Thursday, September 22, 2016

After the monthly BS Rider club ride Tuesday evening to Bob's in LeMars, Chuck picked me up at my place in his new Rav 4 and hauled me over to his garage to pick up the Turbo.  On the way home I stopped at the Sioux City Morningside Steak House (Miles) after seeing Loyd and Tom had vehicles parked there.  Grabbed a photo of Tom's Kawi with the Turbo.  Only thing missing is Giganta Van which was a further to the left.

Turbo has new rubber on it and I cleaned the wheels Mother's metal cleaner.  Still need to replace the tail piece (I have one that is not faded out) and get the red decal on the right of fairing replaced.  Otherwise the Turbo is starting to look better.  Its running good now, but tank needs to be retreated and sealed.

Kawi 750 and the Turbo at Morningside Steak House (Miles)

Friday, July 31, 2015

New Ride - a Hon (no da)

My newest ride, a Hon (no da in the name).  American (Iowa HQ) made.  After about 20 years on the old one, I got a new office chair.  New chair has about 12 separate controls and is much more comfortable.  It's like having a custom Russell Day Long seat added to your motorcycle.  Old chair is still fine, just dirty and plastic arm rests are delaminating.  

Friday, June 19, 2015

Too Much Rain

Its been raining so much since the beginning of May that I haven't be able to get much of my scouting done for the GLMC Dual Sport Rally next weekend.  Work has been so crazy busy that most of my free time seems to be spent mowing my stupid yard. Now the rain is going to time-suck me some more because our cherry tree went bonkers again this year... that there folks (below) is a lot of cherry mojitos...  which is going to seriously eat into my riding time.

That is a lot of mojitos:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Interesting Weather Link

A different way of looking at (visualizing) the weather: For Sioux City (I grabbed the coordinates for where I live and stuck them into the URL):,42.484369,3000 ​You can scroll in/out with your mouse wheel, and click down and move mouse to change your position. Click on earth button to change settings.​

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Tom Magliozzi Passing....

Life sometimes throws us curves and the last few weeks have not been an exceptions to that rule.  First with the passing of my Aunt, then followed by my friend and fellow rider Al (photos), and then yesterday Tom Magliozzi of Car Talk has passed.  While Tom was not a close friend like Al or a relative like my Aunt, I have been listening to Car Talk since the '80's whenever I have had the chance.  I really enjoyed listening to Tom and Ray's weekly banter over the years.  The show often reminded me of discussions with my brothers, my relationship with my wife, and I sometimes I even learned a bit about the workings of the automobile.  The last couple of years I have been listening to show podcasts using PocketCaster when traveling by motorcycle or car, when out in the backyard grilling or working in the garage.  I think mixing the show in with so many pleasant activities gave me an even greater appreciation of the show, plus with the podcasts I rarely had to miss a show.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

GLMC Dual Sport Adventure Rally Coming up June 28th

Want to ride in our GLMC Dual Sport Adventure Rally?   Its starts and ends at Shooter's house in Underwood, IA on June 28th.  Need to get folks there before 7:30 to sign waivers, instructions and first riders meeting will begin at 7:30 AM.  The ride starts at 8 AM.

You can pay day-of if you want, but I'm trying to get a rough head count by Monday.  There will be camping at the start point both Friday and Saturday if desired, or just show up, or hang out in evenings and ride to/from home.  There will be meals provided on Saturday and an open grill on Friday evening.

I'm going to finish my scouting this weekend starting Friday (I have it off).  I have a few places left to find but I have a list of places to look at.  I'm really enjoying getting ready for this Rally, it should be a lot of fun.  Shooter has his scouting for the afternoon portion about done.

Details here:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

First Post of 2014

After a long and grueling cold winter here, I finally got to ride Pig last Sunday.  It was an unseasonable 71 degrees at the time.  Sadly, the only place I got to ride him was too work, but hell, beggars can't be choosers.

