04-15-2012, 01:36 PM
I installed a Banshee Horn setup today. It's an auxiliary air horn with a control module that is supposed to let one use the regular weeny horn for short taps, and then after a 1/4 or 1/2 second configurable delay, adds in the air horn, pulsing it and the high beam in time to frighten and cow other road users.
I say "supposed to" rather than "does" above because, uh, it doesn't work. (There's a known issue with some bikes, it turns out, and I'll need a free replacement part to make it work.) As it is now it goes off immediately when I turn the key to "on", which is not too useful even if it is amusing.
Install photos are below, showing the end result of an hour or three out in the driveway with the wire stripper and half the (admittedly minimal) bodywork off my bike. At least I found a nice, solid place to mount the air horn itself, and made a lucky, correct guess that the empty bolt hole at this location would be an M6 bolt.
Weeny stock horn seen under the radiator. It stays in place with the Banshee setup, although one must muck about with its wiring, test which line is + and which is ground with a multimeter, etc.
New Banshee-branded airhorn, which is not a Stebel although resembles one closely.
Closeup of mounting bracket. Note grounding wire (for the horn itself) behind a few washers, which are there in turn to space out the back of the horn from the engine a few more millimeters.
Control unit ziptied in place, before any of its colored leads were routed laboriously through the bodywork (and ziptied down at intervals) to their respective destinations.
The red lead goes to the battery's positive terminal. Note that it's a crowded place: the other two positive hangers-on are for the battery tender harness and my heated gear. I had to fish out a longer M6 bolt from my toolbox to make it work. The control unit is grounded to the bike's frame, not to the negative battery terminal.
Orange lead goes to the positive terminal on the air horn. As above, the negative terminal on the air horn is grounded to the frame, not the battery.
Yellow lead is spliced into the positive lead for the high beam. I had to poke around with the multimeter to find which one this was, just as with the stock horn.
Once located, it still was a minor pain in the ass to get the yellow lead hooked up to the high beam positive wire. Cramped quarters! Pro tip: use a Vise Grips type wrench to shove the metal bridging/piercing connector down once all ducks are in a row, then close the plastic cover. You'll never be able to get enough leverage with the cover to shove the metal bridge through the wires otherwise.
I'll have a video demonstrating the sound and sights before and after installation as soon as the Banshee folks get me the correct part to get it all working right. As it sits now I know everything's wired properly since when it actuates (incorrectly, when the key is turned to "on") the high beam flashes and the air horn pulses.
04-15-2012, 08:45 PM
Plan of the moment: Nissan Leaf for the wife immediately upon our (triumphant?) return to Seattle in July 2013.
I think all of the stars are in alignment: we'll be relatively flush thanks to our cheap living arrangements (in MIL's house) and my own lack of a car; Seattle City Light rates are downright cheap and can be entirely offset with renewable energy for just $12 more per month; The EV Project gives away chargers to Seattle metro residents in exchange for usage information; and there are 74 public charging stations in the Seattle metro area as of today, with more surely to come by next summer.
A blue Leaf with the 6.6 kW onboard charger and leather (both to be options on the 2013 model) would do it...
Of course, with how fickle I am I'll probably come up with an entirely different idea next month. I like the sound of this plan, though, especially if we lease one: by the time that three-year term is up then the Infiniti LE or the like (Tesla Model S?) may be on the market, and we'll have decided by then whether a BEV is easy enough to live with.
04-17-2012, 10:39 AM
Some pressure from my GP and a 'medical review' later I have an appointment. I think psoriatic got dropped somewhere in the initial referral. I have never asked for them but I have always felt I should be given copies of my medical records. I'm sure most doctors don't want the average moron second guessing them but I feel I am an above average moron and should be directly involved in my own care.
Originally Posted by Toshi
04-19-2012, 06:36 AM
04-19-2012, 03:27 PM
I think I just sold our Honda Fit with a handshake. The money for keys and title part will come tomorrow.
Full commitment to two-wheeled commuting will now be mandatory, instead of merely due to my compulsions.
04-21-2012, 06:51 PM
The Fit is no longer in our hands.
Moral of the story: Buy what you wanted in the first place rather than settling for a second-best alternative.
04-22-2012, 05:12 PM
Here's the promised demonstration video now that everything's working properly on my Screaming Banshee Horn setup:
Originally Posted by Toshi
04-28-2012, 09:55 AM
04-28-2012, 10:32 AM
Hey doc, I know you said that horn is not a Stebel. I'll be very curious about a long term report from you about that. I installed a Stebel on the beemer along with my flood lights right after I bought it. I mounted the horn in a very similar fashion, unfortunately it did not last long. I think I got maybe a month out of the horn before I started blowing the inline fuse. Something inside the horn took a dump and I was unable to resurrect it. IIRC the Stebel instructions said it had to be mounted vertically, my install was slightly off of vertical so I'm not sure if I killed it or what did it. I notice yours is more off kilter than mine was. If it lasts you more than a month I might have to invest in one of those horns. I loved mine when it worked, and it was amusing to say the least to use it on people at work in the parking lot. Stock BMW horn = teh suck.
04-28-2012, 10:33 AM
My old Stebel died an early death, too. This one looks a lot like a Wolo, I'm told, but isn't branded as such. Probably all of them originate from the same street in some Chinese town.
