Project CBR600F

Look out!  There's a new project in town.

My garage now houses a 1987 Honda CBR600F Hurricane.  I purchased it from my cousin's boyfriend who bought it last year as a first bike and project.  Having no tools, no time and no place to keep it, he finally gave in and sold it to me for what he paid.  I figured, it's cheap, has potential and already lives in my garage, so why not!

It's had a hard life, passed from owner to owner, subjected to abuse and neglect.  There isn't a single piece of plastic on her and all the lighting is gone or broken.  Thankfully, the wiring harness appears to be intact.  It needs a good once over, including a valve check (thankfully, they are screw/nut adjusters).  I have no timeline for having her on the road, as this is definitely a back burner project.

I see some ratty potential! 

The radiator and oil cooler will need some new mounts fabbed up
since there will be no subframe used. 

Getting ideas on fabing a mount. 

Future home of an oval LED tail/brake light and some blinkers.

For gauges, I'll probably go with an Acewell all-in-one unit and make a box for the power outlets and other various warning lights. Another option is the Vapor from TrailTech but I like the aesthetics of the Acewell.  I learned my lesson on the XJ, if I use an LED backed gauge, the backlight feed is going on a dimmer so I'm not blind at night.

It feels damn good to have a bike again, even if it's a long term project.


Small Displacement Madness!

My bike lust has been focused on dual sports for quite some time but this winter a strange twist has developed.  Where I was once drooling over a KLR650 or DR650, I know find myself thinking about smaller bikes with less power.  I've always had a hankering for a DRZ400SM but I rode a TW200 once and it really made an impression.  Now, I find myself thinking about those big beautiful fat tires, big fuel mileage and little thumpy engine. 

Realistically, my riding will be 90% commute/fun and 10% long range.  The wee little TDub excels at city work and fun riding but long distance is not it's strong suit.  However, with a change in gearing it can run at acceptable US Highway speeds.  The tiny fuel tank can be swapped out for one from an XT350 which should yield about 180 miles before reserve.  The idea of minimal touring on such a small bike sounds good to me.  After all, there isn't anything to see on the interstate. 



With the death of EBR looking to actually be the end of Erik Buell's time building production bikes, another phoenix has risen out of the ashes!

47Moto was started by Mike Samarzja, a long time Buell design manager. The design definitely shows the EBR influence.  The first bike, the Mosquito looks like an absolute blast!  Boasting 90mpg and up to 90mph, adjustable foot pegs, and intelligent EFI.

The site promises future bikes, including the Firefly, a City-X Adventure bike! That definitely sounds (looks) like small version of my favorite bike, the Buell XB12X Ulysses.  

This looks like it could be the perfect bike for my needs. 

I hope they will be able to offer affordable bikes with great features and not become another failed start up. 


GS650GL Resurrection: Part 1

A few years ago, a friend purchased his first bike, a 1981 Suzuki GS650GL.  It's your average UJM in cruiser dress, sporting an inline 4 with shaft drive.  Shortly after he bought it, he couldn't get it started.  While digging into the cause, we found a lot of half-assed "work" by the previous owner (spit).  He decided to tear down the carbs and give it a good once over. This being his first dive into all things mechanical, it had a bumpy start, followed by some progress, then nothing.  His free time decreased until the little Suzuki sat in my garage, rotting away.

Flash forward, his wife is due in 3 weeks and the little 'Zuki was still hibernating in the garage at my old house.  I offered to get it back on the road but in exchange I could ride it until his life gets back to a point where he can start riding again.  With the deal accepted, it was time to free the bike from it's cocoon and move it to my new garage.

Under the cruiser guise sits potential for a fun bike!

Not as much room as my last garage but the space is better. Sometimes, less is more.

Within the hour, I had the tank pulled and drained, the carbs pulled and bowls off. 

Not too bad for a bike that hasn't run in about 2 years.

Since I don't own the bike, I can't make any permanent mods.  I plan on adding taller rear shocks, dropping the triple down about an inch, replacing the bars and fabing my own seat and mounts for a top case.

Stay tuned.


Mating Ritual: LS2 Pioneer and SENA SMH5

A couple of people have asked how I installed my SENA SMH5 on to the LS2 Pioneer.  It wasn't very difficult compared to my other helmets but the slider for the internal visor is right in the sweet spot for a Bluetooth module.

I used the clamp mount and positioned it just behind the slider.

The internal part of the mount is between the EPS liner and shell. It's going to take some force to get it in there, so don't be gentle with it. You may need to separate the mount pieces.  After the mount was in place, I removed the liner, neck roll and cheek pads to make installing the speakers and microphone easier.

A little gaffer tape helps keep the microphone in place. 

To avoid wind noise, keep the microphone off to the side.

Extra wiring hidden under the neck roll.

Left speaker in place.

There are no real speaker pockets but there is enough room to squeeze them in there.  It will take some trial and error to get them in a position that is comfortable and gives you the best sound quality. 

I used a zip tie to help keep strain off the wires and hold them in place.

I love this helmet.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Stay safe out there.


Still alive...


We're still here, just busy with non motorcycle parts of life.  In the meantime, feast your eyes on a wasteland worthy KTM.  (Just in time to get excited for the 2017 Indy Mad Max Run.)

We'll be back up to speed in 2018. Until then, stay safe and keep the rubber side down.


Viking Bags - Dirtman Enduro Saddlebags

Commuting on a bike tends to require some storage space for things like rain gear, layers and other daily needs.  On a bike like the Ducati Monster, there aren't a lot of budget friendly, daily use luggage options.  Viking Bags  mainly specializes in luggage for cruiser bikes but recently they have added a line of dirt/dual sport luggage.  It includes the Dirtman Enduro Saddlebags and the Dirtman Enduro Tank Bag.  The Monster already has a tank bag so some saddlebags were needed.  

For $80, you get both saddlebags and the mounting hardware.  The bags are rubber lined on the main compartment so they offer some weather resistance but for serious downpours, I would use either an over bag or a dry sack inside. Each bag has an exterior pocket and a single compression strap. The zippers are nice and large and are covered by a storm flap to help keep out the elements. Total storage space is listed as 1375 cubic inches, it's definitely plenty for a daily use saddlebag or even a long weekend if you pack light.  

Since these are made for a dual sport / enduro bike, it will take some trial and error to get them to work with your street bike.  The install time for the Duc was about 10 min.  Some strap trimming was required.  If you trim, be sure to melt the ends of the webbing so it doesn't fray. 

Once mounted, they've been secure and work perfectly for daily use. Anything larger would really be overkill for daily use and anything smaller wouldn't be enough.  

Plenty of room left over!

Contents of Left Bag
1. Hi Viz Safety Vest
2. LED Light 
3. Gauntlet Gloves
4. Short Cuff Gloves
5. Neck Gaiters (warm and cool weather)

Contents of Right Bag:
1. Rain Jacket
2. Rain Pants
3. Tank Bag Rain Cover
4. Water Bottle

Overall these bags are a killer deal and worth every penny.  I'm looking forward to putting some serious miles on them.  


The Viking Bags Dirtman Enduro Saddlebags were provided by Viking Bags for this review.