Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The ZX-10R needs some love

I have to say my poor ZX-10R has been sitting in the garage quietly watching me ride the KLR out the door for the last three years. Now and then I would take her out for a spin but nothing huge like I used to do.
Last weekend I changed the oil on it and fired it up and it ran good till I stalled it pulling out of the drive. When I tried to fire it back up it just cranked and cranked then fired up. That really bugged me and made me think about what could of caused this.
Last year I put a fresh battery in her because when I was out with a friend the motor sounded like it stopped cranking suddenly. I was thinking low battery and the starter couldn't push it over on a compression stroke. The other thing it would do was start and instantly stall than fire back up with some throttle input.
Now putting these issues together makes more sense to me, bad crank or cam sensor. A little Google search pointed to a cam sensor. So I got one and put it in! :)

The Manual states the tank and air box must come out and this is true IF you still have the AIR injection parts in the valve cover. I have the block off plates installed so this is the easy route.
Remove both side lower and mid section fairings.

Cam sensor is on the right front side of the cylinder head and only held in with one bolt.
Connector is on the right side of the cylinder head and a small hand will get the ECM side off.
Then you need to get the cam side of the connector off of the mounting tab back on through from the right side of the bike.
The whole thing took less than a hour and the start and stall is gone.

Old sensor and new with no visual differences.
Well nuts always die young and are super expensive from the dealer and the hardware stores only have standard sizes. I use Desmo for getting them at a great price and good service..

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Derek and his KLR jounrey

A nice surprise personal message I got from KLR650.net was from Derek a guy passing through the Chicago area and wanted to do a oil change. You don't really get to meet the people on all these forums that are out there, let alone physically help them out.
The guys from the Chicago dual sport riders were also looking for a place to hang out, so everyone came over last Thursday to meet up.

:) A good day!

Derek's coming from New Hampshire and the big goal is Alaska and it looks to be a very indirect path with getting there. Which is a great way to travel and not miss a thing along the way.

If your ever passing through town and need a hand just E-mail me and maybe I can help....

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Great Lakes Ride With The Rain Gods!

The deal is to hit all the Great Lakes and the day has come for this trip to become a reality after a year or so of kicking it around. I have never left the States and it has always made me really nervous doing so. Now afterward I already have a second route being planned in my head. ;)

Tom and Jim, I think were just happy to go since I was a half hour late with getting gas and dealing with riding through two storm clusters.

This is day 1 of storms as we knew that a huge storm was coming out of the west and would cover all of WI later in the day.

Tom stopped here in far northern WI to take a picture of the bikes by the loon. I was shocked that he stopped for a photo opportunity. It's not something he does but I was glad he did.

Another Tom stop for pictures at a Vietnam war memorial.

Cold, wet and riding is not fun!

Day 2 and yes more rain. This time it was not very heavy stuff but the temperature was at 47 degrees. I had the heated grips on all day but only on low. The other thing that made my days in the rain better was the joe rocket rain liner that zips into my alter ego pants and jacket. The only thing wet was my feet. With boots it's hard to get a waterproof boot that is cool in the summer heat. They just don't make any boot that I know of that can do both good.

Later in the day north of Duluth MN the rain stopped and the sun showed up. Socks changed and liners removed.

Nice little rapid running into lake Superior. There were a lot of little lake feeds off the side of the road. The one thing that struck me was how Rockie Superior is. Lake Michigan is basically all sand shores and what I have been used to.

This was the last stop for American gas and I also developed a migraine a few miles before pulling in here. I needed about twenty minuets so the aura would go away and it was safe to ride again.

Just before passport check and me getting pulled into the border office.

As normal they ask you questions and one of the questions was have you been arrested before. Why yes I have ( under age operation of a street bike) and I guess I could of said no but I can't lie. With that answer I had to go into the border office and get grilled again and this time by a pretty lady. This didn't help me since now I have a pretty lady with these great eyes asking me more questions. I had to look at her and concentrate on the questions and not the eyes and not get shy with looking away. I just wanted to go home after the migraine and now this within 30 minuets of each other. It all got cleared up with long clear answers to the pretty lady.

Sleeping giant off the shores of Thunder Bay CA.

Watching the Black hawks game in our motel room.

Bikes parked for the night at our way too expensive flea bag motel. Something like $83 for a little two bed nothing room.

Day 3

The Nipigon cafe is fully licensed to sell pizza!! I have no clue why it says that and neither did the waitress. The pizza was pretty good but they don't offer sausage, odd!

In White River CA is the bear cub that was orphaned here and sent to England and inspired AA Milne to create Winnie the Pooh.

One of the many little lakes that you'll pass on the Trans Canada highway.

A big metal Canadian goose, everyone needs one!

Day 4 at the west side of lake Huron and the weather is good for us all day.

Our friend Tom went home due to work and crossed back to the states at sault Ste Marie.

We got stuck at the swing bridge coming on to Manitoulin island.

Bridal veil falls near the town of Kagawong.

Lot's of brave dragon fly's all around the falls.

We weren't supposed to ride on the dock but this town was dead and we only parked for a picture and rode off.

Camp for the night and at 2A.M. the rain woke me up. I have a hard time sleeping in a tent without the rain and all I kept thinking about was how to pack a tent in the rain.


Day 5 and we spent all day in the rain from morning to night. This is the ferry that takes you off of Manitoulin island called the MS Chi-cheemaun.

The bike locked down next to a huge RV. The bike and me cost $38 to cross lake Huron.

Jim checking his bike. The man behind Jim was named Terry and we met him at breakfast and he told us some good stories.

Day 6 is supposed to be a nice clear day per the weather channel.

Incline Railway that no one used.

The American falls side that everyone said was not great.

Me and Jim at the Canadian falls.

The maid of the mist boat ride.

After the falls we crossed over into Buffalo NY. Again at the border I was really nervous and they asked me where the last place I stayed at. All I said was "I have no clue, some cheap place along the lake". The guys just laughed at me and said "see you later".

These guys on the bikes were crazy but for a good cause. Their plan is to ride to every home teams baseball game across the county for charity. I let them know about the little parts of Chicago to stay far away from. At least they will have a short trip from The Sox to Cubs field.

Bob is very dirty!!

I don't think my bike has ever been this scummy ever!

Nice day off of lake Erie.

I don't have one picture of lake Ontario since the weather was so bad. We did hit it on the western tip. Tons of industry on the west side and looked a lot like the southern dirty tip of lake Michigan.

Day 7 Was started out of Milan OH.

Radar showed rain clusters for the ride home and yes we hit more rain.

So 4 days of rain and 3 dry.

All in all a very good trip. They funny part is everyone we met up north said you will see moose no matter what!! No moose for us but we did see a bear cub running around, and I didn't want to know where momma was. I think we had a better chance of seeing Bigfoot! :)

I really want to thank my wife for letting me be free for a week to go riding.