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Honda 599 New to Now
Posted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 2:58 pm
The following is a compilation of the posts I've made in regards to my purchase of a new Honda 599. Known as a CB 600, or Honda Hornet in the UK. It suffered from poor sales in North America as a result of it's mediocre??? specs. A mere 95 HP and only 2 calipers on the brakes. It's the tamer version of the CBR. And as such in the HP driven North American market it was largely ignored. This translated into a 1 year production run. So I considered myself to be lucky to get the bike at all. I'm loving it though and I cannot help but think that a lot of the CBR owners out there are missing out. I can tell you now that it'll knock the socks off of any new biker. It did it to me, and I've got 4000 km on a LS650. The more I ride, the more I find to enjoy about it. My one complaint... the seat sucks.
It's occured to me that I could put a little background in here about my riding experiences and such forth. A little bit of personal history could hurt either I suppose. I'm 21, male and live in Alberta. I've been riding for a year now and I started by taking the MSF course offered locally through the NAIT college. It's an amazing course and I'd recommend it for anyone. Two of the instructors I had were racers, one had given up racing before he started teaching but the other still races for kawasaki.
We learned on Kawasaki Eliminators which helped me make my initial purchase of a Suzuki Savage, which is literally the 125cc frame of the intruder with a 650cc engine shoehorned in. I'm sooo glad I started on that bike, it taught me a LOT of about how a bike works, and it was very forgiving of all the mistakes I made along the way. Over the course of a season I put about 4000km on it.
My first ride ever was on the back of my uncles goldwing. I think I was 16 or 17 at the time. And it was just a quick jaunt out onto the highway and back. I was absolutely terrified the whole way! When I was 19 one of my friends bought a bike. A 1982 Yamaha Maxim and taught himself to ride. He took me out on it once and it wasn't nearly as scary, in fact it was kind of relaxing. The following year he sold the maxim to his brother and bought himself a Suzuki Marauder. The two of them harassed me about buying a bike, and I found myself getting more and more interested. I did my homework and took the MSF course. And bought the Savage that same summer. Best decision I ever made. I cannot believe how much I despise driving cars now.
This year 2005 I managed to buy a 2004 Honda Hornet and I have to say the differences are incredible, I'm loving this bike. It doesn't feel like a hunk of steel between my legs, but an extension of who I am. I'd heartily recomend this bike to anyone as a second or third. But I have to say it's really senstive to control inputs. I've over-revved more then once, potholes have bounced my arm changing the throttle, amoungst other things. The brakes are deceptively powerful. And steering requirments are minute. A small adjustment in the handlebars will result in a large change in the bikes line. Be aware of what you're getting into.
Posted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 2:58 pm
Originally posted: Thu May 19, 2005 2:27 am Post subject: Tomorrow
It's 3:20 AM right now. I work at 7:00 which means I need to get up at 6:00. It's going to be a 12 hour shift tomorrow. So I get off work at 7 PM. I'm doing the same thing the next day. If I was smart I would be asleep. I'd be passed out and oblivious because of the day that I have coming tomorrow. It's going to be a rough one considering how much sleep I haven't gotten.
I'm sure a lot of you are asking yourselves... or me why on Earth I would do this to myself. I'm exhausted, at least, I think I am. I cannot tell what I am anymore. Today I went into Honda Extreme in Edmonton and paid off my bike, a 2004 Honda 599 (Hornet). It's registered, insured and ALMOST ready to go. I say almost because they are doing the final assembly today and tomorrow. It will be ready to pickup tomorrow night after work. In fact I've already made arrangements to be picked up straight from work and driven there.
It's supposed to rain tomorrow, it rained the day I picked up my first bike. So I'm not nervous about that. But I do find myself filled with apprehension. As most of you know, I've already been in one accident, an experience which I have no wish to repeat. But I also want so badly to go motorcycling again. However this is a much bigger bike, with a more powerful engine, and WAY better brakes. I keep asking myself if maybe I've gotten in a little over my head. I certainly hope not.
Regardless tomorrow I fly, without ever leaving the ground.
Posted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 2:59 pm
Originally posted: Thu May 19, 2005 7:40 pm
Having not slept at ALL last night, working 12 hours today, and riding home through heavy rainfall, I'll offer a quick report.
OMG I LOVE THIS BIKE!
It feels like I lost a couple hundred pounds and learned ballet, so light, so nimble, and it powers in a scary way... I'm still getting used to the engine noise, what sounds to me like I should be screaming is actually pretty mild.
There were exactly three things that kept me from abusing this bike the whole way home:
1) no sleep + bad flu
2) new tires + heavy rain
3) Dad following me in the car
But I really need to fall asleep right now. More to follow tomorrow or the day after.
Posted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 3:01 pm
Originally posted: Fri May 20, 2005 4:27 am
So it's 5 am the day after... I've been up since 4 and thinking about riding. I cannot even begin to do justice to the differences between a 599 and a ls650 but I shall do my best.
So, like I said before I had been up all night literally. I found myself completely incapable of sleep as a result of excitement, apprehension, and a couple of personal issues. Regardless to say, I was dragging my "O Ring" for all 12 hours of work. It was a really, REALLY long day. The weighscale kept screwing around with me. Telling me to load 30 tons of steel onto a truck, but not telling me how much one bar weighed. Telling me to load 30 tons when there was only 16 availible, then sending the truck back for more... with out telling me what I should be putting on there. Needless to say it was a LOT of extra work and I was feeling realy frustrated and remarkably annoyed by the end of the day.
I spent the WHOLE day watching the sky, and it was blue blue blue blue. Until about 6 PM. At which point this:
But we managed to dodge most of the wetness on the way out there.
Upon arriving at Honda Extreme I was shown my new bike, I almost got drool marks all over it. After going over it with me, and giving the requisit extremem warning about the dangers of new tires and wet roads we were good to go. Immediately I notice how easily it fires up. The Savage took about 5 seconds of grinding to kick over, but the Honda just lit up, I didn't even hear it start. Beautiful! Out of the parking lot down the street. Pull over and adjust the mirrors. Silly boy. Jeeze this thing is loud! I'm still trying to get used to how high revving the engine sounds compared to my old one-thumper.
