young men (sorry ladies), bikes, and life ...
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Thread: young men (sorry ladies), bikes, and life ...

  1. #1
    backslider Array K-rod's Avatar
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    May 2008
    at a critical lean angle
    2006 K1200S

    young men (sorry ladies), bikes, and life ...

    So as many, if not most, of you know … I am currently without a bike. I sold my K1200S a couple seasons ago, as I am wrapping up a multi-decades long writing project with which I am hoping to ‘save the world’. Alas, in committing to this most benevolent (but not altruistic) endeavor, I have had to live without an income for as many years, and I am not (nor ever was) a wealthy man.
    And, I am much poorer, now. Hopefully one day soon, though, I will be in a position to be able to afford another bike (of my liking), again.
    Yet I keep on with/in the community, from time to time, because the friends and connections one makes with people in the sport and community are often of a life-long nature. And that is a wonderful thing. And – sure – you bet – every single time a sport-bike goes wailing past me, my ears perk up and my pulse-rate increases measurably.
    Something one never loses, I guess.
    Anyway, my phone rings the other day, with a caller whose number I cannot recognize. Who should be on the other end, but a young man who just happens to be my god-son. We haven’t seen each other for a few years, because life gets busy and involved and all that, especially for people in their early twenties. Turns out that the young man, after having dealt with some life-situations and other issues finally went out and obtained his motorcycle learner’s license (at 26) and bought himself a most reasonable/standard Kawasaki ‘500R’ twin as a learning machine, and he was hoping that I would cruise out to White Rock to join him as his licensed escort rider on a few rides, while he learns his basic skills.
    Sadly, I had to tell him that I no longer own my bike, and that unless I could borrow a ride once in a while, he would have to settle for me in meeting with him and giving him pointers, and perhaps some basic skills training and lessons in a large, abandoned parking lot somewhere.
    Which I did, today.
    He was very tentative and shaky at first, on our way to the lot, but as his drills and exercises progressed over the hour, he quickly became more confident, smooth, and solid as he went. Then, after the riding stuff was done, he wanted me to show him how to check and adjust the basics, so we knelt down to carefully look at things a bit more closely, so I could show him what was what with the chain adjustments and such. Alas, he points to the rear brake caliper banjo bolt and asks if the drip of wet/fresh brake fluid should be there, which raises a bunch of questions …
    So, we go back to his place and put the rig up on its center-stand, to look-see. The machine was actually quite greasy and dirty, and whoever he bought it from certainly didn’t keep it in a pristine state of cleanliness or maintenance. Anyway, I show him how to lube and adjust the chain, first, which then reveals that the rear wheel was set in the swing arm at a slightly cock-eyed angle, as the little marks for the chain adjuster cages were off by just over one notch on each side. I loosen everything off, straighten the wheel out, adjust it so that the chain is at a perfect tension, and then torque everything down nicely for him (getting all greasy while is semi-dress shorts as I go).

    But – now the brake rotor rubs loudly against the pads on one side, and upon closer inspection we find that the whole caliper is twisted out of shape and out of place. BIG problem. Whoever last installed the rear wheel, didn’t ensure that the caliper mounting bracket torque arm was correctly secured on the little tab welded onto the inside of the swing-arm on that side of the bike, and upon the very first application of the rear brake, the caliper spun a 20 degree revolution, to become lodged against the swing-arm surface … and that’s how it has been since whenever that last dolt mounted the wheel in that fashion.
    Anyway, I showed him how to remove the securing hardware, drop the wheel, and re-install all the components as they should have been done in the first place, and now other than a seriously misshapen brake caliper and such, things are again somewhat sorted out. That caliper will have to be replaced, of course, and I am hoping that we’ll be able to locate a used one out there somewhere at a reasonable cost.
    But there were some lessons to be learned, in all of that: which is, that all too often beginner bike riders/buyers look at the overall shapes and looks of a bike, and become mesmerized by all the bright colors and shiny bits, rather than looking more deeply at the tell-tale (but subtle) signs revealing the true state and condition of the machine.
    Bikes just do that, to people … they seduce them with minimalist coverings and oh-so-slender/sexy lines. Yet other than that and a few other things that hadn’t been repaired of left properly set, I think the bike will lend itself as an excellent and practical learning machine. It can tip over, without a bunch of multi-thousand dollar damage occurring to all the plastic little bits!
    And watching him taking that bike into straddle, with all the verve and anticipation of a young person in full stride … somehow got me to thinking about Dan (Grendel) and his recent passing, his sons, and their introduction and passion toward the motorcycle sport, as well.
    Dan was a wonderful man. Somehow I got to thinking about him today, and I truly do kind of miss him.
    He was just pure mensch!
    But – I did take my god-son out for a spin on the back of my bike a way back when he was just a wee little tyke, and now … of course … (since way back then, actually) … he too has been bitten by the ‘bike bug’.
    To all the good people in the world out there, and all of you who I consider my friends … live life large, fully charged and with passion … and try to never allow an opportunity to make a difference in this world pass you by.
    And that’s all I wanted to say.

