Dropped the VFR

It finally happened, I dropped the VFR on the ground…
The picture says everything, but I will explain everything in this post! (see that reference?)

So the problem with my thinking is that I think in weird ways. Like trying to ride a motorcycle up a slippery curb. That ultimatly failed as you can see on the picture above. Seemed like a good idea in my head since I’ve already ridden on snow that day, but this is a different kind of snow so it seems.

This bike is heavy, like, really heavy at 245kg! Being on slippery snow/ice and grass underneath didn’t give me enough grip to put the bike back upright. Because of that, I was forced to drag the bike on it’s side to the beginning of the curb, scratching the fairings a minimal amount.

My father and mother both came to help, because this crash wasn’t even 100m from home. After half an hour of pulling, lifting and struggling, the bike was finally upright!

The damage
– Scratched/pitted left bar-end
– Scratched/pitted clutch reservoir cover
– Bent footpeg scraper
I didn’t find any extra scratches because the previous owner also dropped the bike on the left side. However I ordered a paint touch-up pen on eBay for like 10 Euros in the color R157. I don’t have pictures of the damage, because I already fixed them.

The lesson?
Don’t ride in the snow!

I even filmed the whole ordeal, including the salvage operation!
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Why is it so silent around here?

Allright, I’m finally done with finals, and I hope I’m having no F’s on my report card.

So, why was I so absent in the last month?
Probably because I have no time to ride, because I had to learn for finals!
Enough about school, let’s talk motovlogging!

Question time (from me to me):

Q: Why aren’t there any updates on the bike?
A: I haven’t got the time to film everything, and writing scripts take time. Being the impulsive one, I installed a K&N filter (where I’m going to write a review about) without filming it.
I also consider the bike finished “by now”. I’m still unsure when I can do my full license to ride, because I miss having the “oomph” the NC700X makes when highway cruising, but in city traffic it is just a beast.
It’s also the period where I have to pay my road tax (July) and service (September), which is a huge cut in my budget.

Q: Why aren’t there any motovlogs?
A: I don’t have an interesting topic to talk about. Probably all topics have been talked about?
Maybe I can talk about what mod is my favourite, and what my least favourite one is?
(Hey! That sound’s interesting! :))

Q: Why are there no periodic blog posts?
A: I’m not sure, probably because writing reviews takes a lot of thinking, time and taking pictures while doing bike work, and I also forget to take pics lol.
This blog is also for the “really interested ones” in my blog, because I still have a small YT audience of about 260 subscribers at the time of writing.

Q: Why do you rage so much?
A: I don’t rage everytime something happens! I’m a well preserved guy. Well, the only things hitting the Youtube surface are cherry picked moments of rage, as in my most recent video: THIS MAKES MY BLOOD BOIL it is normal to react to a bicyclist that just crosses the road with no markings, and he appears behind a van which obstructs the view.
If you do stupid things, you get a rage fit, BUT it alleviates the grudge so fast that I forget about it the next day, except when I make a video about it and get notifications on my phone :’)

I hope to upload more videos in the course of the next month, but I also should spend a little bit more time to apply for internships because in the second semester of the upcoming academic year, I have to work as an intern in a marketing bureau or in the department of marketing on different cases.

Wish me luck, and also happy riding day’s to y’all reading!

Shitty electronics ‘n stuff

A few days ago I saw that my right rear indicator had some kind of loose contact, but it was good enough, till it totally failed.

Now it’s repaired, and the following reasons why it failed and how long it took to repair is also in this blogpost 🙂

On with the story:
I was riding around, minding my own business till I went on and overtook some guy, that was the one moment I saw that my blinker didn’t work. This is commonly seen by a fast blinking light on the dashboard because the resistance isn’t the same anymore.

So I went on and parked my bike at the side of the road to inspect WHY it doesn’t work.
After a bit of a wiggle and trying to push the light back into it’s housing (because it’s vibrating on the exhaust) It worked again!

Then after a few minutes, the same thing happened, and trying the same did work again!
I thought it was nothing serious and rode around with the blinker still working for about a month.