I pull into the gas station where I both make a fool of myself (trying to put the kickstand down onto the one of the elevated caps in the lot that are used to refill the underground storage, AND get hit on by the gas station attendant. Which would have been a lot more fun if my Dad wasn't standing there watching.
Full tank, relatively clear skies, and a 30 km run to the house. I slowly pull out into heavy traffic and make my way towards home. The first thing that I notice is how much slower it seems like I'm going. Before when I was doing anything over 60 km/h I started to feel stressed by the wind, it was an effort to keep myself upright. But I accidently found myself doing 90 and feeling like there was less wind pushing against me. I am very much enjoying the upright seating position.
The vibration was a little annoying, present more in the left peg then the right, but I found a simple upshift took care of that. I am to used to the long gearing on the Savage I guess. But once I started to get used to that I began to notice other things.
Apparently I've always been making subtle little inputs to the handlebars that wouldn't amount to anything on the old bike. But on this one I found myself accidently weaving a little. Arm movements that would have done nothing before had me moving 4 to 6 inches left to right. It took some real getting used to. Howver I was able to smooth that out very quickly.
I'm still amazed at how light it feels. A little over 400lbs and once I get moving... AT ALL it feels like I weigh as much as a pedal bike.
Down the "highway" and towards the house, the speed limit never gets above 80km/h but I cheat a little and hit 90. It barely felt like I was moving. It's still a full naked, and I've yet to hit true highway speed. But I cannot help that think this is going to be a LOT easier to travel on.
The thing pops around like a dream. Turning is so easy I cannot believe I was able to get around on the old one already. Going to have to scrub my tires soon so I can see what it can really do. Acceleration is quick and precise, and I still have lots of low speed power. I don't need to feather the clutch at parking lot speeds like I used to. I'm loving this already.
I made it home safely and snapped a couple of quick shots. Here's my Honda with my Dad and his Honda in the background.
Upon arriving home my Mom came out to inspect the new ride. "Ohh.... it looks... fast!" She doesn't like it, at all, it looks to much like the ones she sees wrapped around lightposts. I can literally see her chewing her tounge. Dad however seems more excited then I am.
Fighting exhaustion, and the Flu I headed inside, made my lunch took a shower and passed out. I wasn't expecting to be awake this early, but figured since I am I'd fill you guys in. More pictures to follow, but I gotta get ready for work now.
Posted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 3:03 pm
Originally posted: Sun May 22, 2005 9:07 pm
So I'm 300 cliks into the break-in and I'm having the time of my life. The Flu I've been fighting has kept me off the bike more then I would like, but I'm out there almost every chance I get. I'm having some troubles determining what my lines are going to be like, because I don't fully trust my new tires yet. I'm not really sure how hard I can safely corner. Plus I'm sitting a lot higher then I used to. So cornering actuallly feels like CORNERING. However I am adapting slowly, and getting used to it rapidly.
The engine sounds loud, and VERY powerful, but it is actually pretty mild mannered. I don't take it above 7000 rpm in normal driving, so it might just be that I haven't hit the top end yet. And the power burst that is said to come with it. Low speed power is very easy to utilize coming on smooth and predictably. But like I said, I'm still having some problems. At low speed it whirrs faster and louder then my old LS650 which is a given. But I'm thinking I should be going 4 to 10 times as fast I am based on the sound. It's something I'll have to get used to.
The suspension is also much improved, little bumps in the road that would have bounced me off the seat before I barely even notice. And the bigger stuff is handled ably... I'm sure it could be a little softer but that would adversely affect performance. However I'm already starting to consider a custom seat, as there is very little padding on this one. Maybe I just need to eat more, get a little fat on my "O Ring".
I went out for a ride with my Uncle and he said that I look a lot more stable and in control on this bike, which I'm proud of. I'm having a lot more fun on this one as it has a seating position that is better suited to my body type. Though I have a bad habit of tensing my left arm REALLY hard to help compensate for the steering which is almost scarily responsive. But I've been working on that as well.
All in all I'm really really happy with this bike, and I'd reccomend it for anyone that wants a sportsbike (as a second bike). I know that there have been a couple of times I would have been in a LOT of trouble if I hadn't had a year to practise on a gentler ride. It's a great bike though. I cannot imagine trading it for anything at this point.
Posted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 3:05 pm
Originally posted: Fri May 27, 2005 10:06 pm
The odo now reads 541 km, and I'm having a blast... and some difficulties. I trained myself to judge my speed based upon engine noise, and memory of what gear I'm in. The speed of the single piston tells me about how fast I was moving. Now I have 4 pistons, so it sounds like I'm going a LOT faster. Subsequently I find myself panicing through some corners, as it sounds like I'll be coming out of it doing over 100km/h. Even though I know that I'm only doing 10 or 20. Most of the time I'm okay, but once in a while... This, however, has not diminished my enjoyment of the bike.
I'm finding it remarkably easy to accelerate and take twisties, I find myself countersteering less and less as most of the roads are pretty straight, and just moving my body from side to side will literally turn the bike instantly. Me leaning in the direction I want to go will do what I need. Coming through the occasional tight turn still necessitates countersteering, and I do try to make an effort to do so as much as possible. But lane changes, and such... it just doesn't happen anymore.
I'm finding myself to be a lot more content to just wait it out at the back of the car pack, with a fair bit of distance between myself and any vehicles ahead. I know that if I chose to I could just go FLYING by any car on the road. And knowing that is enough for me. Thus I've been taking it pretty easy for the most part. I've yet to top 8000 rpm except for in neutral to see what it sounds like.
I'm mostly working on efficient and smooth gear changes, and still trying to break in the engine. Lots of stop and start riding, shift up, shift down, slow speed, then slowly working my way up to faster and faster roads. 30/50/60/70/80/90/100-120, basically running the engine through everything it will have to do, as much as possible.
I'm enjoying this bike a lot more, high speeds are less noticible, as the upright seating position coupled with something... I don't know what keeps more of the wind off me. There's no windscreen on there yet, but I've ordered one that I hope will be here on Wed. Of course I'll take pictures.
Overall, I'm loving the honda599, the seat can be a little... hard after a long ride, but it's soooo worth it.
