Red Dog and Me

This is an on-going dialog between me and a certain motor scooter, namely a 2009 Piaggio MP3 500 that came to live with me in October of 2009. I've named the scooter Red Dog and as yet have not determined its gender. In the past when I've named boats, bikes, and other like characters I've thought of them as feminine due to their behavior characteristics. Red Dog I'm not so sure about...we'll see. Update: OK, Red Dog's a girl...with an attitude

Saturday, July 31, 2010

July 31, 2010 Wake up Red Dog!

Now that my main summer tour is over I've once again turned my attention back to Red Dog. For the past two months she’s been relegated to sleeping in the barn under her cover and plugged into a battery tender. I probably should have added some Stabil fuel treatment to her gas but I simply forgot. As it turned out she started right up and seems to run OK so maybe it wasn’t that critical.

Red Dog snoozing away...

I rolled her out of the barn, gave her a thorough wash and inspection, then went for a ride into town. My first impression was she is not a Goldwing; the wind factor is much more pronounced and those smallish wheels on the front tend to follow the path of least resistance. This last results in a tendancy for her to produce a wandering effect; something I’d hardly noticed in the past.

Red Dog all clean and shiny after a 2-month hiatus

After returning home I noticed the back tire looked very low and when I checked the gage indicated there was hardly any air in it. So much for my “thorough inspection” during the wakeup ceremony. I filled it up to the recommended level and checked the fronts. They were both up to snuff so maybe the low back tire was contributing to the slight wandering effect.
One of the items that has been nagging me is the sliding issue on the new saddle. When I first had the saddle redone it seemed OK for awhile, then after a few brief rides I became less than satisfied with the way I tended to slide forward on it.

I contacted Rich’s Custom Seats and arranged for a re-do, shipped it to them and they returned it proclaiming it fixed. I rode around on it a few times and it did seem better but still not as good as I thought it should be. Unfortunately all of this occurred right about the time I was preparing to leave on my extended tour so it got put on the back burner until now.

I mentioned this on the Modern Vespa Forum, my favorite hangout and a couple of members suggested shimming the forward end of the saddle up a bit to see if that helped. Yesterday I did so but didn’t get a chance to ride until today. There seems to be a pronounced improvement and although still not perfect at least it’s better. I think I may have to adjust the backrest more towards the rear of the bike as that may be pushing me forward a bit.

Bandon Lighthouse in the Fog - July 31, 2010

Today’s ride was brief, amounting to less than 30 miles but it was enough to provide a bit more data to consider. I’ll have a go at the back rest and see how that works; if I can get it resolved I may be able to squeak in a short camping trip up north to one of my favorite places, Vancouver Island.

I still have some business in Portland to attend to but with luck I may have that out of the way by mid-August. And wouldn't that be nice?

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