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Old 07-19-2012, 07:56 PM   #166
Nixels
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From n00b to dirt rider on the Lost Coast!
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:24 PM   #167
letskeepriding
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Lower it !

Great stuff. I haven't read the whole thread, but I just wanted to make sure you know you can lower your bike, and it doesn't cost anything. theres another bold hole in the shock that lowers it and you can slide the fork legs up a little.

I'm jealous too, but I'll be out west next month with my DR
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:07 AM   #168
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Hey Feyala, I finally did it, bit the bullet and forced myself to take a 30 mile dirt road.
It was an easy one, which I was glad for, (baby steps, not as young as I used to be).
I loved it though, so hopefully from now I can actually find some hidden places and camp for free.
Here's my RR in case you ever want to see if we're in the same area, and feel like meeting up.
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=806962
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:25 AM   #169
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you're becoming an accomplished rider!

Congratulations! I love to see strong, intelligent and independent women emerge from these experiences. (On the other hand I hate to see them revert to housekeepers and surrogate Mothers to immature "partners". Sorry. I know its none of my business but it is the latent parenting gene in me...I just can't turn it off.)
Ride on! Ride strong!
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:39 AM   #170
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Way to go!! I did a trip to for the first time last month. Thought I was gonna die....a couple of time....hahaha, But I'm still here. And we are planning our next trip for our anniversary coming up.

I think it's great when women take on a sport that for so long was only considered a man's sport! Women have been riding for years.....

YAY us!!
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:57 PM   #171
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Great ride report-love your attitude about life and adventure!
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:35 AM   #172
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Old 07-28-2012, 01:56 PM   #173
Feyala OP
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Joined: Aug 2011
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Downtime - May 9th to June 1st

Shortly after I got back to Portland, I was invited on a trip out to the coast with Oz, a housemate, and one of Oz's friends. We had a great time! It was quite novel to be in a car for the first time in months, nice to just relax with the wind in my hair, watch the scenery roll by, and not be paranoid that everyone is trying to kill me.

The beach was terribly crowded, and I'd just seen the ocean for the previous few weeks, so I admit that I was a bit jaded to the pretty scenery and didn't bother taking pictures. We watched people flying kites, playing frisbee, and building various things out of sand. Oz and I wandered our own way and sat on a rock outcropping for a while. I found this awesome rock, and saved a ladybug from drowning:


Lincoln City seemed like a neat little town, if touristy. They had a number of fun murals:


We had a BBQ. I had roasted corn, a baked potato, and a veggie burger. Yum!

Nixels had suggested I get to know the local ADV group, so hey, why not. When I posted my intro, Radioman piped up and it became apparent that we lived fairly close to each other, so he offered to escort me to the next meetup on the 13th. He was leaving on a flight to India the next day, with the goal of riding the Himalayas, awesome! I spent a lot of hours reading his ride report, and still didn't get through all of it, he's certainly gotten around!



(Photo shamelessly stolen from MortimerSickle)

Everybody was very nice at the meetup. I was glad that I'd decided to go - I tend to be fairly antisocial, and I've been trying to break out of my shell more. Traveling definitely seems to help with that, but it's hard to avoid reverting when I'm stuck in one place. I still don't know how much I really have in common with most ADVers, but I love the camaraderie. Everybody there was really insistent that I go to the Hells Canyon gathering. I'd been aware of the gathering for some time and had been considering going (fantastic landscape!), but was still on the fence. They brushed aside my concerns about not knowing where I was going to be at that time by saying "just get yourself to the gathering and everything else will take care of itself". Fair enough!

I desperately needed to upgrade my camping gear. I got a new tent from craigslist, far better than the derpy tent I'd been suffering with. It had been a rental, so it was already... well-loved, but aside from the elastic in one of the aluminum poles being shot to hell, the tent was structurally sound. This seemed like a tent designed to actually be used outdoors! Yay! I also took advantage of a sale REI put on, and snagged an awesome Goal Zero solar panel and battery pack for $40 less than it usually goes for. Now that I was back in Portland, I could also use my Big Agnes bag, which is much more comfortable than the one I'd been using.

Next up on the block was bike maintenance. The bike was pretty sad after all those miles - chain and sprockets were shot, rear tires were bald well past the point where most sane people would ride on them. The headlight on the bike was fairly useless for actual night riding. I ordered a lot of parts - sprockets, chain, screw links, HID headlight, replacement carb boot, rubber bumper for the rear shock (mine is toast), locking gas cap, simple stand. The cap and stand came first, and I'm super happy with both of them. Finally, gasoline doesn't spill on my pants any more when I accelerate after a fuel up! The simple stand is... well, simple, but it does its job, and the chain gets a lot more love now that I don't have to roll the bike back and forth to clean and lube it. I tried not to think about the hole in my wallet from buying all this stuff!

