Dee invited Suzi and I to make the trek up to Quebec to camp out overnight at the Esprit white water rafting campground, and who could refuse when a lovely girl sends you a Garmin GDB with a wonderfully twisted route? I did have to create a KML file and use GPSVisualizer to convert it back into a GDB so I could have a Route AND a Track, but that’s the geek in me. Think of it as a highlighted route marked on the map, I’ve become addicted to tracks and the trackback feature, but once in a while I like to gas up and get lost. 😉
Anyhow, Suzi was a bit nervous on the Bandit as opposed to the KLR but she settled in and began to enjoy the ride as soon as we passed the first stinky cow farm. It what she likes. 🙂
Suzi greets the people that she meets in her own particular way.
Richmond Hill ON – Chemin Esprit QC & Return
The colours are beginning to turn, so if you head up Bancroft way expect the real show perhaps this and the following weekend.
There was a lot more riding along the lakeshore, but I forgot the route. 🙁
The Newmarket crew organized by the lovely Elektra queues up to leave
Goldie and her friends join in
Isis rides sweep on Pinky
We’re quite a large group just by ourselves
Some of us opt to avoid the 400. Suzi prefers rural roads to the highways.
My friends Sarah & John, as people line the roads to watch a parade of 112 bikes led by Aminal towards Midland.
The view ahead
Our Hostess, Fozzy and Sam the wonder dog.
Paul and Aminal roasting meat for a hungry crowd
Poor little mouse, all alone on my plate
Stop staring at me!
Elektra and Cat enjoying the atmosphere
Paul can’t keep up with Thomas, so Ric steps in while Mike lends support.
Our hosts, Aminal, Sam and Fozzy.
Sam plays hard to get.
This is the best of the sequence… You’ll soon see why, it was like trying to herd cats…
Don’t look at the camera Scott
Don’t look at the camera Karen
It’s a fail, but I love the laughter captured here. 🙂
Time to say our farewells
Sam is a gets special attention
I’ve never been held up at a light because of the leaders blowing kisses at each other until today, lol.
That’s not dirt, parachutes are coming in…
I dropped Suzi off with my friends Willie & Sheelagh as I’d planned a three day ride south into Pennsylvania with a friend. I met up with my brother Shaun who was buying a used Givi top box off of me, and I’d offered to help him install it in my garage in Richmond Hill, so he followed me down the 404 until we exited at Elgin Mills and headed West towards my home.
Here’s where it gets knarly. The front tube failed and my tire went flat as I tried to reduce my speed from 70kph to 0 for a red light. The front end was giving some really nasty feedback, like trying to steer a marshmallow through a campfire… The tire would flop with every steering correction and I realized I needed to get off the front brake and scrub off my speed quickly with the rear brake only, which I proceeded to do when the front end washed out from underneath me at about 40kph and down I went kissing the pavement rather quickly. I’ve some experience with this sort of thing, and was up quickly ensuring that I wasn’t about to be run over by my brother or the traffic behind, while he was quick enough to grab the three pieces of my cell phone and put it back together while I picked the bike back up and got it onto it’s kickstand.
I called CAA and Rod from MotoLimo.com came to the rescue
Rod from MotoLimo.com
We got the bike into my driveway, and started work on Shaun’s bike to mount the rack. The longest part was locating screws of the correct thread that were tall enough to secure the add on plate. We ended up cannabalizing a couple of bolts from a ram mount kit that I’d used on my VFR, along with a stack of washers as the bolts were 1/4″ too long and were bottoming out before putting pressure on the rack/plate. Okay, that sorted out we drilled a couple holes in his top rack and had it on in no time. Now there is one place on his bike that will stay dry. 🙂
KLR’s are awesome once you start to mistreat them and scratch them up. I’ll have mine back on the road as soon as my swollen clutch hand doesn’t protest when I grab a couple of tire spoons. 😛
Cheers, and a special thanks to Aminal and Fozzy for hosting a wonderful ride and BBQ!
Go grab a basketball. Bounce it on the ground. See how quick it bounces back? That’s rebound. Next, fill half of the basketball with water. Bounce it on the ground. See how sluggishly it returns? That’s compression. The ball is a sphere to contain and restrict its contents. Depending on what you put in it, it will bounce high, bounce low or not bounce at all. Helium, air, water or lead will change the characteristics of a basketball.
Fork oil does the same thing to your bike’s forks. Instead of helium, air, water or lead, forks use different viscosities of oil. MXA’s (motocrossactionmag.com) guide to fork oil will help you understand what that means to you, your bike and any hoped-for win streaks.
QUESTION ONE: IS FORK OIL AN OIL OR A FLUID?
Within the industry it’s common to use both oil and fluid in the same sentence. That’s because all oils are fluids. You will find that many of the best fork oils are labeled as a “cartridge fluid,” but to our way of thinking that is more of a marketing move than actual fact. If you want to really amaze friends, you can also call fork oil “hydraulic fluid” or “hydraulic oil.”
QUESTION TWO: WHAT IS HYDRAULIC DAMPING?
