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Anne-Marie Curran
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Anne-Marie Curran

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Caught a Snorlax in Invergowrie today. Rather amusingly it was "blocking" the path! 
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December has been unusually mild this year it seems, so last week on a day off from work I managed to get out for a good while on my bike. Lovely day for going around some country roads. Was rather muddy in places so gave it a good wash when I got back and reapplied AFC-50 to protect it.  Still in amazement at how good my new tyres feel compared to the stock ones. 
Also, finally got it over 1000 miles, yay!
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Thanks, it has been a lot of fun :-) 
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So today I done my first "major" modification to the bike.

For those who are unaware, the European MSX/Grom has "Amber Position Lights". These work like Daylight Running Lights (DRL) only they are amber, which the majority of people in the UK are not used to. We are used to white DRL and any amber light that is on is a show of indication to turn. This was causing much confusion on my daily commute and just general riding, especially on roundabouts. 
I decided that as I liked the stock indicators, and as I believe the extra lights do give the bike more presence on the road, I would like to modify them rather than simply buy new indicators. 


The white is possibly a little too bright, I may end up installing a dimmer switch to tone it down a little as I do not want to dazzle other road users. Although I cannot find an legislation to say what is classed as "too bright" :-/ 
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Had lovely little 55 mile ride out on my bike this morning. Until the rain came and was a little too heavy for my kevlar jeans to cope with so I headed home.  
Nearly time for it's first service so I'll need to get it booked in. However it looks like the weather is set to continue being horrible for the next week or so :-( 
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The weather put us off going out this weekend too, maintenance time :D
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Well, this is my wee beastie.. Currently not really doing any modifications to it as I am going to be sitting my full bike test first. Hopefully towards the end of the year or the beginning of next year.
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Lol that's probably the most common remark about it I get 😸
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So my #Nexus got #LollipopUpdate last night. I installed it and have been having a quick play around with it.

Overall, it looks nice. The buttons at the bottom remind me of a PlayStation controller and the settings menu and keyboard as went all slick and Apple-y.

I am quite liking the idea of the new sound priorities, I'll test it out during the day.

As for notifications on the lock screen. I am rather confused about them. You can show none, show all, or hide sensitive data.
None actually means none. Not even an icon up the top. So looking at your lock screen, you would have no idea if there was anything new.
Show all is not something I like. I don't want anyone who finds my phone to be reading emails etc.
Hide sensitive sounds like a great idea. Except it seems to hide everything, even twitter and G+ updates.
Personally I would like to choose what apps can appear on the lock screen. So say show all twitter and G+ updates but only show icons for Gmail and hangouts.

You can also change the volume from the lock screen. Which is a complete pain for me since I have a habit of accidentally pressing the volume button when it is in my pocket. Need to find a way to stop this.

Also from the lock screen you can turn WiFi and Bluetooth off, and turn on the flash light. I'm not sure about this either... I'd rather have to unlock my phone to do these things

What are other people thinking about the update?
Anyone know how to cure my issues with it yet? I'd rather not have to download apps to cure it. 
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Nigel Jones's profile photoStephen Masterson's profile photoColin Henderson's profile photoTom Inniss's profile photo
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I think they got a lot right with Lollipop but dropped the ball in a number of areas. The notifications on the lock screen is one. The volume settings is the other. This priority setting is a complete pain in the ass. I can either be disturbed by people who are starred whenever, or turn all notifications off, including alarms?! Who felt that was a good idea.
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Anne-Marie Curran

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My bike today, looking a little bit wet. 
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They are fantastic little bikes for around town. Especially if you have short legs :-) 
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Hello again, not updated this for a little while. I simply forgot. But I am making up for it by posting a really long post!

