Thursday, May 14, 2015

An Observation.

As I've been around quite a few older people, with quite a few of them having happy, loving, and long lasting relationships, couldn't help but notice one over-arching them to them.  That is their love for one another seems to transcend space and time.  They seem to know that deep down, no matter what they do, that their love is forever and always, never thinking about it but just knowing.

Then today, I came across a post on Reddit.about a teacher noticing one of their students had great handwriting.  The student then brought in something to "show the internet" and it fits into the exact theme I've been seeing with the older people have been around.  I believe that this type of love isn't all that common anymore, though, when I see it, it sticks out plain as day..

Extraordinary Love

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Oh my handlebars...

This is a followup from when scooter fell of back of the RV in the Tale of Two Scooters.

I also must give HUGE kudo's to NW Motor Scooters for getting me the parts needed with a minimum of fuss.  As with all special order parts there's always some drama, but the parts department came through in a huge way!

I must be honest, before beginning, that I was very very worried that would run into problems and not be able to complete this for whatever reason.  At the same time was fairly confident though still had that gnawing feeling would have issues.  Turned out was fairly easy with one minor issue that resolved shortly after.

The problem:

Handlebar somewhat messed up.

The solution:

Virgin handlebar, with hole front and center

The task:

 Is to get handlebar mounted with a minimum of fuss.

The dilemma:

How exactly is this done.....

As mentioned in the preamble, really would like to say I had it under control and knew exactly what I was doing, but really had no clue.  Doing mechanical work, in general, isn't rocket science, and if I can fix a computer I can fix a scooter, right?  Right?  RIGHT?  Say yes....

Looking at this afterword writing up this post, the replacement was fairly straight forward.  This is how I did it, not how it's meant to be done according to Aprilia.

Step 1 is to remove the instrument cluster.  This was already done for me during the act of it falling off, so this is fairly easy.

All tupperware removed
Step 2 is to remove all the plastic and stuff surrounding the handlebar.  This is easier said than done as there are screws hidden in all sorts of weird places..  Just like a lot of other things in life, a little tugging here, a little prodding there, a little give and take, and voila, it opens up and yours to take.

Old handlebar remove
Step 3 is to remove the handlebar from the center post.  This was easily accomplished as there s only one bolt holding it in place (if remember properly).  Reason this is step 3 is didn't want to unhook an of the cabling, the brakes, all that other stuff, from ends of the handlebars.  Not wanting to do this caused me more work here, but I feel it saved me some effort down the road.  The picture shows the handlebar removed.  The post at bottom of the picture is the one where the handlebar slides onto, and there is a bolt that goes through the center of that to keep it all in one spot.  A good picture of the hole in middle of the handlebar is shown above under The Solution.

Broken Handlebar
Step 4 had to do with removal of the brake lever and control clusters on end of the handlebar.  I didn't get any really good pictures of this process but it was generally fairly involved.  It was more involved than I had anticipated.  The broken handle was fairly easy, and it was the twisty side.  Like with the plastic, the handlebar ends had screws and such hidden in what seemed like odd places and seemingly hidden from view.  Once one was uncovered another one presented itself as an obstacle, and this is true for both side, left and right.

Once all the bolts and stuff were removed, with a little rocking and sliding and that happy stuff, the ends slid off without too much effort.  Think, on the left hand side, it was a little effort to get off but couldn't have been all that much as was able to reuse the rubber handle part.

Starting reassembly
Step 5 was to put the handlebar ends on the new assembly.  This was a little tricky and required some finesse and a little bit of hope and prayer.  The tricky part was to add both ends on without having to disconnect any of the cabling and brake lines.  It was very taught at times, but moving the handlebar, and the wires/cables/hoses around was able to get it done without breaking anything!

Secured in place
After all components were secured to the handlebar, Step 6 came along and that is to secure the handlebar to the center shaft which connects to the front wheel.  There are two bolts, instead of the one I mentioned earlier, and they are nylon hex nuts if memory serves me.  Believe I had ordered new bolts and nuts as part of the whole handlebar assembly...  Think anyways but sometimes memory gets the best of me....

