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 Post subject: I am a leaf on the wind!
Unread postPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 9:15 pm 
Elite
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Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:28 am
Posts: 234
Location: Garland, Texas
Real Name: Richard Hanson
Sex: Male
Years Riding: 0
My Motorcycle: 2014 Suzuki V-Strom 650
Image

Today, this Thursday May 1, 2014, I purchased a pearl white 2014 Suzuki V-Strom 650, and so it begins.

The bike is still at the dealer getting prepped and my insurance policy starts next Monday. I added a tall seat, an auxiliary power outlet, and a copy of the shop manual to the the purchase of the bike. There are also various packages in transits with a few bits to help me sort out my new ride.

I came quite close to purchasing a Yamaha Super Tenere, the bike I hope to own in a few short years, and even closer to purchasing an NC700X. There was a battle going on in my mind and it was as if I was flipping a coin, heads or tails, wisdom or courage. In the end, wisdom prevailed and the Tenere will wait for another happy day.

How is Susi? I took Mrs. Hanson to the liquor store. She bought whiskey.

Safe Travels,
Richard


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Unread postPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 9:26 am 
Moderator
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Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:10 am
Posts: 802
Location: Northern Utah
Sex: Male
Years Riding: 4
My Motorcycle: 2001 VN800 Classic
Richard, it's been a long time coming hasn't it? I can only imagine that sense of excitement and anticipation that must be humming in your skull, and I look forward to following your upcoming posts.

One note -- give that bike the respect it deserves as Your First Bike. Try not to ride it around with visions of some misty, shifty someday future bike drifting through your mind, be in the moment with that V-Strom and let it impress you.

Ride safe and, formally, welcome to the club. It won't be me that first drops a hand in salute as you ride past in the opposite direction, but that rider will express my sentiment just the same.

_________________
- Jack of the Green
To Ride an Iron Horse - Jack of the Green's Blog

-- Summer 2014 is The Summer of 6,000 Miles --
Mileage 2-27-2014: 36,470
Current Mileage: 37,388

Miles Rode: 918


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Unread postPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 12:56 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2005 9:28 pm
Posts: 9344
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Sex: Female
Years Riding: 9
My Motorcycle: 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 900
Congratulations on your new motorcycle and your blog start.

We'll be looking forward to hearing about your adventures.

_________________
1st motorcycle 2004 Yamaha V-Star 650 Classic.


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Unread postPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 2:00 pm 
Elite
Elite
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Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:28 am
Posts: 234
Location: Garland, Texas
Real Name: Richard Hanson
Sex: Male
Years Riding: 0
My Motorcycle: 2014 Suzuki V-Strom 650
Saturday May 3, 2014 : miles = 0

I took Mrs. Hanson to breakfast this morning and then to Wal-Mart at her request, Susi hates Wal-Mart on the weekends, or more acuratly she hates Wal-Mart when it is heavily populated, but this did provide me with an opportunity to pick up some motorcycle related supplies. By 10am, spousal maintenance complete, I escaped to the dealership to visit my new motorcycle.

I entered the dealership with a very pleasant measure of joyful anticipation and I immediately looked for my motorcycle; she had vanished. She was not on the showroom floor where she had been for about the last six weeks. I am embarrassed to admit that I was disappointed, but I pushed this aside and headed for the parts department. I bought an OEM oil filter part# 16510-07J00, a pair of oil drain crush gaskets part# 09168-12002, and an OEM oil filter cap wrench part# 151327. I now completely comprehend, both intellectually and emotionally, the term "stealership".

Next, I went in search of my salesman, let's just call him Bob, this is not his true name but can we please just pretend that I do not suffer from mad cow disease. Bob was in his office and he did remember my name, it is always good to remember names if you are in sales, and we sorted out a few remaining bits of business such as insurance. I wanted to take delivery on my DL650A next Tuesday, but the dealership is still waiting on some parts to install an auxiliary power outlet so that is not going to happen. My plan is to take two days off work and to just disappear on my motorcycle and I wanted to do that this Tuesday and Wednesday. The forecast is for rain later in the week and with Mother's-Day this Sunday, I am not going to hazard the tornadic wrath of Mrs. Hanson by vanishing on Mother's-Day weekend, I think delivery is going to get pushed back a week.

Bob asked my if I wanted to see my bike. Hell yes! She was in the service department getting pampered.


Image
>>>> First portrait of my 2014 Suzuki DL650A

Image
>>>> My DL650A with her service technician Dallas, and yes that is his true name.

