SV-Wolf's Bike Blog

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fireguzzi
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Re: SV-Wolf's Bike Blog

#871 Unread post by fireguzzi » Sat May 08, 2010 5:41 pm

blues2cruise wrote:Autumn sounds perfect.
Planning something?
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Re: SV-Wolf's Bike Blog

#872 Unread post by blues2cruise » Sat May 08, 2010 7:52 pm

fireguzzi wrote:
blues2cruise wrote:Autumn sounds perfect.
Planning something?
I have one remaining relative in Scotland....who does not have a computer and letters take forever....If I have enough $$$, I may try to go to the UK....while my passport is still good.
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Re: SV-Wolf's Bike Blog

#873 Unread post by sv-wolf » Sat May 29, 2010 11:59 am

Sigh! Feeling pretty blue these days. There's not a lot going on here in Hitchin that isn't going wrong. Or maybe it’s just the way I’m thinking about things. Not sure.

I’m feeling very much like Marvin the depressive robot in "Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy". Don't you just love/hate that guy/machine. I used to think that we all had a relative like that. Now I know that relative is me.

Thinking about Douglas Adams and the "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy", I’ve just decided that what I need to do is read “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency” again - one of the funniest books I've ever read.

Here’s my catalogue of woes, so y’all can share them with me.

Motorcycle blues
- Both of my good pairs of motorcycle boots (winter and summer) bust a zip last month within a week of each other.
- I bought a pair of cheap motorcycle boots (seconds) at the BMF a week later - great boots except that when I wore them on a ride up to Chester a couple of weeks ago, the zip bust on them too.
- The only pair of road boots I had left (an old pair of Sidis) has just popped a sole, so this afternoon I put on my off-road boots and set off to go to Hein Gericke in Luton on the Daytona to see if I can get a new pair. They have a sale on.
- On the way to Luton the battery (electrics?) died on the Daytona. I was on the by-pass at the time but luckily there was a slip road onto the old A505 and a way of looping back. The bike continued to make enough charge to get me back into Hitchin and to within 500 yards of home - 500 uphill yards.
- The SV's front brakes died completely a couple of months ago and the bike is garaged up at Meppershall with Dave and Bob waiting for some pistons and seals to come in. I had to wait a month before I could afford to order them. Since I did, three weeks have passed and they are still not here. Yesterday, Dave and Bob buggered off to the Isle of Man for the TT and won’t be back for a fortnight.
- One of the cracks in the Daytona's fairing has opened again and some bastrd has put a scratch on it on the other side.

Tomorrow I will go into Stevenage to buy a new battery that I really cannot afford.

Household blues
- I’d finally got around to advertising the therapeutic bath I bought for Di when she was paralysed (all £7,000 worth of it) only to have it break down on me a day later. I can’t afford right now to get it fixed or to buy a new one. Four posts run through seals in the base of the bath and support a platform. (The bath rises up and down around it.) - - The only way I can get a bath now is to lift up the platform and squat down in between the four posts, which not only makes me feel ridiculous but is uncomfortable too – which is why I've taken to scrubbing myself down at the wash basin instead.
- Ever since it was hacked, my ‘puter has been going slower and slower and my frustration levels are getting higher and higher.
- Some tiles have come off the roof and the rose arch I put up in the garden for Di has collapsed.
- A birch tree near the house is threatening to undermine the foundations and I will have to hack it down.
- I trod on a snail this morning and crunched it. Now I feel bad.


Social blues
- In a fit of enthusiasm I agreed to give a couple of evening talks, one on local history and one on the rx industry. They're both about six weeks away and have been publicaly advertised. I’m now fretting about these because time is going by and I can’t be arsed to do anything about them. I could probably wing the local history one but I need to do some serious research on the other.
- I met up with an old school friend from back in 1964 last week. I haven’t seen him for 45 years. He's a fascinating bloke but seems quite needy and wants to meet again soon. Right now, I’m not sure I have the energy for this.

