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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Taking a Break from The Dragon

Just thought we would post a teaser picture from the area of Deal's Gap.... Mutt and I are currently at DaveTN's house in Knoxville and the Visions are currently out in the driveway plotting against us. Tomorrow morning Mutt and I will be heading home and leaving the Dragon behind us until next year.

PS: Mutt will have to tell you about the "Starter Rock"

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Riders of Vision (.net) Forum

Alright, enough is enough! Apparently the Vision Forum has gone down. I now know what it feels like for my wife when the news breaks in with a "Special Bulletin" during "All My Children".

Will Lucky start moving to Tennessee? Will PS2 make it to the Dragon again this year? Did GAWolf really sell his Visions? Will they mysteriously reappear sometime in the future? How about HFarley's promiscuous Visions, and their love/hate relationship? Who is the new person and why are they asking about a rattling noise coming from the engine? Should they buy it? I know somebody in the show is gonna have a Vision that didn't start this morning, who is it going to be?
Oh the suspense is just too much... When will it come back up in my browser?

Painful New Exhaust Gaskets

Well, I ordered new Fork Seals, New Grips and Exhaust Gaskets from Dennis Kirk. Unfortunately, the Fork Seals have been back ordered and the Grips are the cheapest you can buy. My current fork seals don't leak, but I wanted to replace the seals on my spare set of forks. The grips split down the seam when I installed them. Two strikes, lets try the exhaust gaskets.

All the bolts on the exhaust system came off easily enough and I immediately thought, this is going too easy, something is going to go wrong. Well, after all the bolts were removed, I could not get the system off the bike. I double and triple checked that all the sections had their respective bolts removed. It seems that the copper couplings holding the sections together do their job very very well. I wound up taking a dead blow hammer and beating the snot out of the different sections of the exhaust. Finally, after injuring my hand, and having lots of blood around, the mufflers (or Silencers as Yamaha calls them) dropped off. Replacing the seals was quite easy compared to putting the system back on the bike.

The rear cylinder exhaust flanges were the worst. This section of the exhaust system is in three separate sections held together with 3 types of connectors, all contained in an area too small to get any type of tool in to tighten things. After fighting and trying to thread tools in from any opening, no matter how small, I got everything as tight as I could and had the "Y" Pipe, Flanges and Copper "O" Rings installed. Next came trying to fit the rest of the system back into their respective copper collars. I had to use some emory cloth and sand the inside of each ring to a pretty shiny finish. Then I had to do the same to the outside end of each exhaust pipe. With some time and persistence, I got it all back together with everything tightened up.

After wiping all the blood off the chrome and cleaning out my wound, I brought the bike outside and started it up. Immediately, I heard that the bike is slightly quieter. The bike still has a quiet growl to it, but seems smoother. While redoing the exhaust system, I looked at the spare parts I had lying around and used the better of the parts when I had two of any item. I wound up using the spare down pipes from the front cylinder, the spare "Y" Pipe for the rear cylinder and 2 steel collars for the top of the "Y" Pipe. Looking at the "Y" Pipe that came off the bike, I can see where there was a small exhaust leak. That fixed, back on the road again...

Monday, April 03, 2006

Experienced Rider Course (ERC)

This past weekend, I took the Experienced Rider Course at The Danville Community College. Four of us met at the 619 Minute Market in Rocky Mount (Bill, Bill, Hank and I) and rode down Sontag Road and over Turkey Cock Mountain and eventually ended up in Danville.

I was the only Yamaha Vision (No Surprise There) among 2 KLRs, 4 Harleys and the rest were Goldwings. The course was all riding. The only time we were in the class room was at the very beginning and the very end of the course. The ERC started out with some slow speed cornering exercises and then some weaving exercises, designed to avoid road debris. We then moved on to some sweeping curve courses, including emergency stopping in a curve. We broke for lunch and ate at Short Sugar's BBQ (I highly recommend this place when you're in Danville). After lunch, we picked up the pace a little (15-20 mph) and did some decreasing radius turns and unpredictable stopping and some more weaving. The very last exercise was a mini EVOC of sorts. Oh, the EVOC was all kinds of fun. The First Harley rider went around the course scrapping his floorboards all the way around. Three riders worked the course at a time. I was the lead rider in my group and quickly came up behind the last rider. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to pass. My 1st lap was lots o' fun, the next three laps, I tried slowing way down to let the rider in front gain some distance, but it wasn't enough. I did however, get to lean the Vision over far enough to create some wear right to the edge of the rear tire (Too bad it was at a max speed of about 20-25 mph).

As for the Vision... She performed quite well. No problems with handling, except maybe an ever so slight slack in the throttle cable when "rolling on" on the apex of the curve. I was more concerned about the engine temperature and the charging system. On more than one occasion, the temperature needle was up, just under, the red. Several times, I would park the bike between courses and the fan would kick on. The voltage while running the course was also up in the area of 15.7 volts. This of course made me very nervous. Every now and again, the volts would come back down to about 14.7 volts (so, I knew the Regulator/Rectifier was working), but still high for my normal 13.9 volts. We did have one Goldwing crap out their charging system. He had to buy a new battery to finish the course.

The ride home brought all my gauges back to where they should be, which was a big relief. On the way home, Bill, Hank and I took Rt.41 out of Danville to Sago Road to Snow Creek Road to Sontag Road back to Rocky Mount. All in all a very good day with a total of about 155 miles, including the ERC Course.

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