Riding

My riding adventures and experiences. For my motorcycle-riding-specific blog, visit http://rivetheadrider.blogspot.com. It’s basically all the same stuff you’ll find here, minus the music, lifehacks and random crap.

Slow Going on the CX500 Fix-Ups

We’ve had our CX500s for about two months now, but getting them operational has been more than a challenge. Mostly because we’re,… well… we’re clueless. OK, so we do have repair manuals, but we lack the experience in what is what and how things are supposed to come apart, go together, feel, smell, taste, etc…

But I will say this… Our bikes are getting REALLY shiny!

(Ok, not as shiny as my buddy, Graham’s, but he’s got the proper tools and know-how.)

That’s right, one thing we can do is wipe dust off them bikes! As we wait for the day our motorcycle-wise friends can help us figure out what we really need to do to get our bikes up and running, we continue to spit-shine our CX500s!

I don’t have many “before” pictures, but here are some “after” ones:

Here’s what my ’81 CX500 is lookin’ like now…

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And from another angle. Look at that tank SHINE!

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Here’s Bethany’s ’80…

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Bethany getting crud off the wheel…

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Me on my bike… It’s a LOT bigger than my current ride, WAY heavier!

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Speakin’ of my current ride, here’s my Yamaha Virago 250, sittin’ in the corner… all sad, knowing it’s about to be replaced.

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Don’t worry, Virago. I won’t let you go… I have other plans for you! Muahahahaaaa!! =P

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Wrights Station and Ghost Town Ride Video – Part 1

FINALLY! I’ve put together the first part of my three or four part video series of our ride last month!

Again, there were about 2 hours of video that I wanted to condense into 10 minutes. NOT GONNA HAPPEN! Instead, I will edit each leg of our ride into 10 minute segments.

Here’s the first video!

We left downtown Santa Cruz, hopped onto Highway 1 and took Soquel San Jose Rd. to the Los Gatos Hills where we arrived at our first destination… Wrights Station!

Enjoy!

Two CX500s are MINE!! (almost)

Not an interesting post, but I’m compelled to let you all know that the two CX500s I paid for last week are almost officially MINE! Why almost?? I was able to get the title and register the ’80, but the ’81 was out of the system, and, therefore, needs to be brought in for the official transfer and registration.

BUT, non-op registration on BOTH bikes are paid for!

The gentleman that sold me the pair came with me to the DMV this morning in case there were any problems getting everything into my name. What a guy! He’s even going to let me borrow his trailer to get the bikes to my place. :) That’ll happen sometime in the next couple of weeks.

THEN, I gotta get the ’81 running so I can ride it over to the DMV and get it registered! Can’t wait!!

Ride Number 6: Wrights Station and Ghost Town Ride

This was an epic ride! The days continue to grow shorter and there was a lot to see, so we head out around 11:30am for our 45-50 mile ride.

Here’s the route: (And for the record, I did not have any Starbucks! lol)


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We visited several abandoned mining tunnels as our friend who let this ride acted as tour guide giving us the history of all the spots we hit. Some really interesting history there, including explosions and collapses! O.o

I strung all my video clips together and have over 2 hours to edit down to 10 minutes. Well, crap! That’s gonna take me WAY too long to do anytime soon! Stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted!

Bought TWO CX500s Today!

I’M NOW THE PROUD OWNER OF TWO (non-operational) HONDA CX500 DELUXES! Actually, one is for my girlfriend, but they’re both paid for!

Ok, the transaction wasn’t entirely problem-free and they’re still not “technically” mine, though the guy has my money… He only had one of the pink slips, but he’s cool enough to come to the DMV with me to get that squared away.

UPDATE: The guy found the other pinkslip!

My buddy, Graham, found a guy selling a bunch of CXs and bought a parts bike from him to pimp out into a sweet cafe racer. BTW, to see his cafe racer as it’s being built, check out Graham’s blog at http://grahamsgarage.blogspot.com.

I visited the guy and he had TWO (more or less) COMPLETE CXs! They’re not running and need work, but they looked good overall. One is a 1980, the other, a 1981. The ONLY reason I’m able to get both of them is because they guy needs to get rid of them ’cause his house is going up for sale. He was selling them for $400 each, but cut me a deal: $700 for both! (He’s also no longer able to ride, as he was in a horrible accident… :( I’ll save this story for another time…)

Anyway, all other motorcycles I considered were around $2000! So, for about a third of the price of ONE, I get TWO! Albeit, non-operational… BUT, I get to LEARN how to work on them, and that’s PRICELESS!!

Here’s video I got while checking them out:

Now, I know next to nothing about the mechanics of motorcycles… =/ It wasn’t until another friend, Edric, said he could help me with working on it, that I realized, “this could actually work!” Apparently, Honda CXs are easy and fun to work on… So my girlfriend and I are both STOKED to start working on these!

