SCIENCE!!!  It turns out the University of Tokyo has just completed a study which confirms people who ride motorcycles on a regular basis have higher functioning brains than their caged-transportation counter parts.  Even more interesting, some other studies that were done suggest that even thinking about riding can improve brain fuction.  Take a look at the article here.  It's actually an easy read, but then again it may only be easy for me since I'm so much higher functioning than you are.
 
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Gearbox cover installed
Believe it or not, this is what progress looks like.  Yeah, I know I'm missing the bits that go suck-squeeze-bang-blow, but before I started it was even more apart than this.  After smearing some assembly lube on the cams and oil pump drive gear, I timed them all up and reinstalled them.  I pressed in a new seal for the timing hole, installed the cam sensor, new gasket for the gearcase cover and also removed the lifters to soak in some oil and re-gasketed the pushrod tube bases.

I don't think it will take more than two afternoons to wrap this all up, with the only time hangup being getting the jugs to a machinist to hone and measure and make sure I'm still in spec for roundness.  If not, no biggie - it just means a bore job and new pistons.  Figuring on new rings anyway, so at least those wouldn't be extra as well.

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Sweet dreams.
Meanwhile, the other bike, my Buell 1125CR, has officially been sold.  It will hibernate in my garage until spring when the new owner, a fellow BadWeBber, can come get it.  We're finally getting some cold and snow up here in the Northeast, so it doesn't seem like finding a nice day to get it to his place 45 minutes north of me is going to happen anytime soon.

I will miss the 1125 terribly, but in all honesty I just wasn't riding it enough to justify keeping it - perhaps only a few hundred miles a year.  The S3T is just so much more comfortable that there are only rare occasions where I'd prefer not to take it, and those were typically only because I knew the 1125 needed to be ridden.  It will be odd only having one bike again - I've been a multiple-motorcycle household (fitting as many as 4 bikes plus a car in my one-car garage) for the past 5 years.  If the S3T breaks (like it is now), I'll have no backup.

I'll cross my fingers that a I can afford to buy and build the X1 project I have in my head sometime soon.

 
Ok, ok, I know I was MIA for a few days there and you all seem rather upset about that as evidenced by my abysmal page visit count over the last few days.  I do have a good excuse as I was in Montreal with Katie for a long weekend, so cut me some slack.

Now, Montreal, as near as I can tell, is not a motorcycle kind of town.  Yes, I know it was Canada in February, but I always seem to recall a certain number of motorcycles running about in New York City in any given month, so I was surprised to not see so much as a scooter given the mild-ness of the winter we've been having in the Northeast.  But then again that could just be my piss poor memory kicking in which seems to happen more and more often.

Also, there are not cops in Quebec, apparently.

Montreal, Quebec and Canada aside, this trip did give me a little motorcycle jolliness as the route from here to there is due North through the Adirondacks.  Not sure if you heard, but we're planning on having a little get together in May in that area and I will also be there each day for a full week for Americade.

The scenery was rather outstanding.  I don't often go north of Exit 30 - in fact the last time I did that I recall was when my parents took me to Montreal when I was 8 or so, so the views from the highway were all new to me.  I would have figured the lack of snow, which makes for a rather dead looking panoramic, would be cause for a less than stellar scenery, but in fact the small patches of snow and the white-capped peaks in the distance made for a very interesting view.  The High Peaks region was clearly in sight and I'm excited to go exploring again once the weather warms up.

Two other sites worth seeing - the first we visited on the way back, DeCesare's Pizzeria in Schroon Lake.  As good as I remember and included on one of the routes for the ADK Buel Rally in a few months.  The other was Gus' in Plattsburgh.  This is quite a haul from the HQ of the ADK Rally and Americade, but since we'll have a week perhaps I can convince Joel et al to follow me up for red hots with meat sauce.  Yum.

But that will all wait for the sun to be a bit higher in the sky.  For now, I think I shall venture into the garage and start putting the S3T back together.  It's going to be spring before I know it...
 
Seems I've been getting a bit lazy with adding content, so I'll try more better to stay on top of things.  This was an idea I had kicking around for a quick article - to basically peruse through eBay and pick out some interesting bikes I find.  Not terribly exciting, but who doesn't like looking at neat old bikes.  Keep in mind that these links will break once the ads get flushed down the eBay toilet, so read up while you can.  Heh.  Can.  Flushed.  Get it?

First up is this '54 Harley K-Model.  I'm not an expert on these, at least not as much as I am with old Sportsters, but I'm thinking that this is not a terribly original bike.  I'm unusre if the oil tank is original, which brings to doubt the frame, but I know for a fact the front end is from a late-60's Sportsters.  Still a very neat bike, even if it was outdated when it was new.  I'm guessing we have a K-model engine in a late-60's Sportster frame.

