Journal of a newbie biker EP1

I decided to create a new series of posts about my experience as a newbie biker, I thought it can be fun to read it in a few years and maybe It can be useful to other new bikers to avoid my errors or to better understand the most common problems.

Lesson number one: don’t trust the fuel indicator on your bike.
Looking to older bikes without any fuel indicator (only the reserve light) I always thought how people can use them, I mean how can you plan any trip without knowing how much fuel do you have in your tank?!?
Well, my bike has a beautiful fuel indicator on its dashboard, I won’t say it’s useless, but honestly it’s not accurate at all or at least it’s not as useful as in cars.
If you think about it it’s perfectly normal, bikes have smaller tanks than cars (my bike has a 16l tank), bike’s tank has a totally different shape than car’s one, so accelerations and turning around makes the fuel move much more inside the tank and the tank sensors can’t always get the exact amount of fuel in the tank itself.
Don’t get me wrong, fuel indicators are useful but they are not very precise, so one thing you must learn is to reset the trip counter after each refueling, after a while you know how many Km you can travel before the fuel reserve.

Lesson number two: never downshift multiple times without releasing the clutch.
Gears on a bike are different from cars, multiple downshifting on cars is not recommended but it’s not a big deal, on bikes can cause problems or can get shifting stucked.
I usually don’t do it, it happened to me a couple of times while I was stopping suddenly, and after that I noticed that my gear indicator and the shift pedal seems to be stucked; solving the problem was easy, I was standing still and I only had to slowly release the clutch while moving the bike a little bit forward using my feet, in this way the shifting started working again and everything was fine.
I repeat, It can happen specially if you’re new to bikes, but don’t do it on purpose. Each time you make a downshift release the clutch, even for a couple of seconds, the engine will help you to slow down and you’ll make your gears work properly.

And now a pic from my today trip, the longest so far on my biker career, around 100 Km to the nearest lake to my little town ;P


Welcome Noraly

Finally the day I dreamed for so long arrived!
I waited for so long, with so many doubts “will I use it or it will stay forever in the garage?”, “will I be able to manage it?”, “will I waste my money?” and many more… I waited until my fourties… and then something happened.
I don’t know if the cause was the pandemic, its madness and its sadness, I live right in the middle of the two hottest areas of the first COVID-19 wave in Italy, maybe the most dangerous place in the world one year ago; back then everybody in this regione lost someone because of the virus, maybe this tragedy pushed me and finally I said “let’s do it!”.

However It was a wild ride, when I went to the driving school for the bike driving license everything was shutting down, I had to wait more than 6 months to get the opportunity the do the exam for it, and after that there was a really tiny probability to get the bike in o couple of months, otherwise I would probably had to wait at least 6 months, if not a whole year.

But I was lucky, It took less than two months and finally I had the call from my dealer and now, a week later I got my Ténéré 700.


It was love at first sight, I love her lines, I love the technical choices Yamaha did, I love its simplicity, just after viewing some of the first reviews It was clear that she’s the one, the bike that can do everything, the “unicorn” everyone was waiting for.

I don’t want to go into technical details, there a a ton of reviews online, but I read a lot of people saying the T7 is not a good bike for a beginner, in this post I want to give my feedback as a beginner, and why I think the T7 is a wonderful bike for a beginner that want an adventure bike.

The Yamaha T7 uses a twin parallel engine with around 74-75 HP, with a lot of torque at low rpms.
The power is well enough for everything, cruising, twisties and off-road; I have no experience with off-road riding (exactly one hour ago I did my first test in the small country roads near my house) but people more experienced says this is perfect for it, from a newbie perspective it’s also perfect because It will give you thrust in every condition, are you messing with the gears and you’re super low on rpms on a high gear? No problem, the T7 will get you out of trouble with a simple twist of your right hand.
I remember the bike I used for my training on the driving school, It was a Kawasaki ER6, and it was a nightmare on those situations. on 2nd gear at low rpms the bike was like a crazy horse jumping around with so many vibrations and force you to work with the clutch to not get stuck; on the T7 it’s a pleasure, seems like another universe.

Riding position
Not a lot to say: It’s simply perfect, it’s comfortable, you have everything on sight and as a beginner it gives you a lot of confidence.

It’s the lightest between adventure bikes, so it’s absolutely light? No, when you stand still and move the bike left and right you can feel its weight.
Does this change anything between a newbie and an experienced rider? No, the bike weight is still the same, and if you drop it it’s hard for everyone.
From a newbie point of view the only important thing is that the bike is incredibly light when you’re riding, also on really tight turns you always feel everything under control (It was not the same on the ER6, on 180° tight turns I felt the bike almost falling).

On this aspect people tend to consider the T7 not a good bike for newbies because it only has ABS, no traction control, no driving maps, no cruise control, in other words no fancy electronics.
As a beginner I disagree, as a beginner I don’t want to get my errors fixed by some automagic fancy eletronics, I want to understand what I’m doing wrong, I want to feel my bike, I want to learn if It’s ok or if I’m pushing too much on my actual limits.
Electronic stuff maybe can help you avoid some danger situations, but I prefer to understand them and fix them myself, hiding problems will not solve them, and I want to learn and be a better rider.
So imho it’s better to have a bike with the right amount of power, with a good riding position, a good design that makes you feel comfortable and (almost, there’s ABS, but you can disable it on the rear wheel for off-road) no electronics, than a too powerful and unpredictable bike with a lot of electronics to make you able to do the same things.

