Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Rolling over to 64,000 miles on the 599

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

The 599 rolled over to 64,000 miles on the clock during my trip to Colorado this summer.  I did my 64k maintenance when I got back.  A single intake valve was too tight and had to be re-shimmed, but she’s been working like a champ.

However, the 599 was the victim of a hit-and-run when I was escaping a huge thunder, lightning and hail storm in Idaho and it suffered some damage.  When my Colorado writeup gets posted I’ll detail my KLR-budget repairs, but she’s still on commuting detail until further notice.

Moaby goodness posted

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

The writeup for my recent trip is up on the trip reports page.  Take a peek!

Portland Alley Sweeper: the Urban Enduro

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Kim and I attended the Sang-Froid Riding Club’s 5th Annual Alley Sweeper event.
































This was our first time at the event and the bits of info I found online were not super forthcoming about what it was.  I gathered it was a low key, do-what-you-want rally where you can go through a lot of unpaved back alleys, all public streets, and see a side of Portland most don’t know about.

Started with a lot of bikes:

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Some needed extra TLC on the road:


We gave out cookies:


Started with a large herd:

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After everyone started getting off the suggested route, we picked up some riders who figured out a sidecar passenger makes a wonderful navigator, and we hit a lot of great alleys.


After the riders spread out, the event was a lot more fun.  Less worrying about being clipped by impatient solo bikes.  We got stuck due to lots and lots of stickerbushes necking down to just enough room for a solo bike and had to turn around, helped by the dozen of riders behind us.  Aftermath:


What stopped us, with plenty more of the same behind it:


Joined the group at Dusty’s, took photos there, got the Urals and the Triumph outfit all gathered together.

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Hit the bonus stage and moseyed home for an entertaining evening.  Good humorous stories about brushes with Portland’s finest, to retell at another time.

We met a lot of great folks, saw excellent motorcycles and had a good time.  Even with the occasional rain shower, it was enjoyable and I can’t wait for next year’s Sweeper!

Spring yet?

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

The Scrambler is sporting a new Dauntless Motors sidecar, the 599 is about to hit 55,000 miles and the Ruckus is back to road-ready after difficult bouts with a carb that gunks up if you don’t ride the scooter every single day.

I’ve got some classes scheduled in March with Team Oregon amongst familial obligations and the Portland Shamrock Run.

Go Cougs.

Fall check-in

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

As fall makes itself known in Portland by dumping rain for days straight, it’s as good of a time as any to get the ol’ blag up to speed.

Summer lent itself to all kinds of good times.  I’m now fully signed off as a range Instructor for TEAM OREGON, I wrapped up my sixth year with Idaho STAR, I ran a Tough Mudder in Seattle and there’s a new sidecar from DMC almost ready to be attached to the Scrambler.

Since most of the good weather was occupied with getting into a groove in Portland, there’s almost nothing to report for motorcycling excitement.  This will be rectified next year: I’ll be getting in a trip, full stop.  Maybe two, but we’ll not get ahead of ourselves.

Big changes, little time

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

There have been big changes at Motoblag headquarters.  Earlier this year, we picked up stakes and moved to beautiful Portland, Oregon.  New jobs were acquired along with a nice place to live with a small garage.  The weekends have been filled with events of some kind or another, mostly wet with rain.

The stable still consists of the Honda 599, Triumph Scrambler sidecar rig and the Honda Ruckus scooter.

Last weekend, Kim and I did a sidecar dual sport skills class along with the Sunday run of the Black Dog rally.  Photos and a writeup coming next week.  It was a total blast!

Boo snow

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

We finally got our snow last week.  The sidecar rig is the only motorcycle outside.

Thankfully the temperatures climbed back up shortly after this accumulation, and I got a change to work on the bike and take it to work since.  Still looking at either making a set of chains or getting a cheap set of knobbies and doing the DIY studs.

Sidecar fixed up

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

The Velorex tub was real beat up from the Alaska/Canada road trip.  After pricing out getting my own plastic welder, I instead poked around and found an auto parts store/body supply shop can do it for me.  After taking the tub off, the damage was worse than I thought.





I also bent the rear tub support back into shape. I think it was still off from the outfit’s initial, err, barrel roll. Now, the tub doesn’t move around nearly as much and doesn’t crash and bang over bumps. Right on!

Personal responsibility

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

In case of an accident or near-miss, you must take one big step: placing responsibility on yourself.

Don’t blame your bike. Don’t blame your tires. Don’t blame other motorists. Identify what you did right, what you did wrong and learn from it.

Identify the Mistakes

Start with what happened. We’ll use a story to illustrate our point:

Joe Rider is riding down a street with two lanes each way when the truck ahead of him in the left lane slows before reaching a crosswalk. Joe recognizes the brake lights but as far as he can see, his path of travel is clear, so he keeps his speed up. When Joe reaches the crosswalk, he just misses clipping a pedestrian appearing from the front of the truck. Arriving at his destination, he takes off his gear in a huff and tells all of his friends about the stupid pedestrian that almost walked into his bike, but he is still glad there was no damage done to anyone or anything involved.

What happened here? Joe Rider was aware enough to identify the crosswalk and truck slowing. However, he did not take into account the reduction of visibility the truck caused. The larger vehicle effectively shielded the pedestrian from Joe’s sight.

Mistake one: not realizing the truck was causing a reduction in visibility. Joe could have slowed or changed position in his lane to improve what he could see.

Mistake two: not slowing. The truck was slowing. The driver may have been turning without signaling, but that would be an incorrect assumption.

Mistake three: trying to put blame on the pedestrian. “They were walking too quickly.” “They should have been looking.” It’s the motorist’s responsibility to yield to pedestrians.

Mistake four: rationalization. “A miss is as good as a mile” is the wrong attitude to have. What if the next time this scenario happens, the pedestrian is a little bit faster? The rider and pedestrian could end up in the hospital. The rider needs to learn from their mistakes.

Take Responsibility

If Joe realizes it’s his fault if he collides with a pedestrian, he will start looking into why it was a close call. He will hopefully identify the mistakes listed above and determine why he made them, how they affected the scenario and how to fix them in the future.

Take Action

Once the mistakes have been identified, the rider can determine what they did wrong, what the did right and how to improve their safety in the situation. Joe needs to take a close look at what he deems is acceptable visibility of his environment and how to improve his riding to meet a stricter standard. For example, he could have slowed his motorcycle to reduce the effect of reduced visibility from the truck.

Learning from Mistakes Made by Others

As a rider, you need all the learning you can get. Any time you hear or read about an accident, find out as much information as possible, identify possible mistakes and figure out what you would do in the situation.  Learning from mistakes other folks make is a valuable method to avoiding tears and expensive damage to your bike or your body.

Winter update

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

I have posted my 2011 Alaska by sea and by three trip report.  I punted and copied the writeup I posted to a couple forums.

Also updated: the upcoming trips page.