Day Nine - The trip with no name - Saturday 16 Feb 2013

Welcome back.

I say it this way because although the blog is titled Saturday 16 Feb 2013 it is actually Monday afternoon as I type this out. Nonetheless my goal is to have an entry for day. Yesterday and Saturday I was unable to get to the computer and Internet at a reasonable hour due to participating in the Adventure Travel Film Festival; which was great.

So what was on my mind when I was actually working on a data projector or putting in signs etc? Some years ago there was a spoken word song with a bunch of observations on and advice for life. One line was "Always read the instructions".

Some of you may know that this bike for this trip, the Rainmaker, aka Fat Albert I have had since 2003 and it is a good bike. One of the shortcomings though has been the short suspension travel and in the year building up to departure I had looked at a custom built rear shock asorber. I wanted to stop the occassional bottoming out and also the sensation of dropping into a pot-hole. The best quote was about $800.00 AUD for a custom built one and perhaps $600.00 AUD for an off-the-shelf aftermarket unit. Being a tight-wad and always wanting to know how things work, I finally read the manual. Did you know that the 2000 Yamaha XVS V-Star 650A Classic comes with an adjustable preload? Did you know that the adjustbale pre-load is dead easy to adjust? Well ... you do now. The full procedure can be found at this link:

Upon removing the rear seat, I found that the shock was set at pre-load position #2. This is clearly the posiution for riding solo only, with a maximum 80 kilogram rider. I weigh a lot more than that and then you have luggage on top of that. Using the Yamaha supplied "C" spanner, I moved the pre-load to #4; please note that there are a total of 7 pre-load tensioner spots on the V=Star.

What a difference to handling and comfort! The bike has yet to bottom out and turns in better. It also no longer afalls into pot holes either. $800 AUD back into my pocket; thank you very much!

In summary, always read the instructions