Funny, not haha.

I got a really shitty cold, back in March, since then I’ve lost a lot of my taste.

I used to love cream, now it is meh. I can sort of taste it, but mostly meh. I warned Wendy off a cream cake the other day saying it tasted like cardboard. She ate one anyway, said it was gorgeous. One of Marks and Sparks special range, apparently.

I had a hankering for chips. We’ve not had a chip pan for at least 10 years. I bought a deep fat fryer with a lid and a filter to keep the smell down. My Swedish chum put me on to a top tip, pre-boil the chips. 5-6 minutes pre-boil, drain well, straight into hot oil. I reckon I’m at the peak of my chip game, they are fluffy on the inside, crisp on the outside, perfect. And tasteless. I bought proper salt (as opposed to the grind-it-yourself sea salt rocks) and proper chip vinegar, not the tons of fancy white wine vinegar and such we have in the cupboard. About all I can taste is the butter on the bread.

Butter and chocolate are about the only things I can still properly taste and enjoy. Which is just super for a lardarse.

But now it’s going from irritating absence of taste to false tastes. I had to throw the egg component of the classic British delicacy, chips and egg, away. It tasted of garlic. I know there’s no garlic in the pan, the oil or the egg, but bugger me I can taste it.

And now my sense of smell is getting in on the act. Our washing powder, which we’ve used for years, is starting to be repulsive to me. And my leather jacket. I washed it and conditioned it with leather conditioner. A honey and jojoba thing that makes the leather supple and waterproof. It’s a proper product, as recommended by a proper biker site.

But for the past few weeks I’ve noticed a disgusting smell that has just been getting worse. There isn’t one. I’ve asked Wendy and Lisa to smell it and they say it smells of leather and vaguely of  patchouli oil (I tried to mask the smell but the oil has lost it’s potency). There is no disgusting smell. But when I put it on I’m nearly heaving.

I already had some specialist leather cleaner so I’ve given it all a couple of coats today and I think I’ve got rid of some of the stench. I’ve ordered a conditioner made from other stuff. And some new, very stinky, patchouli oil.

If I can’t sort it I may have to mothball my leathers and buy a new coat. It’s making me gag.

My only consolation is no-one else can smell it. If I thought everyone else was smelling it I’d have binned it already.

Another bloody annoying thing, I think I’m starting to get tinnitus. I use silicon ear plugs at night to get to sleep now I’m off the sleeping tablets. I noticed when I put one in, on top of the usual whine there was an undulating noise. At first I thought it was something from next door, but once again it’s (literally) in my head.

So I googled “quietest helmets”. It’s not the engine or exhaust noise, it’s the wind noise at speed.

Anyway, they had a top 5, all of which were ridiculously expensive. The “Basic” model of one was ‘only’ £270.

Two Hundred and Seventy of her majesties pounds, sterling. About 50 Euros, after Brexit.

I wasn’t happy about it, to say the least, but tinnitus is for life. I bit the bullet and bought the bloody thing. It’s no quieter than my last helmet. *sobs*

It’s all singing and all dancing, great helmet, but no quieter. I googled again. You need to buy an additional velcroed flap that fits under your chin to stop the wind whistling in. From Germany. Another £30. For a piece of cloth with velcro around the edge. Maybe a little quieter. Maybe. I noticed the helmet had an always open vent thing that blows air up the inside of the visor, to de-mist it. Which is going to be bloody nippy in winter. First wet and cool day my visor steamed up!  I had to buy the anti-mist inert. another £27.

So not a happy bunny.

Oh, I forgot. In the high winds lately, I got a message and picture off Wendy, my black bike had blown over. I was in deepest Darn Sarf at the time so couldn’t do shit. Wendy couldn’t lift it. She tried, bless her feeb good intentions.

The arsehole before me had put the lowering kit on the bike but hadn’t shortened the side stand, so instead of leaning over onto the stand the bike was sort or perched on it. Strong wind, bike cover flapping about like a sail, BANG!

I got off fairly lightly. The fairing cracked but I’ve managed to fix that with an internet tip, this glue that actually melts and fuses the plastic at a chemical level. And I dropped and broke a mirror in taking off and refitting the faring.

But here’s where it get’s good.

I took the red bike for a service and brake pads, dicked me about for a week, £310.

I waited for the small garage, took my own brake pads in, got it serviced and brake pads fitted, next day, (by arrangement, he had someone off sick so asked if I needed it back the same day) for £130.

He said he checked the plugs and filter and they didn’t need doing. Anywhere else would have done it anyway and charged you, or not done it and charged you. Top man. He said the only fault he could see was a sticky front brake piston, needs new seals, so he’s doing that this Friday.

While I was there I asked him about the lowering kit. He said it was just two triangular plates that attach the suspension to the frame, held on by three bolts. Undo the bolts, replace the original plates, do them up. I thought it would be a big job as you’d have fit them under pressure from the shock, nope, put it on centre stand, and it just pulls out. I got one off ebay for less than £30, fitted it myself, and job’s a good ‘un.

In other good news, I fitted that hugger (close to tyre mudguard) more or less hassle free, and got the Scottoilers on both bike working. (Vacuum drawn oil bottles that drip slowly on to the chain to keep it lubricated.)

If I’m going to be riding the black one all winter I wanted it to sound a bit better. I did a lot of research and some measuring the red bike. The silencer on that is 450mm long. It is about 77 decibels (I got an app just for that) which is the same as stock. I had my eye on two cheap end cans. One was 450mm, the other was 350mm and was high mounted. It looked really cool, but I was worried about the noise. I couldn’t get the TL1000 to an acceptable noise level even with stock pipes.  I emailed the guy at Delkovic about the cans. He said the 350mm was about 2Db louder, but both would be over 100Db. I have now discovered the Db scale isn’t linear, 30 is not half as loud as 20 again, but double. Does that make sense? Each 10 is double the previous 10. So, roughly 80db for my current exhausts, That means 100Db would be 100 times as loud. That doesn’t sound right. Look, you know I’m shit at maths. The point is, it would be bloody loud.

So I opted for the 450mm and if it was too stupid loud I was just chucking it on ebay and staying stock. It’s 77Db.


Still it does sound lovely, just not ridiculous at tickover. Then you open it up and it sounds gorgeous.

That’ll do nicely. Bit miffed as I reckon I could have got away with lots snazzier high mount one, but still, it was well cheap, easy to fit, good kit, and it is a nice sound.

Getting there.