Nov 11, 2011


I guess this happens during the first snowfall. Happens every year. I've been taking my bike to work every day - not missing a day since early April.

Looks like I might have to park it soon.

Nov 8, 2011

ST1100 Keys

After almost half a million kilometres, I have finally made a copy of one of my ST keys. I haven't lost one, thank goodness. But I have come close.

Twice in the last month the key has dropped off the place I keep it, forcing me to retrace my steps looking for it. Both times I was successful in locating it. The following photo shows where I normally hang it on my jacket.

I like putting it there, because if I get all geared up and forget to put the key in the ignition, it is easy to get to with gloves on. I thought about just getting another key coupler, but I think I will just put it in my pocket.

I knew I had to do something, as the key I have been using is hardly worn. I would not want to lose it.

When I got the bike, I always used the same key in the ignition, for over 400,000 kms. (Let's call it key1). Eventually it had a lot of wear on it and it began to be difficult to turn on the ignition using it.

I started using the key I always carried as backup in my pocket. (Let's call it key2). That key works very well and has little wear. It is this key I almost lost. Here are key1 and key2 together. Key1 has noticeable wear.

Obviously I can't risk losing key2. So today I picked up a brand new key blank from Forest City Honda.

The new key was cut from my good key, and works well. It is now time to retire key2 to a drawer at home. I will use the new copy daily, and use my old key1 as a backup in my pocket.

I will feel much safer.

Oct 27, 2011

Mileage Milestone

Yesterday my odometer rollup to to the point you see in the photo. Looks odd, but when you apply the simple kilometre to mile conversion of .62, it equals 300,000 miles.

That's a pretty high and notable figure. In actual fact, if a more accurate conversion is applied, it is something like 300,600 miles.

No need for hair splitting, however. The number that matters most to me has yet to arrive. That number is 500,000 kilometres.

Half a million.

I'm not going to get there in 2011. But that figure should occur around May 2012 timeframe.

This winter I will give the Green Hornet a nice refresh with new fluids, filters, plugs, and brake pads in order that spring riding starts up and continues smoothly.

Stay tuned!

Oct 8, 2011

Back In Action

Bearings are in. Gord Inglis of Inglis Cycle Centre located the correctly sized bearings and he put them in last night after the shop closed.

I can't thank him enough for getting his hands dirty and fixing me up on short notice. I may have said it before, but Inglis Cycle Centre is a well run shop with knowledgeable and helpful employees. It is not the first time they saved my ass.

Here is a picture of Gord and my ST1100 rear wheel.

Oct 7, 2011

Secrets of the successful motorcyclist

I have an article published on the Halifax Chronicle Herald website. It is all about doing more miles safely and comfortably.

Click here to go the the site.

ST1100 Rear Tire

Well this is the second time this year that I have run over something with the ST and ruined a tire. I am on a ride now and about an hour from home and I detected the telltale shimmy of a broken belt or extra weight in the rear tire.

A new tire is already on order.

The first time this happened to me I was in Quebec. I had to stop for the night and go to a tire shop in the morning in Riviere du Loup. Amazingly, they had my correct size and tire in stock. The Bridgestone Exedra G548.

I'll nurse it home from here at low speed, but I won't like it. Here is a photo of the current mileage.

Sep 20, 2011

KLR Nerf Bars

I saw this KLR650 today that has Nerf Bars protecting the bodywork. I have always wondered why people use these things. They seem to be designed to protect the bodywork.

My own opinion is that the bodywork doesn't need to be protected. After my accident on the 401 where the bike slid on its left side, there was no damage to any bodywork at all. Besides, these bikes won't win any beauty contests and can take a scratch or two.

The only thing that might be critical to protect is the radiator. There is a simple add-on from companies such as Happy Trail that is much smaller and lighter that will protect the radiator. I have this bar on my own KLR and it is good peace of mind

This bike had very mild dual sport tires on it. His tires and the extra weight of the Nerf Bars make it much more likely that he will need those protective bars one day.

My recommendation for this owner would be to save the weight and money and get some KiLleR tires such as aggressive Dunlop D606. These tires, along with a minimalist travel style will help ensure he never crashes his bike.

