Thursday, 22 December 2005

dreaming again...

couldnt sleep cos I'm not well , so was surfing through pistonheads classifieds :-)
So heres a pic of a topaz blue M3 E46 yum....

other cars of note were Lotus Carltons,Escort Cosworths,Lotus Elans and one of my faves (after the BMW) was a blue Lotus Esprit V8 :-)
Oh well , one can but dream.........
Enjoy the holidays

Saturday, 17 December 2005

MINI hits 30k miles

First off Happy Christmas to everyone :-)

First pic
So thats now 30k on the MINI , at least 4k on the new wheels and tyres and still plenty of tread left (result). Car is running great.
Had a funny moment today when the cruise control switched off because I hit a large patch of standing water at 70mph on the A77 , didnt realise triggering traction control turned off cc LOL. No matter , car just tracked thru it , mostly down to those GSD3 tyres ...

Second pic is of the rear wheel with the car parked on a hill, subsequently I was pleased to see that the wheel made it up into the wheelarch (hence the pic) , the car would look superb lowered to that degree but hey it wouldnt be practical as the front spoiler is already an issue on std ride height.
G*d how sad am I taking a photo of that? LOL

Third pic is an EVO2 seen out on my travels and its just for my mate Dave :-)
Not a patch on yours Dave.

CBR1000RR 2006 model got a good review in MCN this week .... mmmm just maybe .....

Enjoy your mince pies

Sunday, 27 November 2005

6000 miles on bike at last...

Yep its true :-)
Another run out to Stranraer. Didnt see another bike at all :-(
Sunny on the way out , very cold and raining on the way back LOL
Very slippy to be honest and a lot of mud on the roads from tractors.
Bike still felt superb though, passed the six thousand mile mark on the way back.
For some reason it still only did 100 miles to a tank!!! and I was REALLY keeping the revs down. Wheelspin in 2nd under full throttle (didnt dare it in 1st!).
Bike was filthy and got the usual clean before being put back into the garage.
Also seems ok so far as far as leaving the alarm on (re:battery levels), that was 3 weeks left and it started on the button.
Summer gloves arent good enough in winter , my hands were numb. Reminds me of the heated grips on the BMW 1200R bliss :-)
So thats 6000 miles from 6th April (DAS test pass) to now 27th Nov , nearly 8 months , not bad me thinks , and of course I'm still here which is a bonus LOL

Monday, 21 November 2005

dirty rear .... / my old golf spotted / D600 phone update

Only 400 odd miles and the car looks like this!!!
And to think the GP doesnt have a rear wiper ! Oh dear...
But then maybe their owners wont plan on taking the car out in winter.

Also passed my old Mk2 Golf GTi 'E98 JNH' on the motorway last night :-)
Heres a reminder [taken when it put out 85bhp@wheels at AVA dyno]....

How cool is that? A great car that I remember really fondly. Hi to Euan if it was you driving. Funny thing is I just knew it was my old car coming up to it (it was dark), dunno why I just did.

Phone update : Its cool :-)
Much better than I initially thought , the screen really is great.
The cameras good (although the fact its not protected by the slide IS an issue)
The microSD is a must have , just put all your stuff on that and use a USB adapter to plug it into your pc to get photos , much easier and quicker than bluetooth that I used to use.

no way the bikes getting used in this weather , its way too slippy even in the MINI.

Tuesday, 15 November 2005

Lightweight GP with MO wheels...

so what do you think.....?

rip the spoiler off and get the window tints sorted and we might be getting there :-)

Monday, 14 November 2005

microSD card for D600 / Albums of the moment

bought a 512MB microSD (Transflash) card for the D600 (comes with a SD adapter) and also a USB reader from , excellent service and delivered next day :-) Card is tiny... Dimensions: 15 x 11 x 1 mm (L x W x D)
Heres a pic of the phone.

So far Im a lot happier with it. keypad has a quality feel.
Alas Samsung have not fixed some glaring omissions like being able to set SMS tones.
Menu styles are even more retricted , however the GUI is quick and easy to use.
Slide mechanism certainly doesnt feel as high a quality as D500 , time will tell but so far , so good :-)

Recently been listening to

Jazzyfatnastees : The Once & Future
Jazzyfatnastees : The Tortoise And The Hare
Dr Jones : Groovelution
Dr Jones : Sugar
Five Point Plan : Rare
Kem : Kemistry
Kem : Kem II
Incognito : Eleven

All top notch and a real find in a Jazz Funk Style :-)

Car continues to run well , although some recent high speed continuous cruising I could definitely smell burning !! Lets hope it was just the exhaust.
Dealer also phoned me to see if I was interested in the Lightweight Works !?!?!
Severely tempted but @ 22k and not quite what I'd hoped style wise perhaps not.
Besides I want my next car to be an E46 M3 on 19's mmmm drooool
lots of cash though , so for now the MINI stays , and to be honest the longer I have it the more I love it :-) Superb car that makes you smile everytime you get behind the wheel.

Wednesday, 9 November 2005

MINI returns / Samsung D600 upgrade

yep after three days I finally get the car back.
They have also fixed the broken rear exhaust bracket (sweet) which I didnt even ask for. All in all top service from Henry Bros in Glasgow.
The only downside I can see for now is that the replacement screen strip they have fitted looks a bit of a dogs breakfast :-) So I may have to redo that myself.
Otherwise brill , not only that the brakes def feel better (fluid change) and the steering is waaaay better (track rod end change + KDS alignment)
Car just passed 28k miles.

Also got a phone upgrade today to a D600 from my previous D500.
Biggest diff is from 1.3 to 2 MP camera.
Initial disappointment ! It doesnt seem as well built, the slide mechanism feels much cheaper and the camera is not protected anymore.
However it does come with a TV output and a USB cable [chances of the driver working on XP64 ??? Nil probably :-(]
Anyway its charging just now and I will report back once Ive actually used it !


Monday, 7 November 2005

track rod end @ 27k miles????

mmmm well no car back just yet.
Oil Service , upper screen strip and also changing the brake fluid to be done.
Not only that they reckon it needs a new track rod end and KDS (realignment check)
, maybe thats why I felt the handling was a bit ropey???
Dealer was good tho and hopefully I will get it back tommorrow.

Sunday, 6 November 2005

Bike gets an airing...

At last a semi dry day , so I had to take the bike out :-)
Absolutely sublime but a bit hairy at times, especially about 2 miles into the run while Im taking it very easy!!!
Going very slow because the bikes been stored for 3 weeks but even so ye olde back tyre gave an almighty wobble whilst mid corner , needless to say I needed new underwear. Anyway gradually lent the bike over more and more and got the feel back from the tyres , there were some dry patches to have some full throttle fun.
In fact today I had more 'headshake' from 1st and 2nd full bore accel than in the last 5k miles !?! go figure , maybe the colder air means the bike producing a few more horses.
Anways , I ended up down in Stranraer which was great , lots a nice sweeping corners.
Even drier on the way back so could open it up a bit. Back home to wash it and put some more scottoil protectant on, now its tucked up back in bed.
What a bike :-)
5900 miles just now btw

MINI in for a service tommorrow.


Sunday, 30 October 2005

MINI Insurance / MPG cruising@85

Yep its that time of year again.
Esure have been really good but they dont cover modified cars , so given my recent mods ;-) it seemed prudent to find a company who did....
So I'm now insured with Greenlight again , who can now cover MINI's , Ive been with them before for the Mini(Classic) and Fiat Coupe, never claimed bu customer service is great (no foreign call centres!)
Premium is the same as my renewal from Esure but now includes GTT stuff/GRS IC and the wheels ...result.

