Finally, my installation of two very basic yet important motorcycle accessories has come to completion. As you may remember from Part I and Part II, I have been working on installing a USB charger and grip heaters to my 2006 Yamaha FZ1.
This latest delay was caused by difficulties in acquiring an air compressor in order to remove my existing grips. I had attempted to purchase a certain Bostitch brand pancake compressor from CPO Bostitch via Amazon two separate times and both times CPO Bostitch could not “get the order into [their] system.”
Here are some photos of the finished product. You can see the USB charger in the first two and the wires (lowest) from the grip heaters in the last two.
This past labor day weekend I spent Friday through Sunday on the back of a 2008 Yamaha FZ1 riding through some of the best motorcycle country in the nation. It was incredible. The trip was practically perfect. The weather was perfect, several of the roads were perfect (all of the roads were good or better), the bike was also nearly perfect.
My step-dad, Greg, and I rode three days, each day had roughly 170 miles of beautiful CalTrans maintained roads. Friday was filled with three shorter local rides. The first of which was 47 miles long. I just started getting used to the FZ1 toward the end of the ride. The brakes are great and the acceleration really kicks in at around 7500 rpm.
For this ride we brought out Greg’s GoPro video camera which resulted in the following videos. This camera is fun though it straightens out all curves and it also makes it seem as though we are traveling very fast during the slow sections.
The next day we went on a 178 mile ride through Auburn to Eldorado National Forest. The most amazing part of this ride was the eastern 20 miles or so of Wellfleet Springs Rd. This road is motorcycle heaven. High speed, high visibility, high quality twisting asphalt. Early in the day’s ride, I switched to the 2009 BMW F800GS and enjoyed the extra leg room, but found that the seating position made my lower back stiffen up within minutes. It also handled a bit funny compared to the FZ1. After 20-30 minutes I switched back to the FZ1 and within about 10 minutes my back was restored.
A few weeks ago my friend Brook sent me a link about the war between sound quality and compression.
I thought this was really interesting and I shared with a few people. This morning I signed into Rhapsody and there was a rave review about a new(ish) R&B singer, Rihanna. I decided to give her a try. It sounds like her album is produced by Jay-Z, because he is on the first track and also some of the drum tracks and production sound like Jay-Z’s other projects.
Anyway, to get to the point, I was listening and found that the sound, not the song, was very boring and uneventful. I then thought of the following video which Brook sent me. The short of it is that with compression all articulation and dynamic is covered over or removed from a track. I am listening to her album right now and it is putting my to sleep because there is no definition and no dynamic change.
Some of this is due to the nature of Rhapsody, but when I put on Vocal Sampling right after this Rihanna girl, the clarity is like stepping into the spotlight from the shadows. It makes the Rihanna album sound like it was recorded in Mono. Ahhhh, the joys of stereo recording, where have you gone in recent years?
This makes me think of some of the early stereo albums, by the Beatles or Cream or the like, the drums would be almost completely in one channel and the guitar all the way in the other. This was the record industry stretching its new found stereo wings. Now there is a counter-movement back towards the mono. I don’t think this is the record companies’ intent, but in the attempt to be more and more radio and instant gratification friendly the sound of many new mainstream records are so undynamic as to put my ear receptors into a state of uncaring numbness.
We need to come up with a name for the ruling record companies like Big Oil is for the large oil companies that run our government and economy. Maybe, Big Audio. Big…….. I don’t know. It needs to be something that oozes anti-establishment.