January 23, 2006
Rick Mayer Cycle - New Saddle
Saturday morning Sharon and I got up at 5:30am and we were on the BMW K75s at 6:50am to head north 263 miles to Anderson, CA to get a new seat made. Just north of the 505 and 5 junction we stopped at The Oasis for a greasy breakfast. We arrived just after noon and Rick welcomed us into his home to relax with a cup of green tea. He took photos of Sharon and I sitting on the bike and then he printed them and started to make the saddle which took over two hours because we were swapping stories. We were the last drop-in customers to have their seat made in the old garage. Rick has a brand new big garage that will be finished next week. Rick is a master on the sewing machine. His father gave this machine to him. It's a model from 1966. He uses dacron to sew the double stitch seams. Meanwhile, Sharon is asleep in the lazy-boy beside the fireplace in the living room.
The ride home was much more comfortable than on the way there. My butt doesn't slide all over the place anymore. I feel planted on the bike. It's a warm fuzzy feeling.We stopped at Louis Cairo's in Williams for some 'Louis Bread' (1/4 inch of garlic on bread) and steaks.
We arrived home at 9pm exhausted. We had a hot tub and went to bed.
January 20, 2006
BMW Euro-switch Upgrade
I thought I would share this with my fellow K-bikers. I guess some older R bikes can do this too. If you are looking for a stock switch for extra lights or accessories on your bike, this is the way to go.
Last week the little green vinyl starter switch on my 87 K75s wore out, fell off and its spring popped out. The bike still started with the little piece left. You can't just replace the starter switch alone, a whole new right side switch assembly has to be ordered.
I thought this would be a great time to get the European right side switch that has the driving lights and headlight yellow switch on it. It can be ordered thru any dealer in the US and the part number is: 61 31 1 459 462. You'll notice on the US model there is a black filler piece where this swich goes. It also looks like they changed the green starter button to a harder type of plastic.
I removed the tank and took out the old switch and harness. The American switch has three prongs in the connector that are all connected together with a gray wire that hardwires the headlights to ON all the time. I carefully pried out the three prongs in both units and moved the bypass wires to the new Euro switch connector. That freed up the 3 wires that were controled by the two headlight switch positions. One wire (blue & gray) is shared by both switch positions. I soldered on some wire to the 3 wires and ran it to the electrics box and used the first position (driving lights) on the switch to turn my Autocom on and off. The second position will be used for something in the future.
January 19, 2006
Last night I looked on my TiVo for some new shows to watch.
I looked under: 'Interests'-->'Motorcycles'.
American Chopper, V-Twin Motorcycle TV, American Thunder, Steel Dreams, The Great American Motorcycle, Biker Build-Off, 2 Wheel Tuesday, The Motocross Files.
You will get almost the same results if you search under: 'Interests'-->'Posing'.
I am sick of all these 'roid raged chopper shows. They need to come up with some new motorcyclist-sport-touring-rally type show that does a ride report, a gear report and some maintenance tips. Is there a market for this type of audience??
"Life in the Fast Lane with Steve Natt" on the Fine Living channel covers a little bit of BMW motorcycling but I need more than a 10 minute segment every other show.
Find me the money and a producer and I'll make you a great motorcycling show!
January 13, 2006
Growing a Beard
I've been having trouble with in-grown whiskers after shaving my face for a while so I went to see a dermatologist. I was diagnosed with folliculitis. I have about 40 years to live. It is inflamation of the hair folicules on my face. She gave me some antibiotic cream and told me not to shave with a razor with more than one blade. The Gillette Mach III I've been using for my head and face have three blades. Good luck looking for a half decent single bladed razor at Walgreen's that won't mutilate your face.
The doctor gave me two options. First, I could use a razor called the Bump Fighter, that is popular with African-American men with curly in-grown hair problems. Secondly, I could grow a beard. Letting all the hair on your face grow out solves the in-grown hair problem. It will also give your skin time to heal from the folliculitis. I read on the web that it takes about six weeks to grow a beard. After two weeks I realized I did not inherit any beard-growing genes like the ones Grizzly Adams did. I think I'm closer to a Gil Grissom.
My wife doesn't mind the beard and she thinks I look fine. I never intended to grow a beard for fashion sake or to look cool. I did it to heal my skin. It's also kind of odd to have a shaved head and a beard. If Shel Silverstein could pull it off then so can I.
The funniest part of growing a beard is the reaction I get from co-workers and friends. I never thought I could offend someone by growing it. One guy at work who wears purple shirts with cowboy boots and doesn't own a horse, keeps telling me I look terrible. I guess he yearns for clean shaven Stephen! Others just look at me funny but are too kind to say the truth. I know exactly what they are thinking. Others say, "You're growing a beard, cool!"
The itching has subsided and I'm going to grow it right out until mid February. And when my skin heals up, I'll start shaving again, probably with the Bump Fighter blades.