BMW 300cd Cleaned and Machine Polished

Mouldy Window Rubbers BMW330cd ConvertibleMouldy Soft Top Roof - BMW330cd Convertible
My BMW 300cd Convertible was looking very dirty.
The paintwork was dull and covered in bird droppings and tree sap, and the soft top roof and window rubbers had all gone green with mould!

This was far too much work for the local hand car wash - it was time to call in the experts.

And here we see the finished results. Ive owned this car since new, and ive never seen it look so clean and shiny.

If you want your car cleaned like this, best get in contact with Keith from First Impression Mobile Valeting. 

M&S AirFlex Shoes Cracked Sole AGAIN!!

So after i chucked my last pair of Marks & Spencers AirFlex Shoes in the bin when the rubber soles cracked, letting in water and making my feet wet, i stupidly bought another pair.

Big Mistake - its taken less than one year of normal office wear for the replacement shoes to crack.

Do M&S know about this problem i wonder? maybe i'll post the cracked shoes back to them.

One thing's for sure, i wont be buying M&S Airflex shoes ever again!!

Trail Tech Vector Has Arrived

The Trail Tech Vector that i ordered a couple of days ago arrived today!
As you can see from the time in the photo, i only managed to get to play with it late at night, so certainly not had chance to install it on the bike yet but i couldn't resist getting it out of the box and having a little play with it.

My initial impressions of the Trail Tech Vector Stealth are that its a pretty solid looking product. Well mate and a lot more glossy in colour than it looks on the TrailTech website.

I ordered the complete kit for my KTM 300 exc which includes the inline temperature sensor, the speedo sensor and mounting bracket.

I was pleased to discover that the temperature sensort housing is made from  black anodised metal, and not horrible plastic as i was expecting. Also the cable is very flexible, if possibly a bit  short, but i wont know until i try it on the KTM.

The Speedo sensor is the magnetic type. I need to attach the included magnet onto my front brake disc and the sensor on the brake caliper bracket.

The cable from the sensor the the main unit is cased in a protective sleeve to help keep it safe from rocks and branches.

On the back of the unit is the battery compartment and two captive nuts for mounting the unit. The battery in the TrailTech Vector is a CR2032.

Here you see th back of the box describing all if the Trail Tech Vector's functions and features.

One thing i have been disappointed to discover is that the "Hour Meter" is based on the wheel speed sensor, so it will record moving hours, and not actual engine hours. 

This is disappointing because since im fitting this to the KTM300 and the bike wont always be moving forward when the engine is running, so the "Hour Meter" working on wheel revolutions is going to record a very different figure to an proper engine hour meter fed from the ignition coil.

Besides the hour meter disappointment  im pretty impressed with the unit so far. Of course the real test comes when i come to install it on the bike..

Trail Tech Vector Stealth For KTM 300 exc

Trail Tech Vector Stealth for KTM 300 exc
The OEM speedo on my KTM300 exc was looking a bit tired.
When i bought the KTM it wasn't even working, so i replaced the internal battery, and managed to get some info showing on the screen, but no mater how hard i pushed, the Function button just wouldn't work, so i decided i would scrap the OEM KTM digital dash and replace with a brand new Trail Tech Vector Stealth.

Vector Remote Control for KTM 300 exc
Trail Tech do a range of digital dashboards for bikes (Vector, Vapor, Striker and Enduro II) but i settled on the Vector Stealth because it has the option of the Remote Switch which allows you to operate the unit without taking your hands off the handlebars.

I placed the order last night, so its not arrived yet, but as soon as it arrived i'll post my thoughts on my new little gizmo!

KTM 300 exc Digital Dash

KTM 300 exc Digital Dash
When i bought my KTM300exc the digital dash wasn't working. Since i'll will be riding on the road, its always useful to have a working speedo, so i set about trying to get it to work.
First thing i fund out was that the KTM OEM speedo have an internal battery, so i popped to Maplins, bought a battery and replaced the dead one.
To access the battery there is a screw off panel on the back of the unit. Its easier to remove the unit from the bike to change the battery.

