It’s been eventful.
I said last time that my black bike had blown over.
A horrifying picture to be sent when you are 5 hours away.
At first I didn’t believe it was the wind, thought it was the kids messing about. But for some reason our house gets the wind howling across the front. We have to bungee the bins to out awning thing to stop them blowing into next door’s car. So OK, wind.
I changed the lowering kit thing, fixed the snapped fairing and carried on.
Then I looked out of the window last week to see my red one on it’s side, which had toppled the black one, which had smacked into the car.
I ran outside, dragged the covers off the bikes and the locks and stood them up. Not easy. The red one got off with a graze to the bar-ends as the black one cushioned it’s fall. The black one had the red one’s handlebars smack it in the fairing.
Smashing a lump out of the side that hadn’t been damaged last time. Super.
The car too the black one’s handlebar to the (rusty) wing.
For the time being I’ve stopped using the bike covers which are obviously catching the wind like a sail and I’m putting the bikes on main stand every time (instead of side stand). So far, so no worse.
You can’t get replacement fairings for love or money. Mainly money. But you still can’t get them.
I’ve found this product that you mix up and pour in and it set as plastic. I just have to take off the fairing, tape it perfectly and pour it in. Easier said than done.
I’ve bought a new wing and been spray painting it. I’m waiting for it the clear lacquer final coat to dry. Tomorrow I have to take the grill, bumper and wing off to replace. Super dooper.
It was near dark when I finished but it totally looked the wrong colour. I’m hoping it dries right, because I’m not doing it again.
To deter thieves I put a disc lock on my red bike (on top of the engine immobiliser and alarm). This slots through your front brake disc and locks, making it impossible to ride the bike away.
I forgot to take it off. Rode forward a foot then slammed to a stop, nearly falling off. I thought nothing of it, took the lock off, rode to work down the motorway. And back. Giving it beans.
I stopped outside our house as usual, started walking the bike back into the parking spot, touched the front brake, nothing. What?
Bad picture, but if you look at the bottom of the brake calliper (black bit with “Nissin”) you can see the brake pad dangling down. That is supposed to be in the calliper.
Part of the calliper where a bolt goes through has snapped off.
I’d just ridden like a dick along the motorway. Twice. I was going to pick Nathan (my nephew) up on it the next morning.
75% of a bike’s stopping power is the front brake. You can stand on the back one and it will lock and you’ll speed along with your back tyre sliding. If the ffront had of failed so utterly on the motorway, when I needed it, I wouldn’t be writing this.
Wendy thinks god saved me.
I’m an atheist, but fuck me!
One bit of good news amongst all the bike tragedy, we have another biker in the family!
I heard that Nathan was in a shite £5.50 p/h, dish washing job that he hates. I had a look online and there are £9.50 p/h warehouse jobs he could easily be doing but they are a bit far to pushbike. (For the yoof of today. I was cycling 22 miles a day a few years back as part of my Tri training. *tuts*)
His mate was going to give him a cheapo Chinese bike but it got nicked.
I said if he was to get his shit together to get the job we’d lend him the money for a bike. Instant transformation! Totally impressed with him. Dropped his vices like a brick and got his head into the Highway Code. Went to town to get a provisional license the next day and posted it ASAP.
I’ve been getting excited searching for learner bikes for him.
He wants to get into bikes, and wants something that will do him for a few years. (I suspect that will change. He’ll either love bikes and want a bigger one or get his car license. I suggested the latter to him, in my defence.)
My criteria was: Japanese (reliability, resale value), low mileage, naked (no stupid expensive fairings to replace if/when he drops it, so easy and cheap to fix) and 4 stroke. I have a loathing of 2 strokes. Temperamental, polluting, hideous sounding things. OK, shit-off-a-stick fast, but just no.
As bleeding usual everything that fit the criteria was a gazillion miles away. Which would have been no fun riding back on a 125cc.
Then someone put one up in St Helens! As it turned out it was way in the sticks on the far side, but still a lot nearer than Devon or the bottom of South Wales.
