This is probably the coolest website I've stumbled across in a long time.  Cycle-ergo.com provides a simulator which compares the riding positions of a nearly endless list of bikes, which you can customize to a specific height and inseam, as well as seat position (for instance, I tend to sit at the front of the seat as opposed to the center).  It also contains options to see if you can flat foot the bike or not, and switching between views centered on the derriere of Mr. Stickman make comparisons a breeze.  If you select a bike you have experience on, it's easy to see how another machine should feel, at least sitting still.  My only complaint? Seems older bikes are not included, so my 10-year-old steed is only up for analysis the old fashioned way - test rides!  Ask me how upset I am about that...
 
That last post really didn't contain a whole lot of info, so read on if you'd like a more detailed narrative.

Saturday was a marathon day for me.  I got into the garage around 9:30 in the morning and worked non-stop until around 5:00 when the bike ran for the first time.  I finished installing all of the motor mounts and tie bars, installed the exhaust, aircleaner, gas tank, body work, and on and on.  My heart was absolutely racing before I tapped that starter button for the first time.

The bike sounded very good and started very easily given all of the new parts and not having been run in months otherwise.  The throttle was a little "off", but that was expected since I had removed and replaced the throttle position sensor when I was cleaning the throttle body, so a TPS reset and adjusting the static timing (since the cam sensor had to come out to upgrade the oil pump drive gear) where on the to-do list.

After a little birthday celebration for my buddy Rick, I got home and worked on getting ECM Spy up an running.  I've had the software forever, but never actually used it so there was a little bit of a learning curve, but I eventually got everything up and going perfectly.  TPS was reset without a trip to dealer and the static timing was set without having to dig into the ECM and use a multimeter.  Awesome.  It was not sometime after midnight, so I packed it up and called it a night.

Yesterday was more work.  A quick trip to the hardware store yeilded some materials to make a new bracket to stabilize the airbox since the new isolator mount is missing the arm for that.  I used some aluminum tubing, shaped it by hand with a hammer and tied into the tie bar mount on the engine mount.  Doesn't look show quality, but it's good enough and does the job well.  I also got some self-tappers to put the outer timing cover back on.

Everything is officially completely done on the bike and it's ready to hit the road.  Of course that can only mean one thing - the temperature has plummeted.
 
That is all.
 
Look at that - two days in a row.  Aren't you just a bunch of lucky bastards.

Last night mostly followed the nights prior - got home from work and mostly lived in the garage.  I ended up running out to my local Harley Dealership to get the gasket that was missing from my kit.  At about $6 out the door, I'm not going to make a stink about it to the guy I got the gasket kit from.  Al at American Sport Bike has been more than fantastic in the past in providing parts and information that it's really nothing. 

Before the sun was down, the rear cylinder was all buttoned up and I installed and torqued down the new front isolator.  I also installed the new ASB front motor mount, though I left the bolts going to the head loose as I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to come up with the air cleaner support bracket yet, and it may end up tieing into those bolts somehow.  BUT, what that does mean is, for the first frickin' time since November, the engine is 100% supported by the frame of the bike and NOT by a hydraulic jack.  BEHOLD...
After that it was off to my neighbor's to hang out and drink his scotch while I watched him grill.  Then back to the garage where I disassembled and cleaned the throttle body and intake, but not before totally marring up the mating surfaces.  A little file job and we were back in business.  I'm not certain the fuel injectors are sitting 100% correct, but it matches the pictures in the service manual so I'm going with it for now.  If I turn the key and fuel is spraying everywhere or it's running leaner than hell I'll know I did something incorrectly.

Uhhh... what's left...  My notes say to install the intake, exhaust, top motor mount, tie bars, air cleaner, fabricate an air cleaner bracket, hook up all fuel lines and electrical connections, install fuel filter, breather setup, gas tank, fairings, set the static timing and change the oil.  I *think* I can have this wrapped up this weekend...
 
Been putting in mucho hours on the S3T recently, trying like hell to get it all done as soon as possible and enjoy this incredible weather we're having.  I'm really kicking myself that this is my only bike right now...
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In any event, progress has been slower than I'd like, but steady none-the-less.  A few nights ago my intent was to have the cylinders and pistons installed, but the base gaskets turned out to be stuck on better than those boogers under your desk and I was only able to clean one off, though I did manage to gap and install all of the rings on the pistons.

The next night I got to where I wanted to be the night before, finished the base gasket-ectomy and installed the pistons and cylinders on the bottom end.  Those snap rings for the piston pins aren't so bad once you get the hang of it, though having a third hand might have helped some.

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Which bring us to last night.  There was a lot of work for the sake of work (ok, ok, and to make sure I don't blow the engine to bits when I start it).  On the agenda was measing the valve-to-piston clearance and the squish band clearance (yes, "squish" is a real technical term, no joke).  This involves slapping a bunch of clay and soft metal on the piston top and pretty much assembling the entire top end, rotating the engine and then taking it all apart and seeing if you broke anything.  It's a lot of work, but I feel better knowing that everything is as it should be considering I was little worried the slightly-off markings on the cam gears had me worried that the cam timing wasn't spot on. 

