16 May 2016

Her power level is over 9000!!!

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Today I hit 9000km, I have now more than doubled the number of km that I had when I got the bike 2 years ago. Thinking back I should have done quite a few more trips with Marina. Time wasted, I supposed that I should really make use of the time that I have with her before I leave for my 12 month working holiday.

Today I also had my permanent retainer removed. I won’t lie this thing was a real pain for me. It gave me a slight lisp and really worked against my confidence these last 12-13 years. I can already tell that my lisp is mostly gone; my speech no longer impaired.

It just feels good to have unimpaired speech and to be able to floss in 60 seconds rather than 10 minutes. I should have done this years ago!!!

Dr Kemp mentioned that as the retainer has been removed without regular use of my removable retainer there would be a 70% chance that my bottom teeth would shift. I’ll have to keep an eye out to determine if there is a noticeable shift over the next few months.

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13 May 2016

Happy Birthday to my dearest friends Michelle and Victor. This is our 7th Annual Mishka BSDiep

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We went over to Banff to partake in some mountain air, Greek food, and some dancing (with a genuine Sasquatch!).

Day 2 in Banff afforded us some clean mountain air, and the opportunity to stretch our legs hiking the bow falls trail.

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Taking the bike over to Banff was a great and easy ride. A 1hr 15min ride from Calgary to Banff, the ride was a breeze, save for the occasional heavy cross wind.

Southern Alberta is one of the gustiest places I’ve ever been. The winds can match and exceed typhoon speeds! The worst part is the gusts can come from multiple directions blowing you hard left, then hard right and I can see lighter bikes could be blown around the road quite easily.

PS. If you ever end up in Banff wrap up. I have been told that Banff is the STI capital on North America.

06 May 2016

OK to summarize my post from 05 May 2016 I’ve been trying to get my old bike a KZ750 (Kallie) to start and idle smoothly. So far I’ve had quite a bit of luck in that it’s turning over and starting, but then has trouble idling and quickly stalls out. When I am able to start her I require a lot of throttle to keep her going.

I’m running with the basis that the carbs are gummed up. To start I have added some carb cleaner and SeaFoam to the gas tank and added about 1.5litres of gas to the tank. I emptied the carb bowls and primed the engine to ensure that this carb cleaner reaches inside the carbs and can do its dirty work.

I think that over priming the engine yesterday really helped to flush out any old gas that was still in the system. Hopefully new gas along with the carb cleaners will dissolve any build up and expel it when the engine runs.

This process may take up to a week or more so I’ll have to keep my cousin’s battery in my bike and attached to the battery tender. I’ll start about 3-4 times a day to get fresh carb cleaner to the carbs and will keep it going even if I have to hold the throttle open. After a week of this if the bike still doesn’t idle without assistance I’ll get my hands on a compression tester and see if that’s an issue.

05 May 2016

Today I’ve been trying to rouse Kallie from her deep sleep. All the emotion that I felt when I first laid eyes on her has come flooding back. The emotions and nostalgia that come with age perhaps clouds my judgement. I don’t want to leave her in such a state. I want her to be happy and well rode. Even if that isn’t with me…

I’m fully aware that I’m not the one to give her a good home. I wasn’t ready for the responsibility that came with the bike; I wasn’t interested in all of her quirks and charms that only ease with experience and difficulty. Even today what I look for is different than what Kallie is/wants/needs.

Anima has fully taken over and all her quirks and nits are once again apparent. The electric start refuses to turnover unless the clutch is engaged. The kick-start flung back with fury and bashed me in the shin -just like the first time I tried to get her going after cranking on the electric start one too many times!
I’d like to get her started and running smoothly. Get her into a good home where she won’t be chewed up and used for spare parts, or frankenstined into a poorly constructed caf√©.

Enough nostalgia. Let’s get to work!

First, Kallie no longer turns over. It did turnover when I moved her from my bro’s garage to mine last October. The problem has to be electrical; there is no power to the headlights/signals/LEDs.¬†I’ve left the battery on a trickle charge for >3 days now and it’s still not showing the proper 12+ volts. Not good.

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It looks like all the acid has dried out in the battery. I’ll have to go to CT to get them to top it up, but for the time being I’ll borrow the battery from my cousin’s KZ750-L4 to further test and continue to diagnose issues.

OK I just solved the main issue and got her to turnover. The problem was a blown 20A fuse which I now replaced. The old girl is rousing! She still refuses to run, but we’re one step closer!

