Friday, February 20, 2009

It's Getting Warmer!

As the sun continues to set later and later, spring is starting to creep in. Here in Charlotte, the temps are getting up in the mid 50’s most of the time now, however still dropping down to close to freezing at night. The FZ is patiently waiting for a few long rides I know.

Since I am feeling a bit under the weather at the moment, the guys have banned me from the school in order to rest up for the stressful week that is about to come. I figured I would take some time and post a quick update on what is happening.

I mentioned in the previous post about a few possible upgrades to the bike. Over Christmas break I was able to get a good bit done to the bike. This included: changing the fork oil and stepping up to a 15wt, cleaning and repacking the steering head bearings, added a set of marker lights/turn signals and repacked the swing arm bearings. I spent some time right after I got back to Charlotte, setting the sag on the bike. While the front turned out to be fine, the rear was another story.

When I pulled the rear end of the bike down, I decided to pull the spring off the shock and check its stiffness. Which turned out to be a 700lb/in spring. Once I got this back on I got some of my buddies together and we took some measurements to set the sag. Turns out that in order to get the sag in an acceptable range, I needed to run the preload at its max setting (which is where I had it set before). However, running at this preload did give me any options to go stiffer when riding two-up and with gear. So to simulate this, I got Eman, The Communist, to sit on the back of the bike and one of my tool boxes to simulate riding two up with gear. It turned out that the bike was sagging way too much in this situation. The only correction for this is to get a stiffer spring. Turns out that a guy in several of my classes happens to work at Ohlin’s and he can get me a used spring at the stiffness I need for free! Hopefully over spring break he will be able to pick up one of those springs.

For Christmas, Dad was able to score a couple on-board video cameras for the bikes. We have messed with a few different mounting positions and did a little editing. Both of us are looking forward to putting these to good use. I have been posting a couple of the videos on Youtube, look for the link below.

School is back to its usual job of kicking my butt. This semester I am taking Dynamics II, Thermodynamics II, Fluid Mechanics, Materials Lab and the ultimate time consumer, Junior Design. All is going up to this point; however Junior Design is a class in which we only 2 credit hours for, when we put in at least 20 hours a week into. In this class we have are placed into teams and we have to build a robot from scratch, perform stress calculations on all the parts and keep the cost under 170 bucks. More info on this class can be found here:

That reminds me, I updated my school site. I spent some time right after school started updating my website that is given by the school. In there you can find everything from my class schedules to what I do in my free time, which you all know about anyway. I set the website up like this in order to place the web address on a resume, hoping that a potential employer might find it interesting.

So I think that’s about all I have for now. Hopefully over spring break, two weeks away, I can get some time in the saddle.

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