Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Preparing the scoot

To prepare her Majesty for this adventure some maintenance and modification is in order. To-do for the next couple of weeks:

Maintenance:

- I have replaced OEM paper air filters with dual density washable UNI foam. Majesty has two air filters and due to their low position they get dirty very fast. They will likely be totally clogged by the time I get to Newfoundland on all that gravel, so I have to be ready to take them off and wash them. Gasoline, oil and a pair of rubber gloves is all I need.

- New sintered brake pads. The EBC HH pads alone significantly improved braking on the Bandit. Majesty brakes very well as-is, but rear pads are due for replacement and I saved on shipping by ordering the front at the same time. One can never have too much stopping power.

- New car winter rear tire. Car tire has a wider contact patch and should have better grip on loose surfaces as well as better comfort on the highway. If other people's experiences are to be trusted, it's not half bad at cornering either. Winter tire has softer rubber, but it should still outlast at least two motorcycle tires. It costs less than half, so if you count mounting and balancing costs it's at least five times cheaper per kilometer. I couldn't find a suitable tire (winter, symmetrical thread pattern, 13" rim) in Toronto, so I ordered it from US. Expecting to pick it up from my US address (CBIUSA.com) next weekend. It's Achilles Platinum 7:



- Replace CVT belt. The current original factory belt is still in good shape and has plenty of wear left, but it's far beyond manufacturer recommended replacement interval. I'll install a new one and give the transmission a once-over while I'm at it. I'll bring the old one as a spare.

Modifications:

- USB power supply. I have my mounted my old self-refurbished GPS (base maps only) on the steering head with power supplied from a DC/DC converter. I want to attach my tablet and phone to the same power source and stick them in the left (lockable) glove compartment.



- Hook up a connection for the heated jacket liner. I have the controller and half of the wiring already in place. Just need some connectors and means to affix the controller to the side below the seat.

- Headlight switch. If I have enough time I'll add a switch to turn off the right headlight (or maybe both?) in case I need to save electrical power for the heated grips and jacket liner. I don't know how much extra juice Majesty's charging system produces and I may need every Ampere I can spare.

- Sheepskin seat cover. Still debating on this one. It's a great comfort mod for both hot and cold weather. However, it will likely get soaked at some point and I don't need one more thing that I'll have to dry or protect from the rain.

- It occurred to me that I'll be often parking on surfaces that are too soft to support the center stand or the side stand. Carrying and using kickstand pucks is a PITA, so I decided to rig it up something uglier but more efficient:


I have yet to test it, but I don't think it will sink in anything that's not fluid. Zip-ties are holding it in place just fine and it doesn't touch anything or stick out when stand is folded up.

I already have good heated grips and, thanks to my friend Jesse, hand guards too.




I'm thinking of getting those mitts that ATV folks use over the handlebars. Very warm and excellent in protecting my hands from the elements, but can be uncomfortable in dry, warm weather...

Cigarette lighter socket is installed in case I need 12V power for anything extra (example, tire compressor). 


Tools:


- Compact compressor and tire plug kit. I've used a $15 Canadian Tire compressor and $5 plug kit in numerous occasions with excellent results.




- Enough tools to be able to clean air filters and possibly also replace the CVT belt on the road. I just need a long screwdriver for filters, but CVT is a different story. I'll make a full assessment of what I need when I replace the belt.

- A bunch of zip ties, duct tape, campers headlight, flashlight, Swiss army knife, WD-40, ...