Monday, June 25, 2007

New bike, new farkles.

I recently bought an FJR1300. Obviously it needed setup and some farkles. I did the setup according to the rest of the posts here, but the farkles were kinda special. Click on the pic if you want it larger.

Installing the Garmin Quest II GPS was step number one, and an automotive type cruise control was #2 on the list.

These required creation/installation of an electrical subpanel hidden on the inside of the bodywork. I elected to do the installation according to the ideas and experiences of some of the long distance riders on the FJR board. Essentially, the entire subpanel is only hot after the key is turned on.

Let's follow the current from the positive lead of the battery.

The first component is an auto-reset 30 amp fuse. If I draw more than 30 amps, the fuse will trip, and then reset a few seconds later.

The second component in the supply is a 30 amp relay in the normally open condition. Unless the relay is activated, there is no current going past the relay.

The third component is a fuse block. Some people use marine type fuse blocks that provide connections for both the positive and negative leads, but I didn't think this was necessary since the frame of the bike provides a perfectly adequate ground (negative lead) for most components. The fuse block I used has 6 outputs that are protected by 6 seperate fuses.

Now, the trick is that we're supplying a max of 30 amps to the fuse block, so theoretically, the total amperage of all installed fuses shoudn't be more than 30 amps, correct? Truth be told, it can be more than 30 amps if you KNOW you won't be using more than 30 amps at a the same time.

However, I don't want or need to do the math in my feeble little head every time I turn something on, so I'm planning to only supply fuses totalling 30 amps.

Note I said "planning" in the paragraph above. Remember, I have 6 outputs and I only have two farkles. (The GPS and the cruise control) So at this point, I'm only using two outputs.

Let's see.... 30 amps divided by two outputs means I can use two 15 amp fuses, right? NOT! I've used correct sized fuses for each component. Basically, I have 3 amp fuses in each slot. See, the intention is to protect the wiring and the devices on each output.

I'll consider pictures next time I get under the dash.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Buying a bike.

I just finished reading a thread on an email list about buying a new motorcycle. Some of the information in the thread was completely nuts.

As an ex car salesman and ex motorcycle salesman, I'd like to share some trememdous secrets with you.

1) The XYZR at dealer A is no different from the XYZR at dealer B.
2) The dealer only has the XYZR(s) you see on his floor today.
3) You have access to every XYZR in your shopping area.
4) The dealer wants to sell his XYZR as soon as possible.

So, you're probably thinking you might have the upper hand when it comes to buying a new motorcycle from a dealership. Truth is: YOU DO.

Here are the rules for buying vehicles:

1) NEVER, EVER fall in love with a vehicle. If you do, you'll get yourself screwed on the price.
2) Stand up and walk out of the dealership if you don't get the price you want.
3) Other dealerships are willing to deal at your price. Shop around.

And finally, when it comes to buying motorcycles specifically: "Dealer setup" and "Prep" charges are completely bogus. The manufacturer already pays the dealership something for these services. Anything else the dealership charges are just extra profit. Don't pay them.

Oh, one last thing. On the subject of financing. Dealers DO get paid a fee for arranging financing. That fee, and any associated profit, is never included in the actual sales transaction that's completed prior to arranging financing. Therefore, the amount(s) shown on the sales order are the actual sales prices and details of the transaction. If signed, it is a completely binding contract and you are under no obligation to finance thru the dealership (or at all).