Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hello: Dead Battery

So, I've been trying to squeeze a few more rides in this year (as you know). Normally, morning temperatures hover around the freezing mark and day time highs reach into the 40s or low 50s (F). Yesterday, the high was only in the upper 30s. Shouldn't be any problem, unless you have a suspect battery (which I didn't know the NX possessed). So, I go to fire the NX up for the ride home and ... one or two cranks and then nothing. Crap. Back into the office to get a jump from a co-worker. Well, I must have touched the wrong cable clamp to the opposite battery terminal some time in the jumper cable connection process. Because, when I turned on the ignition key, there was nothing. No lights, nothing. I had to navigate to this blog to review the shop manual and determine where the fuse was located (just above the negative battery terminal, behind the right side panel). There's supposed to be a 15 amp fuse in there, by the way. My NX had a 20 amp (blown) fuse. Problem found. So, after a quick run down to a local service station (that's still a service station, not a convenience mart with fuel), I had a new 15 amp fuse (blade type) installed. After getting a jump from my wife's SUV, who was kind enough to come help me, I was on my way. I had no trouble on the ride home and the bike started right up after shutting it down (as I would expect). The NX spent the night on the Yuasa Hot Shot battery tender and was fully charged this morning. I opted not to ride because it was only in the mid-20s this morning and I didn't feel like being a guinea pig today.

So, now I'm left to wonder; do I have a battery going south? Or, do I have a stator that's not charging? I'm going to guess the former even though I was under the impression, from the previous owner, that the battery was relatively new. I'm going to have to review my NX file for receipts. You'd think that if the battery wasn't receiving a charge, it would have done this a while ago and that I would notice issues with dim lights, etc. Cold weather is supposed to reveal deficiencies with weak batteries so I'm not too surprised this is rearing its ugly head now. I suppose I have some things to check, over the weekend, don't I? I'll let you know what I find.

Friday, November 11, 2011

November 11 - Veterans Day

I couldn't do this without your efforts and sacrifice.
God bless all of you.
And to those who are no longer with us; Godspeed.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Manual Complete

For those of you that require information from a shop manual, I have completed the upload. The Wiring Diagram was the last piece in that puzzle. Take note that the diagram is based on a Portuguese-language version of the wiring diagram for an NX150. The diagram linked on the Resources page is my translation of that. I have other Honda shop manuals and was (kind of) surprised that Honda re-uses wiring colors across its entire range of bikes. Additionally, even though actual switches may physically differ, the way they are wired remains constant. So, I have some confidence in the diagram itself. I will also be spot checking it against my NX, this winter, as I perform maintenance. So, if I notice an issue, I'll do my best to correct it. If you happen to notice something, please inform me (through the Comments). Thanks.

Winter's Coming - Project Chosen (by default)

Sorry for the lack of posting recently. It's been pretty miserable here (Chicago) lately with a lot of damp days and cool conditions. The NX has spent a lot of time in the garage. Additionally, I traded my Transalp for a 1997 DR650SE. While the TA was fun it wasn't really what I was looking for; it was pretty bulky and (in my opinion) heavy. The DR is much lighter (~100 lbs) and much more svelte. It feels a lot like my old DR350SE but with some serious grunt. In retrospect, this is what I should have bought when I sold my DR350SE. So, I've been in the process of seeing what the DR needs. It doesn't need much but it does need some TLC. So, I thought I would "refresh" it over the winter. The major item would be having the frame sandblasted and powder-coated. Then, maintenance issues will be rectified during re-assembly (bearings, cables, gaskets, seals, filters, etc.). When Spring rolls around, the DR should be good to go for a few years (I would hope).

Since no one responded, I guess I'll be rebuilding forks over the winter. That's OK because it will give me more time (and $$) to spend on the DR.

Here's a little more feedback on gear:
The Olympia Bushwacker is still capable of keeping me warm with temperatures near freezing. I believe it was 33º F at O'Hare this morning. I wore a long sleeved cotton pull-over under the jacket/liner. I had no trouble keeping warm.

After my Joe Rocket gloves, which were waterproof and warm, split a seam, I purchased a pair of Tourmaster Cold Tex 2.0 gloves. They have leather on the palm and padding on the knuckles. They kept my fingers warm on the ride this morning and I'm only using the plastic hand guards on the NX (note: the NX does not come with hand guards from the factory. I adapted a set of Transalp guards to fit the NX). I have yet to install the Tusk Hand Mitts on the NX. When I do, that will allow me to ride in temperatures 10º colder.

The Gaerne Balance boots also kept my toes pretty warm. I was surprised they did that since I was expecting to have to wiggle my toes all the way to work. Nope, never really thought about it actually.

Temperatures are expected to rise back into the 40s and 50s (daytime highs) next week. However, it's pretty obvious that my riding days are numbered. I still hope to make it to the end of the month but may not be able to go much past that. We'll see.