Next Sat I'm taking a friend shopping, she wants to look at leather jackets (this is the same young lady I managed to throw off the back of my old bike), she's decided that she wants a motorcycle, and I'm going to make sure that it happens right. MSF course etc etc etc. So I'll pick up a yellow helmet to make BuzZz happy. Of course considering the purple bike he rides.... I'm not as inclined to care about his opinion Razz
Oh, I'm getting 20 km/liter and have a 17 liter tank. HAHAHAHA, this rocks. Way better then the 10 my savage could hold, and mileage is the same. Plus it has all of these nifty new features: tach, signal indicators, trip meter, low fuel light, oil pressure light. I don't know what to do with myself!
I just realized I missed my first two-up experience. Left at about 540km, and put another 160 on it with a passenger. It was an interesting trip. My friend Russell had promised one of his friends from school a ride. And we had planned on going out that night. However his GF also wanted to go. This left me, with a new bike as the only empty seat. Not to mention the fact I'm literally terrified of riding two up after I managed to hurt one of my best friends in my accident. But man up slug, you knew you'd have to do it sometime. So before we left I put myself through some hard paces while he was at work. I ran around town with the hardest lean angles I could manage, best acceleration and some emergency braking. I was as ready as I thought I could be.
We headed into Edmonton down baseline road and up to 109th street where we were to meet up with his friend. She had some riding experience, her ex apparently had a sport bike, so she was not scared of mine. Thank goodness, I dropped the usual rules:
1) don't put your feet down, if I take off I could snap your ankle
2) look over my inside shoulder when we go around a corner, don't lean
3) the exhaust is hot, the shields are not... only touch the shields
4) this is a personal rule... don't lean as we come up to a corner if we have to stop. I've almost been dumped twice because people anticipate a turn and start to lean as I stop. So they lean to the side and the bike isn't moving.... tipppppppp
So slow start I pull out into empty traffic and get myself going in a straight line. So far so good, she's light and keeps herself centered. My friend comes tearing past and says, "you should have turned 2 blocks ago."
"Screw you! I told you to go first, we're going my way now!"
It had been previously decided that we would be heading to McDonalds for icecream, so we get onto the highlevel bridge follow it across the river with me running the gears high so it whines HARD. And pull up out of the river valley. I stall it once at the top of the hill as my friend stopped suddenly, then took off. I only gave it enough gas for one person. But I got smacked in the back of the head... with her head for being so stupid. I felt like such a squid. Profuse apologies were offered, and accepted. A guy on a... modded for tricks CBR tooled around me while I was restarting my bike. Sliders, no windscreen, banged in tank, tail slider... the works. He handled it pretty well too...
Anyways we turned onto whyte ave with him between me an my friend. My friend tried to get out of his way, but every time he changed lanes the CBR did too... I ended up catching a yellow and having to wait because of him. So when I finally caught up it was time to turn onto Calgary Trail... w end up behind a straight pipe harley with a lady on the back.. talking on her cell phone. He took off way over the limit and we decline to give chase. Pulling over the whitemud I was "revenged" for stalling. The light turned yellow and I started braking. My passenger... paniced? Probably expecting a real sudden stop and the subsequent headbang. So she placed a fist against my kidney, and pushed forward hard. That... hurt a lot as she had the momentum of her whole body behind the shove as a result of my stopping. But I kept us vertical.
We hit highway speeds with a STRONG crossbreeze... it was not a really fun ride, with the wind hitting us that hard, especially when my friend started riding in the lee of a truck... he paced it keeping the windblast off him, and putting me just behind it. So I got the wind gusting AROUND the truck. Holding a straight line was impossible, and I slowed WAY down.
60km later or so we arrived in Leduc at pulled into McDonalds for icecream. *note* yes there was a McDonalds right around the corner... but what would be the fun in that??? It was decided that we would take airport road to highway 21 (East of Sherwood Park where we started) and then come back through Sherwood park to drop off my passenger. Effectively trippling our total distance travelled.
Off we went and it turns out that airport road has just been paved. Perfect smooth blacktop it was wonderful. It was also dusk, and a low laying area. The city hasn't been spraying for skeeters as forcefully as in previous year, so they were out in force. It was like riding through the rain, I got so many across my visor that I couldn't see. We had to stop twice to get cleaned up. But I LOVED every second of it, and couldn't stop laughing. My friend wears a skull cap. His whole face turned yellow for the bug guts. "It's just like rain," he said.
We arrived in town and stoped at his house to pick up his fullface and clean ours AGAIN. Then set out for Edmonton again. We encountered a grand total of maybe 6 bugs... HAHA.
Arrived home at midnight and left at 8pm. For a grand total of 160km. But it was one hell of a ride.
Posted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 3:06 pm
Originally posted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 12:54 pm
I'll apologize for the lack of pictures, my brother was given specific instructions to get the camera back from my mom before we left. He failed to follow through, so I've only got the pretake off shots... I'm asking around for pictures from some of the other riders. I'll post any if I get them.
Yesterday was the Retreads Annual Venice run. For those that don't know Retreads is a 40+ motorcycle club (gang?) that has chapters over much of North America. Meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd sunday of every month, on nice days planned rides are availible to go on. My Aunt and Uncle are both members, so I've been allowed on occasion to go as their guest. I think I've been on 4 or 5 trips total. Everyone there is really nice, and there are some great ride leaders. Every one is careful and there's no hotrodding, thank goodness.
You've all heard the Hells Angel's motto, "Live to Ride, and Ride to Live." Well the Retreads follow a slightly different philosophy... "Ride to Eat, and Eat to Ride." All of the planned rides have an eventual food related destination. On this particular trip we were to head from Edmonton to Venice. A small town about 2 hours, or 200 km North East. Every year there is for lack of a better word a pasta cookout at the local church, $8 for all you can eat spaghetti with meat sauce, BBQ chicken, salad, and deserts. The money raised is used to fund any church events for the whole year. If they have a good year, they have a lot of events, if they have a bad year, well they don't do a lot.
Apparently the Retreads have been going for years, as we had a spot reserved for all of our bikes 14 in total. Though we all had to pay for parking... we ended up fitting 14 bikes into a space where only 2 cars would fit... and payed $2 per bike
But that's beside the point.
