2023-05-07 Sea Cow Head for lunch

 Yesterday we took someone special out for their birthday lunch, so today we thought we would have a picnic somewhere on the island, and of course there was no destination, it was just an excuse for a ride once again. 

Caroline at
Sea Cow Head Lighthouse
Prince Edward Island

We pieced together some food items, I offered up "meat sticks", and she contributed a can of Kirkland tinned chicken that had seen better days. I tossed my gear into my top box and sent her a last message to say that I was out the door and on my way, but I also took the precaution of sharing my live location with her as I might have a used power bank purchase on Facebook Marketplace... Or perhaps not. lol. If he was awake and on my way, I'd ask if I could e-transfer the cash and pick it up on the way from Charlottetown out to Tryon, or so I thought. I did manage to make it as far as the MayPoint Road Ultramar before I heard the facebook messenger chime, but he lived in the wrong direction out past Stratford, so I transferred him the money and made arrangements to pick it up on Tuesday of this week when I would be free. It's an Anker 20,000mAh li-po pack that I'll be using to upgrade my off grid power for camping and general riding, with an eye towards bringing power up into my tank bag in future. (And he miss labelled it, turns out it was 10,000 mAh, but for $20 for an Anker branded battery I deemed it worthwhile)

Augustine Cove
High Tide
Caroline uses a Quadlock mount with anti-vibration dampener  to mount her phone for use with Google Maps for navigation about the island. There aren't many spots without coverage so it's a great tool for riding around, but it's not ideal unless you have a back up plan such as Maps.me with Open Street Maps (OSM) installed for offline routing if needed. Quadlock is a great system but you really need the anti-vibration dampener component or you can kiss your phone camera focus goodbye. iPhone Optical Image Stabilization OIS can be destroyed if you don't ride with the anti-vibe mount. Ask Caroline or myself for details on that gem. **Sigh

Anyhow, she was very kind and waved me ahead of her for the technical twisty bits as she was still feeling her way out for this start to the season, but soon found her pace or happy place if you will. 

Caroline at Carleton PE

It was near 1300 so it was going to be a late lunch. lol. And once I'd settled down and pulled out my gear, I found that I'd messed up. I my imagination, I was going to use my SVEA123R Swedish Flamethrower to cook lunch in my brand new stainless steel cook set, an upgrade over the older aluminum setup that couldn't be used over a campfire, while these could be if you wanted to use them as a 1.1 litre billy can. What could go wrong? 

I could have completely forgotten to fill the tank with fuel, that's what could go wrong! 

SVEA123R with zero gas
Caroline to the rescue with her wee 110gr ISO butane cartridge and mini gas stove that I'd bought for her back in 2019. Lol. I felt like such an idiot, lunch was back on the menu, and it was now 1322 and we hadn't even begun to boil the water for lunch. 

Caroline enjoying her Special Ramen. 
Caroline brought along a tin of Costco chicken, and I'd prepped some onion and garlic before hand at home, so Caroline got the first pot, then it was my turn to wait for lunch. 

1350 and mine is ready. Clearly we should have started this all earlier. lol. 

You can see the topsoil, the clay, and the porous sandstone that makes up much of the island

I love this place almost as much as I love this girl. 

Sea Cow Head Selfie!

Do you see that blue bag attached to the Caroline's rear rack? When we put our kickstands down, there was a bunch of trash that had been discarded by people using this spot, probably teens who forgot to bring their mothers along to clean up after them. How they expected aluminum beer cans to decompose is beyond me, but I love that Caroline isn't content to leave a place full of litter, and we both filled the bag, and included our lunch litter. I'm proud to be with someone who  likes to leave the place better than when she found it. 

Of course I had to spin out to the end of the point to get this shot with my bike. You might recall seeing me pose it here in the past? :)

2009 Versys KLE650
Sea Cow Head
Prince Edward Island

We had to head back to Caroline's as Erika had planned to pick up her 1984 Honda CM250  that was stored for the winter in her garage. 
And she showed up with her friend D'Anyil late in the afternoon. Thankfully I'd installed a battery tender on the bike earlier in the season, and put her bike on a charge so it was full, because it was obstinant and did seem to want to spark into life. Bikes need fuel, spark and air, and I was fairly sure of the spark, but it was discovered that the tank was dry, so the solution was to top it off with some premium gasoline Caroline keeps for her lawn mower, and then wait until the carburetor had a chance to refill. 

Probably a good time to air up the tires, and Caroline has a portable battery operated air pump that is ideally suited to the purpose. Yep, they'd lost some pressure over the winter. 

And it needed a top off of oil as well. A bit of Shell Rotella T4 15W40 and it was good to go. 