I feel overwhelmed.

I'm consoling myself in the evenings by regular trips down to Molly's, my local pub. It’s a friendly little place but, more than that, it’s a fizzing live-music venue. There is some great local talent playing there most nights. There are loads of R&B bands. Most of all though, there is plenty of rock’n’roll to feed my soul. (Hey where would early rockers have been without that rhyme).

One of the big plusses about Hitchin is that it’s heaving with music and musicians. There is a major music retailer in the town and two nationally recognised music schools. More bands and sessions musicians are based here than you can shake a stick at. The pubs and clubs are always popping. Every year the town puts on a huge world music festival and we are close enough to London for many professionals who play in the City's orchestras to live here. If you like live music this is a great place to be.

PS. I hope to god that it’s just the battery on the Daytona that's kaput, because I really, really want to go on a Bank Holiday rideout to Bournemouth on Monday with some mates. I need to get some speed under me to rip this depressive mood out of my gullet. Sumer is icumen in, and I want to make the best of it.

Just waiting for my world to turn a nice sunshiney shade of yellow.

:cowboy:
Hud

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Re: SV-Wolf's Bike Blog

#874 Unread post by sv-wolf » Sun May 30, 2010 11:07 am

Bugger! Bugger! Bugger!

It looks like I'm not going to get on the rideout tomorrow after all. The problem I have is not with the battery but with the bike. The engine is hunting badly and is not charging up the battery at all.

The Daytona has always killed batteries. I've had to buy a new one every year for the last four years. No-one has ever been able to find a reason for it. In the end it got to be cheaper jus to buy the new battery than to pay out loads of money for people to tell me that they could find nothing wrong with her electrics.

Now it looks liike the problem (whatever it is) has matured and will not go away.

There is also another (maybe related) electrical problem. My super-clever alarm system has been telling me that for about eighteen months she has been overcharging, but every time I stick a meter on her she seems fine.

OK. So I will have to now fork out again and get her sorted. More difficult is the task of noodling myself and reimagining the next couple of weeks as bikeless.

Looking on the bright side, it's a good job it has happened now and not next month as I've booked in to do the national rally again this year. That is something I don't want to miss.

When I went to buy the new battery this morning, I also gave in and bought a new pair of sidi boots. I tried on a couple of cheaper pairs, but they were bad fits, or uncomfortable. I could have afforded them much more easily next month, but I needed them for Monday (or so I thought). It now turns out that I didn't need them, and they will now go back into their box for goodness knows how long until a dealer can see to the bike.

That bright sunshiney yellow has just turned a dirty shade of brown.

I am generally fairly civilised about the way I manage my moods, but to say that I am p1ssed off right now would be a large understatement. :shooting:
Hud

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Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Re: SV-Wolf's Bike Blog

#875 Unread post by Wrider » Sun May 30, 2010 7:06 pm

Ya know it might be cheaper to fly me over there. I'll rebuild the bike while exploring around your country, and you'll get a rebuilt bike for the cost of a plane ticket!
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Re: SV-Wolf's Bike Blog

#876 Unread post by blues2cruise » Mon May 31, 2010 9:37 pm

Wrider wrote:Ya know it might be cheaper to fly me over there. I'll rebuild the bike while exploring around your country, and you'll get a rebuilt bike for the cost of a plane ticket!
Brilliant idea!!!!

First of all.....he should ask the dealer who has his bike for a loaner.....or Triumph for a replacement..it's been nothing but trouble since day one.

Maybe you can convince him to trade in both bikes for one reliable bike. :wink:
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Re: SV-Wolf's Bike Blog

#877 Unread post by fireguzzi » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:10 am

Oh his bikes just have "character."..... Lot's and lot's of character.... And I mean a LOT. :laughing:
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Re: SV-Wolf's Bike Blog

#878 Unread post by sv-wolf » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:34 pm

fireguzzi wrote:Oh his bikes just have "character."..... Lot's and lot's of character.... And I mean a LOT. :laughing:
Funny, that's what everyone said about one of my mates in the 70s shortly before he got sent down.