It's been a really crappy couple of weeks, competing low pressure fronts and winds out of the North have created a cloudy, windy, rainy, miserable past 5 or 6 days. And it was with some trepidation that my friend, brother and I geared up for the trip. The skies were foreboding to say the least, lots of dark heavy clouds hanging above our heads. It definately looked like rain was to be the order of the day. Undaunted... well slightly daunted I overcame my fear of riding two up, and threw my brother on the back. Off down the yellowhead we shot 30km to the breakfast meeting. With clouds overshading us the whole way. Fortunately for my nerves my brother was to switch off to the goldwing upon arrival at breakfast. I would be free for the vast majority of the trip. Riding two up with him was... different, he felt the need to lean into the turns, and hard. I never had the chance to tell him to stop, no red lights and pretty high speeds, so I'd let him do the turning, then turn just arrested his turn with an opposite one of my own. It was an interesting experience. But I told him what he was doing wrong at breakfast, and it wasn't an issue.
Faced with the comment "chains need to be oiled?" I was forced to slap some on his. *note* he had just had his chain replaced and was told it was o-ring sealed and that it shouldn't need oiling... damn techs, anything to make a buck.
Here I am getting ready to back off the driveway
After refueling for the true trip we pulled into the area that was commandered by the rest of the riding club. I've never felt so small in my life. Confronted with a handful of goldwings, v-star 1100's, valkyries, a shadow 1100 and everything else you could think of... all fully outfitted for touring hard bags, windshields, and everything from CB radios to hand warmers... my '04 Honda 599, and my friends '82 Yamaha Maxim400 felt dangerously outclassed.
Honda 599 with my Bro in the background, he has leathers on under the rain gear
My friends Maxim with him on the left and me on the right
However Russell did summon the nerve to supply the comment that "this was motorcycle parking and even two wheeled cars, like that goldwing were not allowed to park here."
Inside for breakfast and to wait for my aunt and uncle to show up. Riding a v-star 1100 and an 05 goldwing (I think it's 1800). Both beautiful bikes, though they make me feel small, lol. There was a 50/50 draw that none of us won, and some fun jokes. Apparently two tablespoons of picklejuice will cure leg cramps brought on by motorcycling. Yelling, Russell, "what do you rub it on?" No, you're supposed to drink it, straight out of the jar. Russel under his breath, "or you could just try not being old."
As we sat and ate my view of the window proved to be most fortuitious. For it appeared that something was changing. The only way I can describe it is to say that it appeared as if the hand of God had swept down and lifted the clouds away as a person would lift the soap bubbles off a sinkfull of dish water. Over the course of 45 minutes the cloud cover burned away and we were left with glorious sunshine. Much thanks were given to higher powers.
We went outside for the standard milling around talked bikes for 10 or 15 minutes and slowly got everyone kitted up. We fell into a loose line, and our leader took off. At the speed limit of course. I have to say he was an absolute pleasure to follow, good route, and he made a point of using hand signals to let us know what was going on. He'd hold his hand out at his side when we should be slowing down. Pointed directions, left or right as well as using turn signals, and would hold up a hand with 1 finger straight up to indicate we should switch to single file (for big trucks). He made a careful point of discussing the route with my friend and I as we would be the limiting factors as far as speed and range were concerned.
I have to say though that riding with an older group does have its disadvantages. While there is a good amount of level headedness there is also cautious to a fault. Because of our order in pulling out, a goldwing got stuck between me an my friend. A goldwing with a very old rider... a goldwing that preferred to do 20 under the group speed and stay WAY back. He would occasionally speed up but he still kept enough room between him and my friend that we could have fit two full busses between us. Needless to say as soon as the opportunity presented itself I popped around him and took off. Fell into staggered pattern behind my buddy and had a blast. The guy on the wing spent most of the time as a speck in our mirrors, but maintained CB contact... or so I'm told so we didn't worry about loosing him. But riding behind him sure made me nervous.
I cannot be sure of the final route as I spent more time just enjoying the view. But I can say that there were a lot of wide arching turns towards the end as the road wound around hills. It was a TON of fun, and the 599 outhandled even my wildest imagination. I had to actively restrain myself from taking the turns to tight, as the bike was just made to turn.
The seat though... was pretty bad, a 1/2 inch of padding is not designed to accomodate a rider for 5 hours on a bike. I spent a lot of time shifting around. I would huddle up to the very front of the tank sitting straight up and down, then after 20 kliks I'd move to the middle making me lean forward a little, then I'd move to the back of the riders portion leaning forward. I'm starting to think an OEM seat might be in the works, but I'll wait and see if I can get used to this one first.
Sunshine, twisty roads, good food, and good riding mates, the day was a blast. I put exactly 441.8 km on my bike pushing me to a total of just over 1200. And my 1000km tune up isn't scheduled until the 15th... Uhoh. Guess I'll have to take it easy until then.
The windscreen that I ordered didn't make it in for the trip so I got to experience high speed windblast over an extended period of time, but it was worth it. One of the best rides I've ever been on.
Everytime I get back on this bike I become more and more amazed at how it handles, what it can do, and how much fun it can be. The entire trip I was actively taking care to not accelerate to fast, either my bike pulls a lot harder, or everyone else didn't want to go like I do
. It's got excellent range with a theoretical distance of 340km, though I don't care to test that. It seems to be even better when I'm doing highway riding, as I was getting about 22km to the liter instead of the 20 I was getting for city riding. I'm loving this bike.
Posted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 4:44 pm
Changing the Oil:
Who would have thought something so simple to say...
So about a week ago I scheduled my first service. It would take about 2 weeks to go in. I had about 740km on my bike when I made the call, and have since put another 500+ on it. Taking me well over the 1000km service call. In search of help and with a whole week to go before it was time to get my bike serviced I made the call to the tech. Turns out that it's just an oil change, I can do it myself, and it won't void or damage the warranty in any way. Perfect, thanks, I can do that, it'll be easy. More forbidding words have never been uttered.
Yesterday while I was at work my insurance policy came due. I have not recieved a bill telling me to pay, and with a 12 hour workday yesterday 7 to 7 I was unable to make it into the insurance office. So I figured I'd give them a call as well. "Oh well just come on in and we'll work out what you SHOULD pay, we'll bill, or refund any differences if required."