With the bike away , the cars getting much more use and seems to enjoy being run more often. Did a few big runs recently and on cruise control@85mph (by GPS via road pilot) the car averaged 27.9mpg over 200+ miles which I thought was quite good.
Given previous results Ive had that figure is probably 25.9 mpg ish (the calibration seems roughly 2mpg optimistic)

Need to try an ECU reset soon to see if that helps performance ....

MINI Lightweight Works GP Tuning Special Edition

Anthracite-Blue Metallic Paint (to be named)
Contrast Roof, bonnet scoop and front apron in pure silver
Contrast Mirror Caps in chilli red
Individually numbered
No rear seats
unique 18" light alloy wheels
Additional remote key
brillant silver interior trim
darkened rear glass
dynamic stability control
floor mats in velour
front passenger airbag deactivation
height adjustment for passenger seat
john cooper works kit approx 218bhp/160kw
john cooper works sports brakes
john cooper works sports suspension
interior lights package
manual air conditioning
multi function steering wheel including cruise control
on board computer
radio boost
recaro sports seats
single cd player
seat heating for driver and front passenger
sports leather steering wheel
white direction indicator lights.

Well to be honest its the not the car I expected it to be :-(
Some nice touches though and still looks special, the only thing I really hate is that rear spoiler YUCK.

Thursday, 13 October 2005

K1200R test ride

yep , a nice day in Glasgow so had to get a test ride :-)
Motorrad Central in Bishopbriggs kindly let me take out the beast below for an evaluation.
2200 miles on the clock , fitted with ABS , ESA , sports wheels (190 rear) and heated grips, and also a laser exhaust system as fitted to powercup bikes.

over 100 miles and 3 hrs later....
Awesome , what a machine....
Riding position felt very odd being used to a sportsbike.
Easy to ride straight away , the increased mass/wide bars mean its way more stable at slower speeds than the RR ,a sinch to ride.
Heated grips are superb , I thought a real luxury before trying but theyre brilliant.
Indicators !!! not good little buttons on either side and a seperate cancel button on the throttle side. Ok I may get used the them , but much prefer the traditional single switch on clutch hand , hated the BMW layout esp filtering in traffic.
Rear brake is non existent and in fact I only used it twice (the angle also makes it harder to use). Front brakes (ABS servo assisted remember) are supreme.
The dash (revs and speedo) I dont like , its way to cheap looking and mph is dif to read. The supension is superb (ESA allows on the fly adjustment), I only really tried COMF and SPORT settings which do as they say on the tin , ride quality def improves with COMF. However I basically ran on SPORT most of the time.
One of the biggest revelations though is the fact the front doesnt dive under heavy breaking , really confidence inspiring.
Bike makes a superb whine like a jet engine. Gearbox is OK but not as smooth as Honda unit. Full throttle clutchless upshifts were a bit hit n miss tbh.
Fuelling low down <2.5krpm is very poor ! and on deceleration. Throttle itself has a very long twist range so be sure your getting full throttle :-)
The engine is supreme (with a bit of vibration of this bike at 6krpm), effortless acceleration in any gear right up to the limiter. This bike though really loves 4k and a higher gear and the thrust is highly addictive (and I'd prob say more so than the 05 blade I test rode)
mirrors are OK at best , but small and vibrate badly under hard accel and high speed cruising.
Full throttle easy and doesnt seem to want to wheelie at least in 2nd full throttle.
Wind in the face/hair/chest definitely will slow you down. I got up to 150+ on a private test road and you cant stay at that for long lol
Basically the bike does everything you want , is brutally (but useably) fast and looks good. Round corners its eager but not as composed as the RR.
Exhaust note was great , didnt half get you noticed in town :-)
Insurance ??? Yep , I got a quote and if I bought tommorrow it would be half what I pay for the RR !!!! go figure...
In summary its a superb bike.......well done BMW

Have my opinions changed ?
Yep , I'd def get heated grips , ABS I dont know , ESA im not sure about now either.
Its a handy gadget but Im only ever going to ride 1 up. Sports wheels , yes just for the looks :-)

Am I going to buy one ?? Er I dont know actually ......

For me I jumped back on the RR and realised just how supreme it is.
RR is sharper and much more focussed, it begs for you to improve your riding and go faster. Maybe I havent got rid of my sportsbike fix as yet I dont know.
I'm going to think about it and consider my options. Sure the 1200R is faster in a different way (much like the blade) but you cant beat high revs and a light sportsbike :-)

Time will tell , I may end up with a 1200R yet.
Next test ride will be a GSXR1000K5 , the ultimate sportsbike of 2005.

Sunday, 9 October 2005

finding a bike for Allan / K1200R choices...

Another saturday spent out drooling over bikes
, whilst looking for a bike for Allan , theres just so much choice :-)
Sadly the nice ZX6R wed seen was sold :-(
lots of nice bikes to look at I guess the search continues ,with Xmas coming up soon hopefully prices are going to tumble :-)

Allan kindly agreed to take me to the BMW garage to see the K1200R.
[they also had my dream car outside , a Laguna Seca coloured M3 on 19's :-)]
sadly its only available in 3 colour choices

for now my favourite is the middle image , I think the silver wheels look better :-)
Still finding it difficult to get out of the sportsbike mentality though, especially as I could buy a GSXR1000K5 and have lots of change for next yr!! I am by no means decided as yet.
The extra options are...
ABS £795.00
Anti-Theft Alarm £245.00
Cockpit Fairing £130.00
Dual Low Seat (790mm) £0.00
ESA (electronic suspension) £525.00
Heated Grips £195.00
Luggage grid £80.00
Sports Wheels 190/50 ZR 17 £155.00
so speccing the bike for what I would like (i.e. it all except heated grips!) came to a truly astounding 11k , feck me thats a hell of a lot for a bike.
I will get a test ride first and take it from there....
[and of course see if I can even insure such a beast !!!!]

Still using the 600RR when I can , sitting at 5700 miles this weekend.
I guess I should consider putting it away for the winter very soon :-(


Tuesday, 4 October 2005

climbed cobbler / night bike runs

Well at last :-) I managed to make it up 'The Cobbler'[Ben Arthur] on Saturday.
What a great day with folk from my work. Tired legs after it but nonetheless superb.
Wet on the way up , and true to form the sun came out for a lovely day just as we were on the way down.

Good run there and back in the MINI stretching its legs a bit , GRS I/C really makes a world of difference.

Since its been dry Ive also been out on the bike after finishing work :-)
Cant resist, so thats 2 x 80 mile tanks and 100 miles on the last fill up.
Frugal it aint. Exciting it most definitely is.
wonder if I'll make 6k miles before it get tucked away for the winter?


Tuesday, 27 September 2005

its wet out there...

not much to report , other than its getting very wet here in sunny Glasgow :-)
Lots of standing water and the like , great fun , NOT!
Continuing to use the bike for getting to work though.
How about this for next year???
BMW K1200R

this ones a custom blue job and I love it , bit expensive though!

Monday, 19 September 2005

more x64 issues

I bought an external Freecom Classic Mobile 2.5" 40GB USB2.0 HD so that I can transfer lots of music around :-)
Its a very nice piece of kit (in fact it runs the same type of HD as my freeview box)
Well packaged.
Installed the software and it seemed to run fine............until I rebooted my which point the logitech cordless keyboard and mouse stopped working and the external drive was doing very odd things and causing my machine to hang for long periods.

Basically the installation of the freecom supplied software had f*cked up the USB controllers (I guess the drivers). SO if you buy this drive DONT install the software.