As to my characterful steeds, they are being quietly characterful right now - so quietly characterful that I would like to kick them. This has left me feeling at something of a loss. Funny that! Since being bikeless, everything around me has felt suddenly intangible, as though I'm powerless to make anything happen in the world. It's like sleep paralysis, when you wake up in the morning and can't get your body to move. You flail around in your head but your physical body won't budge. That happened to me for a few months in my mid-twenties. It scared the living dodo out of me for a while and I was afraid to go to sleep. Then I found out it was fairly common and perfectly harmless. Being without a bike doesn't feel harmless. It feels like a threat. I'm wasting away.

It feels weird to be suddenly back down to a fraction of a horse power again, max (from 130 odd hp on the Daytona), and only that much if I stock up on bacon and eggs. It feels weird not having a bike to ride, and I don't like it.

Not being able to go on the rideout on Monday, dropped me into a hole. Everyone else had buggered off for the bank holiday weekend leaving me to fend for myself back here in Hitchin. I spent the morning (well, a few minutes, really) assessing how I was going to use the day. There are a growing number of jobs that need doing around the house. The fence needs fixing; the roof needs attention, I've bought a load of paint ready to redecorate the kitchen; the garden needs weeding and thinning out.

Unlike my house, I, on the other hand, am perfectly functional, and know damn well that doing jobs around the house is no way to spend a bank holiday Monday, especially if you are feeling glum around the gills because both your bikes are ready for the knackers yard.

That left me with only one rational option: I needed to take a train up to London and trog along to Camden Stables to cheer myself up. This place is the biggest Alka Seltzer pick-me-up known to humankind. There is no hangover, or letter from your bank manager that it will not cure or put into perspective.

Back in the nineteenth century Camden Lock was a huge commercial rail and canal depot. Goods were lifted from the Grand Union Canal and onto Midland Railway trains at the depot nearby. Horses were used for this - hundreds of them. To avoid having to walk the horses over the railway lines a labyrinthine network of brick-built underground passages, ramps and tunnels was built together with a big underground stables. Today the canal basin, the old stables and transfer yards are home to a huge market. It's the nearest thing in the UK to an oriental bazaar, a very English oriental bazaar - with horses - big bronze or brass horses - eveywhere - dozens and dozens and dozens of them, ramping, rearing, bursting out of walls, pulling drays or being quietly shod. All around them is an endless variety of market stalls and and an endlesser variety of human life.

Beyond the stables and the canal is Camden High Street, a wonderland for the young and uninhibited. If you are into clothes that are punky, kinky or just plain weird this is the place to come. All human life is here in its multitudinous strangeness. I won't bore you with a lot of words: here are some pics.

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Murals outside the loos

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Camden Lock

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Camden High Street, home of the weird and wonderful

After leaving Camden, I took a trip into Central London. Keeping to the theme of the bizarre, here's a shot below of the latest 'statue' to occupy the notorious 'fourth plinth' in Trafalgar Square. When the plinth's previous occupant was removed (I forget why) there was a huge row about what would occupy it instead. The only thing people were sure about was that they didn't want to see yet another statue of a boring old general or king or politician. Since then it has been occupied by a succession of artworks and oddities.

For a while anyone could apply as a living statue to occupy the plinth for a couple of hours and do whatever they wanted. They were lifted up onto it on a mechanical elevator truck and then left to their own devices. Some bellowed Harry Potter at the crowd through a megaphone, others built model railways, other danced or sang or did gynmastics or just yelled abuse. It seems now we have - a ship in a bottle! I hesitated a moment before uploading this pic because it is spoiled somewhat by that bizarre red and white flag mounted on the embassy behind it. :mrgreen:

:sofa:


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And since everyone who visits London wants to come away with a photo of this lairy little bugger (god only knows why!) in Piccadilly Circus, I will oblige. (Di always admired his tight little buttocks, but I will leave that judgement for others to make.) I thought the cranes at the end of Regent Street would demystify him nicely. And just to demistify him further, this is not a stature of 'Eros, god of love, (that would be far too interesting) but a statue of boring ol' 'Christian Virtue', erected in the memory of the (so-called) 'philanthropical' Lord Shaftesbury, who bulldozed a road diagonally through hundreds of properties down into Piccadilly Circus, opposite.

