Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Timex of motorcycles

Above: My current Kawasaki KLR-650 loaded down for a multi-week cross-country tour

I've been lusting over one of those swoopy new 2008 KLR-650's with the more powerful engine and dual headlights and prettier fairing. Only problem: I can't justify it. My current KLR is slow and ugly, but it gets me where I'm going, whether where I'm going is on pavement or off of it. So I say "Hmm, okay, maybe when I wear this thing out". But Gordon over at Fixer and Gordon's says the beast is likely to outlive me. Gah, how can I justify a new motorcycle if my current one is going to outlive me!

So anyhow, a FedEx guy walks into the office, looks up at the cubicle tops, and spots my helmet on top of my cube. He comes over and says, "Is that your motorcycle out back?"

I say, "Yeah." Thinking, maybe he wants to ask me what kind of motorcycle it is because he wants one just like it or something.

Instead, he says, "I just hit it with my truck and knocked it over."

Oh boy! I get a new motorcycle courtesy of FedEx! So I rushed out to the parking lot, ready to see a flat motorcycle and then pound on him for insurance info etc. And... and...

Total damage: One scratch to side of topbag. One scratch on sidebag mount (sidebags aren't mounted for commuting). One scratch on footpeg mount. One scratch on handguard. Looking at the pavement, it appears that he shoved it for a couple of feet with the bumper of his truck, but the damned thing just slid along like it was meant to travel on its side. And I can't even justify hitting FedEx up for fixing the scratches, because that's the same side that the bear knocked the bike onto and so it was already all scratched up!

I'm starting to believe Gordon is right. The Kawasaki KLR-650 is old, slow, crude, and ugly, but the damned thing is as close to indestructible as you can get for a bike that can take you around the world, on pavement and off, in (relative) comfort. It looks like I'm just going to have to wait another five years or so before I can say "Okay, it's ten years old, *now* it's time for a new bike!". Oh well, I don't need a swoopy new KLR anyhow, it'd just get all beat up and battered looking within a few months anyhow given the travails of a motorcycle in an urban commuting environment...

-- Badtux the Motorcycle Penguin


Posted by: BadTux / 6/18/2007 04:04:00 PM  3 comments  

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Rant: dyed lubricants

So you get a little of that Mobil 1 synthetic grease on your shirt. No big deal, you say? It'll wash out in the laundry? *WRONG!*. That shit is dyed red, and it just dyed your shirt red!

So you get a little of that Royal Purple synthetic gear oil on your jeans. No big deal, you say? It'll wash out in the laundry? *WRONG!*. Royal Purple just *LOVES* that purple dye shit, and your jeans are gonna be purple until the day they fall apart!

Now, I don't wear good clothes to wrench my Jeep or KLR, for obvious reasons. The jeans I'm wearing right now have a rip just below the passenger side front pocket, for example, where they caught on a piece of sheetmetal and the only way I could get out of there was to pull until it gave. But still, it'd be nice if these a-holes realized that I really don't feel like lookin' like a clown every time I go down to wrench my vehicles. I mean, c'mon. Blue and purple and red and grey? Might as well stick a freakin' red nose on my face!

-- Badtux the Wrenchin' Penguin

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Posted by: BadTux / 4/08/2007 11:48:00 AM  1 comments  

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I asked for it...

EMAIL correspondence, re: KLR seats, after I complained that the stock OEM seat was comfortable except for the fact that it's slanted so that I'm always sliding down the slope into the tank, with resulting discomfort (eek!):

Tomcat wrote:
> I have ridden 1100 miles in one day on original seat without a lot of
> discomfort. You are on a motorcycle you are suppose to feel pain. TC
Indeed, I've ridden multiple 500+ mile days on the original seat with no real issues other than getting tired of my nutsack getting crunched against the gas tank (grin!). I suppose if you have smaller balls, that's not an issue. (Okay, I'll go to my corner now :-) .

Tomcat replied back:

I know what you mean Badtux I have already replaced three fuel tanks where my balls slammed into the tank leaving BIG impressions. Got to go. TC

I gotta admit it. Tomcat *owned* me on this one. I asked for it tho!

-- Badtux the out-balled Penguin
Hold it, penguins have cloaca, don't they?!

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Posted by: BadTux / 3/27/2007 09:07:00 PM  2 comments  

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I am the world's slowest mechanic

I just spent six hours doing a one hour job. Is that sad, or what?

This morning I went to Harbor Freight Tools and Kragen Auto Supply to round up the supplies I needed (or wanted) for the job. Actually, when I go to Harbor Freight I buy more stuff than I need, but that's another issue :-). I ate some Pho while I was in Newark's Little Vietnam where Harbor Freight is. Yum. That's good stuff. I love all the great ethnic food you get around here in the SF Bay area. I was in the mood for some chicken soup... and pho is the Vietnamese version of chicken soup (if you get it with chicken that is :-).

Then I came home and started working on my Jeep... and working... and working... slow, slow slow. And I can't even say that I did it any righter than Joe-bob down at the local garage. I overtorqued a jounce bumper spacer and probably cracked it because I was mis-reading the torque table in my factory manual (why, oh why, do these guys play hide-and-seek with the torque values? Just askin!), and while the other issue I ran into was a case of a poor quality bushing on the part of the shock vendor (I'm supposed to put 50 ft/lbs of torque on the lower shock mount? Nuhn-uh, that collapses that cheap-ass bushing!), it wasn't much fun to deal with. Probably got about 25 ft-lbs on the replacement bushing (luckily there was a spare in the box the shock came in!) and then it's a case of hoping that red thread-locker does what it's supposed to do.

Oh well. At least I torqued my rear lug nuts to 100 ft/lbs after I finished putting in spacers and changing out shocks. My Jeep now has an eager rear sticking two inches further in the air than it was sticking this time yesterday. Next up: I get to do the front. I expect that it's going to take me all day tomorrow to do the front too... Thankfully, I have my motorized mule so I'm not transportation-less. I can haul a *lot* of groceries between the Givi hard bags and a big duffel bag strapped to the back seat!

-- Badtux the Greasy-flippered Penguin

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Posted by: BadTux / 3/24/2007 08:39:00 PM  6 comments  

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Gettin' Raped

Day before yesterday, gas was $3.01 per gallon here. Last night, it was $3.05 per gallon. I hate to see what it'll be tonight. I wouldn't mind so much if all these billions were going into some fund to create an alternative to oil. But they aren't. The oilmen are raking it in and piling it up. Which goes to show that oil and the open market don't work once we're past peak oil, which we probably are.

If there was someone making, say, widgets, and piling in billions in profits, someone else would start making widgets too. But ain't nobody makin' no more oil. What we've got, is what we've got. And the alternative energy guys still aren't getting enough money to come up with some viable alternative to oil. It'd be easy enough to do -- just whack an oil windfall profits tax on the oil companies. But it ain't happenin'.

Gotta go, gotta get dressed in all my motorcycle duds to get 50+mpg on my morning commute...

-- Badtux the Raped Penguin

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Posted by: BadTux / 3/08/2007 08:38:00 AM  13 comments  
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Name: BadTux
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I am a black and white and yellow multicolored penguin making his way as best he can in a world of monochromic monkeys.

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