Thursday, March 29, 2012

East Bay Motorcycle Route

This is a 1 day ride around the San Francisco East Bay hills.

Distance: 150 miles / 240 km
Duration: 5 hours
Difficulty: medium

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Death Valley Tour - Day 3

The long way home. This was a hard day with 450 miles (over 700 km) and we caught rain, snow, hail, wind, below freezing temperatures, and all over again.

GPS route: kml / gpx
Interactive map:

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Death Valley Tour - Day 2

Day 2 of the Pashnit Death Valley Tour takes us into a big loop around Death Valley, starting with Scotty's Castle, to Shoshone for lunch, then back on Hwy 178 Badwater Rd.

We got rained on on the first half. Freezing cold on Dante's View Rd. Then amazing riding in the afternoon on Badwater Rd high speed sweepers.

Distance: 280 miles / 450 km
Duration: 1 day
Difficulty: medium
GPS route: kml / gpx
Interactive map:

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Death Valley Tour - Day 1

First Pashnit tour of the year. Over 1300 miles (2000 km) in 3.5 days.

Day 1 - Tulare to Stovepipe Wells.

Distance: 250 miles / 400 km
Duration: 1 day
Difficulty: mix of easy straights with difficult mountain passes
GPS route: kml / gpx
Interactive map:

  • 99 South to Earlimart
  • East to Ducor
  • South on Old Stage Rd / Mt Rd 109
  • White River Rd into Glenville
  • 155 East over the pass into Lake Isabella
  • 178 East to Ridgecrest
  • Lunch
  • Continue 178 East to Trona
  • Trona Wildrose Rd
  • Panamint Valley Rd
  • 190 East into Stovepipe Wells

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Death Valley Tour - The Road to Tulare

This is the first motorcycle tour of the year. It's Pashnit's Death Valley Tour -- a premiere!
We start in Tulare, CA. But first we need to get there. The following is the map to Tulare, from the San Francisco Bay area.

Distance: 400 km / 250 miles
Time: 5 hours

This is the long way round: Hwy 9 to Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Hwy 129 to Hwy 101, Hwy 156 to Hollister, Hwy 25 to Hwy 198 to Coalinga to Hwy 99, and into Tulare, CA.

Interactive map:

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Kawasaki Concours 14 Tire Pressure Monitor Sensor Battery Change

My 2008 Kawasaki Concours 14 started displaying a warning recently: "Tire Pressure Sensor Battery Low". It usually only happened for a few minutes in the mornings, when tire was cold. After a few miles it went away and the reading was normal.

Anyway, I thought I would change it. The problem was the price of a new OEM sensor from Kawasaki ~$350. So I looked on the forums and I found a mod to change the sensor battery. There is one catch with this mod - on my bike model, the battery is glued to the contact pads. So I had to resort to actually forcing the old battery out and put the new one in.

The following describes the steps I took for this mod:

1. Take out the Tire Pressure Monitor Sensor from the wheel (I cannot do this at home, so I did it at my local bike shop when I replaced the tire). Also buy the new batteries, type CR2032 (approx $5).

2. Unscrew the back of the sensor. The screw is normally placed under a label, so first remove the label.

You need to use some weird screw driver head (TX-5) is the one I have in this image:

3. Once the lid is off, take out the electronics from the casing.

I used a sharp tweezers to take it out.

4. Now the delicate part: unglue the battery from the pads. I used a sharp pointed knife for this. Careful not to cut the pad contacts or yourself. Also remember which pad is which (+ vs -).

5.  Put in the new battery. I did't have a battery holder, so I kind of made one myself. First I taped about 1/4 of the battery side to prevent a short-circuit from the - (negative) pad on the positive pole of the battery.

6. Insert the battery in between the two contacts.

7. Put one more layer of tape around and pads and battery. Just enough to hold it in place while you insert it into the casing.

8. Insert the electronics back into the casing. The battery will fit really tightly in its corner. Press it down to make sure it's all the way in.

9. Put the lid back on and make sure you have the yellow plastic protrusion actually pressing on the contact pad. This is what will keep the pads in contact with the battery. Screw the lid back in place.

Notice that this method is not using any soldering or special battery holder. Rather the contact is kept in place by pressure from the lid or centrifugal force.

I'm going to update how this mod works out for me. If all is good, I'll make the same for my other wheel.

Update (26-Sep-2012): The setup above worked, but it did not last. 2 weeks after I did the procedure above, the sensor went dead. Therefore, I resorted to soldering the contact pads onto the new battery. It was a simple procedure (not more than 10 mins), but you have to have the wheel off and tire, which is a major PITA. I also had to buy the soldering gun, but at least now I'm set for the other wheel.

The soldered pads look like this:

Let's see how this setup holds up...

Update 2 (3-Nov-2012): The soldered battery holds up nicely so far (6 weeks later). In the meantime I fixed the other wheel too. This time I used a battery (still CR2032) but this one had 2 wires attached of it from factory, so no more soldering necessary.

I bought it off eBay for about $5 and it shipped straight from China (full name of battery is Panasonic CR2032 CMOS RTC 2wire Lithium Battery w/plug CR2032-2E31R+). I cut off the little white connector and soldered the wires directly onto the circuit board (sorry, forgot to take pics). The only thing to be careful with is how to insert the circuit and battery back into the casing. I had to bend the positive (red) metal tab a bit towards the negative (black) tab to make everything fit, but all went in just nicely. I made sure all was good and did one final check with a voltmeter and it showed a nice 3.12V. I had it installed about 2 weeks ago and so far it also works nicely.