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I started off the year, installing my new heated vest outlet.

I spent several years looking for a replacement vest for my finally failed old school Widder. Widder had gone missing from the marketplace. What I always liked about their gear was that it was slim, and minimalist. The vest easily fit under fitted racing leathers. Not, skin-tight fitted leathers, but leathers that fit me well enough I could fit a thick long sleeved t-shirt as a base later and the Widder vest over it, but not a thick sweater and t-shirt. Very versatile piece of kit that after several years or service wore out. And there was no replacement of the same weight. The Widder was collarless. The only option I found locally had a collar, was puffy like a piece of bargain winter wear. Only it was not a bargain. And thanks to the bulk of insulation didn’t really warm me. I fought with the company about that to no gain and eventually sold it and found the EXO on line. The weak link with the EXO was the controller. The sun killed it. After a year or so I sold that whole set up too and decided to try really hard to stay out of the cold. Looking back across six years now, I can count the times I was not successful in that avoidance on one hand. Not bad. This installation was temporary. I never liked the way it worked on the bars like that. The quad-lock phone mount was also on borrowed time.

I checked the balance of the throttle bodies using the TwinMax and checked that against TuneECU, good enough correlation.

In March at about 25,000 miles, I swapped the worn knobbies back onto the bike for a weekend of riding in the desert around El Mirage.

On the way out to the dry lake we rode up the back two tracks of sometimes deep sand just to see how much I still hated riding deep sand. Of course the only places firm enough to put a foot down and grab a photo are places were the sand is firm and nice to ride. The real squishy bits can be stopped in and prop the bike up by digging a little with the throttle so the belly pan rests on the sand. I didn’t do that. I didn’t have the confidence in doing that yet. Even worn the TCK 80 up front and the 908RR out back are grippy enough.

Around the end of March the Quadlock was rendered unusable when I replaced the OEM top triple clamp with the BRP and Scotts damper.

After riding in the desert, I swapped back to the Pirelli MT90/AT tires for commuting and more overtime. A combination that means less pleasure travel.

As far as servicing, I bled th brakes and clutch, swapping out all the fluids there. The plastic quick disconnect at the fuel tank was swapped for metal from Beemer Boneyard. I had bought the coupling in anticipation of changing it out at some point, but instead waited until the plastic thing sprung a leak in rush hour traffic on the freeway. Luckily this was only a few miles from home. I got home and swapped it out.

The new metal connection is much better.

In the above photo, note the orientation of the fitting. The opening tab is pointed toward the mounting bracket. Bad idea that. When the tank is tightened down, the tab is depressed and the connection broken, but not broken quite enough for the disconnect valve to close. This pumps a lot of fuel out on the garage floor. Happily this is noticeable shortly after first turning the key. Simple enough fix too. I had also change oil and filters again.

One of the failures with the bike occurred while enduring yet another freeway, rush hour flat, this time on my way to work and about six miles away. I punched the emergency flasher button which action shattered the surrounding mounting flange. This lets the button disappear into the fairing behind the dash. Lovely design. Oh, and the switch is also the turn signal relay and costs around $85. This bike when parked outside was always covered when commuting. And by this time I’m working at an office where I have motorcycle specific parking in a parking garage zero sun on the bike while packed away in my cube.

My search for a suitable replacement took a while. By the time I got around to messing with this repair, the button had decomposed even more. I removed what was left of the plastic crumbs of flange and the now gooey rubber part of the button to reveal the top of the switch where I could solder tiny wires that would connect to the replacement button. In the photo below the surface mount button can be seen.

I taped over my sad repair and zip-tied it to the faring support frame. I used a large thin washer to allow me to mount the new toggle switch in the triangle-shaped hole.

And it worked!

Next was fixing the eventual gear indicator switch leak.

Then there was an odd failure while on my way to San Francisco to see the Lyndon Poskitt talk. The lock to the seat was stuck, locked. This meant I couldn’t open the glovebox. After getting some lube into the lock I was able to get it open. When I got home I rigged a permanent workaround.

I used some lock wire to create a pull from the latch under the seat to outside and under the fender.

The screw threads that hold the plate that is the lower, front tank mounts and covers the battery box, this cover is held to the battery mount bracket by two screws. These screws are increased in length to accommodate the crashbars and that combination seems to baffle mechanics. The bike came to me with 2,000 miles on it and those threads were from the start sketchy. I used a flanged nut as a guide to re-tape the holes and clean the existing threads up.

Before I went to San Francisco I changed the worn out Pirelli for a set of brand new of the same. Valves were checked and were all within spec. New spark plugs, bled the brakes and clutch and checked the throttle body balance.

And Lyndon getting ready for his talk with slides and video at what was Piston and Chain.

The Lyndon talk was in September. The next month I got a weekend off and headed out with some Advrider.com folks to ride through Palmdale to Jawbone then up to Lake Isabella. They were headed up the pass, but I was tired and headed home instead. Working in a cube too much and only commuting leads to working far too much when riding unpaved roads and particularly sand.

Again the firmer sand. I was on the now fairly worn Pirelli MT90/AT tires. By now I was happier parking in deep sand but the photos I thought I took then, it turns out I wasn’t shooting photos.

Some functional bling was added to the bike too. A clutch lever and a shifter.

The trimester switch cluster replaced that heated vest controller. And that all went away.

Ending the year with 38,987 miles.

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