Locking Cap


I needed luggage. I was really tired of tarp straps, and I don't have much money. I stumbled across a thread on ADV mentioning mermite containers as a potential alternative to ammo cans, which are quite heavy. After calling quite literally every army/navy surplus store from here to Salem and having no luck, I managed to score a pair on Craigslist for $40. The guy asked if they were going to be used as motorcycle panniers, as that's the only information he can find on them when he searches. I guess the cat's out of the bag! I'd seen them on ebay for nearly $100 each, which is ridiculous. One of the containers had some corrosion, but I figured that I could fix it anyways. I strapped them to the back of the bike, and delivered them to my friend Coug's shop, in Salem. I looked pretty ludicrous transporting them, the two cans stacked up came up to my shoulders!



Where there's a will, there's a way...

Other stuff that happened during this time: Rain. Lots of rain. I was really, really sick of rain, and especially with the stark contrast of the pleasant, sunny spring days I'd just experienced, it was a bit depressing. Oz brought home a virus from work that we lovingly nicknamed "the Mexican plague", as some of his coworkers had recently visited relatives there. I was sick for a week. I did a bit of art:

Wolf Eye

It's a wolf paw with a wolf eye in the "palm". Sculpey, fake fur, acrylic paint.

I used to do a lot more art, and I consider myself pretty good at sculpture, but it's difficult to do sculpture when you lack stability. Tradeoffs, I suppose!

One day, out of the blue, the roommates (people Oz and I considered friends) decided that I needed to pay rent. When I moved up here, back in February, I made it clear that I was living off of savings, and I couldn't afford to pay rent. I stay in Oz's room, don't inhabit the public spaces, and do a lot of chores. They were fine with this arrangement. Apparently they were short on money this month, and decided that I would make up the shortfall. I refused, but said that I would be glad to chip in on utilities. I was planning on leaving as soon as I got my bike fixed and stuff sold. Not sufficient. I was to be out by the first, with less than 5 days' notice, most of my parts still being shipped.

Well, I guess I'd get a chance to test my camping gear!
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:08 PM   #174
Feyala OP
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Joined: Aug 2011
Location: Wandering...
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Sorry about the slow updates. I wasn't really in "ride report" mode after I got back from the trip, so I didn't take any notes! I've spent the last few days dealing with stupid drama and trying to piece together the chronology, so I apologize if it's a bit sparse! On the up side, I'm only about a month and a half behind now!


Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Wing View Post
I'm in! I'm in! It's almost 2 in the morning and I gotta get some sleep; but what fun this is to read. See you tomorrow Feyala!
I'm glad you're enjoying it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nixels View Post
From n00b to dirt rider on the Lost Coast!
... in one day, haha! Wait until you see what the next few dirt rides are...

Quote:
Originally Posted by letskeepriding View Post
Great stuff. I haven't read the whole thread, but I just wanted to make sure you know you can lower your bike, and it doesn't cost anything. theres another bold hole in the shock that lowers it and you can slide the fork legs up a little.

I'm jealous too, but I'll be out west next month with my DR
Ride safe!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoulDreamRider View Post
Hey Feyala, I finally did it, bit the bullet and forced myself to take a 30 mile dirt road.
It was an easy one, which I was glad for, (baby steps, not as young as I used to be).
I loved it though, so hopefully from now I can actually find some hidden places and camp for free.
Here's my RR in case you ever want to see if we're in the same area, and feel like meeting up.
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=806962
I posted on your thread, of course, but it's great to see you gaining confidence off-road! We'll meet up sometime for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveTheLocal View Post
Congratulations! I love to see strong, intelligent and independent women emerge from these experiences. (On the other hand I hate to see them revert to housekeepers and surrogate Mothers to immature "partners". Sorry. I know its none of my business but it is the latent parenting gene in me...I just can't turn it off.)
Ride on! Ride strong!
Thanks! And yeah, no kidding, nail on the head. I really don't like cleaning up after other people when it's sheer laziness, but I'm not going to drag my personal drama in here

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooterchick View Post
Way to go!! I did a trip to for the first time last month. Thought I was gonna die....a couple of time....hahaha, But I'm still here. And we are planning our next trip for our anniversary coming up.

I think it's great when women take on a sport that for so long was only considered a man's sport! Women have been riding for years.....

