Archive for the ‘Riding the Caran AngRoch’ Category

Hoping for a new ride…

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

So as some of you may already know my bike has been in the shop for more months in 2011 than I have ridden it. The problem is that after taking it into a shop for a standard maint and oil change, the bike started stalling when cold. The bike is still in the shop while the engineer try to figure it out. At this point, I don’t know if I will ever get it back in working condition. I am resolved that it’s time for a new ride and have started looking at some new bikes and scooters.

I am impressed with the bergman 650 exec, but the price is a bit much. I am also thinking of waiting on the new BMW scooters. I am not sure I will ever want to purchase another Piaggio/Vespa or Aprilla scooter or motorcycle again because of the length of time this has taken. I sort of feel that if this was a car, it would have been scrapped and replaced with a brand new one, but motorcycles and scooters don’t seem to carry the same level of customer service as cars.

My first real mod.

Monday, March 8th, 2010

OK, so it’s not really my 1st, but my third. The 1st modification was to add a louder horn and the second was to add a new variator and exhaust system. Those two modifications really were done by others on my bike. This is the 1st modification I have done all by myself.

I was trying to come up with a way to do a clean installation of a garage door opener for my bike. All of the options I found required you to tie into your electrical system or were kluges. I considered just buying a spare remote and making a housing for it, but the price would have been about $50 for just the parts.

I was searching amazon when I ran across the following item:

This looked to be the perfect item. I ordered it and it arrived two days later. I opened the package and examined the parts. It was indeed well made. The receiver was a snap to install as my garage door wall remote has exposed terminals for this exact type of install. I then set my sites on installing the transmitter. This is when I discovered a problem. The screw that holds the transmitter on the handlebars was stripped. There was no way to remove it, without destroying the screw. Arg!

I examined the unit more closely and saw that it was held together with two nuts. I  disassembled the unit. This proved easier than I thought. Once I had the unit apart I decided that I wanted to do a clean mount into the dash. The fluid panel on the left side of the dash seemed the most likely place to install the unit. I removed the panel and drilled two 7/24 holes. Starting with a MUCH smaller bit and working my way up to not damage or oversize the hole.

After the holes were drilled I installed the trigger and the LED status light. There was a metal flange that holds the parts together. I reused this part and re-assembled the unit. The only problem I ran into, was that the thickness of the fluid cover was more than the metal holder it shipped with. I was unable to reuse the lock-washer because of the thickness.

The install appears to have come out nice and clean. My next challenge was where to mount the transmitter and how to route the wires. The pack was too large to store in the fluid container, so I decided I would mount it underneath. This would require cutting of the wires. I would be unable to drill a hole through the container large enough to put the pack through and I wanted a solution that would allow me to remove the transmitter (to change the battery) without having to disassemble the trigger and lights. (too many little parts to loose).

I searched for quick release connectors and found the following Molex connectors. These looked to be perfect and are also waterproof. It took me a long time to find a vendor that carried them and would sell them in small quantities.With parts on order, I waited.

The parts finally arrived. The connectors were a bit bigger than I expected, but when I examined them, I saw how well made they were and decided to use them. I assembled the connectors. If you do not have a Molex tool for inserting the pins, you will need to completely disassemble the back of the connectors (removing the rubber gasket). This is not at all difficult, but just requires some patients and a light hand on the pliers to remove the plastic tabs.

Warning! Do not cut the wires with the receiver plugged in. It will trigger the remote and your garage door will go up or down, depending where it was. While working on the transmitter, it is best to unplug the receiver.

Now that I had the connectors attached and tested I set to the task of drilling a large enough opening. I started with a small bit and made many little cuts. This allows me to take my time and not over cut. Unfortunately, I had to make the opening a little larger than I wanted to because of the curve of the  basin. It was really difficult to cut straight, so it looks a little shabby. The first image below shows the opening from the inside, while the second shows from underneath. I plan to use a file and clean up the sharp edges later.