Here's an interesting one you don't see for sale often - a Rokon Trailbreaker.  Check out the photos and be sure to note the nifty chain-drive for the FRONT wheel.  That's right, 2WD and not cheating like a Ural!  If this can't get you there, then you can't get there.  Or perhaps they do come up often - I've seen four of them on eBay today.  I can't remember the last time I saw one.

Moving on, there's a rather rare Honda CBX SS for sale.  The CBX, and moreso this fully-faired SS model is kind of like the great-granddaddy to bikes like the Hyabusa and Ninja ZX-14.  Add panniers like this one has you have among the first supersports-tourers.

Bike?  Car?  Who cares, THIS is cool!

This Buell S2 is, what I believe to be, one of the many examples of a person not knowing what the flying f*** they're talking about (or just making up a story to sell a bike).  Yes, the S2 was still mostly a hand-built bike, but it will be a bitterly cold day in hell that anyone can prove that any Buell ever left the factory with nothing but Harley-Davidson logos on it.  This is less-likely a "special factory build" and much more likely a demented owners idea of a Harley sport bike.  If someone can give me the low down on this bike to contrary I'll gladly eat my words.

That's all I've got for now.  The entirety of my new exhaust for the S3 has shown up and I'll likely put together a little article outlining the differences between the Buell Pro-Series slip-on muffler the Buell Race Exhaust system, as many people confuse the two or don't know that they are two different things.  Heck, maybe even a video - it will give me a reason to set up a You Tube account for this website.
 
Target fixation is a problem that we, as riders, need to recognize and deal with every time we get on the bike.  Like most of you, I've assumed that target fixation only becomes a problem when your balls get just a bit too big and you go hot into a corner that maybe you shouldn't have, or when one of nature's precious beings darts out in front of you, or when that gravel patch surprises you in a blind corner.  We all know what happens - you lock a stare onto the threat and, inevitably, the bike heads for where you're looking.  If this is a cigarette butt on the interstate it doesn't matter much, but if you're losing composure through a turn and that big telephone pole is what has your attention, the consequences could be problematic for the longevity of you and your machine.

Take a look at this rider - he makes a lot of mistakes including entering the turn on the inside of his lane and locking up the rear wheel in a panic, but watch his helmet.  All of his issues stem from the fact that's locked onto the part of the guardrail that's already smashed in.  He assumed his only option was to slow down, when in fact all he needed to was move his eyes through the turn and lean the bike over.  He was going plenty slow to make the turn safely, but unfortunately not slow enough to stop safely if going in a straight line (and even less so with poor braking technique).

The solution is quite simple in theory, but hard in practice.  Look where you want to go, and your chances of heading there are much better.  Spot the gravel, then move your eyes to the safe path of travel - that gravel isn't going anywhere, I promise.

Now, what's new to me and hopefully and eye-opener for you guys is that target fixation is also a problem when just riding normally as well.  Take a look at this little animation provided by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and see what I'm talking about.  I'm sure everyone is a little different and while the notes on the animation say the yellow dots disappear at "surprisingly slow speeds", I found that they'll even fade in and out when the animation is stopped.

Obviously we can see why this is a danger - we can't have things vanishing on us.  Seems mother nature built this feature in back in the caveman days and we've been slow to update to our current world.  Thankfully, the remedy is simple - keep your eyes moving.  Even blinking will make those dots come back.  Really, you should be scanning all of the time, anyway, so hopefully this solidifies that practice.

Something else to think about is this little dot-disappearing phenomenon is not unique to motorcyclists - that inattentive driver who may be zoned out and staring at the license plate of the car in front of him can suffer the same lapse in visual accuracy, and a motorcycle is not exactly a large target to conceal.  Be on the look out, anticipate the worst, always have an escape route and ride defensively.
 
Well, the ADK Buell Rally is really starting to take form, and it's shaping up to have a much better turn out than I was expecting.  Seems Dave has been pimping the event all over and we've got something like 15 people already slated to attend with a pile of others who are on the fence as of yet.  This is a good thing - We've been lacking a good Buell event in the Northeast with the exception of the Headless Horseman ride at the end of October, so something earlier the season will be welcomed.

I've updated the event page with some ride route ideas - most of them should be ok but a couple will need to be scouted as the effects of Hurricane Irene may have some sections of road a little more broken up than we'd like.  There is also a preliminary itinerary.  The whole weekend will be rather laid back, with rides going in all directions depending on who wants to go where, but we want to ensure we all know where and when to meet in the mornings and again for dinner.