On my (almost) weekly “fun run” the blinker didn’t work anymore, and wiggling and pushing the light back didn’t work at all. So I went on and rode back home to fix it.

To fix it, I had to take the rear rack, topcase carrier, rear stowage cover and the blinker out.
It was easy to remove, but so much harder to put it all together.

I disassembled the blinker, and tried the bulb, which was still intact (which is fortunate considering it’s a halogen bulb vibrating and colliding with the muffler).
The main problem was a bad ground. It was a “wedge ground” and not a soldered one.
I then soldered the ground and extended both wires to get some slack in my wiring harness. It finally worked!
And since I had the light disassembled, I cleaned the reflector from dust.

Putting it all took most of my time. It took me about half an hour to just get the bolt holes aligned using a screwdriver, but once aligned, everything fitted together as they should.

I then tried all my lights, and damn! My right foglight doesn’t work anymore!
I had to get a replacement bulb from the internet, because I didn’t find a store near me that could have those bulbs, but now I’ve found one about 30km’s away.

So I’ve spent about 12€ on 2 lights that normally cost 1,30€ a piece…
Should’ve searched a bit more…

Anyway, it was so much easier to replace the broken foglight bulb. It was snip snip, strip and solder and heatschrink away! Now I have fully functional lighting again!

Hooray for doing your own stuff on your bike!

Thanks for reading, and remember, ride safe!

 

Radiosilence… Small update

I haven’t posted any blog entries because I am now busy studying for finals, but I still ride, but not that much.
Riding in hot weather (for the past week) was really really fun, I was having a blast!

A few days ago when the weather was great, I’ve done something I’ve never done before:
I took my corners how they are meant to be taken: fast, no sudden corrections, and almost with the pegs hitting the asphalt.
I wanted to see if I was capable of controlling the bike while doing slow riding exercises, and funny enough, they were very good.

I went at 8 o’clock in the evening out on the road, only my bike and me, trying to find places to hoon around, but first I had to refuel myself at the local McDonalds.
After that, I rode into the night, being home at about 11 o’clock in the evening.

The day after, I went to my work, delivering pizza’s, when suddenly the engine on the delivery bike died. It then locked up somewhere inside the vario (I’m a total noob on scooters) not being able to start again, but it didn’t sound like a seized piston.
Looking at the oil (it’s a 2 stroke) the reservoir was full, and the fuel tank was half-empty, nothing serious. On the outside there wasn’t anything that looked off.

Finally going home after a long day of work, the Hans Bo CREE U5 LED‘s began to flicker.
I didn’t even turn the lights on, the lightswitch didn’t to anything, I started to worry and pulled over to the side of the road, trying to find out what is wrong with these lights.
I didn’t find anything, but riding around with flashing lights isn’t an option, so cut the wires in half, making the lights unusable (which they are now).

I’m looking for a replacement, but I haven’t found anything yet that’ll suit my needs.

I am also looking for a tankbag, but I don’t like the fact that most of those tankbags aren’t waterproof, or thief proof. Maybe I’ll build one myself, but I’m not sure if I would go for the Givi Tanklock or the SW Motech Quick-Lock. The Givi is more expensive, but easier to get, but the SW Motech looks a lot more safer and sturdier, and cheaper.
Then there’s the bag itself, I don’t know what case I would get.
A peli Case is too expensive for my needs, and I don’t know if they ‘ll fit on my tank.
It just has to be a sturdy, thief proof, waterproof box.

If someone has any recommendations, please let me know!

Have a nice day and ride safe!

Lanesplitting safe or not?

When communting to work/school, traffic can be bad when it’s rush hour.
I cut through traffic like a hot knife through butter within the traffic jams.
Now there are some people who say that lanesplitting is dangerous, and they’re not wrong.

There are some unwritten rules that you should know when filtering/lane-split.
1) If you can’t fit, through the gap or are not sure, then don’t go.
2) When lanesplitting, don’t be mad if there’s a slower motorcycle, just flash your lights.
3) Same as rule 2, when you are the slower bike, make way for faster bikes.
4) DO NOT (NEVER) CLOSE MIRRORS TO LANESPLIT! If the guy doesn’t want you to pass, look for another way.
5) Don’t hit anything(!) on your lanesplitting adventure

Okay, now that that’s cleared up, we can talk about the dangers of lane splitting.