Removed software and uninstalled USB controllers and rebooted , the USB stuff is automatically rebuilt on bootup and its all now OK.

Transfer very speedy for a laptop drive :-)


Thursday, 8 September 2005

5k miles on bike / the curse of 18 inch wheels....

Yep folks , thats 5000 miles now passed :-)
[passed test on 6th May 2005 to 8th Sept 2005 = 4 months :-)]

and in the second pic just a casual pull up to the kerb moment....and bang....sigh...
The curse of 215/35 tyres on 8 inch wide rims , the first thing to hit is the wheel rim....oh well. it could have been worse....
[Driver error , nah , I'll blame the wheels]


Monday, 5 September 2005

Sunday run on the bike

Couldnt sleep Sat night / Sun morning , so around 4am I decided I would just take the bike out for a wee run...
Went loch lomond road , and on up the A82 to Fort William , then up to Oban.
Came back a slightly different way to rejoin the A82 for the final leg home.
Absolutely stunning views , stopped at the roadside and watched the sun rise , sublime .....

lots of miles today , so now fast approaching 5000 miles , bike just feels better than ever, Metzler Sportec M1 tyres are superb and the engine just seems to be getting faster and faster with more miles under its belt. It also seems to be much quieter since the 4k service (change of oil type perhaps?)

MINI v.s. Integrale

Went over to Daves Saturday and the MINI got a good old clean and polish :-)
Amazing how big the MINI actually is compared to the grale.
Both cars were clean so it would be a shame not to take a few phone pics.....

Saturday, 27 August 2005

Honda CBR600RR 2005 performance data

Honda CBR600RR 2005 performance data
[Superbike April 2005]

Top speed : 155 mph
time to top speed : 28.40 seconds
dist to top speed : 1500 metres

mph   time(s) dist(m)  accel(g)
10    0.71    1.4     0.65
20    1.25    5       0.73
30    1.86    11.8    0.74
40    2.47    21.4    0.74
50    3.1     34      0.74
60    3.7     48.7    0.74
70    4.33    87.1    0.74
80    5.21    96.7    0.7
90    6.11    130.7   0.67
100   7.31    181.7   0.62
110   8.57    241.3   0.58
130   12.34   444.8   0.48
150   20.76   978.5   0.33

standing 1/4 mile : 11.65@127mph

Sunday, 21 August 2005

CBR1000RR test ride / 600RR 4k service

[test ride pics and my bike with new tyres+bungs]

Ok so the good news is I'm still alive :-)
Took my own bike down to Ayr for a service etc and blagged a test ride on a fireblade. What a gorgeous day for a bike test ride.

To my surprise it was a black one with only 98 miles on the clock !
Advised to keep to ~6k rpm max ! but I did on the odd occasion go past that....
[to be fair if this was my own bike I would now ignore the 6k limit and run it in this way anyway , as long as it s not full throttle low rpm and to the limiter...]

First impressions...feels much bigger but familiar ,switchgear is slightly differently positioned,sounds completely different on startup,no fuel gauge (just a light!). Instantly I felt at home , in fact I felt it was easier to ride at slow speeds compared to the 600. A really tall first gear feels odd and combined with an odd feeling hydraulic clutch can make pulling away a bit tricky. Especially when running in I would be keen to avoid loading the engine at low rpm.
Despite the power it was not intimidating or unwieldy which is great.

Decided to take it down a back road I know , just feels like a bigger 600 , feet much wider apart on the pegs, tank is much wider and the steering damper can definitely be felt on faster bends. I felt the bike needed much more effort from me to get round corners though.

I managed to do 100 miles and the fuel light was still off (!) , cbr forum members say the 1000RR is 100 to 140 miles on a tank (and of course I wasnt wringing its neck). By comparison I get at most 100 miles to the reserve flashing when thrashing the 600RR.

In summary I loved it , a much more relaxed ride with effortless power in any gear.
Controllable but requiring much more throttle 'control' and I guess you must be very wary in the wet. Comparing the 600RR vs 1000RR is just chalk and cheese they are just so different I couldnt believe it.
600RR is highly strung needing lots of revs for maximum effect.
100RR is just ballastic from any revs (but strangely feels very calm)
I even managed to wheelie the thou in second without really trying !
As a comparison I reckoned I was around 20 mph faster without realising it on the thou.
Downsides?? I love my 600RR :-) its very 'chuckable' and 'lithe' compared to thou.
On the 600 it feels like my body weight makes up the largest prop of package ( and Im riding it) , whereas on the thou it feels like Im a smaller % and its taking me for a ride. Make sense???

Both bikes are great and no doubt I will change to a 1000 soon enough.
Only thing currently stopping me is the 2005 1000RR colour schemes...........

Now my bike.....
Was in for 4k service / New tyres / Fit bike design crash bungs / replace indicator.

Guys at North Harbour did a great job as ever. I cannot fault them.
Rear BT014 was flat (no tread in middle) , front was fine but I would only replace as pair.
I have replaced the Bridgestone BT014R tyres with Metzler Sportec M1 and so far they seem superb. I had planned to bed them in , but took the back road from ayr to paisley and just thrashed it as normal :-) Not only that the tread pattern is sexy as f*ck LOL

For fun ! heres the bill..........
4 hours labour @ 32 = 128
Oil Filter @ 7
Oil @ 20 (!)
Indicator @ 46 (!!)
Tyres (120/70/17 180/55/17) 77 + 75 = 150
+ misc
Grand Total ----> £430
(Incidentally that almost exactly 3 months since 600 mile service, 150 quid a month ! and that doesnt include insurance/fuel cost ....!)

Great job all round and at last the crash bungs are fitted....


Tuesday, 16 August 2005

Cheque presentation to GRI ward on behalf of Nicola

Today my Mum , my Sister and I went back to Glasgow Royal Infirmary Ward 24 to present them with a cheque for £6,150 on behalf of Nicola who died in March in the ward.
Funds were raised by sponsorship for the 10K run and donations.
Well done to all , a superb achievement that we hope will aid the ward in their superb work for people just like Nicola.
Consultants Dr Siddiqui [Nicola's Consultant] and Dr Davis were kind enough to be present , along with all the staff.

Thankyou to you all.

Friday, 12 August 2005

4k bike service booked / blade demo run booked / road pilot ist kaput / beta HP drivers found

Yep ,finally phoned bike dealer in Ayr.
Bike is booked in for 4k service , fit bike design crash bungs , replace rhs indicator and replace both tyres.
Rear tyre Bridgestone BT014R def needs replaced , front is fine , but Im just getting both replaced as a matched set , being replaced with Metzler tyres which came 3rd in a recent MCN roadtest.

I also requested a test ride on a demo fireblade :-)
Would love to upgrade , however I dont think they look as sexy as the blue of the 600RR (the 'blade is blue/silver mix) , insurance is also a big issue.

Maybe wait til my experience and new colours for 2006 1000RR

Will post up my experience , cant wait to see exactly how different a litre bike is to the 600cc.............

Car wise the Micro RoadPilot no longer gets a GPS lock , I suspect the antenna has a broken wire (from me messing about with it whilst fitting the first time) , so I need to test on my dads car harness then order a new harness if thats the problem ...pah 89 quid....

On a plus note I finally managed to download the beta HP drivers which should hopefully mean my PSC1350 now works with Win XP Pro x64.


Thursday, 11 August 2005

4000 miles on bike

Yep , and it looks like a may need a rear tyre soon as well...

Now its at 4k it needs and service, time to book it in....