    Cheers …
    Last edited by K-rod; 06-17-2015 at 11:33 PM.
    I define Hell as having to ride back and forth from Blaine to Tijuana on I - 5 in perpetuity.

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  3. #2
    Registered User Array StevieMac's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Ninja250 + a few
    Good read, thanks for posting that.
    WMRC & PCMRC #49
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    StevieMac- any and all advice provided by me is of the "Use it at your own risk" variety. Common sense and your own good judgement must always prevail.

  4. #3
    Registered User Array Borgnine's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    eastern Fraser Valley
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    Way to pay it forward!
    "Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees."
    ~Last words of Gen. Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson

  5. #4
    Formerly kanelupis Array CanaganD's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    Yes yes, agreed, good read. Well written.

    I hope you save the world btw.

  6. #5
    Registered User Array bikeguy's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    fraser valley
    a blue one
    Well said. Got me to thinking of the older guys that taught me things about motorcycling. You've probably had a few of them yourself.

  7. #6
    Wanderer of the Wastes Array DNAspark99's Avatar
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    Apr 2002
    השטן שב
    > I am wrapping up a multi-decades long writing project with which I am hoping to ‘save the world’

    can we get a synopsis?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1985 winner of Bulwer-Lytton bad fiction contest
    The countdown had stalled at T minus 69 seconds when Desiree, the first female ape to go up in space, winked at me slyly and pouted her thick, rubbery lips unmistakably - the first of many such advances during what would prove to be the longest, and most memorable, space voyage of my career.
    Last edited by DNAspark99; 06-18-2015 at 09:58 AM.
    "I dread beyond all else the growth of the petty tyranny of restrictive legislation, the transference of disciplinary authority from the judiciary to the constabulary, the abandonment of every constitutional safeguard of individual liberty."

  8. #7
    Registered User Array m_grewal52's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    North Delta
    Yamaha YZF-R3
    read this and it reminded me of when my older cousin would bring his cbr f4 over when I was still in elementary I would always park my pedal bike beside and compare his back shock to mine etc

    then just a few weeks ago I was able to go on a ride with him for the first time on my r3 and him on his 1000rr

  9. #8
    Registered User Array doser's Avatar
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    May 2008
    2012 CB1000RA
    nice tale, Kent - not the usual BCSB fodder!
    good luck on your project, and even if you don't quite get to 'saving the world' status, you stand a pretty good chance of making a difference for the better.
    In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensible.
    Dwight Eisenhower

  10. #9
    GSX R600 K9 Array vancitymike's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    Gixxer k9
    Great read! Thanks for sharing


  11. #10
    This space for rent Array Stiffler's Mom's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    2003 Yamaha R6
    This stands out. Well written. Thanks
    - Dyslexics of the world, UNTIE!!

  12. #11
    Vanillla Gorilla Array Zug's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
    CRF150R - Road Racer.
    Very nice read.

    Yes I was thinking of Dan yesterday while at GMR. He was just always so happy and friendly. I miss my friend.
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