Archive for June, 2011

I learned a very valuable lesson the other day when I rolled Phee out of the garage – the value of a trickle charger.  I will admit, I have been a bit lazy.  My battery was very weak last year, and even with a charge it never seemed to recover.  Fast forward 48 hours, the battery has been replaced, and I’m itching to ride… needless to say waking up to dark gloomy skies wasn’t too promising.  And here I am on the couch thinking about a product I purchased at the store on Wednesday – Blue Away.

When I was picking up my battery, I asked the guy in the parts department what product he knew of that could get rid of pipe bluing.  Immediately he pulled the Blue Away out of the glass counter. “Personally, I haven’t used it, but everyone swears by it,” he said. I picked his brain a little further and decided I’d give it a go.  Of course, then I looked at the price.  $17.50 for a 2.5 oz bottle… although I thought about it for a brief moment, and joked about not showing my wife the receipt, I left the store with the Blue Away with hopes it would do the trick.

As visible in the picture below, the bluing of my pipes isn’t too severe, but if the product works, it will be well worth the money. [Note: it is not an easy task to photograph chrome in the daylight]

(Blued pipes before)

During a break in the rain, I pulled the bike out of the garage, cleaned up the pipes a bit to remove any dirt/grime that happened to accumulate on my last ride, crossed my fingers, and got to work on the bluing.

Armed with two soft rags I opened the bottle, put about a blot the size of a dime on the rag, and began rubbing it into the pipes in circular fashion as one would a normal polish (any directions on the bottle are covered by the store’s label so I followed the directions I found on the internet) and then buffed it out with my second rag.

The first buff produced negligible results at best, but I wasn’t prepared to call it quits.  A second and third application yielded much better results.  The problem area on the pipes has, for the most part, disappeared; there still remains a small area of bluing that was very difficult to remove.

Not visible in any photo were a few passenger boot marks on the pipes and two winged-creatures that met a painfully warm demise when they  flew into my pipes.  I have not been able to remove them with any traditional polish.  The Blue Away removed both boots and bugs  with very little effort – even less effort than it took to remove the bluing.

Although the results are primarily positive, the Blue Away did cause minor swirling on my pipes.  I have tried to buff out the swirls, but to no avail.  My rags were soft polishing rags, they were clean, and there was no dirt or grime on the bike when I started using the Blue Away.  A quick Google search shows I’m not alone. While I don’t like the swirls, they are not too much of an eye-sore, and they are covered by my passenger floor boards 90% of the time.

(Blued pipes after)

Blue Away works, but it is not the magic elixir it is hyped to be. Perhaps my mind will change if I choose to apply it again in a few days and see if it removes any more of the bluing. But please, I urge you to proceed with caution as to not cause further damage to your chrome… or your bank account.

Ride hard, ride safe, and enjoy every mile.

By Way of Introduction

Posted: June 14, 2011 in General Musings, Photos

I present to you my iron horse of choice.  She is a 2006 Yamaha Road Star 1700 named Phoebe. For a while I wanted what I called a beefy cruiser.  A bike that would have no problem carting around my not so small frame.  As you can imagine, Beefy wasn’t much of a woman’s name so I transposed the B and F to get Phoebe. I bought her last summer as a replacement to my 2002 Yamaha V-Star 650 Classic (Betty – a naming story for another day).  As you can tell from the two pictures, they are very similar. I am currently outfitting Phoebe for longer travels.  She already has a windscreen, and her hard color matched saddlebags are on order (pics will follow). Before you know it I will be ready to cruise for BBQ in North Carolina. And then BBQ in Kansas City. And then BBQ in Texas.  And while I’m traveling west, I may as well take in some baseball and see some family. Ah, the spoiler for future blog posts.

Phoebe (the new)

Betty (the old)

Enjoy Every Mile

Posted: June 14, 2011 in General Musings

After a year of talking about it, I have finally done it… if you’re a family or friend, or maybe met me on the road, this is the place where you can follow me.  I’m no wise sage that ponders deep philosophical thoughts on a nightly basis – and some of that may even be untrue – but there are things I know, and there are things I know really well.  I love to travel and I love to eat. And if you recognize the title of my blog, then you already know I was a big fan of the X-Files.

Although this blog will be primarily dedicated to my two wheeled travels, there may be the occasional restaurant review, or music review, or movie review, or… as long as I rode to it, with it, or because of it, it’s fair game for my musings.

Ride hard, ride safe, and as my uncle says, enjoy every mile!