Scoot Commute

Elsa needs new shoes, or my trip to Razee

Posted in Honda Transalp XL600V (Kaiju), Suzuki DR-Z400SM (Elsa), Tires by sbahn on 2011/07/17
Think I need new tires? Death of the MT21

Think I need new tires? Death of the MT21

Friday is ‘early-release’ day on campus. I’ve always loved that term as it makes it sound like we’ve been on good behavior. When I got home, the boyfriend had saddled up my DRZ and his Transalp each with one of the DRZ’s S wheels. The last trip put some wear on the tires.

We headed down to North Kingstown around 2:30pm, taking the highway because we just wanted to get there as we also had to get to Twisted Throttle before they closed at 5:00 pm.

The boyfriend had texted a friend who was to meet us at Razee. We pull in and unhook the tires. One each, we walk into the service area of the shop which was, naturally, very busy.

Arriving at Razee after hauling the MT21 on the back of the DRZ400SM

Arriving at Razee after hauling the MT21 on the back of the DRZ400SM

We’re standing kind of staggered to each other, me in front, each holding a wheel, waiting for one of the guys to become available. “Can I help you, sir?” says one of the guys. The boyfriend shoots me a look, and I walk up to the counter and say, “Yes, you can. I ordered two tires, one is in, and I’m dropping off the wheels so the tires can be mounted up when the other one comes in.” I felt absolutely invisible. It was a very weird feeling. I suppose I can’t really fault the guy as they deal with more men than women, but really? My bike, my wheels, my tires, my money.

Upstairs we headed to check in with Brendan as I need to discuss sprockets. No, not that kind of Sprockets, motorcycle sprockets. But Brendan was on his lunchbreak. As we were waiting for my friend, we wandered around the shop, looked at some bikes, and talked to some of the other people hanging around, including the guy on the beautifully patina’d old Guzzi. I have a very large soft spot for Guzzis. One day, but I digress.

My friend arrived and he brought presents! I love presents. He had gone to a talk that Jonah Street gave out in Seattle and presented me with a personalized, signed poster of Jonah doing something stupid in the sand. How freakin’ cool is that? Now I have to find a frame and it’s going up in my office. I can just hear someone asking me if that’s me, haha!

Brendan came back from lunch and we had the sprockets conversation. I know nothing about sprockets except that they’re the round spikey thing that the chain fits around to turn the wheels. Jim at work told me that Brendan had “the chart”, and sure enough, he did. So we went back and forth about how the bike is acting with its current set-up of a 15 front, 44 rear and we decided on a 46 rear. The front sprocket didn’t need replacing. That’ll be in sometime next week so hopefully the other tire will come in, as well, and I can go down next Friday and pick everything up. It’s John in Service last day and I want to bring him a treat.

These are both DRZ400SM Suzukis. Can you believe it? It looks so tiny.

These are both DRZ400SM Suzukis both wearing Avon Distanzia tires. Can you believe it? It looks so tiny.

Next, Twisted Throttle. During the last trip, one of the clips on the Pelicans bags broke when I knocked the Transalp over. So I was hoping that TT could save my bacon and get the boyfriend the part he needed. The boyfriend showed Matt the part and he just sorted looked at him and said, “Uh, we’ve changed the connections on the Pelican cases. Actually, we have even changed the Pelican cases we use.”

I looked at Matt and said, “Um, maybe there’s something laying around?” I really wanted to be off the hook for this and didn’t want to have to shell out for the new mounting system. Success! He found a replacement and gave it to us. Thank you Matt!

We then headed over to my friend’s house to pick up his wife for a ride to get the current RI/CT ADV tag. I knew they had gotten some chickens; what I didn’t realize is how many and that they’re just sort of wandering around their yard. Sometimes I wish we lived rural. Even though Providence residents are allowed to have three chickens, I just think logistically, it’d be a mess. Ugh, we need to fence in our yard so my back neighbor can’t see what we’re doing. She’s so crazy.

Go, little Honda, Go!

Go, little Honda, Go!

Anyway, I said hello to the chickens, even got to feed them. The four of us then headed off on a nice ride that included some dirt roads through the Arcadia Management Area. My friend’s wife is a new-ish rider but that never stops her. We turned off the tarmac and onto the dirt and she didn’t even slow down. Love the spirit!

Beautiful Arcadia Management Area in Exeter and West Greenwich, RI

Beautiful Arcadia Management Area in Exeter and West Greenwich, RI

We stopped by this field filled with dozens of white-tailed deer.

We stopped by this field filled with dozens of white-tailed deer.

We finished up the evening with some good grub and a chilly ride back to Providence (in July!). I’m not complaining about our cool nights; I just wish I had brought a jacket for under my riding jacket.

Thanks again, Terry, for my pressies!

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