Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Afternoon Ride

This afternoon, two of us rode down to the village of Nenana for lunch. It was lightly raining and no other riders from church opted to go on the ride. Gene had an early '80s Goldwing that looked to be in immaculate shape. He recently picked it up from his brother and is getting the bugs worked out before riding down to Utah in a couple of weeks. No pictures as we were riding in the rain and low clouds for most of the trip. I even stopped at my favorite viewpoint but since we were well into the clouds, visibility was minimal. You couldn't see more than a few hundred yards. Instead of going to the now normal Monderosa Grill for lunch, we headed all the way into Nenana and stopped at a small cafe. No food pics as it wasn't anything special. Food wasn't bad but there were a lot of elderly tourists there as well. No matter what the staff did, it seemed that they couldn't be satisfied. Didn't like the table, didn't like the silverware, didn't like the jelly choices, didn't like the prices, didn't like much of anything. And it wasn't just one person. Through all of this, the owner and staff kept smiling. I'm afraid that if I owned the restaurant, I would've thrown them out...

The ride was pretty much uneventful and I was warm and dry in spite of the steady rain. I have a First Gear jacket and over pants and, so far, have never needed any additional rain gear. I think the full fairing and large windshield help significantly. There were a handful of other riders out on the road both locals as well as long distance travelers. Gene had a small scare about midway to Nenana. There are passing lanes on most of the uphill sections and at the end there are large painted arrows telling you to merge left. Gene hit one of the arrows in a wet corner and his front tire started to slide sideways. It was only a fraction of a second but served as a good reminder to avoid large sections of paint in the rain. I took the scenic route home for a total ride of 175 miles.

The new Odyssey battery worked well with half a dozen restarts with little travelling on the way out of town. I am thinking that the charge voltage may be too low at 13.2 volts at 4000 rpm (measured at the battery with my dmm). This is way below the 14.7 volts recommended by Odyssey. Maybe I'll pick up an adjustable regulator. Since it is a non-BMW part, the cost is pretty reasonable but shipping is almost as much as the part.


  1. Good to hear replacing the battery did the trick. I recently got a Datel voltmeter for the Suzuki and have noticed it reads 14.7 or so the first few minutes of a ride.

    It then settles to 12.6 for rest of ride. It may have been just time to replace the btry, our airheads are known for weak output alternators. If mine ever goes, going to get upgraded system.


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

  2. Dom:
    280 watts isn't much these days. I am considering upgrading the charging system with the Enduralast system since it gets rid of the diode board. One less component. The stock voltmeter reads 13 volts after starting the bike and drops to 12 with the headlight is turned on and pretty much stays there all the time. When the headlight is switched off, it goes back to 13. When measuring the voltage at the battery, it is a steady 13.2 whether or not the light is on. To me, this suggests substandard wiring...

  3. It rained. The food was mediocre. The other patrons were annoying. But hey! You got to ride. That makes up for it all, right! :)

  4. Kari:
    Great positive attitude! But you are right, it was a nice ride out, back and around. I'm thinking that I need a moto-camping trip soon.

  5. I'm with Bluekat. You got to ride and that makes up for the rain and mediocre food. Glad your two wheels are running again.

  6. The bike wasn't put out of commission by the battery. I just wanted to pick up a replacement since they actually stock them in Anchorage and wouldn't have to deal with shipping...