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2022 Matte Deep Blue Kymco AK 550
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Discussion Starter · #121 ·
Went shopping today. The local grocery store was posting daily deals some weeks ago so you had to go that day or miss the deal. I'm guessing shoppers complained since that meant burning gas to save $1 on one or two items. So they changed it to 4 day deals. But again, if you don't go the first day the deal is offered they run out of it real quick. These days of inflation and supply chain problems!
Anyway. Only wanted one item on the current deal list so I went for a little ride. Just a little ride. The store is 1.8 miles from my home. 14.6 mostly country miles later I turned into my driveway. 16.4 miles. Like I said... a little ride. Temps starting to be cooler. Was around 49*F on this ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #123 ·
May have something to do with the wear on the rear tire. Still think there's 1000 miles left on it. Well... maybe 500 miles... maybe.
 
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Discussion Starter · #124 ·
Left home just before the dawn. Was dark so I was a little concerned about forest rats being about. But within 10 minutes I was able to see easily a mile away. About 8 miles along the ride I was on a country road and my eye caught the white tail end of one of those forest rats bouncing into the trees up the hill to the right about 100 ft off the road. That was the only one I saw though I was on high alert the entire ride. Sun was risen by the time I arrived at the Wendys 17.4 miles after starting out. The temp stayed relatively constant the entire ride. The photo below is when I arrived at Wendy's and shows 20.2 F. That aquarium temp device can handle from -58F to +158 and the thermal probe end is made for immersion in water so perfect for this purpose. I keep it in the clear pouch on top of the right Kemimoto bar muff with the probe sticking out to the side to be in the breeze. The total ride was 22.4 miles. Only the drive up window was open for my Veterans Day meal so I rode up to the window and the clerk looked at me in wonderment for a moment. I was the only one there so I set the AK on the side stand and dropped my free meal in the storage box under the seat. I had the heated grips set to the lowest setting and my hands were HOT! Almost TOO hot. And the next 2 settings are noticeably hotter so I keep it on low until the temps drop to below zero F. Then I'll see if I need to set the grip heat to medium.
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Discussion Starter · #126 ·
Just getting cool.
The storage box does the same as the Burgman 650. I never really noticed that it stayed all that warm. Maybe the 400 storage box stays warmer since the engine is more under it than on the 650 and the AK. Both of those have the engine in the frame under the step over hump so that's where it stays warmer than in the box. The 400 has the engine on the swing arm so it's under the front of the storage box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #127 ·
Rode another 19 miles for my Veterans Day lunch. Temp was only around 26-27 F for that ride. Part of it I left the heated grips turned off even.
 

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Discussion Starter · #128 · (Edited)
Planning to replace the rear tire today. Warmest day of the week. Expecting the high to be around 55 F from 1 pm to 3 pm. I set the new rear tire in sun inside the house earlier this morning, in front of the south facing deck slider, to warm up the bead and hope to get out to do the deed after lunch. Just flipped the tire over since one side feels warmed up now.

I also spent a little time this morning reviewing the service manual section (in my first post of this thread) on the R&R of the rear wheel. Some of the pictures and instructions seem to be more than what would be needed just to remove and replace the wheel for a tire swap but I'll figure that out as I go. Example: the photos show the front driving belt sprocket is removed. I highly doubt that needs to be done. I hope to avoid totally removing the drive/timing belt from the bike but just get it off the rear driven belt sprocket. Other than that the rest of the task looks to be very similar to my Burgman 650 for R&R of the rear wheel. Only the rear brake caliper mounting bolts and the axle have torque values to pay attention to, and possibly the rear shock IF I really do need to remove that (one of the items that may not need to be removed).
 

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Discussion Starter · #129 ·
The wheel was easy to remove. Didn't need to touch the rear shock. Checked the final drive/timing belt (Kymco calls it a timing belt) and that's good. I'm taking some pictures along the way so will write a document for this procedure. That 160/60 R15 Metzeler Feel Free tire is a BEAR to get OFF the rim and then to get the new one ON the rim. Glad I ordered the extra long spoons. One of the rim protectors was pushed into the tire just as I was getting the last bead over the rim edge and then the cord on the rim protector broke on me. Dinged the paint on that part of the rim as a result. Had to pull the bead off the rim half way around on one side to get it out and then the hassle of getting the tire back over the rim again. Only dragged out a half dozen individual Dyna Beads when getting it out. Won't affect the needed weight of Dyna Beads. Then seating the bead was a real challenge. Had to put a ratchet strap very tightly around the tire to finally get it to seat. Took a very long time for all that. Had to bump the psi to around 80 just to finally seat the bead in place. But it did finally pop in. A REAL STIFF BEAD even though I had it sitting in direct sun all day until I was ready to mount it. Will have to finish getting the wheel back on the bike tomorrow since I am beat. That's hard work for an old guy.
 
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I changed my last Car tire on my Burgman 650 at 65 years old and it kicked my butt. Looks like it will last till I'm 68 or 69 (1+ year).
 

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Discussion Starter · #131 ·
I changed my last Car tire on my Burgman 650 at 65 years old and it kicked my butt. Looks like it will last till I'm 68 or 69 (1+ year).
Better start working out! 💪
 
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I changed my last Car tire on my Burgman 650 at 65 years old and it kicked my butt. Looks like it will last till I'm 68 or 69 (1+ year).
We graduated from different high schools together. I vowed it would be my absolute last time removing and changing tires on my bike... 4, maybe 5 sets ago.
Old age, 30% discounts at my favorite vendor, and a forgetful mind have a calming effect every time the chore rolls around.... Oh, and "free shipping" :whistle:
 

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Discussion Starter · #133 ·
Today I went out for a Thanksgiving Day ride for the very first time since I've been riding. Due to family scheduling we are celebrating with the turkey dinner on Saturday. My son and his family are celebrating that today by having his in laws over at his place.

