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Topics - Phmode

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1
The Euro K Club Lounge / Rheumy eyes!
« on: January 18, 2021, 01:04:12 pm »
I know that certain things are inevitable with advancing years but there is one thing that really pees me off when it comes to biking, watery eyes. This is a serious and ongoing problem and wearing glasses inside the old helmet just makes it worse because you can't just pop the visor open and have a quick wipe with the glove.

I've tried almost everything to stop the old peepers weeping uncontrollably, helmet vents open and closed, visor tight shut or cracked open, rubbing a cut potato on the eyeballs, Bob Heath visor spray instead of Optrex but the only that works is riding with my eyes closed. Which explains a lot...

Discuss  :)

2
...which is much easier to fit and operate and works with hand guards fitted to boot.

Go here...

https://www.atlasthrottlelock.com/pages/welcome-advrider-inmates?utm_source=advrider&utm_medium=sponsorship&utm_campaign=advrider

...look for your bike and pay the man.


Video demo here...

https://youtu.be/vz8JUw8qPwA

3
...or has someone already been stung?

We have a reasonably diverse demographic apart from females and BAME's.

OK, we don't have a very diverse demographic...

But, nonetheless, who do we reckon might be first among equals. As a Septuagenarian, I'm about mid-Feb I reckon although the old Asthma might bring it forward a little, gasp, gasp  ::)

I reckon Ron is up there with the super-wrinklies and a great chance of taking the pot for the first although he is of course, fit as a flea.

Anyone else like to take a punt at when they might get it?

Brian (who is having a slow day in Phmode Hovel stuffing logs in the old burner and betting on how long each will last  :) )

4
...but I am in the process of adding a RIGID lightbar to the Mighty Honda and thought a heads up here might be of use to someone.

As most of you are aware I loathe excessive daytime riding lights and when it is my turn to be dictator they will be banned and transgressors have all their accoutrements stuffed firmly up their backsides, complete with wiring and relays. And then turned on! As it were.

However, for seeing where you are going (as opposed to stopping others seeing where they are going), I am a huge fan of the mod scooter approach. One can never have too much light preceeding one down the dark road ahead.

In my rallying days the de rigeur set up was two Cibie Super Oscar (10") Drive lights up top with two Oscar (merely 8") fogs or spots down below...

https://woodham-mortimer.com/Cars/Sold/1973-Ford-Escort-Mk1-RS1600-Roger-Clark-Works-Team-Car/e3c7b49f-bb2a-48e7-f55a-08d526a380ce

...as per above. Complete with, of course 160/90w bulbs, handmade and rolled on the thigh of a virgin and you know how rare they were back in the day...

Any road up, I've never been really impressed by the lights on any bike I've ever owned, even with additional spots. Even my HID set up on the K's, whilst stunning to ride behind, as others will attest, has never caused me to go 'WoFw!'. Don't get me wrong here, one can ride as fast if not faster than during daylight hours but when it comes to lights I am tough to please. Even the set up on the Audi which is as good as they get for its age, is not stunningly great.

So, good as the stock LED lights are on the Honda, I feel the need, the need for speed. But that will never happen with 24bhp. And then I came across a lighting upgrade for the bike from an outfit in the US which was plug and play and way beyond my means, financially.

However, I found a similar 6 LED Spot lighbar at the RIGID importers...

https://www.srcmoto.com/collections/electrical-accessories-crf-250l-rally/products/led-driving-light-upgrade-for-2017-2019-honda-crf-250l-rally#

...on clearance (because no one in a Buggy or a Range Rover wants spot beams) and so it came to pass. I have had it for a week and am still working on the accoutrements, switches, relays, mounting bits and bobs and so have never actually turned it on.

Tonight I strapped it across the battery on the car and pointed it out into the now naked orchards opposite the house, and 'WoFw!'

I am still awaiting the arrival of the local fire and rescue service to put out the forest fire now raging in the orchard. OK, a few startled Fieldfares and a frazzled fox. But blimey, how technology has moved on.

I might have had to change the rear and front suspension because even I was outriding them and the brakes scare me witless but I will never claim to be able to outride this light set up.

It might look odd on a S, but would be amazing on an R. And the importers have one left on offer ... or had!