With the unit removed from the bike I inserted a large coin (i used a British 50p coin) and twisted off the battery cover.
Once the battery was replaced i managed to get some life out of the speedo, however the big function button on the right hand side didnt seem to work. All i could get on the screen was the speed and the time. no way to adjust the time as the buttons didnt work :(

So it seems my speedo might be broken. When i get some spare time i'll strip it down and see whats inside... Or i might just buy a new Trail Tech digital speedo.

Dead Bird Found In Tesco Salad

So after about a week of telling the guys in the office how bad Tesco's food was for lunch, and moaning that they always seems to want to go there, this news article popped up in the Metro newspaper today!

Some guy apparently found a Dead Bird in his Tesco salad!
Not only that, but if the photo is to be believed  he served the salad up on a plate with chips and started to eat it (taking two mouth fulls) before noticing the poor creature sat on his plate.

There are a couple of points wrong with this article. Firstly, what kind of crazy dieting book had this guy been reading to think that eating salad with chips was a good idea?? And secondly, how the hell did the guy not notice a dead bird falling out of the salad packet and onto his plate!!?? Did he think it was just a large, heavy chunk of lettuce?? did the feathers and a beak not give it away??

One thing is for sure, we wont be going to Tesco for lunch today :)

GSXR Has Gone Mouldy!

Yes thats right, my GSX-R 600 K7 has started to go mouldy!!
I was in the garage at the weekend looking over my new KTM300 and noticed that my Gixxer that i havent ridden for a while has started to grow mould on the front fairing.

It looks like whatever flying creature i last splatted across the fairing its taking its revenge by decaying and breading mould.

Sure sign that we need to get some good weather so that i can take the Gixxer out for a well deserved thrashing to blow away the cobwebs and clean off the mould!!

New UFO Biking Gear

Here's a quick photo of my new UFO enduro jacket and UFO helmet.

Both helmet and jacket in  KTM orage to match my new KTM300.

The helmet, jacket and googles all came from MD Racing and i got a great deal too - over 100quid off the list price for the helmet!

UFO Warrior Shock Helmet Rear
The helmet is the "UFO Warrior Shock" which carries the GOLD ACU approval sticker on the back, despite never showing the sticker in any official photos.

New KTM 300 exc

Today i took delivery of a 2006 model KTM 300 exc.
Considering its age, its not in bad condition. Im going to spend some time checking it over to make sure its as good as it looks, but so far, im very pleased with the new addition to my garage.

The reason for buying the KTM 300 is because im intending to start Greenlaning and Enduro riding. Never done any greenlaning or enduro riding before, the closest i've ever got was when i was a young lad racing around farmers fields on old Yamaha DT road bikes. Its going to be very different to riding my GSXR!

MacBook Pro Retina Fan Clicking

My relatively new Apple MacBook Pro Retina that i ordered on release date has started making a noise!

About every 5 seconds, its lets out this strange Chirping sound. Initially i thought it was some software trying to notify me of something, but on closer inspection in seems to be coming from the left hand cooling fan.

Thinking it might be a stuck fan (maybe its ingested some dog hairs or something) i tried blowing air into the cooling vents to remove the obstruction, but to no avail. The laptop still chirps every 5 minutes!

My guess is that the cooling fan has packed up, which is pretty poor for a brand new laptop costing the best part of £2000!

So i have no alternative but to take it to the Apple store and get it looked at. Having never been a fan (no pun intended) of Apples, this will be my first encounter with their "Genius" staff...  Lets hope its a good experience!!

Has anyone else experienced a chirping sound from their MacBook pro retina?? was there a happy outcome??

New Winter Tyres for the Audi A6

With all the crazy winter snow we're having, i decided to treat the Audi to some winter tyres.

The Pirelli P-Zeros that it had on the OEM 19inch Le-Mans alloy wheels, were useless in the snow and even with the 4WD Quattro, i was still left slipping and sliding and scrabbling for grip.

So here they are, a full set of 18inch "Hankook Winter I*Cept Evos" on a set of Diamond SC7 wheels.
I opted for these wheels as the 7 twin spoke design looks pretty similar to the OEM Audi wheels so many wont notice i've swapped to winter wheels.

Lots have people have said I'm crazy for spending a large chunk of money on a set of winter wheels and tyres, but over in Europe, its law in many countries to have winter tyres on the car  in winter and summer tyres in summer. Also, whats the point in having a 4x4 car in the snow with summer tyres?