YAY us!!
Have you seen this thread? http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=739830 There's more of us than you might think!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris93372 View Post
Great ride report-love your attitude about life and adventure!
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8trackmind View Post
Subscribed.
Attitude is everything!
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Old 07-29-2012, 01:55 AM   #175
Feyala OP
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Livin' in the Woods - June 2nd & 3rd

Expelled from my place of residence, I sought advice for camping spots from the ADV locals. I was pointed at a couple of spots west of town, and there I went. The day that I left was a nightmare! I went down to visit Coug, and on the way north from Salem, my chain suddenly derailed itself on the highway. I pulled over to the side of the road, cursing into the rain. Thankfully the chain itself hadn't snapped, merely hopped off the sprockets, taking a chunk out of my plastic front sprocket cover and scratching the case in the process. After a couple of frantic calls to Coug, I had a good idea of what to do, and managed to re-seat the chain on the sprockets without loosening the rear tire. Helpful locals eventually stopped to try to help me out, but nobody had tools, and the one who did showed up just as I was finishing up.

I gently limped it into Forest Grove near dusk, where the first thing I did was buy a socket that fit my rear lug-nut, which somehow was not a part of my tool collection. I had no idea why the chain skipped the sprocket, maybe it was the brake compression providing too much slack, maybe it was the wear. Tired, I headed off into the dark towards the camping spot.

The weather decided that what I needed was a good heavy drenching, and my visibility was absolutely horrid. My visor was fogging, I had no glasses, it was night, and the downpour made it difficult at times to see the lines on the road, let alone any deer, fallen trees or other fun obstacles which may have been present. I crept along, going around 40 (I assume, since my speedometer light had gone out some time ago). I was shivering in the cold, on bald tires, the bike was coughing, and the chain and sprockets had already made their intentions quite clear. Idiotic drivers would tailgate me for miles, even when I was riding the shoulder and waving them around. Fuck you buddy, I am not going any faster than this with these conditions! Somehow, it seemed appropriate that at least six things were going wrong at once... C'est ma vie!

Eventually I made it to the turn off, the directions, at least, were very sound. I crept along the gravel and was grateful to be out of traffic. After narrowly escaping a large mud bog, I found the camping spot that had been mentioned, thankfully devoid of other residents. I parked the bike, made sure that the kickstand wouldn't sink in the mud, and began setting up my camp in the drizzle. It would be over an hour before I was done (new tent, remember?). I grabbed all of my gear and stowed it inside with me, passing out soon thereafter, around 2 am.



Here's my camp! Yay, new tent!

In the morning, I woke late. It was still raining. During a brief sunny break, I wandered down to the nearby river to filter some water and enjoyed the beauty of the place. As much as I was tired of rain, it did give the place an almost otherworldly misty quality, which I am sad to be unable to properly photograph.



But here, have a root that looks kind of like an animal face!

I went for a little hike and found a neat little motorcycle trail that I have absolutely nowhere near enough skill to attempt. Single-track winding up a muddy hill. Oh well, maybe someday!

On the way back to camp I noticed a number of signs which I had somehow missed earlier. This was likely selective vision. In fact, every fifth tree was covered with them:


"Campsite closed due to upstream risks from landslide debris and possible flooding".

Damn.

I considered my options. I could pack up, in the rain, and move camp, or I could risk possible flooding, which did not seem likely. Finally, the possible threat of being harassed/ticketed by law enforcement (even though I had not seen a soul), drove me to pack up camp.

Not knowing which town was closer, Forest Grove or Tillamook, I headed toward the latter. I aimed myself at a coffee shop and charged my electronics, using their wifi to get directions to a second site that was offered up as a possibility. While I was there I met an awesome guy and his girlfriend, both backpack-toting hitchhiking/traveler types. We talked about gender roles, assumptions, the civilization we find ourselves in, our lifestyles, and the works of Daniel Quinn. It was great to randomly stumble across like-minded individuals! We chatted for a few hours.

Realizing it was getting late, and it'd likely be dark by the time I got to my new campsite if I didn't hurry along, I said my goodbyes and wished them and their dog good luck in their adventures. We exchanged emails and I headed west.

I found the turnoff to the new campsite easily enough, and rode some nicely-graded gentle dirt roads as dusk approached. On the way I passed the entrance to the South Fork Forest Camp, a minimum security prison facility, and why the place I was heading to was nicknamed "Prison Camp".

The official campsite itself was swarming with people, there was some kind of 4x4 event happening that weekend. Remembering advice that I was given, I continued through the camp and down a fork on the other side, where I managed to find a nice pull out where nobody would harass me. I set up my camp around dark.




