The tool for the job

The tool for the job
Buell Ulysses XB12xr In North Eastern Arizona

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Battle Ready ... sort of ....

After a long hard winter I finally get a day off from all the demands of life to ride my bike. I planned on riding a 400 mile loop gathering Affair with Water tour locations but I came up short, More on that later.
I used today to hone my rally routing and GPS skills and to shake the bike down for the upcoming Minuteman 1000 event next weekend. 

Why shake down the bike ?

The bike was taken apart and some updates were performed. So to be sure we did not screw anything up, we need to test it before it gets put into a rally situation.
One of the updates my 2006 Buell Ulysses received during the winter was to improve rider comfort with some Palmer Pegs from England, These allow me to put my feet forward and change the load on my rear end during those long interstate grinds  

Palmer products makes a cool line of accessories for Buell's and other bikes.
Another update is a change with my GPS's. I removed my GPS V and added a Garmin 276c.
This allows me to load matching data in both units. One unit can back up the other now, Plus I can run different data screens at the same time greatly reducing the need to push any buttons on the fly.

The biggest change is more light ...

After roaming around Maine in last years Minuteman 1000 in the middle of the night, I realized I needed more light. After a lot of trial and error I believe I have come up with a good solution to the problem.

I have added two sets of Led lamps on the bike, One set is a three level, three Led flood light unit with a maximum 1500 lumens output on the highest setting.

I use these on the low setting during the day to help make me stand out when I ride with the sun on my back.
My stock H7 headlamp, one note, It is hard to keep the camera from changing settings when taking these  pictures

Led's on highest setting 

With lighting, some is good, more is better !
I then added a pair of four Led 2000 lumen lamps that will only activate if my Hid high beams are on.

all lit up !

Some of the wiring work to make this work.

So other than, tires, brakes, fluids etc.. Thats about all for the updates on the Rally Buell.

So, How did the shake down go ? 

Well, good I have to say... First issue was not with the bike, it was the weather..

A cold wet northeastern day, Now this is not a bad thing because I could be riding in the same conditions next weekend. And yes my wet weather gear did its job and passed this test.
But I did develop a misfire at low engine speed that I have never had before in the wet, This condition got worse as the day went on so I bailed on my 400 mile loop and ended up putting in about 250 miles.
I am very happy that this problem manifested itself today and not during the rally.
Second issue Is one of my light brackets broke, Now this is my fault, I had cracked it last fall and when it broke the first time I tack welded it and forgot to order a replacement.

The bike kindly reminded me to get it dealt with. So in true rally fashion, a repair involving zip ties secured the light.

Another thing I learned today is that I can get get my tank bag open, hang my flag, and work my camera with my Aerostich 3 digit rain covers on !
Great day all in all !
Some pictures from the day.

News update 5/15
I have found the issue with the bike, My front spark plug wire failed, The ignition coil then shorted with the idle speed cable.

We will see how finding parts will go on Monday, But it is an easy fix.

5/16 Update...

My former Buell dealership had 1 spark plug wire in stock, I also learned that they have been having some issues with the wires. The wires are on the 3rd revision so I guess I can not complain.
The new bracket for the Led lamp is on its way from Florida and may or may not make it in time. 
We will see...

5/19 Update...

First chance to ride the bike today, In the rain of course... The bike ran fine and waiting for me was a new mount for my light. Its on the bike and I am ready to go to run in the MM1000.
Life is good!