Thursday, November 26, 2015

Busy But Good Week

Proud Grandparents

Every once in a while, Dianne and I spend a few days or so with our granddaughter Emma, usually when travel takes her mother away. We help her get to school, Upper Canada Chorus (UCC) rehearsals, Karate lessons, and whatever else is required. Sometimes there is an upside to all this, and there was this week.

A Canadian group of four male singers known as The Tenors entertained a few thousand people at the Air Canada Centre this week. On a few of their songs, a subset of the UCC kids provided a backup choir. Of course, they did an excellent job - they would not have been asked to perform otherwise. The UCC leadership is superb and the 4 to 17 year old choristers experience  really unique singing experiences. The improvement over a couple of years is incredible.

Changing Oil on the RT

It's recommended to winter a motorcycle with a full tank of gas and fresh oil. Did that today. I had been watching the weather forecast for a couple of weeks and it all was typical November weather. Except for today. 16 C !!!

So, I poured some Startron into the gas tank and rode a short distance to my favourite Shell station and filled up. Then back home to dump the now hot oil and refill with new stuff.

It all went quite easily. Surprisingly, the hardest part was reinstalling the lower plastic fairing part. It covered the oil filter and had to be removed to get access. All OK now.

John suggested trying to turn the engine over without starting it to fill the oil filter, which is on the side of the engine, not under it. If under, I could have filled the filter with oil and then installed it. But, the way the RT is equipped, the kill switch and the starter switch are part of the same toggle switch. You can do one or the other. I checked the sight glass after adding the oil and it was completely filled with oil. I figured the level would drop after starting the engine. It did. After shutting it off, I let the bike sit for a bit, watching the sight glass level rise, rapidly at first, then slowing, until it came to a rest exactly at the half-full level. Perfect. I had been careful to add exactly four L of oil, as is called for by the manual. All very satisfying.

A bit of positioning, adding a cover, all that's all she wrote until Spring. Won't be too long, but will feel that way.

In the meantime, I will have to make some trip plans.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Fall Colours in Ontario

Every year, my friend Rodney and I try to take a ride in search of pretty Fall colours. We don't always make it, but last Friday was a fine day and we were able to get off. Actually, when we left my house it had just stopped raining. But, by the time we arrived in Horning's Mills north of Shelbourne, ON, it was sunny and very pleasant.

I made good use of my GoPro POV camera. Some 1.5 hours of video. Takes a lot longer than that to edit it and post to YouTube, of course. Here is 9 minutes of the total ride. Real time for riding the segment shown was a bit more than 15 minutes. Hope you like the resulting video.

And, I will look at the other segments to see if they are worth adding. If they are, I will do more posting.

On the other hand, a little goes a long way, with motorcycling videos.





Saturday, October 3, 2015

Kingston ON Fall Ride Day 2

It was a cold and windy day, even at 11 am. I felt the wind blow me off vertical while getting the bike ready. V-Star Lady arrived and we agreed that if the day got worse, truly awful, we would just give it up.

In the end, we had a great ride. The wind died, the sun shone, and the heated vests worked great. Here is the route she led the way on:

o
A Senic Route north of Kingston to Perth and Around


As you can see, it was a nice loop, quite good roads. However, the fall colours have not really developed and we only had one photo stop:


The "World Famous Lyndhurst Bridge"


Colour Is Coming Soon


V-Star Lady & V-Star


Ed and San Marino Blue RT

So that was a fine day.


Friday, October 2, 2015

Kingston ON Fall Trip Day 1

I'm in Kingston ON today, for a ride around some of the local roads. This is a short post just about the ride here from Toronto to my hotel.

The day started out cool to coldish, 10.5 C according to the bike's readout. Given it was gusty, the real feel was even colder. (Balmy when compared to the 0 C temperature one morning on Manitoulin Island though.) I have a heated vest and used it, along with the heated grips and seat. The grips are powerful and I had them at 3 or 2 out of 5. The seat was mostly at 5 or perhaps down to 3 after a long while. Not any different from the heat from the high seat.

I am now convinced the low seat was the right choice. I can plant my foot or feet much more solidly on the ground at stops. And, the angle of my knees seems to be fine. In cold weather and a 300 km ride, I did not feel any complaints from my knees at all. And, there were no hip cramps either. This is a really nice bonus for me. All my other bikes have given me problems. A bit more padding or gel or something would be nice. Might try one of those beaded seat pads, as half the bead thickness would be in the seat, I figure. Any experience from readers?

