A little update on my previous post. I just got a return so now I’m officially upside down and my lunch dollars just disappeared. What a week it’s been….
A little update on my previous post. I just got a return so now I’m officially upside down and my lunch dollars just disappeared. What a week it’s been….
I have the web site up and running. My shop is full of beautuful gear in various sizes and colors. Everything is set to go. Except there is no go. Last week I haven’t sold ONE item. This week isn’t much better, I barely made enough $$ to pay for my lunches. I’m quite worried. Is it bad economy affecting me of the end of motorcycle season in most of the states? It’s still sunny here in So Cal so you would think I had SOME customers. What is really strange that first half of October was great, my sales were going up compared to previous months. Thank God I’m not easily depressed, otherwise I would be swallowing Xanax few times a day. I’m looking for new ways to promote my business, but it takes time and money, and I’m quickly running out of both. I will not give up though, I knew this was going to be tough when I quit my job 4 months ago.
As some of you may remember a couple of months ago I picked up 2005 Ducati 749R that I wanted to use for track days. Well, it’s ready to go. I did basic changes that would allow me to have fun at the track day. First came Carbon Composite bodywork, painted in beautiful Krylon red. I spent way too much time getting it ready for painting, hopefully I will not have to do it again.
I have desided to go with Woodcraft rearsets because they are great quality, American made and replacement pegs are readily available.
Any Ducati with the dry clutch must have the open clutch cover, the mechanical sound it produces is pure heaven. Woodcraft makes really nice one, it’s strong enough to protect expensive slipper clutch in case of a fall. It somes with removable sliding block made out of stainless steel.
Since Woodcraft supplied all billet aluminum pieces, I also went with their clip ons, slightly longer than stock for more leverage and the bars are easy to replace in case of a misshap. The gas tank is pure sex.
To make sure my bike is crash worthy I added a set of under the fairing Speedymoto frame sliders. They are way more effective than your average frame sliders since the force is distributed over the fairing. Less chance of a bike flipping in case of a low side….
The last touch was AFAM 520 kit with bigger rear sprocket, theoretically it should help me to get out of the corners quicker and hopefully to keep up with the big boys.
Now if I could get my boot on so I can ride the damn bike!
Today I had the most dangerous ride of my life. It was the usual daily commute, the same 13 miles I ride to the office, nothing new. The only extra factor in the mix was a broken side stand on my KTM Supermoto. The problem started to develop about a month ago and peaked during our Baja trip (trip report is pending completion). The problem boils down to the fact that the side stand is slightly cracked at the top part where it attaches to the bike. And also the screw that holds it attached to the frame got lost in the last day of our Baja adventure. I made it home safely that day and ordered a new stand and screw. I was riding the Futura since then. The parts came in earlier this week. So Motodisiac and I planned to fix the stand today. That is why after a few weeks of its hibernation I dusted off my KTM and set off to the office to take it to Motodisiac’s shop after work. Boy what ajoy ride that became.
The side stand has a magnetic sensor that sends a signal if the stand is out or not. Due to the fact that the screw was lost and some home grown solutions were made it became really hard to please the side stand’s sensor. Often times regardless of the stand not being out it still thinks the bike’s on the stand and tries to shut down the engine. That is what I was battling throughout my lane splitting 13 mile commute earlier today. I almost stalled countless times. And stalling while splitting lanes at 40-50 mph is not pleasant and potentially really dangerous. The way I kept the bike alive was by putting the heel of my left boot on the side stand and trying adjust its position so the bike does not stall.
I made it safely to the office and will have to battle another 2-3 miles of street commute to Motodisiac’s shop. All I can say is that I won’t even wish this to my enemy. I’ve never been this nervous on a bike in my life. And hope I’d never have to be ever again.
P.S. This is my friend applying a home grown solution to the side stand problem at our pit stop on our way back from Baja
About a year ago me and Sideout signed up at www.pashnit.com to be able to use the data that comes with the membership. It includes hundreds of descriptions of the most beautiful rides in California, together with directions and pictures. At first I was really excited about all the possibilities. Today, almost a year later, I realise that we haven’t used it once. I think it’s about time we explore local backroads. As soon as I’m able to pu my boot on……
It was business as usual. I locked the office, hopped on my bike, put my helmet, jacket and gloves on, and took off. I didn’t make it very far though.