A breather

Taking a breather and admiring all my handiwork.  I am missing some nuts and inserts and stuff here and there mainly related to the windscreen, which I scrapped.  There are a total of four rubber inserts with metal threads that the windshield supports screw into.  This is what those two bars on either side are for.  On the bar, at each end, will see a larger hole.  The inserts slide into these holes. and machine screws go in there to hold windscreen in place.

Tupperware back on, mostly
Step 7 just happened to be putting all the tupperware stuff back on.  This included all the front pieces, the wind guards in front of the handlebars, the whole enchilada.  The hole which we see is where the instrument cluster snaps into place.  This was much easier to put together, until that awkward moment near the end where have screws left over after think all is done.

While I don't have a final picture of the instrument cluster in place, here is an almost final picture of the front with most of the tupperware in place.  The only two things that aren't in the picture is the full windscreen which had and a cover which goes over the screws holding the windscreen in place.  I chose to get rid of the windscreen as it was all scratched up and hard to see through at night.

Mostly done!


With any major undertaking such as this, there's always one or two things that fall through and don't work as intended.  Such is the case with this and it the issue had to do with an antenna that's part of the instrument cluster.  This antenna detects the computer chip within the key.  Presence of a known chip allows the scooter to be started.  Without said chip, something in the innards disables the start button and couple other things to prevent someone from easily starting the scooter.

I don't have pictures of this, and it took some time to find a solution that worked, but was able to use some Goop, goop up the two wires and slide the rubber sleeve over it.  This has held it in place so far.  TI can't find the tube of Goop, and didn't see it in a quick internet search, but pretty sure it's called Goop, and it works great!

Knock on wood, to this day it works great and replaced it before Christmas sometime, sometime around end of November, beginning of December, 2014.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Thought of the day?

While listening to a radio show (Coast to Coast AM), Glynnis McCants (The Numbers Lady) was on the air.  She was talking about numerology and what those numbers mean.  During her time on the show she talked about something that truly relates to this quote, and that's when I found this quote.

Some people believe in coincidences, some think it's just chance.  This follows along the same line in that people keep dwelling on older thoughts and clinging to long held memories thinking, hoping something will change.  Nothing won't change until let go of the things which hold us back.

We're not down trodden.
We're not taken advantage of.
We're what we think we are, nothing more, nothing less.

So live to this statement, it'll be YOUR legacy.

C.G. Jung Quote

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Tale of Two Scooters

Today we're going on a journey of two scooters that were linked together for a brief moment of time  One part of the scooter is the one featured in this blog post, and the other is my Aprilia Scarabeo 500 which carry with me.

The great scooter club I belong to, Firkin Scooter Club, sent me marching with a stern, and very serious, directive.  That directive was to keep an eye out for an older scooter that could be refurbished for possible use as a raffle prize at the rally.  It is with this directive in mind that the tale begins.

After I left the Ann Arbor, MI area (home of Zingenman's, and my post) started heading east again.  Decided to stop around Jefferson, OH as there's a great little Thousand Trails Campground there.  Stayed here for two or three weeks and had some memory issues while there.

Also while in Jefferson, made contact with a nice older gentleman who we'll call Bob (forget his name).  Bob came out and checked out my scooter while was in a grocery store parking lot (he worked inside).  We got to talking and Bob told me of his childhood and riding a scooter out on an island where his grandparents had a summer home.  You could see the joy in his eyes as he was reliving that.  Soon as he told me which scooter it was, a Lambretta, I immediately remembered my directive and asked him if he was willing to part with the scooter, for a good cause.

We exchanged numbers then I went east to Buffalo then back down to Connecticut where said a final goodbye to Mia.  At this point Bob and I traded pictures, I went back and forth with the Scooter club, and finally Bob and I settled on a price.

When I made my mad dash West, swung briefly by Bob's in Jefferson and the meat of the saga begins.  Didn't really have a place to put the Lambretta so cleaned off the couch in preparation for it.  Figured it would have a nice and comfy, not to mention safe, ride on the couch.  Well, this is the truly the start of a "bond" between my scooter and the Lambretta.

Bob and I managed, with some effort, to get scooter inside and situated on the couch.  We completed the business end of things, title, cash, etc., and off I went.  As a side note, went to what was left of Bob's farm and this scooter was in the old barn, dusty and unmoved since brought back from the island soo many years ago.

