Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Departure date is fast approaching for my trip up north and I still have work to do on the bike.  There's always too much to do around the house when you have a big yard and pool.  I opened the pool on Sunday and then spent Memorial Day working on the bike.  I like to take my time when working on the bike and really enjoy taking things apart and putting them together again just like when I was a kid.
I needed a place to carry tools and not take usable space inside my bags.  Twisted Throttle sells a Tool Tube that's perfect to carry a few tools and can be mounted easily on the bike.  The tube is plastic and waterproof.   I opted to mount it on the left side right above the exhaust.  It fits perfectly and does not interfere with the bag or anything I might put across the back seat since it's below the seat level.

Even though the Super Tenere has twin headlamps and they are very bright, one can never have enough light when it comes to riding at night and specially on gravel roads.  There are all kinds of expensive lights out there, I would have liked to install the LED ones but I couldn't justify spending over $400 for a pair of lights.  These lights will not be running lights, they are very strong and will be used mainly at night.  I fabricated my own mounting brackets and bought the lights at PEP Boys.
(I should have washed the bike, it's covered in bugs)

Next I tackled the electrics.  I had to install a fuse box to run all kinds of electronics.  One of the best fuse boxes on the marked is made by Eastern Beaver in Japan.  I had one installed on Goldie, my Kawasaki Concours, never gave me any problems and it's easy to change a blown fuse.  The Tenere has all the electronics under the right side panel including the battery.  4 half turn screws and the side panel is off exposing all the electronics and fuses.  Yamaha even left an empty spot for the fuse box.  Had to cut a little plastic but nothing a dremel couldn't take care of. The fuse box has 6 ignition switched circuits and 2 power on all the time, an external relay supplies power when the ignition is on.  The relay is mounted right under the box to the right.  I left the fuse box open so you can see the internal wiring and fuses.

The fuse box powers 2 Powerlet type accessory plugs mounted on a "Highway Dirtbikes" top clamp.
One of the Powerlets has power all the time, the other is switched through the ignition.  Even though they will have power when the bike is running, I can still switch them off since the power goes through 2 switches on the clamp (2 black switches).  The 3rd switch (red) will power the lights and the 4th switch (red) will power the radar detector.  The GPS will have power all the time so I can use it even when the bike is not running.
I installed a MadStad Adjustable Windshield Mount with Crossbar to mount the GPS and radar detector.  In the picture below I had removed the windshield to do some painting on it.  I will post a picture later.

I installed Handlebar Risers by SW-Motech to raise the bars by 1 inch.  They give me a more upright and comfortable riding position.
The radar detector is a Bell Cobra I had in my Mustang and the GPS is a Teletype World Nav 3500 designed for motorcyclists.  It's fully waterproof and routes can be imported and exported in standard formats.

More to follow.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Daytona - Day 4 - Return Home

After I blogged about my last day in Florida and the terrible accident we witnessed that night I kind of moved the trip to the back of my mind, in a sense trying to forget about it.  But we did return home safe and it was an easy ride home so I might as well put up a few more pictures from our return.
We left Daytona Beach and rode most of the day running into a few really bad thunderstorms in South Carolina that left us soaked.  It was a warm day and I was riding with jeans, we just continued right through the first shower and they got soaked.  We stopped a few miles down the road, put our rain gear and continued stopping in Rocky Mt., North Carolina for the night.  About 580 miles was enough for the day.

After getting a motel room we went looking for food and found a homely place at the Gardner's restaurant.

The place had a great buffet full of food I had never even heard off. I started by filling my plate with pulled pork, field beans, squash, yams and corn but then I added things I had never heard of, like hush puppies, collard greens, mustard coleslaw, corn bread sticks and apple fried sticks, luckily I had Wayne with me to help me decipher the ingredients.  I am always ready to try anything and I did, I must say, southern cuisine is really good, everything was so tasteful, my goodness, I was stuffed.

I also have a very sweet tooth, for dessert I had apple cobbler and papaya, a fruit I used to eat almost every week in my native country of Mozambique.

A sign inside the restaurant

The next day we continued north bypassing the Washington DC area and crossing various bridges in Virginia  and Maryland.  We were stopped for a while on the William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial bridge in Maryland because of repairs, gave us a chance to get off the bikes and chat a little, it was again a beautiful day with a clear blue sky.

My signature shot on the William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial bridge in Maryland.

A Bridge to Cross the Chesapeake. . .
Marylanders originally had to rely on boats to cross the Chesapeake Bay to and from the Eastern Shore. But as the population grew and automobiles became a more popular means of transportation, people began to call for a bridge that would cross the Chesapeake.......
Read more here

The next big bridge we crossed was over the Delaware River into New Jersey.  There are no tolls on the way north but we had already paid $4 on the way south a few days earlier.
The Delaware Memorial Bridge is a set of twin suspension bridges crossing the Delaware River. The toll bridges carry Interstate 295 and U.S. Route 40 between Delaware and New Jersey.
Read more here.

We enter New Jersey and start paying as soon as we enter the NJ Turnpike.  You can't travel across NJ without paying tolls and they are not cheap.  From the bridge to exit 7A, the exit I take to get home is $4.60 but if you travel the entire length from the Delaware Memorial Bridge to the George Washington Bridge crossing into NY you end up paying $13.85.

I arrive home safe and tired having covered 2468.9 miles on this entire trip.  On my last tank of gas I averaged 47.7 miles per gallon, must have been because of the traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike which kept the average speed low.