Thursday, March 31, 2011

A New Low!

Well, two actually, one literal and the other figurative.

The literal one involves the morning temperature. This morning it was 24º F (based on an average of my smart phone's 'native' weather app together with the Weather Channel's app). I wore my heavy Joe Rocket gloves (that also double as my water proof gloves) along with a light-weight fleece cycling pullover under my FieldSheer Adventure jacket. The Tusk Hand Mitts, in conjunction with the heavy gloves, did a yeoman's job of keeping my fingers warm. I've used the fleece pullover together with the Adventure jacket in the past. It works well. Based on the amount of condensation on the inside of my visor, collected while stopped at traffic lights, I may not be able to ride much below 20º F. I do have a neck gator that attaches to the jacket but did not use it this morning (but kind of wish I did). It took the NX a little longer to warm up (naturally) but I didn't notice any issue once it had completely come up to temperature.

The figurative one involves fuel. Twice now I've had the motor quit, in traffic no less, due to lack of fuel. The first time is because I took the previous owner's words to heart in that he had "filled the tank before I put it away for the winter." I should have known better and just topped off the tank when I started riding. That time, I was able to switch over to Reserve, at a traffic signal, and ride a few more miles to the next gas station. Yesterday, I managed run out at a very busy, complex intersection where three roads come together. I found myself in the left turn lane, against the divider whereupon I was able to switch to Reserve and get the NX started again. It must have been on fumes because a few miles later, she quit again. This time I was in a residential area and could swing onto a side street. I had to tip the bike on its side to get the remaining fuel "over the hump". Needless to say, the ride to my 'regular' gas station (which was the closest) was a little harrowing as I wasn't sure how much gas was really left, I was in rush hour traffic and there was no convenient, safe place to pull off. When I got there, the NX took just over two gallons which indicates a 'dry' tank. In addition to my stupidity, I was disappointed with the fuel economy; ~72 mpg. That plain sucks. Last year's ride (2001 Honda Reflex) would get about 68 mpg. That scooter has 250cc (twice as much as the NX) and weighs an additional 100 lbs.  What the hell? I'm still getting hesitation so I'm going to check the carburettor's float height but I wonder if I shouldn't do a compression check as well. I've noticed quite a bit of fluid coming from the crankcase ventilation strainer (the vapors are sent back into the air box, the separated liquid collects in a drain tube). Perhaps the new rings aren't seating?  Stay tuned.

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