Author Topic: New Calif. owner of '94  (Read 2201 times)

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Offline SantaCruzRider

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« on: November 17, 2008, 10:41:00 pm »
Just bought a 94 with 40K on the clock.   I'm returning to riding after several years hiatus and plan to use the bike to commute from Santa Cruz to Silicon Valley (45 miles each way).  My plan is to spend the winter getting comfortable with local rides, build up to some off-peak freeway riding and then ease into the commute routine come spring/early summer.  I also have a few small mods in mind: need to fix a few fairing "garage" dings (not looking for perfection, as I'll probably put a few dings in myself), repaint the luggage and front of the fairing (showing lots of sun/wind damage to the clearcoat) and add a passenger backrest.   Otherwise, bike runs like a top and is already lots of fun.  
Dan Breeden
Concourier editor emeritus (2015-'16), OtP rider 2017
'94 Concours; '01 FZ1

Offline norm-9688

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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2008, 01:05:00 am »
Welcome Dan  :)  CT AAD  COG #7011-A  2003 Concours-Mary Ann  1995 Honda Nighthawk 750 wifes  

Offline Greg Habel

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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2008, 09:46:00 am »
Dan,   Glad you are enjoying the bike and found us here.  Check out the Connie Droppers Anonymous area on this forum for some tips on prevention etc.  Great to have you here.  Greg H from Mass, Connie Droppers Anonymous Awards Dude  COG# 7010,a Tracey  CDA 120  99 Connie "Herrin Christabelle", 05 Ninja 250  
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Offline S Smith

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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2008, 10:20:00 am »
Hi Dan & welcome.      COG is the place to learn about possible mods and add ons for the Connie, and to ask questions from those who have "been there, done that."    It sounds like you have a good plan to get acclimated to the bike. One more thing you can do to improve your skill and "oneness" with the bike is through rider education.  After getting a few thousand miles on the bike a good first step is taking an MSF Experienced Rider Course.  Beyond that is the Lee Parks Total Control course or track schools.    Check out the ride schedule to see if there are any upcoming activities in your region.     Hopefully you will consider becoming a paid member of COG, the club.    --  Steve Smith, COG #3184  COG Northeast Area Director, AMA, MSF RC  (somewhere in south central CT)     If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space.
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Offline Brett0769

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« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2008, 02:55:00 pm »
Welcome Dan. I've been commuting on my '06 for a little over a year now. I'd recommend finding a nice big parking lot and practicing some slow speed maneuvering and emergency braking. It's fun and it'll help you to get familiar with Connie's personality.  
'06 C10  Brett Hatfield  AMA# 1019197  COG# 8229 (CDA# 0267)    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/brett0769/2793453582/" title="Trip Home by Brett0769, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3223/2793453582_bba89ca959_t.jpg" width="100" height="75" alt="Trip Home" />[/url]

Offline Wizeguy

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« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2008, 04:23:00 pm »
Welcome!  And don't spend ALL your time commuting, you sure have gobs of great roads down there!  Mike B / Gig Harbor, WA
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Offline SantaCruzRider

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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2008, 04:58:00 pm »
Thanks for all the feedback.   I am planning to spend a good amount of time practicing. I know myself well enough to know that I'll have much more fun once I feel confident in how the bike will respond. I also need to regain that muscle memory -- although I was surprised how quickly the feel of shifting and countersteering returned. I credit the bike with making this easier.     On the downside, the Connie is at least 100lbs heavier than my last bike (and I'm probably less athletic). I broke a sweat moving it around my garage and getting it onto the center stand the first time. I'll be very careful about low-speed manuevers.     I do plan on getting in some off-commute rides as well. In fact, one of the reasons I went for the Concours is because of the two-up comfort. My wife felt left out anytime I looked at a bike with a skimpy pillion -- so I'm sure there will be some casual rides on the horizon.    One quick question: Any idea where I could get an old owner's manual or diagram on bike features? Didn't see anything online and I'm mystified by all the do-dads and adjustments.     Also, what's that little rectangular window on the left side below the seat? (Not the oil sightglass.)  
Dan Breeden
Concourier editor emeritus (2015-'16), OtP rider 2017
'94 Concours; '01 FZ1