On the way home, since it will likely be mostly on the 401, a slab, I may put the low seat in the high position as an experiment. Don't know yet.

I live 20 minutes west of Toronto International Airport, if there is no traffic. This morning at 0930, the rush hour continued and there was traffic until Keele St. It was mostly a first gear slog. It's not like this is a new thing, but it just gets worse. There really is no alternative for getting east of Toronto, there just are not other parallel roads. The 407 is both a toll road and ends up being 12 Km north of the 401 out by Whitby, so I chose to try the 401.

By Port Hope I needed a bio break. And, the service centre had  a Tim Horton's so I thought a coffee and something sugary might be nice. I was shivering just a bit. But the serpentine line to the counter was not only full, there was a lineup to get into the serpentine. 1030 in the morning! I decided to press on and my next stop was in Kingston at my hotel room.

I do like the fuel range on RTs. A full tank is good for almost 500 km. The fuel level was down one bar when I left, and by the time I got to Kingston, there was still 80 km range left. The stop and go had a bad effect, I think.

So, that was Day 1, Just a re-positioning, not a very great ride, but another chance to bond with the bike. Hopefully, more to come, pics and all. Some of the trees are changing colour nicely and I hope to see some great stuff tomorrow.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Ride to a Covered Bridge


West Montrose Covered Bridge


Back in the mid-sixties, I was the navigator in a car entered in the annual car rally hosted by the Engineering Society at the University of Waterloo. I did not have a car at the time, so I was pretty ignorant of the roads and points of interest around Waterloo. The route took us over this covered bridge...

My Bike Joined by Another Pair

More History is on the Web




Bridge used by Menonite Farmers


Something for Scooterpie

Dar has been in Ontario recently, as any visitor to her blog knows (see on the right for a link to her blog). We have not been able to meet, but I did see something that reminded me of her:

A Rural Bakery

Turned out the raisin tart was tasty. Not like Mum's used to be, she used Black Currants, but it was very good.

Wow, Never Saw Pumkins like This!




Unusual Shapes & Colours

And This Caught My Eye


Very appropriate as we approach our Canadian Thanksgiving in early October.


So, it was a nice ride today.



Monday, September 14, 2015

Nice Ride Today

Great day for a Ride


It was a nice day today, so I was determined to go for a ride.

September Field Visit


A nice blue sky.


A nice blue bike


By the Fence


What you see in the way of countryside is pretty typical of the landscape just north and west of Toronto. Really nice farmland. On a gentle down sloping bit of road, I noticed a nice wide and paved shoulder and decided to stop and take some pics. Let me know which you like and why, if you care to.

The Bluetooth Rocks!


As the edit to the preceding post noted, I updated the firmware in the Cardo G9 last night. I was warned this would require deleting all previous pairings and redoing them again. Shit.

Fortunately, the last time I did this I made a record of what was paired to what. That allowed me to very quickly do the pairing(s) again in the garage. Then, I moved the car away, rode the bike out, put the car back, and dressed for the ride. G9 ON, helmet on head, Start bike. Hear announcement that the GPS is connected, hear music, good to go, I hoped.

And it was! Damn!

I did not put the GPS on a route at first. Just sort of pressed the screen to get the GPS lady to speak. Too much distortion. Well, there is an "audio mixer" screen that had three sliders all maxed out. So I moved them to about 75% and that cured the distortion issue.

The music was controllable for album, track, and playlist. Quality was reasonable. I had heard the BMW Audio System had terrible quality, but I think there are some settings that interact with each other and will fine tune a few of them to see if I can improve it a bit. Still, given the wind noise and all, the music was quite acceptable. Those little helmet speakers ... they are not audiophile quality either.

At a safe place, I touched the NAV V screen, chose Phone, pressed "Call Home" and heard dial tone and dialing! Fortuitously, I was invited to leave a vmail message. I listened to it when I got home and next time I will put the mic right in front of my lips. It was level with them but a bit too for to the right. May have to play with the Cardo AGC function to see if it affects speech clarity. Dianne said before the quality was better with the helmet visor down. Another variable. Still, I was perfectly understandable and you could not determine that I was on a motorcycle. Maybe you might think I had a somewhat poor phone.