An observant observer might have observed that my bike looks HUGE next to Dallas. Please be assured that my bike is not overly large, but rather Dallas is someone diminutive, only in stature and not in either character or personality. We had a short chat, Dallas and I, and he has been riding motorcycles since his age was expressible as a single digit. He pointed out his own moto in the parking lot, a rather sporty looking redhead, and someday I am going to get him to demonstrate his riding technique. As his feet do not come close to reaching the ground, at every stop Dallas literally dismounts and then jumps right back on his moto as he accelerates away with traffic. I was most impressed by his indomitable spirit, his obvious determination to overcome obstacles, and is cheerful disposition. Dallas, this big man standing 4'8", is performing the necessary tasks to prepare my ride, a fact I find most comforting.

Safe Travels,
Richard


Last edited by Hanson on Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 3:02 pm 
Elite
Elite
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Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:28 am
Posts: 234
Location: Garland, Texas
Real Name: Richard Hanson
Sex: Male
Years Riding: 0
My Motorcycle: 2014 Suzuki V-Strom 650
Saturday May 3, 2014 : Miles = 0

I am interested in long distance riding and moto camping. There is much of North America that I have not yet experience and I want to view all of this beautiful land, all of it. One obvious hazard inherent in this type of travel is getting stranded by mechanical issues. To mitigate that risk I intend to improve my wrenching skills which are currently pathetic, and to that end I am going to perform all of my own motorcycle maintenance. The more I learn about my bike, the more time I spend with my hands on her lovely mechanicals, the more likely I will be able to MacGyver my way out of trouble when she leaves me stranded on the side of some lonely road.

It is my intention to document my wrenching efforts, however pathetic, in this blog. Some few might find the information useful, but the most likely benefit I expect to accrue from this activity is that, as a natural consequence of simply writing about my maintenance efforts, I will be compelled to organize my thoughts on the subject.

With the purchase of my DL650A I also purchased the Suzuki shop manual for my model bike. Suzuki prints these manuals on demand and I should receive my copy within a fortnight.

I am fully prepared for my first oil change.

Image
>>>> Everything needful for an oil change.

I am also going to track operating costs to include consumables such as fuel, tires and oil, and parts, such as oil filters, and I will update those data from time to time.

Safe Travels,
Richard


Last edited by Hanson on Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Communications.
Unread postPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 3:43 pm 
Elite
Elite
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Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:28 am
Posts: 234
Location: Garland, Texas
Real Name: Richard Hanson
Sex: Male
Years Riding: 0
My Motorcycle: 2014 Suzuki V-Strom 650
Saturday May 3, 2014 : Miles = 0

I purchased an in helmet communication product manufactured by Sena, the SMH10 with duel headsets. This arrived yesterday, late in the afternoon, and I spent some time performing an installation in my helmet and configuring the units so that I can operate my cell phone with voice commands. Just for grins, I then loaded some music onto my phone and the sound in my helmet was fantastic. The Bluetooth pairing between the SHM10 and my phone was both simple and intuitive. When finances permit, I plan to purchase either a Garmin Zumo 390 or 590 GPS. Both of these units will fully integrate with my SHM10 allowing navigation voice instructions to be heard in the helmet.

This communications system can be significantly expanded to include such items as radar detectors, CB radios, and intercom communications between riders. It is my view that this can be easily overdone. Just as distracted cell phone users driving cars are a danger to themselves and to everyone else on the road, so also are motorcyclists engaged in the same basic tasks. I think it important to evaluate the use of this type of electronics from a safety perspective and, with considered use, it is my view that in helmet communication systems can enhance safety rather then degrade safety.

Image
>>>> Sena SHM10 Bluetooth headset.

I bought the duel headset version because it allows me to have one unit charging in a tankbag while the other is in use on the helmet. Effectively, even on the longest trip, I will have continual access to communications on the bike or close to the bike. In the event of an emergency I think it very likely that I will be able to call for help if I am conscious. This makes Mrs. Hanson happy and that makes me happy.

Safe Travels,
Richard


Last edited by Hanson on Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 12:36 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:10 am
Posts: 802
Location: Northern Utah
Sex: Male
Years Riding: 4
My Motorcycle: 2001 VN800 Classic
Richard,

Bike camping can be a lot of fun, Carrie and I got into that niche last summer and it's been very rewarding. One bit of equipment I highly recommend, in the interest of taking your meals with you, is a camp burner. They're collapsible and easily pack-able, and the bottles of propane they mate to are very small and transportable too. You add to that a basic small clean kit (which is actually a mess kit, but we call it a clean kit for personal reasons) and now you can boil water on the go. That combined with the foil-bag camping meals you can find anywhere camping supplies are sold makes eating on the road ridiculously easy, and if you watch for sales and buy the dehydrated meals when they're on sale you can drastically reduce your travel costs. Of course, we eat like kings when we get to our final destinations, but it's keeping yourself fed on those travel days that can really get spendy.