Sep 12, 2011

Nissan Juke Advert

Check out this awful new ad for the Nissan Juke car:

Nissan Juke

I wrote to the ad company to express my displeasure. I also wrote to Nissan to tell them I won't be buying a Nissan.

Nissan can be contacted here.

Aug 31, 2011

My First Motorcycle Movie

I still really enjoy watching my first moto movie:

Aug 26, 2011

ST1100 Travels

I've made two trips to the Maritime provinces with the ST so far this year. Amazingly, I didn't need long underwear on either trip. It can get cold in eastern Quebec and northern New Brunswick.

I did use some heat, though. Both times, I retained the summer weight gloves. This meant I could use my defective new Gerbing heated liner. You may recall that the glove output plugs on this garment don't work. But the rest of it works, including the heat controller, which is invaluable for maintaining just the right temperature.

My left side grip heater also quit working in the fall at the same time the glove plugs quit. That was a very cold ride at minus 4 Celsius.

On this year's long rides, I brought along my trusty 11 year old Gerbing which has working glove plugs - just in case. The only problem with using the old Gerbing is it uses older SAE dual prong power inputs, which my heat controller does not work with. So it is either full on or completely off. A pain, but warm when you need it.

Which brings me to today's work. I replaced the defective left side grip heater. Still not necessary in southern Ontario, but *cringe* the fall riding season is coming. Here is a pic of the new one going on.

Whenever the local dealer gets my replacement wires, I will repair my new Gerbing heated jacket liner glove plugs.

Here is a pic from Halifax. There doesn't seem to be any more "Welcome To Halifax" signs anywhere. If you know of one, please let me know!

and another, dualsporting with a touring bike...

OK, just one more. This is the excellent seafood at the Bel Air Takeout and Restaurant in Cap-Pele, New Brunswick. Highly recommended.

Jul 1, 2011

New Tires And Canada Day

I love getting new tires. The KiLleR gets two new pairs of shoes today. They are the Continental TKC80 that I have heard about on ADVRider. I ride dirt often and am looking forward to seeing how they run on dirt AND street.

The ST gets a new rear tire after suffering two nails in it last week on the way to the Cheektowaga checkpoint of the Iron Butt Rally. It is, as always, the excellent Bridgestone Exedra G548. (The front is a G547)

Happy Canada Day!

Jun 27, 2011

Iron Butt Rally Checkpoint

The 2011 Iron Butt Rally is now running. The rally started in Seattle, and the first checkpoint was Friday June 24th in Cheektowaga near Buffalo, NY.

I had been planning to go as it is three hours from my house. The day before departure, I heard through the mailing list for previous Iron Butt Rally finishers that a 1200RT rider was in need of a fuel pump controller module.

I asked my friend, a one time BMW tech and RT owner if he had a spare module. He had one and lent it to me.

I was all set to leave, including a full tank and fuel cell and was on the highway when I noticed my ST1100 had a vibration through the chassis. I took the next exit and in the pouring rain checked the tires for nails. I saw two nails in the rear tire. Here is one of them:

I went to a dealer who had no tire to fix it. After some calling around, it was obvious the ST wasn't going too far. I had a previous experience with a damaged tire from plugging a nail hole, and I will avoid that again if I can. Two holes is even worse.

So I came back home and rigged up my GPS on the Suzuki Burgman and carried on. Great machine and very smooth. Here I am with Jeramy Loveall at the checkpoint helping him fix his bike:

It was great seeing all my Iron Butt friends, and witnessing the scene at the checkpoint. I am now back home and it is tire time in my garage. I took the ST rear tire off to replace it, and the rear tire on the KLR is also due for replacement.

So here is a pic of both bikes down for the count:

Jun 16, 2011


Here is an article about me that came out today in the Halifax Chronicle Herald:

Click here to read the article entitled 'Going the Distance.'

May 25, 2011


Out riding (and very much enjoying) the ST1100 today. When I came home, Big Bird was standing in the driveway. I didn't see snuffleupagus, but then again, who ever does? :)

May 23, 2011

ST1100 Rolls Again

"There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.", Nelson Mandela

My ST1100, loyal traveling companion of many many trips, is finally ready to roll. This round of repairs saw the bike with so many parts stripped away that it was almost unrecognizable as a motorcycle.

