Sunday, January 11, 2015

New Year = New Toys

Added another to the fleet of toys.  Picked up a 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan VN800B locally for $650.  Needs a little work but not much in my eyes.  Hope to get it down to a solo riding cruiser (like I need another motorcycle, right?).  I could not pass it up at that price since the new exhaust is going on the trike this week and it will be ready for the road.  Anyway, here are some photos of the Vulcan.

I just got back from South Beach, FL yesterday.  Here a couple of photos just to remind everyone what warmth looks like.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year!

I've been doing a lot of local riding.  Since the 22nd I picked up a Ex Police Service Trike.  Needs minor repairs and already underway with those.  Today I did my first ride for the new year.  It was 17 degrees out but I dressed warm and put on about 50 miles locally plus did my grocery run with the rig.


Monday, December 22, 2014

Why I take things apart even if they look good.

I wasn't in a hurry to change the oil on the R100/7 but I didn't like the way the clutch system was and I noticed some red colored, rubbery stuff around the oil filter cap that I didn't really like so I removed the cap, the red stuff, O-ring and filter.  Right away I noticed that the metal washer that is normally between the cap and O-ring was missing,  also noticed the filter had not been changed in a long time and everything was sludged up so after I drained the oil pan I did a rinse-down of the oil pan too.  After reassembly and topping off with fresh oil I ran the bike for about 5 minutes and checked the level.  Everything looked good so I went on and did the drivetrain flush and resupply.  Here is a photo of what I took out and reinstalled.

Very cold today, with rain and icing conditions, so I did not have a chance to get on the road.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Back to work on the bikes.

Everything is unloaded from the trip.  Today I removed the Super Trap mufflers from the R100/7 and installed stock mufflers.  I'm glad the bike will now have a "typical" BMW sound and not that other unknown sound with the Super Traps, which I now call Super Trash.

It's very cold out today so the only repairs have been the muffler changes.

I'm hoping to get in some riding tomorrow even if the weather is cold.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Standing on that fine line between Adventure and Nightmare.

I just returned from a trip.  Let me share the time line with you and you tell me what you think I had.


 I made contact with Ken Rasberry about his BMWs he was selling and the reason for the sale.  I was mainly interested in his R60/5 and not his R80RT but after talking with him I passed on the R80 lead to two of my friends.  One of them wanted the bike so I made plans to pick them both up plus any spares Ken want to go with the bikes.

Changed the oil in the truck, stopped by U Haul for a trailer and the bank for a check.  From there I headed to Ken's place in North Carolina about 435 miles away.

Crossed in to NC and stopped for gas and a bottle of water.  About 20 miles from that stop the truck started to run poorly.  I could only get to about 55 MPH and suspected some bad fuel so I made a beeline to an auto parts store and bought  Sea Foam to try to correct the problem.  The truck started to run better after about 20 minutes so I continued on the trip.  Near Ken's the engine ran rough and I figured a plugged injector.  I refueled, got a room at Comfort Inn and settled in about 9 pm.


In the morning (5am) cleaned up and went to Wal Mart for some tie down straps.  Went to Auto Zone and picked up some new plugs and wires hoping that it would help too since they have not been changed in a while.  Drove to Ken's about 7am, visited a while, talked BMW's, tried to do some engine repair but Bikes were more important.  Loaded everything and Ken suggested stopping by a friends shop for repairs.  I started the truck and slowly pulled away.  I mean real SLOWLY.  I could only get about 30 MPH top speed.

At Ron's shop he thought I was on the right track and suggested another can of Sea Foam and leave the plugs alone.  Bought some on the way out and drove around locally for 30 min.  Started to get back up to about 50 MPH so I headed north. 

About 15 minutes later back to 35 MPH, and mind you in a 70 MPH zone.  I passed a Ford Dealer, turned around and asked for a injector flush and new fuel filter.  5 hours later, yes I was there for 5 hours and rescued briefly by Ken, we went and got lunch, the truck came out of the shop worse then when it went in.  I had enough.

I called the local U Haul and the lady said she was closing early and passed me to another location, Beth was very helpful and worked hard to get me what I needed even though she did not have the trailer to haul the truck.  We had multiple calls between us and built up a good relationship.  She made arrangements for me 10 miles south in Calabash, NC.  I called that location and the lady said I need to get there before 4:30 because she wanted to leave early.  Off I went, about 20 MPH with flashers on in a 70 MPH zone.

About 2 miles from Calabash U Haul calls and said that that person had a family emergency and had to leave so they redirected me to Little River South Carolina another 12 miles south.  Now my speed is 15-20 MPH.

My GPS could not locate the address and I crossed over the International Water Way Bridge at about 10 MPH.  Called the new place and got directions but I had to re-cross the bridge.  I found a safe place to turn around and my speed dropped to 10-15 MPH.