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The spirit of Christian Virtue, aka the Saftesbury Memorial, or 'Eros'.

More mysitifcation? Here's a neat little group of statues commemorating the Crimean War at the bottom of Haymarket. Despite being a load of old chauvanist codswallop, I rather like it. It seems that William IV, one of Britain's less memorable monarchs is here represented by a lamp-post. That's Florence Nightingale, on the left with her lamp. The truth is that Florence Nightingale was little more than a rather anally retentive administrator. The real nursing hero of the war was Mary Seacole, a black Jamaican woman who was refused a post at Scutari, so made her own way out to the Crimea to minister to the forces there. She was far more popular among the soldiers than Nightingale who was very bitchy about her. After her death, Mary was completely forgotten and has only recently been rediscoverd and given the recognition she is due. She's one of my favourite people. She carried out medical procedures on the battlefield, helping anyone she found, whoever they were fighting for. She was a humanist, which in the scale of things stands about ten rungs above a nationalist or a patriot. She set up a shop selling basics to the soldiers who would otherwise have had to do without. She also cooked for them. Her autobigraphy makes an amazing reading.

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Crimean War memorial, Haymarket, London


Well, that's my trip to London over then. I hope all the rest of you bastards out there have a great time riding your bikes over the next couple of weeks.

Spit! (Hnnnnnrrrh! - :D, I guess) :wink:
Hud

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Re: SV-Wolf's Bike Blog

#879 Unread post by blues2cruise » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:21 pm

Thanks for sharing. That looks like a fun place to visit.

Next time you are feeling morose over a battery.....watch this...

The English way of camping???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ASs4Kj3KZU
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Re: SV-Wolf's Bike Blog

#880 Unread post by sv-wolf » Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:24 pm

A quick catch-up.

On Monday 7 June I rang up Bruce at the Triumph dealer's and asked if he could arrange to pick up the Daytona from my home and take her over to the workshop in Aston Clinton (about 40 miles away.) He said yes. I took the morning off work on the Tuesday 9 June and handed her over when the van arrived.

Meanwhile...

The SV was still up in Gamlingay at Bob and Dave's workshop (I think I said their workshop was in Meppershall in a previous email - a senior moment. Hem! ). The pistons and seals for the SV's front brake had arrived at last, but in the meantime Bob and Dave had buggered off up to the Isle of Man for the TT. That meant there was going to be no progress on her for another ten days or so.

The Triumph dealer rang me two days later on Friday 11 to tell me they had found the problem: a couple of heavily corroded wires under the fuse box. Great! but damn! Because the casing to the fuse box was broken, I'd checked all around there before sending her off but hadn't spotted anything.

The next day (Saturday) I caught a couple of buses over to Aston Clinton to pick up the bike - a long and tedious journey round the Herts, Beds and Bucks countryside. The bill was very reasonable (that was one good piece of news, anyway). On the way home she ran beautifully. By Monday though, the engine had started to hunt and hiccup again when running at anything under 30 mph in first or second gear - but at least the battery was charging.

On Tuesday, Bob rang me. He'd arrived back from the TT, had received the pistons and seals and had fixed the SV's brake. On Thursday I rode the grumbling Daytona up to Gamlingay, left it with him to see what he could find, and picked up the SV. The brake lever had become so worn on the SV that Bob had had to put a small spacer in it to make it work, temporarily. Tomorrow, I need to order a new lever. After chatting for a couple of hours (it's nice to be self-employed like Bob) I headed off west on the SV towards Ripley in Derbyshire. I was off for four days of camping at the annual Horizons Unlimited event.