Right near the end of the ride, I purposely went off the route. This excited the GPS lady announcer no end. I wanted to do that. I wanted many announcements in a short time. And, that is what I got. The music was interrupted and always resumed. I think they fixed that old problem that caused the music to be disconnected. So, the update might have been a really good thing.

So, altogether a good day. I might play around a bit with the NAV V, extract the track record and see if that might make a good graphic.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

How Easy Is It To Use Bluetooth Stuff?

Bluetooth enabled devices can communicate with each other. Supposedly. Sort of. I have a bunch of them and have been trying to use them the best way possible on my bikes, the 2011 and the 2015.

Here is the list of Equipment.

Cardo G9 + Samsung Galaxy S5 + Nav 5 + BMW Audio system: How to get them all working nicely is the target.

I have tried two setups:

1) G9 paired with GPS and Phone

This worked fine except before each ride I had to fiddle with the phone to start music and verify the GPS could see the contact list in the phone. Sometimes this got more than a little irritating, having to turn the phone off then on and so forth. I also noticed that when the GPS gave a series of messages in rapid succession the music would sometimes not come back on. This occurs with both the old Zumo 550 and the NAV V. Sometimes using the G9 voice command "Music On" would fix this, but sometimes it would not. I have had this happen with a Zumo 550 and an iPod arrangement I used to use. Same thing with the both GPSs and the NAV V. Don't know if this is a G9, Garmin, or S5 issue. I think it may be the G9 and have asked Cardo to fix it. No response yet. It prompted me to try ...

2) I found several hints on the MOA Gear forum and on other web sites about the RT Audio System. BMW wants $110 CAD for the cable to connect an iPod. My friend loaned me one and I had to buy a 30 pin to new lightning connector ($36) to fit my iPod Nano 7. All worked as advertised to allow me to see music and playlists. But, it's too much stuff in the little compartment on the right side of the bike.

So, I returned all the items except the Nano. Then I bought a 64 GB USB stick ($27 on sale at Staples!), put 15 GB of .mp3 files on it, plus some .mu3 playlists. If you put this into the USB receptacle on the cable in the bike's compartment, use the SRC button to find USB, you will be able to choose a playlist just as if the stick was an iPod.

  •  pair and connect the Audio System to the G9. Music under control and heard in the helmet.

  •  pair and connect the NAV V to the Audio system. GPS prompts go to the helmet.

  • pair the smartphone to the NAV V. Phonebook seen on the Nav. 

  • pair the smartphone to the G9. Phone calls heard in the helmet.

This is going to be my setup for a while. I have done this and checked it out only in the garage. Rainy days are preventing my going riding.


Questions as yet unanswered: When I start things up, will they all reconnect nicely without fiddling? They should. The G9 has told me before things like "GPS connected" and "Mobile phone 1 connected" without any fooling around.

Will advise.

Edit 11:15 Sunday (day of post)

Just browsed to the Cardo site and discovered there is a software update. With unspecified bug fixes. Well, I did the upgrade and will now have to re-pair the bluetooth devices for audio system and NAV V. Did the NAV V and now will have to do the audio system - in the morning. And test. And fix, likely.

As above, will advise.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Yes!

Hemingway would be proud of me, I think, with a blog title that concise and evocative. So would my high school English teachers, I'm sure.

Yes, I am an Engineer, and yes, I like writing. Today, I will also show you some pics.

Dianne was kind enough to battle the Toronto 401 truck traffic and the Don Valley Expressway stop and go to get me all the way downtown to BMW Toronto so I could buy the bike and r-i-d-e!

So, Tim (left) and Roger helped me complete the paper work, relieving me of some considerable amount of dollars for the bike and the BMW Nav V GPS:


Turns out it was Roger who put the 480 original km on the bike. He took it to the August BMW Motorrad Days event. It also turns out he lives in Streetsville, about 10 minutes from my house. And he is a Brit, and most Brits of his age who ride bikes and work for dealers are mint. Meaning, my new blue machine was in better hands than mine for the first few km.

So, they took a picture of me:


You are supposed to admire the bike, not me of course.

So, after ATGATT (minus the bulky pants, just for now, until the low seat comes in), off I went. A bit of downtown Queen St. traffic, just a bit, then onto the DVP north this time. It was 30 degrees C, and stop and go, so I got off and took Lawrence West to Leslie, then north to the 401 West.

Along the way, I thought I would try out the shift assist (no clutch, just shift, it works great, faster than any human can shift unless they are racers) and also Hill Start, which was a different experience altogether.

