Back to Basics

Hello to everyone in the vast reaches of cyberspace.

It’s been quite some time since I have posted something on the blog. I must admit I haven’t been giving the blog as much attention as I did in the past. This is largely due to the fact that the free time I once had has been drastically reduces by work commitments.

Nonetheless I have been doing a fair bit of riding, and once more an epiphany struck me as I was moving in unison with my two-wheeled machine.

But before I get to that, a little bit of background. Being part of a motorcycle club carries with it the duty to attend specific events at specific times as decided by the club. However, if such an event is perhaps cancelled for some specific reason and one has already planned to go riding on that day, one can’t let the opportunity go to waste.

Harties

The route that had been planned whilst remaining unplanned.

So with the event being cancelled, I still set out riding on the 30th of June this year with a nervous pillion on board and a few key points I hoped to reach during this ride. My pillion on the other hand was just along for the ride.

We spent some good time on the road, riding one of my favourite road sections colloquially dubbed “the twisties”, a somewhat winding piece of back-road that runs through an area called the cradle of mankind. One starts roaming through the valleys and then moving up the side of a hill. At the highest point on the road one has a magnificent view of the valley below. Thereafter one descends back into the valley and on route to Hartebeespoort dam. The route we wound up following takes one across the dam wall with another magnificent view.

We spent the day riding between Upperdeck restaurant, “Tant Mallie se winkel” (translated to Aunty Mallie’s Shop), and the Chameleon village flea market, and having dinner at Upperdeck before setting off to home. At this point in time it was dark already and the winter air was extremely cold. The route home took us past the Hartebeeshoek Earth Station, on a route once again colloquially dubbed the “satellite road” thanks to the large radio telescope and dish arrays found along the route.

Now we come to the epiphanies that had occurred to me during this delightful day of riding. The first of which is the title of the post. Back to basics. Riding as part of a club is quite fun, and it has a massive impact on moral when a large group comes together to brave the weather and have some fun. But in some instances one yearns for the solitude that comes with solo riding. I understand that my travels on this day is not exactly solo in the presence of my pillion, but the solo riding I’m referring to is having the ability to divert and change routes on a whim and just travel to where the road takes you without having an impact of other riders in a large group. Its this type of riding that I have yearned for in quite some time. Setting out with no plan, no time limit an no set destination with the sole objective of enjoying the day.

The second epiphany came on the travel back home in the dark. There’s something poetic about riding in the dark. Staring at the canvas of black and stars and watching your headlight paint a narrow beam of tar mere meters in front of itself. The absolute desolation of these country roads at night, the eerie hum of engine and screech of wind makes one feel so alone, so at peace. One is lost without truly travelling off the beaten track. The road so familiar also so unknown.

Its one trip I wouldn’t soon forget, nor is it a trip that I wouldn’t wish to repeat. To all my fellow riders and readers, ride safe, and enjoy the journey.

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2018 SA Bike Festival

The weekend of 25 to 27 May 2018 marks another rendition of the South Africa Festival. This year it wasn’t a weekend with the boys for me, rather a time to catch up with an old friend, Quick Fix.

We set out early on Saturday morning to be (almost) the first bike through the gates at the festival. We treated ourselves to some V.I.P. tickets, which in turn gave us access to the Jamie’s Italian VIP lounge situated on the second floor of the pit building. We had a great view of the test rides out on track as well as the Monster Energy FlightNight show later that evening.

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Guess what beauty we could stare at whilst enjoying the show from the V.I.P. lounge.

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Quick Fix, enjoying a taco.

One of the perks included eats and drinks for the day but myself and Quick fix definitely tried some of the other delicacies offered at the event’s “Eat Street” section.

Here one can find tons of interesting munchies ranging from the free range chicken tacos, to wood fired oven pizza (with the oven mounted in a truck), to artisan crafted ice cream for desert. It was definitely not slim pickings when it came to a variety to fill one’s belly.

The rest of the show wasn’t boring either, at the Harley-Davidson stand, Quick fix had the opportunity to feel what it would be like to handle a bike. A Harley forty eight strapped to a rolling road gives one some of the sensation one would experience in riding such a machine on the open road. An experience she wouldn’t soon forget (judging from the facial expressions.

