Monday, October 31, 2011

Airhawk Seat Cushion

I've been on two, what I would consider long distance rides, on the Bonnie now.   What I've noticed is after a hundred miles or so I start a little seat dance.  I keep shifting to one butt cheek and then the other.  It probably looks like I have to use the bathroom, but no, it's just because my "board" of a seat offers very little cushion.  It's not bad at all for short rides.  I actually like that I have a lot of _flat_ surface area, compared with a narrow saddle surface you'd find on a crotch rocket.
So I'm not prepared to swap out the seat, yet, but I'd like to add a little padding in the mean time.  Sounds like this trip would be a great test of a Airhawk Seat Cushion.  I'd heard of these things before but I've never had a chance to sit on one.  So after my friend called me about California, I fired up the PC, checked out Airhawk's website, and purchased the Large Pillion Cruiser cushion.  Fine, Fine, call me old.  I don't care.  In my defense I have a pretty boney butt and I don't want to ruin what little I have.

I was concerned it might not make it here in time, but I shouldn't have worried.  They shipped it same day and I had it four days later.  On the packaging "Longer Rides Start Here".  Well lets hope so! I'm going to be pushing ~500 miles the first day.
Oooooo, Ahhhhhh!
So this is what you get in the package.  Outer cover.  Soft rubber inner air cushion.  Seat Straps and instruction book.
This is the nozzle that you fill the air pockets up with.  Per the instruction book, which I've already misplaced (See! that's why we shouldn't clean the house honey!!)  they say not to fill it up completely.  You blow it up only slightly.  You know if you have the right about of air in the cushion by sitting on the bike, shifting left or right, and you'll feel the air slowly migrate between the air pockets.  Your butt should be only slightly suspended off the seat.  What this really means is I'll be outside my hotel in the morning and some group of "real bikers" will come along and think I'm kissing the side of my bike as I try to get the right seat pressure:)  Anyway the nozzle twists counter clockwise, you blow into it and then tighten it back up.  There is no cap.  The book states that the cushion can be punctured, so no sharp objects in the back pockets.
And here's what it looks like on the bike, minus the seat straps.
Believe it or not I haven't had a chance to use it yet. So the trip will be the first trial run.  I'll give you my reviews as the trip goes on.

OH MY GOSH, action shots!

More posts to come!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

California Bound

So long story short, some friends of mine called me up last week and told me they were throwing a party at their house, in Ben Lomond, CA.  Not only that, but some other friends I know were going to fly/drive into town for said party.  It's going to be a rare opportunity to see people I normally would never get to see.  After some negotiations with the wife, I come to find out she had already made plans for an event with her sister the weekend in question.  She couldn't go (sad face), which opened the opportunity of taking the bike (happy face).  Now of course! the sad face is very big and eclipses the happy face in every way, shape and form. (It's rumored that said wife is known to read this blog from time to time and so the sad face is very very sad and wife will be missed immensely!!) 

In honor of the wife I will attempt to carry on through, open road, adventure, time away from work, redwood forests, coastal roads, good friends.  It's going to be darn tough but I am up to the challenge:) The rain gods are going to hit me hard for this post.

So, first things first.  How to get there? Ben Lomond is about 842 miles (14 hours) from Tucson.  And that's mostly Interstate highway.  I hate Interstate highway.  But I'd like to maximize my travel time getting there so Interstate it is.  I plan on leaving Thursday morning, and my butt can only handle about ~500 miles from past experience.  This means a stopping point somewhere near the northern part of LA.  I think I'm going to play it by ear and find a hotel when I decide I'm done for the day.  Day 2 will be more interstate but I've found a nice little B&B nestled in the woods as my finishing point.  Day 3 will be party city, with a little time to explore the surrounding roads, and they look FABULOUS for motorcycle riding.  At this point, the trip becomes a little more nebulous.  I keep having new ideas on what I can do.  I have a friend in Mission Viejo who has told me I'm welcome to crash in a bed.  The plan right now is to take the 101 south...with the possibility of getting to see the famous "Rock Store".  From there... not a lot of plans.  I have to be back to work on the 9th so that will be finally decision maker.  I'm hoping to use BlogPress to blog from the road so anyone can follow along if you feel so inclined.