There is a school that modern writers of manuals must go to. If I ever find the location, I promise to become an outright bad guy and find a way to end its existence. Or, to teach them how to write a procedure. I took from the manual and from the BMW Canada guy at the demo ride a couple of weeks ago that the bike would recognize you are pulling away and release the rear brake. After twice causing enormous bucking and ASC warnings, I figured out that was not exactly true. I now believe, after reading the manual 30 more times, that if the circled H is on, the rear brake is locked. I think the idea is then to pull the brake lever one more time to tell the bike you are going to start up now and then when you pull away, the rear brake releases. Will test this theory tomorrow. There really is no excuse for BMW to not make this crystal clear. I did the first assist experiment into merging traffic. Now, the traffic was far away. I am not totally stupid.

West on the 401, stop and go sometimes, then north on Winston Churchill to the 10th Sideroad W, roadwork to Trafalgar, north to Sideroad 15, a favourite twisty road to the Guelph Line, north to Acton, down Trafalgar to the 10th again and back home.

There were a few hills en route. John said to really roll on the throttle up the hills, but not exceed the 5000 rpm limit during breakin. I did that. I liked doing that. It was quite the ride!

607 - 480 =   127 km. And the bike ran great. Recall I put 34,000 km on the 2011, twice to the west coast and back and once to the east coast but not back, alas. So, I kinda know what a 1200 boxer based bike should feel like. Well, this is a totally new bike. New engine, we all knew that. New chassis - I did not expect the vastness of the difference. It is a huge improvement on the 2011. Huge. Is there a word that could convey the idea of REALLY HUGE!!! ? Immense?

The extra 15 hp means it accelerates. The throttle is By-Wire, not cable and faster response with less throttle return spring. Less wrist soreness!

The clutch is a wet clutch now, and a slipper clutch! Much easier friction point engagement. I really like it. When I use it that is. See, you don't normally have to use it at all, and the "clutchless shift assist" with the slipper clutch and electronic magic engine control just does the job!

OH WOW!

Do you think I love it?

If you get a chance to ride one of these magnificent machines, do not pass it up. They might be big but they are docile, well, as long as you don't grab a handful of throttle - best to be hanging on really tight in that case... .

So here are a few more pics:


About to enter the garage.

Almost useless left glove box. Electric lock!

Slightly less useless right glove box

The manual warns you the box might bake your smartphone or iPod if you make use of the USB charger and / or audio connection to the radio. Yes, my bike has the expensive and mostly useless radio option. I had no choice. Supposedly, it was a no cost option on my deal. I don't prize the option. I could hear it when stopped, and sort of hear it up to 80 kmph or so. I do wear hearing aids and did have them in today so I could converse reasonably intelligently with Tim and Roger, but don't wear them normally. I do have a Cardo G9 but doubt that it will connect properly. It might, but it has an FM radio and it does connect nicely with my Samsung S5 with the 15 GB of my CD collection, so the radio might get used sometimes. I used it today to set it up, just in case. It's another learning experience in understanding poorly translated badly written instruction manuals.

Sidestand, Dolly, rear wheel baseboard wedge

The sidestand is located more foreward than before and can be deployed without the rider peg getting in the way of the arc. I love it!

The centre stand has the best cam action I have ever experienced on a bike. Needed, because the blue beauty is not exactly lightweight.

The piece of baseboard has a taper so its easy to get the rear wheel up almost a half inch. That really helps when you want to deploy the centre stand on the dolly and not the floor. The dolly lets me drive it in, turn 360 degrees, park it, then later drive out. Hey, I'm 70. And, always was a tad lazy. And weak. Only in body, not mind, not spirit, of course. LOL.

Pointed out, ready to ride, LED driving/parking lights.

On the 2011, in Cape Breton, one of the two low beam bulbs burnt out. I had both replaced when I was at the dealer for the new rear, recall I picked up a cotter pin in it.

Well, the designers decided to replace the two low beams with two high beams plus one low beam and these LED surround lights. When the bike is running, the central low beam is on and more LEDs surround it. John told me not to idle the bike, so no pic right now... .

Bob Leong made me buy the top box, I had no free will!

Bob, we still think of you and thank you for your good advice. It fits nicely.

The front and rear wheels have air filler valves that are part of the spokes, look carefully.

