As is customary, something that should have been a 30-minute job stretched over the better part of the day. All I wanted to do was change my oil and filter. Had to put some elbow grease into removing the drain bolt, but it finally budged with a hammer on the combo wrench. The filter was another matter: I’d bought a small strap wrench, but discovered that there’s just not enough ground clearance for leverage, even with the bike up on the stand. Doh! I’d wanted a filter cap wrench, but the parts places didn’t have one, nor did the closest bike shops. Finally found one 20 miles away at the Suzuki shop. To make the trip count, I picked up another filter for the future, along with a new crush washer for the drain plug. On the plus side, the bike had plenty of time to drain while I drove up to the Suzuki place. Continue reading
Too much time in between posts. I know. I’ve put over 4000 miles on the SV since May of last year. Funny how it feels so much smaller, so much lighter than it did initially.
I had to park on a steep hill today; I rolled into a space, then looped tightly into the adjacent space so I’d be backed in — and stalled (first time in a very long time). A year ago, I would’ve probably dumped the bike. But I wrangled it as it began to tip, recranked with my thumb, and with two fingers on the brake and two on the throttle, curled it the rest of the way around and parked just fine. I was meeting an old friend at the place I used to work, and it would so have ruined my cocky entrance if I’d dumped the bike in the parking lot. If I’d had theme music, it would have been George Thorogood’s “Bad to the Bone” — sung by the Carpenters.
Since I began riding, my long-suffering gentleman friend has patiently slowed his pace so I could keep up (or, if he was behind me, to avoid rear-ending me). I couldn’t understand why I was so slow on the road, compared to my lead-foot pace in a car. I think I know now.
I’ve always hated wind in my ears: after an hour at the beach, I’d be putting my fingers in my ears. Even with the full-face helmet and the chin bar, the shrill whistling was unpleasant. I tried a bunch of different earplugs, but they either wouldn’t seat (I apparently have very tiny, labyrinthine ear canals, according to my ENT), or would fall out, or their core would stick out and hurt when I pulled my helmet into place.
But a couple of weeks ago, I had some custom earplugs made at the BigEar booth at a bike show (www.bigearinc.com). They squeeze quick-setting silicone gook in your ears to follow all the little nooks and crannies; I’m sure it looks as if you’re having your head caulked. Continue reading