My 2015 Bucket List: Update

It’s a work in progress doing fun things.

Earlier this year I posted my 2015 Bucket List, and I thought I kept it reasonable… Now it looks like I’ll be lucky to get a couple of them off the list.

The biggest problem (not surprisingly) is the fact that the Death Valley Trip didn’t happen again. I don’t know what it is about this trip but it is a trouble maker for sure.

I did have a fun trip, Plan B as I call it was a good couple of days on the motorcycle, but it wasn’t Death Valley and it wasn’t camping. So nothing crossed off the list for that trip. I do plan on camping at Laguna Seca in a few weeks so that will help with getting partially done with number three on the list. Hopefully in the fall I can go moto camping again and cross it off the list!

My brother is doing his part with getting on a motorcycle, we’re actively shopping for used bikes and he’s working on selling his Honda Civic. We need to get moving on that since he’ll need a few months of practice before he can start commuting on it. So number four is moving along a bit.

Looks like the only one I can mostly cross off the list is finding a garage for my motorcycles. I’m really happy that is over with. Home buying in the Bay Area is not for the weak of heart. So number two is done, well mostly… I still need to clean it up and fit the Monsters in comfortably.




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The MotoCynic Garage: How many little things make a big thing?

My wife’s Silver Ducati Monster has been living at the new home for the last couple of weeks. This past weekend mine joined it in the new garage.

It may not seem like much, but it was another first for the new house, first time I’ve had two motorcycles in the garage. As I rode it in it felt like a big deal, the monster had been in the garage before, but not with the wife’s , for some reason it made a difference having the other motorcycle in there.

They could use a little more room though...

They could use a little more room though…

Still enough room to get past and around the garage.

Still enough room to get past and around the garage.

Things were a bit tight but not that bad. I’m looking forward to after we finish moving in and done with the kitchen remodel so I can clean up in here and make room for the other motorcycle!



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Ride to Work Day: Everyday?

As you know every day for me is Ride to Work Day, there is however an organization that actually promotes the practice of using two wheels to get to work and every year has a day to help raise awareness.

I’ve been aware of this day for years and have yet to actually plan to ride to work on that day, in fact I know there have been couple where I ended up driving since the motorcycle was in the shop or some other reason.

This year I did get to ride, and once again I realized it after the fact. I thought I would take a picture of the others who park near me because most days there are 3 or 4 bikes out there with mine. On Monday, on actual Ride to Work Day, there were 2 others… I was disappointed.

Next year I’m really going to try and post something about it BEFORE it actually happens. We’ll see how that works out for me.

RTW Button Art [Converted]

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Compression: It’s a good thing

I took my FrankenMonster in for it’s first 7500 mile service on the new engine. I was worried when my mechanic called and asked if I noticed anything weird when riding the bike.

More Power? Sometimes.

More Power? Sometimes.

I just thought it was the price I had to pay for more power. The FrankenMonster seemed to be running fine, and was plenty fast (most motorcycles are) so the fact that the power seemed meh below 5,000 rpm at highway speeds was just one of those things.

Nope, it’s because my vertical piston was only holding about 25 psi under compression. In comparison the horizontal was holding 140ish. Apparently the valves were all out of alignment. They did the adjustment and now the compression is normal.

Normal is oh so much better!

I can’t say that I feel that I have that much more horsepower overall, but man I have plenty of torque everywhere. Which is great for just being in one gear on a twisty road and zipping along.

Since I got new tires as well I had do take it easy for the first 50 ish miles, but on my way home on Friday of last week I decided to test the “new” engine. So I took Calaveras Rd. home. The torque is great!




Posted in Ducati Monster 695, motorcycle, Motorcycles | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Ducati Monster: Oh how I know thee

I’ve ridden nearly 85,000 miles on my monster and my wife has over 15,000 on hers. There is a lot you can learn about a motorcycle when you have 100,000 miles on the make and model.

Most of the time this is a good thing, even when it means you know that it’s bad news, you do know exactly what bad news it is.

Which means when I saw a couple of drops of oil under my wife’s bike on my clean garage floor the other day  I was pretty sure I knew what the problem was. The chain was loose and sure enough it had nicked the cases once too many times creating a crack, and oil was getting out. Blerg.

Speaking of problems with the lovely wife’s bike, it looks like the oil pressure sensor is done. This is another fairly common problem and I’ve had problems with this on my motorcycle as well. Apparently eventually oil gets in the sensor and kills it. Luckily it is a relatively inexpensive part and an easy fix.

I’ve already got the oil sensor and I’m ordering a chain to replace the old one. I’m also looking to get one of the plates that I have on my bike to prevent this from happening again. It’s that and I’ll try and keep a better eye on her chain tension.

Sprockets Wife Monster2Sprockets Wife Monster

Posted in Ducati, Ducati Monster 620, Motorcycles | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The Garage: It is the little things right now

I’m working on getting our new house ready to live in, which is a complete kitchen and bathroom remodel. Leaving my very little time to write and which also means that the garage is full of… well everything that would normally be in a kitchen, bathroom, living room and dining room.
Oh and a motorcycle.

Just enough room for one motorcycle right now.

Just enough room for one motorcycle right now.

I was riding the Lovely Wife’s motorcycle while mine was at Nichols getting it’s 7500 mile service done. While up at the new house finishing some projects I got the call that it was ready. I was then thinking about when I was going to pick up the bike and wondering where in Fremont we were going to keep my wife’s bike when I realized that it was currently in the perfect spot. It was at home. So instead of riding back to Fremont I walked to BART and took it home. Walking 1.5 miles sucks carrying a helmet, suit and boots…

I feel a bit silly about how happy it makes me to have a motorcycle in my garage. One of our motorcycles is currently living at home in the garage!!!
It’s the little things.

There is a lot of not motorcycle in the garage right now.

There is a lot of not motorcycle in the garage right now.

Wife's Monster New House


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“They” are Out to Kill You

In the last couple of weeks I’ve seen two different stories about motorcyclists being killed or seriously injured by road raging car drivers.

Reading these and in one case watching the video really makes me sad, it seems as if people have no respect for others while we’re in our cars.

However, I want to remind all of my fellow motorcyclists that we are fragile. I would ask you to think before you intentionally antagonize the drivers of cars. They can and apparently will hurt or kill you.

I’m not saying don’t honk at the idiot cutting you off, but try and leave it at that. Try to not add hand gestures and words. I know they need to be taught a lesson, but while you are on your motorcycle and they are in their car this could end very badly for you.

I want you all to make it home safe!

Be careful out there!

They are bigger than you and protected by a steel cage! Be careful out there!

Posted in Motocycling, Motorcycles, Riding | Tagged , , | 2 Comments