On the 2011, the front had this feature and it was good. The rear had the conventional filler through the rim and the disc brake made it difficult to get the air hose fitting onto the spiggot. Oh, I do know the correct words, I must be exhausted. Buying a bike is such a difficult and emotional thing. Poor me. LOL.

Short legged guys love narrow seats.

This is the normal seat, called the high seat on the 2015s. A low seat is coming. I have ridden a bike with the low seat and am looking forward to it. This seat is not bad, but for me, the low seat allows me to have both feet flat on the ground. Even with the high seat the 2015 is much more stable at a stop and I feel much more confident with it.

I'm told the low seat is low because they removed some padding. It felt fine on a one hour test drive and I tend to stop every two hours, three hours max. On the 2011, that was when my butt was numb and bladder full... .

Notice how wide the seat is at the back? That is much wider than the 2011 and feels great.

It's Mine! All Mine! Eat Your Heart Out!

Kind of a young colour for an old fart like me. On the other hand, my daughter likes blue, it matches her eyes, Dianne's eyes, Emma's eyes, my eyes, ... .

Wind Tunnel Test Results in This

Now, the 2011 had really extensive wind tunnel testing and the electrically operated windscreen was excellent. But, the 2015 is a bit narrower with wider vents at the bottom and is said to be the very best windscreen ever put on a motorcycle. Can't say for sure from my own experience, but I sure did notice the difference. Never read about that in a review, but the motojournalists may not have had the experience I did with the 2011 and would not have noticed most of the changes / refinements I mention in this post.

Legibility

Those white on black dials are supurb for legibility. The NAV V GPS is the rectangular thing on top and between the dials is a COLOR! LCD display that tilts and is readable in sunlight! Guess what changed from the 2011?

Left Control Cluster

F-18 contol sticks have more complexity by far than this left cluster. Still, it's a handful. The lever pull is more easily adjustable. As an engineer, I really love this sort of refinement. The multicontroller is a wheel and also a side-to-side switch. It does too many things to list and it actually is very intuitive. All those other buttons - they do useful things. And, yes, there is my old and dear friend the fully functional Cruise Control - works just like the one in your car. If you ever do a cross-continent ride with one of these, you will not like doing another without it!

Right Control Cluster

The throttle (By Wire, electronic, not cable) side is a bit simpler. The mode control is important. Above it is the Central Locking switch. Well hell, I normally left the saddle bags unlocked and never had a problem. Hit the switch and you hear a satisfying clunk though. Will I ever remember to use it? I hope so... .

Vale, old and trusty friend, You are gone but not forgotten, and you brought me to a safe and upright stop. Given the oil on the rear wheel, it must have been the electronic stability software doing all the right things. Thank you.

Well, it has been a long post. Much more of a review than most magazines would publish, featuring the subtle but important to me changes that I have noticed so far.

Ride There! is the Aerostich folks motto. I rode 39,000 km on my Triumph 900 from 2000 to 2011. Then, rode 34,000 km from 2011 to 2015 on the 2011 BMW. What will I ride on the new Blue Beauty? Blue Streak? BlueEyes? BabyBlue? 

Do you have a suggested name? I don't usually name my bikes, but I could... .
















Friday, August 28, 2015

Mine Soon

Will pick up at noon next Tuesday. I will post pics of the actual bike at that time.

Bike has a high seat, but this will be replaced with a low seat soon. High seat still much better than my 2011, due to the lower centre of gravity. Still, a low seat gets both feet flat on the ground.

Test ride went very well today. This bike has not had the beating of last Saturday's factory demo tour bike and is really peppy. That new 15 bhp can be felt!

Pretty happy, moi!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

2015 East - Followup

It's a gorgeous August Sunday afternoon here in Mississauga, just west of Toronto. We are in the backyard, under the hard roofed shelter, Dianne is eating a hard boiled egg and I am having a beer while I think through the trip and recent aftermath. I thought some faithful readers would like to know the latest.


  • Air Conditioner Failure
Sigh. New deluxe Carrier last September. It failed while I was away. Something always fails on Dianne while I am on a trip. I used to travel for business and things happened. I remember a fence blowing down. Once, she got harrassing phone calls and the police had to get involved. Pool pump failure another time.

Turns out there is a fancy flow control valve called a TXV unit. Before high efficiency A/C, a simple tiny hole would do the job of letting high pressure coolant expand.  Now, if you do a Wickipedia search, you can see there is more complication, more likelihood of failure. The compressor control electronics (outside, more complication) sees low pressure but old fashioned gauges say the copper lines are intact and have coolant. Yea. No need to pull down drywall to replace the tubing.