Nath and I went to look. I checked out the mileage. It’s a 2009 bike, online the MOT records only go back as far as 2012 or something, but it has been putting on 400 miles for the last 4 years, so the claimed 6000 miles is quite possible.
There are a few dings, a dent in the tank, a scrape on the clock, the mudguard has been repaired (just looked on eBay and got him a used front mudguard for £15. Job done.) but the engine is superb. It’s a Yamaha YBR125 Custom. Hilariously underpowered, but that’s a plus for a learner. Apparently the YBR125 road bike (the non-custom style bike,whatever it’s called) is the standard beast of burden for motorcycle training schools. The Custom is the same engine with different styling.
We got it. Lisa (my sister) broke her motorway duck to run me up to collect it. She passed her test about 6 months ago and had never been on the motorway. “I’ve never been in fifth gear.” lol.
As I said, I rode it home. About 19 miles. It’s a cracking little beast.
I was reading a review saying it costs about £9 to fill the tank, and you get around 214 miles!
Supposed to be about £19 per year road tax.
Top end of 65mph. Allegedly. I had an indicated 55 out of it, but I wasn’t trying to redline the poor little thing.
I’m not so sure about the feel of the tyres. Nath might want to get a new set. £60 for the pair. My back tyre alone was £152!
I’ve given him my (armoured) textile bike jacket, some decent waterproof leggings and gloves. He just needs a lid. He has to attend (no pass or fail) a one day course before he can go on the road. Compulsory Basic Training (CBT). Seems it’s classroom, practical on clutch control, gears, steering and such, then 2 hours out on the real roads with an instructor.
After that, get totally bitchslapped for insurance, (over a grand! For a 125! Ouch!) get the road tax and he’s away.
Wheels and a desperate desire to get out of his current, hated, piss-take job should see him earning big bucks in no time.
As I sent to our Lisa
This is the perfect time of year for getting a job order picking. Or that one sorting parcels. Possibly at thrice damned Herpes, but it’s good money, no freezer to worry about, and it would do until he can get better. I was talking to a picker at our place. He said the management leave you alone, the pick target is easy, and you have to request to go in to the freezer! I saw a wage slip a few weeks back and they aren’t on that much less than me, and I paid £5k for licenses. I’ve just looked it up, it’s about 10 or 11 miles from Lisa’s to my works avoiding the motorway, about 25 minutes. That’s a do-able commute for double his money. (At ours it’s not the hourly rate, it the overtime rate, the rate for working past 18.00, the bank holiday rate, etc that make it good money.) Just got to wait for them to recruit again.
Right. That’s Lisa sorted for motorways and fifth gear (lol again) and Nathan’s life sorted.
I’ve offered to give Pam, (Bryn, another nephew’s wife) our car when she passes her test. It’s a scruffy bag of shit but it seems determined to run for ever. If she wants it, it would get her started. That just leaves Robyn (niece) to sort out.
One other thing. The red bike. The front end has gone from “bit iffy” to “sweet Jesus, I’m going to die!”
I was banked over and accelerating when the bike started to oscillate. That is so not good. I was putting the forks in for a rebuild this winter anyway, but now it’s a necessity. I took the black one out for one day, after months of familiarity with the red one, and I was throwing it down into corners in a way I’d never dare on the red one. It made me realise how bad the front end must be. I’m getting the forks done, but if it still doesn’t have the feel of the black one I’ll be selling it in the spring.
In other news, my loss of taste is getting worse. Now I’m getting false tastes. Eggs tasting like garlic, cakes tasting like mad chemicals. On the bright side, I’ve dipped under 11 stones today for the first time in years. I was within a jammy doughnut of 12 stone for a while. And the associated messed up sense of smell isn’t too bad. I’m coping with the minging smells I think I can smell. Such as my leather jacket smelling of rotting meat. As long as Wendy and Lisa assure me they aren’t real. I couldn’t bear to think others were thinking I stunk that bad.
Ho hum, whaddayagonna do?