Carrie and I both wish you the best, and I'll check your blog often. Happy riding!

_________________
- Jack of the Green
To Ride an Iron Horse - Jack of the Green's Blog

-- Summer 2014 is The Summer of 6,000 Miles --
Mileage 2-27-2014: 36,470
Current Mileage: 37,388

Miles Rode: 918


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Unread postPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 6:15 am 
Elite
Elite
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:28 am
Posts: 234
Location: Garland, Texas
Real Name: Richard Hanson
Sex: Male
Years Riding: 0
My Motorcycle: 2014 Suzuki V-Strom 650
Sunday May 4, 2014 : Miles = 0

blues2cruise wrote:
Congratulations on your new motorcycle and your blog start.

We'll be looking forward to hearing about your adventures.

Thanks Blues. I note that you are now 9 years into your own motorcycle adventure.

In 2012 you wrote:
blues2cruise wrote:
Hey...thanks for reading my blog. That must have taken quite a while.

Have you considered a 650 V-Strom?


At that time I had not idea what a V-Strom was, and now I own one.

Jack of the Green,
I appreciate the encouragement and getting a motorcycle has been a much longer work in progress then I ever expected.

Camping Food? On this forum I try to stay on the topic of motorcycling, but I have a bit of outdoor experience including backpacking. I already have a well used stove and a good, lightweight backpacking kitchen. Moreover, I have a large Excalibur food dehydrator and I have planed, assembled, prepared, and eaten more backpacking meals than I care to remember, along with commercially available freeze-dried meals.

A great resource on this topic is Sarah Kirkconnell who has pioneered, or at least championed, the freezer bag cooking (FBC) technique. http://www.trailcooking.com/trail-cooking-101/freezer-bag-cooking-101/

Safe Travels,
Richard


Last edited by Hanson on Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: I took the long way home
Unread postPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 7:07 pm 
Elite
Elite
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Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:28 am
Posts: 234
Location: Garland, Texas
Real Name: Richard Hanson
Sex: Male
Years Riding: 0
My Motorcycle: 2014 Suzuki V-Strom 650
Day 2 : Sunday May 11, 2014 : Miles = 1118

I got up early Saturday morning. The children and I cooked breakfast for Susi to celebrate mothers day. We often do this a day early as Susi works on Sundays.

The dealer opens at 9:00 and I was there, with all my "stuff", at 8:30 to take delivery on my motorcycle. I met with Tom, one of the salesman, and we went over the delivery check list. I then pushed the bike out into the parking lot, put on my helmet, and proceeded to get comfortable with some basic MSF parking lot exercises.

My plan was to leave my truck at the dealership and hit the road.

I ordered my DL650A with an accessory outlet, which the dealer had installed, and the high seat. My bike is stock. So... it is time to load up and get going. First I installed a Ram mount for my satellite Spot Gen3 tracker, no problem. I then put my range bag on the back of the bike and strap it down with a bunch of Rok straps. Next item was navigation. I was going to use my iPhone with an app for a GPS, and I was also bringing a backup car GPS. It's go time and I plug the iPhone charger into the socket with the bike turned on and ... nothing. Then I try the charger for the Garmin GPS ... nothing. This is not going to work. I tried them in the truck ... nothing.

The dealership had wired the auxiliary socket backwards and it had blown a fuse in the Garmin charger and also killed the iPhone charger. The bike goes back into the service department to get this sorted out. They fixed the issue with the socket, replaced the fuse in the Garmin charger and one of the techs gave me his iPhone charger.

OK.... everything is good to go, the bike is loaded, the iPhone is running a GPS app, and it is time to get on the road.

I push the start button and ... nothing.

Off comes the range bag and the seat is removed while a service tech shows up with a battery pack to jump my brand new bike. They had drained the battery while testing the auxiliary socket. The seat goes back on, the range bag is reattached and off we go. Yes we. Tom, the salesmen, is going to ride with me a bit to make sure I am doing OK. We do about half an hour of surface streets and when he is satisfied I get the wave and off I go. I think it is great that the dealership wanted to make sure I was comfortable on my new motorcycle.

