Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The bare truth.

Today was a great day of riding for work. I met a very personable young man named Andrew this morning. He's been busy putting miles on a 49cc Honda Ruckus. Look for more about him in a day or two.

As usual, my eyes are always roving my surroundings looking for bikes. I spied a nice looking Yamaha. For a while we had a little bit of sunshine. You know how that Winter sun adds a little extra sparkle to everything. So I went over for a closer look. These pictures came from my camera phone. Not bad for those conditions I have to say. Here's the bike.

I have this bad habit of standing and looking over bikes. Most riders expect other riders to ogle their rides. Some motorcycle owners even go so far as to love showing off their mounts. We don't know anyone like that in our blog neighborhood do we?

One of these days, though, I expect someone to come striding up with an angry look on their face. They'll want to know just what I think I'm doing. So far it hasn't happened. Maybe it's because I'm usually standing there with gear on my body and a helmet in my hand. Come to think of it, that may make it worse. I'd be all the more ready to ride the bike away! Anyway, nothing like that happened today. So I have no idea of who owns the bike. Only that it was in a mall parking lot.

Sorry. I wandered off for a bit. The pertinent part was when I spied the rear tire. The wear bars have come and gone, I think. You be the judge, but I think the bike could use a new tire.

The first thing you can see is that there's a lot of wasted tread there. That's the reason I make sure to lean my bikes waaaay over. I pay for the whole tire. By golly, then, I'm going to use it all. This bike has spent a lot of time straight up and down. That's not all bad but the poor bike's probably somewhat embarrassed by the situation. Being a sport bike, and all.

Secondly, I wonder about the reason for the tire being in this state. More specifically, why has it remained this way? Is it because the person can't afford a new tire? If the rider is on two wheels for reasons of economy, funds may be scarce. Costs are measured in ways other than money. I hope this tire doesn't end up costing this rider in those "other" ways.

Is this a bike belonging to someone who just doesn't realize how dangerous this is? I'm sure there's still a few ponies being delivered to the rear tire. The bike's a few years old but that sweet motor must still be capable of a little excitement. We always teach that a rider needs to ride within the limits of the bike. In this case, the bike's limit is that it should still be in the garage.

Does the bike belong to someone who just doesn't care? Everybody's got different ideas of how much risk they are willing to accept. Perhaps this rider's level is way out there. Call me a coward but my own acceptance level just doesn't extend that far.

I don't know the answers to those questions. I wasn't really in the mood to play stalker and try to track down the rider. There was a lot of territory to cover. What I can tell you is that this bothers me on several levels. If the rider crashes because of the rear tire, nobody's going to blame it on that. Once more, we'll hear the old "motorcycles are dangerous" ringing out. Even if the rider doesn't crash, that rear tire just gives me the creeps. My rear would be puckered tight every second I was on the bike. Of course, I wouldn't be on a tire like that so that's a moot argument.

Anyway, I thought I'd just share it with you all. It will either make you laugh or send chills down your spine!

Miles and smiles,

Dan


11 comments:

Stacy said...

I propose we call this affliction "Showoffitis." Please, someone, think of the children and take my camera away from me!

So Dan likes to look at tires. That makes me feel better because I like to look at chains. I've tsk-tsk'ed at plenty of poorly maintained chains, but can't say I've ever taken a picture of one! :)

A benefit of this kind of snobbery is that it *really* keeps me on the ball with maintaining my own chain. It wouldn't do to be a chain hypocrite.

Bryce said...

Machine probably owned by somebody who as suggested either can't afford new skins, or perhaps doesn't care.
Have seen more of the latter in my travels, sadly.
Usually somebody young who has no need (in his mind at least)
to be concerned about maintenance.

Then too it is not the best riding weather in Oregon so maybe for the person the motorcycle is an economy
situation and the rider simply does not have money for a replacement tyre.

Dean W said...

Would have been telling to see the condition of the front tire.

Front tire also bald: maybe a financial issue.

Front tire also flat-spotted: rider isn't much for cornering.

Front tire same approximate vintage (that may be getting more personal with the bike than Dan is willing to do in a parking lot, but manufacture dates are on the sidewalls), but in apparent good shape: rider likes to do burn-outs.

Once upon a time, I had a BRT student ride his bike to class on Sunday. I told him he needed to adjust his chain up a little- pointed this out by pulling the slack out and taking it off the sprocket. Yikes!

Steve Williams said...

Dan, I think you are confusing potential trouble with staring at another man's motorcycle with staring at another man's wife. You should be ok looking at the bike...

Those tires would make me really nervous. I get antsy when I get near the wear bars.