That sounds pretty good... but I'm technically not insured right now. So I have to ask, what happens if I get in an accident on the way there? "We'll still cove... one second please." Five minutes later, "we'll still cover you if you get into an accident if you're on your way here with the intention of paying the money that you owe us."
Perfect that means I won't need to take the bus.
Okay, so lets make sure that we'lre prepared, I need to know what kind of oil filter. Check the manual, "use the correct oil filter for your bike." Yes, but WHAT is the correct oil filter. "This the process you use for changing it. I don't care what the process is right now, I want to know the required ingredients BEFORE I start cooking. "This is how you change your coolant." AUGH "fudge" YOU MANUAL, bloody worthless PoS
So I hop on the bike and head out to Canadian tire. No accidents so far... things are starting to look up. In I pop, and head to the automotive section, hey, there's all the filters... WOW there are a LOT. Okay... lets see, oh look a book that tells what filter to use for any car... truck... minvan... SUv... nothing. DAMN foiled! Okay well check packages, NOTHING. Wait, there's a motorcycle section. Lets check there. Bingo lots of bike filters... but which one? No book, no labels on the bikes. Totally worthless. Lets ask the tech?
"Okay sonny what do you need?"
"Is there a book that will tell me what kind of filter I need for my motorcycle?"
"It's right here on the computer, what kind of bike do you have?"
"So it's like a shadow??"
"no it's a lot closer to a CBR, I'm pretty sure they share an engine."
"okay you need a... car filter... one of our motomaster ones should fit. Here you want this one."
"oookay, thanks (I hope)"
I collect my filter and head out to the insurance company after a quick parking lot comparrison between the filter on the bike and the one in my hand. Sure enough, they're different colors, not a good start.
I get to the insurance company, and they totally underbill me. But I'm not saying anything. I know that I'll end up with another bill later though. They also charge me $5 to use debit. I NEED a checking account. Anyways I head back home and pull out the manual, read the directions for changing the oil 4 times, just to be sure. I've helped my friends change the oil on their bikes before, so I know what I'm doing. HAH!!!!!!
I get my catcher positioned under the outspout and let er rip. Oil drains out cleanly, I only spill a drop or two. It's now time to pull off the filter. It looks to me like it's a screw on cup, and you just fit the filter inside it. Okay it's BIG, lets try hand turning it... nope. Okay, well I'll try a large wrench.. that's just crushing it. Not good. Okay, well I'll put on a leather gloves to protect myself from the heat and REEF on it. NOTHING.
I heard wrapping it in a leather belt and using that to pull works. Nope, my belt stretches. Lets wrap it around twice, to the same effect. My belt gets longer, but the filter stays in place.
"poo poo" "poo poo" "poo poo", okay lets run upstairs and check the net. "Use a leather belt." AUGH!!!!! Okay, wait, that might work. We have a little can opener dealy that is basically a metal strap that you can tighten around a lid with a handle attached. Tighten tighten tighten. Twist, warp the filter even more... GRRRRR. Okay think about this logically. Try the belt again, nothing. Finally I take a REALLY close look at my filter and the one on the bike and realize that the metal I'm crushing and twisting is actually the filter itself... so WHO CARES? I grab my big wrench again, tighten down on that little bastrd and twist. I crush it good, but it comes off nice.
Okay put the new filter on, after smearing oil around the o-ring. SWEET it fits. Okay now add my 3.8L of oil... I only have 3 bottles, each bottle is a liter. ARGHH!!!!!!! So now I have a clean filter, no oil in the bike, and 3.8l of old dirty oil... what to do? Okay well, lets dump in what we have and wait for someone to get home. I'll catch a lift back to Canadian Tire and buy some more oil. In goes 3 liters of oil, and Dad arrives at that second. WOOT. Lets go shopping, I pick up 2 extra containers, just in case and we head back. In it goes, fire it up, runs nice, dipstick looks good. Life is good!
old oil filters don't need to be gentled, and make sure you have enough oil BEFORE you start.
What a day.
Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 2:12 am
Posted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 12:06 am
There are few things that smell quite as nice as a night ride after the rain. The pain required to set this up however can occasionally be not worth it. This is my story for the night:
So I'm sitting on my computer playing videogames, I was about to shutdown and read a book or something when my buddy gives me a call letting me know that he'd basically been ditched by his GF for the night so we should hang out. Heh, close second every time. I suggested a tear up and down the highway maybe stop for a cup of coffee, boy were we in for a surprise.
He shows up at my house in about 5 minutes, on my way downstairs to get the door my father kindly decided to tell me that, "there's a storm blowing in over Leduc, but it's small so it'll pass fast." Ooooookay, that might be bad, but we'll deal with it. We take off, stop at the bank real quick and decide what the hell lets hit the gambling. So East into the city we head, scanning the horizon the whole way.
Downtown has a big raincloud dumping its guts all over, but to the South East there is a clear spot, but a small black front dripping it's load across the fields is headed in from the South. Fools that we are we figure we can shoot the gap and make it there pretty much try. Through town, out onto the sherwood park freeway and it starts to rain. My buddy pulls over in front of an overpass (so we're still in the rain) and says, well lets keep going it looks like it's going to let up. We wait for a large gap and I take off, he's behind the car that changd lanes behind me!!! What a JERK! And it starts to pour. HEAVY HEAVY rain, we are not having fun. I put my right signal on, and slow down, I can feel my new tires jittering under me a little bit. This is not a fun thing. So we pull over under the next overpass and decide to wait out the rain. It was actually pretty fun, the cars going by would either try to splash us or change lanes around us. The wind was coming in from the South so we were pretty much dry, the rain wasn't coming in around the sides.
We sat under there and chatted for 10, maybe 15 minutes watched the rain fade off. Halfway through it ALMOST stopped, then dumped hard again, we were really glad we didn't leave then.
After the rain had pretty much stopped we hopped back on the bikes and off to the gambling. We're going to play roulette, end of the night I was up a whopping $5, my friend had won $58. But 20 of it was because of me, he found $10 and said he was going to bet it no matter what, I suggest middle 12 and it came up. Another $20 on his $10. Pretty good day.
