Thursday, November 26, 2015
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
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
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:
Friday, October 2, 2015
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
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|
Monday, September 14, 2015
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!
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.
Sunday, September 13, 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.
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, 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:
Friday, August 28, 2015
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
- Air Conditioner Failure
- Insurance Settlement
- 2015 BMW R1200RT Test Ride
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
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
First, I am fine. The bike never fell over, but that could have happened.
- 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.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
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... .
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:
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.