Hunter is happy to be part of all the action

Erika got the bike running well with lots of choke and prayer, there was a burst of smoke and noise, and a shout... "IT'S ALIVE!!!". In spite of offering a stay for supper, Erika rode off on the Trans Canada Highway towards town followed by the purse driven by D'Anyil. 

And of course Tazo and Hunter needed their customary loving at the end of the day. Awesome. 

That was a great start to the season, and I'm hoping we can do a repeat soon. Perhaps with an expanded menu. :)

What do you take on your moto picnics? 

P.S. The chocolate dessert I brought melted in their wrappers, and needed to be refrigerated in order to be eaten later on. Caroline was most pleased with the Icy Squares I'd brought with me. :)


2023-04-16 Welcome Spring!!!

I'd been a bit lazy, for when my Versys let me down in the fall of last year, no longer charging the battery and leaving me high and dry at Gas's grocery store in New Haven Prince Edward Island, Caroline helped me collect it, and we stuck it into her garage, where it has sat on a battery tender over the winter.


There is a real danger of ice today
It's 1C / 34F today!

I'd pulled into Gas' and refilled with the engine off, and the trouble began when the motor failed to start after paying and grabbing a couple of things. The owner of the store loaned me a battery boost pack big enough to jump start a truck, so it had no problem boosting the Versys back to life, but try as I might, I could get no clear indication that the battery was charging, and when I pulled the pack off, the bike would die immediately. Caroline arrived with her Klein Digital Multimeter and I proved that the battery wasn't taking a charge conclusively, so returned the pack and made arrangements to leave the bike and pick it up the next day. **Sigh. 

It was still September, so once we rolled the bike off the trailer and into Caroline's garage, I thought I'd have tons of time to repair it, but was truly dreading the cost, as a new stator and regulator could be over $1000 easily if you were buying OEM parts, but then along came Hurricane Fiona, the nasty beotch, and bikes were a thing of dreams for a bit there while we tried to put the island back together post storm. The the snow set in and there was always an excuse not to be outside freezing one's digits off. I finally got off my butt, read some online "How-To" material and decided I needed a definitive test of the bikes stator, but there is so much information on the topic that it becomes pretty overwhelming, and I may not have had the best meter in the world when I found that with the stator disconnected at the wiring harness plastic connector, a three wire, spade set up, that each leg of the stator was making more than 15VAC with respect to frame ground, and that increased as the revolutions went up.

ElectroSport Stator
ESG638 Stator Kawasaki ZX-6R/ZX-6RR

 Good, so electrically the stator was okay so the regulator rectifier must be to blame, right? WRONG!!! That stupid connector... one of the spades was "make or break" and that meant that the output to the battery was fine on two legs, but on the regulator rectifier side of the connector one of the legs was not making voltage at all, so it took a spade terminal and female terminal replacement to square it away in no time flat. 

Excessive arcing caused be a "too loose" connector. 

Darn it! I could have ridden well into Fall last year, but I'd mis diagnosed the problem and thought it was a much more expensive fix. 

The red size is about all you will need for a Versys
Unless you are dealing with battery cables :)

Well, procrastination works, and here I am riding it as a daily commuter while my Honda Civic gets it's yearly inspection and tune up by Nicholson's Garage in Darlington PEI where Eldred and Kevin are hard at work trying to keep that old machine on the road so I have a sled for those snowy days when you need four wheels on the ground. 

While my friends in Ontario have been camping already, I'm old enough and smart enough to wait for warmer weather for that, plus I still have to redo my fork seals and brake pads up front as well. On a bike that is now fourteen years old, you have to expect a few wee problems here and there, don't you? 

Shiny side up!!!

UPDATE: 2023-09-16

It was worse than I thought, and the bike ran okay for a bit, but I lost the use of my headlight, changed out the bulb to find out it was the relay not "latching" on due to insufficient battery/stator output. Much later that summer I had to ask my girlfriend to trailer my dead bike back to the apartment, where I put it on a charge, and ordered in a battery from Bolger Motorsports, the Kawi dealer. 
It wasn't the battery. I needed to bite the bullet and order in a new Stator, and Regulator/Rectifier (heavy duty Mosfet version this time) that got installed first weekend in September.)
So after a new "Trifecta" of electrical parts, the bike is running well and I can now pull over and kill the engine knowing that the AGM battery is going to have the juice to start the bike, and power my heated grips, high beams, and heated jacket, or charge a battery bank for moto camping later on that day. Win win but it exhausted my wallet, and cost me a planned trip to visit family in September, sadly. But having a reliable scoot back under me is a true joy, and I mean to get the most use I can out of it before the end of the riding season, which for me will be when it snows and sticks around with night time temps below zero, and daytime highs of less than 4 degrees Celsius.