Some people say lane splitting is dangerous, and they’re not wrong.
Here are some disadvantages:
1) People could swerve into you and possibly throw you off your bike
2) You can run into people that are jaywalking (but that’s their own fault)
3) You need good balance and a lot of anticipation

Now there are a lot more advantages when you lanesplit, these are the following:
1) You shouldn’t be able to get hit from behind.
2) You improve traffic flow.
3) You are getting to your destination a lot faster (so you can be on time)
4) Using an air cooled engine, you can keep your engine cool.
5) Improves fuel efficiency and is better for the environment.
6) You don’t breathe in the exhaust gasses from other cars (well yeah, less of it)
7) Just feels so good to go faster than other traffic!

My opinion on this is that lanesplitting should be legal anywhere because motorcyclists are also vulnrerable road users and deserve it to feel and be safe anywhere on the road.

Here’s a video of me filtering and lanesplitting through traffic.

Thank you for reading this post, and remember, ride safe and ATGATT!

 

 

Near misses and crashes

I’ve been thinking about how many times I’ve crashed or almost got in a crash.
Now I’ll share these “near death” experiences with you guys and gals.

First time
The first time I almost got into a crash was on ye olde LEM LX-3 Sport kids MX bike.
I was trying to reach top speed on a wide open field, which I eventually did, but in the process of trying to reach the top speed on the bike, there was a hard cardboard tube in the middle of where I was riding.
I rode over it with my shot suspension, and got into a small tankslapper at about 65km/h.
I’ve read about tankslappers that it’s extremely hard to get out of a tankslapper at speeds, but luckely I didn’t lock up any wheels because of drum brakes.

The orange moped
I got the most near misses and crashes on my orange moped, the XMotos XB-33 50W, mostly because I rode in the big city.

  • Got in a tankslapper at about 50km/h on a bike lane with wet leaves. It’s a miracle that I didn’t slip.
  • Almost crashed by braking on a tramway at a crosswalk.
  • Crashed by slipping off a tramway on a rainy day, no serious damage.
  • Crashed by slipping on a muddy path, no serious damage.
  • Rode into a ditch while offroading and slipping, because I was using street tires, also no serious damage.

Damage on the XF650
When I got my bike, the Suzuki Freewind XF650, I had some mishaps.

  • Lowsided when leaning too much on a roundabout, because the sidestand hits the ground before the footpegs do. Damage: broken off bar weight, bent gear lever, shaved off side stand.
  • Almost hit a car that pulled out of a parking space without looking in his mirrors, I was hitting my rear brake so hard it was skidding.
  • Crashed into a guy that didn’t see me (or saw me, but said “F*ck it”). His bumper and wiper fluid reservoir were unrepairable, my bike had nothing but a bent gear lever.
  • Almost crashed into a car that made an illegal U-turn (link to vid)
  • Moron behind the wheel of a pick up truck that overtakes a vehicle and oversees me. (link to vid)

Work isn’t safe either
And at work, I ride a delivery scooter, which gives the ability to get hit by every other road user, here are some near misses and crashes.

  • Almost got hit by a car that thought I was far enough.
  • Slipped on some gravel by pulling the wrong brake handle.
  • Almost got hit by a truck that didn’t see me.
  • Cut off by an antisocial idiot.
  • Slipped and broke my wrist because of bad weather.

Well, I had my share of near misses and crashes, but I hope it stays with this list or near misses.
Anyways, have a good day.

 

Today was a good day

It seems like the motorcycling season started yesterday or today.

I see a lot more bikes on the road than a week ago, which is a good sight into the upcoming months.

It seems that those bikers that come out in spring/summer wave a lot more than the all-weathers, but I still wave at any bike, whatever make or model they are.

Sure enough, I rode behind a cruiser (I don’t know the make and/or model), but the dude on it was totally laid back.
I also saw a lot of BMW R1200GS’s out on the road, maybe it’s the old guys getting back on their bikes? But they still don’t know that all those auxiliary lights can blind other road users.