Offline Brett0769

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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2008, 05:34:00 pm »
You can order an official owner's manual from the Big Green K, it'll be standard OEM pricing though, $27,000.00.     Alternately, you can look at a Clymer's manual or the shop manual itself. You can also search this forum and ask the guys here specific questions, you'll probably learn more from that than from the manual anyway. You can join COG and get access to all kinds of goodies, assuming you haven't already joined. (It's hard to tell on the forums) The Best of Chalkdust is probably the highest prize, which gives all manner of fantastic maintenance info on the bike. There's precious little that a competent and patient person can't do on this bike, which leaves me out but probably covers you. :)    Kawasaki has schematics available from their website and they also have a handy spec sheet, both of which can be gotten from the Owner Info link.     The rear shock is an air shock, it can be accessed by removing the right side cover. It has a push rod that manages preload in four settings plus an air valve. DO NOT use compressed air on it, hand pump only. You definitely want to check out Murph's. http://www.murpskits.com (not misspelled) His side cover knobs are a must have in my opinion, they convert the screws holding the side covers into knobs. The front suspension preload can be adjusted with two bolts under the caps at the top of the forks (if you still have standard springs on the bike, could've been upgraded by PO).     The clear window is a 'card holder' or some such nonsense. It's a pointless doodad or boondoggle in other words.     The boys here like 'farkling' which is the art of purchasing or manufacturing accessories of spurious necessity for their Connies in lieu of providing themselves with food and shelter. :) (Yes, yours truly is as guilty as the rest)    She is top heavy to be sure, especially with that enormous gas tank, but she's not unmanageable at all once you get used to her. Depending on tires and suspension settings she can be a long distance comfort slab rider or a lithe canyon carver. What she becomes has more to do with what you like than anything else.     Far more experienced and wizened fellows than myself will soon chime in, but the bike you've just added to your stable is universally recognized as the best bang for the buck in sport-touring. You probably didn't even know how shrewd and discerning you were. :)  
'06 C10  Brett Hatfield  AMA# 1019197  COG# 8229 (CDA# 0267)    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/brett0769/2793453582/" title="Trip Home by Brett0769, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3223/2793453582_bba89ca959_t.jpg" width="100" height="75" alt="Trip Home" />[/url]

Offline Yuma

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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2008, 01:33:00 pm »
Welcome from down south of you, and a little out of state.. :)    As has been stated start slowly and go out and practice.    I use my Connie as my only wheels when I'm solo, to & from work, get the milk, short 300 mils run to San Diego..... ;)    I love her more today than the day I first bought her.    Ride safe and practice..    Yuma,  Summer in Yuma is not hell, but hell is a local call :-)  2006 Connie http://community.webshots.com/user/Lateck?vhost=community
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Offline SantaCruzRider

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« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2008, 08:07:00 pm »
THOUGHTS ON RADIO???    So my first foray into getting some of this bike do-dabs working has proven to be a challenge. PO installed a Delco radio into the left glove box (looks like a claw hammer and copious amounts of whiskey were employed). It looks like a secondary amp is slotted under the seat. There are enough unattached and variously colors wires coming from both boxes to ensure that re-hooking this up will result in some type of fire.   Any thoughts on the value of farting around with this vs pulling the whole thing and tossing it?  
Dan Breeden
Concourier editor emeritus (2015-'16), OtP rider 2017
'94 Concours; '01 FZ1

Offline Eddie-FL

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« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2008, 08:31:00 pm »
Quote
 The rear shock is an air shock, it can be accessed by removing the right side cover. It has a push rod that manages preload in four settings plus an air valve.  
Small correction...the adjustment rod is for setting rebound damping. The air is used to adjust preload and ride height.    Eddie    BTW - Welcome Dan!    2005 Concours  1969 Triumph Bonneville  AMA# 686667 COG# 7073 CDA# 0136     http://picasaweb.google.com/Eddie753  
« Last Edit: November 21, 2008, 08:32:00 pm by Eddie M »
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Offline Brett0769

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« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2008, 09:04:00 pm »
Ping, Eddie's right. Let my fingers get ahead of my brain there, already thinking front springs before I finished rear shock.     I use a Starcom system for my audio needs. I have a Pioneer Inno (MP3 & XM Radio) in a Ram Mount Aquabox. I also have a Garmin Zumo 550, both are above my clutch hand.     Did anybody else read in this month's American Motorcyclist that your AMA membership now gets you 20% off on Garmin products? (Not aviation though)    There's all manner of opinions on which is the best way to go on sound and you could post that question under the C10 Accessories discussion to get more answerers.     I personally think I'd pull it and look for my own solution.  
'06 C10  Brett Hatfield  AMA# 1019197  COG# 8229 (CDA# 0267)    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/brett0769/2793453582/" title="Trip Home by Brett0769, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3223/2793453582_bba89ca959_t.jpg" width="100" height="75" alt="Trip Home" />[/url]

