29 March 2007

Countdown!

I saw these on another person's site and they looked good for a laugh. Don't know how accurate they are as the times look a bit off!










27 March 2007

Eyesore!



We have a small graden that Claire works hard on to make nice. I on the other hand have never been all that interested and apart from a bit of trellis for her that I have nailed to the fence, I do little.

I did help dig the path out and lay some paving stones surrounded in a sea of pea shingle. But that was about it. And now we are trying to go green.

With this eyesore. YUK!

How long it will take to fill to make compost I'm sure only God knows.

26 March 2007

The Train versus The Bike?

The train is quite handy really. Okay, I have to get up earlier, it costs a lot and can be woefully late. But it is dry and generally warm.

In the bike's favour, I am not tied to a timetable and most importantly, I don't pay to travel when I am on holiday. With Easter due soon, that's a big plus.

Fingers crossed for a bit of global warming next week; week commencing April 2nd!

23 March 2007

Flickr - Pics and Group

I started to use Flickr to store pics as it seemed like a reasonable repository for photos that I wanted to use in this Blog. A link between the two made it easier to post pics and then add words around them than it seemed was possible through the Blogger editor.

Recently, my mate John Larkin, aka Belgian John and Foto John, has invited me to join a group he set up to share photos called GSMoto. The link is below.

Feel free to have a look and contribute. http://www.flickr.com/groups/gsmoto/

Aluminium Panniers?

Today I have ordered the Zega Boxes and I also opted for the additional expense of the four-padlocks to lock them. Gulp. A total of €682.00.

The basic kit price is €602 on the Touratech Germany Webshop, but I decided to pay the extra few quid and have them pre-assembled - part number 01-052-2020-P. It saves a lot of swearing in the garege when they arrive, although there will be plenty of that anyway when I have to fit the pannier rails!

Delivery is planned for Week 15th, and that according to my diary is week commencing 9th April.

On the German site if you have them delivered to a German address anything over €500 is delivered for free. So that is a bonus as well.

Thank God that VISA has plenty of money to cover it out in the short term.

Fingers crossed now and wait to see how long they will be.

20 March 2007

Aluminium Panniers?

After a lot of reading through UKGSer forums to get hold of the necessary information on what are the best buy, I have settled on the Zega Panniers from Touratech.

I did toy with the more fitted set with the cut-out for the exhaust but at almost €300, more hardly worth it.

I even looked at the "Street" option that fit to the BMW Pannier rails, but they were discarded as the "future proofing" wasn't there. At some stage in the future I might want a new bike and it may be a Suzuki V-Strom or other make, and then I need compatibility.

I ruled out both Jesse and Metal Mule on grounds of price. Both at more like €900 to €1000 a set. Far too hot for my pockets.

Working through the TT website shows that orders over €500 are delivery-free in Germany.

The Zega 41/35 litre kit (01-052-0010-P) is €602. Enough of a pocket drainer but not that much different to a set of Givi luggage. I can get them delivered to a friend in Germany and he can pop them on the daily truck service that turns up at Claire's offices next day... and that won't cost anything either. Maybe a bottle of something!

I've heard that the instructions are in German so I might opt to pay the extra and have the pre-assembled set (01-052-2010-P) that come in at €649.


So one last look at Horizons Unlimited and EBAY and then buy them?



STOP PRESS: I had an email from TT in Germany, they are out of stock and will get back to me in two weeks.

17 March 2007

Bits and Pieces 3

MoT

After a week of mild weather I set off for Alford Brothers in Folkestone inquite chilly weather but it's not far, only 3 or 4 miles or so.

After booking the bike in I had a look around the upper showroom, the Suzuki M1800 is one hell of a pile. Christ only knows who in our area will buy one! But a sit on it proved the seat to be comfortable for the bloke blessed with a far arse.

I then wandered off into town to WH Smith's and bough the latest RiDE and retired to Costa Coffee to read it. Amazingly, Costa is inhabited by the old and wheekchair bound.

On Friday I had stopped in one in Maidstone for a read of the Sun and a coffee and the place was inhabited by what seemed to be the Teenage Pram Pushers Club; ignoring their mini-chav offspring as they ran about pissing off the other customers and then nipping out front to have a drag on their Marlboros whilst taking it in turns to ignore little Jayzee or Kylie.