It wasn’t so crowded on the road either today, it was smooth sailing through traffic, and best of all, the weather is actually nice!
I hope it’ll stay, or better yet improve on the temperature so that my tires can stick hard.

I also tried leaning into a corner (watching the “Twist of the Wrist” by Keith Code) and sure enough it feels a lot more comfortable than just pushing the bike into the corner.
A bit of body positioning is also key. I hope to improve my cornering abilities, so I’m not scared anymore to lean into a corner.

Anyhow, in the course of next week I’ll try and put up a review from the M.S.R. Classic Inox muffler, because that’s something I definitly want to do.

Cheers and have a nice day 🙂

 

Motorcycling season has started (or not?)

It’s the beginning of March, beginning of the motorcycling season. Though the weather looks horrible for the “nice-weather-riders”.
To me, it looks good, besides the constant crosswinds and small hailstorms.

I hope to see some more riders in March, and not only the all weather riders.
I’m kind of the best of both worlds, I like riding in the winter, and I like riding with the summer riders, because they are very happy to ride again, unlike the other all-weather-riders.

My uncles from my fathers side ride motorcycles, but only in the summer, that’s why we should meet some time, on our bikes offcourse.
One has a Triumph Daytona, and the other has a Yamaha R6.
Not the kind of bike i’d have, because: “I like the best of both worlds”.
Street oriented, but still offroad capable.

The things I like about nice-weather-riders is that they have those sporty bikes, loud exhausts, and always rev a lot. I once did a rev battle with a couple of sport bikes, but at that time, I had my dB-killer in my M.S.R. muffler (review on that later).
Having fun without harming anyone, except when they crash into someone, but that’s not my problem.

I don’t despise “nice-weather-riders”, they are just another group in the motorcycling world. I agree, riding in the winter is a bad idea, because you get cold, wet, can slide around and crash, etc. It’s not a good idea for the bike too, it’ll get rusty (unlike my XF) when riding in road salt.

What I do despise are the so-called “squids”. Motorcyclists that ride their bike without any proper gear, riding with a t-shirt and flip flops. That’s the most stupid thing I’ve ever seen.

Anyway, hereby I’ll end this blog entry, have a good riding season!

 

My broken wrist

As you probably noticed, there wasn’t a video out for a month!

It is because I had broken my left wrist, in fact, I had an avulsion fracture.
I was working my shift at my job (pizza delivery boy), and it was a rainy day.
The scooter I was riding on had winter tires (so I thought) and I was delivering my fresh-out-of-the-oven pizza to my next customer.
For those who wanted to know, it is a “Pizza Quattro Stagione”.

Well, it was dark, rainy, but I’m used to riding in the rain, since I ride every day.
I drove in a dead end (well technically it isn’t, but I may not drive into that street after the road sign), so I intended to go left.
Knowing how to ride a motorcycle in the rain, I rolled off the throttle, and squeezed the brakes gently, keeping the bars straight.

In a brief moment, the front wheel slipped and the scooter just slipped away under me.
Trying to break my fall, I put out my hands to the ground, trying to not hit the ground as a piece of meat, and rolled over about 3x.
The delivery scoot was sliding away on it’s right side.

I wasn’t much concerned of my hands (wrists) at the time, also not knowing one of it was broken. I was more concerned that I couldn’t deliver the pizza the guy paid for, and knowing it was ruined, I rode back to get a new one made.

I worked till my shift ended (about 2 and a half hours) in pain and agony, not having the power to lift a pizza out of the oven. Then I went home on my motorcycle, because that day, I went to an old schoolfriend of mine, showing my bike offcourse and catching up with eachother. That was a good time 🙂

I then went the next morning at 10 o’clock to the emergency department of the hospital, having my wrists checked out, because they hurt like hell.
They took some X-rays of my wrists, and it turns out my left wrist had an avulsion fracture. (where the tendon tears off a piece of bone).
They gave me a temporary cast (just a gypsum one) and the next week I had to come back for a fiberglass one.

I then stayed 3 weeks in my new fiberglass cast.

When the time came that my cast could come off, it felt really weird trying to move my hand in the normal motions again, it hurt like crazy, but after a few minutes, the pain was a lot less than before. I also got a brace to support my wrist when I’m lifting things, but I still can’t do anything hard.