We (new scooter and I) didn't get very far before something struck, well, me turning a corner and the scooter went toppling over. (ssshh, don't tell the Firkin's).  I drove with the Lambretta on it's side for quite a few miles until got to a place where could right it.  When did raise it from the side, I also sashayed it to the floor in the walkway from the front to the back.  I was hoping not to do this though it stayed this way until the end.

Not thinking about it anymore continued my journey to a little store called Better N Bulk, just off the main road (and south of a Waffle House).  Came here to get some bread, Amish butter, and couple other things for the trip.  The lady who owns the store also owns quite a few head of cattle and sells that meat in her store.  Of course, after hearing this, I had to pick some up.  It's very very difficult to get better food than from small family owned farms.

All strapped up
I took a right, and another right, out of Better N Bulk, going along the side road to the main road.  Didn't want to bother crossing the double lane road as was kinda busy that day (and there was cheap diesel down this road (thanks to GasBuddy)).   Well, come to find out, less than half a mile later someone comes up behind me frantically flashing their lights (turns out it's a he).  This is because my scooter fell over...I didn't grab a picture of it until after righted it, and secured best as I could.

It took some doing, and a painful lesson, to get scooter loaded back on.  When it fell off, one of the straps (by rear tire closest to engine) snapped somehow.  The strap holding throttle side down tried to keep scooter upright, but the handlebar gave way and the whole thing went careening on it's side.  While the scooter didn't fully fall off (was held in place by one strap and something else I think), did drag it on the side for a while.  Thinking about it tonight have a feeling the tie down strap snapped while turning the corner, at which point it fell, and I didn't notice it till saw the headlights.

The painful lesson I learned was holding the piece of metal that was scraping against the asphalt.  I held onto this while lifting up so it pressed into my flesh between two fingers (where it forms a V).  This is a tender area and well, you know the rest.  Uber pain for quite awhile.

After getting scooter secured as I could we continued our journey, checking rearview camera frequently for next couple hours.

Now, fast forward a week or two as I arrive around Portland, OR.  Stopped at a truck stop, which I normally did, in Troutdale, OR.   There are couple truck stops in a row, if memory serves me.  The one I stayed at is a TA, Truckstop America.  Here the synchronicity between my scooter and the Lambretta clicked for me..

I spent the night at this truckstop and woke up in the morning to begin work.  I decided to go inside to get breakfast, but when stepped outside looked to the rear and saw the backend of my scooter laying on the ground.  Befuddled I sauntered back and saw this sight (after cleaned things up a bit)...
Straps, straps everywhere
An album of the scooter images is here, scroll down and will see all I took at this truckstop.

Lookie at cute hole...
What I gather happened, is that they wanted to steal my Scarabeo 500 so the straps were cut and it was pulled off the back.  After being pulled off the back the would be people who wanted it noticed that the handlebar was all dorked up (see above).  At this point they were probably upset to have wasted time so a decision was made to show their displeasure that I was carrying a severely damaged scooter and the tires were slashed.

Wound up filing a police report and contacting main corporate office of Truckstop America (as manager didn't really care).  My contact with the truckstop (and corporate) was only to inform them what occurred and not to cause a rukkus or seek any damages (pretty sure it's a park at own risk place).

It finally clicked that the Lambretta I was carrying started getting impatient and wanted to get to it's new home.  The Lambretta had two flat tires and it probably had a feeling that it was stolen, yet it wasn't (had original title).  It had to tell me, in some manner, to get going.

Am sure people will look at me quizzically now that am writing it down, but I truly believe that the Lambretta I was carrying had a personality attached to it.  This personality wasn't truly mean, but it wanted to be recognized, and remembered.  I am also guessing that it somehow got attached to the scooter within the barn when it was sitting there for so long.  Feel free to disagree, no matter how vehemently people disagree it won't change my feelings.

It took me until arrived in Florida (think November 2014) to get everything to replace scooter handlebars with (tires were easy from American Motorcycle Tire).  This was about a 5-6 month time frame.  However, I would like to send a big Thankyou to NW Motor Scooters who I ordered the handlebars from.  After a rocky start they came through big time and am quite happy with the final result.  So many thanks again!

FINAL note:  This happened last year.  Can't believe how long it's been since have updated blog.  About to get on road again so need to clear things up and shake off that funk.