I suffer from Showoffitis but not related to the machine. I suffer in other areas.

Looking forward to reading about Andrew and his Ruckus. I have eyed those things for a long time. If I didn't have a Vespa I might be on a Ruckus.

Bryce: Spelling error--- you spelled tire wrong. *grin*

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Bryce said...

The young Vespa promoter Steve Williams wrote the following words of wisdom:
"Dan, I think you are confusing potential trouble with staring at another man's motorcycle with staring at another man's wife. You should be OK looking at the bike..."

True however how many of us refer
to our wheeled steeds by a female
name, eh?

"Those tires would make me really nervous. I get antsy when I get near the wear bars."

"I suffer from Showoffitis but not related to the machine. I suffer in other areas."

Oh? Like using a lovely Leica M6 range finder as a knock around camera? I like your idea of a specific number of photo a week;
digital is easier right? But most digital cameras simply don't equate with the handling of a Leica, right?

Looking forward to reading about Andrew and his Ruckus. I have eyed those things for a long time. If I didn't have a Vespa I might be on a Ruckus.

Bryce: Spelling error--- you spelled tire wrong. *grin*

Ya ya, you Amerikans (sic) have butchered the English phrasebook. What can I tell ya, we aren't very educated here in Canada.

And to add the the round skin idea,
have found in my years of riding the rear tyre (sic) expires sooner than the front tyre, about twice as fast over the years on the Goldwing.

These days with less riding both skins are replaced every three years with new rubber, regardless of mileage (kilometres) ridden. Those round rubber things are all that separates me from terra firma
and hitting the ground, at speed.
Best ensure they are in top condition, always.

Steve Williams

Arizona Harley Dude said...

Almost being able to see the tube through the tire and noticing the wet pavement makes me pucker up. That has to be a squirmy ride and this rider is way more adventurous than I am, no matter the reason. Hopefully he won't be telling people, "I was going to change it on payday."

fasthair said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fasthair said...

Irondad: Why did I know you going to going to show a bald tire when I seen the first picture of the bike? Also why is it your posts bring back memories of my past… sometimes not always good ones either.

Once again my comment morphed in to a post so I deleted it. I want to use your picture in an up coming post on my blog. May I use it please?

It's another one of those life lessons kind of posts.

fasthair

Lucky said...

"If the rider crashes because of the rear tire, nobody's going to blame it on that. Once more, we'll hear the old "motorcycles are dangerous" ringing out."

Sad but true. Like young squids pulling wheelies down Main Street and rear-ending a truck or something. People always blame the bike, not the nut behing the handlebars.

Back in May, young NHL prospect Luc Bourdon died when he crossed the centerline on his sportsbike and collided head first into an 18-wheeler. Knee-jerk reaction from the media was to blame the bike... Forget that the guy was inexperienced (had only been riding 3 weeks), was riding way over the speed limit, and was attempting to pass on a double-yellow.

Sure, bikes can be dangerous. But stupidity and bravado are often deadly.

Regards,
Lucky

irondad said...

Stacy,
You say you've never taken a picture of a poorly maintained chain before. Now that you've entered the blogging world, you'll see that there's still some levels to drop down to!

Bryce,
Since I've entered this post, I've found out more about the rider. It doesn't change the tire, but it's finances. More later.

Dean,
I did take a picture of the front tire. It's flat spotted but not bald. Maybe I'll do a follow-up later. You're right, getting date codes was too personal for me.

Did you ever stop to think that the chain might not really have been too loose? I've heard that there's a new "easy change" version out!

Steve W,
I'm one of those guys, who sitting at a place with my wife, will see a bike go by with a stunning woman on it. I'll comment on the bike and Katie will comment on the girl. My response:
"What? There was a girl?"!

Maybe I need to expand my horizons a little.

Arizona Harley Dude,
Like I wrote above, I've found out more about the rider. Yes, he was going to change it on payday, if he could. There's a surprise ending. Maybe I'll share it later.

Fasthair,
Please feel free to use the picture. I guess I'm still at that state where I'm honored anybody finds something worth sharing somewhere else on my blog.

Looking forward to your post, even though you gave us a sneak preview!

Lucky,
It's amazing how many crashes are due to that "loose nut on the handlebars", isn't it? Yet the bike gets blamed and we get discriminated against.

Take care,

Dan

Lucky said...

This is AZ Lucky.

I try to keep my tires well-worn along the edges. Even the tires on the car...

I'm rather embarassed to say that I have a tire with the cords showing on the VX800. Good thing I don't ride it. ;) I noticed the bad shape of the tire the last day I rode that bike. Let's just say it was a good thing I was wearing brown pants.

I pay better attention to my tires now.