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Monday, July 28, 2008

Trig And Call Security System

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The system is finally up and running after having it installed a few days ago. I just had to do some manual tweaking of the wires and switch changing to clean up the cluster inside. Brutus is the first cruiser ever to carry TACS and I'll say it confidently that the bike won't start till I say so. Even if the thief would be so brazzen enough to open up the bike and cut off the alarm, it still will not start - aside from the fact that it already alerted me of the intrusion. Neat huh?

There's a video of it in action over at MCP demonstrating its features.

I saw a similar gadget last night in Mel & Joey but it relies on GPS to track and monitor an already jacked vehicle. You need to text a command and it will disable the engine, similarly you need to text a command to engage the engine again. TACS will make a call, not send a text message - which can get lost or arrive late due to daily traffic signals, and it's up to you to answer and listen to what's happening around the bike, ignore, or just go to the bike to check. Point is you KNOW when something is happening. You can immobilize the engine remotely, trigger a horn blaster which can also be turned on or off, or speak to the thief via speaker, or probably make a scandalous report to people around the bike that it's being stolen.

Sound alarms today are ignored as a nuisance. People don't even look anymore or couldn't care less. Your security is now a personal matter. GPS requires subscription and is costly at P1500 a month. All I need to do with my alarm is load it with P50 and that would already last me a month. Missed calls don't cost - although Globe IS sly about things. But it beats P1500/mo anytime. Besides, the other system costs P29K to install, I shelled out just P4200 for mine.

When I take Brutus out I don't really let him off my sight for long. The only culprits I encounter are the guards themselves trying to sit on the darn thing. Having TACS is not an end-all for security, but it sure extends your fighting chance more than enough to take instant action. When it comes to something being stolen, time to be alerted is critical. Instead of having to return to the car park and finding an empty space where your bike used to be.

This isn't an exhaustive list of its features. Visit the link above for more details. Motorcycles, cars, houses, buildings, chastity belts, you name it TACS can cover it. Support this Filipino product.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Macau

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18th to 21st saw me in HongKong and Macau, as I nearly maxed out my memory card snapping pictures left and right. What I first noticed in their highways were the absence of billboards and signages. You can actually see the view - nature integrated with modern structures. There were no police cars visible anywhere, (I only saw 2 the whole time) and yet discipline was inherently practiced everywhere - even on pedestrian crossings. It's a sad note that Filipinos here do follow the rules of the road. I found myself asking are these the same people that follow our rules back home? One can't help but feel sorry for the sad state of our country when you visit a foreign land. Well, this foreign land in particular. You don't see pink fences telling buses where to drive or stop to pick up passengers. The bus drivers themselves tread only the left most lane (Right side drive here, meaning people drive on the left side, so its very easy for a Pinoy to get swiped by a car the first time when crossing the street.) Actually while we were cruising on Kowloon's highways I noticed all the cars are running at the same speed. Speed limit in effect. Road signs do serve a purpose here, unlike back home where road signs are just trimmings and a nuisance.

Scooters are the way to go around here. No XRMs anywhere but highend sedan scoots, Vespas and Vinos. Almost every corner has parking for these, and no guards even. I only saw one scoot chained. Lots of women on scoots too :) Everyone wears a helmet, yes, even the law enforcers I saw, which by the way ride on a 250cc vtwin bike. Vinos and Vespas were all dressed up far from stock. No loud pipes around here. I only saw four Vtwins on separate occassions. I wonder how I'll fare if I bring Brutus over, noise-wise? It got me thinking how much cry babies Filipinos are when it comes to the government imposing rules - here people follow. Period.

I started wondering how I could transport Brutus here for a four-day ride around the countryside. Those well paved roads just beg to be ridden. This bridge that spans the gap between Macau and Taipa is superb, roughly 5 kms long - and scoots are allowed to traverse the thing. There were lots of other things to cite about this country. Most specially the view from the third floor window in Macau, but that's well worth another story :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Stage 2 and Jesse

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It's been raining since yesterday but today was when tropical storm Helen gave us a peek up her skirt as short bursts of showers quickly flooded the only street access we have going out. Anyway, I've always thought no matter how ugly the weather is that it's a good rain. Least it isn't snow or lava. Worked my shots for the better part of the day and went out a wee bit later than I planned to get the materials I needed to complete what I started a few days ago: transferring my hand controls elsewhere. That "elsewhere" part is somewhere unassuming, as it now houses my ignition switch, deftly hidden from rain should I run into a cloud. Acts as a safety device too. Sit on the bike, try to flick on the ignition switch? You won't find any. If I park somewhere uncertain, I can disengage the engine manually. No alarm here. Just plain wit and common sense.

