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Last night I ordered it some presents.

The battery does not seem to hold a full charge and the bike does not start cleanly, or sometimes, easily. It is around six years, the fuel economy seems down, and I think I may have killed a cell previously. I accidentally dropped something, briefly connecting both terminals causing a spark. It was fine after that, but the current behaviour all point to a bad battery.

And I ordered a Puig 3657F screen. I have always been annoyed by the handler bar mounts on the screen that was installed when I bought it, and they are just getting in the way. The Puig is the only screen I know of that natively mounts on the bike so had long been planning to get it. Then last night I had another look, found one at a good price, so ordered it. It should look better on the bike, though it is shorter so I am not sure if it will be less effective.

I also considered buying a shoulder camera bag as the backpack I bought last year during lockdown does not fit as well in the top box as I expected from the dimensions. It first with nothing else in there, but it is a squeeze.

I also considered buying a power pack as I had long life one I used to use when riding to recharge my Drift camera when stopping. Even with the XL battery pack it dies before I get home on long days out, as it reminded this weekend. But I had no idea where it was so needed a new one.

To ensure the shoulder bag would fit the top box I looked up the listing for the bag I bought before to read the dimensions. It is now twice the price and there has been a change to the strap that made me thing it was a new design. Not least because it has a laptop pocket within the back padding which mine does not have. Does it? Apparently it does! I had no idea it was there, and a black zip on the edge of thick black padding means I was unlikely to see or feel it either. Although I obviously knew about it when I bought the bag as I had loaded it up ready for when Covid ends and I can go riding again. That included storing my power pack in there.

Though I never bought the bag either, as it seemed just a tad too small to be able to take my longest lens.

Hopefully the battery will arrive tomorrow so I can get it installed for the weekend, the screen can wait though. Sadly, though it is a holiday weekend in the U.K., the weather is becoming changeable, with warm-ish sunny days seeing frosty starts again, cloud, and showers. So there may not even be any riding if it is not going to be fun being out.
 

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Thanks very much for your order, we're really sorry these screens have been subject to a delay in coming to the UK, there is no certain ETA & we've been unsuccessful in sourcing one elsewhere for you so we'll obviously process a refund for you.
Grrr, Brexit!
 

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Emailed Louis, the German motorcycle chain, because my order of a Sena bluetooth kit requires a customs and tax charge. The total order was just over £200, and now I owe an extra £63.69, of which £12 is just the fee for paying the fee! Louis said they would cover any charges, otherwise I would not have ordered from them, but still disappointing that they will have to pay extra. As the order included £34.08 in German sales taxes, I guess they should be able to at least reclaim those as it has been exported. Especially annoying is that my area of London voted 79.35% against Brexit, democracy sucks.

Then to the actual bike to install my new battery, which was also a bit frustrating. I guess I see why the Yuasa batteries are so expensive, just for the little bits of plastic inside the terminals that hold the buts at the top of them. My battery had nothing like that, so when I tried to screw the bolt in, with the added ring terminals it could no longer reach the nut. In the end I needed to get some blu-tack to sit under the nut and hold it up. That was good enough for the positive terminal.

However, the negative one still would not screw in, and the bolt even started stripping the nut. This time I think the problem is that the large terminal on Honda's cable was a tad too long, so it was not going down and the bolt was at an angle which is why it was stripping the nut. The Yuasa nut did not fit either, but the (slightly shorter) bolt did so I pulled on the terminal, used that, and was able to screw it in. I think. Applying pressure I was not able to lift it out, so it seems screwed tight, but it does not look like it has gone down as far as it should so I am still worried it might come loose and will need to keep monitoring it.

Part of the problem is Honda requiting the battery be positioned on its side, as the battery terminals give more space the normal way up. But I never tried to see if it would fit that way, as it would then swap the terminal positions, with positive on the left, so it would then be unusable anyway. So overall not as easy as it should have been.

The bike showed 12.4V, which the old one could not, and started on the first press so at least the effort was worthwhile. Now to check if and where I can go this weekend given the poor weather forecast.

(Apparently my battery was actually a Furkawa one, though I never saw any of those listed for independent sale of the two O.E.M. options, only Yuasa)
 

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Thought I would beat the rain this morning and go on a wee ride to Littlehampton, which is south of Northampton, but also south (and more east) of Southampton, yet more little than either. I failed though, one heavier and two minor showers on the way home yet it has been bright all day. Stupid combustion engines.

My new battery has kept its charge, so definitely a much needed replacement, and it kept its terminal connection. However it did not start first time when leaving Littlehampton, so now I am thinking the spark plugs may be a problem. To be honest, I am not sure if they have ever been checked in a long time as they are too fiddly for me to do, being under the tank, and independent services have probably ignored them for the same reason. Stupid bike.