We wander around for a bit and bump into HIS mom playing the slots, she was there on her once a month thing with her BF. She told us that they passed us sitting under the bridge. HAHAHAHA, apparently they honked. Funny stuff, I guess. Anyways both of us had more then we came in with we decided we should leave that way. Get all our gear back from the coatcheck, and lets hit the road.
Everything was pretty much dry right into town, I guess a late section of the front hit town, because it was really wet there, but not raining. All of a sudden my buddy whips a tight right into a parking lot, I'm to far past to turn so I take the next entrance a circle around. We're going to stop for a cup of tea. I like tea
. We walked in and were greeted with... glares by the customers would be the polite term. Well most of them, there were a couple of young ladies there with a couple of skids who stared a little more then I thought was normal. Maybe bikers really do get the babes. Yeah, I didn't think so.
Got a pot of some tea I cannot possibly name and a couple samosas. We intentionally took the flowered cups just to make people laugh. Sat and talked for at least an hour then headed our separate ways.
I hit the road about 10:20 with heavy cloud cover, so it was dark, but most of the water had dried. The whole world had that wonderful cold fresh smell that only comes after it rains, and it was just cool enough to make the air taste sharp. I'll never miss driving a car. A quick jaunt takes me home and on the computer. I'm cold, a little wet (still) and I smell like wet leather, for some reason I love that smell.
Posted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 1:37 am
Very nice word-smithery!
Posted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:59 am
Very nice word-smithery!
I'll second that!
Posted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 11:24 am
With the rain coming down and lightning flashing the background I'm braving the loss of my 3rd network card to bring you all this post.
I think that since I'm at almost 1500 km in a little under 4 weeks it's time to run down what I think of the bike.
The standard seating position makes me feel a lot more comfortable then a cruiser or sportbike ever could. It's confidence inspiring to be sitting up on a bike instead of leaned forward or slouched back. There is a slight lean to it, just enough to take the weight off your spine and save your tailbone. But not so much that it is an effort to stay upright. My feet end up just slightly behind my knees, which is a comfortable position for me... though I've taken a fair bit of hazing from my cruiser buddies. I'm apparently riding a crotch rocket now.
So far I've used it mostly for in and around town, short jaunts rarely on the bike for more then 2 hours at a time. As most riders can tell you pretty much any bike can be comfortable for this long. Which is true, it isn't until a true long distance trip that you realize just how right or wrong a bike is for you.
In the city this bike is a dream, small, light and powerful. For lack of a better term I'd call it abbreviated. As far as wheel base and length are concerned it feels far shorter then any other sport bike I've ever seen. This is something that I really appreciate, considering my small stature. I'm only 5'10" and 110 lbs. The bike itself only wieghs 400lbs so I don't constantly feel like it will be a challenge to hold it up when I stop. Everytime I sit on the bike from a standstill and have to start at a turn I feel apprehensive, I can't fully explain it, but I always think I'm going to fall over. But the bike just won't. The second I get underway it transforms from a hunk of cold steel into liquid. It flows through the forms I require of it and curves through reality like it has a mind of its own.
The engine generates about 95hp at the crank which translates into slightly less at the wheel, but at that point I'm not completely sure that it matters. I mean it has SNAP! to it. Dumping the clutch in any gear sends a shudder through the whole bike and tosses your head back unless you're expecting it. Make no mistake this is a powerful bike, and I would not recomend it to learn on. I've almost never taken it above 7000 rpms because I don't need to. When I'm in 6th (yes 6th not 5th) I can do 140km/h at 6000 rpms. For the record highway speed in most of Canada is 100-110km/h . There is a very noticable buzz in the footpegs at just over 5000rpm, but this settles out as you get a little higher in the range. It'll redline at 13500 rpm, but I cannot imagine getting that high.
Steering is precise almost to a fault. I mentioned before that I small movements I used to make on my cruiser that had no result on it made a big change on this bike. Well after getting used to it I'm loving it. I don't change lanes anymore so much as tip the bike at high speed and recover it is... an amazing feeling. I wish there were more twisties around here. I would love to see what it can actually do, instead of just seeing how fast I can go through the turns of the highway on and off ramps.
I've taken one long ride so far fully 441 km in the space of about 5 hours. We stopped for a meal and a rest about 1/2 way through. I can tell you that the bike was comfortable for me to sit on, the position was GREAT, but the seat is very hard. Owing to my lack of body fat I can only assume that it wouldn't be as bad for someone with... "a fat "O Ring"" but it became a problem for me after a while. I found however that there was enough room on the seat for me to take 3 different seating positions: humping the tank, middleground, and shoved against the hump to the passenger pad. I spent the whole time on my section of the seat, but I could move around. I'm thinking that I'll either need to switch to the McDonalds diet or have the seat recovered. I'm opting for the latter over the winter.
I've been asked about the exhaust before, whether or not it's a problem as far as luggage or passengers go. It looks like the exhaust literally sits against the leg of anyone who dares get on the back of this beast. It's only partially true. What you actually see is a set of heatshields that are not attached to the true exhaust pipe in any way. They will heat up a little... I'd call it comfortably warm, but definately not hot. It's sort of like the way the sink feels after you drain hot water out of it. It isn't cold enough to suck energy out of your hand, but its not exactly releasing heat either. I've seen pics of hornets from the UK outfitted with hardshell saddlebags so that isn't a problem either.
I've had 2 passengers so far, and neither have voiced any complaints... of course I didn't ask either.
I've come to the decision that I need a windscreen of some sort. The windblast at highway speeds (while not as bad as on a cruiser) can be pretty substantial. So I've ordered a national cycle f-16 sportshield which I'm hoping will put most of the wind above me. I'll let everyone know what it's like when I finally get it installed.
3rd gear will take me to 100km/h easily and I still have tons of throttle left. I can't even imagine how fast it would be possible to make this bike go. Fast enough to make me regret it is a for sure. I've hit 150km/h so far and I'm not willing to go faster then that.
I do have to say that the suspension is not perfect, though it's better then most cruisers
HAHA. It'll absorb small bumps without flinching, but larger ones will stack up sometimes. Nothing awful and I've yet to pogostick or bottem out, and I try to avoid bumps in general, but rumblestrips at highway stopsigns and the like are VERY annoying.
