Tag Archives: motorcycle maintenance

I wonder if my Aprilia Tuono dreams?

I rode my Aprilia Tuono to work the fuel stabilizer through it and prepare myself mentally for our long winter separation. Almost like losing a good friend for few months. My wife will not let me keep it in our bedroom, she’s funny that way. During the ride I realized how disconnected I am from everything but the motorcycle. The Tuono and I are moving through the ever-expanding universe as one bio-mechanical life force, man and machine. As opposed to a man and his dog. In my case that would be dogs, but that’s another blog.

My Aprilia Tuono is now 6.5 years old. I don’t know how many years that is in human years. There most be some factor for calculating its age in humans years. I only have about 4500 miles on it. Not a lot of miles on it, so in mechanically it’s in good shape. But in terms of motorcycle technology it’s getting old, not ready for retirement yet, but well on the way. The motorcycles coming out now make my Tuono look like a riding lawnmower. Tuono has about 120 HP at the rear wheel compared to the new motorcycles which generate about 160 HP and above at the rear wheel. None of that fancy stuff either, no traction control, ABS or those other gizmos.

Operating the Tuono keeps me in the now or the moment. As though I’m in some type moving bubble that keeps everything out but gravity. Good thing gravity gets in the bubble, that would be a problem if it didn’t. Enjoying only the essences of the motorcycle of the as I ride it, if there’s such a thing. Think about it, couple of billion years ago some stars exploded and spit out the pieces to create my Tuono and everything else. Maybe, in couple billion years from now the pieces from my Tuono will recombine back into another sun and restart the cycle. So I guess, I’m sticking with the word “essences.” hopefully the next cycle will see some different colors.

When I’m riding the Aprilia there’s symphony of movements, working the front brake lever, clutch lever, the brake pedal, gear shift lever and shifting my body around. The variations in the vibration in the handgrips, changes in pitch from the engine and the increase volume of the pulsating exhaust are all following me note for note in my little symphony. Somehow my Tuono knows my favorite song.

Down-shifting and up-shifting to keep the engine in the middle of its power band. Continually watching tachometer as I go through the gears. No slipper clutch on this baby. The tachometer is the most important instrument on this motorcycle, just like the EKG machine for humans. Even though I live in the States the speedometer still reads kilometers, I guess could change it, but I don’t. Might as well leave it in its native language. It’s hard to learn a new language when you get older. Besides who looks at the speedometer thing anyhow.

This the oldest motorcycle in the group of motorcycles that I own. Always the first one to go up for the winter and last to get out for the summer. Tucked away in the back corner of the garage. Far away from the cold Chicagoland winter winds. The last thing I have to do to the Tuono before I put the cover on is to remove the battery. When I’m removing the battery the movie “2001: Space Odyssey” comes to mind. The part where they’re removing circuit boards to shut the computer “HAL 9000” down. I wonder if my Tuono dreams?

Thank you for reading my blog. I wish I could pay you for reading my blogs, but I can’t. Although, it’s likely that you are much smarter now than you were a few minutes ago. Hopefully it only took you few minutes. Don’t run and get an IQ test just yet. Your increased intelligence can’t be measured in the old fashioned regular ways, but you are, you’ll just have to take my word for it. If you need proof for your employer please contact at bill@coolcycledude.com.

Wear your helmet, enjoy your life and be safe.

Turn the Throttle and Take Your Chances

Riding a motorcycle is a risky endeavor, that’s a fact, no getting around it. If you ride motorcycle, you’re a risk taker, period, that’s who you are. You’re gambling with your well-being when you choose to to ride a motorcycle. You would be much safer driving around in a car than riding a motorcycle. If you don’t understand that you’re taking risk when you ride your motorcycle you should sell your motorcycle.

But those of us who ride motorcycles are willing to take the risk. We’re willing to trade a risk for an experience. The actual experience could be different from person to person, or the same, I don’t know. I just know what I get from riding a motorcycle. This experience is powerful enough to make me take the same risks over and over again.

Motorcycle manufactures have spent millions of dollars trying to nail down the experience of riding a motorcycle to market their products. Trying to focus on your hot buttons to get you to take risks and purchase their products. One manufacturer has been very succesful creating a culture to get you to buy their products, all of their products. But, their vehicles are just as risky as the others.

So with that said, take the time to manage your risks when riding your motorcycle. Don’t leave anything that you can control to chance. Do everything, and I mean everything, you can to put the odds in your favor. Insurance companies are always managing their risks to make sure they’re positioned correctly in the event there’s problem. Why shouldn’t you be doing the same?

How do you reduce your risk when you ride a motorcycle? Safety equipment, going through a motorcycle riding course, maintaining your motorcycle and thinking ahead comes to mind. One of the unseen expenses of owning a motorcycle is all of the safety equipment. From now on in motorcycle ads they should have the motorcycle and pile of safety equipment right next to it. Maybe spread the safety equipment all over the floor like the motorcycle had its own bedroom.

Take a motorcycle riding course. Sometimes they’re free! State grant monies are sometimes used to promote motorcycle rider safety. In some cases if you complete the course, insurance companies will give you a discount on your premium. Read a couple of books on riding and maintaining your motorcycle, it couldn’t hurt. Watch videos on YouTube, they’re free.

Maintaining your motorcycle is very important to your safety. Change the tries when they’re showing signs of wear. Don’t be the first person to try to put a 100,000 miles on a set. Make sure there’s brake fluid in reservoir. Imagine your surprise when pull the brake lever and nothing happens. Surprise, surprise, surprise! Check the brake lights to make sure they work when you operate the brakes.

Thinking ahead is your best tool to put the odds in your favor. It’s like having five aces, I meant four aces. When riding your motorcycle, continually scan your riding landscape. Run the different scenarios in your mind that could happen in front, along side or behind you. Never assume some sees you, even if you think they’re looking right at you. Stay out of the blind spots of an automobile drivers. You need to understand the mindset of someone doesn’t drive a motorcycle. They’re looking for other cars when they’re driving, not motorcycles. So even though they see you, your not registering to them as a car and their not looking for motorcycles. Again, you need to think ahead.

The most important factor for your well-being when riding a motorcycle is to continue to read my blogs. These blogs will enlighten, entertain and educate you. That’s right, shameless promotion. Be thankful it’s at the end.