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Day 285– 19th September 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on September 19, 2009

Saturday – San Diego, California

After some breakfast I decided to go out for a ride to check some things and also to buy some items. I forgot to mention yesterday that we had visited the local Walmart(hex) and the Radio Shack(think Dick Smith in Australia). At the Radio Shack I wanted to look at a 12V GPS power plug, this particular model number had been supplied by Johnofchar, it was designed specifically to power up a variety of GPS’ including the TomTom and supposedly had 2 Amps available. I had taken my GPS in yesterday arvo and tried it in the shop, but although it fired up the GPS it would not charge it. Well, on the way home Craig came up with the idea that maybe the shop inverter(that supplied the 12V supply) did not have enough oomph to charge my GPS. So, I went there with my bike this time and they let me test it out, and Bob’s your uncle it works 🙂

So, that was a successful outcome, and this will save me tearing my hair out even more 🙂 Next stop was the Hex shop(Walmart), although I hate shopping here, I had seen something that may do what I want, be cheap enough to try and if it does not work, who cares. And here they are, a set of rear bicycle panniers.

I had to do some slight modifications to the rack hooks that are part of the bag, basically use a whakometer to flatten them out a tad.

The next step was to drill some holes in the front of the Happy Trail panniers to mount a bracket that Craig had a supply of 🙂

Then the flattened hooks on the new bag hooked over the bracket and with the shoulder straps supplied, I managed to mount the bags in such a way to sit on the passenger footpeg and make use of that waste of space 🙂

And although it seems to be sticking out a tad and down a bit below the Happy Trails, I would try it out in the corners and see what issues arise. Of course I then had to sort out the right hand side, which was slightly different, but I could do that a bit later.

Well, the next thing on the list of “things to do” was to bleed the brakes, the front ones to start with but before attacking the bike, we did some practice on the spare bike that Craig had prepared earlier 🙂 Actually this is true, this wrecked bike was on a set of stands that he thought may be in need for me, so he built a wood frame to hold the bike and used a starp to stabalise it, well done sir!!!

As I had never done this particular job on my bikes before (plenty of times in cars) it was worth the effort to get the system right before attempting the real thing. The practice bike is just a wreck that Craig bought, it had a bad front end, but the motor ran and everything else seemed fine, so if you want a cheap DL650 motor with 9600 miles on the clock, contact me and I will pass it on to Craig 🙂 So, onto the real thing and it all went off without a hitch, both front brake systems were bled in short space of time.

The next job was spark plugs, this is the one I stuffed up last time by only changing two of the four, but at least I had changed one out of each cylinder, so the effect would not have been out of balance 🙂 While in there the air filter got a blow out as well, it was bug free thanks to the fly screen over the snorkle, but there was still a bit of dust in there, probably from following Simon up to Prudhoe Bay 🙂

After taking the plugs out, it was easy to see which ones had done the full 37,000 miles and which had been changed only 11,000 miles ago, the new ones looked nice and shiny compared to these 🙂

Compared to that? Well this is Compared2What, or Bob for short, he dropped by to grab a shocky off the wrecked bike, I had only known of Bob from the bike forums so it was great to meet up with him as well 🙂 He is a very knowledgable chap as well, and does a bit of track work!

And as the bike was stripped down this far, I may as well top up the coolant with some nice brilliant fluoro green stuff 🙂

So, half an hour later and the bike was back together and Craig was thinking, hmm, this will go faster than my red one 🙂

Vstrom paradise, it is always nice to have a spare bike lying around for parts, hey Charley and Ewan 🙂

So, it was getting close to beer o’clock and while I cracked a tube, we checked the list of things to achieve, most of the big things could be done Monday, tomorrow we were going for a ride with a local club, so I may as well use my sticky tyres for all the twisties we were expecting.

After a great dinner of spag boll type food John turned up, he is actually an Aussie although he has spent most of his life here. He is the news editor of the local TV station and grilled me a bit on different subjects so I made some stuff up, he seemed happy 😉

The night was an early one as we had early start in the morning to meet up for the ride, which was going to be an all dayer maybe, that should be fun, Craig had talked about these particular corners which have no apex, cool 🙂

Day – 5 miles and 8 km
Trip – 37,366 miles and 60,135 km


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18 Responses to “Day 285– 19th September 09”

  1. Donunder said

    Quote: “I managed to mount the bags in such a way to sit on the passenger footpeg and make use of that waste of space.”
    Where are you going to hang your helmet??

  2. Ted Rees said

    TS, Those Iridium spark plugs are between $25.00 – $30.00 here in Western Australia. You could make a fortune !!

    • Bruce in WA said

      Whoa!! I guess I won’t be getting Cully’s to stick a set in the Yammie next service after all!! (Thinks: 4 x $30 = instant divorce!)

      • I cannot believe they are that much? Oh well, I guess normal plugs are good enough back home, I only bought them here because I had heard so much about them, not even sure what was written now 🙂

        Cheers TS

    • Maybe you need to import them from Chad at Adventure Motorstuff, it may be cheaper in the long run.

      I cannot say I have gained any significant increase in anything, but it may show up in fuel economy, but as I am now entering Mexico, it may be different fuel and so be a useless comparison.

      Cheers TS

  3. ybg said

    I have a pair of those wally mart bags on my bicycle. The zippers are the first to go. The have a tendency to jump off those mount hooks. So if you hear foot dragging in the corners, you’ll know it’s not you. Just you gaining back your waste of space.

    Another trick to remember when bleeding the brakes. Use a pump oil can with fluid and a hose and pump the fluid through the system from the bottom bleed valve up to the reservoir. Bubbles are chased out of the system, if any get into the lines at all. Try it on the red one first.

    ça roule


    • Thanks for the info, I have never done the bottom side up way but I will keep it in mind if I ever need to do a full change. I still personally prefer the gravity way though.

      The bags only cost $27, so if they last till I come back home, well and good, if not it is only a carton that I have wasted.

      Cheers TS

  4. Beastie said

    howdy!, just checking progress. you got some blog stuff to catch up on there, dontchya?

    keep on… will check back again this weekend.

  5. Saab said

    I see your cobar vstrom logo has come off your shirt. same thing happened to my new one from this year. Mr farkles will not be impressed. 🙂

    • Yeah m8, it came off about 3 months ago and I have been slowly picking off the remainder. The Vstom-Oz shirt is on the way out as well, it is all cracked and flakey, but it is still stuck to the shirt, unlike the Cobar one which peeled off in nearly one piece.

      Maybe he needs to use a different shirt as I have some with transfers on that have lasted for years, like my Bundy Rum one for example.

      It is a shame your 09 version came off, it is only a few months old, maybe warranty?

      Cheers TS

    • Becsta said

      Mine has also come off from this years shirt but my one from last year is fine.

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