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Aye, I will not be missing that. Although with most of the country have a yellow rain waning all day on Saturday I would not bother risking attempting to work on the bike then anyway.

Though that does remind me that if I can get out on the bike on Tuesday or Wednesday, it would be good to be home for 6pm for the Swedish final. It could be a good week for the Lindgren brothers as Ludvig is the captain of Kumla, who easily beat Västervik in the semi-finals, whilst Freddie is riding for the world championship.

Then it is the Polish final on Friday and Sunday next weekend, so if it will rain then please not be on the Saturday! Sadly this Sunday's rearranged semi-final is not being shown live in the U.K. due to clashes. But if Gorzów wins that then Niels could end his season well, as he also rides for Kumla so could win both leagues.

Hopefully the Speedway of Nations being held in "mainland Europe" will be in an area that will not see it cancelled by late October weather. Apart from very casually watching some NFL, that will be the last sport for me until whenever [non-T20] cricket returns.

Watching speedway is the closest I have been to riding for almost all of this year.
 

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Did the cheap oil syphon work to remove the excess oil from my engine?

No, the tube was too fat to reach down far enough to the oil.

But I have an old tube from a manual pressure washer which broke. The sort where you pump a water cylinder to create pressure inside. I was able to fit that tube to that snuggly inside the one in the oil pump. Thinner tube and more flexible, so that should reach the oil.

No, it definitely reached the oil as it the end was covered but nothin sucked out. I think it was too flexible and twisted itself into the wrong place.

But the old pressure washer and a long solid thiner tube for getting to hard to reach places. I could try that, but there is a solid obstruction inside the black tube needed to get around. So being less flexible it was unlikely to reach the oil.

No, it was flexible enough and did reach the oil. Sometimes. Sometimes it went in very easy, sometimes it hit the obstruction. The best result, which is sucking up oil, occurred when I hit the obstruction, then forced it just a little further around it. Annoyingly the oil syphon is really a pump and not a syphon, so after drawing up some oil I had to remove from the bike to remove the oil to release the pump handle, otherwise it would just push all the oil back into the bike again.

But it did not take too much pumping to achieve a happy ending. And it was not as messy as it could have been.

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The can is the excess oil, plus the bit to scottoil from working on the chain previously, the angle makes it look more empty but it is about a third full. The equivalent of enough beans for one slice of toast. The blue looking tube is the fat clear one, edged into which is a small piece of black tube from the pressure washer, using its own adapter for the inflexible tube.

The ground shows how wet it has been this weekend, but right now it is very sunny and reasonable warm for October. A possibility of showers later, but I have to wait in for a supermarket delivery anyway. Lightning forecast for tomorrow afternoon, best avoid that, but Wednesday currently looks good so hopefully I can go to the seaside then.

Still need to fit the new alarm, which appears to be exactly the same as the old one (as is the way with cheap Chinese things) but with parts left unwired. Which is mostly okay, as my only complaint about the old alarm, until it stopped working, was the bunch of excess cables.

And still need to fit the lights, but the cable I order has not arrived, much link that chain link I spent so long waiting for. Of all the things I have had delivered, two very strange things for someone to steal. Sadly Amazon do not sell cable by the metre, as I would happily pay a little extra for guaranteed delivery rather than relay on regular post or pay a lot extra for a courier. So will just have to try and order some more.
 

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Just finished washing and polishing the bike after a 70mile ride in the pooring rain. And boy is it the bike or the Michelin PR5s cos this bike is awesome in the wet.
 

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I sat on it, all geared up…

I went down to the bike, removed the cover, checked the tyres and chain were good. Turned it on checked the various lights worked, moved the bars. All good, so I went back indoors to put on my gear etc.

One last little maintenance task, put some foam tape on the throttle clamp as it had been scratching the brake lever. Sit on the bike, one last check to make sure the brakes work, and off we go. Oh, the bike has gone dead and restarted. And off we go. The new USB I added shows the battery charge, I wonder what it says. 7.9.

