Ride to Work

Friday, August 22, 2014

Montse the MGTDr

Other than commuting to work, not much riding the Bullet this last week.  However, the MG is running like a top.  Before we go too far, I know it's not an MG, it really is a Fiberfab MiGi II too but, for the sake of brevity, I will refer to it as the MG.  In the TD Replica Forum, other owners call these things TDr, for TD replicas, so I might go with that to avoid the confusion.  Still not registered, the Commonwealth in its infinite wisdom still hasn't processed my title, so it can't go out on the road but we have a very long private drive so we've been running her up and down that like two little fools.

Mechanically it is pretty sound.  Everything is working as it should.  It still has an oil leak that appears to be coming from the main engine seal.  The plan is to keep an eye on the leak and see how much oil it's losing.  I don't want to have the engine out and take the time for repairs while the weather is still good if we can run her safely.  We have decided to call her Montse, short for Montserrat.  That's the Holy Mountain for us Catalans, not the island in the Caribbean, which was named after the Mountain in any case.

I'll have to make some minor cosmetic alterations in the near future.  I'm referring to all the Union Jacks all over this thing.  No problems with having one somewhere to mark the provenance of the original car but one on the driver's side, one on the radiator shell, and one on the badge bar is just a little too much.

For more photos of Montse, please, check out this Flickr set.

On the exotic car tally, while commuting last week there was one white Bentley, one white Ferrari, and a DeLorean.  The tally now stands at 3 Ferraris, 1 Lambo, 1 Maserati, 1 unknown, 1 Cobra, 1 Bentley, and 1 DeLorean.  Still not counting the exotics I see while driving but once I get the MG on the road I will begin to add those I see while on the MG.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

The Best (Almost) Ton Machine

Photo Credit: Cycle World
Found this article from Cycle World in Jorge Pullin's blog, My Royal Enfields.  The article is a yearly feature in Cycle World listing the Rest of the Best, a compilation of "best" 10 motorcycles in some wacky categories.  This year the Continental GT wins for Best Way to (Almost) Do the Ton.

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Another Pillion Ride to the DK Diner

Today was my wife's birthday so we took a ride out to the DK Diner in West Chester for breakfast.  We had not done a pillion ride in a while, since last month's ride to the Goose Creek Grill, so it was nice to get ride together for a change.  Yet another great day for a ride with temps in the low 80s and no noticeable humidity.  Because we left fairly early, around 09:00, there was virtually no traffic on Goshen and we were able to make a nice run without putting feet down between 252 and the Pike.

On the Ridley Creek Bridge
After breakfast we headed back on the same track but stopped at a couple of places to take some pictures.  First at the bridge over Ridley Creek and then over at Bartram's Covered Bridge.  We saw several groups of riders on Goshen, all going in the opposite direction.  This was a short run, just to get breakfast, but I always enjoy riding that route because of the scenery and the nice layout of the road.  The Bullet performed great but, as can be expected, does not move very fast with two people on board.  At full throttle, with good road conditions, it was only able to hit 65 mph on the speedo.  Allowing for the ambitiousness of the speedo, it was probably not moving faster than 60 mph.

Ridley Creek

Interior of Bartram's Covered Bridge

Clowning around

High Speed Low Drag - XD

Crum's Creek by Bartram's Covered Bridge
Last time we rode together we had trouble with the UClear HBC 100 plus communicators I bought in Idaho.  I tried contacting UClear but they never replied so I fooled around with the dammed things and they are working fine now.  Don't ask me what I did, I just pushed buttons until the things worked.  We used them today on this ride and they were just fine and felt better with the new buckets than they did in the old set.

On departure the odo read 1708.5 miles at 09:10 and on return 1731.1 at 10:55.

Route: Out Goshen/Strasburg to West Chester Pike into West Chester to the diner and back on the same route.



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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Third Run at the Dragon

Great ride on the Dragon Yesterday.  Early afternoon with another beautiful day of great weather and very light traffic.  Now that the break-in restrictions are lifted, the Bullet is being pushed to higher speeds and maintaining that pace with no problems.  It is still not a fast mover but it is more fun to keep up speeds above 60 mph when conditions allow it. It's nice to hit full throttle!

The Dragon continues to bring challenges and fun.  This time I tried the original direction again which I find to be more fun because the twisties come earlier.  The portion on 82 after crossing 52 and before getting to Kennett Square is challenging in any direction and I still need more skill before feeling I have mastered it.  However, it's getting better, smoother, and faster.

"Roman" Bridge over the Brandywine
Still trying for a shot of the "Roman" bridge over the Brandywine in Delaware but without a place to stop or park the Bullet the best I could do is find a spot an pull over on the grass for this shot.  Not the best perspective but it's better than nothing.