Sunday, 7 August 2005

HP PSC 1350 wont play with XP64bit


my fancy all-in-one HP PSC 1350 is a paperweight until HP produce an x64 compatible driver ....Im not happy
Lots of talk on the forums about a pre-beta set of drivers that work , but all the existing downloads appear to have been removed...


narrow miss bird strike....

Coming back home from Ayr last night on ye olde CBR600 and cruising at 85mph(honest!)
a bird of some sort sweeps up from some grass in the central reservation to come inline with my head......
Dunno how by I instinctively ducked (pun?) to have it brush the top of my helmet.
Shocked ? you betcha , it was only a few miles after I realised how lucky I was not to hit it straight on at speed.

Tales of the unexpected eat your heart out (if you are old enough to rememeber the tv series)

On a dull pc note , I was wrong , the ipod software installed (using firewire not USB) RESULT . And MSI have a x64 driver for my bluetooth dongle so that works fine too :-)


new AMD x64 PC

Yep, after 4 1/2 years of bliss with my Athlon 1000 it was time for a change.
I decided on a AMD Athlon again but a 4200+ dual processor core x64 architecture jobby!

Now call me stupid but I didnt realise this would entail an entirely different OS!!! , it comes with Windows XP Pro 64bit Edition.
NOW I know that driver support and compatibility issues abound but I didnt before today.

AVG Antivirus : Installs but engine wont initialise now changed to NOD32 AV.
ZoneAlarmPro : Installs but wont start , now using Windows own firewall for now.

Alcatel Speedtouch 330 USB ADSL modem : Nope! so I had to buy a Linksys ADSL modem/router in order to get an internet connection.

Yes the PC is lovely but I cant help feeling that compatibility is going to be a major issue........

In fact the MicroRoadPilot driver currently wont install , lets hope Morpheus have an x64 driver in the pipeline......

I havent even tried my ipod mini yet , but my hopes aint high ...bugger....

Saturday, 30 July 2005

Wednesday, 27 July 2005

MINI Power Steering fixed


Car was recovered by MINI Emergency Service and taken to my local dealer.
48 hrs later its returned fixed and valeted.
Power steering pump and asscociated wiring loom were replaced under warranty.
2003 MCS @ 25k miles
I consider that a quick turnaround by Henry Bros Glasgow , so well done.
I didnt get offered a courtesy car , but then Im using the bike all the time anyway :-)

Interestingly the characteristic whine when applying lock has now disappeared , its silent !

Now to stick my compomotive wheels back on.........looks far to 'cute' with the old wheels on it , prefer the 'over wheeled' look now :-)


Sunday, 24 July 2005

MINI Power Steering failure

B*gger , buying some trainers tonight and just about to park up and the steering goes 'incredible hulk' on me !!!!!!!!!!!
No whine from the car , so its sounds like the power steering pump has died.
Checked on and this sort of failure seems very common :-(

Will book it into dealer ASAP and report back on here........
Actually called MINI Emergency services and they came to take it away.....


Saturday, 23 July 2005

3000 miles on bike

doing my best to rack of as much experience as possible before the bad weather sets in ;-)
The bike passed 3000 miles yesterday on a run out to Balloch and back.
Seems to be running better than ever , and I suspect a bit more power as I'm noticing the front end lifting a lot more in 1st and second gears.
Continue to get around 100 to 120 miles to a tank (without reserve).


Sunday, 10 July 2005

GRS I/C now fitted

Yep @25000 miles
An absolute sinch to fit , had it all done in 30 minutes before work this morning.
Ran the car down to Ayr and back and it feels smoother. Faster I dont know! Seat of the pants says yes ,especially as it was really warm today and thats usually the kind of weather when the car with std I/C would feel flat.And it felt far from it.
The only problem is I'm so used to the bike that the car feels too slow :-)

Heres what I posted on

Right time for another writeup.....

For various reasons I personally decided on a GRSMotorsport Intercooler.
So I placed an order a while back with Graham , whose customer service is outstanding.
I decided to wait for milled end tanks and he kept PM ing me with regualr progress reports which was nice
Last weekend it finally arrived well packaged. The standard of the bits is superb , its a real shame to even fit the new I/C.

30 minutes later I had replaced the old I/C with my shiny new one

Fit was a doddle , (I found very little oil in the old I/C there as well which was good)
The new air divertor assembly is very easy to fit and certainly makes sure all air is used to full. The height of the I/C is also perfect (i.e. not too tall like other makes).

Driving impressions??? (well to be honest these days Im out on my bike , so the MINI doesnt get used much and feels slow when it does !!!)
MUCH better , its been hot and instantly the change in initial thrust can be felt.
It almost feels a bit 'light pressure turbo' like in its response (anyone else feel this??)
Higher up rev range it just feels so much more eager

Looks wise ???
Its looks the canine danglies.....dont you think...

All in all another successful purchase from another great MINI supplier.

Only things I can think of are 1) its a high visibility mod , 2) spark plug access a bit more of a pain. But these are trivial IMHO.
I now have wheels/engine mods/ and a damn great IC so I guess the dealer might spot them

GRSMotorsport : Top quality : Top Product : Top Customer service

Need I say more?

[next up PSS9 suspension and more GTT upgrades I think....]


Tuesday, 5 July 2005

2000 miles on bike!

Almost 8 weeks (to the day) since I passed my test and I'm pleased to have passed 2000 miles :-)
A superb run out with Allan(MR2 Turbo) again to Edinburgh then down the Moffat road.
I've not been down it before but its awesome......
Over 200miles just last night alone! My rear end and legs were well and truly numb.
Bike ran great and I set a new mileage record of 149 miles on a tank.
That includes the reserve light flashing for 30 miles and the bike beginning to smell of fuel LOL

Another great (and reasonably) sensible run. Brill

Car wise the wheels still look superb. Although it hasnt moved for a while , as Im mostly using the bike while its dry(ish)
Got a PM from Graham at GRSMotorsport and my Intercooler will arrive by the weekend :-) More toys great ...


Wednesday, 29 June 2005

cbr600r v.s. Toyota MR2 Turbo Rev3

Sunday night and Allan's going up north in his MR2 , it would be a shame not to tag along on the bike and have a nice run.......

Was great fun without going too fast, must do it again.

Monday, 27 June 2005

New MINI wheels now on.....

Yep , its true the wheels arrived on Saturday and were fitted within 10 minutes :-)
so heres a few pics to give you an idea......
Click to get menu of all pics

18x8 Compomotive MO ET43mm in silver fitted with 215/35/18 Goodyear Eagle F1 tyres

I think they look fabulous if not a little cartoony , yes it looks way 'over wheeled' for a MINI lol.
Only done a few miles but already the ride feels better.

Monday, 20 June 2005

Road Pilot pic / Bike stickers removed

Well here you go , exciting its not but heres a pic of the position of the micro road pilot I fitted recently into the MINI.

Dave came round on Sat to show of his newly lowered Integrale , sweet or what?

Removed the side CBR stickers from the bike , I like 'clean' lines.
A work of warning though , it took me ages to get all the glue off , whilst terrified I was gonna scratch/damage my bike paintwork!

Tyres have arrived , so I will be getting my wheels this week. woohoo
Better get those springs ordered....

Wednesday, 15 June 2005

Micro Road Pilot fitted

Micro Road Pilot
Ho hum I did actually attempt to fit this on Tuesday night however after some over enthusiastic yanking on the power cable I managed to fuse it internally!!!!
So I had to order a new one , what a pl*nker...
Anyway it arrived today (quick or what?) and I've now fitted the unit to the car.
In a somewhat unusual place up near the rear view mirror.
[TODO : In car pics to follow]
The GPS receiver on the dash RHS , which seems to work just fine even though I have a heated front window which can hamper reception. There are small strips either side of the windscreen that dont contain an element.
Quick road test and it seems to work just great :-)
Also fitted the whiter sidelights bulbs which look great compared to the 'brown' colour given off by the originals.