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Quick fix, admiring a Suzuki… (what else?)

The lower floor of the pit building was home to all the usual culprits. Honda, Suzuki, KTM, Husqvarna, Harley-Davidson, Indain, and newcomer Zontes all had their respective display areas on the floor. Oddly, there wasn’t any new, or more exciting featured from these motorcycle building giants apart from the arrival of Zontes, who mainly produce small displacement machines.

Bosch also made an appearance on the display floor with a ton of interesting tech. Most interestingly was a secondary battery system, I’m guessing would be more popular with the adventure bike crowd. The system allows a secondary battery to be used to jump an otherwise dead main battery or provide an alternative power source for all kinds of adventure gear.

As per usual the 2 stroke club of South Africa provided for a few prestine and highly saught after twostroke legends. Furthermore, there were a few awesome custom creations on display. You can view two of the fsvourites up above.

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Super GP round on Saturday

From the V.I.P. lounge we also had a good view of the Super 600 and Super GP races at Kyalami GP curcuit during the weekend. The enclosed lounge did however muffle the beautiful exhaust notes of these awesome machines.

Later on in the evening we were entertained by the LeRiche trail bike show and the Monster Energy Flightnight stunt show. No photos of these as light conditions didn’t really make for good image quality. But the gist of it culminated to an absolutely fantastic festival. A lot better than I expected and a definite improvement on last year.

Until next year’s show, safe ride and enjoy the journey.

El Potato Gun

Hello again to everyone in the vast reaches of cyberspace. As we’ve said in an earlier post, it’s been a busy time for us behind the scenes of the Bike Addict. One thing that’s kept us quite busy is some modifications to Anxiety on Wheels’ NT400. As you may have already seen, we have fitted an aftermarket gauge cluster to replace the broken speedometer that was on the bike.

Our backyard ingenuity didn’t stop there. Some time before that we had removed an open pipe exhaust system and replaced it with a partially gutted version of the original exhaust system. You can read more about it here.

 

But as all things go, and as human nature predicts, Anxiety wanted more. Not necessarily more, or louder noise, but rather some refinement of the noise that the bike already produced. We’ve heard the bike produce deafening bellows with its open system. We’ve heard it produce low thunderous roars with the gutted stock system. Neither of these were very pleasing to the ear.

To this extent Anxiety made an investment in a brand new exhaust muffler. Shopping online, and half way across the world, it took some time for the bits to arrive here from wherever it originated from. It did, however, arrive in one piece and with all its required mounting hardware. (unlike the gauges).

The next issue is that we now have a single exhaust, but 2 exhaust ports. This means that in some way we needed to build a 2 to 1 collector. Harley_Lover_248 to the rescue, who has a welder and a little experience in welding stainless steel. The old open exhaust tips were sacrificed to form the basis of the abovementioned collector.

After the collector was built, it was time to figure out the mounting for the new ‘potato gun’ as Anxiety had so eloquently phrased. A good polish also made the collector shine like a brand new off-the-shelf part.

The last step is to mount the muffler to a solid point on the bike frame.

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This brings us to the final product of all the hard labour.

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Here’s the funny thing. Anxiety’s fuel tank had been sent in for some rust repair, but we all wanted to hear what the bike sounded like now. Mechanical MacGyver and Anxiety had a plan to set this matter right. In short, we now know how the bike sounds, and Anxiety took it for a tank-less test drive.

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Until next time, safe ride and enjoy the journey.

 

The gloves on the other hand.

Hello to everyone in the vast reaches of cyberspace. It’s been a busy time at work, which is a good thing. A busy weekend has also passed as we fitted a new exhaust system to Anxiety on wheels’ Honda. More on this a little later.

After checking on the status of some of Anxiety’s bike parts, we decided to visit a trader’s square/ flea market we’ve done some business with in the past. I went along with the sole purpose of replacing the riding gloves I’ve had since 2011. After 7 years, 2 slides and 1 fall they are knackered in every sense of the word.

At the trader’s square we were lucky enough to come across a vendor stocking Dainese Veloce riding gloves at reduced prices. This deal was just too good to pass up so both myself and Anxiety invested in a pair.

