Overdue Updates

Whoops, it’s been over a month since I said “updates coming”. Been pretty busy, and lots has been going on.

As mentioned in last post, I had a traffic accident back in June,on the 6th actually…Ruby’s 2 month birthday. Just a brief “what happened” about that before we move on. I had left work to go to an appointment and was enroute to said appointment when I slowed down from 58-60MPH to about 40-45MPH for a bad curve (knowing the curve well), a blind curve with a “hidden entrance”. As luck would have it, a work truck for a local electric/cable/phone company was pulling out of the hidden entrance as I rolled around. Rather than to pile into the side of the truck, I decided to throw the bike down into a hard skid, and him seeing me about the same time that I saw him and thinking quickly, the driver floored it to try to get out of my way (it almost worked, as I slid behind him, I just BARELY clipped my shoulder on his rear bumper).

No real harm done. He stopped and asked if I was ok, and wanted to call the police (he said “man I hate to since it looks like everything’s ok, but you should be covered, this wasn’t your fault”). I told him it wasn’t HIS fault either, just bad road design and dumb luck. As soon as Ruby’s starter button was pushed she fired up, I said “Let’s get the heck outta here…no harm/no foul, nobody’s fault, no sense in either of us getting into trouble or getting a ticket”. He gave me his personal cell number in case I needed it later, and reluctantly headed down the road with me heading the other direction.

As it turns out,Ruby was indeed fine. The left barkbuster was knocked loose from the impact (where I threw the bike down into a skid), and the left hand guard has some scratching from the skid. The only points of contact, it seems,were those parts and knobs on the rear tire, though the top box was knocked off kilt just a hair from the impact as well. It only took a few minutes with hand tools to get everything lined back up and sorted out on the bike, and I’ve ridden lots since that day, no issues.

I was a little more hurt than I’d originally thought, though not seriously. A visit to the ER for xrays and tests immediately after leaving the scene showed nothing was broken (and I really didn’t need that much skin on my left knee anyways, LOL! How is it, I wonder, that skin can be scraped off the bone, without ever making a hole in the jeans? :p ), but I did suffer a torn ligament in my right wist (an injury that still hurts a bit today). Overall though, this could have certainly been much worse. I’m tough though (or at least that’s what I’m told,hahaha!), I went back to work and finished my shift, and have ridden to work every shift that the weather was nice since 🙂

I ordered up soem nifty side racks from dirtracks.com (I highly recommend these guys BTW) and got my ghetto luggage/cases mounted in the mean time.

The new side racks don’t play very well, as far as mounting then to the bike, with my chosen and installed Moose Racing Expedition top rack, so for now, they are slightly off-kilt. I was going to order their (dirtrack.com) top rack and swap on (putting my Moose rack on eBay/CL for sale), but have run into an unexpected financial setback, so it will be a month or so (read on to see what I refer to). I’m very happy with them though, and the whole setup has proven useful in the time I’ve had it on there 🙂

On the week of my birthday (June 20-something) we’d both had the week scheduled off from work for a vacation (hers was paid as she’s worked there for years, mine unpaid as I’ve been there less than a year) and we went to Holden Beach, where my parents had recently purchased some property with a gutted singlewide mobile home on the one end, and there camper on the other. We took Ruby, via hauled on the trailer behind the FJ. This was The Wife’s first ever trip to a beach, and we enoyed ourselves for 5 days 🙂

I did some riding around while down there, as well as got myself a new state flag sticker added to the box (South Carolina) and the obligatory “Welcome To” sign pic as I rode into the state (I don’t think I shot a pic of the new sticker yet, sorry) 🙂

It wasn’t a perfect trip, however. While surfing as many days as we (the Boy and I) could, I must have sucked enough salt water through my sinuses to flush everything out, and sleeping under a window A/C unit in that gutted mobile home was enough to make me sick, and I was sick enough that we came home early, and sick enough that my boss suggested a LOA (Leave of Absense) from work for a few days (2 weeks, actually, I don’t go back until the 17th…which screws our finances pretty hard, sigh), though I’m finally feeling a bit better these last 2 or 3 days, still having a bad cough as we speak.

We also had an incident on the drive home. The tie-down strap on the left snapped when we hit a pothole while driving 75MPH or so up the interstate, and Ruby fell over on the trailer. Glad I had ONE extra strap with us (an old one), we limped to the closest WalMart a few exits up and bought new straps. No real harm done, but there’s some noticable scratches now on Ruby’s right radiator shrouds…it’s just not meant for me to have anything shiny and smooth it seems 😦

Other than the financial crap from missing an extra couple weeks (and that, as our luck seems to always go…the FJ is down and in need of a new alternator–so we’re sharing my car and utilizing Ruby–and that we had to also unexpectedly buy two new cell phones all in the week we got back, sigh 😦 ) and that I still have a full week off from work (ahhhhhhh 🙂 ), that’s pretty much up to date for now.

Ruby is coming up on 2,500 miles on the odometer (less than 100 miles to go), so I will actually get my butt in gear and do a 2,500 mile review in the near future. Also, while I doubt it happening (since we’re pinching pennies for the next month), I would LOVE to sneak in a 1-2 day bike-camping trip, even if only to a local/semi-local campground on Ruby since I’m off all week and feeling much better than I had been (once an LOA date is set, it can’t be changed if I want to come back early, so I have to take the remaining days off whether I want or not),we’ll see.

