July 23, 2006

Lipizzaner Stallions

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Listening to KOLA last Thursday I caught something about the Lipizzaner Stallions show over in Ontario. Checked on the Web, they had shows Thursday and Friday in Ontario, then down to San Diego for Saturday and Sunday. Made sure Wendy was free Sunday, got tickets through "let's double the price" Ticketron, told Wendy I had a present for her. Needless to say, she enjoyed the show. So did I. Wendy took a few pictures, some of which made up into acceptable Windows Wallpaper.

Posted by Paladin at 09:28 PM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2006

MC maintenance

Been riding the motorcycle for nearly two years now, doing between 4,000 and 5,000 miles a year. Finally replaced the front tire -- the original OEM junk. It lasted 13,000 miles. $40 at the local bike repair shop. He mentioned that the front brake pads REALLY REALLY needed replacing. "Yeah, I have them on back order from Bike Bandit." Get home, decide to check on my order. OH! Seems like Bike Bandit, rather than backordering the part, simply canceled it. Didn't deem it necessary to tell me. Since I have been pushing them (see the old/new pads on the right!) I stopped by Del Amo Motorsports and pick up a set of pads and installed them.

While replacing a tire is a bigger job than I care to handle, replacing the pads is a next to nothing job. Loosen the pin that the pads slide on. Remove the two 17mm bolts holding the caliper assembly. Slip off the bike. Remove the aforementioned pin. Pads drop out. Push the piston in to make room for the fatter pads. Insert pads, insert pin, mostly tighten. Push pads/caliper for more room for the rotor between the pads. Spread the pads. Slip the caliper assembly over the rotor and into it's mount and replace the two big bolts. Tighten big bolts to 25 foot-pounds. tighten pin.

Book says that to seat the pads you need to loft the front wheel and spin by hand while working the brake lever. Ah HA!! I can do what the guys did when they pulled the front wheel to replace the tire. Kickstand on a brick, hydraulic floor jack under frame, lift a bit and the front wheel is off the ground.

So I now have the new front brake pads and the "new" (been sitting in the garage over a year) Dunlop D404 on the front. I got both front and rear tires soon after getting the bike -- the rear definitely needing replacing. Original rear did between 5,000 and 6,000 miles and had a bald center. Replacement D404 now has 7,000 - 8,000 miles and looks to be about 2/3rds used. The Dunlop rear is lasting about twice as long as the original. Assuming the front does the same I can expect about 20,000 miles before needing another front tire.

Posted by Paladin at 08:00 PM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2006

Motorcycle collision

Can't really call it an accident as it is totally expected. Pictures from the film clip at http://www.jumpingpixels.com/motorcic5.html

The dark car is gaining on the light car and has his left blinker going indicating that he is going to pull to the left to pass. As the oncoming traffic clears the dark car does exactly what is expected -- he pulls to the left to pass.

Meanwhile, the motorcyclist, oblivious to the above easily observable conditions, is also gaining the pair of cars and tries to pass -- to get knocked aside but the car that was doing exactly as he signaled he would be doing.

What bothers me is that this idiot and thousands like him create statistics that show that motorcycles are dangerous. The motorcycles are not dangerous -- it is the idiots who choose to ride them while ignoring traffic laws and common road courtesy.

Posted by Paladin at 07:20 PM | Comments (1)