Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Post That Never Was

     So I got a skid plate installed on my dad's WRR and man was the thing loud.  Had this vibration at certain RPM's that made your fillings hurt.  I concluded that this was due to a large unsupported surface area on the Flatlands Racing plate where the skid rested against the frame rails.  I'm also well aware from my XR experience that having a plate like this will trap water against the frame and cause premature rust.  Well I don't have the vibration issue on the KTM, but I do notice a bit more engine noise with the plate on.  So I figured this would be a good time to conduct a very scientific experiment on dB increases from skid plates and ways to correct them.  I wrote the whole procedure out on here complete with a conclusion that I was sure to have.

...And then I did the test.

     Well apparently while a skid plate does increase the noise level at certain RPM's, at anything more than a crawl these noises are negligible compared to wind and exhaust noise.  I ran the experiment at several different speeds but kept finding that the WRR (the worse of the two) was reading the same dB both with and without the plate.  So why did my fillings say differently?  The only conclusion I can come up with is that its more of an issue with the frequency of the sound than the loudness.

      So to deal with the vibration noise as well as the rust issue, I went through with my plan of sticking 8 rectangles of 1/4" neoprene gasket material to the plate at various locations between the frame and skid.  Vibration noise gone and water now drains.  Yay?


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Ride Number Two

     I gotta admit.  I'm enjoying having my dad along for rides.  Better than that, it appears that he's actually enjoying himself as well.  

The bike is working out great and I think we really hit a home run on choosing the WRR.  As with any new bike, there's a learning curve where you figure out how the bike handles to different situations and where the limitations lie.  Turns out the same methodology applies to dads that haven't been on a motorcycle in 40+ years.  He's doing great - way better than a new rider, but these bikes are quite a bit different than anything he's used to.  Don't get me wrong, he loves his bike.  We're taking it easy - just doing some short runs in the local hills to loosen up the joints and get him more comfortable on the bike.  Last week we did 25 miles and I uh...forgot to take any pictures.  Today we did 35 miles, and I managed to dig the camera out a few times and snap some shots.  I'm trying to reintroduce him to riding gently and having fun the whole way, rather than just dump him into a 200 mile day and see if he'll ride again once the swelling subsides. 

Back to the 'dad enjoying himself' thing.  We're actually having a dialogue about places he wants to go riding!  Its kinda weird after 20ish years of bugging the guy to come riding with me.  Death Valley, Moab, Colorado, Anza Borrego, and various local aviation memorials have all entered discussion.   Next ride if the weather cooperates I think we're going to ditch the local mountains and head for the desert.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Universal Samson Bed Rack

     Now that I'm once again having to haul around 2 bikes I figured it was time to find a better way of securing them.  Annnnd since RMATV saw fit to send me a $50 gift card, that gave me 2 options since that's how many varieties of bed racks they carry in stock.  I ended up going with the Samson Bed Rack by Universal simply because it had good reviews and it looked decent.  1st off, let me say I'm pretty impressed with how well constructed it is.  Smart design, and pretty darn lightweight too.  I've been leery about bed racks in the past b/c I always figured it would be a massive pain to bolt it up.  Not so!  Sure you have to work blindly, but there's enough room to hold a wrench between the bed and the cab and get the job done.  The whole installation took me about 20 minutes, and I even added a bit of RTV smeared on the exposed metal of the drilled holes for rust prevention.  Anyway it looks good and I'll edit this post once I've had a chance to use it.