My Honda CBR-1100XX aka BlackBird
Engine Type 1137cc liquid-cooled 16-valve DOHC inline-four cylinder
Bore and Stroke 79 x 58mm
Compression Ratio 11:1
Carburetion Four 42mm slanted flat-slide CV-type
Ignition Computer-controlled digital transistorized with electronic advance
Final Drive O-ring sealed chain
Suspension Front: 43mm H.M.A.S. cartridge fork, 4.3 inches travel
Rear: Showa single shock with spring preload/rebound damping adjustability, 4.7 inches travel
Brakes Linked Braking System
Front: 310mm dual hydraulic disc with three piston calipers and sintered metal pads
Rear: 256mm single hydraulic disc with three piston caliper and sintered metal pads
Tires Front: 120/70ZR17 radial
Rear: 180/55ZR17 radial
Wheelbase 58.7 inches
Seat Height 31.9 inches
Dry Weight 491.6 pounds
Fuel Capacity 5.8 gallons
Horsepower: 160 hp
Alternator output: 390W
Torque: 80 ft.lbs
gallery: Motorcycle Roads
He who strays discovers new paths.
- Nils KjÃr
gallery: December 7, 2007 - Long Beach International Motorcycle Show
gallery: 2009 Long Beach Motorcycle Show
Here are some highlights of the annual motorcycle show at Long Beach, California.
gallery: Zen, Motorcycling, blogs...
This section isn't really about photography but a place to hold some random thoughts related to motorcycling...
gallery: Motorcycle Lightnings
Here are some improvements on motorcycle lightnings to make it safer and more visible.
gallery: Motorcycle Brake Works
Here are just some pictures I took when working on my brakes.
gallery: Motorcycle Tire Changer and Balancer at home
I and my friend Vu were tired of having to take our motorcycles to the dealer or shop to change our tires every 8000 miles or so. For Vu, it's twice a year and for me, it's about once a year.
It's really not about saving money. We probably will never be able to recuperate the cost of the tools. The first time I rode my bike to the shop to have tires replaced, they didn't tighten 1 of the front brake caliper bolts and it felt off in a few weeks. It was fortunate that I noticed before the caliper came loose and jammed up my front wheel. It could be fatal. Then I removed the wheels myself. Put them in my car. Drove to the shop. Wait 1 hour or so. Then drove back home. Reinstalled the tires and made sure everything was right. After a while, we thought, why don't we learn to do it ourselves, at home? We both are engineers, nerds, hackers and rocket 'scientists'. Changing tires is not rocket science afterall.
So we decided to order a top of the line Nomar tire changer (nomartirechanger.com) to remove and install the tires ourselves at home and also got a tire balancer to balance our tires, just to make sure that everything is done right. Afterall, we are motorcycle enthusiast and riding is a passion.
The total came out to US$1000 and we split the cost. The tire changer and balancer will stay in my home garage since I already got all the tools and a big air compressor. Vu will come over whenever he needs to change his tires.
gallery: Motorcycle Works...
gallery: Cooling Vest for hot weather riding
This is an evaporative and phase changing combination vest, made by Techniche International in US.
* Hybrid cooling solution for ultimate relief: Evaporative Cooling fabric provides 5-10 hours of cooling relief per soaking; Phase Change Cooling Inserts maintain a comfortable 58 degrees F (14 degrees C) for up to 3 hours
* Desert Camo
A cold morning ride to work
Beauty and peace are where we perceive.
This morning I left my home with a temperature of 44 degree F (7 degree C). That was with a thermometer standing still on my front porch. The wind chill temperature when I was moving at 75 miles per hour (120 km/h) must be a lot lower. For comparison, 44 degree F with a wind speed of 60 mph feels like 30 degree F
I could feel the chill when I started moving. Incredibly, a good chill going to my head through my helmet's vents and all my body. Not an uncomfortable cold but a "good cold", a cold that makes me feel I was so much sharper and clearer in my mind. My body went with the flow, felt every single ripple on the roads; I and my motorcycle became one. I was the motorcycle and the motorcycle was me. Sneaking thru the traffic like a hot knife thru butter and sailed under the early morning sun that painted the world in a beautiful golden shade.
Splitting through the rush hour traffic. Going between 2 lanes of cars. A big bus was blocking the carpool lane but moved away seeing my approach. I waved to the driver after I passed. Thanking the driver who extended a courtesy to a motorcycle rider. Another truck, another car, they all moved out so slightly that I could tell they said: "ok, this is the best I could do. Be careful". I passed again, waved back with my left hand, again thanking them for their kindness. Saw a yellow GTO, a new sport car in front. I said to myself, "oh oh, is this go-fast driver going to let me thru or will he think I'm challenging his authority?" To test his kindness and courtesy, I moved over to the right, showing myself in his right hand side mirror, following at a distance of a car's length.
He saw me. He moved over to the left and left me room to pass. I closed the throttle for a split second, squeezed the clutch and clicked down 1 gear. I opened the throttle and zipped past him in a millisecond. I passed. Again I waved back with my left hand and thanked him. Now my left arm is getting sore. That's the only way I could express my gratitude to the drivers I passed. This is good. Who said that people in Los Angeles are mean and inconsiderate?
I passed an ambulance, again I waved. I passed a pickup truck. I waved. I passed a Honda civic, I waved. Then I lost count...
Finally I got thru an empty stretch of freeway. I moved to my own lane. Then from the corner of my eyes, I saw a flash of yellow color beside me. I turned my head. It was the GTO. I pointed to his car, raised my thumb to mean "hey, nice car!" He understood. Gave me a nod then accelerate with a throaty exhaust note. I think, cool. I accelerated too. Passed him. He accelerated. I accelerated. Then I reached my destination at work. We waved to each other. Thumbs up to each other. "What a great day!" We said to each other, silently...
Who says that you can't have fun everyday?
Cold night ride...
It gets dark early now. This is another cold night in California. Stepping out of my office at 7pm, it was completely dark outside.
Outside temperature shown 48 degree F (9 degree C) so it's slightly warmer than this morning when I left home. At highway speed, the wind chill temperature will be a lot lower. Good, time to clear my head after a full day's work. I can put computer, C++, controls, algorithms, codes, tests, schedules etc... temporarily aside and concentrate on my ride. I can't be distracted while riding or it'll be fatal. I control my motorcycle and I control my fate. I take full responsibility of my destiny and when I make an error, it's me and me alone.
Started the engine, pulled in the clutch and shifted the gear. Opened up the throttle and the motorcycle glided forward smoothly like a magic carpet. The exhaust was near silent. Even if it wasn't, I couldn't hear it as I was wearing ear plugs to protect my hearing from the wind noise. The high performance 4-stroke engine roared satisfyingly as gears were shifted near redline, at 10600 rpm. First gear at redline brought me to 70 mph. Zero to 60 in 2.7 seconds. Faster than all production cars in the world. Faster than a Bell helicopter. Faster than a Ferrari Enzo. Faster than a Mercedes McLaren. Leave them all in the dirt. Shifted to second gear and the front wheel wanted to leave the ground. Things were perfectly under control. Suspensions, tires, chain, throttle, clutch, gear, brakes were working together and enhancing each other like a well coordinated orchestra. Excellent!
I ducked down. Wind slid off the top of my helmet and off my tight leather jacket and pants, like water off a whale. I glided smoothly and effortlessly into the darkness, parting out only by my single headlight. Again, I and my motorcycle became one...