Monday, April 25, 2011

Random Bits...

Just a few random bits there today.....


The Mighty XT350 is due for a rear tire, I bought a Cheng shin C858 (now discontinued) last summer for it, and it now reaching the end of its  life, roughly 2500 miles later. I have been really happy with the tires, they carried me through mud, sands, rocks, and lots of pavement commuting. I was going to order another when I found out they was discontinued. So the next tires will be IRC TR-11 DOT trials tread.


I'm still using the bags here a month later, they have held up well without issue even after I let the left one get against the tire and got some scrub wear on it. These bags are not rain proof without the covers, so anything you want dry better go in a ziplock baggie if you plan on leaving it in the bags.
I've carried several pounds in the bags in general for the last month and commutes totaling about a 1000 miles. Only complaint is that they was missing straps from the factory that would allow you to connect the front through the frame and the rear. These straps would allow adjustment and positive attachment to the bikes frame.


XTique was the name I gave my 82 Yamaha XT550, it started life as a mild mannered stock XT when I got my hands on it. Now its a FrankenBike. Its been improved and is now capable of cross country travel on roads or without. Its a hybrid of parts. Frontend, from honda XR350, Shock from a YZ465, and the the engine is now a TT600 mill. Thus a Frankenbike, built from a little of everything.
 My oldest boy had a growing spurt over the winter and can now reach the ground from the seat of a long travel suspended bike.
Here is enjoying the torque of a large thumper.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Roads without bridges.....

Today I did something different, I'm off tonight and with this being the first Sunday off since I started the new job I took advantage of the weather and took Susan, Lucas and Sam for a Jeep ride.
Google Map of todays Journey.

The road there is only passable when dry anymore and then you never know when the Arkansas sand and silt is going to give way under your tires.
Its more of an ATV trail now, but its close enough to the road to walk in if you choose.

At 24 years old the old Jeep XJ is more Utility than Sport anymore, but it is reliable as a swiss watch and capable as most anything you could by new today.
193.000 miles on the clock, but the engine has only 130k on it. It takes us out and home again.

That is Springfield Bridge in the background, built in 1876 and was condemned around 1980, it is the oldest bridge in the state. Bow String Arch design. Before it was built people would have to travel several miles upstream towards Mallettown and fjord the creek there if the water wasn't to high.

Lucas my Daredevil he didn't let the rotten timbers bother him a bit. He was more than happy to pose for pictures.

Lucas and Sam. Sam was scared of the missing timbers and needed the coaching of his brother to get up there.

I wish there was money in the county budgets to restore this piece of history before the next flood washes it down stream. The embankment is washing away under the bridge and only six to eight feet from the bridge foundation blocks.

This ancient Cypress tree, use to be the anchor point for the bridge  on the East side of the creek. There was an old 1" cable run around this tree to keep the floods from sending the bridge down stream.

Something you don't see much, they must've hit Oil instead of Gas and they're steadily pumping it out I guess. 

Heres our first fjord, on Lone Pine Road. It was deeper than I thought on that end. 
I actually thought I might have to use the 4x4 mode, it started to spin on the rock bottom. 
Freshly washed wheels and undercarriage. 
Old buildings like this intrigue me, I love the use of natural stone and the history. This is on Center School road. The Methodist proselytized this area in the 1800's and early 1900's and this the typical design of their churches and they served as schools too. 

Just past the Church the view is beautiful. 
This leads us down the mountain to Cow Ford Road. 

 We found a local Swimming hole and you know kids, they had to have time to play. 
That water was COLD and DEEP.
Sam had to play too. 
After the swim break.... 
White Oak Mountain Overlook picnic area. 
Just a little Ozark Mountains waterfall on Dare Creek. 
From up at the overlook, we decided it wasn't to far to Mt Magazine, highest point in the state of Arkansas. 
So off we went, and I took a detour that cut 20 miles off but involved roads that would remind you of Deliverence and Banjos playing. 
We circle around and come up the south side of Mt Magazine. 
Looking south over the Petit Jean River Valley. Pictures can not do it justice. 
The Cloud cover and haze washed the bits of spring color that is there. 
These are looking to the north off Mt Magazine..... 
I wish it was clearer weather out. 
This is the Hang Glider Launch off the south side of Mt Magazine, it is a very long ways straight down from here. 
No one was flying today. 
Next on out trip was Petit Jean to see the view and stop and stop at a friends for a visit. 
West end of Petit Jean looking north. 
I hope you enjoyed the pictures and my little narrative. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

ATV/Bike Tow Rope...

Look what the brown truck brought me today. I was shopping on ebay and found a nice roll of it. This stuff is 3/4" wide and maybe 1/16" thick, and rated pulling strength of 1800#'s. What better material to carry on your bike, atv, or even hiking. You can carry dozens of feet of the stuff have no appreciable weight to be toting around.

I've used it before to pull a bike out of the woods and had no issue at all. Just a great utility item to carry on your remote adventures, Jeep, ATV, Bike, Hiking, Emergency repair kit. You name it.

Like a friend told me he wanted a few hundred feet of the stuff for use in his Toyota to drag trees and anything else that might be in his way when out wheeling. Feel free to contact me if you would like some too.

No fingers aren't that dirty,its the contrast of the cell phone camera and direct sunlight with the bright white of this reflecting  light.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Just a tidbit...

The little XT is like the energizer bunny. It just runs and runs, always ready to go where you point it without giving worry or a reason to doubt its ready to go.
Last night the winds was howling in anticipation of the coming climatic change, the XT and I danced the dance to work, with a little shrug here and there due to the violent cross winds. On the pavement its not a big hassle you just micro correct and go on, but on the gravel roads its a little more dire. Sudden movements of the bars a loose surface can land you a front place report on the face plant forum on and no one whats that kind of of publicity.
 We went out this morning to pay a few bills and make a deposit in the bank in the rain. I can say I like the FX-37 in the rain well too, I made a side trip to the Army Surplus store and found a little wool green scarf to shield the neck from the winds of change that was blowing through today.

Not really much more to tell, except I was in the shop and on the LC4 and see if it would start. It was a big FAIL, it turned over great with the battery but refused to fire up. I rarely regret bikes or car purchases and the last one I seriously remember regretting is a Mazda 626 that blew the engine the first day we had it. The second I can honestly say is the KTM as much as I love riding it, it has not been a heart warming experience in any form. I'm so tired of working on it that I doubt I will again.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

AFX FX-37 Dual Sport Helmet part II

I've had a few days with the new helmet now for over a a hundred miles commuting to work.
I can say that I like it. Sure the optics are not perfect, but at speed you never notice it.
It could use venting control on the chin guard, it lets a fair amount of cold air in through the opening there and there is no regulating it.
There is a fair bit of wind noise from air flow over the helmet.
The visor is quite high but I was able to tuck my head a little block the morning sun riding without much trouble.
you will also notice cross winds with it too, seems to catch the wind a little more than an MX helmet.

I'm also still noticing two pressure points when wearing it, just above my forehead, I think a little adjustment with a hammer to shape/soften the foam just a little will cure this, maybe even sand it out just a little with some 100 grit paper.