Hydraulics is a branch of science that deals with the practical applications of fluid in motion. Your motorcycle uses fluids in motion to resist movement. By transferring a quantity of oil from one end of the fork to the other through a series of small orifices or valves, the movement of the fork can be controlled. The more restrictive the valving or more viscous (heavier) the fluid, the slower the fork will move.
So, while the fork spring holds the front end up, it’s the hydraulics that keep the fork from excessive bottoming or rebounding.
QUESTION THREE: WHAT DOES VISCOSITY MEAN?
Viscosity is the resistance of fluid to flow. It is measured by flowing a specific quantity of the fluid through a capillary tube (called a viscometer). The rate of flow is expressed in square centimeters per second, or more customary, in centistokes (cSt). The Society of Automotive Engineering uses the cSt measurement and converts it to a weight value (30 weight, 40 weight, 50 weight and so on). Those weights can be found on a can of motor oil. The SAE scale follows a very broad viscosity calibration scale.
QUESTION FOUR: IS FORK OIL MEASURED BY THE SAE SCALE?
No. Fork oil weights are derived from the industrial standards used for hydraulic applications, called the Saybolt Seconds Universal (SSU). This measurement uses a similar viscometer arrangement as used to determine a cSt value, but grades the oil using a much more sensitive viscosity calibration scale.
QUESTION FIVE: HOW DOES THE SAYBOLT SCALE WORK?
The thickness of hydraulic and fork oils are listed as the Saybolt Seconds Universal at 100 degrees C/viscosity index. Let’s say that the numbers listed on the bottle read as 85/150. It means that the oil’s SSU value at 100 degrees C is 85. Then, the flow of the oil is measured at 40 degrees C. The second number-150-is the value given to the difference in flow between the two temperatures. This is called the viscosity index (VI).
QUESTION SIX: WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF VISCOSITY INDEX?
It tells how stable the fork oil remains from 104 degrees Fahrenheit up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit (or the boiling point of water). This is important because the higher the VI rating, the more stable the weight of the oil remains when it gets hot. How does this apply to bike forks ? The friction created by sliding metal parts and oil flowing back and forth through valves creates heat. The more consistent the weight of the oil remains the less likely the fork’s damping is to change as a moto progresses. If the oil gets hotter and thinner, the forks will get softer and faster.
Luckily, the oil in your fork seldom sees temperatures as high as 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The logic applied here is that a good fork oil should have a VI rating of at least 150.
QUESTION SEVEN: WHY DOES MY FORK OIL HAVE A WEIGHT?
Consumers like to shop for oil by weight. So, the motorcycle industry took the SSU/VI measurement and converted it to weights based on the same scale used by the SAE. But since the SAE weight schedule is so widely incremented, two cans of fork oil with different SSU viscosities of 80 and 100 can both be listed as a 5 weight (5wt). Yes, it is confusing!
QUESTION EIGHT: IS KAYABA 01 REALLY A 7-WEIGHT OIL?
This is where not having a finely calibrated oil weight rating scale confuses matters even more. Some mechanics claim that Kayaba 01-labeled a 5wt-is thicker than Showa SS-7 (and other 5wt cartridge fork fluids). They call it a “thick” 5wt or claim that it is really a 7wt. But, if you call Kayaba they will tell you that Showa’s SS-7 is thicker than 01 oil.
Unfortunately, you have no choice but to let them call it what they want. The rule here is to find a reputable 5wt cartridge fluid that works best for you. When you find a fork oil that delivers the performance you want, stick with that brand. Just to clear the record, Showa SS-7, Kayaba 01 and Pro Circuit PC-01 are all produced by the same company in Japan. Except for color, they are the same weight oil.
QUESTION NINE: WHAT OIL SHOULD MY FORK USE?
Every cartridge system production fork on the market comes standard with an oil rated as a 5wt. The factories use 5wt oil because it’s thin enough to remain stable when heated past 100 degrees Fahrenheit and thick enough to lubricate the large surface areas sliding back and forth in a fork. The starting point for every modern fork is 5wt oil. That is what your fork needs.
QUESTION TEN: HOW DO I FIND THE BEST OIL?
Pro Circuit’s suspension guru, Bones Bacon, recommends that a new bike first be ridden with the stock fork oil. Why? Modern suspension parts used hard coated internals and are filled with quality suspension fluid. While contamination from the factory and the risk of premature wear aren’t an issue, breaking the bike in with the stock fork oil gives you a good feel of how the forks work stock. From this base setting you can judge all future service or mods.
If you’re happy with the standard performance, have the fork serviced with the manufacturer’s recommended replacement fork oil. If you like the way the suspension hop-up shop modified or serviced your fork using their recommended oil, stick with their brand of oil.
QUESTION 11: WHAT ABOUT 2-1/2 WEIGHT FORK OIL?
Most suspension fluids that are lighter than 5wt are designed specifically to be used in a shock. Fork oils heavier than 5wt get too thin when they get hot. Stick with 5wt fork oil.
Another good read regarding Viscosity and why it was very important in older forks but not as relevant today: