Thursday, April 14, 2011

Oh What A Tangled Web We Weave

It's time to address the wiring on my bike. The original harness looked as if it was made by a black widow spider on LSD. Additionally, it had been violated, repeatedly, by person or persons unknown who did not own a soldering iron, an assortment of crimp connectors or the crimping pliers. He (they) did, however, have an unlimited supply of electrical tape. I removed the entire harness and set it in front of me and went at it with knife and wire cutters. All I was left with was a few connectors and some lengths of wire. The factory wires with the application printed on them will, more than likely, be reused. Many of them will hit the trash can. There are no more electric pumps or tank valve so those circuits are no longer needed. The, mysterious, master relay will also disappear. I don't, quite, understand its function. I have wired a few cars and bikes over the years and none of them had a master relay. Another thing that will cut the number of wires to a minimum is the Grip Ace system that I bought. The blinker, starter, high/low, and horn are all controlled by a touchpad that fits into the left grip. There are two, small wires that pull through the bars and connect to a module that controls all of the, previously mentioned, functions. All of the, sometimes, troublesome and bulky looking handlebar switches will go into the Big Box O' Unused, Unwanted and Unnecessary Parts. Simplification does have it's cost. I had to add a few relays that BH didn't originally us. I still have the fan and horn relays, but there are new ones for the lights, start circuit and the ignition. The new harness, when completed may be sent out and covered with, old style, cloth braiding. I have a local outfit that we used to use for our Austin Healey harnesses. Fortunately, for me, they're still in business. I do not like taped harnesses or the corrugated, split plastic loom tubing that most people use. Just too cheezy and off the shelf looking. The braided loom will look really nice next to the fuel lines. Most people will never see it. Those that do will, probably, not notice anything special but that's OK. I and other detail oriented folks will see the difference. Sorta like a secret handshake.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Trikes and Trikers

On a motorcycle website, that I frequent, many of the members ride trikes. Often, some of them feel compelled to defend their choice of rides. Excuses range from, they are too old or infirm and a trike is their only choice all the way to trikes are, quite simply, better. I have ridden a few trikes over the years and even built one in the 70's. As a certified Boy Genius™, I have my thoughts about two versus three wheels. Of course, I am going to share them. The following are the reasons people ride tricycles.
1. Too old or infirm to ride a two wheeler.
No problem there. We all have to do the best we can with what we have left.
2. They have more carrying capacity.
Yes they do. There is plenty of room for a change of undies, tampons, your large collection of, douchey looking, do rags, nail files, Depends etc. How do the two wheel guys manage?
3. They're safer.
No they're not. Avoiding objects in the road is more difficult. Swerving between lanes, in an emergency, is out.
4. They won't fall over at a red light.
Oh Brother!! Maybe you should take a bus. What makes you think you won't just fall off the damned thing at any given time.
5. My wife likes it better than a bike.
My wife would like it if I wore a tuxedo, threw away all of my crappy T shirts and took up embroidery so I could keep her company. I'm keeping my testicles right where they belong. I love my wife, but certain thing are sacrosanct.
6. There's really no difference.
Uh huh, and sex with a man is just as good if the lights are off. Motorcycles, the kind with two wheels, are a Zen sort of thing. If you are a true biker, you know what I mean. You become one with your machine. Your brain is wired to the whole bike. You can feel the engine, feel the tires as they contact the road. The bike/man leans, counter steers, makes minor corrections automatically. The trike is a three wheeled car, a hermaphrodite contraption, a compromise.
Will the Boy Genius™ ever own a trike? Only if or when I fall into the first category, too ancient or stove in to handle two wheels. Of course, the extra room for travel essentials will be nice and, maybe, Wifey will want to tag along from time to time. Hmmmm, lesse, a Richmond 5 speed, a Jag IRS. You don't think I would take the easy way, do you?