Run Turn Brake Module

A Run Turn Brake module or RTB module is an easy addition for greater visibility and allows your motorcycle’s turn signals to operate like the tail lights in some older sports cars. They’ll stay on constantly at 1/2 or 3/4 power (running lights) and go to full brightness when you hit the brakes or use the turn signals. Many chopper guys with the super wide rear tires don’t have space for a traditional dedicated brake light and only have turn signals. Together with the addition of the RTB module the two turn signals work together as the brake lights.

NOTE: By law any rear running lights have to be red. If your turn signals are amber, you’ll need to fix that with red bulbs or red lenses. Mine were already red so I didn’t have to change anything.

Hopefully the additional lighting from the rear will make me a little more visible, especially when loaded down with a tour pack and all the luggage we’ll have during our up coming trip.

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V Star 650 Spline Lube

One of the drawbacks to owning a shaft driven bike is that if your final drive fails it is EXPENSIVE! Unlike a chain, the only way to fix a final drive failure is with a new one or replacement parts which usually need to be ordered. That is one bad way to end a road trip. However, properly maintained they should last the life of your motorcycle.

One reason I like shaft driven bikes is that the drive train doesn’t need a whole lot of maintenance, much less than chains. That does not mean they need 0 maintenance, however. On a V Star 650 there are several sets of splines that need to be lubed with a high moly content grease.

With an 8000ish mile trip coming up I decided it would be best to check and lube all the splines so I wouldn’t have any surprises and have a catastrophic breakdown 1000’s of miles from home.

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Poor Man’s Bike Lift

Needed to get the final drive out this weekend and unfortunately like most crusers the V Star doesnt have a center stand and I dont have $100 for a bike jack.

Whats a guy to do?  Make his own lift MacGyver style out of stuff lying around the house of course!

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Epic Trip 2010

Its almost that time again.. Time to get out of town and hit the road on another epic road trip!

The plan this year is 4 weeks and 11 states.

( Google cant handle this many points and I’ve had to break up the map into 2 parts )

For those who’ve been wondering where I’ve been and why I’ve not been posting for the last several months getting ready for this trip is why. Because I’m the only systems administrator for my company and built much of the infrastructure for everything I’m the only one who knows how everything works. So over the course of this entire year I’ve been trying to document, train others, automate and make things as robust as possible so the company doesn’t fall apart while I’m gone.

Anyway, the plan is 1 week through Utah to check out all the awesome National parks through there that we haven’t seen yet. Then 1 week in the Tetons and Yellowstone, another week from there through Glacier to Seattle. Leaving us with one week to get home. This’ll be one of those trips of a lifetime that I’ve been wanting to go on since I first got the Yamaha 3 years ago.

We learned a lot on last years trip, as far as packing, comfortable distances, and realistic expense budgeting. Plus we already have much of the gear needed thats been slowly pieced together from the last trips so I wont have as much of an upfront equipment cost.

For this years shakedown runs: next weekend we’re going to the AspenCash Spring Rally in Ruidoso, NM and the week after that we’re spending three nights in Mesa Verde National Park over Memorial Day weekend and doing the San Juan Skyway and Million Dollar Highway, one of the top rides in the US. Its better to always do some sort of short, or in our case long, shakedown runs to make sure everythings working as planned so you don’t have those unexpected breakdowns half a country away.

Riding season is finally here! Stay tuned.