I will go ahead and say that I continue to be pleased and happy with Ruby, and look forward to years spent enjoying the ride. The LRP is certainly not perfect (and there ARE some things I will want to address as time rolls by and budget allows), but I am content so far.


Posted in CRF250L, Dual Sport, FJ Cruiser, General Life Stuff, General Motorcycle Stuff, Honda, Ride Pics, Road Trip | Leave a comment

Updates Coming Soon

I have been slacking on posting lately,but there will be some updates coming soon (and there are some pdates,trust me),when I have time to get it all in. Updates like mileage reviews,ride pics,new farkles…and a traffic accident where a work truck pulled out in front on me (cause a good hard crash).

In the mean time,I hope everyone is enjoying Summer 🙂

Posted in General Life Stuff, General Motorcycle Stuff

DIY Side Box Idears

I’ve been planning to add side racks and boxes to Ruby, both because I dig the look/style of ADV and DS (Dual Sport 😉 ) bikes that have them, and because once I work out scheduling at work and with Ma’ Nature’s having some drier days I will hopefully be sneaking in a few 2-4 day bike-camping trips and will need the cargo capacity. I had even given some thought to upgrading my top box to a Moose Racing aluminum Expedition box for a little more room to stow things I’d need, including some luxury items as well.

The problem with those plans are a combination of expense, recent spendings, and justification–more specifically, could I justify the expense after recent spendings to either the Wife, or the budget,LOL! :p

Breaking things down a bit, recent spendings are basically paying Ruby off before the 2nd payment was even due (with the extras that I bought when I bought Ruby, financed in with her payment, the payoff was $5,810 and change), then I bought a new helmet, warm weather jacket (all by Vega) and rain gear, as well as the bark busters/hand guards, Moose Racing Expedition rear rack and my top box (the brand name of which I still can’t recall, and the blog logo sticker still covers the box logo xD ) which was a bit over $400, among some other non-bike related spendings we’ve done. The problem with that is, I’ve been playing a lot of hooky from work (translation: I’ve had several appointments I coldn’t miss or reschedule….but a couple of those days were just that 😮 ).

The expense is self explanatory, racks and boxes for ADV’ing aren’t exactly budget priced with Moose Racing Expedition boxes (for example) costing upwards of $400 each (EACH…regardless of how nice they are, they’re BOXES for crap’s sake!) plus racks. Moose’s complete rack system, for eg (side and top–not compatible with my current Expedition rack if I understood the product description correctly), is $409 anywhere on the net. One could easily spend another $1,200+ on a complete set of matching boxes and racks.

I doubt there’d be much way of justifying that to the Wife, and with the days off work I’ve needed in the last month (in conjunction with recent spendings and upcoming vacation to the beach in June) there’s not much chance of convincing the budget (for now) of the need either. Of course I could always go with soft luggage similar to the panniers I used in my bicycle-camping days–which would be much less expensive in both racks and bags vs boxes…but I just don’t really like the soft bags on a motorcycle. Nothing wrong with them, mind you, and there are multitudes of riders who love them. Everyone likes what they like, and I like hard boxes on ADV/DS bikes.

So I’ve been researching DIY alternatives online, as well as scouring the net for a less expensive alternative to side racks designed for hard cases (I have neither the welding skills, nor the welder to fab a rack system) and have seen some ingenious setups, as well as some….not so bright ideas.

One DIY setup that I particularly liked was found posted up on advrider.com’s forum by a fellow inmate (member 😉 ) of the forum that he made for his Suzuki DRZ400 recently. Having similar issues to mine (not wanting to spend a small fortune on racks/cases/boxes), he took the racks he had on his bike already, and some DIY ingenuity, along with some cases he found in a hardware/tool store and came up with what I think is a rather nice setup, especially for the investment he made ($30 each for the cases, plus whatever he has in the racks, and what he spent in hardware). A couple pics (borrowed without permission, giving the anonymous owned/builder full credit and my compliments)…

I like his setup indeed. So much so that, while I continue to scour the net for just the right side racks, I found the same cases he’d bought at a local Home Depot for $29.99 each and brought a pair of them home.

I may not “have neither the welding skills nor the welder” to fab up some racks, but I do feel confident that I can fab up some brackets and such to securely mount these one to either side on Ruby once I secure side racks to do so to.

These cases aren’t as large or have the cargo capacity as do Moose Racing’s Expedition cases (or even their smaller/less expensive Pelican cases), so there may not be as many “luxuries” packed on my trips this year, but they should serve the purpose of giving me the capacity for needed gear for shorter trips like the ones I plan to take this year–besides, less luxury items means less weight anyways, LOL!

It may be after vacation before I can source some racks, and get around to getting my setup built and together*, but am looking forwrad to it when the time comes, and am really looking forward to loading Ruby up for a few trips this Summer 😀







*I will most likely recruit my Dad’s help with this project, because he owns most of the tools I’ll need, he has lots of experience with projects like this, and doing so would also give he and I some father/son time that he and I haven’t had much of since I worked myself off of Disability income and returned to work. A win-win IMO 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

SOLD: 2005 Honda CRF250X

The 2005 Honda CRF250X sold this morning 🙂

Posted in CRF250X, Dual Sport, FOR SALE, Honda, SOLD Bike

Yes it was…

It was a beautiful morning to take the (very) long way riding to work  Then just sat at work reading my kindle until my shift started

Even turned in my best tank of MPG’s this tank 😀

Posted in CRF250L, Dual Sport, General Motorcycle Stuff, Honda, Ride Data, Ride Pics