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Day Three -- Video of run and ride, cleaning, tire thoughts

Today I got my Girlfriend to ride the bike around. I wish I could, but the whole recovering broken leg thing is dangerous to get on a motorcycle again. I'm pushing it just working on and around the bike. Anyways, she hopped on and took it for a spin. She drove around my neighborhood, then on side roads to the elementary school by me. She spent some time in the empty parking lot doing some figure 8's to get used to the bike and see what it did for handling, then drove back to my house.

There's a big straight away leading in and out of my community, so I recorded a short video of her taking the bike down and back:

The end result as far as I can tell is that the bike's carbs are setup pretty good, especially post the emissions delete. While the bike is warming up there appears to be a float spot at 5.5K rpm or so... which I believe wasn't entirely uncommon with the EX500 anyways. Once the bike gets warmed up it largely goesaway. The bike's idle also raises as the bike warms up which is fun to chase around, but nothing too crazy to deal with.

Tila reported smooth shifting (she actually praised it) so that bodes well for clutch and more importantly transmission. She wasn't keen on the brakes but she's used to dual front wave rotors on a sport bike so that's up for some review... plus the front springs are probably ultra soft which always makes braking feel scary. Rear brakes could use an adjust as well. Ran good though and generated power all the way through 4th (as high as she got). She complained about the power plateauing a bit earlier than expected and it having a weak over rev. Makes sense since I believe these engines are slightly de-tuned for low end power/grunt and fuel efficiency correct.

Some Aesthetic Work:

In our seemingly never ending quest to chase away visually ugly surface rust I finally decided to bring in the big gun on a few key parts... a wire brush drill attachment. Tila took right to the job (which is good, I needed a break off my leg) and started tackling all kinds of things. The engine was looking gross from years of exposure to salt water (but no rust which is nice) and so she hit that... and then she hit the triple clamps... and a bunch of other rusty parts. It has made a significant difference visually on the bike. It's obviously not the most refined look, but again this bike is only $584 so far ($26 oil change). While I want the bike complete and looking good, I'm going to keep it all within reason for time and energy as well.


In Other Tire Related News:

So the tires on this bike surely are from 2004 or older... and I know how old rubber can be. It hardens, it works like crap... etc etc. I know tires are one of the most important things you can spend your money on as well. So I went looking for tires online. I've had a few bikes in the past running Bias Ply tires, and let me tell you I was not impressed by what was offered. So when I went looking for cruiser bias ply tires I figured my odds of finding an impressive tire were about as high as finding a stripper who actually is going to college.

Then I saw the Michellin Power Commander II and pretty much had an instant boner. I've been a HUGE fan of Michellin tires on the street, and when I even first got into track days a few years back I took a set of Michellin Pilot Power 2ct's through the rounds on my first three or so track days. Here's a picture I actually dug up from my second track day ever. I didn't know how to hang off the bike for anything at that time so getting a knee down was easy but really pushing the tires further than nescessary!

I mostly say on the street though as I rode a lot of Pirelli equivalents and Bridgestone equivalents to the 2ct on the street on spirited street rides with large groups of riders. Needless to say the pilot powers simply couldn't be beat time and time again by the other brands. They lasted, they held great if you went all out, they were quite fine in the rain, they warmed up quickly and maintained temperature (unlike slip-irelli's) and were simply an amazing tire. So needless to say, I'll probably be spooning on a pair of these once the bike is sorted. At $200 a pair too I'm pretty stoked to see what this bike will be capable with them on here!