I hope the pain will be over at the end of next week so I can ride again.

First blog

Hi everyone visiting this blog, let me first introduce you to the purpose of this blog.

First of all, this blog is meant for different reviews of stuff I’ve fitted to my bike, and some commentary on my own daily rides, so you can expect some more fine content.

It’s still in its baby steps, but I’ll try to get it updated as soon as possible.

Second of all, let me introduce myself for the moment.

My name is Alexander, currently 21 years of age, and I’m facinated by motorcycles.
Adventure motorcycles in particular.

I was bit by the motorcycle bug a few years ago when I was 18. Looking at enduro riders being hooligans, supermoto wheelies, you know 🙂

I then bought a small kids size dirt-bike for -,€50, and fixed it up for about -,€50 more.
It was a white, 2-stroke, automatic LEM LX3 Sport, with big wheels 😀

IMG_20130809_182329.jpg
The LEM LX3 Sport

I’ve mounted new grips, exhaust, seat cover, rear fender and a bike speedometer.
I’ve reached about 70km/h on this bike, and it was really fun, for 2 months that is.
Then I had to go back to school, not having a normal way of transportation, I sold this bike for about -,€250, that is a €150 profit!

Since I didn’t have a motorcycle license (because of the stupid Belgian laws), I bought an orange moped.

Not a normal orange moped, a Chinese orange moped, called the X-Motos XB-33 – 50W.
Restricted to 50cc’s and 45km/h. I got the license for my moped with my drivers license.

As a normal youngster (of 19 years old) I was speed driven. Everything had to go fast,
and 45km/h is not fast enough for me.
I began tuning the orange moped sumo with first raising the top speed using a different gear ratio to 60km/h, but redlining the bike was bad for the cylinder, and broke it.

A replacement cylinder, piston and head costed almost the same as a 75cc kit.
Knowing nothing about engines etc, I just disassembled the block and installed the 75cc kit. Offcourse if it aint fast and loud, it aint for me. So I’ve bought a straight pipe for it.

The thing was loud, and luckely I didn’t have any contact with the police 🙂
It rode about 70km/h.

IMG_0267
The Xmotos XB-33-50W in particular.

On my 20th birthday, I’ve taken a theoretical exam, which I did pass with 46/50.
I immediately went to the local driving school to start my lessons.
To pay for these lessons, I had to sell my (th)rusty orange moped.
Luckely I still got -,€500 for it, so no sweat.

My dad also helped me by paying a part of the cost for my lessons, whichfor i’d thank him very much.
It was a whole new world to swap from 75cc to 650cc. It steered more difficult.

The learner bike was a Kawasaki ER-6 from 2009 with a full on crashcage.
In my lessons, I fell about 5 times, all at the figure of eight and the slow riding practice.

Let’s skip a few months ahead…

I bought my XF650 Freewind in november, a month later when I started my lessons, knowing I’d be riding very soon.
I paid about -,€1000 for the bike, excluding the taxes and insurance.

Insurance for a learner isn’t cheap, I paid (out of my own pockets) -,€780 for 1 year!

20141013_175155
My bike, the ’98 XF650 Freewind in it’s original state.

I failed my driving test for about 2 times, and had to take extra classes, which costed me also an arm and a leg. In the end I’ve finally gotten my provisional license, and was good to go to ride my Freewind.

A few months passed, and the first mods came, which included:
– Silver parts sprayed black
– Red wheel stripes
– New chain, sprockets and oil+filter
– Handguards
– High mounted front fender
– Some stickers
– An M.S.R. Exhaust (more on that later)
– etc…

Then I was ready (although I thought)
….
I did my driving test again, with my own bike, all went great till…
I drove in the wrong direction, disaster struck, I failed AGAIN!
I immediately signed up for extra lessons, and a new try.

And finally, after about 4-5 times, I finally got my motorcycle license!
I was so relieved that I didn’t have to pay the examination center and the driving school another penny (or cent).

That’s the story about how I got my own license to ride 🙂 (date of issue: 05/aug/2016)