Offline SantaCruzRider

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« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2008, 11:08:00 pm »
Any advice on settings for the rear shock?    I pulled the side panel to check everything out and it turns out that there is no air in the shock -- ZERO. Is that a problem? I thought I read somewhere that it should be set to 7 lbs for a single rider.    Also, the rebound is set to 2. Not sure what the reference point is, but it feels fine so far (though I admit I have not put the bike through anything other than preschool paces).  
Dan Breeden
Concourier editor emeritus (2015-'16), OtP rider 2017
'94 Concours; '01 FZ1

Offline smithr1

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« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2008, 12:51:00 pm »
I think I would run closer to 20 lb for a stock C10 with a <200 lb rider and no gear.  Anything more then that I push the pressure all the way up to 50 for two up full gear.  I think I have always used 3 on the other one.  If you put in about 20 lb and it holds for a week then My guess is you have no problem.  ----------------------------------  I will answer any question.  It is up to you to figure out if I should have.    <p align="left">My Photos<br
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Offline Brett0769

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« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2008, 03:04:00 pm »
Make sure you're getting a good reading on that rear shock, the air valve is funky and hard to get a reading on. You also have to be careful not to let the air out with the gauge because there's so little in it, checking it can let out enough to reduce the pressure. The best suggestion I've heard is filling it with a small air bottle filled to the pressure you want to achieve, because the bottle will only equalize with the shock. Alternately, there are good bicycle pumps with gauges attached.  
'06 C10  Brett Hatfield  AMA# 1019197  COG# 8229 (CDA# 0267)    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/brett0769/2793453582/" title="Trip Home by Brett0769, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3223/2793453582_bba89ca959_t.jpg" width="100" height="75" alt="Trip Home" />[/url]

Offline smithr1

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« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2008, 06:28:00 pm »
It is hard to get a good pump or reading on it.  I think the valve pin is set to deep and makes it hard for many pumps or gauges to push it.  I finally found ones that would work.  I over fill mine then get a feel for how much taking a reading reduces the pressure with each read.  I then keep reading it till I get down to the pressure I am wanting.  I think I loose about 3 lb per read with my gauge.  There are other methods that work also.  ----------------------------------  I will answer any question.  It is up to you to figure out if I should have.    <p align="left">My Photos<br
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Offline SantaCruzRider

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« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2008, 01:18:00 pm »
Got a bike pump that fits the shock (my other ones couldn't turn that angle) and pumped her up yesterday. You guys weren't kidding about how fluky it is. I thought something was wrong when I got it up to 50lbs in less than one full stroke. I think I lose at least 10lbs just pulling the pump valve off and then another 3lbs every time I check it. But after playing with it, I pretty much have a system for getting it where I want it :)  I'll check it in a few days to be sure it's holding.  Adding air definately gives it a better ride (I've been tooling around on 0lbs.) But is it also supposed to change the initial seat height? (Doesn't seem to.)  Thanks,  Dan  
Dan Breeden
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'94 Concours; '01 FZ1

Offline SantaCruzRider

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« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2008, 10:22:00 pm »
CAN NOW DO WHEELIES AT NIGHT!    Just passed my Cali license driving test -- so according to the DMV tester -- I can now "do wheelies -- at night." Not sure if that jives with either this rider or my Connie, but at least I can now drive at night w/o running afoul of LE.    I ended up cheating on the driving test -- used a friend's 400cc enduro thumper. His bike sits up so high that I felt like I needed to stop next to a curb, but it goes thru low-speed corners like my mtn bike. I don't think I could have passed on my Connie, but it sure does feel a lot more confident on the road (not taking anything away from the enduro -- I'd love to have one too, if only I had the garage space).    Anyway, been busy farkling a tad on the bike and getting used to her mannners. Now that I'm official, I expect to start putting in some real miles.    Thanks,  Dan  
Dan Breeden
Concourier editor emeritus (2015-'16), OtP rider 2017
'94 Concours; '01 FZ1