My plan is to break these gloves in over the next few weeks and share my thoughts about these. So here’s to safe rides, enjoyable journeys, and comfortable hands.

Wolf spirit breakfast run.

Hello again to everyone in the vast reaches of cyberspace. I know I’m late with this post but I do have a compelling reason. But more on that later.

It was a cool, cloudy morning as we set of to the Cock & Bull pub in Hartebeespoort. Add to that some light rain and you have a cold, moist ride for about 87 km.

At the event the weather got better, but not by much. Part of the festivities was a burnout competition. Check out the video of the winner below.

An awesome ride. Safe ride and enjoy the journey.

Pillion, I am no more

Hello to everyone in the vast reaches of cyberspace.

I have been active in the motorcycling lifestyle since the tender age of 13. Since I first hopped onto the pillion seat of Mechanical MacGyver’s then Conti 200 cc. The bug had bit me quite hard and caused me to spend countless weekends clinging onto my father’s jacket on the back of every machine he had ever owned. In this time I was given the opportunity to dip my toe into the strange world of piloting a motorcycle. (None of which was done on public roads, as operating a motorcycle without a license on a public road is illegal.)

Three years down the line, just after my 16th birthday, I could legally pilot a motorcycle on public roads, if such a bike had an engine displacement equal to or less than 125 cc. This is where my journey with Popcorn Machine began. The little 125 cc Honda that took me wherever my 16-year-old heart desired. Though I would often still ride pillion on my father’s machine on long trips or trips requiring a brisk pace. The transition between pilot and pillion at this point still occurred seamlessly. As one does not exactly develop a unique riding style on a tiny, slow 125 cc.

Add another three years, and we come to the point where restoration of the Little Yellow Honda (my VFR400R) reached a stage of completion. In the preceding three years I did occasionally ride Mechanical MacGyver’s Old Faithful (a mean Kawasaki ZZR400, with a 600cc engine swap). However, very little of my time was spent as a pillion. With the more powerful machines one does tend to develop a unique riding style. A “spidey sense”, if you will, of how and when one starts to slow down for corners, a preferred lean angle limit, and when to roll back onto the throttle.

Enter the present. I’m still avidly riding my Little Yellow Honda, and Mechanical MacGyver has upgraded to a beast of a bike. His personal “Duiweltjie” (little devil) of a Honda CBR1000RR. This is also the point in time where I make the realisation leading to the title of the post, as I discover that a pillion, I am no more.

Around two weeks ago, Mechanical MacGyver’s bakkie (a pick up truck for those across the pond) suffers a blown head gasket. This means that, under the vehicle’s warranty, it had to be repaired by an authorised dealer. Hence we set out to deliver the vehicle to said dealer. As the vehicle is still somewhat operable, Mechanical MacGyver drives it to the dealer, with me on the “Duiweltjie” following close behind. (The bike would be a traffic and hassle free return trip to drop me off and Mechanical MacGyver’s ride to work)With the vehicle dropped off, I hop onto the pillion seat of this beast and we set off.

Oh the horrors that ensued. Barely exiting the dealer’s lot I am already sick to my stomach. The forces of acceleration, deceleration and cornering feel all but friendly and familiar. My “spidey sense” goes completely haywire as Mechanical MacGyver goes about riding in his usual way, completely contradictory to my own style of riding. For the first time in a very long time I am truly afraid of a motorcycle. My stomach is churning and I feel like I’m on a carnival ride from hell. I have lost all sense of control and was clinging to Mechanical MacGyver for what felt to be dear life. It was truly a horrifying experience. Surrendering control after almost 6 years of riding in control. The 20 minute return trip turned out to be the worst 20 minutes of my life thus far. I hope that I never have to experience anything similar again.

A very queasy Motorcycle Addict, wishing you all a safe ride, and more enjoyable journey.

Ink & Iron

Hello to everyone in the vast reaches of cyberspace. The past weekend marked the annual Ink & Iron day jol. As I’ve said at the start of the year, I will be doing a post about every event that I attend this year. The Ink & Iron day jol will be the first entry in this list.

The Ink & Iron jol is basically a custom bike concourse with a few tattoo competitions thrown into the mix for good measure. The event ran till late but due to circumstances we had to leave early. Here are some of the photos of the custom bikes that were on display at the event:

(Note that my camera’s time and date stamps are out of whack again)

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Oh. They had pizza in a cone too.