Just finished replacing the rear tire on my AK so I needed to take it out anyway to check out if the balance beads are good and if I aligned the belt right, etc. First time for replacing the rubber myself. First time for using balance beads. First time for owning a bike with belt drive and adjusting the belt/sprocket alignment. I discovered that the TPMS may be off a little more than I thought. After getting the tire bead set using up to 80 psi I adjusted the pressure back to 42 psi using a tire gauge. Then I mounted the tire on the bike and checked the pressure using the TPMS and found it was reading only 38.5 psi. So I double checked with the pencil gauge which was still showing 42 psi. I checked with a second pencil gauge with the same result. I know that pencil gauges are not really all that accurate but didn't think two of them would be off almost 4 psi. So I set the TPMS indicated pressure to 39.5 psi instead of the usual 40.5 psi. Not much change but closer. The manual calls for about 38 psi anyway and the tire sidewall says 42 psi max. I always like to go a little higher than what the manual says as long as I don't go over the tire max. I set the front tire to 37.5 psi. All of these pressures are +/- .5 psi so the readings will vary. It is very hard to get closer than +/- .3 psi with this TPMS. Close to those numbers is close enough given the accuracy of the gauges.

I rode slower roads at first just to get a feel for the new rubber. Then I increased the speed a little at a time choosing roads that were progressively faster. Near the end I finally jumped on the Interstate for a fast run at just over 65 mph. All is well. The tire ran very smoothly. I ended up with a total of about 35 miles. Temp during this ride was around 47 F. The handlebar muffs were left on (I was too lazy to remove them) and my hands were a little more than warm as a result.

When I returned home I immediately felt the hub and axle of the rear wheel just to be sure it wasn't heating up and it actually felt cool to the touch. I think I got it right. I also checked where the drive/timing belt was running on the rear sprocket. Originally, from the factory, the belt was riding close to the outer edge of the sprocket. But still 1-1.5 mm from the edge. The spec is a minimum of 1 mm. After the ride I found the belt was about 2-2.5 mm from the inner edge of the sprocket, or just inside of center. I wanted it centered. So I did some more adjusting and got it to ride in the center of the sprocket. This was done by adjusting a little and then running the bike on the center stand for a while at around 4000 rpm. Then checking and adjusting again and running again. Will see if this stays put under power on the road.
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Non-Burgman?
Vespa 150S: short errand, light shopping. It's overdue replacment of its belt and rear tire, so I've been keeping it close to home until the shop gets done with my Burg200 so I can swap the Vespa in for the mini-maxiscoot. (The B200 is in for the rear tire and basically the entire transmission -- belt, rollers, variator pulleys -- and a nagging slow leak from the water pump that's proving to be more elusive than expected.)
Husky Svartpilen 401: (Not today, but most days) Twice-daily post-office runs for my wife's hobby business. Alternates with the 650 Burg that I'm trying to keep miles off of, to save its 50K+-mile transmission for one last big cross-country trip before I have to make the difficult decision about it. The route to the post office is actually kind of scenic, and the post office itself is a massive Art Deco monument. (Also local take-out food runs and miscellaneous errands.)
 

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topped off piglet and traktor fuel tanks and dosed with stabil for winter semi-hibernation. plan to switch the battery tender between them every week or 2 for the next 2.5-3 months (don't want to purchase a dual charger/tender at this time). deferring maintenance until spring...breaking tupperware tabs is too easy when sustained temps are below 60F.
 

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Discussion Starter · #136 ·
Needed gas in the AK so went out this morning to fill the tank. Temps during my rides for the last tank of gas were generally below 55 F and often below 40 F with a few rides below 30 F as noted in prior posts above. This tank calculated out to 50.9 mpg. I am expecting the cold weather riding to result in between 45 F and 50 F. Gas station is only 1.4 miles away so a round trip would be normally 2.8 miles. Somehow I managed to get in 12.1 miles anyway. Today we are celebrating Thanksgiving with family so I needed to get back home to assist with the dinner and other preparations or I might have gone two or three times farther. Temps during this ride hovered around 31-34 F. I did turn on the grip heat for only the last half of the ride since the handlebar muffs were enough until then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #137 ·
Expecting a bit of snow tomorrow so decided to get a ride in before that. Left home with temps at 52 F and the temp dropped to 47 F along the way. Meandered around country roads that were still open (construction still going on) but still couldn't escape all construction so had to go through a section of road with a single lane controlled by a flagman. Explored one or two new roads (always interesting). Rode just over 56 miles. Using the handlebar muffs without grip heat and still plenty warm. Second picture I am just coming out of the first curve and the third curve is just to the left of the tree line at the bottom of the valley. There were 2 more curves just after those.
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Discussion Starter · #140 ·
hitting all the curves in ia one last time before winter sets in...priceless (y)
That's the real Iowa when you get away from the Interstate super slabs. There really are curves and gentle hills. Even more on the east or west borders of the state.

You like/recommend the muffs? I'd only need them a couple times a year, but look like they would work well, especially with heated grips.
I really do like and recommend the muffs. A few weeks ago I rode when the temp was about 20 F and my hands were very toasty in the muffs and the heated grips set to the lowest setting.
 
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