Friday, September 29, 2017

The 2017 Distinguished Gentleman's Ride


Come along with me as I ride my Vespa GTS 300i.e. in the Toronto edition of the 2017 Distinguished Gentleman's Ride.

What I don't show in the video is that when the bikes started rolling at the start, my Vespa stubbornly refused to get going. It just wouldn't start and left me stranded in the parking lot on the lake at Woodbine. I took off my jacket, pushed the bike into some shade, hauled out my tools and set to work. The symptoms (no starter, no lights, no power to the 12 volt outlets, nada, zip) indicated to me that the culprit had to be the battery. My heart sank as I faced the fact that not only was my Gentleman's Ride sunk, but so was an epic ride scheduled for Monday through Wednesday. "Drats" doesn't begin to cover the vocabulary I chose to express my immense frustration.

I tore into the battery compartment, removing the Classic Racks floor cargo rack and the battery cover. You'll recall from the last episode that I had removed the battery recently when I replaced the high tension lead. Everything seemed fine. Just to be sure I checked the battery terminals to make sure that they were tight. I managed to get a turn or two out of the terminal screws, but not enough to explain the electrical issue, I thought.

I put everything back together and began to ponder my fate. Just to convince myself that I was thoroughly screwed (pardon the pun), I flicked the ignition back on and punched the starter. Lo and behold, the bike fired right up.

I straightened myself out to look dignified, and set off to join the ride. I managed to track them down at the Queen's Park scheduled stop. All in all the malfunction didn't interfere all that much with my mission.

I hope you enjoy the video.

There is much more to come on Life on two wheels: the Monday to Wednesday trip happened (at least two videos to come), I broke down yet again (coolant leak, again, and again, this time somewhere in the engine compartment, impossible to see), and I have some technical videos coming on an oil change, my commentary on police services in Toronto (5.0 in the Six) and so much more.

The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride is a charity motorcycle ride that takes place world-wide each September. This video chronicles the 2017 DGR in Toronto. Proceeds from the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride go the Movember Foundation. Please give generously.

The music for this episode of Life on two wheels is Forget Me Not by SE's Jammy Jams, and Gypsy Dance by Topher Mohr and Alex Elena, both made available courtesy of the YouTube Audio Library.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Parts are fun!



OMG!! Things must be picking up in the Life on two wheels studio, because YES, it's another episode!

Viewer beware, this is the very first technical episode. Those of you who thought that there would be another wild bar-hopping episode following the previous episode on the wonders of St. John's Newfoundland, will be sadly disappointed.

In this episode I dig into the guts of my Vespa to rip out the ignition (or high tension) wire that sank my trip to Pennsylvania, pick up replacement parts from Vespa Toronto West, build another high tension wire from scratch (coil to spark plug), install it on the bike, and PRESTO!!! My untrustworthy ignition is a thing of the past.

I made this episode in honour of Ken Wilson, who provided moral support in the background. Ken was a little let down that I chose to end my trip failure video without delving into the root of the problem, choosing instead to focus on Texas barbecue (now come on, who can blame me, honestly??)

I plan to post this episode on ModernVespa.com on the off chance that anyone suffering with a similar issue will find this episode to be helpful.

The music for this episode of Life on two wheels is Give by Silent Partner, made available courtesy of the YouTube Audio Library.

That's it for now folks!

See you  next time, on Life on two wheels, the vlog

Monday, September 11, 2017

Screech!!!!!!


It's another episode of your favourite vlog, Life on two wheels! Screech1!!!!! in this case is not what you get when you spin your wheels or slam on the brakes. Fasten your seat belts, this is by far the most ambitious vlog episode to date.

In this episode I take you all the way to easternmost Canada. That's right, you're coming along for a trip to St. John's Newfoundland. It's a nice bookend for the earlier episode when you got to come with me to Victoria British Columbia. From one end of the Trans-Canada Highway to the other, in two painless clicks. You have to admit, that's not too shabby.

The annual conference of Governance Professionals of Canada was taking place in St. John's, and Susan had never been to Newfoundland, so off we went. I had been there for the first time back in 2009, and was already an honorary Newfoundlander, so I wisely considered, having already been screeched-in, that I was dispensed from having to kiss the cod a second time. Besides, on Tuesday night, in the midst of the rowdy mayhem on George street, I looked that blessed, twisted, frozen, lifeless fish in its muddy dead eye, and I'm pretty sure it was the same slimy character I kissed on the lips back in '09.

The conference was a resounding success and Susan and I left The Rock with memories to last a lifetime. Newfoundland has a kind of mystical wonder to it. Its ubiquitous pastel-coloured jellybean clapboard row homes, cottages and sheds brighten its rocky shores wherever Newfoundlanders live, from Come-By-Chance to Cornerbrook, and from Burgeo to Bonavista.

Tag along with me for a taste of Celtic Canada at its very best. You're just a click away!

The music for this episode is Celtic Impulse by Kevin MacLeod and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license and is brought to you courtesy of the excellent YouTube Audio Library.

For the story of my new (old) pirate hat, please click here, and for my obsession with Rick Mercer, please click here. For the lyrics to Rant and Roar, please click here.

Things have been hectic in the Life on two wheels studio and there are plenty of episodes to come. You have 5.0 in The Six and Parts are Fun to look forward to, as well as a long delayed jaunt down south of the border to spend some time with legendary fellow moto-blogger and dedicated Vespa-holic Steve Williams. Unfortunately that might be delayed into 2018. There are some technical bits to come relating to an oil change, and ignition work on the Vespa as well. So the upshot is that there's lots to look forward to.

Stay tuned!

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1. Screech.
The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.