Can’t wait to see what will be in store next year. I hope that the custom touches on Anxiety’s bike will be done so he can enter the event as well.

Until then. Safe ride and enjoy the journey.

Custom parts come with custom problems

Hello to everyone in the vast reaches of cyberspace. At the start of 2018 we set out to improve our site and expand to incorporate YouTube as well.

To the same extent, Anxiety on Wheels set out to improve his bike. A well-aged Honda NT400 Bros. After some discussion we have decided to turn this endeavor into a video series that we’ll be uploading to YouTube.

Don’t fret though, the videos will be added to our blog as well. The first instalment of this series covers the installation of an aftermarket gauge cluster, and you can check it out below:

The perspective of a motorcyclist medic

Hello again to everyone in the vast reaches of cyberspace. A short time ago I did a post about myself attempting to go “full squid”. This practice is thought to be quite dangerous as one travels on a motorcycle with very little in terms of protective gear. Understandably, and as predicted, our ride along paramedic, Quick Fix, did not approve of this exercise. So I thought why not give her the opportunity to tell us why she doth protest so much.

So without further adieu, here is the first ever blog post by Quick fix:

(A note to our sensitive readers, the following piece contains images which some of you may find upsetting.)


“Hello, hello, hello

Quick fix signing in

Good day to everyone near and far.

After the squidage post; done by the Bike Addict; I have been asked to do a piece on motorcycles from the view of a paramedic and the differences in the after effects regarding safety or no-safety riding.

A big factor that does come out is that there are actually a lot more motorcycle accidents on the roads than are actually realised. Many are just scrapes or bumps and the rider simply picks up their wheels and carries on their merry way.

However, about 20% of bike accidents are in need of emergency medical assistance and these ladies and gents are the ones that are most known about.

1

On an average month in the emergency setting about 20 motorcycle accidents occur of which only four to five need emergency medical help.

These are the cases where they need to be transported to the emergency ward or get airlifted immediately.

2

Having a motorcycle fatality in itself is rare but, not impossible.

The greater the force and acceleration of the accident taking place, the greater the injury or the chances thereof.

Mostly the rider skids with his wheels or gets knocked over, climbs back on and off he goes escaping with a few minor scrapes and scratches.

Severe motorcycle accident signs and symptoms include; amputations of limbs: partially or fully, severe skin removal if no jacket has been worn or jeans ripped through, head injuries due to force, multiple fractures, internal injuries, spinal injuries and shock.

3

A little message of warning, an accident can happen in the blink of an eye.

The riders of the motorcycles should ALWAYS have a helmet on. Contrary to popular belief, we in the emergency setting post-accident tend to leave helmets on. The only time a helmet will be removed (we are trained in removing a motorcycle helmet and the dangers surrounding them) is when there is a compromised airway and our patient is having a life-threatening emergency which requires specific medical intervention.

4

The first and foremost form of treatment for any motorcycle accident is to immobilise our patient ASAP.

This is done with the use of a spine board and head blocks. If any conditions pursue, e.g. cardiac arrest, the riding gear gets surgically cut off without movement of the patient. (Sorry guys and girls. But it’s your riding jacket vs your life).

If you happen to come across a motorcycle accident, panic quickly and then get over it, it’s about to get real:

  1. First and foremost, make sure that your scene is safe, don’t become the next victim! Job creation only goes that far.
  2. Call the emergency services!!!! No ifs and/or buts.
  3.  Chat to the unfortunate bloke, reassurance does wonders to the body, this way you also notice if he is conscious or not.
  4. Never remove helmet, leave to the professionals,(like me LOL)
  5. Airway and breathing can be done by simply placing a hand on the chest and feeling for rise and fall.
  6. Tell the emergency services any and all info!
  7. A few numbers to phone:
  •  ER24- 084 124
  • Province- 10177 Landline 112
  • Interesting fact, 112 is the only emergency number that can be dialled in South Africa without a sim card. (So don’t stress if you don’t have airtime)

A few personal experience stories will be shared over time, so hang in there, be safe on the roads and I hope we don’t meet by accident!

Signing off

Quick Fix