Last month I decided to do the 2nd/yearly service by myself, with help from my partner Rob of course!
The yearly service is just a general oil drain and check of various things. But I also wanted to do a few extras. So the to do list was - 1- Drain oil and remove side cover to inspect and clean the oil spinner and screen
2- Replace chain and sprockets. This was due to a bad experience trying out chain wax rather than lube. The outcome was a very stiff and kinked chain. A new set was barely £30 so I decided to buy better ones rather than try and rescue the stock chain.
3- Replace stock gear linkage.
4- Check air filter.

First off, oil change! After letting the bike idle for a few minutes to warm up the oil we removed the bolt. For the first time ever on this bike, the bolt appeared to be torqued correctly and we didn't need a mallet to help remove it! Once loose, the oil drained nicely and thankfully didn't have any metal in it. After it had stopped draining I started removing the bolts for the clutch side cover. Removing this is not actually required for a normal oil drain, but during the winter my bike suffers rather badly from oil emulsification and I wanted to properly clean out the mayo like substance. Annoyingly I forgot to take a picture of it.
The cover comes off pretty easily with a bit of wiggling to get around the rear sets. Once removed it reveals the clutch on the left and the oil spinner on the right, which the screen below it. The oil spinner also has a cover and gasket on it which I removed before taking the picture. Gave all this and the cover itself a good wipe to remove the gunky mayo oil.
I found this bit of servicing really interesting as I can visually see how everything fits and works together.
Once clean, we peeled and carefully scraped off the old gasket on the cover and replaced it with a new one. Refitted the cover and torquing up the bolts as required. Then carefully filled it with oil. the manual says it takes 900ml at an oil change, and 1100ml at disassembly. I put in 900ml and after checking it was sitting just below max so I've left it at that.

Next up was chain and sprocket change. This proved to be more time consuming than originally planned due to the fact the rear axle was a complete pest to remove! I also found I have a admiration for well crafted bits of metal. The new sprockets are oddly beautiful in my eyes.
First off, removed the old chain. I had bought a chain splitter for this, but it turns out it is relatively simple to pry off the master link with thin nosed pliers and a screw driver. The front sprocket has a plastic cover over it so removed the two bolts and wiggled it free. This was caked in grime and wax from the failed trail with WD40 chain wax. Left the cover soaking in some warm water while removing the sprocket. This is very simple. Put the bike in gear and the two screws came off with no problem. Cleaned the area around here, first with just water but I quickly learned that chain cleaner dissolves and cleans pretty much anything fast. So used that! Slipped the new sprocket on and after some fiddling around to get it seated correctly, tightened it up. Now to tackle the rear... Loosed the chain adjusters and removed the nut for the rear axle but due to some light corrosion/road salt the axle would not pull through.
After around 30min or carefully hitting it with a rubber mallet Rob eventually managed to free it however!
Now we could remove the sprocket from the rear wheel, which is simply 4 bolts. The new sprocket thankfully does not have a "lip" that runs between it and the swingarm, so cleaning this should be much easier than the old one. Before putting the rear wheel back on we sanded off the road salt and corrosion from the spacers and the axle then coated it in some grease. Hopefully the next time I need to remove it, it should be easier!
Now the wheel was back on we looped the fresh new chain around the sprockets and fasted it with the new master link. Sadly this one is not the shocking pink colour of the original ;-)
Now came the bit I absolutely hate about my bike. Adjusting the chain...
The chain adjusters on this bike are complete rubbish. After much tightening and loosening we eventually got it lined up straight and at the correct slack. Torqued up the axle and check again. Success, it stayed the correct slack and didn't move sideways!!

Now for the 3rd job. This came around as many riders struggle to get the bike into neutral, and it appears that the more wear the bike gets, the sloppier the gear changes become. This is all down to the cheap gear linkage set up it appears. The stock linkage is a split pin design. So two split pins hold a metal bar onto the gear lever and the rest of the gearing stuff.
The replacement does away with the spilt pins and uses rose joints instead. This should last a lot longer, and reduce the play in the linkage.
Swapping them over was straight forward, but removing the rear split pin was frustrating as the rubber boot had probably aided corrosion and it was pretty much welded in place!

