Friday, August 31, 2012

It's not a question of if...

Yeah, you seasoned riders know just where I'm going with this post just by the title.

I was riding home from the chiropractor and had almost arrived at home. A white Jetta stopped suddenly in front of me and the choice was either hit it or drop the bike.

Sooo...down the scooter went and me with it, though somehow only my hands and right knee hit the pavement. I wasn't going terribly fast, so the worst of it was an emptied carb, a crack and some scratches on the front fairing and brake handle, and somehow a bit of rugrash on my left ankle...which never hit the ground. I didn't even scrape my hands or knee.

The damage was minimal, as can be seen from the photo, and the cure for the emptied carb was to simply tilt the scoot the other way and she started right up.

I love East Petersburg. It's generally a quiet little town, but the light at State and Main is a hazard. This is my fist crash there, but I've had a number of close calls. For some reason drivers seem to think that it's a good idea to rattle on through town at 40+, then slam on their brakes just before the light.

I'm thankful for a father who taught me to give a good amount of distance between myself and the preceding vehicle, otherwise I'd be decorating the hood of a white Volkswagon right about now.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fog and flowers

 Lancaster county on a late August morning is a place of muted beauty. The sun is rising later. Mist rises from the meadows after the nearly nightly rains. The air is cool. If one is fortunate to be out early enough (say, six am), traffic can be non-existent.

The other day, I arrived at work a few minutes before six, to find that I wasn't actually scheduled. So, the scoot and I traveled the back roads of Lancaster County for a bit before returning home. There were some small surprises, like the light foggy mists hanging above the fields, and a table on the side of the road with gladiolas for sale at 25 cents a stem.

Having a crate on the back rack is helpful and my wife was pleased to be greeted by fresh flowers when she awoke.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Them's the brakes

 As stated before, the Silver Streak's brakes were shot. The inside brake pad was completely missing (no idea how that happened), and the master cylinder was rubbing against the rotor. Not a good thing. Thankfully, no scootsters were killed by the faulty brakes on this vehicle. 

As one can observe, a replacement was definitely needed. So, last week, a new caliper and disc were ordered through Trans-Am Cycle Sales. Ordering online would have cost about the same after shipping, so the local store got the business.

The new caliper went on yesterday. The brakes were bled (they still need a little bleeding yet as they are slightly soft), and the Streak carried its rider safely to work and home again.

This afternoon, the new rotor went on, all shiny and bright. It was amazing how simple the whole process was. Just a handful of bolts to remove, put on the new parts, screw the bolts back in, and voila! all fixed. The only hiccup in the process was the need for allen wrenches to remove the brake disc. Luckily, there's a socket attachment for that!

The new brakes work well and stop the scoot competently. They feel nice and smooth. Thinking back, it would have been a good idea to shoot a video of the process, but holding a camera and two socket wrenches at the same time is a bit complicated.

So, if you're moderately inclined to tinker and you need to replace your brakes, it's an easy enough job to do on a scooter.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Good times...

 Wednesday dawned cloudy and somewhat crisp. It was a day much as any other, but I had to go to work, then I could relax and take a ride to Hershey Park to spend the day with the Church youth group.

The ride north was good. Due to issues with my front brakes (which I will get to in a bit), I took it easy and relied on the back brakes. It was truly a fun ride, and the park loomed into view with no incident...Until I arrived at the parking attendant's booth and she charged me $12.00 to park my scooter...oh, alright, I didn't cause an incident, but I sorely wanted to.

They had me park very close to the front gate, right next to one of the guard houses on the lot in a non-space (one of those odd lined in areas that aren't designated as parking spaces), in which the scooter was later joined by a large Harley bagger.

The day at the park was quite enjoyable. This picture was taken at the large flume ride, which I opted not to try as I did not desire to get quite nearly as moist as the folks who were getting off it.

Yesterday was uneventful, but today, I decided to remove the front caliper assembly so I could install the brake pads I'm waiting for. I had thought that there were two brake pads still there...but no...see:

In case it's not obvious, the outer pad is completely missing. 

As you may be able to see here, the bottom edge (as it would sit on the rotor) of the cylinder is bent, I have another caliper assembly on order as well as a new disk, which has also been damaged.

On the plus side, I have a great opportunity to get my hands dirty.

I will keep you all apprised of my progress as various parts arrive.