 On the outbound leg on 926 before crossing 202 caught sight of a red Cobra in the incoming lane.  The exotic car tally stands at 2 Ferraris, 1 Lambo, 1 Maserati, 1 unknown, and 1 Cobra

On leaving the house at 12:50 the odo read 1643 miles.  On return at 14:45 the odo clocked 1705.8 miles.

Route: Goshen to Garret Mills across West Chester Pike to 926 out to 100.  The loop of 100 to 82 to 926. Return on 926 to Garret Mills and Goshen

On departure at 12:50 - 1643 miles

On return at 14:45 - 1705.8 miles

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

1600 Mile Maintenance

At Kiss Honda with a C5 in the background
A little bit over the recommended mileage but the break-in period is finally over.  This morning, with 1577 miles on the odo, the Bullet made the trek to Pottstown for the second scheduled maintenance.  The weather was beautiful, clear and blue with temperatures in the low 80s and no humidity to speak of.  The trip out through Valley Forge Park and up 23 to Phoenixville was amazing.  Just a little after 09:00 and there was almost no traffic on the roads at all.  The portion of the ride on 23, from the turn in the park to Phoenixville was amazing in that I had the road all to myself.

On arrival at Kiss Honda, the Bullet had 1603.9 miles and we had made the trip in 55 minutes.  The guys at Kiss did the required maintenance and found a couple more missing bolts from the heat shield that they replaced.  They also replaced the longer bolt that I had replaced earlier.  These replacements definitely did away from the rattling that I had noticed coming from the muffler area.  The guys at Kiss had a Continental GT sitting in front of the shop.  That will have to be my next bike.

Continental GT

Continental GT

Kiss Motorcycles

On the return trip the Bullet purred like Lucifer and ran really smoothly.  While the guys were working on the Bullet I walked around downtown and snapped some shots.  The Bullet handled increased speed on the straights really well but it does not seem to able to go any higher than 70 mph, even downhill with a tail wind!

Although there was no need to refuel, I made a pit-stop at the Wawa on 724 and Bridge St. and filled up.  The odo at that time was reading 1612 so the next refuel should be around 1812.  Easy enough to remember that number.  The tank took 1.882 gallons and we had covered 119.2 miles since the last refuel for a mileage of 63.3 mpg.

Traffic on the way back was a little heavier but despite the fact the it was lunch time it was not bad at all.  The weather continued to be fantastic and could not have asked for a better riding day.  At return the odo clocked 1634 miles for a 58.6 mile round trip.


Outbound:  Church to Waterloo, across Valley Forge to 23 and up 724 to Hanover St into Pottstown.
Inbound:  Reverse of outbound route with a detour down Berkley to Sugartown to my wife's work and from there back to Sugartown and Church for home.

Downtown Pottstown

Downtown Pottstown

Downtown Pottstown

Downtown Pottstown

On departure at home

Arrival in Pottstown

At Kiss Honda

At Wawa gassing up

At my wife's work

On return at home

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Stormtrooper Bucket

New Icon Airmada Helmet from Revzilla in gloss solid white.  It's comfortable, it wasn't noisy, and it doesn't have all kinds of stupid graphics all over it.  It also has the look and feel of an Imperial Stormtrooper helmet which, being an Empire kind of guy, appeals to my sense of humor. What is there not to love?  However, it does run small so get a size larger than usual.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

1952 MGTD Replica Car

New project and not motorcycle related, well maybe, it has always been my contention that a motorcycle is the poor man's convertible so who knows.  One of my friends, who is a hell of a nice guy, had this Fiberfab MiGi II sitting in his garage.  He had the car for several years but in the last four years the car just sat in the garage without moving.  His wife has been on him about doing something about it and about a month ago we were talking about the car and he offered it to me for just hauling it away.  A deal like that I could not pass up!

After clearing it with the Major General (the wife) and making arrangements with storage, insurance, and my local garage all that was left was to pick it up this morning.  USAA roadside assistance provided the lift and transported the car to Boyle's Service Station, my local guy, for whatever repairs may be needed.

The car appears to be in really good condition it's based on a 1971 Volkswagen Bug and was built in the early 80s, maybe in 1983.  It was running in 2010 and that was its last inspection year.  The engine is a 1600 cc and also looks in good condition but the battery is deader than a door nail so no way of knowing what else may need work.

I have always wanted a convertible and never had one before so I am really thankful to my friend, Dick, for just letting me have this toy.  Looking forward to getting this little beauty on the road!

On the Penna Turnpike

Almost at Boyle's

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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Malvern and Mad Anthony

St. David's Episcopal 

The sky has been overcast and threatening rain all day, not a good day for riding with the possibility of a downpour in the air but great light conditions for photography.  With that in mind, today's ride at midday was a scout for good photo sites.  My first idea was to hit the Willistown Friends Meeting House, on Goshen and Warren, and get some shot is the parking lot.  Of course, leave to the Quakers to have services (meetings?  I don't know.) on Sunday and fill up the parking lot in front of the meeting house with random cars.  Imagine that!  With that option out of the question the next plan was to run out on Warren towards 30 and scout that area. 

