Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Grrrl - Return to the 2 Wheeled World

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by stewy, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. Well anyone who has been around for a while may have heard about the this story, well here is another chapter. For those of you who may not be up to date, the back stories are located below.



    Well as those that are up to date might recall, recently we took Lenna out pillion on the bike, and as much as this was a blast for all concerned, the reality of this working long term was never going to work. The logistics of touring on one bike, with gear, plus the chair - it just wasn't going to happen, and ride days would be difficult.

    So what is one meant to do but put her on her own machine? That's where things get tricky...
    For those new riders among us, here’s a tip - if you can't put your feet down when you stop, the bike falls over. That's a problem if you’re a paraplegic. :LOL:

    No problem, as I had located a few different blokes in the U.S.A. who build custom units for para's, to allow them to ride motorcycles and I thought “well this would make a great surprise for herâ€.
    Well emails went off to them, and there was only one reply with a vague price and no deadline on when they could supply. Things weren't looking good, but of course what’s the very next thing you do when you can't buy what you want






    That's right, you BUILD IT!!!! :shock:

    Well i mean it seems a simple idea when you are sitting in front of a computer screen, watching a youtube clip of the desired object. Doesn't look that involved, actually quite simple.

    Well an email was sent off to our very own Roarin (Andy) on the 16 Sept. 08 and with the simple questions of could he weld, and if so would he mind helping build a few simple brackets.
    I am guessing, looking back on this now, his reply might have been somewhat different had he known just what he was getting himself into. :LOL:

    So with a ‘wiz with steel’ now on board, much discussing raged between the 2 of us about how best to do this and what to use. So knowing what was need my flatmate Stu (MadStu) helped me while i measured up the bike for the arms (Lenna likes to refer to them as legs).

    So with the grand plan now moving along, one secret phone conversation lead to another. Some pieces were ordered, others needed to be picked up from across town and with Lenna not working and me slightly twisting the truth, I convinced her to pick up the required special steel from the other side of town for me (isn't she soooo sweet).

    I was making regular trips down to Geelong on Sunday afternoons to test fit parts that Andy had built in his own time after work. A couple of times these afternoons drifted well into the night and saw me riding back down the freeway about at about 11 or 12 at night..

    A few larger parts were left at our drop of yard which happened to be Loz's place (was a good half way point).

    A few more people were brought on board as they offered help and support - Sir Price kindly offered up a set of rollerblades for free (which i was going to pinch the wheels off) before CruisinGal (whose kids were heavily involved in rollerblading) offered up some much need advice on different rollerblade wheels, and gave me the details of much harder/more purpose built wheels for the job.

    So the basics were coming together, now the finical crisis starts to effect the Australian dollar, and with the dollar dropping I scraped together every penny I had, and a few that I didn't really have, and bought all of the overseas parts before the dollar dropped to its current low (which was lucky).

    Well by now Andy was well on the way with building most of the brackets (mind you, by this stage the poor bloke must have forgotten what daylight looked like).

    Time to get serious now.
    There was a fair bit of discussion as to how to control this unit. Well most of you don't know, but my knowledge of electrics is fairly basic. I don't really understand how it all works but I do know what I want the end result to be, and how I want things to work/not work within the circuit. Well my father and Dave (Booga) both spent numerous hours with me drawing sketch after sketch, then trying to explain it to me again and again, so I could understand it, and see that how they had designed it was how I saw it in my head...
    In my head it only needed a few wires, but what I actually got was a huge motherfarking switchboard controller box. (I really think they were just trying to show off).

    So it was now the 26th of October and another trip down to Geelong for the final fitting (off course nothing custom built ever goes to plan smoothly). Of course there really was still no rush or deadline, just my keenness to get it finished, and show it to her.
    It came up in conversation that Cup weekend was the following weekend... “Isn't that 2 years to-the-day she crashed?â€... “Hmmm, shit... yep it is. Farkkkk, we need to have this finished for Saturday.â€
    Well it was another 12.00am cruise home for me that night.

    The last week was spent at my parents’ place working away, tweaking the system and the wiring, and just mounting up the final pieces of the system. (I couldn't have it at my place as Lenna stays here most nights and would have seen it). So with the help of my father every night, working hard fitting up and adjusting the final parts, and Dave coming round and finishing up the mounting and wiring of the control unit, I believe we didn't finish most nights for that week till about 12.30-1am in the morning, as whatever we had done needed to be tested the following day.

