing Repair

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/400 sec, ISO200
“Sick Motorbike” Cedar Park, 2020

My poor motorcycle won’t start up. I suspect it’s the fuel pump that has failed but I’m going to have it taken to a repair shop. I hope she gets back to good health soon! 🙁

Time to Ride

Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/30 sec, ISO311
“BMW 650 GS” Cedar Park, 2019

Today is the last day of Spring, but it sure seems like Summer is in full swing already! The temperatures are hovering in the mid-90s, but I really wanted to go for a ride so I donned my helmet and riding gear and went for a spin around town. Boy oh boy was it toasty! But of course, riding a motorcycle is so much fun that I didn’t mind it too much. But when I got back home I quickly took off my helmet and jacket so I wouldn’t make them all sweaty.

I haven’t ridden my motorcycle in a while (the desire comes in cycles) so the registration has expired… I guess I should get that taken care of, right? Oh well, in the meantime I’ll just be riding dirty. 😁

I hope you had a good day!