Did the repair guy have the needed TXV? No. It will have to be ordered and they will come back once they get it. Sigh.

The weather is cool right now, so we are lucky.

  • Insurance Settlement
Yes, the bike is a total loss. I have been informed of the settlement and will sign over the ownership tomorrow. Unlike how a lot of folks have felt with their settlements, I feel I was treated fairly by my insurance company and am grateful for that.
  • 2015 BMW R1200RT Test Ride
I had been told the bike I had was fine, but the newer models had a new engine, new chassis, and new features that made it really great. That proved correct.

The above photo is from a review on the web. I chose to show it because it is the best illustration of how narrow the bike is just aft of the big gas tank. The engine is smaller, moved down and forward in the new lower chassis. Finally, I can have both feet flat on the ground at a stop. With 15 more horsepower, the bike is decidedly more sporty. Yes, soon one will move into the garage. Don't know if it will be a 2015, they are almost sold out. More later in the week.

The mirrors are higher and may be more outward in position. I like them.

The instrument panel display is readable in sunlight. A major improvement.

The Dynamic electronic suspension adjustment actually does stuff that you can really feel. Rain, Road, Dynamic are the major settings with fine tuning available in each for Comfort, Normal, Hard. These affect damping. In Dynamic, various things are measured including weight. I believe it adjusts even during a curve. Also affect the traction control and the ABS settings. Very clever.
  •   That's all for now.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

2015 Trip East - Day 14

At Home!

Ok, I flew home from Moncton today on Porter Airlines.

Yesterday morning, the damage assessor assigned by the insurance company drove from Nova Scotia to Moncton and inspected the bike. He declared to me that the cost to repair was such that the bike was going to be assessed as a total loss. I was not needed in Moncton and could go home.

So, I went to U Haul, bought a few cardboard boxes, sealing tape, and some parachute cord. Then, I put the top box and the aerostitch suit into the box and filled the remaining space with a bunch of clothes and other things I had with me into the box until it was filled. All the rest went into the tank bag and my flat laptop sleeve. I taped the box and used the cord to make handles. It felt a bit heavy, much as a large suitcase would.

At the airport, I paid for one checked bag and an overweight charge. $125 and change. A bit of a rip, but all airlines are doing it. Happy to pay for it. Took a cab from the Island Airport.

At home, Dianne and I enjoyed some wine and cheese.

So, in a few days I will know what the insurance company offer is going to be.

Until then, I am just going to get back into the normal routine, but no riding for a while.

Friday, August 14, 2015

2015 East Trip - Day 10


Serious Bike Problem

First, I am fine. The bike never fell over, but that could have happened.


I had never heard of Judique, on Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. I was riding south on Route 19 towards Port Hawkesbury. Nice two lane road, but the pavement is like me in a way, shall we say "mature". So, I ended up riding in the middle of the lane. Route 19 is twisty and equal opportunity for right and left curves, some tight, and many blind crests. Surprises can occur.

I saw a curious object on the road ahead. Brown was my first impression. Cubic, about 3 to 4 inches on a side. Sharp edges. A brick? I did attempt a swerve to the left and almost made it. There was a thump. I thought the front tire was going to join the old rear of last Tuesday, but no warning on the panel and tire pressures were holding. Yes, I know I should not pay too much attention to the panel so I looked up. Figured I got away with it. I have normal peripheral vision but hardly needed it when the big red warning light appeared. Is that a tire warning? Not this time. It looks like an oilcan. Slow down now, but gently and get ready to go to the shoulder. I was down in first gear, feet ready for pavement, pulled the clutch lever...and the engine stopped. The bike stopped and I put the sidestand down to have a look. No traffic at all. No panic.

Yes, this was from my engine.


There was a thin line of oil on the road, not visible from the seat if I looked back.
This gout of oil was from when I stopped.


The rear tire got a soaking on the right side. Did not feel any wobble at all. This may have been due to my superb balance (yeah, sure) or some BMW stability control software. I liked the result either way.