In the past there has been times when it just splutters and does not start. Holding the button for a minute, stopping, then another minute eventually as required eventually gets it running. This if the first time I have had it where the effort of starting just saw it drop completely and the bike die before coming back to life.

And so on this nice sunny day I am indoors while the trickle charger spends all day charging it back up. (It disagrees with the USB on the charge, it agrees on the "low")

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I am not sure what happened. The last time I had the engine running was two weeks ago just before the tyre was changed. When I tested the compressor to pump up the tyres I did it with the engine running to avoid this situation.

Since then it has only been turned on a few times to test the G.P.S. cradle. And the only items permanently powered by the battery are the top box — the remote receiver is low power and the LED strip was never left one — and the broken alarm.

As the alarm still worked, albeit not as loud, after the bike had been untouched for months and when the battery level was much lower, I assume it must have been draining the battery somehow.

Anyway, I wrote that earlier then forgot to post it. Because I got bored of the charger, and thought of a better way of charging the battery. As it had gone from recovery to charge mode, I thought maybe if I run the engine it would charge it more quickly. It only needs enough charge to get it running. It seemed a good plan, as I wired it back in, pressed the started, and the engine came into life immediately.

Of course, I could not leave the bike unattended with the key in the ignition, so I had to stay with it all afternoon. Lucky I did as it started moving. It barely stayed still, but after letting the engine run for 130 miles of southern England the battery seems to be in a better state.
 

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It could be a good week for the Lindgren brothers as Ludvig is the captain of Kumla, who easily beat Västervik in the semi-finals, whilst Freddie is riding for the world championship.

Then it is the Polish final on Friday and Sunday… if Gorzów wins that then Niels could end his season well, as he also rides for Kumla so could win both leagues.
Hmm.

So Freddie had a great final Grand Prix but Zmarzlik did enough to ensure he retained the title, then he had mechanical trouble in the final so needed to race off for second, but lost that to Woffinden. The next day Gorzów did win their Polish semi-final, but Niels and Woffinden crash, ending both of their seasons in hospital. With Niels not being selected for next year's G.P. series. And Ludvig barely appeared in the two-legged Swedish final, which Kumla lost to Masarna anyway.

As niche as speedway is on here, it only occurred to me tonight that Dalarna means "the dales," and Masarna is "the people of Dalarna," so technically the team is "the people of the dales," which in Welsh is "pobol y cwm," the title of a long-running Welsh language soap opera. A random observation that is about as niche as you can get!

Sadly I may have to miss watching the Polish final on Sunday as my dad is back in hospital so I may be travelling back up to his house so I can visit him. Which makes it fortunate I managed to get the bike back on the road and tested so I am able to travel again. But the final will be on FreeSports in the U.K., so no need to subscribe to watch it. Friday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 6:15pm.
 

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Well I have freesports so thanks for the tip. Didn't realise woffy was injured too. Neil's had a nightmare year. Freddy may never make Gold it's slipping away a bit I think. He will live by the sword but die by it. Hope your pop is ok.
 

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Thanks. I think Tai's injury is a broken hand. He posted a photo of it looking very swollen on social media from after the crash. Given how long it took for Greg to win his second title I would not write off Freddie yet, but time is definitely running out and next year's lineup looks good.

The live speedway is listed on the FreeSports motorsport page and in the schedules, though oddly is not on the live events page. You have to pay to watch the third-place playoff but the final is free!


After that just two more days of Speedway left this year, at least on TV.
 

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Rode it again, this time taking 300 miles to travel the 150 miles to my dad. Despite the forecast being for a dry day, I still managed to find the rain.

I am not sure what has happened to my rear brake, nothing has changed but it seems very powerful.

First time riding with the panniers, the only time I really noticed them was when it got a little windy. I was feeling it, but the bike felt much more stable with the added weight.

I think the Honda heated grips may be dying though. When I start the bike the switch flashes, though this has no effect on operation, they are still off and turn on and cycle settings as normal, including not flashing when switched off again. But at one point my hands started feeling cold, so I turned them on. And they worked.

But then much later when I needed to stop to clean my visor I noticed they were cold, and cycling through the modes did not turn them off despite the light indicators. But after simply turning the ignition on and off they did work. They did not do the initial flashing either. Very strange.