Clear indicators for bike arrived today too :-)

Next step is to get wheels on MINI(when they arrive) and buy some eibach springs to lower it ....

Missing the bike in this weather , but tommorrow it could be dry.........


Monday, 13 June 2005

Wheels may arrive soon / My little sister gets married...

tyres have apparently been located for my wheels so they could be here soon :-)
Alas the intercooler looks to be further away than ever , the design has been improved and I have said I will just wait for the newer style....
Also the Micro Road Pilot arrived (I couldnt resist after my recent speeding offence) on Saturday (but sat in a box all weekend!) , so I'll try and fit that soon.
Bought once again from along with some brighter sidelight bulbs.

Disclock for the bike seems on eternal backorder !
Hopefully my clear indicators will arrive soon too...
A few days without biking (due to weather and circumstance and Im champing at the bit to get out again , addictive this bike lark ??? Not half :-)

On a cheery note a big congratulations to Mr and Mrs Graham , my sister got married yesterday , she looked stunning and the weather held out just enough at select occasions. Top notch day (although Im now very tired).
Pictures of the bride and groom and me in a black kilt( i was an usher) may follow if I ever get my hands on any.


Wednesday, 8 June 2005

1000miles+ / Speeding

Ok quite a lot happening these days..

On a personal front its a tough 10 days , our wedding anniversary was Friday last week , Tuesday this week would have been Nicolas 33rd birthday and this Sunday coming , my sister gets married and has her reception at the same place we did , its gonna be an emotional Sunday.... thats as much as Im gonna post publically....

1000 miles + Speeding Ticket
Bike continues to get much stronger as the miles pile on.
With all the tough emotional issues its been really helpful to don the leathers and head out onto the open road.
I passed 1000 miles on Sun night (see pic) and in fact was off on Tues too and the bike is now at 1290 miles :-)
Fuel economy is around 100 miles extending to 120+ if you keep the revs below 8k.
In fact I have now passed my test for 4 weeks and I got my first speeding ticket
Needless to say I wasnt hanging about , but luckily the police were very pleasant and I got a fixed penalty of 60 notes and 3 points, officially done for 88mph in a 60 limit (lets just say this was a really good result for me...).
Didnt put a damper on my day though (I had bigger things on my mind), and I continued up loch lomond side and on toward rest and be thankful and lochgilphead.
Roads were warm and dry , so I got a chance to improve my cornering technique.
As far as I can tell the 6 points in 2 years New Driver rule doesnt apply to me as I've had my main car driving licence for 15 years, and the 2yrs applies to your first licence, and motorcycle entitlement is considered an addition.
Still to be 100% confirmed though , anyway I needed to slow down a bit anyway...

Clear paint protection film
Ordered from the US and I fitted the pieces that go onto the tank (as I was already marking it). Not adhesive but the stuff you spray water on first then spend ages get the bubbles out :-) It took a while to get a good finish but I think I did a good job. Well worth it.

Not a lot to report , still awaiting tyres and the Intercooler .....
After my recent points Im now seriously considering the micro road pilot GPS esp as the SPECS cameras are now being hooked up down in Ayr.
[Luckily it doesnt effect me on the bike though , (big grin...)]


Friday, 3 June 2005

6th Anniversary

Well today would have been our 6th year together whilst married.
A somber day that has hit me much harder than I imagined.
And to come is Nicolas birthday on Tues...
My heart aches , there is no more to say...

Wednesday, 1 June 2005

Bike@850miles / MINI wheels update

Decorating jobs to be done in Ayr to help my sister and her fiancee (before the wedding in 2 weeks time!) , so if the sun is shining it would be a crime not to use the bike. Several jaunts up n down M77 during night and day.
I have to say the 600RR is a very easy bike to ride.
Engine seems to be definitely bedding in well , on more than one occasion over the last 2 days I have had 'steering head shake' under full power in 1st and 2nd which is new ! I guess a steering damper may be in order.
Love the shiftlight on the RR at night time :-) , during the day I have to say I cant see it in my peripheral vision.
Definitely feel its producing more horses at the back wheel.
Throttle snatch/progression I still find tricky at junctions and roundabouts.
Even though I'm not pushing the bike too hard , I can still only manage ~100miles for the 8 bars of the fuel gauge (i.e. down to the reserve light)
Checked out the theoretical speeds on the bike in each gear(using Gear Calculator .......)
1st 74mph
2nd 103mph
3rd 123mph
4th 141mph
5th 158mph
6th 171mph
seems a bit ambitious, next time out ,I'll check this (!)
Disklok on backorder.
Will probably buy clear indicators if the 04 ones fit the 05 bike.
Still not fitted crash bungs (I now have 2 sets sitting in the living room..)

MINI wheels update
Well its certainly taking a long time. New wheels are apparently finished but now the delay is for the tyres I requested. Hopefully this can be resolved soon before the summer ends!!!!!!
Intercooler should be here soon too........


Sunday, 22 May 2005

600RR first service completed

A rainy Saturday morning I headed down from Glasgow to Ayr North Harbour Cycles.
Bike had been sitting all week with 581 miles on it, so it was great to get out on it again :-)
Left it for couple of hours while they worked their service magic.
(Thats an oil and filter change and nuts n bolts checking to u and me...)
Decided not to have the R+G crash bungs fitted , as I have the bike design ones on order which dont need the fairing cut to fit.

Luckily it was dry on the road back up , so I got a chance to try 8k rpm's +++++
Woooohoooo , just seamless acceleration from zero revs to the limiter.
Truly linear (if a bit dull!) power delivery with no big bike unsettling bumps in hp.
In fact the motor feels so happy under full throttle I hit the rev limiter on more than one occasion in the lower gears. Brilliant the way it pulls so hard throughout any point in the rev range.

Looking forward to gaining more road miles and experience with the full rev range :-)
(next official service is 4000 miles.)

Thursday, 19 May 2005

Womens 10k / Intercooler on order

Womens 10k run

First off big congratulations to all the women who completed the Glasgow 10k on Sunday. It was a great day for it , even if a bit warm....
A big WELL DONE to my sister Claire and my mum who ran/walked the race and raised money for Ward 24 in memory of my wife Nicola who died of Cervical Cancer just over 8 weeks ago.
Running with them were also Paula and Lesley (Claires friends) and other friends of my mums.
A team effort that saw them all complete the race successfully , hurray.
It was a great job done by all and I thank you very much.

Also I would like to thank women from my work who also ran for various good causes but also have decided to donate some of the money raised to cancer research on nicola's behalf. Joanne, Gillian , Erika and Alison. Thankyou I'm touched.

I'm sure Nicola would be proud that so many people continue to fundraise in her name.

Intercooler on order
While the ladies get healthy , I choose to continue to use motorised forms of transport! Given the hot weather is here (almost!) , I figured the biggest handicap to consistent performance of the MINI was a std intercooler.
It works fine with std boost levels , but add a s/c reduction pulley (which on the GTT conversion is 17%) and boost increase means the charge temps increase significantly which in term drop power (esp on hot days).
Believe me , this is VERY noticable the performance dropoff on warm days.
So I have now ordered a replacement I/C from GRS Motorsport which should arrive in 3-4 weeks time.