I had a fairly cold night's sleep. This camp was a bit higher in elevation, and my Big Agnes bag does not have any insulation on the back, as it's meant to be used with an air pad which I no longer possessed (it got caught in a car door and ripped open years ago). Having learned from the previous camping episodes, I made a nest out of my motorcycle gear to help insulate me from the ground, and layered up like it was winter. This helped a bit.
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Old 07-29-2012, 02:25 AM   #176
Feyala OP
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Livin' in the Woods - June 4th - 8th

The next day, I went into Forest Grove. I met up with Oz, who was riding my Rebel 250. We had lunch at a cafe in town and I took him out to show him where I'd been camping. We wandered around some of the larger trails in the area, exploring, which was quite fun! The 4x4 people had left earlier that day.


He helped me build a large fire, but left before I could cook dinner, as he had to work the next day. His loss! I made a feast!




It might not look that appetizing, but I assure you, it was delicious. Wild rice mix with palak paneer from one of those little foil packets, with some nice lychee sake to go along with it. I had cleaned out the cupboards of many of the things I'd purchased before I was evicted. No reason to waste good food! I danced around (poorly) to music played from my droid and howled to the wilderness. It was good to be alone.

The next morning I decided to set out on foot to explore my environment and filter some water, as I'd run out the previous night. The nearest water that I could get down to easily was a short hike away.




I decided to head into town to get some JB Weld, to try to fix the front sprocket cover, and packed up my camp. While I was fiddling around in the autozone parking lot, I noticed something peculiar - my rear sprocket nuts were loose! Finger-loose! I bought a set of allan wrenches and fixed this problem, no wonder it'd thrown the chain! I boggled at how this may have happened, and decided that I'd just keep an eye on it. My attempt at JB Welding the sprocket cover on was a failure, because the bolts themselves were bent slightly out of shape, which pulled the JB Weld apart when I tried to thread them. I ran without the cover for a while.

I spent the next few days at the same area. At least one day was very rainy, and I barely left the tent, which stayed happily dry. I'd cook in my vestibule with the sterno stove (mostly pasta and some vegetables), which didn't get hot enough to pose any real problems. I had time to read some actual ebooks! I haven't had time to read books in months! Snow Crash was the first, then A Handmaid's Tale. I loved Snow Crash dearly, and it made me smile to finally understand a few references that have been made to it in popular culture. I went into town to loiter in the coffee shop for hours a few times, to charge my electronics and to keep in contact with Coug, Oz and some other internet friends. I also had time to meditate, which was quite nice, with all of the running around I do sometimes, it can be hard to take time for regular practice.

I got to use my solar panel, and it works really well! It even charged my stuff when it was overcast out, which I was not expecting. My low expectations were more than exceeded! The neat thing is that it comes with a AA battery pack, called a "Guide", which can be charged via the solar panel or wall outlet power, and can power any USB-charged device well after the sun goes down.


I also explored some of the smaller dirt trails around my camping area:


I was definitely getting a bit more comfortable with dirt.

I moved to a "more popular" camp I'd dismissed earlier, as there was nary a soul out during the week, and it was closer to the river. My water filter broke soon after, however, the plastic shattering after a decade of abuse. It had a good run, at least. More stuff to buy...

The next day I heard voices, and emerged from my lair to discover a handful of people milling around the woods. I needed to wash dishes anyway, so I grabbed my pan and headed down to the river, striking up a conversation with some of the gentlemen I encountered. I discovered that they were from the minimum security prison camp, and they'd been let out to play in the woods because it was raining and they couldn't get much work done anyways. They said that they were trained to fight forest fires and do general forestry stuff. Beats concrete walls and barred windows at least!

One of the prisoners was very kind and asked if I needed fresh water. He filled my gatorade bottle from the truck's reservoir and returned it to me, his supervisor tagging along to make sure he was behaving himself. I assured him that everybody I'd met had been quite courteous.

On the 8th I ventured into town and bought a new water filter. Expensive, but oh-so-necessary. Hooray, I was mostly self-sufficient again!
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Old 07-29-2012, 02:45 AM   #177
Feyala OP
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Joined: Aug 2011
Location: Wandering...
Oddometer: 358
Bike Repair Day - June 9th

My parts arrived over the previous few days, yay! I took back roads down to Coug's place and had Oz meet me there with the parts I'd ordered, riding his Ninja down from Portland. After some deliberation, we set down to business. I was in a hurry to get everything all taken care of, as I wanted to leave for the Hells Canyon rally in a few days.