I intend to do a few more posts prior to leaving, so check back if you are interested in more prep talk. A.K.A how a noob plans a trip:)

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I hate making a post without any pictures so here are a few shots of a ride I took through Gates Pass on Oct 6th.  This was a weird day in Tucson..a freak cold snap rolled through in the afternoon and we dropped from ~70 to 56 degrees in one hour!  The temperature was so nice I made a quick Pass run and pulled over to snap some pics as the sun was setting.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New tires for Bonnie

I'm testing a new blogging program. So while this is going to be a small post it should lead the way to more posts from the road.

I've decided to take a rather long trip to California next week. As a result I was worried about the condition of my tires. Bonnie has 9906 miles and is still on her original set of wheels. The rear wheel shows quite a bit of wear along the center strip. I don't want to get caught in a rain storm and start to hydroplane due to poor water displacement.

So I stopped by my local Triumph dealership "Performance Cycle Center" of Tucson.

And they were able to hook me up with replacement Metzler MeZ 2's 130/80 R 17 in the rear and a
Metzler lasertec 100/90-19 up front.

It took about an hour and I was back on the road.

More posts to come!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Casa Grande Motorcycle Swapmeet - 2011

Last weekend Tuyen and I rode up to the Pinal County Fairgrounds, in Casa Grande, to check out what is touted as Arizona's largest Motorcycle Swap-meet.  Not sure if it is the largest or not but there were quite a few vendors.

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Tuyen arrived at 8 am and wanted to check the air in his tires, so I broke out the air compressor.
The wife snapped a few pictures while we waited.  Can you tell I'm axious to get on the road?  That's good on the pictures honey! Extra points if you can find where she placed her coffee cup.
Finally! The two amigos are ready to hit the open road and look for adventure.  Or at least the nearest McDonalds for breakfast.
We decided to skip the interstate and headed up highway 79, also known as the Pinal Pioneer Parkway.  The ride was enjoyable.  At one point we passed a large group of cafe racers headed the other way.  I would have liked to talk to a few of them.  They looked like they were having a blast.  We arrived at the fairgrounds around 11am.
Quite a few bikes in the parking lot, and there was a constant drone of loud Harley pipes up and down the main drag.
Price of admission was $5.  Once inside it was pretty much what I was expecting.   Tons of people looking through crates of old Harley parts, trying to find that one item that will help finish their project bikes.
There were a few whole bikes for sell as well.
Tuyen and I split up.  I was poking through each and every crate seeing what people had.  I was on the lookout for any old Triumph tank badges.  Hard to find in a sea of Harley Davidson.
 I thought this was a pretty original way to tote new purchases around.
The perfect starter bikes for that new project I was looking for.
Forget the project bike, just buy one that is ready to go.
These looked unique.  Apparently you can get beer cans from specific years of the Sturgis Motorcycle rally.  Time to start collecting.
I was trying to over-hear the conversation about this one.  Apparently it's an amalgamation of a lot of different bike parts from what I could understand.  The owner did start it up though, and it sounded ready to go.
 Another fixer upper.
 Parts, parts and more parts.  There was an old Ohio motorcycle license plate from '86 in these bins for five bucks.  I think I should have bought it.  
 This shot came out a little blurry.
Check out the brass knuckle starter on this one.
Oh by the way, watch your leg on that _saw blade_ air filter.
This poor guy's bike got stripped by local hoodlums while taking in the sights.  Nah just kidding.
 The owner of this KTM has a company in Tucson called Adventure Motorcycle Rentals.  They rent dual sport bikes with all the gear and accessories. He told me they will drop the bikes off anywhere you need them.  I guess quite a few customers fly into the airport and have the bikes waiting for them at the terminal.  Check them out if you're heading to this neck of the woods.
 I made my way through the last few sections of the swap-meet and met Tuyen near the entrance.  It was getting warm and he was ready to head back.
 There were still quite a few bikes in the parking lot.  I just had to get a shot of this trike.
We took the same route back to town and met the wife for lunch.  She had the stuffed chiles.  They looked so good I had to snap a picture.
Oh! I did make a purchase at the swap-meet.  I found a single British bike vendor who had three sets of tank badges.  I bought these for 30 bucks.  I probably spent too much, but they seem to have character.
Overall I had a great time.  Can't wait until next year!