I've carried that safety triangle in a side case for years. Glad I got it. And, by the way, I did not call the police at any time, and saw no police, but someone did slightly relocate the triangle. Two bikes, one of them a BMW, smoked by me after I placed the triangle and was walking back to the bike. Not even a wave. I was really pissed. This was squiddly action for sure. As I was walking to a nearby house, a car did stop to ask if I needed help. At that time I had been adopted by the house owners and did not need any more help, nor could I have ever received more generous and gracious help. If you ever see a funny suited guy walk up your driveway and ask for help, your best efforts are not likely to even approach my hosts Dugal and Pat MacDonald.





It took a while, but the tow service ordered by my insurance company arrived with a proper trailer with front wheel chock.


Kevin Mackenzie is the owner of the company and brought his wife and two children along. They were going to take me back to the BMW dealer who changed my tire last Tuesday, then off to a local hotel with a pool for the kids. Next to Dugal, my favorite person of the day. He took several handsfree calls on the way and it was like the soundtrack to Highway to Hell TV show.


Kevin spotted the bent rim and brick dust right off. 


Another view.



Had to take a picture of Kevin and his family.

Next steps:
  • I'm in a nice Comfort Inn
  • Tomorrow, I pick up a rental car and try to enjoy some local sites.
  • Monday, visit the dealer and meet the claims adjuster, figure out what happens next.
  • Tuesday, maybe parts arrive and bike fixed.
  • Wednesday, likely the earliest day I could depart.
You may say, hey Ed, why are you so confident this will go that fast? You might need a whole new engine... . Well, Kevin pointed out there was only a single large smooth edged hole on the right lower engine sump. Looks like a plug got knocked out. Yeah, right. But it could be. Hope springs eternal.

Ok folks, I am going to bed.











Thursday, August 13, 2015

2015 East Trip - Day 9

Cabot Trail!

It was a great ride. If you do it without stopping, it will take you about 4 hours or so. That would be a mistake. The lookouts are actually signed and paved, so they are safe for timid folks like me. Remember, I've already broken a peg this trip... .
And,
I have some videos, but they might appear in a few days. And, apparently I managed to not record what I most wanted to record, the switchbacks. It is impossible to see the tiny little red light that says the camera is recording while riding. It looks like I got it reversed - turned the camera off when I wanted it on. Still, the video looks like it shows the rather worn state of pavement at the tip of the trail.

I did stop and took these photos:


The sun only appears around noon, but it really helped make this sky pop.



Lots of bikes on the Trail. Not as many as on the weekend. I would say that on a weekend, there are the same number of bikes one would see on Vancouver Island, at least during peak vacation periods.


There are some sites that appeal to me; this is one of them.




I asked someone to take this shot, just to prove I really was here.


I went back to the Bell Buoy Restaurant. Today, I had the fresh Halibut. The server did not think it had come in yet! He returned all excited, said it just did come in. So, I ordered it and let me tell you, fresh halibut is delicious. The chef does a number of treatments, I had the mango salsa version, and it was great.


The local yacht club is on the left, and there is a small harbour. I parked down there yesterday, but found a spot on the street today.

 Ok, now the sad part. PEI was being considered, but the available  rooms are in the stratosphere as far as cost. I  also think some of these internet sites are doing a scam, offering a price such as $115 and then saying sorry you had a connection problem, call us. When you do, the price is hugely increased, in the order of $159.

So, I decided to go to the distillery at Glenora and buy a bottle of single malt and pass on PEI. So that province and NL will remain the two Canadian provinces in which I have not ridden. It's possible I could return to do them, perhaps in June or September, but realistically... .

In any case, the riding roads in Gaspe and here in Cape Breton are right up there at the very top of bike roads anywhere in the world. I'm glad I did the run to Moncton to get the new tire and return to do the Cabot Trail. I even bought the T-shirt at the pub owned by this fellow: http://cabottrailbiker.com/

He is very helpful to all visitors on bikes and I have enjoyed my emails with him.

So folks, I am turning the corner tomorrow and heading home. I will give some thought of what to do on the way so it won't be a huge slab ride.

Chip in with suggestions if you care to. Just don't be offended if they don't fit in with my trip.

Videos: just checked with the processing that is going on in the background. It is not complete after a couple of hours of processor grinding away. I should explain that I follow the GoPro workflow which creates big files as a sort of digital intermediate that then allows you to save in economic sizes for cloud storage while retaining the immense files on your computer. Filled up the damn hard drive today! Stuck in a 32 GB empty micro SD I have for backup use on the GoPro and found it was not big enough! There is a problem here, but it's too late for me to solve it.

I shall sleep well tonight.