Tuesday, July 1, 2014

BMW R1200GS Starter Grenade



I was at my local BMW dealer for new tires and noticed a new R1200GS in the service bay.    It was quite clearly missing a few choice bits, most notably its fancy new water cooled motor.   

So I asked what happened. 

"The starter motor failed," the service adviser replied. 

"Wha.... you had to remove the entire engine just to replace the starter?"

"No, when the starter failed it injected pieces of itself into the motor.  We have to take the motor apart to remove the pieces of the starter." 

There's a running joke among Beemer enthusiasts.   First year owners are beta testers.  

Don't be a beta tester.  

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday, October 20, 2013

TGB Hook 50 [Quick Ride]

I called it Enzo. 

Rented on the island of Bermuda for about $80 ($50+$30 insurance), the Taiwan Golden Bee Hook is 50cc of two stroke fury.   


The single cylinder motor produces 4.5 HP and drives power to the rear wheel through a covered belt.     Like most scooters, there are no gears to shift or clutch to feather.   It features a continuously variable transmission.  

Just twist the throttle and pick up your feet.   Brakes?  A bit grabby but functional.    The suspension, after 20,000 KM, was noticeably shot and the body showed signs of past encounters with stationary objects.  Still, Enzo was surprisingly fun to ride.    

Leaning forward into the wind, on a slight downhill, I managed a top speed of an indicated 55km/h or about 34 mp/h.    On Bermuda's twisty single lanes, it was thrilling speed on 12 inch wheels. 


Fuel efficiency?  No clue, but I'm guessing about 250-300 km out of the 1.8 gallon tank.    Plus, the smoke from the back will keep the mosquitoes at bay. 

The controls and dash on Enzo are basic, but well laid out.    Despite living in the sea air and humidity, plastic and metal were also holding up well.  The speedometer for example, was sparkling clear.    

Overall, I was impressed.   This scoot is well designed, aesthetically pleasing and reasonably durable.    Believe it or not, it'll even carry two adults.     

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Jnscaggs Slim Rack Installation (WR250R/WR250X)

One of the first farkles you'll probably want to add to your WRR is a cargo rack.      The bike is now in its sixth year of production, so lots of options are available.    

I chose a slim rack made by a WRR forum member.     It's billet aluminum, well designed, and looks perfect on the bike.    It also weighs very little.


Over the years, I've learned that lighter is better with dual sport bikes - especially if you plan on serious off road riding.    Larger racks are available, but they look clunky and they don't really increase cargo capacity.     Remember, anything you're carrying gets strapped down.  

A few days after ordering the rack, it arrived in the mail.    In the box: the rack and mounting hardware, but no instructions.    I'm not sure if that was an oversight or not, but here are a couple of notes for those who follow.

1.  Remove the seat and side covers.   The side covers each have one bolt.    The seat is held on by two bolts beneath the fender.

2.  A single rubber band holds down the computer.

3.  Two black 10mm bolts hold the rear cover in place

4.  Four bolts to remove the tail light assembly from the subframe.


5.  The mounting points are pre-marked on the cover.   They are dabbed with white out in the picture above.


6.  Yamaha uses extremely soft plastic.   I recommend drilling a small pilot hole and then working your way up in size.   The aluminum sleeves are slightly larger than 12mm.    Use a 12.5mm bit.   I only had a 12.0mm bit, so I widened the holes slightly be angling the bit and turning it by hand.



7.  The sleeves go through the plastic and the rack will sit slightly above the plastic cover (pictured above).    This will make it easy to slip hooks or tie downs around the slots in the rack.

8.  Don't forget to use loc-tite on all your bolts when you reassemble.  Oh, and double check to make sure the cover is seated correctly.   There is a small rubber mounting point at the end of the cover that is easy to overlook.  

Additional Resources
Jnscaggs order page
Discussion thread (with lots of pics)