Anyone know this organisation? It's an international, long-distance biking network set up by a couple of Canadian bikers: Grant and Susan Johnson. If you want to know which parts of Colombia or Afghanistan are safe to travel in; if you want to know what problems bikers are having with border crossings into Iran, Russia, Argentina, Mongolia...Turkey...Nigeria...; if you want to know what the latest rate Egypt is demanding for bike carnets, what the latest political situation is in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who best to ship with from South America to South Africa, what the best tyres for riding the Road of Bones are; or if you just like reading other people's biking journals, then this is the website you need to look at. It's phenomenal - and vast.

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/

(Be warned though, it's not the most user friendly site I've ever seen.)

I've just got back from the weekend. I had a truly brilliant time; I learned more about bikes and off-road riding in those few days than in years of poring over manuals, books and videos, I met several of my biking heroes, and I am not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow.
Hud

“Man has no right to kill his brother. It is no excuse that he does so in uniform: he only adds the infamy of servitude to the crime of murder.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Re: SV-Wolf's Bike Blog

#881 Unread post by sv-wolf » Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:41 pm

It's funny the way the scales shift. In the last year I've taken to thinking of the SV as a rather sad, superannuated wreck-of-a-bike, with a noisy, not-too-wonderful engine and a tendency to deteriorate (forks, brakes etc) whenever the wind changes. Since getting her back from Bob, though, that noisy engine has begun to sound like a mature piece of machinery and I'm rediscovering (yet again) what a fun bike the old girl is to ride. God! You can chuck her round corners and have a grand time on her.

By contrast, the Daytona has begun to seem like a disaster area on two wheels. The fairing that had been welded together so beautifully has begun to break up again, and she's now back in the garage for the umpteenth time with a new problem. OK, so she has a lot more power than the SV, is a smoother ride and has sharper steering, and this all this adds up to... What? I'm not sure. She gets me all whipped up - no doubt about that - but she doesn't have an ounce of the character of the older bike. If I had to get rid of just one of them, I know which one it would be right now. And as for the long term, the Daytona will almost certainly go in the autumn.

So that leaves me with the delicious idea of buying a new ride - an idea made even more delicious by the fact that I know that unless I get a very good deal, I can't really afford it. I'll be looking for a lightweight sports tourer. If I got rid of both of them at the same time I'd certainly think about buying one of the more recent SV1000S. I can't imagine any bike more perfect for my touring/fun/communing needs. Memo to me: must take another look at HU's "Gearing Up". This is a great DVD: a couple of hours of experienced riders discussing the pros and cons of what to buy.

****************************************************************

As I pulled into the campsite for the Horizons event last weekend I saw a famous bike parked up outside the bar. To dedicated long-distance riders on all five continents (and armchair explorers like me) this great beast is instantly recognisable . It's a low-slung, coal-black Electra Glyde, covered in stickers from its nose to its tail and it belongs to Kay and Peter Forwood. It's just simply unique - the most well-travelled bike in all of biking history - it has to be!

Here it is.

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There are officially, 193 countries in the world, and this hulking great pile has ridden through 193 of them. Remembering that those countries include Iran, Afghanistan and North Korea, you begin to get a sense of what is going on here. And when you consider, also, the fact that one quarter of the world's countries are tiny islands marooned in the middle of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans, you begin to get the scent of a beautiful obsession.

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I went to one of Peter and Kay Forwood's slide shows and got an eyeful of some of their travels. And if ever I assumed that they had restricted their riding to gentlemanly strolls along the world's tarmac highways, I was rapidly disabused of that notion. There were slides of the great hulking Harley slugging its way through fender-high mud in South America, slopping around in gigantic rut holes in Africa, over broken boulders and endless river crossing in Siberia and lord knows what else besides. This is a seriously well-travelled bike, one that has been baptised in every kind of elemental hell-hole between here and forever.