CBR600RR first service@600miles
Bike is now at 581 miles and is booked in this Sat for its first service.
Also plan to have crash bungs fitted (after my recent car park debacle!!!!)
Bike gets a full check over and oil change.
Also fancy some carbon fibre covers that cover the scratches Ive put on the clutch casing.


Friday, 13 May 2005

MINI wheels on order : Bike gets first drop..

MINI wheels
Over 4 weeks ago now I ordered my new wheels for the MINI.
They should be here soon :-) , til then the details stay a closely guarded secret..
All I can say is 18x8 with Goodyear Eagle F1 215/35/18 tyres oooohhhhhhh
Could be an inspired choice or a disaster !

Bike drop
Yep , it had to happen. Those in the know tell you not to get a brand new bike for many reasons. One of them happens to be that you WILL drop it sometime.
For me it was a gravel car park with too much lock , sigh...
So I now have lots of scratches on my new toy. Hey , its only a bike and the damage isnt too bad.
FWIW I've had it 5 days and 430 miles ridden............dumpling


CBT / DAS Bike Training , CBR600RR

Yep , its true!
I have now completed my CBT , and my theory and practical bike tests.
And because I took my test on a high hp bike (and Im over 21) I can now ride any size bike legally !!!!!!!!

Bike Rite

New Bike

Yes , ranking with insane I went out and bought a brand new blue Honda CBR600RR as a starter bike :-)
Its absolutely lovely and surprisingly easy to get on with after the training CB500's.

Early comments are
1. Seat is relatively comfy
2. Throttle roll back engine braking takes a lot of getting used to.
3. Brakes are supreme
4. Very easy to ride at low speeds
5. Steering lock is minimal
6. Around 100+ miles to a tank so far
7. Limited to 6-7k rpm for run in (5-600 miles) , although I have momentarily gone to 8-9

In summary its just a great bike that can be ridden slowly very easily.
I can only imagine what joys lurk past 10k rpm once I have more experience and the first service is completed.


Tuesday, 10 May 2005

Mini Cooper S : GTTuning 200+ upgrade

Heres the info I posted on MINI2 forum on Mar 19th, 2005, 01:44 PM .....
Car was converted at 22000 miles btw

Due to some tragic circumstances recently, I just decided to throw caution to the wind and get my 03 MCS improved.
Heres my rantings...

Tuner Choice ?
The choice is yours but FWIW I had narrowed it down to
[JCW , West Tuning , BBR , GGR , MED or GTTuning]
based on warranty,cost,mini2 feedback and website info compared
to reliability , parts changed and power produced.
West Tuning
GT Tuning

Why GTTuning ?
I chose GT Tuning because of Rolands manner on these forums and his honesty.
And of course they are realistically priced. (Although that just means you buy more LOL)
Pulley looks OEM black
Reliability and Engineering changes to other products.
Basically they came out best on the factors discussed in choice.
Shame they are 400+ miles away tho.

The Adventure.....
So yesterday I drove from Scotland to GTTuning and back. A round trip of 880 miles!!!!!
[I didnt choose the company based on easy access !]

Great drive down , M6,M5,M4,then A350 , took just under 7 hrs at a steady 80mph, isnt cruise control great :-)
Arrived and Roland is just as nice as you think. Spent a while discussing options and bits,
the only thing I couldnt have was an intercooler because he didnt have enough stock...
[head/manifold can come later :-)]

So I got a lift into town while I had the
GTT 210 kit fitted (ecu remap + optimised bypass valve + iridium sparkplugs + GTT supercharger pulley + shorter drive belt + GTT idler pulley)
Exhaust reroute pipe
63mm enlarged Throttle Body
I also opted for the twin bearing idler pully upgrade and new tensioner pulley and GTT stop.
[I already have a JCW airbox which I chose to keep]

6 hrs later and I'm out for a spin with Roland driving. Car feels (from passengers seat WAAAAY different).
We talk about the mods and how on my car the bypass valve was letting a lot of air bleed which would have made it slower than average.
GTTuning are one of the few who check/mod the bypass valve btw

Paid the bill (!) , and started my journey home.
Not a good start as I get stuck in a jam caused by an accident blocking the A350.
And again by a pile up on the M6 later on ..... then thick fog ...... not an easy drive...

A big Hi to a black Works MCS reg plate '**** RO' that passed me on the A350 , and a std blue MCS on the M6.

Conversion thoughts so far
(try an take account of a slight 'my cars just got much faster and I paid for it' placebo effect, which we ALL get :-) )

+ Service was superb, Guys at GTTuning couldnt be nicer.
+ Cost (relatively speaking)
+ Product quality seems top notch
+ Car is much quicker and happier to rev , smoother in revving too
+ Low rev driving is just soooo smooth with tons of torque.
+ From 40 mph in 6th gear hitting resume (to 80mph) on the cruise control is just such a buzz :-)
It just hauls like never before., 5th and esp 6th gears are transformed , no longer do you lose speed on hills and need a down change.
+ An annoying overrun stutter the car had at 1500rpm is now gone
+ Throttle response does seem much better. I always hated the 'dull' std MCS fly by wire response, a HUGE improvement
+ Economy is unchanged or maybe even better ! (*dependent on driving style obviously!)
I reset the OBC for each 400 mile journey.
On the way down (std MCS : 33.6 avg MPG) , on the way back (modified : 34.2 avg MPG) , and I definitely pushed it more on the way back.
+ Exhaust is really nice , deeper note but not overpowering. Seems better after 400 miles too.
+ Reduced Traction Control intervention is worth the money alone. Car actually grips much better than you could imagine.
+ Aside from getting car up on ramps it looks stock even under the bonnet ...

- In some scenarios part throttle mapping seems odd.
This may be due to me having an enlarged TB which is not really necessary at this state of tune.
Car definitely alot better after 400 miles running , so maybe it will disappear in time with adaptation.
- Idle on the very odd occasion can fluctuate. I am going to drive it for a week and see how she settles down. 99.9% of the time its rock solid.
- say bye bye to warranty on parts modified. Can only be your decision.
- my licence is seriously in jeopardy ! 80mph feels like a breeze.

The cons I speak of are really minor and because I'm a fussy bstrd :-)
They are here for honesty.

Would I do it again ? YES in a second. (maybe not tommorrow tho , I'm knackered)
Would I chose GTTuning again ? YES definitely.
The car now drives like a MCS should but still with a quality edge.

Big Thanks to Roland@GTTuning for fitting me in at short notice.
What you waiting for? Phone GTT now before they get too busy :-)


Time for another update me thinks.

Car runs even better now after more miles. I have even noticed that the engine area is quieter with the car running , the belt noises are vastly reduced with the different pulley bits.
Cold start and warmup cycle are much improved compared to the std MCS wrt driveability.
Also the really annoying 'jerk' that I used to get when pulling away from a cold start has now gone.
As I eluded to before , the DSC changes are brilliant , you can really push the car before it intervenes. I was pushing it in 2nd and 3rd in the wet last night round corners (a nightmare scenarios in a std mcs with DSC) and the available grip (even with runflats) is just brilliant.
If anything the less jerky nature and confidence it inspires makes it safer IMHO.

The only issue I have had , is the DSC light coming on when pushing the car in 3rd gear past 6700rpm on a cold night. My heart sank when it came on.
Luckily ignition on and off got rid of it(not at 6700 in 3rd tho!).
Then once home I checked out these forums and asked Roland.

