Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Is the FZ Up To The Task??

So...I got to thinking, after my little lunch ride last Saturday, that my FZ sure is a joy to ride. I find her a little more comfortable than the BMW (except for the seat) and, even though she's a little taller than the BMW, I find she's just so much easier for me to handle. She weighs almost exactly the same so why is that? Maybe it's the fact that there's less rake, or it's because of her sleek, narrow profile, or her lighter front end, or that she doesn't have those horizontal jugs hanging out either side. I don't know for may be a combination of all of those things.

But it hit me as I pulled her into the garage: I'm going to ride the FZ to Founders Feast! This means doing an IBA Saddle-Sore 1000 on her, and not on the BMW as originally planned. A Saddle-Sore is riding 1000 miles in less than 24 hours. In my case it usually means doing it in about 15-17 hours, depending on the route. It also means re-thinking the plan and doing some additional preparations.

I'd been watching the rear tire on the FZ, checking the tread more frequently as the mileage on it climbed to 15,000 miles. The top of Lincoln's head still wasn't visible (penny test) but it was getting very close. So that was on the list of things to do this week: get a new rear tire. Let's see. What else. Move the GPS cradle over to the FZ, clean and lube the chain, check the front tire pressure, put the Givi topcase on, clear out some accumulated stuff from the Givi sidecases, clean the bugs off the windscreen. And I bought some additional tools and other items to add to the onboard toolkit, something I'd been meaning to do anyway.

So Monday I took the FZ over to Discount Motorcycle Tire for a new Michelin Pilot Road. Mike drove over to meet me and we went to Jason's Deli for lunch. An hour later I was fed and the bike was ready and I hopped on and headed for home. But immediately I could feel that the chain was adjusted too tight. Now, I've had this happen before...last summer when I had routine service done. I can tell immediately because I can feel the tension through the bike's frame and handlebars particularly when going slow to moderate speeds. And when I slow down approaching a stop, I can feel as the tight spot on the chain passes around the sprocket: the bike will momentarily not roll as freely. One more thing now added to the list of things to do in the next two days to get ready.

Today is my office day and, fortunately, my favorite Yamaha dealer - the one I've purchased 5 bikes from - is nearby. I put a few hours in at the office then took the FZ over to the dealer's where they got it right in, adjusted the chain at no charge (As the Service Writer said, I'm such a good customer), and sent me on my way.

Home and fed now, bike is packed and staged in the driveway with her nose pointing to the street. My SS1000 witness has just come over to sign my starting witness form and verify the odometer reading. Plants are watered, food and water set out for the cat, mail stopped. So I guess I'm ready!

3:00 AM tomorrow morning and I'm on the road!

1 comment:

  1. Good luck on the Ride, it sounds like a tough but fun 1000 mile trek!! Your FZ looks all right, I love the hard bags.