    Well a long and busy week was drawing to a close, and my Friday lunch was spent in a industrial area mastering the new setup. (Oh btw I pulled my first every stoppie :grin: )
    Well it was all working, only a few minor tweaks were required Friday night, but this was it. Tomorrow all the hard work and late nights would hopefully be worth it when we gave it to her.

    So I made a phone call to her parents and family to invite them (Lenna has five brothers and sisters), and with my family, we were already at quite a large group. I also really wanted to invite to Andy and Dave so the numbers were cut there. To defuse any further questions about why all the people would show up on Saturday morning, I told Lenna I had invited a few people around plus her family to show them how we go about taking her pillion. (She is so sweet she completely believed me, probably never will again though)

    The next morning everyone showed up, and gathered round the bike and we brought Lenna out.
    I can't speak for the rest of the people that helped me build this thing but all the tiredness that was hanging around for the exhausting 6.5 weeks of hard work for this build, was completely gone as we wheeled her round and her jaw just dropped to the ground as she realised what we had done.
    Like i said on the day, I can’t thank Andy enough for the time, skill, and workmanship that he applied to this project. I know I hassled him and called him nonstop throughout this project. He doesn’t really know how many hours he ended up putting into, but it was amazing. To my father and Dave, again I can’t thank you both enough, I know you both spent a lot of time towards the end of the project with me, and I know it was frustrating explaining and redesigning the electrics to get it just the way I wanted it, but you both got me my desired results.
    So to the 3 of you, and to the rest that either helped with advice/parts, (or were willing to help but I never actually need your help), I hope you know just how much both Lenna and myself appreciate the hours, time, and commitment you all put into this project.

    Anyway here are a few photos of the day... There were a lot more photos taken but I haven’t got all the pictures back yet from everyone who was there. There was also some video, so I will post that as well.



    http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l279/adnos/Lenna solo Ride/Settingherup.jpg
    http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l279/adnos/Lenna solo Ride/AlmostReadytogo.jpg
    http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l279/adnos/Lenna solo Ride/FirstMovement.jpg
    http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l279/adnos/Lenna solo Ride/Wheelsoftheground.jpg
    http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l279/adnos/Lenna solo Ride/Wheelsofftheground2.jpg
    http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l279/adnos/Lenna solo Ride/Wheelsfullyup.jpg

    Welcome back to the 2 Wheeled World!!! \:D/
  2. i have taken this spot for more pics+info to come :wink:
  3. and i will take one more as well :p
  4. WOW... What a spin-out of a weekend!

    I was expecting that we were going for a ride together on Stewy's bike.

    \:D/ Yay!

    I was excited about having the opportunity to be riding pillion for the second time, and was hoping that we might stay out a little longer this time, and maaaybe get to take some more interesting roads than the freeway.

    Stewy told me late on Friday night "oh yeah, I called your folks, coz I thought it might be good for them to come down and see how we get you on the bike... see how we make it as safe as possible... put them a little at ease, etc etc..."

    Well I guess that made sense.

    Then in the morning, my sister (Mel) arrived. Odd. But seems like dad had told her about it, too... (It seemed odd because my family have all seen the pictures of my first pillion experience, so why come now?).

    Then my brother (Joe) and his fiance (Martine) turned up. Very odd. I figured dad must have called around all my brothers and sisters, because you have to do that in a big family, or it could end up being months later and someone will be saying "I never heard about that, why didn't anyone tell me?!"

    Then mum (Gemma) was at the door, with my brother (Tom) as well.

    Geez, quite an audience just to see me get on the back of the bike... :?

    So off I go, and change into my bike gear. As I came out of the bedroom, I realised everyone was already outside, so off we go, out to the bike... As I came around the corner, I couldn't even see the bike with all the people milling around, and as they parted I could see there were all these people with video camera's, digital camera's and mobile phone camera's pointed at me... Then I went on through and saw the bike, with it's LEGS holding it up!

    OMG! ... OMG!! ... OMG!!!! ... OMG!!!!!

    That was all I could say. I really was speechless. I don't think I even let out a little scream... I was simply shocked... stunned... dumbfounded... in awe, and failing to hold back tears... OMG! OMG!!

    I was spun out!
    Was I dreaming?
    I pinched myself a few times... Ouch.