Here they are, the mad Australian couple themselves:

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I took a peek at their bike's meter to see how many kilometers were on it.

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I read 70,000 + kilometers. OK, impressive, but not that impressive - as I guessed, though, it's not the first time the bike has been round the meter. Even so, I was taken aback to discover that its barrels are rolling round now for the sixth time. So that's 570,000 kilometers to her credit. I was even more amazed to discover that only very recently have they had to replace the engine. Once upon a time, H-D built some seriously hardcore motorcycles! What happened? (I wonder what the SV will look and sound like when she's managed 570,000 miles of continuous riding - that's 23 times round the equator by my calculation).

Next to the Harley was Grant and Susan Johnson's ride, another grand touring bike, equally unmistakable and recognisable. Here's a shot for all you Canadian chauvanists.

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I had a great weekend, meeting some of my biking heroes. That included the inimitable Ted Simon, (author of "Jupiter's Travels" and begetter, in the 1970s, of the whole round-the-world motorcyling phenomenon.) He made his trip before the computer revolution, before mobile phones and satellite technology, before the whole planet got connected up. That was a time when venturing into parts of Africa or Asia really did mean cutting yourself off from the rest of the world. In those days and in those places you were truly on your own. (Eat your heart out Charlie and Ewan).

In his quiet, authoritative way, he explained to a new generation of adventure bikers just what their journeying is all about, its personal significance and what it does to you on the inside. It does change you, there's no doubt about that. It is a powerful message.

I asked him to sign one of his books for me and I felt like a teenager again. Hell, I'm only fifteen years younger than he is and at my age you are supposed to be a bit more worldly than this. But I'd read his book when I was in my twenties and it had fuelled my dreams for decades. Now, meeting him for the first time, I couldn't help being awestruck by the man.

Austin Vince was there also: they guy who rode the Zilov Gap and the Road of Bones in Eastern Siberia some ten years before Charlie and Ewan attempted it. The bloke is a maths schoolteacher from Mill Hill (would you believe!) and is crazier than anyone I've ever known by a factor of ten. His wife, Lois Price, was also there. She is as crazy as he is and does her own thing, riding solo round the world. She's been an inspiration for many women bikers in recent years.

Simon Gandolfi turned up and gave a talk. I've just been reading his book, "Old Man on a Bike". This old geezer is priceless. He's 77 years old and has been adventure-riding round the world for several years on a 125cc Honda pizza bike. (It really is a pizza bike!) He's the oldest ten-year-old I've ever met, likely at any moment to plunge himself into fits of uncontrollable laughter. I was sitting in the front row and got a fit of giggles myself, listening to his silly stories. That set him off even worse and within moments the whole room was rolling helplessly in their chairs. Life is just one ridiculous pile of lunacy for this guy.

I also acquired a new hero. The highpoint of the weekend has to be a talk and slideshow by Walter Colebatch on his Sibirsky Extreme Project. His rationale for this incredible trip through Central Asia and onto to Eastern Russia was that, since Ewan and Charlie, everyone has been riding across Siberia following the Tran-Siberian Railway, wholly ignorant of the fact that there are other routes that need exploring. This bloke is in his thirties. He's not just a great adventurer, but an excellent photographer as well - and a very entertaining speaker. He doesn't say much, but everything he does say is worth listening to. Here's his website.

http://www.sibirskyextreme.com/

Unfortunately, the small low-res pics on the site don't do justice to his photography, which is often stunning, and he speaks more powerfully than he writes but, even so, you can get a real sense of the magnificence of the landscapes he rode through and the extraordinary challenge he had taken on. (If you are short on time, just scroll down the left hand side of the home page, click on the Pamir section and boggle at the photographs.)