05-01-2012, 11:43 PM
05-03-2012, 10:01 AM
Pulled the trigger and ordered one yet? Or are you waiting to see if/when my Wolo-copy dies? (So far it's still kicking'. I had a few chances to use it today, and since I didn't get run over it must be working, a la Homer Simpson's Bear Patrol.)
Originally Posted by Pesqueeb
I already bugged you about it on Google+ by tagging you, but I'll cross-post my missive here, too:
I think I'm going to get stupid with my windshield, again.
In the photos below one can see that I had an absolutely ginormous windshield on my old ride, a Piaggio MP3.
That screen was incredible in that the air behind it was very nearly still and silent. I could open my full-face helmet's face shield all the way on the freeway without getting any wind blast. On the other hand, said windshield provided a perfect example in point of why you don't see motorcyclists riding around with such huge pieces of plexiglass every day: It really needed a windshield wiper. Lacking that, it was extremely inconvenient, nigh dangerous on misty days.
Fast forward a few years and the MP3--stolen in 2009--has been replaced by my current ride, a Kawasaki Versys. Stock windshield height is 11". I bought the bike with a 15.5" aftermarket Givi windshield already mounted. The problem is that I still get a lot of noise, turbulence, and wind blast with said 15.5" Givi windshield in the top of the three possible mounting positions. (Just as with the car headroom issue that precludes me from ever getting, say, an Acura NSX, the culprit is my long torso and giant head, blowing about in the breeze, both literally and figuratively.)
CalSci, which from all outward appearances is a company run by a solitary guy with whom I'd get along fabulously, offers taller, unfashionable, old-man-friendly windshields: Sounds perfect for me, right? (The guy behind CalSci, a research physicist, also has an informative page on motorcycle oil filters that led me to pick PureONE filters for my bike, for the record.)
What's this post about, besides me rambling as usual? Well, they have too many options. Givi, my current brand, offers no options: the one size they sell is the one size you'll get. CalSci, on the other hand, offers 4 height options for my bike! To a personality like mine, too much choice is a horrible thing indeed.
Per their sizing table I should pick a medium based on my height and leg length, which would be only 4.5" taller than my current Givi. Based on how visually low the top of my Givi is while riding along I think this is far too low. Given my druthers, I'd go with the extra large, a whopping 12.5" taller than stock (or 8" taller than my Givi). I figure that with the low mounting option I could reduce that down to 6" taller than the Givi, and having the option to go higher is something my quietness-craving self thinks is mighty fine.
Any fellow riders care to chime in?
Cliffs Notes: I want a bigger windshield, with my 4.5" taller-than-stock Givi not nearly tall enough. I'm tempted to go with an XL CalSci, possibly stupid-large, but not nearly as large as my old Piaggio "thumbnail."
05-03-2012, 03:57 PM
The wires proved to be worth $39 to the metal scrapyard. Booyah.
Originally Posted by Toshi
05-03-2012, 04:09 PM
I like games. My wife's Prius makes pinning the MPG meter like a game. Therefore, win.
This screenshot is clearly not based off of a full tank, but isn't a "cheater trip" either in that the counter was last reset when filling up the car yesterday, and the errands today started and ended at the same point (so I didn't, say, start at 5000 ft above sea level and end at the beach).
Last edited by Toshi; 05-05-2012 at 01:37 PM.
05-05-2012, 09:01 AM
Email to my mother in law, with whom Jessica and I will be living during my 2013-2014 fellowship at UW. Links added for readers' benefit here/not in the original plaintext email, of course.
Thanks for the shirt. Jessica may end up wearing it as a night shirt
more than me, as I'm awfully attached to my HRO hoodie and Ben & Jerry's
tie dye t-shirt…
The other day, while contemplating our own rental house's ridiculous
heating oil bill, I had a thought regarding your house, which I recall
Jessica mentioning is similarly heated with oil. What if Jessica and I,
as part of our rent-like obligations, paid to have your house converted
to natural gas heat? Since you already have a gas line to the house for
your range and stove it shouldn't be exorbitant, and you'll benefit from
cheaper bills going forward. (An additional nationalist/ethical benefit
is that natural gas is largely domestically- or at least North
Another thing we'd like to inflict upon your poor house is to install
EVSE, aka electric vehicle service equipment, or an "EV charger" in
other words. (Why the weird naming convention? It's not really a
charger, per se, because the chargers live within electric cars
themselves, but merely is a very fancy cable with some logic and a wifi
chip.) We'd pay for this, too, of course--actually it'd probably be free
thanks to the largesse of the Department of Energy and The EV
Project--and it'd stay with the house when we moved away for use with
future visiting or resident EVs in your driveway.
This, in turn, means that we're planning to get an electric vehicle for
ourselves, to up our smugness quotient from already-high Prius-driving
levels. The way we envision it is that the (weather-proof, quite small,
not especially ugly) charger could be mounted on the outside of the
garage, and then our future Nissan Leaf or whatever could get its
nightly dose of electrons while parked normally in the back alley driveway.
Ok, I think this is reaching epic rambling-length proportions now so
I'll stop. (Now you see what Jessica has to deal with every night when I
brain dump on her!) Thanks again for the shirt in any case
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