All in all, I have to say it's a wonderful bike. But obviously not for everyone, and like I've said several times, it's not a first bike.
Posted: Sat Jun 18, 2005 1:03 am
I agree with all your comments, as I find my 599 A Perfect Euro Sport Tourer. Comfortable with variable riding positions, plenty of power and superb handling. Wait until you get into those twisty turns.... it's what motorcycle ridings all about, and yes the pure acceleration.
I recently turned over 23,000km and look forward to getting in some good rides this year. I especially like the Northern Cascades with it's great scenery and clean mountain roads. You should head down to Montana and visit the Highway to the Sun in Glacier National Park. I understand it's one very scenic ride up over 6,600 ft(go in July or August to miss any chance of snow).
Keep the rubber side down.
Posted: Sat Jun 18, 2005 3:08 am
Interesting reading. I own a CBR 600F4. Once you hit the power band you will know it. I think it feels like a video game. The one way that I determine what gear I'm in outside of memory (memory doesn't work that well for me) is the differential between the rate of speed that you are going and the actually RPM's. For my bike if I'm travelling at 65 mph my RPM's are about 5000 it means I'm in 6th gear and 65 at 5500 means I'm in 5th. This only takes a quick second for me to check and I can focus on more important things. When you get a chance you should "open her up" a bit under safe conditions because, ulitmately, at some point your going to need that power to get yourself out of an unsafe situation and you're going to want to know what to expect. It is FAST! I can't even imagine what a 750 or a 1000cc bike has to offer. I don't think that I will outgrow my 600 anytime soon.
Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 7:26 pm
That sounds about right, and it's something that I had been testing and playing with since I got the bike. Though having learned on an LS650 (no tach, no trip meter, no heat guage) I ride my bike more by the feel and engine noise. At 5k rpm I start to get a buzz in my left footpeg, at 5500 I start getting a buzz in the right, at 6000 there is a thump in the buzz, and it gets heavier from there. My problem has not been getting used to the power of the motor, but the sound. When you have a single piston (ls650) pumping at 10km/h it is a heavy thud thud. When you have the inline 4, it just screams, or so it sounds. And my problem at the start was I associated the 599 sound with the savages speed. So it sounded to me like I was doing well over 100, when I was really doing 10. I've been pushing certain gears and stuff like that eg 2nd at 9000 rpm = 100km/h. And I've got 4k to redline. That's a scary thought. A couple of days ago at work I opened it up on the freeway home... WOW I chickened out at 160km/h... At that speed all the white dashes in the road become a single strip and the wind is actively lifting me up and trying to pull me off the back. I'm really looking forward to having a windscreen.
I just got back from the ultimate ride in excess. Otherwise known as the PIE RUN. The idea is that a group of us (Retreads) from my Aunt's and Uncle's club all get together and ride around the outer Edmonton area looking for the best pie. Once again we met at the yellowhead inn for breakfast around 8:30, and left for a the ride around... oh 10:00.
We did a long steady pull North and West through Barrhead, up to Assinboine where we stopped to look at the museum and have our first piece of pie. That was an easy 200km to get there. 200 km for a slice of pie. WOW, now whose crazy???
At that point my friends Russell (1982 Yamaha Maxim) and Gord (2004 Suzuki Marauder) and I decided we were going to peel off by ourselves and stop for a Garage Burger
. Located at 106th street and 102 ave it is literally the best burgers in the Edmonton area. They have the award for 5 years running, and there's a pic of us on the wall. I would go so far as to say they are the best in Alberta, maybe even Canada
. The owner is trying to get permission to close off the street in front of the bar every thursday night for a bike show. Let all the local riders come through and show off their bikes. We were ALL over that idea. The owner came and sat with us for a while (like he always does...) he was feeling more then a little rough though having been up all night with the whole staff for the Gay Pride Party they threw. Still it was great to catch up with him again.
This is an old pic of the Garage when I still had the Savage
Because we took off early we ended up taking a different... and slightly off the wall route home. We were told that we could either retrace our steps or take the ferry... Well a chance to take bikes across the river on a fairy is totally awsome, lets do that. "There's 8km of Gravel road, but it's good dirt road." If you go that way. LIEZZZZZZZZZZ Never take directions from Gerry, NEVER! We headed off and encountered this "nice dirt road," 10km of loosepacked, covered with rocks, white knuckled, forget to breath, God AWFULL Gravel Road. But the three of us made it to the ferry without incident. We got some strange looks from the people sitting on the side of the road. What the "fudge" are 3 guys on street bikes doing out here??? I STILL DON'T "procreating" KNOW!!! But we made it there safely, when we got there the ferry was at the far side, so we stopped in the middle and waited, he came across with one truck. So after a brief discussion we figured (since we were blocking the one lane off) that we'd just pull in real quick when he stopped and the truck could go around.
He stops and yells, "You guys have to get out of the way." So we are forced to manhandle our several hundred pounds of steel to the side of the road on a steep incline on the above stated gravel. A vengeance I shall wreak upon your family sir! He absolutely would not let us board before the truck got off, nevermind there was easily enough room to fit a car on either side of it. So we get on, and take up the front right single spot with our three bikes and in behind us pulls a double long tanker truck. He parks to our left. We chit chat for a bit and wait to cross, while we do, the lady in the passenger spot miraculously turns into a dog... literally. One second it was a lady sitting there, the next it was a golder retriever... a collective WTF went up from the seats. When we got to the far side we decided that 18 wheels have senority over 6 and motioned for the semi to go first. We would be going A LOT slower then he would. We hear from the far side of the semi, "you guys have to go first!"
"We don't want to, we'll be to slow for him."
"Get off, I don't care."
So we get off the fairy and as soon as possible pull to the side to wait. Another 2km and we're off the damn gravel... this stuff was a little better then the crap going in. Victory punches to the air, we survived the crap! Hard acceleration out onto the highway, we're all just hammering our bikes and swervies in the lane (well spaced out) to clean the dirt and dust off our tires. Well actually I did it to celebrate being alive and back on cement.... but that's just me!
