Exploring the Unknown

Exploring the Unknown

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Serenity Bobbed Out!

Spit Shined & Ready to Ride!
I have owned several bikes over the last ten years or so but I must confess I haven't enjoyed owning a bike as much as I have my Suzuki Intruder 1400 since my Harley-Davidson Nightster! Like the Nightster, there are hundreds of things that you can do to the Intruder that many Japanese bikes are limited by. I have spent the last few months, in particular, the last week especially, bobbing out my bike as much as I can without actually changing the structural integrity of the bike. Inspired by many of the ideas I have seen via Intruder Alert and Blue Collar Bobbers, I am proud of the end result given that there isn't anything that any Joe Schmo couldn't do himself. The final touch were some decals that I added today after washing the bike and prepping it for this coming weekend's ride to Mont-Tremblant, Quebec.

Installing a RefinedCycle HM1 Mount & HDLT5-1 Headlight

Things Are Looking Up!
As mentioned in my previous blog, Installing Wild 1 Chubby Outlaw 10 Inch Z Bars & Harley Vintage Gran Turismo Grips, I found myself at the end of the experience with a beautiful bike but no way of starting it! So after crying about it for twelve hours or so I decided to get a start on rectifying the problem the very next afternoon and took the headlight apart again. Only this time, I figured I'd also start on installing the brand new RefinedCycle HM1 Mount Adapter & HDLT5-1 Headlight I had purchased some several months ago. As always I had waited so long because of no other reason than a genuine lack of confidence. However, the more I take this bike apart the more I find myself wanting to take everything apart just to see if I can put it back together! ;-) I decided to prep by getting everything I required including a soldering kit, which inevitably would not be necessary! Suffice it to say, there is something extremely satisfying about working on your own bike; even more so when you complete the job and realize you didn't get ripped off from some shop who has a penchant for over charging -  an epidemic amongst some shops in Montreal!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Installing Wild 1 Chubby Outlaw 10 inch Z Bars & Harley Vintage Gran Turismo Grips

Prepping the Patient!
Since buying my 1996 Suzuki Intruder 1400 I have been inundating folks at Intruder Alert with various questions regarding nearly everything and anything about the bike. I had purchased several parts for the bike prior to even taking ownership of it and thus their patience and friendliness has helped me come to understand the inner workings of my girl, Serenity. One constant uncertainty for me, however, has been the Wild 1 Chubby Outlaw 10 inch Z Bars which I purchased for the bike back in November or December 2011. Thanks to the folks at Intruder Alert keeping everyone up-dated on their day to day opinions and up-grades of this model bike I noticed that many have swapped their handlebars out on this bike. However, it begs to question whether all Intruder's are built equally?! I ask because apparently some have said my 10 inch bars would fit whilst others swear they wouldn't. Admittedly, once the bike was in my possession I had my doubts that the brake hose in particular would stretch far enough.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

La Vie En Rose

Parents of All Kinds
Were Out With Their Kids!
I opted out of the Ride for Dad motorcycle run today in order to actually be a dad to my two little boys! Situated next to the St. Lawrence River, Operation Board Walk was conceived on a whim after my beloved wife, Jennifer, suggested we spend the day near some place scenic.  The bicycle path in Verdun spans for miles in either direction. To the left, you could literally travel by bicycle to Cote St. Catherine on the South Shore via Nuns Island. To the Right, you could easily go through Lachine and access Point Claire and Beaconsfield. We decided to go right with the intention of stopping in Lachine by the marina. For bicycle lovers Montreal boasts hundreds of miles of bike paths, some taking you as far out as the Eastern Townships! There is something for everyone's interest and skill levels. Having grown up in Verdun the bicycle path along Boulevard Lasalle is a personal favorite of mine.

Friday, May 25, 2012

DesTination: Bassin De Chambly

Trip Itinerary -
Courtesy a la Beakster
Whilst most were returning home after a long day at work we were heading back out onto the open road for what inevitably would be a very beautiful evening ride along the Bassin de Chambly located in the Monteregie area in Quebec. Short and sweet was the order of the evening as 'Bobby the Bobber' led us off the island of Montreal and towards the South Shore on his H-D 48. Beakster brought up the rear as tailgunner with his lovely Triumph Bonnie whilst I had the pleasure of just 'riding' with two other fellas in the middle, Jean-Sebastien on his Buell XB 12S and Fuad on his Kawasaki ER-6N. This was Fuad's maiden voyage with the Dragon Riders and would prove to be a baptism by fire of sorts as it was also the first time he would take to the road for so long a period on a motorcycle!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

DesTination: Montebello!

Fairmont Le Château Montebello,
Montebello, Quebec
What a day! There was an assortment of emotions this morning as members from the Dragon Riders Riding Group took to the road from Moe's Bar & Grill in the West Island and headed out towards Montebello, Quebec via Riguad and Oka. The weather was in and around 29 degrees and before long the majority of riders began undressing as the day progressed. Being used to Irish weather when motorcycling it was a rare treat for me to be able to remove my leather jacket out of necessity as temperatures were multiplied by the heat of the engine, let alone the tarmac. There were roughly nearly twenty bikes in our pack today, some with passengers whilst other equipped with sound systems and i-pads no less... yes, you read that right! More on that in just a second...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

DesTination: Dragon Riders Welcome/Bienvenue Orientation

Photo © Richter7
The last few weeks have found Steve Houle, organizer of the Dragon Riders Riding Group and myself, slave to Steve Houle's ambitions for motorcycle riding group domination of the world, working feverishly on preparing safety guidelines for riding in a group. Group riding can be one of the greatest experiences or one of the worst depending on a variety of variables. Some of these variables, such as knowing how to ride (you would think this is a given, wouldn't you?!) and respecting which 'third' of the lane you are in is under the control of the rider. Whereas, other variables, such as someone chatting on their cell phone whilst driving a car and hence not paying attention or equally as bad, the inept cage driver too engrossed in picking his nose instead of checking his blind spots, is clearly out of our control. Whatever the situation may be we decided to put together a presentation of sorts of riders of all experience levels in the hopes that it will encourage smarter and safer ride outs universally.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

DesTination: St. Jean Sur Richelieu

The Orange Julep
Decarie, Montreal
After last week's successful trip with the Dragon Riders Riding Group to Val-David's Au Petit Poucet restaurant I found myself wanting more! However, I wasn't willing to wait two weeks before another ride out so I decided to set something up in and around the Montreal Island. Before I knew it, we found ourselves a motley crew of eight - four provisional learners and four full licensed members. The Dragon Riders Riding Group encourages all provisional learners to join as there are many volunteers who are willing to collect them from their homes and take them on day trips. Depending on how friendly the learners are we may even decide to escort them back home... or leave them somewhere in the Canadian wilderness... it's their call really!