On my return I found the GS had as expected passed the MoT and I was handed the £27.15 bill. Blimey.

Once home I checked the new 'n against the old 'un and fund that I had actually done less than 6500 miles in the year since the last MoT. Must do better this year.

16 March 2007

Bits and Pieces 2

Tyres done.

Got to Watling at Maidstone just before the appointed time at 1030 and left it there.

Had a walk down into the town centre calling in at Hein Gericke for a look at boots; some nice Puma bike boots at £179.95.

Then dropped into Maplin and bought a 4-way USB 2.0 hub. It's a powered one and looks quite good alongside the screen! Plus it works so hopefully my printer won't turn itself off all the time.

When I got back to Watling at 1130 or so, it was done. Ride-In/Ride Out was £180. Gulp.

Took it a bit easy on the ride back to scrub them in a bit. A marked difference between worn tyres and brand new ones.

Mileage on the clock at I pulled out of the tyre place: 36174.

MoT tomorrow.

15 March 2007

My First Motorbike



PaulDevallMyFirstMotorbike, originally uploaded by pauldevall.

Loads of kids have to put up with some plastic toy bike. I had to make do with this Triumph. Okay, it was my Dad's 1951 Thunderbird and just look at the state of it! Filthy. It was grim in them days.

The photo was taken sometime around 1958 or 59 on the drive of my Gran and Grandad Devall's house in Rutland Drive, Morden.

I still have the helmet and goggles in my garage although they are more of a collectors item now and about 55 years old!!

14 March 2007

Proper Londoner?

In the evening paper tonight someone mentioned "Proper Londoners".

Has anyone got the foggiest idea what one is?
  • Someone born in the city?
  • Someone who lives in the city?
  • Both?

Are there more points for how many generations you can count back?

I for one would love to know if I am one.

I was born in London. So was my dad and his dad before him. I've not lived in London much, but have put in plenty of hours working in the place.

Proper Londoner? Too bloody right I am.

Freeasybiker

I don't usually pass on any old rubbish to people and have no idea where this guy got my email.

Here's his website.

www.freeeasybiker.com

13 March 2007

Bits and Pieces

Tyres? What do to do for the best? Stay with Tourances? Move to a more road oriented tyre like the Bridgestone BT020 or Michelin Pilot-Road? I called Watling Tyres in Catford and the Tourances are much the cheapest option, RIRO (ride in ride out) is about £180. The guy there wasn’t as excited about moving to the road tyres though and wouldn’t recommend the road tyres at all.

I have had BT020’s before and have to say that I hardly noticed any difference and the longevity didn’t really pay for itself. You can work out a pence per mile rate for your tyres and from my rough numbers, 020’s were more expensive for little added benefit.

Still confused, I had a look on UKGSer to see and they have a few informative FAQ threads but still not that conclusive. Looks like I’ll stick with the Tourances this time! Rather than ride all the way up to Catford I can get them done at the Maidstone branch.

MoT? Booked for Saturday morning at Alford Brothers in Folkestone. Apart from the tyres (sorted above!) everything seems to be working okay. No matter how well maintained the bike (or car) is there is always that niggle in the back of the mind that it will fail.
A couple of years ago, the horn decided not to work. It worked as I tooted it on the way, it even worked outside but once in the workshop it failed. I rode away with the fail in my pocket, cursing the luck of it when a kid skateboarded across. My thumb jabbed the button and it worked. Still cursing the kid, I arced round the traffic island and back to Alford's and they past it. Touchwood it hasn’t gone wrong since…. Touchwood.

Nippy-Norman Extra Lights?
I’ve had them for about two year and they have worked for the best part of perhaps 2 weeks. Firstly, the relay they supplied as part of the kit destructed, fell to pieces with the strains of sitting in a foam bed under the seat on the bike. Neil “Steptoe” Harrison fitted a new one when he did a few other jobs and all was marvellous for a week or two and then phut!
On the dark sectio of the A16 near Grande Synthe, I pressed the autoswitch... “Let there be extra light”, and there was no extra light. Pile of sh*t.
I'll no doubt need them on the Welsh National Rally so need to get in contact with Steptoe when he gets back from his trip leading some GSers to Morocco in April.