Today my lucky stars aligned with the temperature and work schedule and I was able to ride my Pig to work again.  Living close to work has benefits, one is that its a very short three mile ride on cool mornings.  It was 35 degrees at top of my hill, but as I dropped into Gordon Dr. valley the temp dropped too, down to 27 degrees.  I didn't notice much, just happy to be out with Pig.

By lunch break it was in the fifties and I grabbed a sandwich and soda rode out to Stone State Park on the north edge of Sioux City.  When I got there I found the park was still closed for the winter (to vehicles anyways), so I had a nice ride back to the office where I ate my sandwich.  Maybe after work I'll stop somewhere and get a picture of Pig with a cactus (photo tag).

Monday, December 23, 2013

Frump's Motorcycle Maintenance - It's never as easy as it should be part #2

I wrote this article on October 1st, but didn't publish it.  Now that it's zero outside today, but feels like -22 according to the weather underground, I'm thinking about motorcycles.  I saw the article and made a couple more edits.  Luckily, the Big Sioux Rider's Annual Big Johnson Award has been completed for the year (Congrats Terry for getting his Harley stuck in 5' prairie grass and Steve for being teaching him those skills in his MSF course).

I changed my GS's oil last Sunday. I didn't have a new $0.64 crush washer, so I flipped the existing washer over and reused it.  I probably had done this before with this particular washer (I don't remember details but I know myself), because I noticed the washer was starting to loose its shape.  I also in the oil change process, managed to finally break the rubber bumper which connects the bash pan to the GS - it had been getting worse each time I did a change.

Over my lunch on Monday, I went the dealership and ordered a half dozen crush washers, a filter and a new bumper.   They had everything but the bumper in stock, but I told them I didn't need any of the order until the bumper came in.  

Tuesday evening I'm sitting in the garage watching TV with Ted (my friendly cat who thinks he might be a dog) enjoying a few cigar puffs, when we both notice there was a few drops of oil on the floor under the drain plug.  I wiped off the floor and stuck a plastic bowl under it.  Its not leaking fast so it should be fine for a day or two.  

Wednesday over lunch I head back to the dealer to explain that I really do need to get a half dozen crush washers right away.

Didn't get back to the bike repair until Thursday evening.  By then, as I saw it I had four options:
  1. Just throw away the brand new oil and start over?  As a cheap SOB, BMW rider, and fair weather recycling Nazi, it is very difficult for me to throw away $25 of brand new oil.
  2. Go to store and buy my wife a shiny new metal mixing bowl which holds about 1.5 gal?  I don't know what they cost, but they probably aren't much cheaper then a new batch of oil and she doesn't really need a shinny new mixing bowl.
  3. Sneak into the kitchen and get the 1.5 gal stainless bowl my wife already has and hope she doesn't catch me using it to drain motor oil?  Makes perfect sense to me, but after 20+ years marriage I inherently know she won't see this the my way and it's not worth the risk/reward, or
  4. Wipe out my existing plastic oil collection pan/jug thing as best as I can and use that?  

Well, I decided the safest and most thrifty approach is option #4.  After wiping out the oil collector with several paper towels, I began to become concerned there might be some pieces of grit left in there, so rather then just filtering the oil with a coffee filter (that takes a lot of time, don't ask me how I know this), I sneak into the house with what I think is my fairly clean oil pan and wash it with very hot soapy water and then rinsed it several times in the bathroom... with the door locked and the fan running to avoid detection.  In the better lighting of the bathroom I find some old, stinky gear oil residue in the little square leg indentation areas of my pan, so i wiped it out again and then repeated the washing and rinsing processes a few times.  At this point I realized that option #4 was probably not a good choice.  After spending another 15 to 20 minutes wiping and scrubbing oil residue from the toilet and the bathroom sink, I finally sneak back down to the garage with my shinny clean oil pan and leave the pan laying upside down to dry out further.  

My wife hates the smell of hypoid gear oil and I can still smell hypoid in the bathroom, so I scrub the bathroom some more, with the door locked, running the exhaust fan on and the windows open.  I'm starting to wonder if my wife is wondering why I'm spending so much time in the bathroom.  Does she know what I'm doing and just choosing to ignore me or am I really getting away with this?  I guess its the former.  She didn't ask and within an hour or two the bathroom looks and smells fine.