5
How To - Tech & Forum support / Lifts, ramps and almost everything else...
« on: November 13, 2020, 03:24:43 am »
Came across this place in t'ether the other day...

https://cjautosheywood.co.uk/product/hydraulic-700mm-wide-motorcycle-lift-mb03c/

...and thought 'Oooh!' The way you do.

They do almost everything to do with lifting, jacking, turning, rolling or spinning things up and round and I want one of everything please, especially the Rotisserie!

6
The Euro K Club Lounge / Why do I feel like I just beat the system?
« on: November 01, 2020, 02:12:22 pm »
The whole of the ground floor of Phmode Hovel is wood block tiling which is a) varnished and b) has no varnish on it. Mostly.

The upstairs has 6mm plywood laid on top of floorboards of uncertain condition...

So, with lockdown looming I figure now is a good time to buy a belt sander (most folks can't believe I don't already have two of them) and see if I can put my back out and wreck my newly mended wrists by renovating and waxing all my floors..

Homebase has a Bosch PBS 75A for £115 whereas most online stores are selling it for £75...

I really wanted the bench attachment so it can be used in the workshop as a static sander but a) no one has one and b) those that do are charging more for a lump of plastic than for the sander itself.

I spent an age trying to source the bench attachment online and ended up at an Italian vendor who did have one, but only as part of the entire 75AE professional set, variable speed, carry case, bench attachment, side fence/angle guide etc. etc.

And all for €115? Everywhere in UK is selling this (without the bench attachment or carry case) at circa £200.

So, I try my best Italian but can't work out why there is no contact details to see if they will ship to UK.

Then the penny drops and with the use of Google Translate, I discover they only trade through Amazon.it

Now, I was always told that one could not buy from other national Amazon sites, Amazon.com certainly but with difficulty. Google however assures me differently. It said that you can just log in with your normal details and spend, spend, spend.

So, back to Amazon.it and again with copious use of Google Translate, I log in, place my order, it auto-completes my delivery address and I get a €3 price uplift to account for the difference in VAT rate, am quoted an outrageous €9.99 for delivery by Thursday and pay by credit card (no PayPal in Italy apparently). Just received my acknowledgement e-mail and seem to have bought the whole professional shebang for £3 more than Homebase wanted for the DiY version and somehow I still feel like I have cheated the system.

And don't tell anyone, but we ain't in the EU anymore apparently.

7
The Euro K Club Lounge / It's a good time to get a NIP...
« on: October 21, 2020, 03:47:40 pm »
...relatively speaking!

The Saturday morning after the Wrinklies trip I was trundling up the A417 heading for home and was just passing the bend leading onto the mega mile straight by the Daglingworth exit. Now this straight is getting very dodgy as Glos Cops have got a camera with a long lens that can id the driver at 1100 metres and although I haven't stopped and used the binoculars to spec it out, what with the dips and crests in this stretch of the road I reckon that from their favourite parking spot at the far end of the straight in the lay-by at Granny's Pumps, they 'may' be able to get you all the way back here.

The Garmin was squawking like mad at me and I was saying 'I know, I bloody know, stop nagging me. I'm looking for the bloody thing! It isn't there...! Ah heFll...it's HERE!'

The car in front had been meandering all over the road and was slowing down so I had decided to pop past him. There was a bike coming up fast so I hoofed it and pulled in just in time to spot the bloody van hiding in the shade under a couple of trees. The bike behind me stood on it's nose as he realised why I was brake testing him and the clown in the car just carried on as if nothing was happening in front of him and nearly collected my rear bumper. Remember, I was doing a Brian and had gone down to Worthing in the car. If I'd been on the bike who knows what would have happened.

92 is my usual cruising speed so I was relieved to get the NIP saying I was only doing 88...

I wasn't sure what I was expecting and I have always said I wouldn't do a speed awareness course as a) I know what speed I'm doing and b) I wouldn't be able to keep my big mouth shut in class with all the bollox they spout.

So, a conditional offer of 3 points and £100 was a relief because a) it could have been a lot worse and b) they 'might' have offered me the course and then I 'might' have had to swallow my principles as it were.

Still, 20'odd years since the last NIP and I went to court and beat them that time so I figure I'm still ahead.

This is probably the Covid bonus. Courts are jammed to the rafters, no one wants to run a speed awareness course with only two socially distanced berks in the class, coughing and sneezing, so the conditional offer seems like a reasonable compromise.