I head to my favorite service station and top up the tank. I set a destination on the iPhone GPS app and I am on my way. This is so much fun! The iPhone stops working and I get off the road to sort it out. I found an empty parking lot and sat there in the hot sun in all of my gear. Finally, I get the iPhone talking the the SMH10 so that that GPS lady can tell me where to go just like Mrs. Hanson does. When I am on the bike I can put the phone in a thigh pocket and keep the charger plugged into the auxiliary outlet. This is going to work.

I am rider #250 in the Tour of Honor which is a charitable organization to benefit first responders and service menders. Riders visit various memorials and take a picture of the monument with their motorcycle and tour flag. One of the options is to visit E. M. Viquesney Doughboy monuments, there are a lot of them scattered around the country, and my first destination was located in Fort Worth.

Image
>>>> Fort Worth E. M. Viquesney Doughboy monument

Go west... further west ... go ...

I point the bike west. I have food and a lot of water and a desire to just ride. After a while my knees are sore, by hips are sore, my hamstrings are starting to cramp and I can tell that I am getting dehydrated. I find a Texas pick-nick area, witch is like a rest area without the restrooms, get off the bike and immediately drink two bottles of water. I go take a "pee". Now, urinating in public is generally a no no, but the color of your urine is a good indication of dehydration. Dark yellow is not good. I get back on the bike and point the bike west. I need to find a place to get hydrated.

In Midland, I saw a sign for a Whataburger and I stop. I park the bike where I can see it and hall all my junk, including my range back, into the fast food restaurant where I dump it on a table. I order a chicken sandwich, but what I want is that large drink glass which I fill up with a bit of lemonade and a lot of water. Almost an hour later, and after a lot of water, I am feeling better. I have gotten ahead of the dehydration curve and all of the stops for the rest of the day will involve drinking a lot of liquids. I point the bike west.

After a while, the sun is getting very low on the horizon and it is getting dark. I start to wonder if my lights are working as they don't seam to be helping much. I flip on the high beams... no good. I have my sun glasses on. I find an I-10 pick-nick area, remember no restrooms, and get off the bike.

I have a routine now...

Unplug iPhone charger and put in thigh pocket, gloves, sun-glasses, helmet, earplugs, unzip jacket, and drink water. Drink more water. Finally, I remembered to take a photograph.

Image
>>>> The sun is going down in West Texas

Point the bike west ...

My original plan had been to visit the McDonald Observatory in the Davis mountains of West Texas, but I had intended on taking those mountain roads in the daylight and my late start had a negative impact on my plans. Who cares, I was having a great time. Point the bike west ...

I reached Van Horn Texas and filled up the tank. It was still Saturday May 10, but not by much.

I have a tracker on my motorcycle and it has a few buttons. I push those buttons from time to time and the tracker sends a message to a satellite and Mrs. Hanson gets a text message on her cell phone. If I get myself in big trouble, I can push an SoS button and the tracking company will send rescue. This works almost everywhere and with out regard to cell coverage. Moreover, the Spot tracker sends periodic location messages and a web based application will take these message and plot your location using Google maps. Susi can literally just pull up a webpage and see where I am on an interactive map.

Image
>>>> SpotWalla map of my first ride

SpotWalla link >>>> https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=99ac536fe13e56982

It is time to go home. I point the bike east and I ride hard. Earlier in the day, the temperature had peaked at 104 and now it is in the mid 70s. The cool air felt wonderful and I made good time. Then the air started to warm up as I rode out of one body of air and into another. In about 10 miles the temperature went from 73 to 95 and the crosswinds are back. All day I had been riding with strong West Texas wind and about the time I had thought how nice it was to be riding without wind, they came back with a vengeance. I had my worst tank of gas for the trip between Big Spring and Ranger heading east. At times I had to slow to just 60 mph to maintain my lane and the gusts would push me hard across the lane. The buffeting was terrible and did not end until I was only about 150 miles from home. I pointed the bike east and persevered.

Finally, I am back at the very same service station where I had started this ride, but it is now Sunday morning May 11 at just after 6. I fill up the tank and ride the final three miles to the house.

Image
>>>> Dash - Sunday morning May 11 - End of first ride.

Image
>>>> Bug guts - Sunday morning May 11 - End of first ride.

It took a while but I finally have a motorcycle, and she is home.

Safe Travels,
Richard


Last edited by Hanson on Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 10:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2005 9:28 pm
Posts: 9344
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Sex: Female
Years Riding: 9
My Motorcycle: 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 900
Good grief. You were gone 21 hours. That was an ambitious first ride. Glad to hear it went well.

_________________
1st motorcycle 2004 Yamaha V-Star 650 Classic.


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