Archive for the Tag 'Motorcycle'

11 Sep 2016

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts,Photos

New Motorbike

New Motorbike

… for a day.

It’s not like I can even afford to ride my own bike this year with almost a year of unemployment. However, this bike, which belongs to my friend Mark, was needing a ride home. It had been in the shop for quite a few weeks getting some clutch work done and when it was ready, Mark asked if I would be willing to ride it up to Sundre for him.

I picked it up on Friday, then yesterday I rode up in the morning to drop it off. I took some back roads that I had never traveled on previously – some nice scenic secondaries up through Water Valley. In a slightly disappointing turn of events, almost all of the roads were paved, so I only managed to try out a little bit of gravel. On the other hand, I learned about some nice routes for next year’s riding.

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08 Oct 2015

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts,Mr. FixIt

Forgetmenot Pond


w20150920_140911Forgetmenot Pond is at the far end of highway 66 into the Elbow River valley past Bragg Creek and today was a fine fall day – warm and sunny. Brenda’s motorbike had been in need of some serious care and attention this summer. Although I had it running in the Spring, it didn’t see any use until after our vacation to Europe. The battery died first and it took a while trying to get it to take a charge, and failing, before getting a replacement. Then it wouldn’t run properly, idle was all wrong and it would stall at the slightest provocation. I figured it was a fueling problem, so I siphoned out the old gas and coaxed it to the gas station for a tank of premium.

25 km of laps about the neighbourhood later, it was really no better. Must be gummed up carburetors. Unless it is a fouled plug or other ignition problem – best to check that first… Must be gummed up carburetors.

Messing around with carbs – particularly when there are two and they will need to be synchronized if I touch them – is a bit daunting. And, which carb is the problem one? The bike does run, although poorly. After some procrastination I finally raised the fuel tank and took off the airbox to have a look. So, which one is the culprit? I don’t want to mess up the one carb that is working. So, I start the bike and seal off the throat of the front carb with my hand. The engine slows a fraction but keeps turning over. When I seal off the rear carb throat the engine stalls immediately. Definitely the front carb is just not working.

w20151008_202017Fortunately, at that moment two things happen to save me from what was sure to be hours of work and heartache disassembling the carb. First, I found a very old can of STP Carb and Choke cleaner and second, Brenda calls out to me in the garage to say that lunch is on the table. So, I figure, “what could go wrong?” and spray a quarter of the can of carb cleaner into the front carb, in all the openings and nooks and crannies. Then I head into the house, wash up and enjoy lunch with Brenda.

Once lunch is over it is time to face the music – back to the garage. But, before I grab any tools, I start the motorbike, without much hope. But, a miracle has occurred thanks to the magical powers of acetone and xylene. The engine starts and idles normally! Except for the cloud of smoke from the exhaust. Sealing off the front carb with my hand, the engine goes back to the same lumpy idle as before – and the same thing happens when I seal off the back carb. Woohoo!

I gave the bike a good run that day and all seemed well, but there is nothing like a ride to somewhere with no cell coverage to really see if things are ok. So today it was off to Forgetmenot Pond – about 165km for the trip and the motorbike worked perfectly.

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21 Apr 2012

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts

First Motorbike Ride

Not for me, though.  A friend just picked up his new Triumph Thruxton today in Calgary.  Mark came in from out of town by shuttle bus and I met him at the drop-off and gave him a ride to the dealer.  Sean and his son met us there, too. 
It was really busy at the dealer since today was just about the first nice Saturday this spring. The staff was pretty busy. Mark needed to get some gear – riding pants and boots plus a tank bag to allow him to get his shoes home! Once that was done, he got keys for his new bike, put the plate on had the salesman give him the “care and feeding” speech. Then we were ready to go – well, ready once we retrieved Sean and Jordan from the Tim Horton’s across the street…

So we headed out for a ride – Mark’s first in quite a few years (14 I think he said since he last had a bike).  We headed east out of town and all had a nice lunch together at the Station in Strathmore.  Already we are thinking about how to arrange a little road trip! After lunch we took a few hero shots in the parking lot and then headed for home.

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06 Jan 2012

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts

First Signs of Spring

Motorbike riding!

Actually, given that this is southern Alberta there are no really reliable signs of spring. This is more like a sign of an unusually lengthy period of chinook weather. A chinook is a warm wind that blows across the Rockies, devouring the snow and causing motorbikes to appear. December 2011 was warmer than we’ve had for a few years (although I did manage a Christmas day motorbike ride in 2006), between 15 Dec and today only 1 day has not had a positive daytime high temperature. In fact, the high was +10 °C or better four times and one overnight low was even +4 °C.

Anyway, this is the first time that I have ever been able to ride in January – it took over 12 riding seasons, but I’ve now ridden in every month of the year (at one time or another). To top things of, Brenda and I are heading to the Calgary Motorcycle Show today, where we can dream about riding in the Spring-time when it really does arrive.


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