I'll take that. And if you think you are due a NIP on the law of averages, now is not a bad time to get it in  :)

9
Praise or Shame / Cotswold Motorrad, Cheltenham
« on: August 13, 2020, 09:12:15 pm »
Despite concerns raised by others about the quality of the 'service' at Cotswold, I decided to take the K in for an annual service rather than schlepping all the way to Oxford to get it done at NOG, who have looked after both the K12 and 13 ever since I crossed Vines off my Xmas card list (continually charging me for four spark plugs every time my 2002 single spark 1150GS went in for service and NEVER checking the electrolyte level on my lead-acid battery (because it has a sealed for life battery, not) and deciding that Bahnstormer didn't really care one way or another.

It's a strange place for sure. It seems as though the Motorrad place has been built in the underground car park of the car dealership and althouh someone has gone to expensive lengths to try to tart it up (still a working progress (sic) ), it still looks like the inside of a very large container parked in the corner. My mate made me promise to tell him if the coffee machine was working as it had never worked in all the time he has been going there. It wasn't. But it did have a sign on it saying that the fire alarm would be tested at 11 am today and that we should not evacuate. It wasn't and we didn't.

So, I was told that to get a coffee one had to exit said container and trek across the car park, into the car dealership and up the escalator to the coffee bar where a gorgeous young thing in a length of navy coloured crushed silk, fashioned into a sort of elegant dress, would gladly make me a happy man drink of my choosing and supply any number of pastries.

This she duly did. Many times.

The bike was booked in for 9am 'so you are first in' (to get to be first in at Vines one had to be up at sparrow-fart and on the ramp by 7).

It was all pleasant and efficient enough but the staff spent way too much time chatting to one another and way too little attending to customers. However, as first on the ramp my bike was whisked away for an oil and filter change, full brake fluid change, final drive oil change and a general wipe over with an oily rag.

The bike was ready by just after 11 and there were only two other customers in by that time with two more having troubled the staff with queries about duff batteries (on a GS) and to pick up some horrendously expensive luggage.

It then took the guy almost 25 minutes to prepare my invoice amd I was the only customer waiting to go remeber. I don't know if it is just me but I want to strangle someone when it all goes pear-shaped at the end like this.

Anyway, the bill came to £265 which, despite biting my tongue and saying nowt, I didn't feel was that expensive. Maybe I'm getting old.

Of course, there was no mention of lubricating my ball joint or greasing my nipples but that's modern service for you.

Now then, where did I put that young lady's number?

10
So, out for a gentle bimble yesterday and remember taking a good-angle right turn at some speed rather than stopping to give way to the speeding transit coming t'other way. Nae problem.

On the return, I remembered the turning as I approached and figured it would be a full-stop with a lingering look over the right shoulder. It was and also slightly uphill for me. There was nothing coming and so I pulled out, cranked over to the left slightly and that's when all hell broke loose.

I was close to home and getting tired on the first K run since lockdown and was a little tardy at getting my left boot up on the peg. Suddenly the bike was bolt upright and crossing the white line and my left leg was trapped somewhere.

I managed to stop, straddling the line, to find my left (folding) peg had caught on top of my boot, despite having trousers over boots. The more I had tried to crank left, the harder the peg dug in and pushed me upright, the grippy sole of my boot sticking fast to the tarmac and rapidly taking my heel back toward the tyre.

It took a second or two to untangle myself and luckily the now approaching car driver figured I was some sort of imbecile and stopped well short of me. That shook me up! Not the car stopping, I would have been really shaken up if he hadn't...

I've had the opposite problem on the off-road spec Honda where my trouser cuff has got hooked on the spikes on the peg and stopped me getting my boot down at a badly cambered T-junction and now I mostly tuck my trousers in my boots off-road, but that can be messy and wet...

Had it been a busy road the outcome could and very well would, have been very different and hopefully that was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

12
e-mail today from TomTom stating that speed camera warnings are now banned in Germany...

13
...no, seriously, come on, put your hands up.

Thought so.

So, as someone who thought he had just read every word of his just renewed insurance policy (with the same insurer for the last 20 years, on the car, not the bikes) here is a salutory lesson.

The car was hit by a 90mph pheasant back in January and although at first glance the damage seemed to be a cloud of feathers and a few stuck to the front splitter, it turned out to be much more. One bit of the 'much more' was an empty washer bottle which couldn't be filled. Well it could, but it was always empty next day.