As I've mentioned before, Warren between Goshen and Providence is a hard-packed dirt road with loose gravel and some washed out areas.  Discretion being the best part of valor I made the big block on Sugartown to Providence for a left at Warren rather that taking it from Goshen.
The first part of Warren runs through farm country, fairly straight but with some hilly terrain.  After Davis Rd, Warren runs through a more residential area and flatter terrain to eventually come to a light at the Paoli Pike, where the little reservoir is on the north side of the Pike.  From there Warren enters Malvern, site of the Paoli Massacre on 20 Sept. 1777 or so the sign says, and flattens and straigthens almost completely.  There is an interesting sight shortly past the Pike on Warren, on the left there is a school with a large white statue of Christ on top of a hill.  I though about crossing the road for a shot but continued on to downtown Malvern.  There I followed King Street to 30 east.

Most of the road surface on 30 has been redone and the conditions there are excellent.  Lancaster Ave (30) is not a great ride but the road surface called for some speed and that's what happened, specially on the stretch between Woodside and Waterloo (not the Waterloo in Berwyn, the one in Devon).  I overshot Waterloo and Devon, but made a right on Dorset and back to Devon all the way to Saint David's Episcopal.
Grave of Major General Mad Anthony Wayne
At St. Davids, I pulled into the church yard for a photo of Major General Mad Anthony Wayne's tomb and some other shots.  The light conditions were perfect but the tiger mosquitoes did not want to cooperate.  After a handful of shots, I headed home.

This was a short ride, just a little over 22 miles, but it was a nice exploration.  The sky cooperated and there was no rain until after getting home.  At the beginning of the ride the odo read 1525 miles and at the end it clocked 1547.  A short but enjoyable day.

Chapel in the church yard

St. David's Episcopal


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Friday, August 1, 2014

The Dragon Again...

Garrett Snuff Mill building in Yorklin, Delaware
... but this time from the opposite direction.  Instead of going at the Chester County Dragon from east to west Thursday's run flowed in the opposite direction.  From this angle the twisties don't come as early because you hit 926 first which is pretty straight and fairly flat.  However, once you clear Kennett Square on 82 the twists and turns come pretty fast and furious.  I'm not sure which direction I like best yet so more rides will have to be made in both directions before making a final decision.
The weather definitely cooperated for this kind of ride.  It has been a fairly mild summer with not much oppressive heat and humidity to be had and yesterday was not exception.  For a mid-morning ride in late July it was fairly cool and very clear.  The ride went off without incidents but I did get lost a couple of times.  The first time was on Mt. Cuba, east of Yorklin on Creek Road (82), where Mt. Cuba Rd splits off to the right from 82.  I barely caught the sign out of the corner of my eye and took the fork to the left.  This was the right decision but I wasn't sure so I turned around to retrace my steps.  There is not much room to turn around on that road so I had retrace quite a bit to find a drive way.  Once I got back to the fork, and slowed enough to catch the sign, I was on my way again.  A little later I missed the left turn at 100 and Adams Rd because I had forgotten that 100 makes a dogleg turn there and to continue ahead means transferring to 92.  Soon enough the road T'd out on a four lane divided road that I did not recognized so I pull a U turned and retraced to the intersection at 100, which in this direction is clearly marked.

I did make a stop in Yorklin, Delaware, by an abandoned industrial area to take some shots of the Bullet.  These abandoned buildings turned out to be the ruins of the Garrett Snuff Mills complex which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Next time I pull in this area I plan to take some time to photograph the buildings because there are some interesting ruins there.

Although I had gassed up the day before at the Shell on 30, by work, because the tank had almost run dry, I still stopped at the Sunoco on the intersection of Rt 1 and 100.  The day before, the odo had read 1437.2 at the gas station and the tank took 3.05 gallons to fill for a mileage of 66.8 mpg.  At the Sunoco, the odo read 1492.8 and the tank only took .77 gallons.  This time the mileage was 72.2 mpg confirming my suspicion that the start and stop of commuting does affect the mileage results.

On the way back I made a detour on Providence Rd to check on a storage unit and on the way out of the parking lot the Bullet cut out completely.  I was able to coast into a drive way, kill all the switches, get off the bike, kick the kickstand, and it started right up again.  I don't think it was operator failure, the bike just completely cut out.  It might have been that stupid kickstand switch but I don't know.  The break-in period is officially over and I have an appointment for the 1500 mile maintenance for next Thursday.  We'll see what they say.

At the end of the run the odo read 1515.5.  Break-in period over but I will keep with break-in restrictions until after maintenance next Thursday. 

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