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Winston

The Science of Motorcycle Maintenance

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Screw Rob Pirsig and his stupid book. There is no "art" to working on a motorcycle. And Zen on your own time.

There was no art to the way my bike leaned on it's side stand. It was balanced improperly, and on uneven ground it never sat stable. I could have meditated on the steady-state of the Universe, and come to the acceptance of my crappy kick-stand. Nope. Apologies to my Hawaiian relatives: I'm makin' it mo betta.

Honda made a good bike, but it was far from perfect. My CTX 700 is a variant of a series of bikes, including the NC 700 (a taller, 'adventure style' bike). The side stand on mine looked like they simply used the existing NC 700 stand and just lopped-off a couple inches. This is my first motorcycle with a kick-stand and a chain. Chains need to be cleaned and lubed on a regular basis. That's a pain in the arse on a side stand.

So when I decided to install a center stand, I was met with a bunch of nothing. Honda didn't make one for my model. There was a single after market company, but they were ridiculously priced.
Then my spirit buddy Hannibal Barca whispered in my ear, "I will find a way, or I will make one." I told him to say "Hi" to George Patton when he saw him.
It turns out that after doing my research, Honda sells a bike model similar to mine overseas. And they make a center stand for it... at a reasonable price.

I bought the stand from a warehouse in Yokohama. My bank actually shut down my card after that because that activity looked kinda weird. It was worth the hassle.
Of course, the instructions were all in Japanese, but the pictograms helped a bit. It went on with no problem, although I will give props to YouTube for the assist.

It had been a while, and it took some practice to get my 475 pound bike on the stand. It's stable now. I can perform chain maintenance when needed, and park my bike without crossing my fingers.
Next up will be my first oil change where I didn't have to lean my bike over by hand to get the oil to fully drain. I have a clutch filter on order as well, so I can do both at the same time.
My front tire is getting a bit worn, so that's on my "to do" list, hopefully before the weather gets real wet. I know some folks seat their own tires, but I'll leave that one to the guys at the shop and the proper tools.

Since I stopped commuting to Seattle, I put a lot less miles on my bike than I used to. It's a mixed blessing. At this rate, I'll be able to keep riding this cycle for at least another 10 years before it needs any major work. The bad news is I have to pay closer attention to the very gradual wear and tear.

For the 'enthusiasts', I'm probably incomprehensible. I don't ride because it's 'fun', but because it's practical. Having a back-up vehicle that gets over 60 mpg, needs very little work, and takes up almost no space? No brainer. Sure, it can be enjoyable, but that's not the primary justification. Hobby riders preen over their bikes like a mommy cat licking their kittens. I just check-list the damn thing and go.

If I ever do replace my Honda, I'll probably get a Zero brand electric bike. Because it makes sense for me.
I'm just not the 'bad boy.' Or more precisely, I'm not the middle-aged schlep putting on a front with some smoke-belching, oil leaking, two-wheeled noise maker. If that's your thing, bless your heart.
Just whatever you ride, ride safe. And don't trust your bike and your safety to some dealership. Take the time to check your bike out for yourself. Your life depends on it.

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Comments

  1. Plasticweld's Avatar
    I would hit like for this except for the ending...Any man who would talk about an electric motorcycle is abomination. The roar of a engine, the smell of burning gas and the politically incorrect image of a biker is what it is all about.... I think deep down you really wanted a scooter and had to settle for the CTX 700.
  2. Gofa's Avatar
    Oh dear how sad never mind I remember the neighbor in Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance
    nice looking bike I googled
    as to centre stands I took mine off Some beer crates are just a perfect fit
  3. Kevin's Avatar
    Mm... How much noise do them there e-motorbikes make anyhow? Stealth is important in my line of work. Stealth and a place to stow the money bags and a gat quickly- and quickly get away.
  4. escorial's Avatar
    Near by the main road leads to the beachfront and weekends waiting at the traffic light one often comes across groups of bikers mostly on new superbikes but through the week one tends to see lone middle class hells angels with the shiny dark bike with all the leathers helmet and beard....but there all abit polished and clean and the most anti social thing they done was vote in the brexit referendum..but hey everyone is allowed me time..I for one spent years on dating sites being international drug Baron or eccentric record producer but when the dates come of I would get confused which part to play...the only one I knew was not to be myself...so each to their own...
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