Coming home was also a bit painful on my properly sized-for-the-bike air cushion, so I think I will have to go back to the bigger surely-for-cruisers one that. was listed as compatible but has to bend up at the front and back and hangs over the edges. Stupid cushions.

One very close call today when a car decided to change lane on a slip road not so much in front of me but from beside me. There were inches in it. Also twice had pedestrians run across the road in front of me even though there was no one behind me, so they only needed to wait two seconds. Stupid people.
 

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Decided to go out today knowing I could not beat the rain. I beat the rain. Cloudier later, but this morning was almost like summer but for still wearing winter gear. Also tried using cable ties on my USB heated grips to stop it slipping on the throttle. Not a sustainable plan, but it worked. Apart from the grip constantly failing, which on a motorway early in the morning (to get to the more fun bits) was not nice.

Managed to reposition which helped until they failed on the way home, and now they will not work. At least not on the bike, they do work connected to a power pack or plugged in at home, so the grips seem fine. I tested the bike USBs by connecting the charging port of the power pack and they work. So it seems the problem is the combination, and I wonder if they are drawing too much power.

I had the idea of using the USB plug in the 12V socket, and that just smoked and did not turn on. Eek. But the plug does still work in the top box 12V socket. I had nothing to check the 12V socket part of the USBs, but I am guessing that is what burned out. I have fused it for less than the support current, and a USB plug before anything it attached should draw very little anyway, so all rather disappointing.

My priorities need to be getting someone to check the spark plugs, then finding a permanent solution for the grips, as they are still needed.
 

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My mental health has been in jeopardy for a year now. I'm currently on medical leave from work. Finally getting professional help, but the resources are a long wait away. :) I'll spare you all the long version of this for now.

My dad helped me to replace the turn signal arm and rear brake pedal (I installed the new oil cap myself though!). The multi-metre that I have has the connections on its face, and I guess they weren't fully inserted when we were initially diagnosing the fuses so that lead us down a bit of a rabbit hole... We ended up hinging the gas tank up so that we could access the turn signal relay underneath. Once my dad realized the cables weren't plugged in properly we realized that it was 2 bad fuses all along! Doh! Fortunately, that was nothing for my dad to do so it's all back to working condition. We did stretch the rear brake light spring so we need to replace that now, but it's a minor issue that doesn't affect my riding (and the part has been ordered).

Maybe I'll find the energy later to tell the long form in the thread that I started for it. Happy to have the bike back together again. Alas, I still want to replace the brake fluid. I really want to pull out the air filter too just in case it's due to be replaced. The coolant could also use refreshing. Maintenance is never done!

Hope everyone is doing well. Congrats on the new bike @CBRianton! Make sure to include some bright colours in your gear to make yourself seen! That dark paint isn't doing you any favours! I am sorry to hear that the original owner was scared away from riding though. But I think we all know it's not for everybody. Their loss is your gain!

I'll say this: I followed the advice to break it in like you're going to ride it. It's my only bike so I have limited experiences with it, but I do not seem to get anywhere near the fuel economy claimed by other riders. That said, I've dropped it 2-3 times and crashed it once now. And God only knows how my valve clearances are doing now. :p In any case, you can't regret following the guidance of the manufacturer!
 
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I get bored riding on the highway doing the speed limit so I often will set my cruise and ride no handed to make it more challenging (barely). Yesterday I had the idea to climb back into the pillion seat to see if I could still control the bike from there. I could so I did that for the remaining 10 km of my commute! I just set my throttle lock and carefully climb back, grab the handles, and lift my feet into the pegs. It's actually a pretty comfortable position for a short ride. Today I repeated that exercise, except in the rain! Ride safe everyone.

P. S. My mental health is improving a lot with a concoction of medications mixed with time off of work and better habits that I now have lots of time for. I might be asking for another month in a week or so, but I'm getting very close to being able to go back to work. I think that with one more month I'll be able to go back to work stronger then I've ever been.
 

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On my old 125, when I started to feel discomfort towards the end of the day I would to sit on the pillion seat to ride home. Not actually ridden that way on my 500, as my air cushion mainly prevents the problem, but a few times I have been without I have briefly sat on it to adjust my position and get some feeling back down there. Though when coming home from the south or east that end of my street has a lot of speed humps, so I have to ride that part standing up to avoid a spanking.

My bike also needed a good wash, but I am hoping it has taken care of itself. I have not ridden for three weeks, partly in a huff because I apparently went past a speed camera at 35 mph and so now have to do an awareness course, but mainly because the weather has been showers or worse. So my hope if the the rain did most of the work for me. Especially as this weekend is supposed to be dry and reaching 70 °F, so hopefully can finally get back out on it.

And it is a holiday weekend, so an extra day of riding. Although that may be spoiled by Covid, ironically this time because of the lack of restrictions. With foreign travel an issue because of rates elsewhere, there will probably be a lot more people will on the roads than usual taking advantage.

