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Prepare to not lose

August 30, 2007

Tomorrow, I’m off to Vancouver. See the maps “Seattle to Bellingham” and “Bellingham to Vancouver, B.C.” for the route (follow the green stripe on the former). Time to get the PX ready for the trip.

If you’re close to a scheduled service, it’s better to have that done before a long ride. That way, you can be confident the bike is in tip-top shape for whatever you may encounter. In this case, the 9,000-mile maintenance is far enough off that I’ll have it done when I get back.

I will, however, do a couple of things. First, check the tires. Make sure there are no punctures, bulges, cuts or other things that might lead to failure on the road. Make sure they’re up to pressure (rounded off from bars, that’s 19 lbs. front, 26 rear (solo)/36 rear (two-up)), and make sure you have some tread. I see the rear tire’s getting down there, so I’ll be shopping for tires pretty soon.

Check the level of the 2-stroke oil as well. Obviously, if the white probe in the sightglass is visible, you need to add some, and could probably get away with a full quart/liter. That’s not the case yet. While some will call me a heretic, I don’t bring 2-stroke oil with me. It’s messy, toxic and darn near impossible to clean up completely if, say, your container gets punctured. Besides, I don’t have to mix the stuff every time I fill up… there’s an oil tank, and a little thingy on the carburetor that takes care of that.

What I do is note the mileage every time I add a liter. The PX will go over 900 miles on a quart of 2-stroke oil, and a liter is 1.05 quarts. The last time I filled the oil tank was at a little over 7,900 miles. The PX now has a little less than 8,500 miles on it. Since Motul kindly provides a gauge marked in milliliters on the side of each bottle of 710, and since I’ve gone about 600 miles, I can add 600 ml to the oil tank and have it full when I leave in the morning. I can always get some in Bellingham or Vancouver if I need to, but if it runs out while I’m in Vancouver, I have a serious enough problem that the PX will be going to a dealer service department or motorcycle repair shop. They’ll have plenty.

Otherwise, it wouldn’t hurt to make sure all your lights are working, and that you have all the tools you’re likely to need in case a roadside repair becomes necessary. A complete set of cables is a worthwhile investment as well, especially since they’re so darn cheap.

If I’m lucky, I’ll beat the rain in Bellingham. Favicon


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