Once the hole was drilled I needed to find a decent place to mount the transmitter. There was a perfect flat spot up at the top. I decided to mount it there. I tried using the sticky tape that was provided with the unit but it just would not hold. I also tried to use contact cement and while it held very well to the plastic it would not adhere to the Velcro.

I gave up on that location (at least until I find a better adhesive. I tie-wrapped the wires and connectors to the wiring harness underneath so that it would be out of the way.

The above picture shows where I would like to eventually mount the transmitter, but until I address the adhesive issue, I have tie wrapped it to a solid piece of metal just in front of the hydraulics. I didn’t take a picture of that, sorry!

The only thing left to do at this point (besides the adhesive) is to get a rubber gasket and clean up the opening I drilled in the fluid overflow basin. Here is a photo of the finished project.

The entire cost of the project so far:

Remote $25
Connectors: $16

I expect the gasket to cost between $2 and $5 depending on where I find it.

a lovely day in paradise.

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

I couldn’t take it anymore! I have been couped up in the house for too long and decided it was time to get out and explore the south-east part of San Diego county. I have been wanting to ride out east and up the Sunrise Highway. I planned a route and headed out this morning. I stopped for gas (to top off the tank) and hit the market for some food to eat for lunch.

I headed out the 52 freeway, to the 125 and then the 94 east. This was the only place I had traffic. Once the 94 freeway ended it turned into a nice rural road. I had to pay attention to the signage (which was really good along the route) I headed out the 94 for a lovely view of the east county. I passed through areas I had only heard about (mostly during fire season). The most interesting things to see along this route are the valleys the the road cuts through. Also, as you enter campo you can see the train tracks for the short line. I highly recommend taking a weekend trip on their train. Along the route, there is a border checkpoint. When I stopped the officer didn’t wave me through, in face he didn’t even look at me. I raised my visor and asked if everything was ok and he looked up and said “I’m sorry, we have never seen anything like this before.” I laughed and he waved me on. about 6 other officers were there checking out the ride. I would have stopped and given them a tour, but cars started to bunch up behind me 🙁 Next time.

As I left campo, I reached the start of the S1. This started as part of the old highway 80 and it paralleled the I8. When it crossed the I8 freeway, it turned into S1 and I started my climb up the mountain. The ride up the mountain is fantastic. The road is in great shape and the views are incredible.

When I got above the 5000′ level the temp dropped from the comfortable 70’s to the low 60’s and ever few miles it dropped another degree. I then started to see snow! Wow, to go from mid-70’s to snow in less than 20 miles! This is why I love San Diego!

As I climbed higher, the temp kept dropping. Finally reaching 54 degrees. Not bad, but too cold for what I was wearing. I had planned to stop at the summit and have lunch, but with all the snow and low temps, I decided to push on. As I started down the other side of Mt. Laguna I noticed a lot more snow. The north side definitely is colder than the south side. Once I descended below the 5000′ level the snow thinned out and you could see the burn area from the fires a few years ago.  I decided to stop at one of the overlooks for a water break. I passed a bicyclist on the way down. She was moving a good pace but must have been freezing. She passed me at the rest stop doing almost 30 mph down the hill. When I got started again, it took me almost 15 minutes before I passed her again.

I made it down the mountain and headed into Julian. Julian was crowded today. Lots of people and cars lining the streets. It actually seemed more crowded than on a weekend. I headed out of Julian and stopped at the picnic area just outside of the town. I ate my lunch here watching the cars come down the mountain. There was a worker here building picnic table covers out of wood. There was a tent pitched here, so I assume he was camping on the site. A very interesting arrangement.

After eating lunch, I headed into Romona and gassed up. I decided to head down San Vicente Canyon towards Barona. I had never driven this road and I am glad I double checked my map, because it is not labeled San Vicente from the 78. It’s tenth street.

