By October 5, 2006

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CYLON!

Well, I’m three days late, but I know he’ll forgive me because we were out riding. I’ve owned my FZ6 for a year now, and despite all the warnings of concerned riders, friends, mothers, Arsians, and naysayers everywhere I have yet to drop the bike or get in a wreck. I’ve put almost 8,000 miles on my bike this year. 3000 of those were last winter/spring, and 1500 on my recent trip to New York state. There are some trips to Washington, DC in there, maybe two to Williamsburg, and two to Charlottesville, VA. All the rest were gained riding around town, local backroads, and visiting friends further north in Richmond. I’d say my average jaunt is 20 – 50 miles per ride, which is a long way of saying I’ve spent many days with Cylon in the past year. I hope to spend even more time on the bike this year.

Like any good war machine, Cylon’s gone through some upgrades. He wears an aftermarket tinted windshield, had soft luggage and now has hard cases, a hand-crafted seat modification with memory foam in it, a headlight modification to allow both lights to operate at once, front frame sliders, and heated grips.

My gear has also gone forth and multiplied: two perforated leather jackets, four pairs of gloves (three leather, one leather/textile), one mesh jacket, two pair of leather pants (one solid, one perf), two helmets, one pair of boots — with a new set on the way, a reflective safety jacket, shin and knee armor, and an assortment of moisture wicking base layers, socks, glove liners, balaclava and skullcap. I own/have owned four motorcycle covers.

In the last year I’ve had one scheduled maintenance done at the dealership; I did the second one myself with an oil change/filter replacement. I adjusted the chain by myself (boy was that a pain).

With the bike and most of my gear, I couldn’t be more pleased. I told Lady Jaye that few things in my life have exceeded my expectations like Cylon and motorcycle riding. For someone that’s as overly critical as myself, this is a huge statement. I am so glad that I stopped making excuses thirteen months ago and did something I’ve wanted to do for most of my life.

It makes me think about what else I’ve wanted to do but have stopped myself from trying. That coffee shop in the mountains? It’ll probably have to wait some more. But in the meantime, maybe I’ll learn or do something else I’ve put on the back burner for too long.

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Posted in: motorcycling

1 Comment on "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CYLON!"

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  1. Ric says:

    Two tips with regard to chain adjustment.

    Firstly, I’d highly recommend buying something like a scottoiler. I use one on my older style Fazer 600, and have had to adjust the chain maybe thrice, and I’ve over 34,000 miles on the bike now.

    Secondly, if you get in a routine, chain adjustment is not too bad:

    Bike on centre stand.

    turn wheel until chain is at its tightest point

    slacken off wheel spindle

    Tighten both chain adjusters in turn, by the same no of flats to keep the back wheel straight. (ie alternate, one flat on the left, one flat on the right)

    When the chain has the documented amount of free play, stop and tighten up the back axle.

    job done.

    I’m really fussy, and take the bike off the stand to tighten the back axle up, so everything settles against the right sides in the swing arm, wheel bearing and axle arrangement.