Fixing the Vee, Part 2

Ever since I rebuilt the Vee and its broken engine —using spare parts from two blown motors— in 2012, it had been running nice and strong until a few days ago when it started stumbling and hesitating, specially during take offs. So I took the tank off and inspected the throttle bodies; It turned out to be a clogged injector which was pretty easy to clean.

With the tank dismounted, I took the opportunity to run a quick compression test —which I never did when I rebuilt the bike— and I discovered that one piston's compression is on the lower spec limit and the other one is slightly under it.... and valves are within specifications...

Braking vs Engine-Braking before entering a corner - Part II

So I got quite a bit of emails from my last post Braking vs Engine-Braking before entering a corner from people wanting to know a bit more of the whys using both brakes before entering a turn is better than using engine braking or ever front braking alone. So, these are the reasons:

1 - By using BOTH brakes —smoothly and gently— before entering the turn, BOTH front and back suspensions compress and BOTH tires gain more traction —the bike settles and stabilizes from front to rear. You don't get that effect by only using either the rear or the front brake or engine braking alone.

2 - By keeping the throttle on —even a bit— you maintain a proper tension on the chain which prevents the "kick" that occurs when you come from a roll-off to a roll-on on engine braking. This also helps keeping the suspension and the stability of the bike smooth and unmolested...

Braking vs Engine-Braking before entering a corner

I ride two different bikes with plenty of engine-braking power each (SV650 and Vstrom 1000) so for the last few years I became lazy regarding the use of my actual brakes to set my entry speed before entering a curve; I would just roll off the throttle enough to slow down and dive into the turn. (I live at the foothills of the central Sierra Nevada so I spend lots of time in my "backyard", which is full of amazing twisty roads).

Anyway, lately, I have been trying to be more conscious of the way I set my cornering entry speed and I started using both my front and rear brakes —lightly as I am not riding at track speeds on public roads— instead of just rolling off the throttle to reduce my speed before entering the curves...

The new California Motorcyclist Safety Program is a big success

A couple of days ago I got a letter from a friend of mine who is involved in the development and management of the new California Motorcycle Safety Program and it seems like the program is being widely accepted and praised by instructors and students alike. Here is a transcript of his letter (published with permission):

It is now the first of March, since we started the transition to the new program here in California we have now had over 300 of the existing instructors get updated to the new program. We still have training going on including training for new instructors starting this month. (In fact in case you are still interested we will be doing one in May in Merced). Our transition team was assembled from the best trainers from across the country, and they all worked hard to make sure that the instructors are successful...

RIP, Mr. Spock

Leonard Nimoy
March 26, 1931 – February 27, 2015