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Checking the spark plugs would be a good place to continue. I’ve pulled the spark plugs… There is some fouling, but they still provide a spark when I try the engine. I cleaned these up a bit and reinstalled them.

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After lunch (and a bit of a phone charge) I’ll check the air filter then move on to cleaning out the carbs. I suspect that because it’s been sitting for so long, old gas has fouled up the carbs and that’s the main reason why the bike isn’t starting.

I’ve seen a few videos that detail cleaning out the carbs using SeaFoam instead of removing the carbs and rebuilding them. I’ll give it a try and leave the carbs to soak in SeaFoam over night then try to start it up tomorrow morning.

If this doesn’t work I’ll pick up a compression test kit and test for adequate compression. If there is less than 100psi it is a signal that Kallie will need to have her engine rebuilt. Continue reading “05 May 2016”

Kawasaki KZ750 – Kallie

My F650GS (Marina) isn’t my first bike. The truth is I went out and bought an 82 KZ750 when I was far too irresponsible and stubborn. It was old, heavy and steered like a mule, but it was mine. I named her Kallie.

I would love to tell you that I treated the old gal well, started her ever month, let her idle, but we wouldn’t be here if I had treated her with an ounce of care or respect.

I bought her in 2006 right after I finished getting my class 6. I drove her seldom, and my time with her was fleeting and few. Then in 2008 I was accepted in an exchange program to Hong Hong University. ‘What an experience!’ I thought with no regard for what would happen to Kallie.

I garaged her at my bro’s place and she has never seen the open road since.
Now here she lies; sleeping; humbly waiting to stir her from this deathly 8 year slumber… if I can stir her from this coma.

14 April 2016

My cousin picked up a new bike. Currently stored in my garage is my cousin’s 83 KZ 750 – L4.

I drove it to my place for him since he has yet to get his license. This thing runs really nice, no real hiccups once the engine warms up -working the choke is a bit of a pain in the ass, but once you figure it out its a fairly easy start (we’ll see how it holds up when it cools down).

The KZ seems to be geared and positioned as a sport touring bike. It has a semi-tuck position -almost a 3/4, but not quite there. And the bike is geared so that it can hit 60kph in 1st gear (so much nicer than having to shift to 2nd at 35kph on my F650GS!!!). The engine redline is 12000rpm -huge compared to the 7000rpm of my F650GS!

The little details really show that this bike is a sport tourer in the truest sense of the word. Comfortable seat? -Check! Relaxed riding position? -Check! Sufficient power to wheelie? -Double check!!! For an early 80’s bike this thing has a ton of character and enough power to see you through any highway and cityscaped adventure that you might throw at it.

WC3 Summary – Pass!!!

There is a lot to think about in this week’s challenge. If I can breakdown Gladwell’s main ideas from David & Goliath:

  • True underdogs have an overwhelming advantage due to the fact that:
    • they breakdown the established status quo of incumbents
    • they see the “game” fundamentally different than incumbents
    • often break with mores & rules¬†held by incumbents
  • Disadvantages can give rise to overwhelming & exceptional strength
    • though only happens in a very small¬†segment
    • those that don’t rise see decreased utility overall (econ term sorry :D)
  • Oft held truths often have a U-Curve where additional effort works counter to your intended purpose
    • use of metrics and benchmarking can help uncover wasted efforts

Ultimately it would seem that so called underdogs (Davids) hold an advantage over incumbents (and so called Goliaths). They do this by allowing themselves greater flexibility in the efforts and strategies employed over their peers. These are the innovators that challenge existing rules and excel due to this added flexibility. The very rules and establishment hinders the flexibility and ability to innovate necessary to to see exceptional strength rise!

I think that we ultimately cheer for underdogs as we (subconsciously or not) want to see the innovation and improvement in the status quo, that only underdogs and rebels can bring. Whether or not we realize, we favour this change as we fundamentally believe that change (any change) brings about a net increase (in whatever metric).

What was striking for me, was that Gladwell’s David & Goliath has shown me is that all of us fall into the trap of failing to quantify and analyse what has happened. Rarely (if ever) do we take the time to reflect what we have done against key metrics (and historics are not enough!) to¬†establish meaning and validity to our actions. Introspection and thought is an important aspect of this dance between the Davids & Goliaths of the world, and without it Davids always turn into Goliaths in the end.


An eye opening and interesting read!!!

Content: 5 stars

Ease of Reading: 5 stars