Scoot Commute


Posted in BMW R75/5 (Mackie Messer), Daily Commute by cheesebot on 2015/03/28

This week finally brought milder temperatures and I vowed to myself to get on one of the bikes at some point (in between bouts of darkness and pouring rain).  I only got into the garage a couple times over the winter storms and even then it was just to move the battery tenders around to other bikes, move the snowblower around or grab some tools for something in the house.  Due to the mind-numbing snow and cold and grey combined with my occasional self-imposed isolation I managed to get none of the planned projects even started.  Whatever, I’ve got some time for that, now I’ve just got to make sure these guys are road worthy.

My usual go-to bike is the BMW.  He’s was running a bit rough last time so I wanted to check the timing, plugs, etc.

2015-03-15 13.40.39

The timing looked pretty good but when I pulled the plugs…

2015-03-25 17.56.32

I probably should check these more often.  It’s a good thing I found a seller on eBay with a couple NOS boxes of the correct plugs.

2015-03-25 17.54.08

Well, after getting the BMW all buttoned up and fueled up I found the battery was still too weak to get it going and the kickstart didn’t want to wake him up from his winter slumber.  It’s probably time for a new battery.

Anyway, I went over to the Honda Elite 250.  Turn the key, push the button – vrooooom.  Yay Honda.  I went over to the Transalp.  Turn the key, choke all the way out, push the button – vroooooom.  Yay Honda again.  I let it warm up a bit, pumped up the tires and checked for any loose thingies.

Finally on Friday the temperatures and precipitation conspired to get me back on the road.  I was nervous about hopping back on a bike (it’s been since Dec 5th) but I instantly felt at home – no emotional baggage (yet) and no uneasiness with my skills or balance.  I went to lunch at Trinity (typical Friday lunch) and had my mug filled with Siobhan’s Stout.

2015-03-27 12.49.50


2014 in Mileage

Posted in BMW R75/5 (Mackie Messer), Buddy St. Tropez (Franz Biberkopf) by cheesebot on 2015/01/01

The yearly mileage update is a good way to evaluate how much we rode last year.  Unfortunately, sbahn wasn’t sure how to get to the odometer on the Husky TE610 because it has one of those new-fangled digital TrailTech Vapor gauge thingies.  She put thousands of miles on that bike alone including riding it all the way up to Providence from Key West (and not the quickest way either).  I’ll try to do some research on what the mileage was when she picked it up and update with my findings.

As far as everything else, here we go:

2008 Genuine Buddy St. Tropez 150 scooter

1/1/14:  15,231.0
1/1/15:  16,439.8

Total miles for 2014:  1,208.8

2008 Genuine Buddy St. Tropez 150 mileage 1/1/15

1995 Suzuki DR350SE

1/1/14:  11,074.7
1/1/15:  13,281.3
Total miles for 2014:  2,206.6

1995 Suzuki DR350 mileage 1/1/15

1986 Honda Elite 250

1/1/14:    7,979.8
1/1/15:  10,141.4
Total miles for 2014:  2,161.6

1986 Honda Elite 250 mileage 1/1/15

2006 Husqvarna TE610

1/1/14:    TBD
1/1/15:  5,393.0
Total miles for 2014:  TBD

2006 Husqvarna TE610 mileage 1/1/15

1999 Suzuki DR350SE

1/1/15:  1,460 + 5,280 = 6,740
Total miles for 2014:  NA

1999 Suzuki DR350SE mileage 1/1/15

1971 BMW R75/5

1/1/14:  86,138
1/1/15:  87,036
Total miles for 2014:  898

1971 BMW R75/5 mileage 1/1/15

1989 Honda Transalp

1/1/14:  42,128.8
1/1/15:  47,853.6
Total miles for 2014:  5,724.8

1989 Honda Transalp XL600V mileage 1/1/15

sbahn’s mileage for the year: 5,577 + Husky mileage

My (cheesebot) mileage for the year: 6,622.8

We definitely succeeded in surpassing last year’s mileage (Obligatory New Year’s Day Post — Welcome 2014) and that’s even with her missing out on the last month of riding in 2014.

Goodbye Lou

Posted in Pleasure Ride, Suzuki DR350SE (1995) by sbahn on 2013/10/27
Honda Scooter ad: Don't Settle for Walking with Lou Reed, Elite 150 Deluxe, and the World Trade Center

Honda Scooter ad: Don’t Settle for Walking with Lou Reed, Elite 150 Deluxe, and the World Trade Center

My wonderful boyfriend gifted me this ad several years ago because, well, we’re Honda wHores, Lou Reed is the scheeeet, and the Elite 150 Deluxe is one of the most beautiful scooters ever made. I like my old Lammys and I like my mid-80’s Hondas. So what?

The idea of Lou Reed shilling for Honda was always super-weird. The man’s first big “hit” was about prostitutes and junkies. And the ad guys at Honda are thinking, “oh yeah, we gotta get THAT guy!”

My favorite Lou Reed song is “Perfect Day.” I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been riding — commuting, joyriding, finishing up a particularly difficult woods section — and I’m screaming “Perfect Day.” Sure, it’s pop pablum, nothing wrong with that. I can listen to “Metal Machine Music.” Perhaps too much time spent at the altar of Einstürzende Neubauten?

It’s 7 degrees, sure I’ll ride to work

except that the Buddy had other ideas. Bundled in a balaclava and neck gaiter, I opened the door to the garage to see the Buddy sitting, ready to go. I unlocked it from its anti-theft devices and slipped the key into the ignition. Flip of the kill switch, pull in the brake, press the magic button.

Crank, crank, crank, cough, silence.

Crank, crank, cough, silence.

Cough, silence.

“C’mon little Buddy, c’mon. You can do it,” I encouraged Franz.

A few more cranks and he started up. I had time for a nice long warm-up. I rolled the scoot out the garage and into the snow-covered driveway.

I walked back into the garage to don my helmet and grab my much-needed heated gloves. As I came out to close and lock the door, I noticed a chocolate syrup-like substance on the ground.

“Oh no, ” I moaned. “This can’t be.” I crouched down to the side of the scoot and there it was…drip…drip…drip. Oil was dripping from a hose, presumably from the oil cooler.

So there I was, in full gear and several layers, standing next to an oil-oozing scoot, wondering what to do. I doubted the DR would start as it hasn’t been on a tender for a while. I whipped out the phone and called the boyfriend to turn around from his way to work to come get me and deliver me to my work. He had my car since his van died yesterday on I-95 on his way to work.

This cold is killing our vehicles, one after another.

When the boyfriend got home this afternoon, he checked the Honda Elite to see if it would start up. What a surprise. One magic press and it started right up. Not even on a tender.

Friday is a Honda Elite day. Bring on the single digits!