    I was sitting there staring, with gaping mouth, like an idiot! :eek:

    Adrenaline was pumping, I can tell you.
    I was glad when Stewy finally started to speak, because I wasn't capable!
    He thanked Andy, Dave, and his father for their help... and went on to explain how they had gone about the whole thing... how it had taken 7 weeks!!

    All the stories started to come out about the little white lies that had to be told to keep it a secret.
    They hadn't been out riding the Great Ocean Road all those weekends, he and Andy were actually working their butts off, putting this thing together... and then taking it all off again so I wouldn't see it when he got home...
    And he hadn't been at his cousins house on Friday nights playing x-box, he was at Dave's, nutting out the complex electrical parts...
    It came out that I had even picked up the roll-cage steel that it's made from, under the belief that it was for his friend Jamie. I offered to drop it at his house, but of course Stewy insisted that I bring it home and Jamie would collect it!
    For weeks and weeks I was told that the rear suspension needed to be adjusted so it would better suit carrying pillions... But they were having difficulties moving the 'thing-a-ma-jig' and that it had ceased... This went one went on for sooo long. So buying themselves more time, they just couldn't seem to get it sorted out... I'm not sure how many times I suggested he just take it straight to Suzuki...

    Anyway, Stewy went on to show us all where the hand controls were and how they worked, etc. and we all had a drink, and a toasted to my surviving the accident 2 years earlier, and to this beautiful surprise and the new opportunities that it brings...

    So finally we headed off to a secret location, where I could actually get on this beautiful thing, and try it out...

    :grin: Woah, there goes the adrenaline again, just from typing it out!

    So here I am, sitting on this bike. It's not an unfamiliar feeling - I'd sat on the bike a few times since the accident, exactly 2 years earlier. Last time I'd been on the SV must have been more than 7 weeks ago.
    I got up firstly into the rider's seat, then shuffled back to the pillion seat... BUT NOT THIS TIME!!!!
    Physically it wasn't an unfamiliar feeling, but at the same time, the thought of what I was about to do also made it incredibly surreal.

    Memories of the past weeks kept springing to mind, and I was mentally catching Stewy out in little white lies all over the place... (Too little, too late)...

    Now I was all geared up, velcro all perfectly in place, helmet on (the helmet felt weird coz it's so snug around the face, making me aware of my constant grin! :grin:). I was being given instructions on what to do, what not to do, what things to look out for, what to expect from the bike...

    still in disbelief, I was going over the instructions again to myself, the words all dancing around in my head with the little white lies that kept popping in...

    But I knew what to do now, all I had to do was 'do it'.

    I was psyched.

    It was a nice long stretch of bitumen, and I was to go up and down a few times, keeping the stabilising wheels down, just to get used to how it feels, and used to the bike...

    As I took off for the first time, I stalled... Dóh! That didn't look very cool! :roll: LOL
    But now I know the point at which the clutch grips :p

    Second time lucky!

    Stewy and Mad Stu ran along with me up the straight, one on each side... After a few laps up and down, they soon decided to follow in the car - 20kph was a bit fast for them to keep up.
    I was feeling pretty comfortable with this stage, and after a number of times up and down, we agreed that I was ready to take the stabilising wheels up.
    Off I went up to the end of the straight, so that I could raise them up on the way back toward the waiting crowd.
    They were all waiting in anticipation, camera's paused, and I chickened out... telling them as I turned around "I'll do it on the next lap!".
    Off I went, but I chickened out again... I think it must have been at least 3 times...
    I just had no idea if I was going to be able to do it - what would happen when I pressed that red button?!!

    Eventually I would just have to bite the bullet.
    So the next time down the straight I decided to do just that. [-o<
    There was the slightest of twitches as the stabilisers lost contact with the road and the bike righted itself, but I felt absolutely fine! (Except for my cheeks pressing deeper into the helmet as my grin became even wider!). I was riding!

    OMG! (There I go again with the religious stuff... it's all I could say all day)...

    I was riding! I was riding!

    Then as I approached the crowd, snapping away like paparazzi, I tried to press the button again, and bring the wheels down... oops, no light came on... I tried again... I rode past them all saying "Ã can't find the button"... Just as I said it, the light came on again, and I knew I'd got it, and in seconds the stabilisers would be down... then I felt the little twitch as they steadied the bike.

    SUCCESS!! :dance:

    And it only got easier after that... I was soon riding up and down and around the corner, changing up and down gears... and still grinning like a fool...
    Have I ever been so happy?? I'm not sure...

