Wednesday, October 29, 2014

80 degrees in October....ride all day! What else!

Wow!  What a beautiful day yesterday was.  80 degrees and all sunshine, what better day to ride the bike only for all trips that day.  To the store, auto parts, m/c dealer, go look at some flooring for the downstairs apartment, stop-by and visit a buddy of mine, stop-by the barbershop and so on. 

I got on the bike about 7:30 and parked it later that day at dusk.  Put on about 200 miles too! And all just around town.  I went and ordered a decal to put on the windscreen with the year make and model of the bike so I don't have to answer so many questions or have people wait around for me to return to the bike to ask about it.

Today the weather turned COLD and windy so I'll just have to p[ass on riding today.  But there is always Tomorrow!

Decal arrived and I installed it.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Too Cool!

That is what someone said to me today at the Motor Cycle Swap Meet at the Howard County Fairgrounds.  I went to the meet looking for some parts and did find a pair of Second Story motorcycle bags in heavy leather for $30.  I don't think 2nd is in business anymore and I know that the bags they had were of high quality so I'm glad I found a pair in real nice shape and condition too.

There were a lot of people at the meet.  Maybe 50 + motorcycles rode in while I was there and pretty much newer bikes, I think mine was the oldest ride in but there were about 20 or so bikes for sale indoors.  A few old ones (Harleys).

The wind was blowing very hard today, gusts to 40 mph so the ride back home was difficult.  I did some local riding and a grocery run, that sidecar is sure handy.

That's it for this weekends report.

I have a few repairs to do during the week all minor but need to be done before they become major!

I have a busy week ahead with doctor appointments.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

So, what would the Russians do?

If you read my blog you will remember I got soaked on my trip.  120 miles in the rain is no fun (well maybe it was).  So yesterday I picked up a 1973 Ural with sidecar.  I mainly wanted the sidecar and rigging but in the pile of spares there was a pair of Ural leg shields and I started thinking that just maybe they would fit the R50 rig.........and yes they do.  I will have to repaint them since they are Shocking Green.  I positioned the left side and I think they will clear the fairing very nicely and it sure beats getting soaked (and cold).  Maybe, just maybe, those Ruskies have a good idea or two (including pickled herring).

What do you think?  (Not about the pickled herring)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Time for post trip repairs and thoughts.

I went over the bike and started servicing it from the ride.  Changed the oil in the engine, trans and rear.  Need to replace the dust boot on the driveshaft to trans area (picking it up today at Bob's).  I want to relube the tach and speedo cables, one of them made a squeal on the way home and not sure which one.  Everything else seems fine.

  I learned a thing or two riding this far on that old bike;

 #1 Keep the sidecar windscreen down if no one is in the sidecar.  I had a lot of wind resistance and it made the engine work harder than needed to maintain good speed.

 #2 Take more riding breaks.

 #3 Change that new handgrip on the throttle, my hand still hurts and two fingers are still not working correctly.  The grip is too thin and did not configure to my hand well.

 #4 Check for fuel and oil leaks at every stop.

 #5 Spend a little more time talking to people that have interest in the bike and trip.  Many of these folks will never experience the time and joy I have riding; some can only dream, some can not afford it, some will never have the time and some are just scared.

 #6 Keep doing what I'm doing and enjoy the time I have, the way I want.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

BACK from a great trip to " Wheels Through Time "

WOW, if you ever get a chance go to that museum.  So many great things to say about it and the staff.  I had one of my best museum trips ever. 

Along the way had a little problem or two.  First drove about 120 miles in heavy rain, had a fuel leak where the crossover hose rubbed against the engine and made a hole at the connection and almost at every fuel stop had people out asking about the bike, even had folks videoing me as I drove down the highway and many thumbs up in fact one gal rolled down her window and said " What a cool  ride!", in fact said more than one time by many.

At one stop 3 guys from the BMW plant in NC spent about 30 minutes with me looking over the bike asking questions and telling stories about their rides.  One guy pulled up in VA and said he is going straight home to work on his 1968 Bonneville after seeing my bike,  It inspired him to get his done that has been sitting for 4 years in the garage.

Here are some photos.  Enjoy!  I should add my right hand is cramped from holding the throttle.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

RAIN. Go away!

Made it to Winston Salem, NC about 370 miles of riding 100 in the rain.  Got soaked is the easy way of say it.  Bike drove great, a few new sounds but I think it's just coming alive again after sitting for 21 years without any attention.  Stopped for the night at Micro Tel Motel and had a great meal at the Outback Steak House.  It's morning and still raining out so I'll wait a while for it to slow down, I hope.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ready, Set, Go !

I'm getting ready to drive away on the trip to Wheels through Time museum.  Made some last minute mods to the bike.  I mounted a solar automotive battery charger to the rack on the sidecar and a red flasher light too.  On the windscreen I mounted a white flasher light.  These are battery operated and the battery should last 100 hours in each.  I know it's not much but every little bit helps when it comes to safety.

The roads are still wet from yesterdays rain and many of the leaves have fallen, about mid-day the roads should dry but I will be pulling away in about an hour to keep my (loose) schedule.

Monday, October 13, 2014


It's Monday, tomorrow I leave on the trip and it's raining out.  The weather girl says it will stop tonight, I'm packed and ready to go.  Plan to leave about 9am when the morning rush is down because I have to go on the Beltway to get to Virginia and route 29 heading south.  So, all systems are a go. Called my friend Phil Lipka in Hickory to say I'll stop by (every 5-10 years) but he will not be there, in Florida, works for US Airways.