I had to raise the rear wheel as high as I could so that I could use the large torque wrench on the two lower bolts holding the new differential on

The most difficult nut to reach and torque is the upper left one. Would have been impossible with the fuel tank in place.

Torqueing the bottom bolts.

Removing the old copper exhaust seals in preparation for the "new" exhaust system.

I had to remove the protective tipover framework on the right side. One bolt was rusted in and it broke. I drilled it out and retapped the hole.

I really needed speedclips to put all the bodywork back on. I was missing quite a few.

Running the bike outside to check for exhaust leaks. Everything was OK.

I have a working fuel guage again. Old one would show full right after the bike was filled, then fall to empty after a short distance. Was a bit of a panic the first time I noticed it.

So that is it, ready for the road. Let's hope the weather improves!

May 16, 2011

Work progresses on the ST1100

Spent some time recently working on putting the ST1100 together. I would like to use it this weekend so I need to hustle. I put the new-to-me differential on the swingarm, I replaced the fuel sender, and I put the new spline on the rear wheel.

Here is the new fuel sender installed on the side of the fuel tank.

Here is the inside guts of the old fuel sender. A winding was broken near one end. I moved the wire slightly to make it easier to see. The fuel reading would drop to zero about 50 km into a tank.

Here is my "new" differential on the bike. Shop manual calls for mounting and torqueing everything with the wheel first, then torqueing the four differential mounting bolts last. The old differential is on the floor.

Here is a photo of the old wheel splines and the new ones. The spline should be flat-topped and wide. The old ones are worn to sharp points.

May 5, 2011

ST1100 Work

Work on the ST1100 is slow due to other projects going on. Here is a photo of the bike.

The rear differential, exhaust system, and fuel tank are all off the bike. Looks bad, but I have seen it like this on numerous occasions before.

I needed tools and additional parts to tackle this job, but I have everything in place now.

May 4, 2011

Going to vote on the KLR650 on election day.

Mar 12, 2011

ST1100 Mileage - More Parts Required

The mileage rolls on. Nearly 460,000 kms in fact. It is not without a few aches and pains along the way.

Take for example the latest list of parts my bike requires. The following photo shows the queue of waiting parts.

In the above photo, you can see an entire exhaust system, a rear differential, a wheel spline, and a fuel sender.

As detailed in these posts, my bike's exhaust system
and rear drive splines are shot:


My winter maintenance has turned into a repair job. The bike is coming apart. The exhaust system came from Montana, and the rear differential came from New York City. The fuel sender from Forest City Honda right here in town. This will be my third exhaust system and my third fuel sender. Damned unreliable Honda parts, eh?

Here are two pics I took the last time I changed out the exhaust:

New-to-me system is on the left.

The hole is my bike's original exhaust system can be seen
on the bottom.

I will attempt to get a close up shot of my worn splines, and the nice splines on my replacement parts in order to show the difference.

Feb 9, 2011

KLR Troubles

The 2002 KLR650 seems to be having troubles these days. Sounds familiar. In hopes of having some winter fun with it, I brought it to Inglis Cycle Centre in London, Ontario, to have it re-jetted. It was difficult to start in the cold and was hoping to get it set up a little better.

Well as it turns out, the KLR is hard to start for another reason. The intake valves are worn so much the area that comes into contact with the seat is worn to a sharp point. The valve now raises high enough that there is no clearance between the shims and the camshaft, and the seat is compromised so much that there is not adequate compression.

If this had been the exhaust side, it probably would have burned.

The exhaust system is also rusted. The muffler is so rusted it is beyond saving.

The solution is new valve hardware and a new muffler. Since I am in this far, I will also be replacing the rings and possibly the piston itself. The crosshatch is still visible on the cylinder walls so there is hope the piston can be re-used, but the rings will be refreshed with new.

The cylinder head is in good shape. No work required on this piece at all, thankfully.

After doing the doohickey and installing grease nipples in the rear suspension, I am inclined to keep this bike running. The bike has only 55,000 kms on the clock, but has worked hard. It has taken me to some cool places, and will do so again.

Perhaps the ice studs will go onto the Yamaha XT225 instead...