All that's left now is to stabilize my Hi/Low switch on the left side under my seat, score a new housing for the throttle cable on the right bar and I'm done. The left side looks clean from my view, the empty kill switch console is still an eyesore. That, has got to go definitely. I've set up my wires to be detached easily should I need to dismantle a component to get to the carb by installing connectors instead of directly linking everything together. I thought of modding the cleaner shell to accommodate the light switch but having to reach over to my right side with my left hand is kinda effy. So the light switch will stay on the left side after all. Sickened home made mods. I'll just make a shell later on when I've nothing better to do. Right now I'm very happy with how it turned out to be.

This arrived in my email from good friend Jesse way up north. Man just look at this bike. It has attitude written all over it. You should park it beside Cicero's. Haha! Twins! Love those bars! Like I said ultra clean setup ( the guy sitting ain't that bad either ;p ) Buzz me up how I can send you those seat springs, tho I'm afraid you're going to have to exchange that fine seat for an ass pan instead. I was planning to do that with my tank also, have it sit on top of the frame but I don't have time to really sit down and draw things up. Great to see you did that with your ride. Least I get to see it was a good idea after all. Send me some pics after you're done with your mods!

Jesse, thanks for the call man. I'll send you the blueprints for the riser stems along with some pics for extending your air box. Stay easy.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Check Ahead

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Before I go out for the day, and since I don't have a roof over my head when I'm in transit, I always check out the PAGASA website for the latest in weather forecast. There's this nifty overhead shot of our beloved country and whatever it is that's looming on top of it. So I can tell right away if I go home later with soaking underwear or ride my ass off under the stars. Probably catch a movie or two along the way.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Procrastiprostate

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Finally I was able to haul my ass off to start stripping the wires from the handle bars since they were really darn awful to look at. I'm just doing the left part for now till I get to make a housing for the ignition switch - which is now sitting impatiently underneath my table for a month or so. Instead of drilling the bars top and bottom I just rerouted the wires, took out everything unnecessary namely the blinkers and horn, making sure the Hi and Low beam is working perfectly. Since I also upgraded the wires and got some heat shrink tubing from Gil's electronic pimp, not only did the work looked snazzy clean, but the lights got brighter. Heck with the lumens. It just got brighter. Yo.

Took time out to snap a NOS trademark: the hyper-extended air cleaner, which I prefer to call the "suckah". Almost every other steed has its air cleaner slumped into the carb, we prefer it bulging and out. It's a pretty simple setup, and if one were to ask, you would not believe how easy it is to get the materials right in your own home. It's sturdy, gives access to the carb, and is damn funky. Did I mention it looked funky? It does. It's a drop jaw magnet.

Ed came by for a visit, I thought I was hearing a different bike and I didn't really recognize him coming. Turns out he finally did his 2-into-1 pipes. Laid down real low but just enough clearance for them humps. Ed's bike is a sight to behold for vintage enthusiasts. At first glimpse you wouldn't think it to be a Honda Steed.

Anyhow, there's a scheduled ride tomorrow. Bring me back a shirt guys. Medium husky.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Ligament Repairs

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This is what a Steed's torn ACL looks like:


The previous owner did a piss poor job of wiring Brutus with some major fuse missing. This bit coming from the positive battery leaves nothing for the current to jump on, hence the hard start. I'm waiting for my startic relay replacement from Gil, before I can have the wiring completed. Jay came over and operated on my horse. Now it runs and sounds muchas magnifico. For now, the basic necessities were covered: new wires, a replacement fuse for the present relay, and beefy plugs.

Since nocturnal creatures are wide eyed from 12MN till 7AM I started sawing off the tongue from the seat support but held off welding till morning so as not to "disturb the peace" so to speak. I'll probably move the equipment inside so I can work anytime I deem so. But I did get my chance very early this morning as I proceeded to weld the strip unto the rotators. The result? Instant hood. The seat comfortably rests on a few spaces from the tank when I need to do some wire work, and the hinge swings freely. Pretty basic stuff but cumulative none the less. Although when I strapped it in I noticed it moves just a few measly degrees just as I reckon. The springs are damp enough to resist being too bouncy, which is just right for me. Neato.

The startic relay I was waiting for did come in just at the right time as I went over to Gil's this afternoon for some finishing touches of the remaining component. I had to plan my route as there's always this TMG checkpoint over at Park N' Fly hounding big bikes with custom payment problems. I can do without the hassle really, so I had to take another course at the back. But the sun was up real nice so why spoil the day anyway? So where else would you get free quality general repairs than from a fellow NOS rider? The thingy cost me just P300 and two Philip Morris (not for me - payment for service) not to mention the free halo-halo, lumpia, lomi, coffee and coke. Some combination. Haha! Now Brutus fires up at a single pop of the start switch. Great :)

It's always a breath of fresh air visiting Gil's shop where there's always a flow of bikes coming and going, new friends to meet and a quiet feeling that my bike left better than when I got there.

Friday, July 04, 2008

More Snaps :: June 29 :: Tagaytay

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Since nothing much happened after Diaz got owned I thought I'd post this here. Lifted from Ed's Multiply site. There are videos up there too but they're a drag to post here. Anyways, still have to wait till the edited video is out:


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