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The year of 2011 - Motorcycling and our family

Trips in 2011 - An intruder (Sundown STX Motard) within the Japanese Bikes

When clicking at each photo, you will be able to open a bigger picture in another window.  All photos have additional text, to read it place your mouse over them.

I have a friend, a very experienced motorcyclist as well as I consider myself, that is a person capable of reuniting around him other people that share with him the passion for motorcycling.  His name is Mauro Gomes.

Beginning our trip to Foz do Iguassu: early morning of the 6th of July, 2011 - BR-153 near Goiatuba - GO.

Beginning our trip to Foz do Iguassu: early morning of the 6th of July, 2011 - BR-153 near Goiatuba - GO.

He considers motorcycling as a serious and rewarding activity, and he does the most to take every opportunity to travel with his Suzuki Savage 650cc.  I made a point of joining him during the trips he organizes, provided I have a chance to do so, despite the fact that most of the time I make my trips alone or with my wife Theresa as a pillion passenger.

Five friends and one destiny: Foz do Iguassu - PR.
Portico at the entrance of the town of Corbelia - PR.

Five friends and one destiny: Foz do Iguassu - PR.                        Portico at the entrance of the town of Corbelia - PR.


For some time Mauro had been talking about a trip to Foz do Iguassu - PR, where the wonderful waterfalls are.  The Iguassu waterfalls are a Unesco's World Natural Heritage site ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iguazu_Falls ), and draw visitors from all over the world.

Early morning of the 8th of July, 2011. Image of an island at Parana river, taken when we were crossing the Amizade bridge.  Countries border between Brazil and Paraguay.

Early morning of the 8th of July, 2011. Image of an island at Parana river, taken when we were crossing the Amizade bridge.  Countries border between Brazil and Paraguay.


I became interested in joining the group intending to do this trip since the very beginning. By the same token I was conscious that I would have a challenge to face: to make my Sundown STX Motard 200cc perform accordingly to big machines such as: Mauro's Suzuki Savage 650cc, Rossini's Honda Magna V4 750cci, Lázaro's Suzuki Intruder 1.400cc and Paulo's Kawasaki Vulcan 1.500cc.

The power of Nature is a mighty presence at the Iguassu Falls.  A World Natural Heritage site.
Water wall - to be seen and appreciated with no hurry.

The power of Nature is a mighty presence at the Iguassu Falls.  A World Natural Heritage site.                                       Water wall - to be seen and appreciated with no hurry.

Fortunately things went very well, and the average speed we maintained was compatible with that I normally keep during my solo trips (normally ranging within the 80 - 115 km/h bracket).


Sundown STX Motard 200cc and Suzuki Intruder 1.400cc by the roadside at Santa Fe - PR.

Sundown STX Motard 200cc and Suzuki Intruder 1.400cc by the roadside at Santa Fe - PR.

This really was a memorable trip!

Many additional photos of this trip are available at:

https://onedrive.live.com/?id=F4596AEAEF09CF68%212296&cid=F4596AEAEF09CF68&group=0


Santa Fe - PR.  The photography city. Paulo's head perfectely focused at the monument camera lens (by chance).
Rossini's Honda Magna, my Sundown STX Motard and Paulo's Kawasaki Vulcan.

Santa Fe - PR.  The photography city. Paulo's head perfectely focused at the monument camera lens (by chance).           Rossini's Honda Magna, my Sundown STX Motard and Paulo's Kawasaki Vulcan.        

After my return to Goiânia - GO where all we are based, I had my bike serviced (engine oil change and chaindrive replaced, as I perceived that the chaindrive was nearly splitting).  I put a chaindrive of a better quality this time, I kept the front and rear sprocket as they were still in very good condition.
 
I had to have my bike's speedometer redone, as the internal mechanism was completely destroyed due to a malfunction.  I could have disconnected the cable in order to preserve the internal mechanism intact, but instead I kept the same working and all the parts were smashed.

It is worth mentioning that my bike's performance - with the 14 teeth front sprocket - improved substantially, provided I use the fourth and fifth gears accordingly.  Let me explain better this situation: if I intend to remain at the 110 -115 km/h bracket I will have to revv the engine towards the 8.000 rpm in fourth gear (1.000 rpm before entering the tachometer red zone that begins at 9.000 rpm) and putting the fifth gear to work.  However, if there is frontal winds or even an uphill stretch of road I will have to return to fourth gear and try to hold the engine around 8.000 rpm.

In exceptional conditions (without frontal winds and in an levelled stretch of road) it is possible to take the most from the engine using fifth gear and travelling with the engine revving at the 7.000 - 8.000 rpm bracket, thus keeping a speed around the 115 km/h mark.  This situation (the need of using constantly the fourth gear) is caused by a simple fact that is of fundamental importance: the Sundown STX Motard engine has a small output (around 16.2 hp).

In spite of that I have been travelling with it because I like to face challenges with small motorcycles, simply for the sake of it.


After returning to Goiânia - GO I did a basic maintenance and cleaning job in my bike.  I perceived that the battery wasn't charged enough to start the engine, and then I decided to charge it through a low-current charging.  I did it twice and didn't have the expected output, so I decided to buy another battery for my motorcycle.

This time I bought an
Heliar battery instead of buying again a Yuasa, like that I bought in the 7th of February, 2009.  The battery I bought has the AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) technology.  It cost me R$ 130,00 and its specification is HTZ7L.

The general performance of my bike, principally concerning the electrical system, didn´t improve at all after the battery change.  Thus I had to adopt new measures: I changed the rectifier and I sent the stator for a general refurbishment of the coils.  The general cost of both services totalled R$ 287,00.  Now I perceive that the general functioning of my Sundown STX Motard is back to normal.

The electric starter puts the engine to run at the first try, even when it is cold (first start of the day).  And my bike's electrics general functioning improved substantially.

Tracing a basic comparison between bikes of Japanese origin with those of Chinese origin we can make a clear affirmation that the former have stronger and better built electrical systems than the latter.

On the 22nd of August, 2011 I perceived that the speedometer began to play up and finally stopped.  I returned to the workshop where I had it redone, and we found out that the internal cable was broken.  After trying to find a similar cable among dozens of them, we figured out that the cable to fit the Honda Titan KS, 2009 was similar in length and at the end finishings.  In this way we changed only the internal steel cable, and kept the original external plastic hosing.

On the 15
th of September, 2011 by 22:30 hs when I was heading home returning from the weekly meeting of motorcyclists at Paranaiba Avenue (in Goiania - GO - downtown), my bike had a general electric failure.  My friend Mauro Gomes that was riding alongside with me in his Yamaha XTZ 250X pointed out that the problem should be related to a main fuse burn out, and I agree with that.  But instead of trying to fix the bike by the street kerb at night I decided to push it home, and so I did.

On the following day I thought about the rectifier recently changed, and my guess was confirmed by the mechanic who did the service.  He suggested to me to put on a Honda CB 400 rectifier, due to its sturdiness and trustability.  As he had an used part in his workshop we fixed it on my bike.  And after replacing the burn out fuse for a new one everything came to normal regarding my bike's electrical system.

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