March 29, 2007

Let there be seals!

Yes, David Silver Spares definitely rocks the scissors!
I have contacted them for the engine valve seals that I need and here's how much its gonna cost me:

Thank you for your e-mail.

Valve seals - in stock @ 4.20 GBP each (x 4).
Postage - 2.00 GBP.
Total = 18.80 GBP.
Delivery to Armenia 1-2 weeks.
18.80 pounds is slightly less than 15,000 drams and hey 4 bucks for a UK-Armenia shipping is quite outstanding!

March 25, 2007

New seals

It looks like very soon I'm going to finally buy the valve seals that I need!
The hardest thing now is to find a shop that will have them. David Silver Spares is a last resort due to its expensive UK prices, in the meantime I should look into the russian stock resellers.
And of course, as a matter of habit, once I have the seals, I'll post a Honda Rebel Valve Seal Replacement Guide :)

March 19, 2007

Office days

Blogster is passive recently.

And that's because I have moved to a brand-new office!

So I guess I'll suspend posting for a short while until I get settled and get the first salary. Cheers and good luck to me!

March 8, 2007

La Primavera!

The spring has come!

This year it was just like a cartoon or a fairy-tale: February 28 was still a conventional winter. March 1: conventional early spring! Now early March is not exactly the opening of the season, too many showers, but it totally smells like motorcycling everywhere! And hey, it's about time to start doing some preparations! I need to start the drive chain replacement process as well as start looking for the valve seals that I need for the engine. Besides today is a club meeting day, so I'm gonna meet some buddies and discuss some season opening! Hey, Season'07 is going to be fantastic, I smell it!

March 4, 2007

Armenia: Paradise for Motorcycling. Part II

Welcome to the second in the series entitled 'Armenia: Paradise for Motorcycling'. So we're going to cover in detail the pros that were listed in the previous part, to hopefully get some clarification as to what they really mean. If you missed it, the first part is here. You can also check out all articles in the series by clicking here. Part II: Takeoff!

Long Season
Is there a point in trying to explain how important it is for a motorcyclist to ride long? Armenia is no California, Sydney or Florida, but it is certainly no Russia or England! Moreover, a three-fourth season is much better than a 12-month one, for various reasons. First off, every winter you take a break of mind. Don’t underestimate it. You revaluate, analyze and review your innards, and every winter you either decide once again to ride in the upcoming season or decide that you’re not going to do it, at least for a year. These breaks are very useful and not having them can be damaging. I love to say that winter is the time to think. Next, mandatory breaks are good technically, because during winter you don’t get to do anything with your motorcycle except fixing it! So each season you start with a fresh and reliable vehicle. Put aside this, you get 9 months of riding, which I think is the longest possible riding year in any country that has winters with snow!

Wonderful Scenery
I’m sure you thought you knew this. But I assure you – motorcycling will reinvent Armenia’s scenery for you! The level of adrenaline that rises in your organism during controlling a two-wheeled vehicle with no doors, no cage, no airbags and no other artificial ‘extra’ non-mandatory things will make everything much brighter in your eyes! Armenia’s scenic wonders make every second of the ride enjoyable and unforgettable, sometimes it is so stunningly beautiful that you can’t take it anymore, so you stop to breathe some air and calm down. This pro is a point that alone beats all the cons, and whoever felt it knows exactly what I mean!

Police Attitude
In Armenia there are no motorcycle riding regulation rules that the traffic officers are aware of. If they stop you, they don’t even know – should they fine you because you don’t have a front license plate or not? I’d say that 90% of all motorcyclists in Armenia don’t even have an A-class driving license, their motorcycles do not have any license plates at all, and they are not aware of anything called ‘Annual technical inspection of a vehicle’. With all this, traffic officers prefer to not notice motorcyclists on the road at all. Unless you do something extraordinarily wrong, like crossing the crossroad under a red traffic light in front of a traffic police car driven at the moment by traffic police ‘big men’, you won’t be ever bothered, and will live in a reality with no police. If you’re a car driver, you can imagine how cool it would feel.

This is a good factor! Fuel in Armenia is quite affordable. And with motorcycles spending much less fuel than their 4-wheeled relatives, riding in Armenia becomes very, very accessible for the overwhelming majority of us, the regular fellows who can’t afford to keep a Hummer. Sure you can get a motorcycle that spends as much fuel as an average 5-class BMW. But with that motorcycle you’ll get perhaps 3 or 4 times more performance, speeding around 350 kilometers per hour and reaching 100km/h in about 3 seconds. No 5-class BMW will then even have the time to see what color your bike is, if you squeeze the throttle!

Good Roads
I know that many people disagree over this. I even know that many people have many examples of places with terrible roads in Armenia. But I think that these people are exaggerating the reality and the examples that they come up with hardly cover 1 percent of the total Armenian roadspan. Now I’m not one to claim that Armenian roads are good enough for Formula 1. They are not good enough even for any average sportbike, and I wouldn’t recommend anyone in Armenia to buy a sportbike if he wants to ride somewhere aside the Yerevan-Sevan road. However Armenian roads are absolutely fine for any cruiser and you don’t need to own an enduro in order to enjoy motorcycling in Armenia to its best. In fact with a cruiser you won’t ever feel inconfident as long as you stay on-road. All in all, I’d never replace my cruiser with any offroad motorcycle, and I didn’t ever feel the need to. Roads are quite good both in Armenia and especially Karabakh, and if you disagree with me, you’re no better than a yet-another-huge-ass-jeep-owner!

Last but not least, girls in Armenia love motorcycles. Of course, if you’re getting a motorcycle to make girls, you’re a dick and a dumbass, will have a short biking life, crash soon and damage yourself. Don’t buy a bike if you buy it to impress the others, you’ll get tired and disappointed of it very soon. But for the rest of us, hey, there’s some extra nights! *laugh*

March 3, 2007

Armenia: Paradise for Motorcycling. Part I

To any local, this kind of title will most likely sound insane or sarcastic at first. But I want to make it clear before getting started: the title is serious.

Armenia is a wonderful country for motorcycling. Of course, perhaps like all other countries in the world, it has its pros and cons. But I think that pros in Armenia far outweigh the cons. Also, I’ll try to come up with ways to eliminate some of the cons. This will be a thorough analyze of Armenia as a country for motorcycling, and in 4 series will conclude the subject. It will later be continued with standalone posts containing thoughts or incidents that make further difference in the subject.

So since this is the first article in the series, I’ll come up with the list of all the points that matter, to be discussed in detail in later articles.

  • Long season, season opens at early March and rides to late November, that is almost 9 months of riding, which is three quarters of the year!
  • Wonderful scenery. Despite being currently small, Armenia does have really diverse scenery, and if you also easily join Karabakh, the diversity becomes eye-popping!
  • Police attitude. Police in Armenia simply does not notice single motorcyclists, to their own advantage.
  • Fuel. Despite the efforts, vast majority of motorcycles in the world run on petrol. Petrol in Armenia is quite affordable. And motorcycles spend much less than any other vehicle!
  • Good roads. 1993 is long gone and all major roads of Armenia are in an excellent shape.
  • Girls love motorcycles, even in Armenia.

  • Lack of culture among people, this is a broad and important subject and will be covered in a great detail below.
  • Traffic police corruption, which results in a great amount of irresponsible drivers with lack of basic driving education and ethics as well as unpleasant clashes with traffic officers.
  • Lack of maintenance services and parts for non-USSR motorcycle model owners.
  • Lack of quality petrol for complex engines which equip the majority of non-USSR bikes.