Oh Wow :-)

March 21, 2010

I took my Fireblade out for her first proper run this afternoon after lowering the seat.. and my oh my 🙂

It’s so easy to ride, so smooth and effortless and I’m totally in love 🙂

I took it along some A roads, some round town roads (stopping for a coffee in Brackley) and then for a quick blat up the motorway, taking me home.  After my 400 I definately (hardly surprising really) noticed the increase in power.  I was quite happily cruising along in 3rd, enjoying the nice weather and the roads and glanced down at my speedo and was shocked to see I was doing 70mph!!! I only thought I was doing about 50.. oops 😉

I’m now going to keep a very close eye on the weather every day, good weather with no hint of rain means I’ll be taking the Fireblade to work, dodgy weather or even a hint of rain and I’ll be riding the 400 in.

Did You See Me?

March 17, 2010

Did you see me?

I saw you;

• hug your purse closer to you in the grocery store line. But you didn’t see me put an extra £10 in the collection plate last Sunday.

• pull your child closer when we passed each other on the sidewalk. But you didn’t see me playing Santa at the local church.

• change your mind about going into the restaurant when you saw my bike parked out front. But you didn’t see me attending a meeting to raise more money for the hurricane relief.

• roll up your window and shake your head when I rode by. But you didn’t see me riding behind you when you flicked your cigarette butt out the car window.

• frown at me when I smiled at your children. But you didn’t see me, when I took time off from work to run toys to the homeless.

• stare at my long hair. But you didn’t see me and my friends cut ten inches off for Locks of Love.

• roll your eyes at our leather jackets and gloves. But you didn’t see me and my brothers donate our old ones to those that had none.

• look in fright at my tattoos. But you didn’t see me cry as my children where born or have their name written over and in my heart.

• change lanes while rushing off to go somewhere. But you didn’t see me going home to be with my family.

• complain about how loud and noisy our bikes can be. But you didn’t see me when you were changing the CD and drifted into my lane.

• yelling at your kids in the car. But you didn’t see me pat my child’s hands knowing she was safe behind me.

• reading the newspaper or map as you drove down the road. But you didn’t see me squeeze my wife’s leg when she told me to take the next turn.

• race down the road in the rain. But you didn’t see me get soaked to the skin so my son could have the car to go on his date.

• run the yellow light just to save a few minutes of time. But you didn’t see signaling to turn right.

• cut me off because you needed to be in the lane I was in. But you didn’t see me leave the road.

• waiting impatiently for my friends to pass. But you didn’t see me. I wasn’t there.

• go home to your family. But you didn’t see me.

Because I died that day you cut me off…

I was just a biker. A person with friends and a family.

But you didn’t see me.

Lowering The Ride Height On A CBR900 Fireblade

March 15, 2010

As previously reported I had my first ride out on my Fireblade but there was one small problem :-0  I was on tiptoes on a flat surface and when pulling up at some traffic lights my foot was flailing around trying to find the ground before me and my new bike fell over in a rather undiginfied heap 😦

This photo illustrates how much of my foot touched the floor with the bike as standard

On my ride home I was wondering how I could lower the ride height, but without physically lowering the whole machine, as I knew that growing longer legs overnight wasn’t really an option 😉  but I still needed to get my bum closer to the floor..

And then I had a brainwave 🙂

In the garage we had a spare seat from another Blade which wasn’t needed anymore, so as soon as I was home I was set up on my dining room table with the sharpest knives from my kitchen and the spare seat.   I was going to reshape the seat and carve some of the height out of it.

I very quickly removed the cover from the seat and soon had the sections of foam I needed to remove marked out

Sections of foam to be removed marked up

I then started carefully carving the foam away in strips

Shaving off the slices

This is the seat with most of the surplus foam shaved off..

Basics almost done

Now it’s time to tidy things up a little.. So with VERY careful knife cuts I trimmed and neatened the foam so that it was as smooth as possible.  This was the end result 🙂

All neatened up

The finished foam

This photo shows the seat as it was on the bike

This photo shows the stock seat height

and this one shows the seat once I had carved some of the foam out..

The new seat height

The next thing to do was to receover the seat so I don’t get a soggy bottom if it rains 😉

I tried fitting the original seat cover but it was designed to go on a flat seat and I couldn’t get it to fit properly round the new curves so a trip to my local haberdashery shop was called for.   70cm of vinyl fabric (£7.00) later and after digging my staple gun out of the shed I was ready to go 🙂

Fitting the vinyl was a bit of a barsteward as it’s quite stiff to begin with but as you start working it, it starts to soften up and give a little.  I also fitted it on the bias so that would also help the fabric stretch into the curves better.  A short time (and quite a bit of swearing) later I was done 🙂 and the newly covered seat was ready to be fitted to my bike 🙂

And this is what it looks like 🙂

My newly reshaped and recovered seat on my bike

The end result… This is how much of my foot I can get on the floor now 🙂

The end result 🙂

Once I was sat on my bike on Sunday it felt soooo much better and I’m sure it will make all the difference to my confidance riding the Blade.  I’m pretty much flat footed on the left side and even though it was a bit of a hassle doing it, it was well worth it to me 🙂

I’m not kidding when I say that pretty much anyone could do this to a bike seat, you just have to be careful and take your time ESPECIALLY when cutting into the foam.  If you don’t want to mess up the seat on your bike you could always buy a second one cheaply from somewhere like ebay and then modify it.  It’s definately going to be cheaper and easier than physically lowering a bike.

If anyone reading this needs any further advice, just drop me a message and I’ll do my best to help 🙂

First Ride On My New Blade :-)

March 8, 2010

I finally took my new Blade out for her first ride yesterday 🙂

Me On My New Blade

….. and I fell totally in love..

I must admit I was a tad nervous about taking it out for the first time (not that I’ll ever admit that to my boyfriend who gave me the bike, but he doesn’t read this so will never know.. tehehehe!!) as it’s  is in pretty much pristine condition and I don’t want to damage it in any way.

I had to wait from Christmas until the 5th February before I could legally rider it as I was riding on a restricted licence until then, but then the weather was against me.. It’s been pretty naff on the weekends through most of February and seeing as I get cold and wet most days just riding to and from work I really wanted to stay warm on the weekends.. And my first ride kept getting put off.. ..

But a sunny Sunday, even though it was a tad cold, meant I could take it out for the first time..

Was I still nervous.. ermm.. yes… Did I take it reeeaaaaaally slow out of our road.. Damn right I did.. Once I got out onto the main road things between me and him (I think this bike is a boy but I’m not certain yet, we need to spend more time together) felt sooo0 much better, things just fell into place and it didn’t feel so big anymore..  Things were just brilliant until I had to stop at some traffic lights and there I was, on my new (to me) bike, with my foot flailing around trying to find the ground before I fell over because the road went down towards the curb..

The thing is I’m on tiptoes on the flat and if the road is just a little bit lower I’m kinda in a sticky situation 😦  I’m worried that until I get used to the extra weight it will go over too far when I’m trying to put my foot down and both of us will end up in a rather undignified heap on the road 😦

How Much Of My Foot Touches The Floor

So, thinking cap on we went home as I couldn’t get the vision of us on our side in the road out of my head..I figured out a way to sort this out and will post about how I did it.

All in all though, I’m one very happy bunny now.. I got to ride it for the first time and I fell in love big time 🙂