MoT was due and a non-functioning washer system is a failure so I stuck it in for the MoT with an instruction to look into the leak before failing it.

The leak was accompanied by a cracked grille and the whole front had to come off to sort the washer problem which turned out to be a broken pipe to the headlamp wash-wipe system. Instructions given to fit new grille etc. while they were at it and gimme a quote.

The initial quote was about the same as my excess so I wasn't too bothered about claiming but then they phoned to say there was more damage so I rang the insurance company to explain and ask for advice, I mean not every day I make a claim.

The guy assured me I could have it fixed and pay the bill and then claim later but he pointed out that I wouldn't get a courtesy car and it might take 3-5 working days to get the claim approved as it wasn't being repaired by one of their approved repairers (who don't do MoT's and are an hour away...). Was it still drivable he asked? Well, yes, apart from not having a front end on it...and anyway they have already ordered the new grille. OK sayeth he, not a problem and he confirmed my excess on the, by now old, policy was the same as on my renewed one.

So, car fixed in a day, courtesy signwritten Citroen Berlingo Van certainly up there with the nightmares I have had in the past and by next morning the car is legal and I'm happy.

So, called the insurance company to make my claim and the error of my ways was pointed out to me...have it repaired at anywhere other than one of their approved repairers and you can add £200 to your excess!

WHAT? WHERE DOES IT SAY THAT?

Well, of course it says that, at the bottom of page four of my policy documentation.

So, when I phoned for advice on making a claim, apart from not getting a courtesy car, why was this not pointed out to me. It should have been. Well it wasn't. And your recording of the conversation will prove that.

So, now we await the team leader's review of said recording.

So, do you know if your excess goes up if you make a claim for repairs at a non-approved repairer?

Come on now, hands up...

And why would this even matter? Well, partly because by and large, main dealers are NOT on the insurance companies' approved list. Nobby's Jobbing Shop for repairs to your K anyone?

14
Praise or Shame / Drift Innovation
« on: January 09, 2020, 07:55:32 pm »
Some years ago I had two SMIDSY moments in the same week. Some eejit managed to almost kill me while I was stopped at lights on the bike, followed two days later by a daft twit on a bike pulling out into my car's nearside wing despite the fact I had been trickling alongside him in stop-start traffic on the old Newbury by-pass for the previous 200 metres...

I bought my first dash cam the same day.

I didn't fancy the form factor of the Go-Pro and plumped for the Drift HD Ghost and despite some initial glitches it was soon up and running doing sterling duty on both my car windscreen and my bike helmet.

So far so good.

So good in fact, that I then stumped up for the much smaller Stealth 2 when it was on offer but was somewhat disappointed by its fixed battery life, unlike the Ghost for which I can carry a load of batteries in my tank bag and keep going all day and night if need be.

So, imagine my dismay when I discovered that the Drift app on my iPhone would no longer work.

Oh well. Turns out there's a new one, Drift Life which, as Sod's Law dictates, no longer supports my 'ancient' camera.

I contacted Drift who assured me that it was never their intention to leave their early adopters high and dry and that if I used the following code I would be able to buy a new camera at 20% off.

Gee! So, I have a perfectly good camera which may well last another 10 years but which is now virtually redundant as far as the great user features in the app are concerned.

So, one wonders how long before my Stealth 2 is no longer supported.

We are all used to built-in obsolescence but this new-age, new fangled tangential obsolescence is a new one on me.

So, in the market for a new dash cam? Well, you know what to buy...

15
The Euro K Club Lounge / Well deserved thanks...
« on: December 31, 2019, 11:46:58 pm »
I'd like to take this opportunity to say a huge 'thank you' to our mods, Matt, Rae and Richard (in alphabetical order, not based on seniority or effort expended or good looks or riding ability).

We had a pretty torrid time of it earlier in the year with all sorts of 'attacks' on the forum, mainly from our friends from the old Soviet bloc but thanks to sterling work by the team, we seem to have come out of it unscathed.

EuroKClub now has well over 600 members, past and present, which isn't bad considering where we were at this time on the first day of 2015!

So, here's wishing you all an enjoyable, safe and peaceful 2020 no matter what, where or how you ride.

Brian (who says 'unless you are that pillock of a learner on a smoking rat-bike with no dip switch that nearly took my wing mirror off this evening'  ::) )

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