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Monday, July 03, 2006

Tires, Forks, Seals and My Brain

It has been a very busy time with my Yamaha Vision. Let's see, for Father's Day, I received a VeloTrend Bike Brain, which is a really cool little gadget. Now, before I continue, I need to say that I think the company is going or has gone out of business. You might still be able to get some remaining "Brains" from Aerostich at a hefty discount. Before I could install my Brain on the bike, I wanted to replace the fork seals in the spare set of forks I had and put new rubber on the bike.

Swapping out the tires for new rubber was pretty easy as I also have a spare set of wheels for the bike. I bought Bridgestone BT45 Battlax tires from Southwest Moto Tires (one of the best internet suppliers of tires that I know of). Current mileage on the bike is 22,880.

The forks took a little more time to replace the fork seals that I got from Dennis Kirk. A little bit of a messy job and the project of making a tool to disassemble the forks from the inside. A couple of hours later and some new 15 weight fork oil and the forks had been rebuilt. A few more hours and the rebuilt forks and new shoes where on the bike and ready to go.

Time to install the "Bike Brain"... The Bike Brain is actually a super bicycle speedometer that does so much more than just show how fast you are going. The gadget loads into a Palm Pilot and the software in conjuction with the wheel speed sensor gives you LOTS of information. Older Palm Pilots, like the PalmV that I have can be found for just a few dollars on eBay. First, as the Brain is designed for a bicycle and not a motorcycle, I had to extend the sensor wire to reach from the front wheel to the mounting bracket on the handle bars. A little bit of extension wire and a soldier did the trick. The magnet that triggers the sensor, is actually designed for a bicycles spoked wheels, so I had to sit and ponder how to mount this for a while. I found that I can drill the plastic cover on the Left side of the front wheel and glue the magnet in the drilled hole. The plastic cover simply covers unused threaded holes that the 1982 Vision doesn't use. The 1983 Vision has a second brake rotor on the Left side that uses these holes. I guess I found one better use for the '82 over the '83.

Now that everything is installed and glue dried, off for a 15 minute ride to work to see how this all works together. The Bike Brain will even let you design Routes that you can then follow, much like a GPS Receiver. You simply search for a Route with just about any internet mapping website and then use the Bike Brain Desktop Utility and type in the Route. HotSync the Palm Pilot and blam!, You can ride following a pre-planned Route based on mileage. The Brain will also track your Max Speed, Average Speed, Tripometer, Date/Time of your Trip, etc.... You can choose to have any of this information displayed on a graph and/or in digital format. This also inclused a 2" tall digital speedometer. And then to top everything off, you can download all of this information to the Desktop Utility and print it all out. Nice and handy for the next rally or club breakfast you attend and want to brag about your last high speed trip somewhere. This is a printed graph of my virgin Bike Brain trip to work: Virgin Ride You can almost see where the curves are in the road on Ferrum Mountain Road. The deep dip in speed just before the 9th mile is where I stopped and put fuel in the bike. The graph can also be changed and displayed any way you desire, by Speed/Distance, Speed/Minutes, Speed/Time of Day. Everything is user friendly.

Thank you Heather, Megan & Eric for my Father's Day gift.

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