Luggage? I have been looking at luggage solutions again. For any length of trip away the BMW System Panniers don’t hold enough. I’ve looked at a variety of “Plastic” alternatives and none really look the part. The problem being the exhaust pushes the left pannier outwards. So the solution would be a larger one on the right and a smaller one on the left. Then you just have to look at Touratech’s Zega Boxes. Popular, post-free at the moment within Germany and they work out at about £410 inc fittings. If I can get them sent to a friend in Germany he can send them across on the truck for nothing and I can save a few bob. I've been checking all the usual places to see if I can get a secondhand set, but at the moment there's nothing to be had on EBAY or on the GS websites.


Planning continues…

12 March 2007

Was a sunny day, not a cloud was in the sky...

Was a sunny day, not a cloud was in the sky... And the GS was stuck in the garage.

I went out full of the joys of a warm dry day. Checked the tyre pressures (a bit low both ends so popped them back up to my favourite 32 front and 36 back for solo riding), fretted a bit how dirty the wheels were, then moved onto the oil check. Window almost full...

Then I had a finger of Autosol (not to be confused with Anusol) on the back wheel to see if it cleaned up some of the depressing matt look... it did, well a bit anyway. Big job next week then.

As I turned to go back to the house I saw... aaaaaaaarrrrgggghhhhhhh!

"Where has all the tread gone?". Looking at the undulations on the "tread" where it was worn on the leading edges of the blocks.

Now I need new tyres before the MoT on Saturday.... Thank you God!

9 March 2007

TT

The buzz is starting to build, the ferry is now paid for and it’s time to check out where we are going to stay on the way up to Liverpool.

Having a poor memory and even writing things down seems to have failed my brain I managed to miss the early bookings service and ended up with a midweek arrival on the Island. Out on the 6th back on the 12th June.

When you have got used to travelling across to France at the drop of a hat, the fare of nigh on £250 for a bike and rider is a little hard to swallow. The same dates and times on the Shuttle are £67. Even in mid-August it only would be £78 for the same length of journey. But, I look at it as the last time I’ll probably ever go to the TT and it is the 100th Anniversary event.

It does mean that we get to see some of the Island after all (or most) of the race goers have gone home. On both days we have a 2pm Super-Seacat (sickcat?) from Liverpool.

The last time we went was from Heysham in 1985. My last trip from Liverpool was backing 1981 when I had a new GSX750ET and they were still pumping out the tanks. I won’t miss the Victorian feeling of queuing up along the dockside almost alongside the ship, only to have your ideas thwarted by the long queue through some old warehouse and back in a complete loop. Followed by the ride up the fuel oil covered ramp that folded down from the side of the ship.

I am now looking for places to stay on the way up.

With a Wednesday 2pm crossing from Liverpool we need to be there 2 hours before (or so) so it’s too far to get up at the crack of dawn and ride up in one hit. So much easier to stop on the way. The same goes for the way back. We arrive at Liverpool about 4pm or so and need to set off pronto for the Sarf.

We have been quite successful with Travelodge motels on the Welsh National Rally and so I’ll have a look on their site and see if there are any cheap rooms.

To be continued. ...

4 March 2007

W*nker!

My MoT is due any day now. It's definitely March and I am certain it's early March.

Can I find the old one? Can I buggery.

I've looked in all the usual places. Was it in a plastic wallet? Or just in an envelope? I know it was with the GS' new log book and the insurance and the paper bit of my driving licence.

But where the **** is it!

FOUND IT! Monday 9pm.... 5th March

After a day of checking on the web for the forms that would get me a new logbook (£19) and a new insurance certificate (ebike) it was all rather previous as...

... the folder had slid off the back of the filing cabinet in the office and it was halfway under a pile of crap alongside it.... If only I had seen it before pulling the contents of three drawers out and piling it up all over the floor.

I also know that my MoT runs out of the 16th March.

Now I have a job for tonight to tidy that up. It had to be done!!!!