Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Two way left turning lane

Sigh.... I failed the ICBC road test examination for my motorcycle license. I thought that I did very well, but the examiner disagreed. I did all the shoulder-checks, but he wants me to do the right shoulder check as the very last thing when turning right. Also, I did not use a two way left turn lane. Both were enough reason for a fail in their own right. This really sucks. 16 years motorcycle experience, two advanced rider courses, an "excellent drive" on my car road test here in BC, and still they manage to fail me. I'm convinced their driver training system is pretty broken. That's what you get if you give government tasks to commercial companies.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Patronising the Customer

The larger the corporation, the more disconnected it is with the customers. Take Suzuki for instance. Their patronizing attitude towards customers is very annoying. They sold me a top of the line sports bike. On paper, a 185 horsepower beast. In practice however, it does not come close to the Aprilia I used to ride in the Netherlands. Why is this?

Well, it turns out that not all GSX-R 1000 bikes are created equal. Those to be sold in North America have been neutered. This is probably because of the liability obsessed society. Now sure, I have no problem with a 300 km/h speed limiter they put on the North American bikes. It is unlikely I will ever hit the limiter. But then again, is a 310km/h bike so much worse than a 300km/h bike?

Far more worrying is what they have done with the ignition. To limit the power output in 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th gear (the gears where you could be surprised by an unwanted wheelie), Suzuki changed the ignition timing.

Well then, a changed ignition timing. What is the result? A bike that runs rough, sounds unhealthy, picks up badly, and occasionally chokes or sometimes even stalls. It's very American to sell you the bad-ass hard-core image. But underneath, you have simply been sold an underachieving, rough running engine. Oh... and the icing on the cake: it will cause more polution, and use more petrol.

The Internet is the helping hand for the suckers like me, that got duped by Suzuki. It turns out that you need to fool the bike. By adding a single resistor to the wiring harness, you can dupe the bike's computer. It will think the bike is always in 5th gear. The 5th gear is the gear without any restrictions: normal ignition timing, and no speed limiter. The downside of this is that the gear-indicator on the cockpit always displays '5' or 'N'. I can no longer check what gear I am in.

Today I installed the Timing Retard Eliminator. And yes, it works. The bike is more lively, and picks up immediately. If you close and open gas, power is instant, where before it used to choke and sputter. This means that for tomorrow, I can do my motorcycle license examination on a proper sports bike. I'm pretty woried about it. It will be unlikely that I ace it, like I did my car license.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The youtube generation

Some people are so talented. In 1680 Johann Pachelbel composed his Canon in D. In 2005, a Korean kid named funtwo puts up his performance on youtube and hitting 46 million views. He does a very good Vivaldi's Summer as well.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Second Canada Day

Today, I celebrated my second Canada Day, together with Amy. It commemorates the forming of Canada. I got a paper flag out of it, both years. There are also ceremonies were new citizens are sworn in. Unfortunately we missed that one. Maybe one day I will be pledging allegiance to the Maple Leaf. Amy ate maple syrup on a stick, which is a traditional Quebec treat. I settled for Grandma Lee's sandwich.