    Looking back at when I first came around the corner of the house, and seeing those stabilisers, I'm kinda disappointed at how I reacted - I was so inwardly emotional, trying desperately to contain myself. But I should have let the tears come when they wanted to, and I should have screamed the bloody house down!!

    I was just more overwhelmed than I ever thought might be humanly possible.

    But at the end of the day, this is the most thoughtful and meaningful thing anyone has ever done for me, and it was absolutely without a doubt, the best day of my life!


  5. You blokes have got hearts like buckets, and you deserve medals at least as big :).
  6. Farking awesome guys!!!
  7. That's incredible.

  8. made me cry. this is so touching
  9. I have said it before and I will say it again You go grrrl!

    Good work guys, true friendship at it's best.
  10. This goes down as one of the most awesome acts of kindness and selflessness I've ever read. You guys are simply amazing! \:D/

    Lenna, I never got to ride with you but I certainly hope to be able to now! Congratulations and welcome back to the world of two wheels!
  11. The look of sheer delight when Lenna first saw it was fantastic. You could see the mind ticking over behind those wide open shocked eyes. It seemed to take her a few seconds to take it all in and register what she was seeing. Once she took it all in the reation was awesome.

    Down at the industrial estate watching Lenna you could be excused for thinking she had ridden this bike in the previous week, she took to it so naturally it was supurb. The way she progressed throughout the few hours on the bike it was as if she was the only person there who wasn't about to have a nervous breakdown. Not only was she getting the arms off the ground and riding in the straight lines, she decided she needed an extra challange and started attacking a 90 degree corner.

    Lenna, your efforts that day was an inspiration to myself, and no doubt an inspiration to everyone else there. ONYA GRRRL!

    That bike is an amazing piece of engineering. Stewy, Roarin & Booga, ya all deserve a medal for the amount of effort you all put into it.

    Slightly twisting the truth is a major understatement. You are surely going to hell for the amount of lies ya told Lenna during the past 7 weeks. And everyone else who knew anything about it is going to hell with you for continuing your lies too.

    Oh well at least it was for a great cause :p
  12. What can I say this is just amazing. It is so good to see that good old brain power worked yet again and has given Grrl so much back, well done to all involved. This is just amazing...
  13. That's unbelievable. I'm speechless. You guys are awesome! Nearly brought me to tears...
  14. Absolutely breathtaking :applause:
  15. Bloody well done - all of you!!! Awesome project, really admirable!
  16. Holy awesomeness :grin:

    Congrats Grrrl, thats bloody fantastic! Well done to you guys for such support :)

    Nice SV :grin:
  17. Awesome work Stewy, Roarin and Booga and all those who helped out! I saw the bike yesterday and had a demo, bloody fantastic!

    Congrats to Lena, so good to hear your back amongst it, can't wait to catch up for a ride with you soon! :)

    You two are such an inspiration, with the right attitude, passion and perserverance you can do anything together

  18. :dance: Yay for all. Top effort guys but I have to wait till I get home to see the pics. Who is this roarin character? Mr allgonoshow I know, but his alter ego, no. :blah: Was just about to txt you after 3 hour meeting and good thing I checked here first but farkin work filter :evil: blockin pics. Did she get the mono happening?

  19. no and she won't be, and neither will you be bring it up with her if you know whats god for you.....she doesn't need any other encouragement......the she is going i will have to speed limit the bloody thing by by the weekend :shock: :LOL:
  20. Seeing the tiredness and the stress on Stewy's face in the morning made ME tired :p

    But seeing Lenna's face when she wheeled out...at that moment of comprehension of what those little 'legs' meant...it removed any and all of those feelings.

    It is well and truely the first time i've seen Lenna speechless! :D

    Having no electronic or welding abilities, I just got to tag along cuz of Booga's brain, but I'm so proud to have been a part of the unveiling.

    I think _I_ cried more than Lenna did! :p

    Some people go through their entire lives without experiencing true and unquestionable love. I have seen that time and time and time again between these two in just a short 1.5 years.

    Lenna, no words can express how truely remarkable you are. You are a true inspiration to all those around you, and beyond.

    Stewy, I have not seen more love, admiration and commitment from one single person than I have from you towards Lenna.

    You are both two truely amazing people.

    Well done Stewy, your Dad, Andy and Dave for making this possible.

    Congratulations Lenna. For everything :)