Posts Tagged ‘motorcycle’

Oh Dear, the Motorbike Returns

January 31, 2009

The kid next door saw me. His little motorbike stopped.

It was running fine. Wonderfully fine. Noisily fine. All kinds of fine. He put it in the garage one afternoon, two days later he got it out and it wouldn’t run.

“Can you have another look at it, please?”

” ‘Course I can. Bring it over when you’ve got a spare minute.”

I’m going on the carburettor for this one. Probably got dirty fuel from that old can his dad uses and clogged a jet.

Looks like the boy’s apprenticeship isn’t over yet.

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It’s About Motorbikes Again

January 13, 2009

Sorry Folks,

But you know what it’s like with a one track mind. Well, some of you do. I’ve been riding motorbikes for more than forty years, seems they just won’t stay away.

The next door neighbour came home from holidays. The wagon was packed, and the trailer was packed. And in there was a little Thumpstar dirt bike. One of those noisy things that scream up and down suburban streets before the kid is old enough to hold a license and go far from home.

I noticed the bike. The neighbour said it wasn’t running properly. He’d just bought it from a relative for his boy for Christmas but so far it was a bit of a disappointment. I asked what it was doing, he told me, I suggested a couple of possibilities.

The next day he asked me to have a look at it. And so before long I was teaching his ten year old son what makes the wheels go round on his bike. Most of the problems that develop with these little bikes is caused by some bloke who thinks he knows what he’s doing. Mostly he doesn’t. And he makes it worse. That is what had happened in this case. The problems were all home made by the previous owner. At least my neighbour knew enough not to try to fix it himself.

The second afternoon of working on the thing we got it running hot and strong. The boy took it out the next day and rode it from lunch time to almost sundown. The next day he took it out again but only lasted until the locals couldn’t stand the noise any more.

I suggested that he will be able to ride it longer at a time if he gets a quieter muffler. That’s a tough call for a little kid who is rapidly getting addicted to noise.

I’ve added to the noise pollution of the area a bit, but I’ve also got a ten year old thinking about what is really going on in that carburetor. All in a day’s work.

It’s either This, or it’s That

November 27, 2008

This or That? Decisions. They come in all shapes and sizes.

So I’ve faced a decision recently.

This is the new toy. I bought it about the time of the last post.

I can blog or I can ride. What would you choose?

Kawasaki Versys

Kawasaki Versys

Well, Blog my Blog

September 26, 2008

I just tuned into my blog, this one here, to write up the next bit. So I went into the write mode and noticed I had a blog entry called 3,500.

3,500?

“What is that about?” said a little voice inside me. I had to check it out.

It turned out to be about my old motorcycle. I suppose you can chase it up if you want to. A good piece of writing, I reckon. But the motorcycle has been sold and I haven’t yet found its replacement, so reading about it got me all misty-eyed.

Not only that, but whatever it was I was going to blog about today has flown the coop, I just can’t remember what it was. That old motorcycle sure has a continuing life inside my mind. So now I ask myself the question, “What do you call it when you resurrect an old motorcycle blog?”

Whatever it’s called, this is it.

A recycle?

3,500

November 20, 2007

That’s where it starts. The noise I mean. 3,500 rpm and the motor is just getting to where it likes it. And when the bike likes it, I like it. The revs increase and so does the bike’s love of life. So, naturally, does mine. When Suzuki started putting 1,000 cc engines in motorbikes, the earth moved.

Somebody once had a mad idea. More than a hundred years ago probably. “Let’s take this two wheel contraption,” he said, “and also this internal combustion engine gadget, and we’ll put them together. Y’never know, it might turn out to be something.”

Whoever said that deserves something. He deserves to ride around on a modern bike for which 3,500 rpm is just the beginning instead of the end of mechanical sustainability.

Anyway, getting back to the noise thing. My bike was born in 1981 and back then the noise limit was 100 decibels. It’s still allowed 100 of those noisy little critters while new bikes are only allowed 80. I’m a law-abiding citizen so I run within the law. 98. That’s what mine does. 98 decibels at 4,500 rpm, which is half max revs and where the law measures it.

3,500 is the point at which the bike opens its throat and starts to roar. And that roar keeps building until by the time it hits the red zone at 9,000rpm it is loving it.

I’m learning to be a believer in brain wave meditation. You know the stuff. There are alpha waves and beta waves and theta waves and they all do different stuff, depending on whether we are awake or asleep at the time. These days people induce certain brain wave cycles as a stimulus to achieve the meditative state for relaxing after stress or letting go of bad thought patterns. Low hertz sounds that oscillate between left and right headphones (it’s called wobbling) is how they do it. Sounds simple? Don’t you believe it, Grasshopper. This is the stuff of one hand clapping.

Well I’ve got this theory. Get yourself a motorcycle. Make it a biggish one where the exhaust noise is going to be rather deep. Low hertz, that’s what you’re after. Now put on a short fat exhaust system. This means a loud one. You have to hear this baby working for it to do you good. Make sure the bike comes from an era when noise was good. 1981 is a good place to start.

Now go riding. Get that motor revving. It all starts at 3,500 rpm.

Can’t you just feel that meditative state descending on you? A few hours of riding the back roads and making that baby sing, a few hours of brain wave exhaust notes oscillating through my mind, and I can feel myself becoming as calm as a Zen master.

Ask me the meaning of life, the ultimate secret of existence, the riddle of the universe.
My answer will be 3,500.