I winded south through Romona and into the Indian Reservation. This was also a lovely drive through this area. The casino here is amazing. The last time we were here, it was a tent. Now, they have a huge hotel and the roads are all straightened out and widened.

I then headed down through wild-cat canyon. Another area I have not been to and only heard of from the fires. This area is basically a canyon with a lot of homes and horse corals down in the canyon. As I exited the canyon, I headed back to the 67 and civilization and headed home out mission gorge and the 52.

I can’t wait to do this ride again, especially with Angie and others. Hopefully, we can go again towards the end of the month.

Here is the link to my bim log:

Campo/S1 Ride

Campo/S1 Ride

A nice day out.

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

Today I went for a ride up the 101 with The San Diego Scooter Fanatics.
The route was from Balboa and Genesee up to the coast. We headed up to Carlsbad for lunch at Tip Top Meats. It was a lovely overcast day with the temperature holding around 71 degrees.

This was my first time riding in a group. We had 20 scooters in the group. I saw some amazing scooters and three other MP3’s. One of the things I learned riding in a group is to really pay attention to the people ahead of you. Some people have the tendency to stop suddenly instead of slowing gradually. Also, learned some new signals to warn people of pot-holes and such.

It’s real important to not ride two up, but stagger your riding. This is true even for bicycles. Why it is more important on a scooter/cycle is that your ride much faster and have less time to react if someone has to swerve to miss a car door, pot-hole or some other obstacle. If you are abreast of that rider, they have no place to go.

The coastal drive was wonderful. The smell of the ocean and the cool air was great. This is definitely the way to travel up to Oceanside in the future. My windshield has arrived so I plan to ride up to Oceanside next Saturday morning to have it installed and will definitely ride the coast.

The food at Tip Top Meats was fantastic. It’s an authentic German deli and butcher. I had a Reuben sandwich and it was more food than I could eat. The breakfast food looked fantastic and I plan to come back to sample more of their delicious items.

A day out.

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

I rode up to Oceanside today “on the freeway”! WooHoo. I noticed they closed the 52 eastbound for resurfacing. Love the smell of fresh asphalt in the morning. I stopped in Carlsbad and had breakfast at The Daily News Cafe. This is a great breakfast place that I have eaten at before during BikeMS training rides. I got a great spot right in front of of the place. I ordered Eggs Benedict, my favorite. A number of people were checking out the scooter, so I was happy to answer their questions.

I dropped my scooter off at the Vespa dealer and went to go spend some money on riding gear. Gail picked me up and we went to North County House of Motorcycles.  They have a fantastic selection! I was amazed at the vehicle selection they had. But alas, I was not there for motorized vehicles, but clothing.

I ended up buying a new jacket and a pair of pants. I picked up a Teknic Sirocco Jacket in red. I love this jacket. Pockets everywhere and it fits me like a glove. It was on sale for $127.50, so I was really happy about that.

I also picked up a pair of Fieldsheer Mercury Pants (in black). I have not ridden with them yet, but they fit fantastic and if they work as well as the jacket, I am going to love them as well. Again, they were on sale for $$152, so I was loving that.

By the time I was done shopping it was time to head back and get my scooter. They had just finished the service when I got there. The service along with all the parts, supplies and taxes came to $142.16. Looks like they may have washed or at least wiped down the bike. It seems to have a nice shine to it now.

When I got my bike I put my old jacket and my new pants in the top case. They fit with a little room to spare, even with the hangers. I left the Vespa dealer and I headed  to downtown La Jolla via the 101. It was a great ride, lovely weather, and light traffic. My bike no longer makes the putt-putt sound when idling, so the service has fixed that, hurray!

I arrived and met Angie at La Jolla Cove and we ate lunch at Brockton Villa Restaurant. We feasted while enjoying the lovely view of The Cove. Afterwards, I headed back home.

Days like today are why I love living in San Diego. 83 degrees on January 31st! Wow!