After wiping the pistons clean, I got both heads installed and the entire rocker assembly done on the front head.  Turns out my gasket kit was missing a gasket so the rear cylinder can't go any further until I get a replacement.  The work went easy for the most part, the only hardship was getting the pushrod tube base gaskets to sit nice, but once I cleaned the oil off of everything they behaved.

I'm crossing my fingers that I can have this things done by the weekend.  Here's to hope and change.

 
Sort of.

I finally took the cylinders from the S3T to Noel's Machine Shop for a measure and hone.  Everything came out in spec and only cost me $50, so I'm not complaining.  I quick stop to the dealer for a set of new rings and I'll be a mere few hours from having this bike back together (I think).

I wish I was on top of this more a month ago - the weather here has been and will continue to be astoundingly warm.

Some minor site updates - I've updated the Fleet page to reflect the recent sale of my 1125CR and also updated the for sale page to only include items I currently have available. 
 
Well, it was an early morning for me for a Saturday.  I headed North today to sit in as guest for the spring company meeting of Adirondacks & Beyond Motorcycle Safety.  This meeting is meant to get as many of the MSF-Certified Rider Coaches together before the 2012 class season to go over changes in curriculum and other general announcements.  The owner, Marc, asked me to come to help immerse myself in the program and solidify my interest in becoming a Rider Coach.

What can I say - it seems like a very good group of people he has working for him and everyone that's there very obviously loves what they do, and that's reason enough for me to still be interested.  As the only person in the room who hadn't received any MSF-based rider training (there was one other guy who was only waiting to take the Rider Coach Prep Course but had already shadowed and taken the Beginner Rider Course), a lot of the material was a little vague to me.  But aside from the intricacies of specifically how the class is taught, I feel I got a rather good idea of the school is run and what will be expected of me.  I'm still very excited.

My next step is to get enrolled as a student in the class I'll eventually be teaching, then shadow the instructors for at least 3 full classes (1 class being Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday).  Then off to the prep course and I'm set to go.

Originally it was expected that the prep course would be offered in late August or thereabouts, but it seems that schedule has been adjusted for this year and it will be offered in late July instead.  This means that I'll need to compress my schedule a bit to get ready, but it also means if I can get it all in I'll have an opportunity to teach some classes before the end of season, working to both ingrain what I've learned into my thick skull and to also fatten my pocket a little bit as well.

I'm truly psyched for this and will be sure to keep you all posted on my progress.  It's going to be a busy year!
 
I don't write in this damned thing often enough.  It doesn't help that my only bike now is in pieces, as the 1125CR finally went home with its new owner leaving an empty void in my garage and in my heart.  But, I did manage to pick up a new piece of kit that I wish I had had after an unfortunate ride last fall.

You see, I decided that prior to my departure for Los Angeles in 2010, I figured that having a method of repairing a flat tire road side was a good thing, so I picked up some generic plugs and tools and the local hardware store and paired them with a compact bicycle pump and called it done.

Thank the lord I didn't have to use it in the middle of the Nevada desert on that trip.  I did have to use it after a full day of riding in the Adirondacks no more than 3 miles from my house after picking up, what appeared to be, a hollow drill bit during rush hour on I-787.  As you can imagine, there was no hope for any air remaining in the tire like you might have with a nail or a screw.  So there I was, repairing my rear tire on the side of a busy highway.  All went well until it was time to air it up - that little portable bicycle pump just was not up to the task.  After 30 minutes my arm was tired to a state I haven't experienced since I was a teenager and I only had 15 lbs of air in the tire.  Enough to get to a nearby gas station, thankfully, but would have left me much worse off had it happened nearly anywhere else I enjoy riding.

I knew I needed to replace my pump, but was stumped as to what I wanted.  I like to pack light, which means I wanted something small.  I also wanted reliable, which means I wanted something simple.  My first thought was for one of those CO2-powered tire repair kits, but the cost was a bit prohibitive and it the constant need to replace CO2 cartridges as you used them seemed more hassle than it was worth.  My next thought was for a foot-operated manual unit.  I'd still like one as I think it would also be handy to have in the garage, but after not being able to find one locally (I was searching for a motorcycle-specific model), I settled on a small electric unit that came recommended by 2 different shops.

This is the model I got.  It's made by Slime, the same company that makes the quick-fix green-goop tire repair kits, but this doesn't require the use of that (which is a good thing as that stuff is nothing but a PITA).  I was hesitant to get an electric pump as the last one I had was a cheap unit that was more or less a one-time use affair.  This one seems much better built and using it to top off the tires on the 1125 before it went to its new owner proved successful.  It comes with a slew of electrical connectors including the style plug you'd use for a battery tender and a cigarette lighter, but I'll just be using the alligator clips as the battery is more or less out in the open on the S3T and central to the bike.  Based on the lbs/min rate on topping off the tires, I'd bet that you could air up the rear tire on sportbike from dead flat to 30+ lbs within in the 8-minute continuous use limit printed on the pump.  If you need more than that, they say to wait 25 minutes to let it cool down.  A bit lengthly, but better than pumping your arm off with a manual pump for at least as long or, worse yet, not having any kind of pump at all.

It all packs nicely into a semi-rigid case about 1 1/2" thick and with a footprint about the size of a CD case.  At $42 (I paid a little more than can be found online), I'm happy with it so far but plan on using it up to air up the next tire I mount to make sure it'd road-trip worthy.