Saturday, October 29, 2011

Roadside repair

On my way home from work yesterday, the rear tire felt like it slid (big time) around two turns. This seemed too coincidental - that there were two slick spots, both in turns at lighted intersections - so I pulled over to inspect.

My chain was crazy-loose.  After some deliberation, I decided the axle must be loose enough to slide around when I roll-on.  But I don't have my breaker bar or rear stand - how am I going to fix this?  So I roll the dice and spill the contents of the SV650's toolkit onto The asphalt.

-BAM!  Pliers - I can remove the rear axle nut's cotter pin.

-POW!  24mm wrench with extender.  I had to work at it, but I was able to break the rear axle nut.

-BOOM!  An open-ended wrench that fits the chain adjustment nuts at the ends of the swing arm.

A few minutes and some greasy hands later I was back on the road conquering off-ramps - rear staying true.  I guess it's a little late for me to be learning this, but you can do a lot with the stock toolkit on a motorcycle.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mayorga Coffee

I wanted to side-step rush hour traffic last Friday, so I spent the 2nd half of the day working from a coffee shop near Battley Cycles (where Motus Motorcycles graced us with the status of their ambitious work).  I figured if I was already in the Gaithersburg area, it would be easy for me to roll a few extra miles to get to the event at 5pm.


And as luck would have it, I located a coffee shop of note not too far away in Rockville, MD - Mayorga Coffee Roasters.

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All Mayorga coffee is roasted a few blocks away from this coffee shop.  You can find Mayorga coffee beans at Costco, Giant, and lots of other stores.  So the product is local to all us DelMarVans.  The baristas were very friendly, made me 2 double-shot Americanos in a small cup (which were very good), and talked up motorcycles at the end of my stay.  Nothing like good conversation across a granite bar serving up joe.


I have to be honest, I don't plan on frequenting Rockville.  But I can guarantee you that, should I find myself there again, I'll be making a B-line for Mayorga.

Monday, October 17, 2011

You can finally buy the SLS!

When I first got the ZX, I was not impressed with the luggage solutions available. Was I surprised? I mean, it's a super sport, not a tourer…

Anyway, one of the rays of hope I had discovered was the SLS mounting system by It was a neat semi-hard saddle bag system that mounted in place of the passenger foot pegs. They seemed pretty stylish and functional, so I followed them for many months until they delayed the product release so many times that I had lost hope.

But check it - they can now be had for a few select applications!

I still think it's a neat product, no doubt. A few positives that strike me:

  • Stylish
  • Expandable (can fit a helmet, but doesn't have to)
  • Good design - reusing a solid, load-bearing mount
But there are some negatives too:
  • Can't really lock them
  • Pricey
Unfortunately, the lack of security pretty much kills the deal for me. But the price is a serious detractor as well. I'm all for the ingenuity, and I hope they are really successful with these! Get people using those screaming inline 4's to get somewhere more than just the coffee shop! Congrats to The Cycle Guys for finally getting this one out the door!

Sucker for contests

RevZilla ( is rocking a $500 give-away for talking up "adventure riding."  And a blog post buys you a few more entries!

I've never shopped at RevZilla before, but an initial perusal makes it clear that I'd have no trouble spending $500 there!  Time to roll the dice!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Inspiration in Gaithersburg

Motus Motorcycles made a stop in Gaithersburg, MD to show off their goods to a dealership and the local riders.  They did not disappoint!


Their MST and MST-R prototypes were gorgeous.  The fairings flow from the front of the bike toward its belly, where a massive ~1.6L V4 points its cylinder to the skies.  The framing of the valve covers is a pretty sexy example of form and function.  And the hardly-noticeable, tubular steel frame (and swingarm) hold together what amounts to a 500lb, 160hp monster that will put out gobs of torque at low RPMs.  Actually, there's probably nothing this bike can't do at low RPMs.

The seat, and frame at the point of the seat, is unbelievably narrow compared with most bikes I've straddled.  This makes for a very easy reach to the ground and even shorter riders will probably find this to be a very comfortable bike.


Motus's turn-around from inception to fruition has impressed the hell out of me - I remember not too long ago seeing the original napkin-style sketch of the bike.  And already they've got a few that apparently ride like a dream.  They expect to have these to market by the middle of 2012.  You know somethin'?  If money was no object, I'd by one and it'd be my street and track bike.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Smokies 2011

Another lap around the sun, and we managed to fit in a trip to the Smokies. 28, The Cherohala Skyway, Deal's Gap - we bathed in the land of curvaceous asphalt and warm tires.


We introduced a newbie to the area this time around, and he was nothing less than impressed :)


Every year I question whether it's worth the 8 hour drive to get there. And every year (once I'm there) I conclude that it is absolutely worth it. This year was the first time I traveled down on two wheels (instead of towing). Aside from driving home straight through, while sick with a fever, I think I prefer doing the whole event with just the bike.


Who wants in next year?


Friday, October 7, 2011

See me some MST

The American startup casting the the hottest up-and-coming sport-tourer is headed to my neck of the woods!

Motus Motorcycles ( is rocking a Northeastern tour with their MST prototypes and they are making a return stop in Gaithersburg, MD.  I'm so there; I'm totally inspired by their quickness in developing what appears to be a powerhouse of a machine.  A large, push rod V4?  It's like American muscle in a European body.

Back in a week with pix!