I’m always extremely wary on what it’s going on around me. No car leaving the driveway escapes unnoticed, I keep an eye on oil spots at the stops and never go through the green light without looking. In other words I’m your typical paranoid motorcyclist. However, as it turns out, you can’t see it all.
Not even 1/4 mile after I began my journey home, I was coming up on the intersection. It’s a tiny residential street that leads to bigger street where I was supposed to turn right. Few cars were waiting in line to turn left, so I simply passed them on the right to roll up the the red light. I wasn’t going fast by any means, as slow as you can be on Supermoto bike with great brakes and sticky tires. Maybe a bit more aggressive that your typical grandma driving Cadillac but still well within the limits of my personal ability and the law.
So as I’m riding between cars on the left and pretty tall curb on the right, I slowly apply my front brake to stop at the red light. NOTHING. I’m still going straight like my caliper doesn’t exist. It reminded me of few occasions when I was riding on black ice, absolutely zero response to the controls. The handlebars start turning right to full lock, bike starts falling to the right, I’m just a rider at this point. Keep in mind that’s it’s all happening at very low speed, maybe 5-7mph. I try to support the bike with my right leg, I’m completely stopped by now but miraculously the bike keeps sliding forward, slowly falling on the curb. WTF? I have seen some stupid drops, but this one beats them all mostly because it was witnessed by at least 10 people.
The lady in the car to my left opens her window and asks me if I’m okay. I respond with positive answer and try to pick up the bike. Not so easy, it keeps sliding away from me into the ladies car! I instruct her to drive off to prevent any further damage and muscle the bike up. Turns out some retarded construction workers left foldable plastic barrier on the road, someone ran it over and now it’s laying in the middle of the street. Folded. Slippery like ice. Blending with the road. Mo^%$*&^%ers.
I pick the bike up and quickly check for the damage. Huge dent in my beautiful chimney stacks, some scrapes on the bar end. Not the end of the world. Then I notice the sharp pain in my right foot. I ignore it, start the bike and ride it home for 6 miles. Upon my arrival I almost drop the bike again, it turns out it hurts more than I expected. Grinning from pain I roll the bike into garage and limp up to my 2nd floor apartment. I hate steps.
At home I’m always afraid to pull the boot off, fearing the worst. I proceed anyways, and sure enough the foot is swollen like hell. Is it broken? Well, with my beautiful $3000 deductible I’m not in a rush to find out. I apply some ice and proceed directly to face plant forum on ADV Rider
I really find it hard to think of a way that could’ve prevented this misshap. Even if I did see that stupid plastic I would still attempt to ride over it. It simply looked harmless. My only satisfaction comes from the fact that hopefully this was my crash and I will stay safe for at least another couple of years. I haven’t been on the ground in 4 years.
By the way yesterday I finished building my track Ducati and signed up for a track day on Monday. Today I ordered nice pair of race boots. So much for having fun next week. In the best case scenario I will NOT be on crutches. I’m crossing my fingers that by tomorrow I’ll feel better. Time to call my friend who happens to be a doctor. The rant is over.
Lately I noticed that I can’t keep up with modern technologies anymore. Every time someone asks me to text them something, it takes me long long time to type that message. I have no idea what computers are better. I don’t have a facebook account. And I’m not that old! I can only imagine what baby boomers feel like these days.
The nature of my business requires me to spend a lot of time on the internet communicating with the customers. So up until today I was permanently attached to my office with the fear of missing that important e-mail. I’ve been thinking about getting i Phone for quite a while, but never got one. This Sunday I was out shopping at Ikea and on the same plaza I noticed T-Mobile office. I had no intention to upgrade my phone but simply wanted to check out what they had with internet access. The sales rep was really nice and told me to come back on Wed when some new phone will be released. So this morning I stopped by again and 5 minutes later walked out with brand new G1 Google Phone.
