June 17, 2012

New Tyre

Well, after my adventures on the Queen's Birthday I wasn't really too comfortable with my double-plugged rear tyre.  The fact that it was (slowly) losing air only really confirmed that discomfort, and it was time for a new rear tyre.

I had been going to get Bolton's to do it here in Kyneton, and organised to work Friday from home so I could get it seen to, but saw a providential post on NetRiders by MMMTS (Metro Mobile Motorcycle Tyre Service: https://www.facebook.com/MetroMobileMotorcycleTyreService) about having done a tyre at Lancefield. 

A quick message or three later and MMMTS were teed up to come sort my rear tyre for me, and sort it they did.  Top service, friendly, helpful, and I have a new rear tyre that should keep me motoring happily for quite some time.  Replaced the OEM Dunlop Sportsmax RoadSmarts with a Michelin P3 that by all accounts should give me good touring life with better grip and confidence than the Dunlops.

I've only really started to scrub it in - about 60kms worth yesterday (Saturday) so it really still needs a bit more working in, but already I'm pretty happy with it.  I started off pretty gingerly, and while I'll certainly still have wider chicken strips than my brothers I've had it leaning over quite a bit on Cobb and Co road, Chevelley's Lane and the Woodend-Tylden and Tylden-Kyneton Roads, all of which have some fun sweeping bends that I took probably as fast as I ever have without the tyre giving so much as a wobble.

A run in to work and back at some stage this week and she'll be well and truly ready for anything I think, and definitely up to scratch for my Stay Upright course weekend after next.  So I'm back on the road again, and happy to be there.  Now if I can just avoid any more nails for more than a couple of thousand kms please...


Well, my ride with my brothers on the Queen's Birthday Monday didn't quite go as planned.

The first inkling that trouble was brewing was a text from Ali saying that he was having electrical problems with his bike.  Ouch.  The hope was that he would be able to get that sorted and still join us.  So off I set, on what was a very brisk cold morning, to make my way over to the initial rendezvous point at Romsey.

Well, the road was clear, it was a nice enough ride over, but the thick frost on the paddocks highlighted that my choice of leather jacket over textile might have been suspect.  Arrival at Romsey saw me changing the Hellfire's, as I was definitely needing the heavier winter gloves.

Then, with Ross arriving it was off to Whittlesea, where, the plan was, we would meet up with Ali and have a coffee.

Hmmm.  Fog.  Where the heck did that come from???  And not just any fog, but london-style pea soup fog.  Wipe your visor frequently and repeatedly fog.  Lovely road out towards Wallan, and it would have been fantastic if we could see far enough ahead to actually enjoy all those glorious bends.  Ah well...

Rightio, into Whittlesea, stop for coffee.  And notice my rear tyre has a puncture.  Crap.  Ali's electrical issues were still ongpoing.  Double crap.  Oh, and Ali had the puncture repair kit.  You get the picture...  The culprit; a 4" masonry nail of all things.  Thanks a lot to whoever thoughtfully left that lying on the road.  There were a group of cyclists at the same cafe who had also had a member get a puncture, so I guess I wasn't alone.

Enter stage left a pair of guys on cruisers who came to the rescue and helped me get the rear type plugged.  This is probably one of the most endearing thing about the biker community, they really do stick together a bit and help out in situations like this, and I deeply appreciated their help.  I'll be paying that forward any and every time I can.

Another rider had a comressor in his truck, so the tire was re-inflated, and we were good to go, although now the plan was modified to be a quick return back home again alas.

So, return journey, the fog has lifted (mostly) and back we head, only for me to notice the rear felt pretty slushy over the recent roadworks we'd passed without incident on our way in.  Ross confirmed a few seconds later that 'I don't like the look of that rear tyre again mate'.  Double crap.  So, find a place we can pull off safely and yep, tire flat again.

Oh, and Ross also starting to succumb to a gastric upset.  I guess that was our third unlucky thing.  About 5 mins out of Romsey, spotty phone reception and a flat.  My folks came to the rescue with a trailer, and a repair kit.  Re-patched the puncture and found a staple (from a staple gun type staple) in the tyre as well.  Patched that too.  Pumped it up again, and continued homw under escort in case it deflated again...

Finally made it home.

It was an interesting ride, and pretty educational, if not the unalloyed fun I had been anticipating....  I guess that is just the joys of motorcycling.  :)

So, tyre repair kit very much on my to-get list now, as well as an angle adapter given my wheels make may attachments damn difficult to fit to the valve.  Some sort of bike friendly compressor would be an awesome find too I suspect.

C'est la vie.