Heres some useful thread links , as its not an issue I was even aware of..
DSC light on LINK 1 (mini2)

DSC light on LINK 2 (mini2)
DSC light on LINK 3 (NAM)

Basically from what I can gather its linked to 18psi at the MAP sensor and the DSC's ability to modulate traction at this limit. Its not a problem and happens on ALL types of modded pulleyed cars when the air is cool.
What IS interesting is that not everyone who has a 17% or 19% pulley (most likely to hit 18psi) reports the light issue , which either means they dont rev it high enough OR the cars are not producing the requisite boost levels.
Obviously you need to take into account the wide range of climates (ie temps reducing air density) that these cars run in. (a car in a very warm climate with a 19% may not hit 18psi)
The graphs of boost vs pulley within the threads show a 'spike' at high rpm , so if you never rev it hard then the light is not a prob I guess.
To be honest with a pulley'd car high revs is neither advisable or required (esp as a 19% goes outwith s/c specs) , and 99% of the time I drive in the torque wave from 2 to 4k

I always fancied a dual gauge pod for the rev counter with greddy gauges so maybe this is the excuse :-)

FWIW I also feel that the upgrade really suits my 03 longer geared MCS , if anything I would want to make 6th gear even more of an overdrive for economy!.

bored yet? OK I'll stop....


Ok, its been nearly two months since my last post.
My life has changed forever and its going to take a long time before I feel in any way 'normal'
However in the spirit in which my wife fought to the end I am going to restart these entries.


Friday, 11 March 2005

Cancer Donation Links

In memory of my beloved wife Dr Nicola Oldfield [1972 - 2005]

I have set up a page so that anybody who wishes to , can donate in memory of Nicola.
Please dont worry if you have done so already.

Below are a selection in no particular order
The choice is yours.....
1. Cancer Research UK [All Cancers]----[ Click HERE to donate ]
2. Ward 24 Glasgow Royal Infirmary-----[ Please send a cheque ]
3. Jo's Trust [Cervical Cancer related]--[ Click HERE to donate ]

Monday, 7 March 2005

The End

It is with great regret and sadness that I place this post.
Sadly my lovely wife Nicola passed away at 9.40pm on Saturday 5th of March , after a battle with cervical cancer. She was 32.

She loved the new MINI and was the reason we got one.
Please feel joy that she is free from the nightmare and rejoice that we both had a wonderful time together.

Nicola , I will love you forever , goodbye my sweet ................... J xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 10 February 2005

MPG update / another one bites the dust / thoughts

MPG Update
Date------Cost----Litres--Gals---Mileage--ltrs/mil--MPG--Total Mileage

OBC 21.7mpg : 12.4mph : 4 miles to go

Once again Shell's finest fuel for this tank, a new record I think for me , 20MPG and an average speed of 12.4mph!!
Yep , I definitely think I could walk quicker and save money LOL
Lots and Lots and Lots of very short journeys.

Another one bites the dust..
Yep , another pristine alloy gets scraped against a high kerb..........sigh
Hopefully its easily sorted by a mobile van to touch the marks up.

Car definitely needs an LSD (good excuse for an 05 model ..)
Runflats are totally rubbish in the wet. Understeer city. Car has so much more potential but I often find its very easy to get a 4 wheel drift at very low speeds.........
Must have more power.....(and probably would suit the taller 03 gearbox ratios )
(reports say that the shortened ratio 05 cars feel much quicker , but I feel an upgrade may make them too short???
Will need to test drive an 05 MCS Works to prove that point)
windscreen strip still not fixed , too busy at the moment.


Sunday, 30 January 2005

IceLinkPlus works :-)

Yep , after sticking some tunes on my ipod and dropping it into the cradle it worked straight away :-)
Big thanks to Mike at for pre-uploading the config file and most recent firmware. (Service was truly excellent)
This meant I didnt have to do anything other than fit it and switch it on....
Sound quality is superb and all the MFSW function all work.

How To Change a MINI Head Unit - MINI2.COM
How to remove MINI interior bits - MINI2.COM
DENSION USA - PDF Download page

[TODO : Add pics]

Head Unit swap and IceLinkPlus fitted

My wife bought me an Ipod Mini for my Xmas , and I'm sad to say I havent used it yet!
My excuse was I couldnt use it in the car. So I considered my options for fitting it into the MINI.
My chosen path was to replace my BoostCassette HU with a BoostCDHU and remove the boot mounted CD changer.
(I really wanted to fit an aftermarket HU but decided against it for security and looks issues)
Ideally I would have liked an 05 BoostCD HU as they play CDR's with mp3's , but because the folk with navigation want the later units too they tend to be rare and expensive.
So I have bought a 2nd hand unit off ebay. (incidentally this is my 3rd auction for a cd unit, I lost out on 2!). It cost me 130 UKP , which I think is alot , but the previous owner was fab and its in great condition and comes with the key code and manual.
I also bought a Dension IceLinkPlus off mikeythemini from
His repututation for MINI related ICE issues is legendary. Whilst the Plus has had some issues (and lots of discussions!) the early bugs seem to have been ironed out.
Anyway Sat (yesterday) I replaced the cassette with the CD headunit and removed the cd changer. I also plugged in the icelink between the cd and car loom.
The mini ipod mount is fitted with a metal mount that is really neat and uses the radio fixings.

The CD works fine , I just need to setup my ipod now and check out the icelink.
I hope it works, otherwise I need to have the dash apart again.....
Of note , I didnt need a radio code for the changeover and my H/K functions are all still working :-)
I will provide a fuller report later with pics...

Also washed the car and managed to remove some of the accumulated tar deposits over the boot area.

I also have fitted silver indicators (flash orange!), so you can't see orange in daylight thru the indicators and better high beam bulbs (both from newministuff again) , I have xenons so I can only change the high beam element.

next step is to confirm the icelink works .........

Tuesday, 25 January 2005

Happy Birthday Allan

Yes , it may be 18 minutes past Allans official birthday but heres my homage.
Hope you had a good day off m8. God Id kill for a cool Cerveza just now.

Sunday, 23 January 2005

MPG Summary :: MINI Cooper S (up to Jan 2005)

I reckoned it was time for a summary of my fuel usage with the Mini Cooper S

Miles-MPG----OBC data
315---31.8---35.1MPG/31.2mls/21 to go
259---25.9---29.4 MPG/30mls to go
298---28.2---31.7MPG/26.2mph/12 to go
280---29.3---31.7MPG/25.7mph/40 to go
299---28.5---31.2MPG/27.6mph/8 togo
288---26.9---30.3MPG/26.3mph/7 togo
283---25.6---28.2mpg/24.5mph/0 to go!


Thats 279 miles per tank on average and 27.0 MPG.
(On my car the OBC trip computer seems to register an average MPG thats always at least 2MPG above the actual. I reset each time on fill up)
Please note that recently my commuting has become lots of small journeys which REALLY drops the 'S' mpg.
I also had the JCW airbox fitted so I tend to go above 4500rpm more :-)
The warm up phase of the mini seems to burn a lot of fuel.
Longer runs and 28+ is possible.

In comparison my old Fiat Coupe 20VTurbo was actually better on fuel ... go figure.

Thursday, 20 January 2005

Hapyy Birthday to me :-)

Yeap another year older...
Hi to Linzi who remembered (bless her cotton socks) and Allan ,
who's birthday is in a few days.

I may even sample a beer tonight ....

Wednesday, 19 January 2005

MPG update

Date-----------Cost----Ltrs---Gals---Mileage--ltrs/ml--MPG---Total Mileage----Type

TRIP COMP : 25.2mpg(avg) :: 15.8mph (avg) :: 8 miles est left

I've obviously been stuck in traffice more this time LOL with a avg mph of 16!
MPG is really low. Lots of short journeys.
Oh and the flat rear tyre wont have helped.