To check the air filter you only really need to remove the front of the air box. This requires a stubby screwdriver due to the positioning of the screws. However even with a stubby driver, it is awkward and took much longer than normal to remove two simple screws. I also read up on the emulsification issue and many of the people who have done "the air box mod" report they get less of the mayo. The air box mod is where people remove the intake snorkel and a few other internals of the air box. Personally I don't want to mess around with it too much, but by default, the end of the intake snorkel is pointing to the rear of the bike, in a very enclosed space. This seemed rather odd to me so I decided to simply rotate the snorkel around so it was facing forward, and more in the path of cool air.
To do this however, meant removing the plastics. Finally I had a reason to do it! It is actually very simple, the whole side comes off in one piece. I did however lose the little plastic rivet, as when removing it, it sprang out over my shoulder, and I cannot find it. I'll pick some up next time I'm ordering bits for the bike.


Doing all of the above has been a great experience. I really feel like I know my bike much better now. The fresh, mayo-free, oil has returned the bike to its original smoothness, and it sounds quieter as well. The rose joint linkage is fantastic. Gear changes are much more positive and neutral is now where you expect to find it every time! I also finally got around to removing the stickers on the rear mud guard. Again, cleaner worked it's magic and dissolved all the sticky residue and you would never think there had been a sticker there now.
Chain cleaner is possibly my new favourite thing! I'll tackle the sticker on the swing arm next time I'm giving it a good wash.


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Brian Curran's profile photoAnne-Marie Curran's profile photo
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Thanks dad. :-) Not sure I'll trade my IT job in to be a mechanic just yet, but it is fun. 
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A little video to show my new indicators/DRL in action!
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Anne-Marie Curran's profile photoStephen Masterson's profile photo
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Fingers crossed :) In my experience, you'll always get the odd driver who won't see you regardless of what you do, anyway.
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My little bike was picked up yesterday to go in for its first service and a check over.
The guy who picked it up asked for the keys so he could use the engine to get it up the ramp and into the van. He then burst out laughing when he moved it and realised how light this wee bike actually is! Didn't need the engine at all to get it in the van.
As predicted, he was asking lots of questions about it. Don't think he had seen one before and was clearly quite amused and intrigued by it.
He was from a Suzuki garage, as the Honda garages van was away to Banff. As they are the same company they sent this van.

The bike will unfortunately be away untill next Wednesday. Already missing it, even though the weather is rather naff.
Seriously thinking of doing my full bike test before the end of the year so I can get rid of those L plates. The Velcro sticking the front on one is working better than expected, but the bike looks so much nicer without them!

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Just got one of these myself ace bike
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Graffiti banter and getting your way.  
A graffiti artist's year-long battle with a local council has been recorded in a brilliant photo series.
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It's always the little dogs that are trouble makers ;-)
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IT Technician
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"Wanting to be someone else it is a waste of the person you are"
Introduction
I like strong tea, gaming, opening things up to see how they work and people watching. 

Sailing and taking photos is also fun.

I tend not to pigeon hole things so I am open to all sort of music and films, although I can be squeamish at times so horror movies are not my favorite!  

I love going to gigs, be they  music, comedy or theater. 

Although I work in IT I genuinely have no preference  between Mac OSX and Windows. I like them both. And when the Raspberry Pi comes out I'll be using Linux regularly for the first time in years! 

In case you have not gathered this yet, I sit on the metaphorical fence quite a bit. Mostly because I like to know about everything :-) 


A few things that interest me. 
Rock n' Roll, Heavy Metal, Anime, Manga, Japan, Tim Minchin, Technology News, Photography, Science, Religion, Comedy, Old Stories, People, How technology is 'Evolving', Books (mostly fantasy), Things that are a little bit different...  
Basic Information
Gender
Female
Other names
Arwen