Will go and check it out tomorrow or Thursday to get it ready to ride again. Still need to book an appointment to get the spark plugs checked too. Had I not been so mardy I could have had that sorted already.
 

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Goodness me. After three weeks sitting on the floor, I have only just gotten around to unwrapping my new Sena bluetooth kit and it is enormous. At its widest point it is an inch thick! Though you have to appreciate their sense of irony: the instructions with it is simply a 4 x 5½ " piece of paper that is mostly just a drawing of it that underneath says to download an app.

The cable for the microphone is also too short too, I had to cut a piece out of the plastic part of the padding, which sits in the helmet shell, so I could pass it through that. I have not even turned it on yet and already I am not overly impressed.

Except none of that is worse that Cardo's stupid new front clip system. The parts fit and the module is so sleek and beautiful. But it is guaranteed that had I bought another it would lost while riding, and I just cannot afford that.

Hopefully the Sena interface will win me over instead. It has the same features of the Cardo plus a few more. I am particularly interested in the 'ambient mode,' which sounds like it amplifies externsal sounds through the speakers. I hope that is right as my hearing speech is not the best, so making it easier to hear when wearing ear plugs and the engine is running would be fantastic. Also the microphone was pretty awful on the Cardo, at least on my phone, and was not fixed when they replaced the Scala Rider range with the Freecom one.

And though it looks big on the helmet, I always have a camera on the other side so maybe they will balance each other out. It is winning me over, so hopefully the interface will not let me down.

72940
 

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Thanks for the details on your Sena headset! I've long had my eyes on one, but it's never in the budget due to substance abuse.

I've made due with the wired ear buds that came with my phone (Samsung S10+). It works well for free, but it's difficult / painful to remove the helmet while wearing them. With Google Assistant begrudgingly enabled (spying on me 24/7 now) it is even easy to control music playback (when it hears me anyway).

It's unfortunate that you had to modify your helmet to install it. That may be a deal breaker for me. I don't like messing with the manufacturer's design because who knows what a cut could do in a bad accident. I'm not a helmet engineer.

Hopefully the interface makes up for it as you say. I look forward to another review once you've used it a few times and gotten the hang of it. I'll probably still buy cannabis instead, but at least I'll keep drooling over them when I price them again.

My dad installed the rear brake light spring yesterday so my bike should be all fixed now. Though he unscrewed the bracket that the peg/pedal are fastened to to do it. Probably to avoid crawling on the floor between cars where I had tucked my bike in. But it makes me a bit nervous because he tried to also adjust when the light comes on. And the first time I sat on it to test he said the brake light wasn't turning off when my foot had let up. It also might have been slightly adjusted to delay the light coming on for all I know. But I tried again and it seemed to work. Hopefully that doesn't get me killed. Hah. Last I checked it appeared to be working reliably so hopefully it was just a misunderstanding.

I've noticed a few times that the 3 top left most dash lights appeared to flash a few times while riding. I don't think I've seen that before. It was just for an instant each time. But I'd like to figure it out. Perhaps my kill switch is dirty again and rain has the circuit shorting again. Maybe the fix is just contact cleaner again. Though dad doesn't have any apparently. But he does have the skills to probably open up the switch instead to clean it by hand.

We'll see where that goes. Hopefully without killing me. Hah. I've had the engine killed before while accelerating and I'm lucky I didn't skid/crash. Let alone if it happens no handed from the pillion doing 90 km/h! :eek:
 
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It was raining, so I went out and washed the bike. I went out to give it a simple wipe down yesterday, but bits of tree pollen got into all the nooks, so I needed to use the pressure spray to clean them out. Mainly around the seat and the luggage.

Ideally the chain needs a proper clean, but the conditions were not suitable for doing that so hopefully the oiler will be good enough on its own for now. I deliberately bought Scottoil for it as that is supposed to clean as well as lubricate, so I will run it longer after setting off tomorrow. And not using a thicker lube or wax keeps it from attracting grime.

The weekend weather should be good so hopefully will be able to ride all three days, I have plans for Saturday and Sunday but still undecided for Monday, which will give me time to adjust to the Sena.
I have paired my phone and G.P.S. to test indoors, though using ungloved hands indoors is not reliable. The ambient mode feature was mainly just a hiss, but there was no loud enough sounds in my front room to amplify.

While it does not say how well the microphone works with wind noise, I could record my voice clearly over it which is a big improvement over the Cardo where it was too quiet. I once tried to make a call with that, had to leave a message, but apparently nothing could be heard. And that was with virtually no road or wind noise as I was stuck in a jam with no filtering space

I never got on with using ear buds, they do not block out enough wind noise for my helmet (or ears!) and the inline controls are impossible to use with gloves. The Sena I bought is more expensive than I wanted to pay, but it was the only one with automatic volume control which really does make a difference. It is annoying to have to pay for the stuff I do not want just to get that, especially when it is available on Cardo's lower models. But better than spending £100 on new Cardo every time one goes missing.