Just missed another std fit CD player on ebay in the last 30 seconds!
Finally went for 140 UKP which seems a bit steep.

Snow this week in Glasgow which was great fun , DSC really helps but its more fun with it turned off :-)

Sunday, 16 January 2005

tyre fairies....?

must be!
Took the car into Henry Bros on Sat morning (great of them to fit me in at short notice) to let them check out the tyre.
Went to pick it up later and they say its fine !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm stumped, so for now Ill leave it.
Certainly the runflat indicator has yet to come on a third time!
[maybe somebody is letting my tyres down outside the flat???]
Cost me nothing (nice one Henry Bros) , so I bought some oil while I was there ....

Car is constantly filthy at the moment due to the weather :-(
I'm also bidding on an earlier single slot CD on ebay , but it may soon go well above what Im willing to pay. Last one I saw went for £150 !!!!!

Carchip moan : I usually download info on a Sun , and today the application that reads the data hung after I had cleared the memory. It seems as if it has saved 'some' data but a lot is gone, bugger...
Carchip is a nice tool but the inability to view saved data with the unit attached AND software instability certainly spoils the experience a bit.
A rock solid application and a few finishing touches would make it so much better.
Would I buy one again ?? Yes , but be aware of its 'idiosyncratic nature'
.......come to think of it thats a bit like the Pace Twin Freeview Personal Recorder settop box I recently bought (great idea but let down by instability)

Thursday, 13 January 2005

mmmm runflat indicator was right...

Its now been ~120 miles since I first got the indicator flash , cough..
Bought a tyre pressure gauge from Halfords and checked them this morning.
F/L 28psi F/R 27.5psi
R/L 3psi R/R 30psi

mmm that will be a flat rear left then!
Funnily enough it just looks a little bit flatter but not by much...

Will pump it up soon and check again before I take it in for a puncture repair.


Monday, 10 January 2005

Good Luck strikes at last .......

Yes , unfeasable as it seems but we won the lottery :-)
Not 3 or 4 numbers but 5 out of 6 numbers to be precise.
No , alas not millions but a handy sum nonetheless....767 quid

[Balls Matched----No OF WINNERS----£s PER WINNER------TOTAL]
Match 6 --------------------5---------------£3,000,000---------£15,000,000
Match 5 plus bonus---20---------------£77,112--------------£1,542,240
Match 5----------------1256 ------------£767-----------------£963,352
Match 4--------------62206 ------------£34------------------£2,115,004

What a great start to 2005 , lets hope it continues....good riddance to 2004
Nicola, in true female tradition has spent 3million in her head even though we only won 700 :-)

Thursday, 6 January 2005

MPG update

Re: MPG Update
Date------------Cost--Litres--Gallons--Mileage--litres/mile--MPG--Total Mileage--Type

Trip Data : 28.2 avg mpg / 24.5 avgmph / '------' to go!
As ever its around 2 MPG less than I actually got.

This time I ran the car to 0 miles to go on the Trip Computer , it then updated and gave me 5 miles extra ! it did this several times then it just displayed '------' as I just drove on ......LOL
The speedo display needle was below the red warning light. Im not sure how much further you can go. I suspect quite a bit.

Re: Windscreen Strip / Possible Puncture
As well as the 'adrift' strip (which it turns out is a common problem and caused by new screens being fitted too low on the car!!! However I dont plan to let the dealer attempt to move/replace it !!! Small amount of silicone me thinks)
Even more fun as the runflat indicator came on yesterday......
None of the tyres look even slightly deflated (which on runflats they apparently dont).
I will check the pressures on the way home tonight, but for now it drives as normal.....

Re : JCW FIlter
Im convinced the car definitely feels quicker with it on. Especially in the upper rev band.
Its more willing to rev to the redline for sure.
Not only that after a few good 'hard' runs the car seems much better , and appears to 'adapt' to the new filter over time.
Love it and would certainly buy again...

Enjoy 2005 J

Wednesday, 5 January 2005

sub light speed dislodges windscreen trim...

Yep , the upper windscreen finishing strip has not been right since the screen was replaced (a stipulation of buying the car was a new screen cos it had 2 chips) , it used to 'bow' out from flush in cold weather. This used to make some noise , however a recent 'spirited' run from Ayr to Glasgow meant it finally came 3/4 loose at speed (and sounded like a large block of wood stuck in a tyre as it flapped against the roof :-) )
So for now its pulled out and on the back seat......

Tuesday, 4 January 2005

short diversion : Dell Dimension 4300 Windows ME to XP upgrade

yes I know its not MINI related but I thought I would get it down here so that anyone else attempting the same knows its possible....
Heres what I did to a friends PC , who wanted XP (for IPOD connectivity) but also to get rid of an unreliable ME setup

Clean install of Windows XP Pro onto a previous Windows ME Dell Dimenson 4300.
Current Bios Version A02
Current System ID Dimension 4300
Operating System Windows Millennium
Audio Driver Game Port for Creative SB Live!
Audio Driver Creative SB Live! Value (WDM)
Video Driver 16MB ATI Rage 128 Ultra

I chose a clean install , as ME is known to be tenacious in upgrade scenarios and the host machine was full of viruses/trojans and lots of other rubbish. I also wanted to got to NTFS rather than retain FAT32.

First off do a web search for XP upgrades or clean installs . Upgrades are possible but generally not advised. The only problem is that there is no way back with a clean install past a certain point (unless you image the original OS using something like Norton Ghost)

I did a fair amount of research because Dell machines tend to be different!!! (Ive been here before when the PSU fried a year and a half ago)
The Dell website provides a web based tool which lets you initially know if an upgrade is possible, in addition they also have a small program which you download and run which tells you what your system may need for the changeover.
It replied saying a BIOS update was needed , along with some incompatible software.
Oh dear ...... OS changes can be difficult , but BIOS updates (IMHO) are a last resort if absolutely /definitely required.....

I also ran the Windows Compatibility Checker from the CD (remember to make sure the machine boots to floppy then CD before HD in BIOS setup , which was F2 during startup on this 4300) , which promptly hung while building the database EVERY time!!! mmm Not a good sign... I also downloaded it from the windows site (just in case the cd version was corrupt) but alas still no joy....
This was in SAFE mode (in ME) with only the explorer process running!!!!

To cut a long story short (and with a little 'o what the heck from a certain Mr Welsh') I just dived in (confident that the PC spec was relatively new) and performed a BIOS update (using the download from DELL site) and a bios boot disc from

Updated from version A02 to A06 , the machine even rebooted into ME again :-) result.
(Incidentally Windows Compat Wiz still hung after the BIOS update , go figure)

Then onto XP clean install, started machine to command prompt (using startup disc) and using fdisk command ,removed the primary partition. NOTE : At this point you're commited to a new OS install...
Turn off machine and pop XP disc in , then reboot and press any key when it asks if you want to boot from CD. You should then see the XP install start...
I didnt need to install any drivers , and when I looked in device manager all was well.
Not only that its pretty quick (even more so than ME).
At this point I also installed XP SP2 from a cover disc , then also AVG Antivirus and ZoneAlarm from a disc. REMEMBER , NEVER connect to the internet without a firewall and antivirus installed and RUNNING.
Now all I need to do is plug in the cable modem and install the Ipod software.
So far it all looks good , and certainly not what I expected when the compatibility wizard wouldnt even run.
Any questions you can contact me via my email address on my website.

Saturday, 1 January 2005


Best wishes to you all for 2005.