The next day I finish switching out the crush washer and the leaking stops.  Problem solved.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Frump's Motorcycle Maintenance - It's never as easy as it should be part #1

Managed to put it off for a while, but finally tore the plastic and metal off around the tank on my GSA about 8 days ago. All necessitated by need to replace low beam H7 bulb with new 55 watt HID system.  My old 35W HID stopped working last spring (I think that's what happened anyways), so I had temporally switched back to a standard H7 until I had time to tear into it.  Within a couple weeks I started getting annoying LAMPF1 messages on the dash at random intervals accompanied by low beam failures.  I thought I had a bad bulb with a flaky filament.  With six lights on the front of the bike I didn't to concerned about it. 

A week ago Sunday, after mounting a new HID ballast, I got finally got in to twist the fixture cover off and pull the connector.  This is not an easy task for me, I have 3X American sized hands and apparently BMW designed this task for folks with small to medium sized European hands.  It always reminds me of the raccoon trap in the "Where the Red Fern Grows".  I got stuck a couple times, but managed to keep my cool without busting any parts on me or the bike.  Its hard to fully explain how much this sucks.

I found the low beam bulb connector had burned to the point where half of it had disappeared.  This is most likely, from what a I read, due to a large hands failing to connect the bulb snugly or just a loose connection.  What a mess.

H7 low-beam connector along with wire with insulation burned off.
Spade connector was previously embedded it connector which burned away.

Where is the right half if the connector?  I thought this was a y-soldered connection
but later figured out that is just insulation which burned off.

Last night I was able to get the headlight bucket off and figure out how to safely rewire the stupid thing.  BMW wanted $48 for a new H7 connector, but I found a pair of better ceramic ones online for $7 plus $7 shipping, Nuts. I had to disconnect and re-route my auxiliary plug wiring because it was tangled into the HID wiring and could not remove the bucket with it tangled as such.

I'm hopefully I'll have everything done in time to prepare for the Harvest Rally this weekend.  I hope to have time to get everything reconnected tonight and test it, but busy at work too.

The other side, the high beam H7 connector.
Took this to remember wiring colors, but notice both halves
of $51 BMW connector.  I believe discoloration on the
socket is from heat of HID.

Torn down to make space for my 3x hands

Sticking screws into cardboard and marking where they go is a great trick -
Thanks Chuck!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekend Ride - Sept 29th, 2013

Couldn't get my GS ready in time, so I rode my V-Strom along with Jim, Stan and Jim's friend Jerry from South Carolina who rode Lynn's RT Sunday down into the Loess Hills.  Did a quick loop over some of our favorite roads with about 200 miles total.  Very nice day to ride the hills.

The 3 Amigos

Sampling Monday morning: The Jalapeno Jelly from Small Fruit Farm wasn't nearly as good as the stuff T-Bone gave me which she and Scott found in New Mexico.  Still looking for its Midwest equivalent but I'm afraid I'm going to have to learn how to make jelly to find one really like it.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

GLMC Buffalo Run Road Rally - Final Planning Stages

I'm going to be busy the next few weeks getting ready for the 2013 GLMC Buffalo Run Road Rally.  Chad Churchill from Merrill, IA is the official Rally Master for the GLMC Buffalo Run this year.  He is handling Saturday evening meal, rider packets, and scoring, but I'm taking care of everything else.  We have an interesting theme planned.  I'm working on the t-shirts now, I'm hoping they will be very cool.

We are still looking for a few more riders yet.  If anyone is interested this is a great little road rally.  Its also a great rally to get started on if you haven't done one before.  Its sort of like a 12 hour Treasure Hunt.  We have a 2013 Iron Butt Rally Finisher signed up this year, so you get to scratch elbows with him as well.

