Monday, October 31, 2011

125,690 miles

Santa Rosa, CA

Engine oil change (self-service)

1 ea. #11427673541 Oil filter $14.53 (from Santa Rosa BMW 8/12/11)
1 ea. Crush ring (from stock)
5.1 qt. Castrol GTX 20W50 oil $24.99* (from O'Reilly Auto Parts 10/30/11)

Tax: $3.28

Total: $42.80

*Today's cost for a 5.1-quart container of oil is $11.00 more than buying five 1-quart containers a year ago!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

125,500 miles

Santa Rosa, CA

Change out front wheel (self-service)

Removed front spoked rim with Michelin Anakee and mounted the cast alloy rim with a new Michelin Anakee already mounted on it (tire purchased and mounted November 7, 2009. See below.)

Install rubberized washers (from Santa Rosa BMW) to reduce front brake disk squeal

1 st. #34117682434 Stop disks (rubberized washers) $9.53
1 st. #34117697387 Stop disks (rubberized washers) $9.53

Tax: $1.52

Total: $20.58

The Michelin Anakee (originally purchased in Billings, MT) on the spoked rim that I removed has 16,135 miles on it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

125,210 miles

Northbay Motorsport, Santa Rosa, CA

Replace rear tire (spare)

New tire mounted on cast alloy rim. The old Metzeler Tourance that had been on this rim will be discarded (10,800 miles), having three to four punctures from staples.

Still running the patched Anakee on the spoked rim, but will mount this wheel in the coming months.

1 ea. Michelin Anakee 2 150/70R17 $143.40
1 ea. CA Tire Tax $2.00
1 ea. Valve stem #36317653064 (from stock)

Tax: $12.19
Labor: $24.00

Total: $181.59

(MSRP $231.95. Northbay matched American Motorcycle Tire on-line pricing.)

Santa Rosa BMW

Replace Battery (self-service)

Battery, purchased nearly five years ago, no longer holds charge overnight.

1 ea. #61217724073 AGM Battery $163.63

(New battery manufactured in China. Battery was not fully charged. Used BMW charger to charge battery overnight.)

Tax: $13.09

Total: $176.72

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

125,200 miles

Santa Rosa, CA

The Horn

I was again reminded of a pet peeve I've had since first buying the GS: the location of the horn button.

While riding down the freeway today, a driver to my right pulled into my lane without looking, or indicating their intent. Totally oblivious. Of course, it's common and I am accustomed to taking evasive action, but I also often go for the horn to announce my presence.

Over nearly seven years, and many attempts, I've failed to connect with the horn button in all but a few of these close encounters. My gloved thumb just misses the button. (And this though I have at times intentionally practiced using the horn!) Maybe it works perfectly for some hands, some thumb sizes (mine seems pretty average.)

I have all along been convinced it's not optimally positioned, though I don't know a better location. Still, it's something BMW should address. I don't recall the issue on my Honda or Triumph (but that was before the handlebar controls became so cluttered.)

Friday, July 01, 2011

124,800 miles

Santa Rosa, CA

Status of the Blog

Over the past four years, I've drastically reduced use of the BMW (my only vehicle.) I'm now driving 5 or 6,000 miles a year, versus the over-30,000 miles I drove most years since 1970, walking more, contributing fewer of my dollars to BMW and the oil companies (and fewer pollutants to the environment. Maybe I've finally taken to heart those who condemned me for being a "pseudo environmental activist", spewing gas fumes across the hemisphere.)

So, I expect there will be little more to write here. But I'll leave the blog up for now.


A few minor issues continue, which I've tolerated since I'm presently just driving in town a two or three times a week. Otherwise, in its present capacity, the bike performs reliably.
  • Rear brake servo seems increasingly reluctant to kick in on start-up. It is remedied by shutting down and re-starting.
  • Oil seepage around clutch potentiometer housing or transmission output shaft seal (or both), and transmission housing mating surfaces continues, but seems tolerable as long as I keep an eye on lubricant levels and clean the area as needed.
  • Front suspension  is compromised - could be the strut (no signs of leakage) or loss of fork fluid over the years. If I were intending to do any off-road riding loaded with gear, this would certainly have to be addressed.

White smoke on start-up, that had been a common feature in recent years has not been present lately, and its absence may be related to having valves more correctly adjusted.