Tagged: motorcycles

It’s That Time of Year Again…

This morning I prepped the garage, topped up her tank, added some sta-bil, and moved her into her winter resting spot. I haven’t covered her up yet though – I’m hoping maybe there’s another riding day to be had, though I’m clearly not holding my breath.

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It could be worse: my friend Greg in El Paso TX got his new F430 delivered to him in five inches of snow. Not sure I can wrap my head around the concept of five inches of snow in El Paso TX!

The Zen of Leaning

I was first exposed to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance when I was in my early 20s. The Chairman of the Board crooned

love like youth is wasted on the young

and I think that ZAMM might also be wasted on the young. I can tell you for sure that it was wasted on me oh those mumble-mumble years ago.

Why was it wasted on me? The primary reason is that I think I was simply burned out on allegorical learning. Although I wouldn’t trade my liberal arts education for anything (I have a BA in Computer Science, not a BS – go figure), I wasn’t that far out of school when I read ZAMM, and my brain was much more in “geek mode”, if you will.

But two things have happened that brought me back to the book. First, I now have a gaggle more gray hair and children of my own. As Pirsig writes early on in the book:

At age eleven you don’t get very impressed with red-winged blackbirds. You have to get older for that.

Second, I now ride and wrench my own motorcycle.

I had a mentally-draining day today. Lots of stuff going on. Almost uniformly good stuff, but lots of it. I was pretty stressed as I pulled into my driveway this evening. I opened the garage door to see my bike with its rear end in a dozen pieces strewn across the floor (my own doing). The weather forecast for tomorrow is looking yummy, so on a lark I decided I’d put her back together, minus the part I’ve been waiting interminably on. Forty-five or so minutes later, with nary a cuss-word issued, my bike was whole and idling, and I was a new man. Stress gone. Mind clear.

Get thee to a motorcycle dealer, folks! There really is something to this…

[With many thanks to Brad and Dave for exposing me to Pirsig in the first place!]

999 Pricing

So, as previously threatened, I’ve been monitoring 999 prices. All the more so since my FZ6 is in various pieces in my garage, awaiting the never-arriving-part-from-hell. Dealers seem to be willing to move leftover 2006 999s for $13,500 to $15,500 or so (before negotiation). What’s disheartening is that KBB suggests a 2006 999 is worth $9,700 on trade. That’s 30% to 40% depreciation off the lot. Not as bad as your average Bentley, but still…

If anybody out there has a used black 999 available, feel free to drop me a line!

So Much For Cheap 999s?

The latest issue of Motorcyclist Magazine, which hit my mailbox today, contained an exceptionally interesting, and revealing, article comparing the 999S with the 1098S in real track conditions, with a real rider.

Doug Polen, winner of three Superbike Championships in the early 90s, suited up at Buttonwillow to put the two bikes through their paces. The track record there is apparently 1:46.5. Net-net, Polen was able to get the 1098S down to 1:53.31. He was able to get the 999S down to 1:52.25. A second faster than the young gun. While the 1098S outperformed the 999S on the drag strip (the power-to-weight ratio is much better on the new bike), Ducati is clearly engineering at the edge, and newer isn’t necessarily better.

So perhaps my prediction from last year was premature and the 999s will retain their values. Bummer.

The Urge to Lean

The urge to lean has ratcheted up over the last couple weeks. Alas, we got our first real snow of the winter this past week, with more due tomorrow. Much too much ice, salt, and sand on the road for a spin (never mind the mercury). So while I stir impatiently, she sits patiently awaiting spring and a robust, road-washing rain.

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Ducati 1098 Swingarm Engineering

When Ducati designed the 1098, they tasked their engineers to figure out how to get back to a single-sided swingarm. The result is a rather choice piece of kit.

Here’s a neat video that shows CAD cutaways of the design, and here’s a snap of the piece of art in situ.

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