As an official accessory they are attached to the front option connector, I used to have a few accessories on the rear one, but now I only connect that to a relay coil, to create my own option connector, with everything connected direct to the battery so I can allow them to use more than the shared 7.5A of the official connection. So I cannot imagine it being anything I did.

But what was my fault somehow is that the power to the top box disappeared mid-journey. I did not have the time to investigate en route, but as the integrated stop light is not working I can rule out the fuse, so most likely just a bullet connector on the earth cable came apart. Somewhat annoying, though I have not finished tidying up my wiring yet, I still need to order cable for the lights but also to replace the earth lead to the always-on items (top box, alarm, and under-pillion-seat 12V socket).

Got to my dad's for just after five, so although I missed the second leg of the third-place playoff for the Polish speedway league, I was able to watch the conclusion of the final. Wow, heat 9 was one of the greatest races I have seen.
 

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The sound mix on the Swedish coverage is much worse, but those are problems with the provided host feed. Probably not helped by the reduced crowd numbers.

When you have a single commentator calling two hours on their own it is never going to be great, especially with speedway having so much time between the action and no access to the pits or interviews. But Goddard is about the best I have heard at it.
 

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he power to the top box disappeared mid-journey. I did not have the time to investigate en route
I have now looked under the seat and nothing had come apart. Jiggled it all to make sure it was tight. Still did not work. Checked the fuse, fine. Jiggled again to double check. Then it worked. Quite a mystery as the way it is connected if it was loose it would effect other accessories.

Going home tomorrow, so I ordered the cables last night so I know they will not arrive when I am away. Hopefully I can get that part of the wiring done before the weekend as it is supposed to be dry so I can confidently enjoy a full weekend of riding. Can then sort out wiring up the LED lights next week.
 

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Someone... It sounds like gremlins have decided your bike is a safe place to hide for a while. They'll eventually get bored and move on to pester Someone else..... < See what I did there? :sneaky:
 

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Sadly the someone the gremlins have chosen was the same one. But first, what I did with my bike yesterday was hit some cars!

In a very small way. I really need to learn to ride with the panniers. First I approached some traffic lights in a small town. The road widened to two lanes for queuing traffic everyone was in the left lane, so I assumed the second lane was a right turn one. But then I saw the marking was for ahead, I tried to turn the bike around the back of the car in front to get to it. But on the way there was a "tonk", and a car horn, so I am sure on the way past I caught it with the pannier.

Later on, back in London, where it had been raining heavily, I was at some lights on a three-lane road. Similar sort of situation, but these time filtering between two lanes of stationary traffic to get to the front. Through I would get through the gap, and if going straight I would, but as I had to steer around the irregular line of the cars I felt like I was going to fall. I was going slow enough that there was no tonk, but I was resting on the car and had to reverse a bit to get upright.

Finally another almost slip against a car when I got home. There is a small area in which I park, and a car was parked almost blocking it off except the channel I ride down to get into it. Which gives me little space to three-point turn the bike around so it is facing outwards. In my manoeuvring trying to turn around its rear to get enough space to turn back I caught it with the pannier.

At least the panniers never fell off, as I realized this morning when taking them in the shower that I had not been attaching them properly. It worried me they only attached at the top and swung a little on the frame. But only now did I notice the slots in the bottom to slide over the pegs on the frame bottom. Oops. (They were so muddy from the road spray then needed a good clean, so I put the shower on mist mode to rinse them off then wiped them down before I can put them back on the shelf.)

Other notable features of the trip, my TomTom was warning of congestion on my chosen route when I neared London, so I asked it to calculate the route. Firstly I did not realize until too late that "avoiding motorways" was the routing option rather than "fastest route." No idea how that happened, as the latter is the only reason I ever let it compute routes. But I live in south London, and it tried to send me over Vauxhall Bridge. Which has been closed since the start of August for maintenance.