We got back into the city and headed for the garage (mentioned above) found a sweet little road 60km/h that follows the river valley. BEAUTIFUL. We turned left onto 105th across heavy traffic. I was last in line so I had to wait for a gap. Russ and Gord were pretty far ahead. It was a one way street with 3 lanes. We're all in the middle... it's uphill so I'm hitting it pretty hard when all of a sudden some lady pulls out into the MIDDLE LANE!! Infront of me! Like WTF? 3 lanes to choose from, if she pulls out infront of me and it's close. I brake briefly, honk hard and pop into the left hand lane shoot around her and catch up to my friends at the red. She pulls up along side us. I sit there and glare through my tinted visor. Both her windows roll up. Her husband tries to roll his down. It rolls back up. He takes off his hat and throws it at the dash. I'm still glaring, but no one is looking back at me. His window comes down a quarter inch, it goes back up a quarter inch. The light turns green I rev hard, but take off SLOW. She turns left. I wish I had her license plate...
Food, then we head home. It's been a good day for the most part. 400km for a slice of pie, I'd do it again. Gravel... never again!
Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 3:50 am
I've been asked by a couple of people why I bike. I've been in an accident before (hit a patch of ice while braking) and obviously hurt myself. In fact, I'm still healing... so why would I subject myself to this? Well the only thing I can say is this:
Imagine, all the stress you've ever felt, every mistake you've ever made, every thought good or bad that you've ever had. All of it sitting on your shoulders, pressing down with relentless force. Weighting your thoughts and your actions, everything you've ever done is hovering above you, and you remember it all. I feel like this constantly, I remember everything I've done, especially the bad stuff.
So you suit up, full leathers, nice helmet and push your bike out onto the driveway. You throw your leg over the tank and settle into the seat. Every fear and doubt you've ever had comes back and is multiplied over and over. What are you doing? You're sitting on 450+lbs of cold steel precaiously balanced on 2 tires, with contact patches not much bigger then a stamp. It doesn't care about you, it doesn't care if you live or die, laugh or cry, it's just metal.
Momentarily shouldering aside all of your hidden doubts, you turn the key and pull in the clutch. A gentle caress of the starter spins the engine to life. With a gently purr the engine idles at the ready (I never thought something man made could purr). It emanates up from beneath the gastank, the merest hint of the power hidden within the steel frame. "Don't worry," it whispers, "I'll take care of you."
Placing yourself in its hands you pull in the clutch and toe down on the shift lever. One of the most satisflying sounds in the world, a motorcycle transmission thunking into first while still cold greets your actions. A small smile plays across your lips as you recall previous adventures that started with this simple sound. Revving high you slowly release the clutch and the reality warps around you. A collection of inanimate steel objects transforms itself into a sentient wave of motion. Like riding an air current the bike pulls forward effortlessly, warping reality and denying the relentless pull of gravity.
Your worries and cares are swept away, forgotten for the moment on the side of the road. The self breaks down, and you lose yourself in the howl of the wind, and the rush of the speed.
Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 8:20 pm
Sevulturus, I think that's a great description of riding. Do you write for a hobby outside of this forum? You're good at it.
Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 1:10 am
TheReaper wrote:Sevulturus, I think that's a great description of riding. Do you write for a hobby outside of this forum? You're good at it.
That's one of the things I didn't mention above... my mind is to put it politely hyperactive. Constantly! All I do is think and there are very few ways for me to shut it down. I'll think about what I did today, what I have to do, what I'm doing tomorrow, what my friends said, what it means, what I'm going to say to them. I plan entire conversations in my head. Chances are good that if I know you well, I'll have predicted everything that you're going to say over the course of a conversation (if it's important enough for me to bring up) before the convo even starts. It really bothers me sometimes. I'll write essays, papers, stories, poems in my head, and never really mean to. It can be especially bad at work where I don't really need to focus on anything. Actually riding is one of the few times my brain shuts up.
I wrote all of that above sitting in the crane. The following is something I've been... composing? since last night. Lets see how it goes.
The call is made and the destination set. I grab my helmet and jacket and thunder down the stairs. My jackets done up before I hit the 5th step. I throw on my boots and chaps and step out into the garage. There she sits, like some prehistoric beast crouched over her two tires. The dull light playing across the tank and tail highlighting the smooth curves, drawing my eyes from the headlight past the handlebars along the tank and over the tail. I cannot help but smile, it just screams to be ridden.
Standing in front of the bike an putting on my helmet the headlight catches the light just right and for a split-second I can see the feral intellegence behind the lens. The will to fly screaming down the roads running down cars and attacking corners.
I hop on and carefully back out of the garage, with a fierce roar the engine springs to life. Four pistons pumping in harmony, the sound reverberating off the walls and cars. A loud buzz with a pleasantly heavy thumping underneath. My face cracks into a wide grin, and we're free of the confines of the garage. A quick turn to the right lines me up to pull off the driveway, so I pull in the clutch and stomp down on the shifter. *THUNK* and we're ready to go, the engine starts to howl as I rev up to speed, and let out the clutch. The beast is loose, with a purr of satisfaction it takes off and we're around the corner before I can blink. Waiting at the light she growls and snaps at me. We shouldn't be just sitting here, we should be flying! Move, I want to move, lets go. The light turns green and we thunder around the left turn, hitting 2nd halfway through.
The contented muttering of the engine surrounds me as I work my way up through the gears, alternately howling and falling silent. My ears dissapear into my smile. A couple of quick turns while I play with compression braking and hard pulls out of the corners giving my pet a workout and I'm at my friends house. He's already sitting on his bike and ready to go. I took the long way, so he's impatient, we take off imediately, all that's required is a quick nod.
As is our custom he takes the lead and sets the pace. The bikes roar back and forth at each other, sharing their joy at the ride. We smile and love every second of it. Pushing harder and harder the wind adds it's scream to the general cacophony, trying in vain to drown out the bikes. We search for twisties, but Albertas roads defy us. So we settle for a couple of long, practically useless sweepers and search for food.
We start taking turns leading. I'll pull out ahead and decide on a new route, he'll follow till he gets tired of my tailpipe, and I'll get bumped to the back again. The bikes are loving every second of it.
Fellow riders wave back at us as we fly down the road. Kinship without having ever met. There is no better feeling.
Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 1:42 pm
hey man, if youre ever in sacramento drop me a line and we can hook up our 599's. great writting and riding...