 As you can see from the picture, the tread on the winter tyres is much chunkier and better designed for gripping on cold snowy roads.
What you cant see from the photo is that winter tyres have a higher silica content which means the rubber in the tyres stays pliable at much lower temperatures compared to summer tyres.
When summer tyres go had and lose grip, winter tyres stay soft proving more grip on cold wet roads.

In fact winter tyres are best whenever the temperature drops below 7degrees, which in the UK is quite a few months of the year!!

Sawed my Thumb Nail in Half!!

Yes thats right folks, i put a saw right through my left thumbnail!!
I was up in the loft, sawing some wood for my loft boarding project when the saw slipped and went right across my left thumbnail - outch!!!

Blood EVERYWHERE!! and my nail was cut in half and hanging off...

The photo was taken after i got the bleeding to stop and after i'd pushed the two halves of the nail back together...

I made a big, comedy bandage from cotton wool and insulation tape and went back up into the loft to get more work done.

Concrete Sectional Garage Condensation Problem

Last year I decided to replace my pair of old dilapidated concrete/asbestos pre-fab garages with one nice new double garage.

I looked into the cost of a brick built garage and got so many ridiculous quotes from greedy builders, that i decided a new sectional concrete garage was the best way to proceed. Not only was a concrete garage significantly cheaper than a brick garage, it was also a lot less mess. Also, as a proper brick built garage would take a few weeks to build, whereas the sectional concrete garage could be erected in a single day!

I eventually settled for a concrete garage from Leofric.  Leofric have been around for ages, and the sales guy was good and not pushy. Leofric also offered some really nice options like extra wide rear security door to fit my motorbike through, and Horman garage door on the front. All in all, im very pleased with my Leofric concrete garage!

The downside of all concrete sectional garages (not just Leofric garages) is condensation. I knew this when i placed my order, but decided that the money saved (compared to the cost of a brick built garage) could be spent on lining and insulating the concrete garage to prevent condensation and make it a nice place to be.

Condensation visible on garage roof panel
Condensation in garages forms when warm air meets a cold surface. The moisture in the air condensates onto the cold surface, and will eventually drip off onto whatever is below. In the bad old days of sectional concrete garages, this meant that in the winter, the warmer air inside the garage would condensate on the cold metal roof, and eventually drip down onto your car, tools, bikes etc - kind of like its raining inside!!

To help tackle the problem of indoor rain, Leofric, and most other pre-fab garage companies now coat the inside of the metal roof with an "Anti Drip" coating. This is basically just a layer of fury material glued to the underside of the roof that traps the condensation and prevents it dripping off. It doesn't prevent condensation, it simply traps the moisture resulting in a cold, wet roof.

Damp Wall panels from Condensation
In fact its not just the metal roofs of concrete garages that suffer from condensation, that walls can also get cold enough to allow condensation to form, and since there is no Anti-Drip coating on the walls, the moisture runs down the walls and forms puddles on the floor below - not great!
You can see in the picture to the right, the three inner panels look darker that the outer panels. the darker colour is due to condensation forming on the

So, since condensation only forms on cold surfaces, the only way to prevent condensation from forming, is to remove all of the cold surfaces! sounds simple right?? well, its more tricky than you might think...

Many people have tried just sticking loft insulation to the roof and walls of concrete garages and boarding over it. The problem with this approach is that if there is any gap between the cold surface and the insulation, warm air can get trapped, causing even more condensation! you then end up with soggy insulation, and a real soggy mess... Worst still is that many people board over the insulation, so they dont see the condensation.. the problem is hidden, but its not gone away. with time the boarding will get wet, and they will find themselves having to redo everything from scratch.

My solution to the problem of condensation on concrete garage roofs and walls is Spray Foam. By spraying expanding polyurethane foam directly onto the inside of the roof and walls, an insulation layer is formed, meaning that there will be no surfaces cold enough for condensation to form! I can then board over the walls and ceiling to hide the uneven foam surface.

The only downside of my plan is that spray foam is not cheap, its messy, and I'll have to wait for the weather to be warmer before I can apply it to my garage roof and walls.... hurry up summer!!!