As I started up the bridge the speed would not even record on the speedometer so I was below 10 MPH near the crest of the bridge I figure I was doing maybe 1-2 MPH.  I said a silent prayer to Saint Henry that the Ford would make it to the top and I did.  On the other side with a down hill run got to 30 MPH and turned into the dealer.  I'm so happy that my wise VA doctor prescribed a mild antidepressant for me while I'm going through cancer treatment because if that Ford Ranger had enough power I would have driven it off that bridge into the water way.

Harold was real nice and helpful.  Set me up with a truck and carrier.  We off loaded the R80 to the truck, left the R60 on the my Ranger but now the Ford would not make it up the ramp......Luck was on my side because two of the employees just came back and had a come-a-long.  But it was too short so short shanking a chain and re-hooking 4 times we got the Ranger on the trailer.  I had $25 cash with me and gave it to the guys.  They saved me at that point, said my goodbyes and headed north, now in light rain.

About 150 miles out the rain was so heavy and hard that the wipers could not remove it.  The right wiper began to come apart and 1/3 of it was now slapping on the windshield in tempo with the music on the radio.  I could not see unless I applied washer solution to help  lube the wipers but that soon gave out and I was looking for an exit.

At the exit I took the first motel and got a room.  Wasn't the best but dry and warm.  About 2:30 am Tasquilla and Jamal, my neighbors,  started arguing about who paid for the "sh*t".  Not really sure what the "sh*t" was but really didn't want to know.  The argument was loud and strong, I looked over at the table and saw a motel information book and was wondering who the Parton Saint of the Quality Inn was didn't want to move from the bed because I at least had the TV and dresser to help stop any bullets if they began to fly.  Everything clamed down by 4 so I got up showered, packed and got out.

Went to the front desk and turned in my pass key to the girl with the dragon tattoo (I'm sure she had one somewhere, her arms were covered with everything else), grabbed a coffee cup, filled it with corn flakes and orange juice (the only thing there at that time) and headed for home.

About 180 miles from home Delice calls needing a air pump to fill her birthing pool,  She and Carlos are staying at my farmhouse and she is now ready to have her baby.  Told Carlos to use the small air compressor in the shop but they though I meant to take the pool to the shop which means it would not fit back into the house....once we got that straight the "strangest thing happened".

I like singing to my self when on the road in a car, truck or motorcycle.  I started singing  Arlo Guthrie's "City of New Orleans",

Riding on the City Of New Orleans
Illinois Central, Monday morning rail
Fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders
Three Conductors; twenty-five sacks of mail
All along the southbound odyssey - the train pulls out of Kankakee
And rolls along past houses, farms, and fields
Passing trains that have no name, and freight yards full of old black men
And the graveyards of the rusted automobile

And all of a sudden a hot flash went through my whole body, from the top of my head to my toes,  I felt so comfortable and peaceful, nothing seemed to matter.

I made it home and a few minutes later Delice had her baby (It's a Girl !) I unloaded the motorcycle stuff, came home and wrote down my story.

NOW,  Was this an Adventure or a Nightmare?

Here are some photos.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Another one for the road.

Finished up the R100/7 this morning.  The bike runs and drives well.  Even though it is the same model as my 77' this 78' has some physical differences and handles much better.  There is better steering control and it seems a little smoother over bumps. All I want to do now is change the mufflers over to stock.  The mufflers that are on it are an after-market and I just don't like the way they sound.  So, my personal BMW inventory is 1 R50/2 conversion to R75, 1 R60/5, 1 R80/7 and  2 R100/7 's.  I want to thin it down to the R50, the R80 and the R100 that I just finished repairing.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

A long day with many adventures.

One of my ridding buddies went along for the trip to Bob's BMW in Jessup, MD.  Bob had his Holiday Party and Martin and I were the first to arrive. BMW's , food and drinks were already out and Martin and I watched as others rode in for the event.  Yes, it was cold this morning but many attended via BMW's.  I tried the Pumpkin Bisque, some coffee and a few sweets.  At the event met and talked with Jorge Serpa ( ). He traveled to Alaska on his BMW and was preparing for a 16,000 mile trip around South America.  Very interesting guy, originally from Portugal but living in Chevy Chase, MD when not living on his BMW.

After the event went back to my shop and finished assembling the R100/7.  Martin stopped by to help and we got it done quickly, but the battery was dead and could not start.  It's on the charger right now and hope to start in the morning.  I did remove the gauge cluster to find out what was wrong with the odometer.  Turned out that the geared shaft slid out of position and the counter stopped but the speedo kept working.  I made a back-yard repair by reinstalling the shaft and setting the gear in place and on the other end attached a washer and nut with the help of some sealant.  Not pretty but should go at least 100K.