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Selling a Pair of Warm, Winter Riding Gloves

I bought these nice Olympia winter gloves at Santa Clara Cycle Accessories… in the middle of summer… ’cause they were on über sale. I actually sorta needed them to ride over Highway 17 at night, because it does get cold in California, even during the summer.

Problem is, they’re too big, as you can see in the photos below… =/ They were out of mediums and in the heat of summer, they weren’t planning on getting them… Just trying to get rid of what they already have.

I’ve only worn them a few times, so I consider them pretty freakin’ new. They’re great gloves. In fact, I already got myself a pair of mediums.

Make me an offer! They could be yours today! If you live within a 15-mile radius, I’ll personally deliver them to you!

 

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Ride Number 5 – Old De La Veaga Zoo

Here’s a short but fun ride we did a few days ago in the Soquel-Santa Cruz area. It’s our FIRST ride with VIDEO!

Here’s a map of the route.


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Contour HD Helmetcam is MINE!!!

After months of eyeing GoPros and Contours, I found a cheap Contour HD on Craigslist. I’ve been trying out different configurations and such and I’ve yet to find that “sweet spot” of resolution, exposure settings and mic sensitivity. My initial tests indicate that the mic sucks ass.

Yes, this is quite unfortunate because I wanna hear the roar of my engine. Instead, the sound of the wind my mic catches reduces the roar of my mighty 250 down to a faint “buzz.” =/Also, unlike the GoPro, it has no 3.5mm microphone input jack for when I just want to narrate my ride… =/ Time to look into modding my Contour HD!

As a consolation,… the video quality is quite good. Currently making a bunch of test videos…

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Ride Number 4 – Santa Cruz to Boulder Creek to Davenport

I went on my fourth ride with my girlfriend over the weekend. The rides keep gettin’ better! This was my first time planning the route and it looked something like this…


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Pretty cool, eh?? We met at a friend’s place and headed up Soquel San Jose Road and over to Boulder Creek via Summit Road and Bear Creek Road. I’ve only driven Bear Creek Road, but riding it was much more fun!

We stopped at the Redwood Keg for some tri-tip sandwiches! YUMMMY!! ^_^

The original Route was to ride up Big Basin Highway and through Jamison Creek Road to Empire Grade, but we modified it so the bigger bikes would have an easier time. So we headed down Highway 9, cut across to Felton Empire Road, up Empire Grade and took Pine Flat Road / Bonny Doon Road all the way to Davenport where we stopped at Whale City Bakery on Highway 1 for some coffee. ^_^

I wish I had more photos… Man, I really need a helmetcam!!

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Gear I Bought for our First Roadtrip

Though I’m on a budget, I invested in new gear (in order of importance):

  • Communicator
  • A.L.I.C.E. Pack
  • Cargo Net
  • Riding Boots
  • Cramp Buster
  • Toolkit

Communicator

Cost: $116.97 (including shipping)

If there’s ONE thing I HAD to have, it’s the Communicator! Holy f__k, I don’t know what our trip would’ve been like without it! To travel with someone over hundreds of miles and not be able to discuss the route, traffic, detours and missed turns is one thing. But to not be able to talk about the guy picking his nose in the next lane?? Yeah. Get communicators! Our ride would’ve been frustrating beyond belief without them!

A.L.I.C.E. Pack

Cost: $70.43

My everyday backpack would’ve burst from over-packing! The A.L.I.C.E. Pack was large enough for my essentials and then some. I filled it about 1/3 full to keep it light. (C’mon, we’re staying ONE night in a freakin’ CABIN!) It was über-comfortable with its frame and all. Can’t wait to take this thing on an actual camping trip!

Cargo Net

Cost: $??.??

I strapped a small backpack onto my luggage rack and held it in place with this nifty cargo net. I could’ve easily packed all that stuff in my A.L.I.C.E. Pack, but why ride around with a heavier backpack AND an EMPTY luggage rack? Yes, this thing is both light, utilitarian AND fashionable. I’m going to find a way to wear this to ::THE BOX:: (Goth-Industrial night at the Blue Lagoon). ;)

Riding Boots

Cost: $108.61

I’ve needed a new pair of boots for several years and this was my excuse chance to splurge and get some! They gripped well and made me a whole inch-and-a-half taller! Timing was less than ideal since I only had a day to break them in, but still, I felt extra cool with the road passing beneath my brand new pair of boots!

Cramp Buster

Cost: $?????

I should’ve used this thing more… My hand cramped, but without the Cramp Buster, it would’ve been worse. I wish there was a sore-ass-buster because my ass was worse off than my hand after hours of riding.

Toolkit

Cost: $73.59

Had I needed it in case of a breakdown, this would’ve been top of the list… But that’s like saying I didn’t need my helmet ’cause I didn’t crash. So I’m glad I got it, if even for peace of mind. In fact, I was hoping for a breakdown just so I could bust the thing out on the side of the road and get to work! Ok, not really, but you get the point.

Total Damage:

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Well, this all added up fast! O.o

At some point, I’ll get around to reviewing each of these individually, ’cause I got some pretty cool s#!t for this roadtrip!

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