So, it was a great weekend. I got worse monkey-butt sitting listening to one amazing speaker after another than I have ever got from sitting on a bike. I heard two women wondering out loud how one hundred blokes could sit riveted in fascination for two hours while another bloke demonstrated six different ways to change a tyre in the Sudan with only basic tools; I learned loads of useful stuff from presentations on medicine and first aid for bikers; tips on packing; tips on essential maintenance, choosing bikes and gear, etc, etc, etc; and sat through loads and loads of stories of round-the-world biking. I met some great people; the weather was perfect; and the food was excellent (though, I avoided the roadkill cafe, especially the obscenely long queue one evening for sauted snails). The evenings were mild and I chatted around the bonfire to people gloriously mad enough to have ridden every kind of crazy road and track imaginable in the wildest parts of the world. Even if I spend too much of my life in front of a PC and not enough on the road, I'm really glad to know that such people exist.

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Hud

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Re: SV-Wolf's Bike Blog

#882 Unread post by blues2cruise » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:19 am

A cruiser. Went around the world. Need I say more. hahahaha

And you were inspired enough to photograph it. :)
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#883 Unread post by sv-wolf » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:22 pm

LOL.

You've got to give credit where credit is due, blues. I'd photograph any bike that had done 570,000 miles without an engine change and travelled through every country in the world. I mean, c'mon that is impressive, isn't it? OK, it's true, I'm easily impressed, but I think most people would admit there is something special, here, wouldn't they?

But then, I'm just as impressed with Simon Gandolfi's globetrotting pizza bike. That's a pretty gobsmacking idea too - international fast food deliveries by a 77 year old pizza squid!

The thing is, though, I wouldn't want to ride either of them - neither the big, ugly Harley (which looks more like a praying mantis than a motorcycle) nor the buzzy little pizza bike. (Well, I don't know. Maybe the pizza bike would be kinda fun. :mrgreen: )

And how many Harleys today could do anything as well as that particular EG - or even the pizza bike, come to that. Most of them couldn't ride round the block let alone round the world, without something falling off. OK, OK I exaggerate - but only a little.

I think the message here is that if you want to ride round the world, you can do it on pretty much anything. Lots of long-distance riders I've spoken to say that it's a mistake to ride the bike you think is most suitable for the journey - you should ride where your heart is, and if your heart is in a big electra glyde, then that's the bike you should take.

Me - I'm just a little more modest in my ambitions and in my motorised personal extensions - as you know. I like the in-between bikes: roadsters and sports-tourers, even trailies. I doubt whether I will ever understand this love affair Americans (and some Canadians) have with heavyweight cruisers. Maybe I was born the wrong side of the pond or something. You see, big is definitely not beautiful in my world. Sleek, sharp, elegant, light or just plain fast (gotta admit it!) - that's what I like.

Think about the "Flying Scotsman" Gresley locomotives, the fastest and most powerful railway engines of their time. One of them carried the "Flying Scotsman" name. Have you ever seen her? She's a delicate little lady, a million miles away from those giant haulage monsters they built elsewhere to jerk and trundle their way across plains and deserts - and she's a million times more beautiful as well.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... n_2005.jpg)

Things don't have to be big to get my juices going. A lot of power in a sleek and elegant frame is a lot sexier than a hulking great bulldozer of a bike.

:starwars: The cruiser wars continue. :D

I know I'm repeating myself, but I really have fallen back in love with the SV. Its oddities and quirks have acquired a new characterfulness. It feels like an old familiar pair of gloves and I no longer care that it is not perfect. I found myself patting it the other day before dismounting (then looked round sharply to see if anyone had noticed.) Maybe, after seven years I'm finally losing the middle-aged bike returner's itch and settling down to a comfortable relationship with my rides. If that's what it is, then it feels good!

:cowboy:
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#884 Unread post by sv-wolf » Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:40 am

Just got news back on the Daytona. As expected, it looks like the throttle sensor is on the way out. It's never been entirely right. The engine has always been a little late or erratic in responding to throttle input. Bob had done his best to adjust it for me but I don't know how long that will last. Sooner or later it will need replacing but I'm not going to do a lot with her now. If I sell her in the autumn she will have to go to the dealer with all her faults on her head. I won't get a lot for her but there is no point in doing her up first and losing out on that as well.

