Summer is Over

I’m calling it now, summer is over. This has nothing to do with kids going back to school or a changing of the leaves. I had to put the clear visor on to go to work since it’s dark out now.

While I hate swapping my visor in and out everyday Fall does typically have great weather and plenty to offer for motorcycling. It’s just dark for some of it.


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Motorcycle Projects: FrankenMonster

I’ve been bad about getting to a couple of projects on the FrankenMonster.

The longest running one is putting a new front fender on.  Which I did finally get to a few weeks ago.  The others consist of replacing my cracked headlight cover, and fixing my rear left turn signal.

The headlight was hit by a rock on my Ride to Portland in 2014 and has finally begun to get bad enough to need to be replaced. I bought the replacement a few months ago I just haven’t had the time or the energy to do it yet.

My left turn signal not working isn’t as bad as it might sound, since I have two of them. One that is integrated with my tail light (which still works) and the other original one which is not working. It’s probably just a loose wire, but a casual look at it the other day did not reveal the problem so I have to really take things apart which can be a pain.


The purpose of this post? Is to publicly admit my slacker ways and hopefully shame myself into getting them done. Soon!




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FrankenMonster Update: Pray we make it another six months

So looks like my valves while perfect last time went off badly this time. The valves on my rear cylinder were not getting closed (open?) properly and messed things up. So it’s not holding compression as well as it should.

Hopefully they got it rigged good enough to last until the next service, but it’s not looking good for the longevity of that cylinder.

Symptoms will be rough idling, not holding an idle, and difficulty starting. I was having the first two for the last month or so. It’s better now, but since things aren’t quite perfect well just hope it doesn’t get really bad before I replace the bike. Which is now looking to be a definite thing instead of just a maybe. (ie the wife is on board)

Otherwise she’s doing great. Such a fun little bike.

When I arrived (early) to pick up the bike this is what I came in to see. Everyone was trying to get the shims to work out.

Looking good in her not quite usual parking spot at work.

Posted in Ducati Monster 695, FrankenMonster 695, Motocycling, motorcycle, Motorcycles | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The ST2: The Loud One

The ST2 is a fun bike. Of course most motorcycles are. I suppose there are unfun motorcycles out there, but it’s unlikely that any of them have been made by Ducati in the past 15 years. Since it is a Ducati, it handles fine, and makes good grunt, pushing you up the road with plenty gusto.

Maybe too much gusto? One of the things that make it so different from my bike is the fairing and windscreen. It really does isolate you from the experience a bit. Without the wind pushing on me I don’t quite feel the speed as much. Which makes it easier to go fast, which isn’t a good thing. I don’t need a speeding ticket.

I’ve had a good week on the ST2, it has started every time I’ve asked it too, and even gotten decent gas milage (estimate 42-43 mpg).

There are a few downsides though. One of the smallest is that there isn’t anywhere to put my cellphone. Which means I have to stick it in a pocket and it usually ends up poking me since the riding position is a bit more crouched.

The major downside which you might have guessed from the title is the noise. In general I like that my bikes are louder and more fun than my Honda Civic. I don’t however like to worry about waking up all of my neighbors when I leave for work at 6AM.

It’s a love hate thing really. I love roaring down the freeway, I hate it on quiet back roads and city streets.

Overall it’s a good bike, it is just too bad it makes a god awful racket.

I got home last night to see that the rubber bit from the left foot peg has come off. Hopefully I can get it replaced soon.

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T-CLOCS: It’s still a thing

The FrankenMonster is in the shop getting it’s 100,000 mile service so I rode the wife’s monster for a few days before switching to the ST2.

Her bike is running great now that we’ve fixed the issue it was having when we were trying to get home from Laguna Seca.  However, my friends ST2 has been having charging issues still. Sort of… Really we’re not sure what’s going on, although I do have some recent theories.

What we know for sure is that the night before we were going to Laguna Seca a friend called seeing if we had an extra bike. We went to check the ST2 and see if it had enough charge and it did not, barely enough to get the dash to light up. So we put it on the charger but it was still too low to start the next morning. We let the friend know he was going to have to drive and were left pondering what could still be causing problems with the ST2.

In an effort to see how it ran once it got to full charge I put it on the charger on Saturday night. By Sunday it was showing charged, so I put my luggage on it and planned to ride it to work on Monday. I thought about going out for a ride, but I just did not have the time or energy to make it happen.

Monday morning I set out to work and everything was going fine. Bike started easily and I headed down the street. Stopping at the stop sign  and then making the left at the end of the street seemed a bit weird but I had not ridden the bike in months so I figured it was just me adjusting to the bigger bike. The bike seemed to be turning heavier and awkwardly. However, the ST2 has always been slower steering than my FrankenMonster though so I kept going. A few turns later though I knew it wasn’t me, something was off with the bike and I suspected low front tire pressure. I looped back toward home and sure enough the front only had 20 PSI in it. I topped it off and could immediately tell the difference.

I feel like such a noob. T-CLOCS is a thing for a reason. I don’t do it everyday, but I definitely should do it on a bike that hasn’t been ridden in 4 months.

Lesson taught… now hopefully I’ll remember next time!


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Wife’s Bike Fixed: details on what broke

I picked up the Wife’s bike this week. It is running good thanks as always to the guys at Nichols Sportbike.

Turns out it was the RPM sensor which when it dies stops working when it gets too hot. So we were right that it was an overheating problem, just not one tied to a specific temperature.

Luckily an easy part to replace, sadly not a cheap part. Over all though it was a relatively painless repair to pay for.

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100,000 Miles on a Ducati Monster

Monday just as I got to work I passed a significant milestone. 100,000 miles ridden on my Ducati FrankenMonster.

I took a picture of the odometer, it’s just too bad it’s the second one since 67,000 miles just doesn’t look as cool.

So many miles, most of the going back and forth to work. Though I do get to take the long way home when I have the time and that is some great riding.

I’ll try and post a proper retrospective, but most of the highlights are in the about page on my motorcycle. Just glad to have had a good run of it. This milestone does also mark the official moment I start thinking hard about a new motorcycle. It’s been a long time coming and the savings fund is getting close. Hopefully spring next year I’ll be able to finally put the amazing FrankenMonster out to pasture.

Posted in FrankenMonster 695, Life, Motocycling, motorcycle, Motorcycles | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments