Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Gotta Love it!

WOW... I've slept the better part of a week, since my arrival last Thursday.  Must be jet lagged...

Wingin' it!

I don't know if it's the heat (see below) the quiet or little Boo, the feline sleeping pill.  This is the first year in memory, maybe since I bought the southern pad, that I have not arrived just after a cold, while having a cold, or just catching a cold.  First time in recent memory that I am, well healthy!

Cramped seating, sometimes it's an advantage being short!

Usually my first job upon arrival is to get the scooter geared up, it is after all, my Phoenix "Mule"  I use it for groceries, paying bills, banking and sightseeing.  I would like to take a 'trip' on the Adventure 150 and may just do that this year.  It would be slow, the top speed is maybe 60mph, but I think we would have a good time.

Peahen and chicks at the Glendale library.

The second order of business once settled in, is to get the 1998 Yamaha XT 350 up and running.  For those that read the blog but aren't exactly familiar with Motorcycles, this is a four stroke air cooled, kick start only, 4 valve, double overhead cam (DOHC) single cylinder street legal trail bike.  The engine produces about 24 to 29 hp depending on who you are reading, and with a six speed transmission, and the current gearing, she can cruise sort of comfortably at 55 mph and has a top speed of approximately 80. Blah blah blah.

 I have been playing with gearing, moving away from the very low ratio the previous owner had on the bike, that was really only suitable for trail use.  This trip I am going to gear up with a smaller rear sprocket, not so much to increase the top speed (the bike really doesn't have enough horsepower to do that) but to reduce the revs and increase my cruising speed somewhat .  Of course this will affect the low RPM power delivery but as it stands, first gear is pretty low anyway, and with 6 gears, I should still be able to trail ride her and make things just a little less squirrely on the freeways. 

No matter how you look at it, I have to do a fair bit of pavement riding to get anywhere out of town.  I mean Apache Junction and the  start of the Superstition  mountains is 65 miles across town and even my favorite
Bradshaw riding is half that to the North. 

The Honda I bought last year just prior to leaving, fits in my back yard... is fairly light, will have better road ability, and should be much more comfortable than the XT.

I had all three batteries on my little tender while gone this past 10 months.  I had my doubts that they would still be fresh especially the XT being only a tiny little thing not much larger than 3 D cells.  Fortunately they all are almost topped up and the scooter of course is running, although I like to kick start it, and today I installed the 350 battery as well.

My Deluxe tool kit!

I have been speculating how many kicks it would take to get the XT running, after all it's been nearly a year, sitting here in hot temperatures.

To my not so much of a surprise, after draining the fuel from the float bowl, letting some semi-fresh gas in, and one push through on the kick starter to make certain nothing was seized, presto... it was running on the 2nd ( well actually the first) kick!  Why doesn't that surprise me?!  It conked out after about 60 seconds of running on the choke but started right up again with no problem.  It's less problematic than hauling bikes from Calgary as I was initially and of course with no more emissions testing, is very convenient.

Running in one kick!!!
This is why I bought a simple dual purpose bike to leave here.  It has to be reliable given the places I normally explore.

The trail bike and the project!

Before I ride the 350 I will go over the bike make certain all systems are go and then... go!  I want to close a few more loops in the Bradshaws, the Senator highway (don't be fooled, it's a jeep trail) and the Wagoner road including Minnehaha!  (Google maps)

My tires are still in pretty decent condition although prior to leaving last December, I bought replacements from Bike Bandit, not because the current set is worn out, but I knew that the exchange rate would deteriorate before my return and I was right.  We are down around 88cents to the USD, so buying in advance was a good move.

I will be placing another order soon for some parts that I need for the Ascot and of course bits for my bikes back home that will fit in my carry on luggage.

Not a Freeway in sight!!
Gotta love it...

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