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Well folks, I’m in UT & staying with some of Cindy’s family until we can move into the house we’ve found to rent. Posting will be light as I have to use my phone. I will be back soon :)

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Heading to Utah – See Everyone Sometime Soon!

Well, it’s that time.  I have to finish packing and cleaning tonight.  I’ve got the rental truck parked outside and will have Cindy’s friends and family here to load it tomorrow.  We’re leaving Las Vegas on Sunday morning and should be up in Utah by the evening.  I can’t decide if Changing Channels or Changes in Latitudes would be the correct Buffett song for this big move and huge upheaval, but I guess we’ll find out Come Monday and it should be alright :wink:

7 June 2012 - S'mores on the patio at The Pub at the Monte Carlo

7 June 2012 – S’mores on the patio at The Pub at the Monte Carlo

I went out to dinner with a few friends last night and after that we had S’mores on the patio.  It was a gorgeous night out and I know I’m going to miss my friends down here.  At least it’s only an eight hour motorcycle ride away from Utah :)

7 June 2012 - Planet Hollywood seen from the bike on Harmon Avenue

7 June 2012 – Planet Hollywood seen from the bike on Harmon Avenue

 I took the time to go for a short ride up the Strip with a minor detour on the way home.  There’s something special about the Strip on a warm summer night, even after all the years I’ve lived here and it only gets better on a motorcycle :cool:

7 June 2012 - Casino Royale seen from my bike on the Strip

7 June 2012 – Casino Royale seen from my bike on the Strip

7 June 2012 - Casino Royale seen from my bike on the Strip

7 June 2012 – Casino Royale seen from my bike on the Strip

I only took a couple of pictures during that ride as I really didn’t stop that often and I didn’t want to try to fumble with the camera while I was in motion in traffic like that :wink:

A short while ago I’d have told you I’m ready to take off and leave Lost Wages in the past, but now that I’m actually leaving I’m starting to feel a bit of loss.  I do like the spectacle of the Strip at night and all the great deals on food and fun this town has to offer.  Still, there’s a time for everything and it’s time for me to move on.

I’m leaving Las Vegas having learned a lot about myself but also having made some good, life long friends :)  I’ll be back to visit, but I don’t think I’ll ever live here again for a number of reasons.

I don’t know when I’ll have the chance to get back online and actually post about the move and more about Utah, but I’ll try to be back soon.  Until then, I’m going to toss the keys to my co-bloggers and wish everyone well :thumb:

Take care and have a great time, everyone :mrgreen:

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Memories From the Closet

So, I’ve been packing for quite a while.  I know I’m glacial in my pace, but I’m getting it done :wink:

One of the reasons I’ve been taking so long to get this done is that I’ve been going through stuff and deciding what to throw away, what to keep, what’s important within that stuff.

I came across a couple of pictures while going through my closet and I figured y’all might like to see ‘em :)

Me and my 1988 IROC Z-28 back in the late 1990's

Me and my 1988 IROC Z-28 back in the late 1990's

 Oh, what a bunch of bittersweet memories this pic brings back!  I bought my IROC from a supposed friend and ended up replacing a few things like the starter, alternator, engine computer and the ENGINE :censored:  Oh yeah, it also leaked enough oil that we nicknamed it the Exxon Valdez and I just replaced the filter every once in a while because changing the oil was kind of redundant :P  Then there was the fact that the air conditioning never worked and it was a black on black car with almost nothing but glass above the tops of the doors.  Yeah, it got just a bit hot in the summer.

Still, it never left me on the side of the road and I do miss a few things about it.  I miss the rumble of the V8 under that hood, the glass T-Tops and running across the Coronado Bay Bridge at night with the tops off.  The streetlights would strobe through as I passed under them and I always liked that :cool:

In the end, the check engine light wouldn’t go out even with all the magic the local Chevy dealer tried and it was going to fail the smog test it was required to take.  A 17 year old girl ended up crashing into it about a week before the registration was due to expire and I got a good settlement out of it.  It was a mixed blessing – I miss the car, but I was thankful to get out from under the financial burden.