Speaking of dinner, I'm working with Dave on coming up with places to eat each evening.  With a group as large as this is turning out to be, we'll need to be more organized than originally thought.

In other parts of the Buell World, I found a header for the S3 to run with my new Pro-Series Supertrapp muffler.  The prices on these have gotten a little out of hand for some reason, so when a fellow BadWeBber offered me one he had at a good price I decided to go ahead and get it.  I'm hoping to have the cylinders honed and measured in the next couple weeks and bike back together before we get too deep into March.  Wish me luck.
 
Well, it looks like a new event has been born!  The Buell Adirondack Rally will be held from May 18-20, 2012.  Being somewhat local, I'm looking forward to showing off the area to some who may not know it as well.

Don't let the "rally" qualifier scare you off - this event will likely not be that big and will focus on day rides with a dinner get together at the end.  I'm not even expecting that all attendees will be on the same rides each day, but rather splitting up to head where they want and meet up for dinner.

Should be a good time, I'll be getting to work on putting a couple route and destination ideas together.  In the meantime you can check out the event details on my website here, or check out some of the discussion on BadWeB to find roommates or meeting up with people for the ride into town.
 
I've added a new section about riding gear - like the bikes section, it's in its infancy so so go easy on me.

In other news, I've gone and picked a new muffler for the S3T.  Currently it has the full race system which includes a tuned-length header and a straight-through muffler.  It sounds absolutely bad ass, but it can get a little old after a full day of riding, so I've been on the lookout for a quieter option.

I settled on the Buell Pro-Series muffler, which works with the stock header and is nothing but a rebranded Supertrapp IDS muffler.  I'm crossing my fingers that, with a closed end-cap installed, this muffler will be noticeably quieter without sounding stock-quiet. 

Now all I need is to find a stock header for 99-02 EFI Buell... proving a little difficult.
 
Ever since I've started riding on the street, I've managed to log right around 5,000 miles per year, always wishing I could do more.  In 2010 I managed over 8,000, but this was mostly due to a huge road trip that made up about half of that.  Last year, I don't think I did more than 3,000 miles - abysmal, really.

I can't be blamed too much, a lot has changed.  In my first few years of riding, I was living in one place, going to school 20 minutes away in one direction and working 20 minutes away in another.  It wasn't hard to log 50 miles or more a day just getting around.  I was also riding with Aneglo a LOT and at the time he was living 45 miles away, so tack on another 90 miles almost every weekend plus whatever ride of varying length we went on.

As time went on, I finished up school and moved increasingly closer to where I worked.  I'm now only 1.5 miles door to door from my garage to my office, so commuting is not realistic.  Angelo and I also were riding together less and less as we both went through some life changes and he moved much closer, meaning even when we did ride together the trip to get there was greatly reduced.  We also stopped doing Americade a few years back, which while never earning me thousands and thousands of miles was still a marathon week of riding.  Couple the fact that I bought a house and spent many days doing yard work when I'd rather be riding, and the miles just vanish into thin air.

This year, I fully intend to ride the damned wheels off my bike.

I've done some arithmatic (watch out) and I think this year will be a good one for me and motorcycling.  Here are some stats:

I'd like to do another road trip which would take me 2 weeks out and back to the border area between Oregon and Idaho for something around 6,000 miles round trip.

Angelo and I will be doing Americade this year for the full week.  Being that I'm not staying in the Lake George region overnight, I'll get around 600-700 miles in commuting alone.  Figure in a couple days of riding around the Adirondacks and Vermont, quick trips for food and such and that figure will easily top the 1,000 mile mark.

I've already set wheels in motion to become an MSF Rider Coach this year.  I fully intend to ride to all events and classes, rain or shine.  With the range being 55 miles from me and expecting to make 21 trips this year (3 days per class), plus 2 long weekends to get certified somewhere in the state, there's another 3,000 miles to be had.

There are (unsubstantiated) rumors floating around of a family trip to Myrtle Beach this year and if possible I'd like to ride down and back rather than fly.  That's another 1,600 miles round trip.

Sprinkle in regular "getting about", day rides with friends and two Buell events I'll be attending this year and we can add another 2,000 miles or so to the total.

This puts us at 13,600 miles for 2012.  Sounds like a ton.  Perfect.  Now, I'm sure there will be days I just don't feel like taking the bike, and plans may fall through, so I'm going to set a reasonable goal of riding at least 10,000 miles this year.  Double my avaerage and more in a single year than I've done before.

I suppose I should put the engine in Buell back together...