Well price is subjective, imho 10k € for an adventure bike with such a good engine and so capable to do everything is a good price.
Some will argue that It has no electronics (check the previous paragraph), It has no tubeless tires (for someone it’s an advantage, for someone else is a con) or some cheap plastics, honestly I prefer to spend my money for good fundamentals, a good frame, a good engine, and good ride position than for electronics, nice plastics or tubeless tires (you can always convert tube wheels to tubeless if you want).

Yes there are cons on the T7, as I said before the weight can be tricky but it’s not something you can solve with experience.
It’s an high bike, but that’s a con only for short people, I bought mine with the rally seat (a couple of cm higher than the standard seat), for me it’s perfect and I’m able to flatfoot in any situation.

Why Noraly?
Well, that’s the name I choosed for my T7, it’s because I wanna thank Noraly “Itchy Boots” an incredible woman that inspired me so much, maybe (or maybe not, who knows? :P) I will not be able to do the incredible travels she did, but she made me dream, and the dream today is come true and I can ride on it. :)
I strongly suggest you to follow here on https://www.itchyboots.com/ and her Youtube channel.


Windows Server reboot log

Windows Even Log is PITA, it always has been, It will always be…
Today I had an alert about an unexpected reboot from one of the few Windows Servers I have and I want to find why it happened and who did it.
Everytime I try to search something in the Even Log I want to cry, it’s one the most time consuming and painful activities I can think about…

But today I found a nice Powershell command that will sort this out in no time… or at least the time taken by the system to search inside the damn Event Log, which usually is quite long…

Get-EventLog -LogName System |? {$_.EventID -in (6005,6006,6008,6009,1074,1076)} | ft TimeGenerated,EventId,Message -AutoSize –wrap

I hope this will come handy


OVH on fire

As you may heard on march 10th a large fire destroyed part of a big datacenter in Strasbourg owned by OVH (maybe the biggest european service provider), and yes, this blog burned with it.

After the accident there was a huge discussion on the web, flames (sigh…) on Twitter and Reddit about this crazy provider which doesn’t have a disaster recovery plan or some sort of automagic backup, so people get stucked with no options other than start their site/service from scratch…

Some of you may think I’m mad about it and I would run away from this provider… well I’m not and I’ll remain with OVH.

The reasons are very simple, first of all as you can see the blog is back (maybe better than before, things like this always makes you think how can you improve stuff, or at least this is how they work for me) because (surprise surprise!) I had a backup every 6 hours on another location (thanks restic).
The second reason why I decided to stay with OVH is that their vps offer is perfect for my needs, it costs like a shared hosting service and runs so much better, and obviously I can do whatever I want with my private vps, instead of get stucked with only a wordpress hosting service.

And no, I’m not mad with OVH, because even without reading carefully the contract I signed, I knew from the beginning that I had to take care of backups, even if they were included in the service (and they’re not in my case).
Why? Because I want backup made on my way, so I can control them, I can check them, I can figure out the best recovery plan for me.

I understand those who were complaining about backups made in the same location where the burning happened, they payed for a service and it has a flaw (a big one, don’t get me wrong).
But from my perspective there was a bigger flaw, and it was their thinking “ok I paid someone to take care of the backup, job’s done”.
No… no…. NOOOOO!
If you own a service you have the responsibility to take care of the backup, to understand it, to figure out the recovery plan, and to test it; if their backups burned with servers it’s because they missed one, many or all those points.

That’s it, for me the case is closed.


Dell iDrac java patch

Every now and then people ask me which is my favorite server producer, and every time I honestly don’t know how to reply because they all work pretty well.
What really changes between competitors are technical support and some of the small bits that many people consider irrelevant, but Imho they are very important, one of them, maybe the most important, it the lights-out management interface (LOM).
Every server producer has it’s own LOM interface, but my favorite (and one of the reasons why I prefer Dell servers) is the Dell Drac.

One of the most common problems with Dell Drac is the virtual console which requires Java JRE and obviously this makes people angry because… well basically because people are lazy, most of the time leave the brain turned off and don’t read errors and exceptions…

If you search online “dell drac java error” you’ll find a whole bunch of forums, thread, reddit posts, also useless Chrome extentions for make the damn virtual console work, sometimes those sources are crap, sometimes they contain small bits of the solution, which is changing because there are several versions of Drac devices and obviously they evolved during the years.
These errors always came from the java.security settings, Drac encrypt data transmissions, and old Drac cards use old encryption protocols and cypher suites, so I decided to make a simple patchfile for the java.security file for a quick change and rollback (it’s not a good idea to turn on old unsecure protocols for you JRE).

First of all you have to identify your java.security file, which is inside you JAVA_HOME/lib/security, after that apply this java.security patchfile.

After that open you java settings and add the url of your Drac web interface to the “Security > site exception” list.

That’s all, now you’ll be able to open the vitual console even on an old Drac 5 with the latest JRE (tested right now with JRE 1.8.0_261).

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