My bike has been having poor fuel economy this year, with the bike showing readings in the 60s too often. I had to buy petrol twice going up and the bike read 68.8 and 67.6 mpg (57.3 and 56.3 U.S.) when I filled up. It was due booking a service anyway (getting to the spark plugs is too fiddly for me to want to bother with) so I was thinking I could get someone to look it over. But then filling up on the way home it showed 79.0 (65.8 U.S.). That does not include much highway riding, but nor did the 67.6 so I cannot explain the difference.

And then there is the gremlins. When I turned on the heated grips they have stopped doing that thing when the light initially flashes. But also they have stopped doing that thing where they make the grips warm. That the switch lights up and goes through the modes means that is okay. But neither grip heats so it is unlikely to be a grip itself, so it must be the controller.

So I am not sure what my options are there, other than a Honda dealer who will no doubt charge a fortune to fix them, if possible. And Honda grips are so expensive that I am not sure what to do then. Oxford ones I think are warmer, but I really like the integrated switch on the left grip of the Honda ones. Aside from the climate, I have arthritis which really effects my fingers so they are an essential for me. I was not sure if I would have even been able to ride because my right index finger is quite bad at the moment that even eating with a a fork is difficult. But it turned out it has no problem on the bike as, though I cannot hold the grip, it can cover (and operate) the brake in the normal way.

The cables I ordered arrived today, so maybe tomorrow I can work on installing the lights.
 

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Sounds like you had an adventurous week. I'm not sure if you can purchase the controller for the Honda grips alone, or if it requires the complete unit. I'm on my 2nd set of Oxford heated grips and couldn't be happier. You're right about having to find an separate place to mount the controller, though. Easy afternoon's install, directly attached to the battery, and the controller includes an auto OFF timer to avoid battery drain if left on. Not sure of the cost in the UK, but can be purchased here for at less than $100 US.
 

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My main concern with the extra controller is I already have enough gadgets on the bike that I am running out of space. The Oxford grips here are about £50 for the regular ones and £80 for the advanced ones, so not too bad.

Maybe a better option would be some handguards, If I can keep the wind off then the gloves might offer enough warmth on their own. And with all the hard luggage and a big screen my little 500F is already looking like a wannabe 500X anyway!

That said, I am not sure how much longer I will be able to ride as London is being put under tier 2 Covid restrictions from midnight on Saturday. That is the middle level, tier 3 is when cases are bad, and tier 1 for everywhere else.

Legally tier 2 does not restrict travel, but you are supposed to reduce journeys. And as a "clinically extremely vulnerable person" it is recommended to "avoid travel where possible." It also means it is now illegal for me to go in my dad's house, making it impossible to visit.

If the weather is okay I will still go riding this weekend because it has been too long without it. But maybe shorter rides without stopping off anywhere.
 

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Hopefully the Speedway of Nations being held in "mainland Europe" will be in an area that will not see it cancelled by late October weather.
And so it was that the area was Poland, and day 1 (of 2) was been abandoned before it even started because of heavy rain. In northern Europe. In October. So now a one day event tomorrow. Maybe.

Not to veer too far off topic, but too much pain in my hands to do anything much with the bike today. I cut a piece of cable to use for the new earth connection on the top box/alarm/pillion seat. And I measured how much cable I will need to attach to the LEDs lights to get to the headlamp, from where they will be routed under the tank to relays behind the battery. Why do so many accessories come with such short sections of cable that will never be enough?
 

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And so it was that the area was Poland, and day 1 (of 2) was been abandoned before it even started because of heavy rain. In northern Europe. In October. So now a one day event tomorrow. Maybe.

Not to veer too far off topic, but too much pain in my hands to do anything much with the bike today. I cut a piece of cable to use for the new earth connection on the top box/alarm/pillion seat. And I measured how much cable I will need to attach to the LEDs lights to get to the headlamp, from where they will be routed under the tank to relays behind the battery. Why do so many accessories come with such short sections of cable that will never be enough?
Because more than likely it came from china. 🤔
 

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No, it came from the Amazon. But I can buy cuts pieces of cable for 10p per foot. And for the gauge they are using, and buying in bulk it would literally cost pennies to include a reasonable length.
 
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