Next thing, though: she will soon need a new set of tyres. This current set must have given me no more than 2,000 miles. For a pair of road tyres that is craaap!

My wallet continues to bleed.
Hud

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Re: SV-Wolf's Bike Blog

#885 Unread post by blues2cruise » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:18 am

Bye bye Daytona. It will be a load off your mind to not have to deal with it.
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#886 Unread post by sv-wolf » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:15 pm

I'll be sad to see her go, but realistically, you're right, blues. It will be a weight off my mind, and off my pocket as well. I'm thinking of buying a trail bike instead and keeping the SV as my fun-bike.
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Re: SV-Wolf's Bike Blog

#887 Unread post by roscowgo » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:06 pm

Don't let that high maintenance dame get you down sv.


Now is the time for the fun part. Deciding what's next.

You could always go KLR if you're feeling trailey. And then people could pester you about them only costing pocket lint and that old piece of bubblegum you found in your coat pocket.

:lol:


Not to mention, if a chunk falls off a KLR that just means it's been places. :devil:

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Re: SV-Wolf's Bike Blog

#888 Unread post by Wrider » Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:16 pm

Very true. And anyone can keep one of those in working order. Give you a wrench (spanner) set, an allen set, a philips screwdriver, and a service manual and you'd be golden!
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Re: SV-Wolf's Bike Blog

#889 Unread post by sv-wolf » Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:49 pm

Hi guys

Ping! I hadn't figured you for a mind reader, Rosco

I'll let you into a secret. (It's a secret because, until recently, I've only been half-admitting it to myself.) The reason I'm thinking of a trail bike is that I've been working myself up into chucking my job and doing some serious long-distance riding. I need a do-anything, off-road, on-road bike.

I've been putting off "the big trip" for a while, largely for financial reasons, but I'm getting to the stage where I'm thinking, sod it! I don't care. With the present slump, and the government talking about cutting back on the public sector (where I work) by 40% (!) the chances of me being made redundant are pretty high, anyway. Time to make good use of my assets.

Apart from that I'm getting grey enough to start calculating how much active life I might have left. Putting it all together, right now seems to be the time to get serious. I'm prone to passing enthusiasms which don't last, but this idea has been sticking round for a while and growing more attractive all the time. It is starting to form itself into a definite plan.

I've looked at the KLR. It's cheap. It's comfortable (so some say... but...). It is decently reliable (though some disagree...) and simple enough that even I could work on it with some hope of success. I need something that is robust and something not too big but with enough power to cope with conditions on and off road. In many ways the KLR sounds just the job. What's putting me off it at the moment is that it is heavy, it seems to be very hard on tyres (even for a thumper) and is a damn serious oil-guzzler as well - cheap to buy, good on fuel economy, but with hidden costs. (There is a kit to fix the oil problem! - That's nuts. Why don't Kawasaki just sort it?) The idea of having to change tyres every 2,000 miles (at least - not counting punctures) doesn't sound too inviting either. It seems like a great bike for someone who loves to spend their Saturdays tinkering and installing mods. (Am I just being a wimp here?)

Anyone got any first-hand experience of this bike, or know if Kawasaki has done anything to address these issues in recent years?
Hud

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Re: SV-Wolf's Bike Blog

#890 Unread post by drumwrecker » Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:53 am

Richard you are right about the pointy bikes looking right on British roads. Over here the cruiser really looks at home, even on the smaller roads that we have been driving. The cruisers appear to outnumber the sports bikes by a big margine so being more familier they maybe look more at home. Also the sports bike look so small I kept on thinking they were little 250 Aprilias until I heard them. Everywhere we have been there have been loads of bikes, I didn't expect that but like the UK the riders are mostly in our age group. Bike highlight of our trip has to be Wednesday Bike Night, Beale Street, Memphis. Regards from Lake Tahoe.
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