I so have a cheap Chinese bluetooth kit which for listening to background music and G.P.S. instructions was fine. I never tried the microphone, but it made me appreciate the importance of automatic volume control. And had it been cricket season I would have been missing an FM radio (so I could listen to a digital radio with an FM sender, because annoyingly still no one makes one with a digital radio built in despite it becomign the main standard across Europe).

The only reason I would not recommend it is the interface, it is about ten tiny buttons that are difficult to use in gloves. And you have to find the front ones to get your bearings, then count across from them for the ones you want. Then, although you have to hold a button down to turn it on as it fairly standard, it is not the same procedure to turn it off. Instead there is a dedicated power off button, with no other function, in front of the volume down button (which is above volume up), where if you touch that it immediately dies.
 

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That sounds completely inadequate for its purpose. Forgive me, but I don't remember which Sena model you purchased. I think the one that I wanted was something like 20S (I guess they improved it with the 20S Evo). I want something completely hands free, just like my phone is. They're quite expensive though, which is why I haven't gotten one yet.
 

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Yes, it is the 20s Evo. It does have voice control, although I could not get it to work today when it kept telling me to tell it what to do, then it had me cancelled! I prefer buttons to voice control though so it is not a feature I give much thought too.

To give it a command you can say "hello sena" (or something like that, which may be why it did not work when I tried it) or tap the module (not a button). When I tested it at home I could not get it to detect a tap, so changed the sensitivity but forgot to test again. As I discovered today, on the highest setting it can be triggered by the wind. As I was not planning on using any voice options I had the microphone out of the way, back to the shell of the helmet, when I think the foam wind cover needs to be touching the lips.

For the most part I like the interface with one minor exception. Pushing the dial tries to make an intercom connection, and you need to hold it for a second to start and stop music. I did not remember that and thought it was a double tap, so ended up having to download the manual to my phone. But changing volume just means brushing the dial rather than turning it, which is so much more convenient that pressing buttons or turning.

I did not have any real opportunities to test ambient mode with actual noise I wanted to hear better, but my initial impression is it is useless, I never really heard anything anytime I used it. I do not even know where the microphone is it is picking sounds up from.

And the battery lasts around 12 hours, based on it dying when I was almost home.

If I go out tomorrow it will be a short trip as today has taken it out of me. Traffic seemed like normal, pre-pandemic, at the start but coming home the motorway was very quiet compared to what I would have expected on a day like today. But then once I got back in London, it was pretty much at its worst. Including the driving standards.

But the most draining thing is, I think it is summer. Like proper summer. When I checked the bike before going out the thermometer said 40 °F, which it did a month ago but then you set off and it drops below freezing because of the wind chill. So I wore two extra layers under my jacket which still had its lining.

Those two layers went at the first stop as there was no wind chill. Jacket vents open, but once I left the cloud of London and got into the East Anglia sun the lining had to be removed too. And even that was not enough. Today needed the vented jacket, gloves, and probably trousers too. At times I tried to open my visor to let some cool air in, only for it to already be open. And it being proper summer meant a lot of bugs that I was constantly cleaning my visor. And the bike now looks worse than before I washed it.

And I really need to get it checked, because I only got 63.8 mpg before refilling, something similar after the second filling to home, which was mostly motorway, but on the nicer roads between it was 75.7. Surely it has to be the spark plugs not performing.

370 miles today, if I go out tomorrow just 200-or-so to somewhere local and will hopefully have recovered to go somewhere interesting on Monday. I just cannot get over how warm it was, the forecast was only for high 60s °F / around 20 °C but it felt like how I remember riding in 80s / 30. No idea how you people in hotter climates manage it I am very much northern European, would be much happier to have freezing snow, though obviously not for riding in.
 

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No idea how you people in hotter climates manage it
Well - here in Spain I don't ride with temp above 35°C. You should ride early morning or at night. Otherwise it's just insane - last summer went for a 400km ride with 40°C and will never repeat the experience.
 

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35 °C is about the normal extreme here, it now usually reaches that high for at least a week every summer. It has not stopped me riding, though my memories of such occasions are always of drinking water, finding places to stop out of the sun, and the dread of having to put my jacket back on. But also the wonderful initial feeling of then riding off and feeling that first hit of wind through the vents.

Given yesterday was not near being that hot, I guess I just need to get used to it again. It has been almost two years since I last rode in summer because of Covid isolating, it would have been nice to have it gradually get warmer to adjust. The last time I went out was May 2nd and without heated grips when heading off in the morning my hands were freezing. Yesterday I was worried my hands would sweat too much they would invert the glove lining when taking them off.
 
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