So far so good. Internet service costs $24.99 and I also purchased optional insurance for $6 per month since the phone is pricey. So here I am, sitting in the office and trying to learn how to use it. Considering I’ve never used anything like this the learning process is pretty simple. Most of controls and menues are easily found and I never had to open the manual. The download speed is pretty quick. The keybord is easier to use than I expected. Once you understand how everything works, it’s a breeze. Of course it will take a while go get used to it, but I’m already able to browse the web and send e-mails. When I recall trying the same basic procedures using Blackberry, I remember that it was much more complicated if not impossible for newbie user. So overall I’m very impressed. The back cover is rubberized so it won’t get scratched like iPhone’s chrome. The phone comes with 1Gb mini SD card but I can always upgrade up to 16Gb. I don’t even thing I’ll bother with upgrading though.
Time will tell if this purchase was worth it. I really hope I’ll be able to use it for business needs when I’m not in the office. First real test will be next Monday when I’ll be testing my new 749R at Willow Springs. How did we ever live without the cell phones let alone the phones with internet capabilities?
Approximately two weeks ago I tried reopening my traffic citation case. I did not want to just give up as this was a completely bogus citation. Last time I tried reopening the case I failed miserably due to inferiority of the court’s hearing date “tracking” system also known as a big old ledger book. I was hopeful that this time around they should have January of 2009 mapped out in that book. I was wrong. But we’ll get to that part.
Having learned my lessons I arrived one hour after the court house was opened. Only 5 people in line to get into the building. Awesome! After entering the building I went to the windows that service cases like mine. This time around 6 out of 10 windows were opened and not more than 10 people in line. Awesome! I literally had to wait 5 minutes. I am at the window, I do my pitch. And the response I get is … absolutely identical to the one I got over 2 weeks ago. We do not have January dates ready, the only available date is December 24. And I am out of town on that day. I was devastated. I almost start begging the clerk asking if there was anything she could do to help me out in my dire situation. It was my second time at the court house. It was pretty much one week till I would become ineligible to reopen my case. And it did not seem probable that they would have their book mapped out for January in a week.
“Let me see what I can do” – she told me and disappeared for a couple of minutes. When she came back she had the court date and time ready for me – January 13, 2009 at 1:30pm. I was ecstatic. Finally someone in the court system can take care of business.
I am back in the game now and will be getting ready for my hearing. I can’t wait …
I have been fortunate to travel fairly frequently. And while I always enjoy going to different places, far and near, abroad and within the US for some reason I stopped getting excited before trips. You know that feeling when you are anxious to go, can’t wait for the day to come, counting days, hours, minutes? Well this feeling was long gone for me. I am not sure when and how I had relinquished it. But what I do know is that this feeling of excitement was gone for quite some time now.
Tomorrow Motodisiac, myself and one of our friends (for future reference we shall call him Capoross) will embark on a short motorcycle trip to Northern Baja, Mexico. It is the very same trip that got canceled earlier this month. Except this time I am not out of town and I am joining my friends. The bikes have been prepared, our riding gear has been acquired specifically for this trip, luggage has been squared away, our route has been uploaded into the newly acquired Garmin. And tomorrow afternoon, on Friday October 10, we will begin our journey going South from Los Angeles, crossing the border via Calexico, then down to San Felipe, Gonzaga bay. Then we will cross over to the Pacific side of Baja peninsula and come back up to cross the border back into the US probably in Tecate. We are scheduled to get back home on Monday night. The whole trip should be around 1000 miles in approximately 3 days of riding.
The whole reason I brought it up is simply this - I am really excited. Probably for the first time in the last 4 or 5 years I am genuinely excited and can’t wait till we kick off our trip. What happened to me? I can’t quite figure out…
A couple of years ago I picked up Garmin GPS for use on my motorcycle. After a while, It developed a problem. I’ve been living with it simply because I didn’t want to deal with warranty replacement hassle, it wasn’t too bad after all. Lately it’s gotten worse, but by now it was well out of 1 year warranty. On the verge of upcoming trip to Baja I decided to get it fixed, warranty or not. So last week I called Garmin customer service. Normally warranty calls are forwarded to third world countries and you have to deal with non English speaking customer service people after 30 minutes of going through automated phone systems.
Garmin experience was completely the opposite. To my shock someone picked up the phone right away, after a couple of short troubleshooting questions I was issued RMA number. I overnighted it to their facility in Kansas last Wed, pretty much ready that it will not come back in time. Today I followed up with the customer service, turns out the GPS is already on the way back to me, I was even provided with the tracking number. This is outstanding. Big thumbs up to Garmin.