Monday, February 22, 2016

Spring is right round the corner!



The days have been alternating between just above and just below zero.  The snow from our front field is mostly gone, driving into town, those same fields are pretty much all mud.

I loved spending time on my little Baja beach.


A couple of weeks ago, I took the Serow from the shed and brought it into my workshop.  This is a 1992 223cc dual purpose bike, four of which I brought in that year for use on the National Motorcycle Training program, a program I had a very long history with.  As I was preparing to move from Ft Mac, I bought the two remaining Serows, and they served me very well for the next 20 years, even 'nearly' getting a cover for a story I wrote about riding the Baja peninsula back in 2004.

Spring in PEI


It's a simple bike, 223cc's, a 6 speed transmission, adjustable suspension and reliable as a pet rock. 


Maintenance

Over the years I put many happy miles/kilometers tooling around on the many gravel back roads on both sides of the Rockies, in Baja and locally near Calgary.  The Powder face Trail, route 66, MacLean Creek trail, Spray Lakes trail, the KVR and more.  Apart from routine oil changes, a few bits here and there, the bike hasn't cost me hardly a dime.  I sold one to my youngest niece prior to moving east and kept the other one for myself.



Over the weekend and today I put new tires on, the originals now 24 years old and although not entirely worn out, I do like riding some soft stuff and new knobs will be helpful for that

Original tires


Countershaft


Sprocket changes 16tooth vs 15.

 This bike is just over 13K km now and is still running strong. 

Grease the swing-arm pivot


Installed 16 T



After riding it in the last D2D rally in New Brunswick two years ago I purchased a 16T counter shaft sprocket which I just installed.  This will raise the gearing slightly, enabling me to travel if not faster at road speeds but a little less frantically.

One of many covered bridges in N.B. on the D2D


Most of my riding on these bikes is done on trails and the 6 speed transmission does allow me an almost trials like pace in low gear.  I can't wait to see how the taller gearing will work for me.  Of course my XT 600 has raised gearing for better road manners and recently I finally found an almost ideal set-up for my XT 350 I keep down south.

All buttoned up!


With new rubber, different gearing, a fully charged battery installed (I trickle charge everything routinely during the off season) I have only to check and adjust the 2 valves, and change the motor oil and I will be ready to go as soon as spring breaks.

Brenda was commenting on my ability to do much of this work myself.  My tool box although not as complete as it was when I was in the MC business, is still sufficient to do many repairs or replacements myself.  I did the tires the old way, levers and toes on the ground.  The manual tire changer I bought a few years back is sitting unused, it will need some modifications before it's usable.

C'mon Spring!


I'm chomping at the bit to get rolling, hopefully there will be no more snowstorms and perhaps by March I can actually get on the road although it's unlikely trails will be opened for quite some time.  It will take a lot warmer weather than +3 degrees and lots of it at that to  melt the snow on the little back lanes I like to ride.

Trevor has been working on his KLR 650 and we are talking about a back road trip in June.  I'd ride my 600, itself a veteran of many rides over the years.

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