You can get more details are here: or check the GLMC Garage forum here:  

If you interested in trying the rally out, send me a message or email letting me know your name and shirt size, then send me your registration in.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

750 Shadow ACE For Sale

The wife and I have decided to let go of her Shadow.  It hasn't been ridden much since she got another bike and it's become a chore for me to ride it every month or so.  She calls the Shadow "Princess" and its certainly a pretty bike.  Princess runs great and has never given us any problems.   I recently switched to a smaller rear sprocket which seems to give the bike a nicer feel.  Bike is sentimental because it was my wife's first motorcycle.  We are asking $3K for it. Getting ready to post it on Craig's list with the following description and photos:

Black 2002 750 Honda Shadow ACE - American Classic Edition. 36k mi. Newer Memphis Shades quick-removable windshield and lowers. Phat risers, sissy bar, throttle lock, luggage rack, reusable air filter. Includes rear seat and engine guard (not pictured - both in near new condition). There are some light scratches which are visible when you look close, I think they can be buffed out. There is a paint chip (about 1/4" wide on upper right side of tank. Brakes and coolant service 2 years ago, last valve check at 22k. New quality chain and 38t sprocket set. Tires in good to great shape. Battery replaced late last year.  Ready to go.

Photos here

Monday, June 17, 2013

Second Favorite Cat

After have three weekends on the road at the GLMC's Bonzai, BMWMOCM's Hiawatha Rally, and Pure Stodge Iowa Rally, I finally got to spend a weekend at home this past weekend.  I didn't get too much done, but I did have time to visit my second favorite cat, "Beemer" at Bak BMW here in Sioux City.  I'm one of the few people she will let pick her up.

I'm still trying to figure out the rest of my summer, but the GLMC's Barn Bike Enduro and family reunion is going to be on the schedule in July along with the Husker Rally and Baxter Open House/Campout in Marne Iowa in August.  Also contemplating trips Colorado and Red Lodge.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Saw this come through from BMW Newsletter.  I haven't watched the whole thing (I'm at work), but it looks pretty interesting.  I have always be fascinated by the BMW R90S, one of the quintessential and iconic motorcycles of the mid 1970's.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Getting ready to Bonzai...

The BSR Spring Campout (May 18-19) is done.  We had a determined group of campers this year, but not as many as the past couple years.  There was a lot of cross wind on Saturday, but everyone made it in safely.  We had about 10 campers with maybe another 10 or so stopping for lunch or visiting us at the campground.  The temperatures dropped to about  26 degrees in the campground Sunday morning before sun rise.  By sun up our sodas were frozen and I had a hard time cleaning the coffee out of coffee pot filter because it froze (should have done that the night before).  We had a great campfire Saturday and Jeff didn't get very wild.   Jeff made his regular call to his wife about 11 PM, to tell her he was fine but Frump was a bad influence on him.  My speculation is that is the worst he gets, she is can not entirely unhappy with my influences, but I have never met this woman so who knows.  Good company and a warm fire, doesn't get much better then that.

Heading home on Sunday with Jeff, we stopped in Springfield, SD to look at process on the ship.  Jeff had never seen it before and seemed somewhat amazed.  Some spring on the way home from the campout, I'm going to stop to see the boat and it will be gone.  That day will be both disappointing and gleeful.  I will most likely never see the boat again, but I will be happy it is where it were it was meant to be and the builder is living his dream.... somewhere far from Springfield, SD.  Next year I'm going to to contact him and see if he can give us a tour.

Album: Picasa Photos From Trip

This week getting ready for the Bonzai Road Rally next weekend.  NE Randy R. is going with me (a new riding partner - SD Randy R still riding, just busy helping his son move on Bonzai weekend and Dave W is not going).  Big Jim is also going to the Rally, but I don't know his plans yet.  I have to get the oil and transmission fluid changed this week and do a valve check.  Also need to get my Garmin rewiring project completed and maybe even put the new HID replacement system back in.  Lots of traveling going on for next 3 weeks.  Might even get Piglet (the Wee Strom) and Mighty K into the action.