Remember how I said my tires were bald, and referred to the side patches as "chicken nuggets"? Here's what I was riding on:


Coug taught me how to change tires. The new ones were free - courtesy of the previous owner, I'd shipped them from Oklahoma and carted them down earlier. The old tubes were heavy duty and still looked good, so we left them in there, but ended up needing to replace the rear bearings (luckily a local auto store had those). We put on the new sprockets and chain. Coug straightened out the front sprocket cover bolts by threading them halfway in and gently tapping on them with a hammer until they were true once again.

We replaced the cracked old carb boot, and disassembled/cleaned out the carb as well as we could. It was a bit varnished but not too bad, not bad enough to cause the hiccup problem, for sure. Getting the carb mounted to the airbox and keeping that filter screen in place was a real chore! I fully admit that I didn't get any pictures of the carb in pieces because I was watching the process with apprehension, terrified that a small piece would be lost and the bike would Never Work Again.




We set about attaching the new HID headlight. The old headlight socket was, uh... well. It was melted.


So we put on a new one:


Finding a good place to ground the headlight wire was an interesting challenge, and we eventually settled on the bolt that holds on the horn. We also replaced the speedometer bulb while we had everything apart. By the time we were finished reassembling the bike, it was quite late. We left Coug's, but unfortunately did not get very far before the new headlight stopped working. I still had the old bulb, and we used that as a stop-gap solution until we could get it back to Coug's the next day.

Oz sprang for a motel 6 room for us. This was by far the worst room I've had, even the bed was hard and substandard. I think he paid like $70 for it too. Yikes!
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Old 07-29-2012, 02:57 AM   #178
Feyala OP
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Joined: Aug 2011
Location: Wandering...
Oddometer: 358
Livin' in the Woods - June 10th & 11th

The next day, we headed back to Coug's. The ground wire had ripped out of the plastic connector because it wasn't long enough, ugh. Luckily, he had some scrap wire and soldered it back up, good as new!

Where to go? Oz had work in McMinnville the next day, far from where I'd been camping, but he wanted to spend more time together. We took back roads to the town, and after consulting the internet and a local gas station attendant, decided that the sites around the McGuire Reservoir seemed appealing. The road out to the area was fun, lots of curves going through farmland and woods. The bike felt like a new machine with all of the work we'd done to it! At one point, after we'd stopped for a brief break, I tried to make a 90 degree turn from gravel on to pavement from a stop. This was a Bad Idea, as I had no traction, and gravity quickly informed me. Luckily I was able to get the bike back up with Oz's help fairly quickly. Whoops.

We passed a truck that had managed to lodge itself into some trees, halfway off an embankment. I guess some people need to learn to slow down...

As we got closer to the campsites, the road rapidly worsened. It was nothing terrible, but Oz's Ninja does not have the suspension that my bike does, and it was not terribly happy about the uneven road surface and sudden drops. We made camp around dusk.


The site was really pretty! Right near a river, which I took advantage of to get some fresh, cold water. Oz left for work around 4 am the next day, while I slept in. After I got up, I restrung the elastic in my tent poles with some replacement cord I'd gotten from REI, yay, another problem solved!

I noticed some of Oregon's wildlife as I was packing up camp:


I stopped to take some photos along the way, it was a great day to be riding!


After getting to McMinnville, I decided to explore around a bit, and aimlessly rode in random directions for a few hours. I met up with Oz after work, we bought some pasta and vegetables, and I cooked dinner while he set up the tent.

I took the opportunity to JB Weld the front sprocket cover back together, and left it on the picnic table to cure overnight. It rained that night, which sucked for Oz the next morning, navigating the bumpy, wet, deer-ridden road before dawn to get into town for work.
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:11 PM   #179
breakouttathemould
rather be ridin
 
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Joined: Jul 2012
Location: UK
Oddometer: 5
Talking

Don't really wanna tempt fate by asking but ... is the engine problem sorted now? No more stumbling?

Hope so.

Lovin the report. Thanks for takin me along!

Mike
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:14 PM   #180
Feyala OP
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Location: Wandering...
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Originally Posted by breakouttathemould View Post
Don't really wanna tempt fate by asking but ... is the engine problem sorted now? No more stumbling?

Hope so.

Lovin the report. Thanks for takin me along!

Mike
Spoilers, but nope, haha. It's actually gotten significantly worse, it tries to stall in the rain now if I don't keep the throttle open, backfires like a bitch. I need to try adjusting the mixture when it rains next time, see if that does anything.

Glad you're enjoying it! Up next is my first motorcycle rally!
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