Archive for the ‘Motorcycling’ Category

Short version: No power. Disappointed.
Long version:

This past Saturday, I packed the family in the van and drove to Orlando to look at a 2007 Yamaha Vino 125 scooter with 1800 miles on it. I was excited. I’ve been interested in scooters since I was young and rode one for about twenty seconds down an alley.

I occasionally check Craigslist for scooters but hadn’t picked a model to focus on until recently, when I discovered the gorgeous Honda Metropolitan (49cc). I wanted a gray one. Bad. But I realized its top speed of about 35mph was going to annoy me. Honda’s next step up in cc’s doesn’t have that classic Euro-styling so I wasn’t interested. The next best thing in a larger size is the Yamaha Vino 125.

Back to my test ride.

I took this thing out on the suburban roads in the seller’s nice neighborhood. Good roads for this; curvy, some topography and few cars. I got it up to about 35 — it tops out around 55 — and opened up the throttle. And — nothing. The little thing continued on its original acceleration curve and I noticed nothing different. I was going to have to get it out on some straightaways to get it up to 55mph. And I didn’t have a helmet nor eye protection. But it was just disappointing. If I as going 35 and needed to get out of someone’s way, it was going to be by steering, not by any jolt of power.

Disappointed, I returned it to its owner and got back in the family van. No Vinos for me. I’m still interested in small, two-wheeled transportation but a scooter such as this isn’t going to replace my Honda F4i for now as a fun commuter ride.

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Yesterday I installed my lovely Powerlet brand SAE-to-lighter adapter with my Garmin nuvi 360’s cigarette lighter adapter. Took some doing to get it installed in the glove box without obstructing the insertion of the seat. I’m happy with the final result.

If I ever want to use it for other adapters, I’ll probably re-mount it (with an SAE-to-SAE extension added) so that it will go into my bike bag as the routing of the cables from bag to glove box (under seat) in a safe way is a trick.

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Took my wife to Citrus Cycle Center today to fit her for an HJC CL-15 motorcycle helmet. That didn’t go great. She got a better fit from a medium KBC TL-8. But I had to do my due diligence on that model so we didn’t buy it.

But they did have a smoking hot deal on black/orange First Gear Earl leather motorcycle jackets: $99. Whoah. I bought one (XXL) and I’m glad I did. Great fit, finish and price! I’m really impressed with this jacket. I’d be impressed even if it were twice as much, though it’s unlikely I would have bought it at that rate.

I’m looking forward to using it tomorrow when I ride into town.

There’s a small backstory to the jackets. On the way to the dealership, we saw two riders on the road with these jackets. My wife remarked how great the jackets looked (including fit/cut) and I agreed. Just gorgeous jackets. I even tried to get a closer look at the light but she was turning the wrong way. One of the guys was on a Repsol 600RR Honda (lots of orange in there) so it was an especially good fit with his bike. But it’s a generally attractive jacket for any bike.

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I finally installed my Helibars today. JZ did most of the work. It took the better part of the day.

They don’t look better than the stock bars, that’s for sure. But hopefully they’ll be more comfortable for me given my long torso.

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Helibars arrived.

My F4i Helibars came USPS today — from the U.K. Yay!

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Finally installed the license plate on the F4i this weekend. Had to drill and mount the plate mount as the Hotbodies undertail doesn’t come precut for this so you can put the plate anywhere you like on there or not mount it under the tail at all.

JZ did all the work. It looks great. Started and finished yesterday, Sunday.

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I almost ran over an aligator on my motorcycle last night. Riding back on Ozello Trail after dark, the 3.5′ long gator cut in front of me and raced across the road, its legs pinwheels. It was very cute. I missed the end of its tail by about two inches.

A little ways down the same road, the was a frog leaping down the road toward me. I felt like a log in Frogger.

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