Namor's blog

Time to fix the seat

At 9,500 miles in less than a year on my DR650 I've decided that the masochistic experiment Suzuki calls a seat must be changed.

A couple of weeks ago I ordered three 18x36x1 sheets of urethane foam in high, medium, and low density.  I was surprised, when the box came, to see just how much foam I had ordered; I thought I had wasted my money buying so much.  I needn't have worried though because my first attempt at comfy seat fabrication was a torture device worse than the stock seat.  My second attempt is indeed quite comfortable but asthetically sketchy, so I have plans for a third attempt tomorrow.

One limitation I have is that whatever I do must fit under the stock cover because I don't sew.  I had to stretch the cover with all my might to get it over the current foam, and it's still narrower than I would like.

My plan for tomorrow is to make a pattern and work on my foam shaping technique.  Maybe I can even figure out how to embed the pictures too.

 Click here for pictures.

Saturday Dual Sport Ride

The alarm is blaring into my ear and I jump up out of the bed, land on a hair beret, curse, stumble, and finally find the right combination of buttons and violence to silence the racket.  I haven't had much sleep, having paid for the kitchen pass with a long, long night of watching period chick flicks - I now know way more than I ever wanted too about the machinations of females in pursuit of royalty and the associated rewards.

Tired or not I am stoked to be up and finally on the way to the ride I've been looking forward to for several weeks - really since the last time Moby led a ride through the Talledega National Forest with Gadget, Stan and myself in tow.  The riding is incredible with little traffic and a great mix of easy gravel roads, harder gravel roads, and some technical rocky hills.

Riding lessons

Full speed, full lean the front tire finds a patch of loose gravel and starts to slide - without slowing at all, disaster is averted with a slight change of body position and a quick input to the bars.  I yell to the rider - "Slow down and look where you want to go" but she doesn't listen.  She just keeps pedaling as fast as she can - tiny legs pumping up and down in a blur while still looking just ahead.

Morgan - the youngest of those that call me Daddy - is fearless, unfazed, and hard headed.  She loves to go fast and has always been fascinated by motorcycles and the sketchy looking men that ride them.  I found out today that her favorite part of riding is to go through the turns fast and leaned over. 

I just bought her a new bike for her eighth birthday - the old one having shrunk in the wash or something and I think she has already used every bit of the tire on her purple Hannah Montana two wheeler.

I started to tell her how she could get air on the sidewalk cutout but Selena scowled with the promise of a chilly holiday weekend if I continued - that discussion will have to wait.

Tires, tires, tires

Coming off exit 60 I lean the bike over and bam!  The rear slips about a foot really focusing my attention in a hurry.  I'm on the DR which generally corners rail-like even on knobbies if you ride it like a dirt bike.  The MT-21 on the back has about 2500 miles on it and it looks more like something made for a very small car than a motorcycle tire.  I'm thinking that leaned over the contact patch is maybe one knob at a time - no wonder it's trying to throw me off.

A while back I ordered a set of Cheng Shin 858s that have been sitting in my garage waiting for the Pirelli to wear out.  Trying to throw me down on pavement pretty much meets my definition of wore out, so tonight while the girls were getting ready for VBS I set about changing the rear tire.

It was the normal sweating and grunting but the Harbor Freight bead breaker and some lube to help slide the tire on made it not too bad - in fact Selena remarked that this one went a lot faster than the last.

Selena's first longish two-up day

Under cloudy skies and the weather man's threat of gloom and thunderstorms, Selena and I set out for Mt. Cheeha aboard the borrowed Sprint Executive.  The idea behind this little trip was to get Selena used to a longer day on the road and to exercise BD's Triumph a bit.

The clouds shaded us throughout most of the trip but the threatened thunder storms never materialized.  I had planned on stopping at around 50 miles or so to make sure all was good, but our first stop was actually Ashland which was about 90 miles I think.  We stopped for gas and a pee break before getting into the twisties of 49 and 281.  By this time the stretch to the bars was taking its toll on me and my upper back was on fire but the twists and turns on the way up to Cheeha let me move around a bit more and the pain subsided some.

Old Bikes and new friends

I'm not much for borrowing bikes.  I'm not even much for swapping rides during an outing.  Not because I don't like variety - I do - but because I would hate to wad up somebody else's bike and perhaps risk a friendship over it.  I mean sure you can take care of the financial aspects but what about the possible bad reaction, recriminations, and judgement?  Words can cut deep and last a long time so if I'm going to ride your bike, I have to trust you a lot.  I have to trust that people mean more to you than things and that your reaction to a wadded bike is going to reflect that - not that I plan to wad your bike of course.

Having said all that, when BD offered the use of his Triumph Sprint for the Brides Ride I felt comfortable in accepting the offer.  It turned out that we couldn't make the ride but I still wanted to try the bike both solo and two-up as I've never had a real sport tourer and Selena would like to ride something more comfortable.

Arkansas Rocks! - My TRTEAR 2008 experience

Ozark Waters

Even after getting a rash of crap from Ice-T about trailering instead of riding to the event, I arranged to share trailer space and fuel costs with Big Daddy and Rooster.  Of course the meet up point was in Vestavia so I still had to pack whatever I was taking onto the DR which means packing light, as I would have to ride from Montgomery.  Packing light is no problem for me because my Dad was an avid backpacker and I spent many weekends hauling whatever I needed on my back.  I was really confused when people talked about camping with tents as we had always slept in the open with maybe a space blanket lean-to if it was going to rain.