And yes, I still want another one :)

SR-71 Blackbird - Dad took this picture at the Pt. Mugu airshow back in 1982

SR-71 Blackbird - Dad took this picture at the Pt. Mugu airshow back in 1982

 

SR-71 Blackbird - Dad took this picture at the Pt. Mugu airshow back in 1982

SR-71 Blackbird - Dad took this picture at the Pt. Mugu airshow back in 1982

 Another pic I came across was taken by Dad at an airshow back in 1982.  I couldn’t decide which version of the edits from the scan to post, so I decided to post them both.  Now, I was only about five years old when this was taken, but I remember being there when it was taken.  The things I remember from that airshow are an F-4 Phantom firing a Sparrow missile out to sea in front of the crowd, aerial firefighting aircraft putting out an accidental brush fire that was set by some pyrotechnics, and this SR-71 flying by :cool:  A quick Google search found some more pics of that same airshow here :thumb:

It’s funny to think about how secret that SR-71 and its siblings were back in the day and how everyone thought we might never learn much about them.  It’s funny because I’ve gotten to talk to many of the people who helped develop the A-12 which was the SR-71′s single seat predecessor and I’ve gotten to know a whole bunch about it since moving to Las Vegas :D  If you want to know more, start with the Road Runners Internationale and Area 51 Special Projects :wink:

Well, I have to get back to work and get stuff packed for the move to Utah, but I hope you have a great day :mrgreen:

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V-Star 650 Clutch Fixes – Moving the Friction Zone Toward the Grip

I recently wrote about the Clevver lever after Roger so kindly gave me approval to use the official images and graphics :)  That was ¾ of the solution to making the V-Star’s clutch more user friendly.  Having a wider friction zone has really made slow speed maneuvers easier to execute.  I’ve always been good at starting on hills after only driving manual transmission cars for the past decade, but I’ll take help when I can get it and The Clevver has helped with those as well.

The clutch side of the V-Star 650

The clutch side of the V-Star 650

 So, what’s the other ¼ of the solution you ask?  Well, let me first explain the other ¼ of the problem before I explain the solution.

The V-Star’s clutch has two issues from the factory.  Aside from the friction zone being small which I’ve addressed with the Clevver, it’s also a long ways out from the grip.  Again, it’s like one of those old Alfa Romeo sports cars.  You have to let the clutch out, then go a bit further, keep going, and then you finally get to the miniscule friction zone.  It works, but it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.  This is especially true when making a U-turn and when approaching traffic is bearing down on you even if it is quite a ways off.  You’re going around the turn and you need to add power, so you let off the clutch lever a bit only to find there’s nothing there.  You didn’t let the clutch lever out far enough to engage.  Or sometimes you do let it out far enough, but you end up letting it out a bit too far and the bike jerks as the power is transmitted to the rear wheel just a bit too quickly.

Close-up view of the lower clutch adjuster and the spring that allows the extra free play

Close-up view of the lower clutch adjuster and the spring that allows the extra free play

So, how do you fix this situation with the long throw of the clutch lever to get to the engagement point and into the friction zone?  Sure, you could just adjust the clutch cable to allow more slack and free play from full engagement to the friction zone, but then you’d have the lever flopping which wouldn’t be so good…

What you need is some way to add in that free play, but that keeps the clutch lever out toward full engagement instead of flopping around when you’re not using it.  In the end all you need is a cable protector of some sort and a spring.

Close-up of the clutch cable, spring modification, and attachment to the clutch arm

Close-up of the clutch cable, spring modification, and attachment to the clutch arm

This system was installed by a previous owner long before I got my bike, but the do it yourself instructions can be found on the 650CCND.com (that stands for 650 Custom, Classic, and Drag Star as the bike is known in Europe) site (click here) and a company called Seritec makes a kit (click here) that looks more finished once installed and has all the parts in one place :cool:

The idea behind this addition is that the spring keeps a minimal amount of pressure on the clutch cable that’s just enough to keep the lever from hanging loose while still allowing the free play to be increased which brings the entire friction zone closer to the grip.  At the same time, it doesn’t place so much force on the cable that the clutch is partially engaged and it causes no extra wear or anything else problematic.  I like the combination of this spring working with the Clevver.  It’s moved the engagement point closer to the grip and widened the friction zone which has made the bike even more enjoyable :)

That’s all for now, but I’ll be back with more soon :wink:  Have a great day everyone :mrgreen:

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