I'm looking forward to getting on the road, I need a road trip to just have some time for myself.  The 5 day adventure will be a lot of fun on the R50, just hope water will not be involved other than to drink it.

That's it, Ciao!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

It's ALWAYS something

OK, so I'm getting ready for my ride to Wheels through Time motorcycle museum,  about a 525 mile trip one way.  Checked all lubes, installed new tires and tubes, charged battery, bought and installed new sidecar cover and sidecar windscreen skirt.  This morning already have a flat on the sidecar....haven't even backed out of the shop!  Took of the tire and sure enough a pinhole in the tube, no patches for me, went out and bought a new tube, heavy duty for off road riding, extra thick!  Remounted the tire and went for a test ride with the all new tires.  One mile (exactly) from the shop the bike stops running.......I did a quick field check and sure enough no spark, most likely the points, pushed the bike 1/2 mile then coasted down the hill to the shop.  In the shop opened her up and there was the problem, broken wire to the points.  Everything put back together and test run....ENOUGH for today!

But I am ready to go.  Weather permitting leaving Tuesday morning for the first 300 miles and finish it up on Wednesday.  Thursday tour the museum, visit with Dale if he is available, spend the night then back on the road.

The show is called "What's in the Barn"  on the Velocity Channel.   Great show, very interesting and educational (all about motorcycles).

He are some current R50 photos with all the new goodies installed.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Riding the R50

Well, I haven't been feeling very well the past week but I have been putting in some time working and now riding the R50.  I now have new tires and tubes on all the wheels, new shift rubber, new gas cap seal (all my jeans smell like gasoline), keys that fit the toolbox and steering lock but still need to be cut, I was able to pick the toolbox lock but nothing was inside but dirt and dust.

While I was a Bob's BMW getting parts one of the guys checked out the 50 and really liked it a lot, also when I went to the pharmacy to pick up  some meds a guy was waiting by the bike just to tell me how cool the bike looked especially the CUB Cadet tractor seat that was in the sidecar.  He was in his 40's or so and just could not let me get away with all his questions about the bike, some old gal said she would like to have the bike too to take her dog for rides........good grief, give me a break.

So I rode around a lot today and later swung back to the farm and did a little cleaning on the bike, Oh I also installed a new right hand grip since the original was splitting apart and being held together with two tie wraps and some duct tape,  getting my hand sticky too.

I like watching the show "What's in the Barn" about old, very old motorcycles.  The guys on the show have a museum I think down in Tennessee that I would like to go visit so I'm checking on the mileage and route to see if I can do it on the R50.......well, just maybe!

That's it for todays post.  Hope I feel better tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Nothing to stop me but "the rain"!

Great, the bike is ready for regular use and it starts to rain.....not just a little but all day.  So, I went and reinstalled the fairing and windshield plus found a seat that would fit in the sidecar.  It's a Cub Cadet Lawn Tractor seat....yeah, ok, laugh, but it's comfortable, built for outdoor use and it was free.  So it says "Cub" on the back, it looks good in the hack.  Plus it adds to that over-all rat bike look.

I'm hoping the rain stops sometime today and dries up a little so I can go for a ride in the morning.  Now with the cool mornings that fairing will come in handy.  I'll take some photos of the setup tomorrow.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Well I went and did it!

I put the R100 up for sale on Craigslist.  Boom, emails all morning. From Florida to Michigan and everywhere in between.  I have it priced very fair, I've seen some asking over 10K and I think my bike will be the prefect hack for some lucky rider.

 I'll be sad to see it go but I can only ride so many machines and I'll be happy with the R50.  I prefer older bikes and to me the 1977 R100 is a little too new. 

With the research I've done on the R50 I came up with the following.  The bike is titled as a 1967 but made in 1964.  It is a carry over bike, I guess it didn't sell from 64 to 67 and dealers were allowed to title in the year sold.  The engine is a 1973 R75 and I don't know when the conversion was done but it must have been early on because the bike only has just over 10,000 miles on it.  The conversion was well done.  The bike has a lot of rust but no damage other than the large dent that was in the sidecar.  Chrome was peeling off so I removed the flakes and plan to clear coat  leaving the "patina" just the way it is.  I am doing a little cleaning each day I mess with the bike and making the mechanicals correct and strong.  The previous owner had it for over 30 years and it was brought from California in the 70's.  The owner was a member of the L.A. Peacekeepers MC.  I'm trying to do some research on that club but not much is coming up. 

That's all for todays posting.

But as usual I found time to correct all the electrical problems and now all the lights work properly as well as the oil pressure and neutral lights so now nothing is holding me back for daily use of the R50 (which I plan to start doing).  Right now the fairing and windscreen is off the bike and I might just reinstall it since the weather is getting very cool in the mornings.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


Yes, it's finally on the road...well not very far but I did run up and down the road a few times plus climb the hill to the farmhouse.  This bike is very strong and smooth.  I think it is even better than the R100.  I know it is lighter in weight and seems to steer quicker.  I need to get my brake light working before I start heading out very far.  Starts on the second kick (most of the time anyway).  I like the lower profile and the way the ride feels.  The main chassis on the bike it's self is much lower than the R100.  The bike has pegs and not floorboards and that makes a difference when shifting.  I also noticed the neutral light is not lit so I'm hoping it is just a bad connection because the switch is difficult to replace and costs about $40.  Delice made a short video but it needs to be reshot so I'll post that later.'s a drivable machine and I like the ratty look.  No need to paint it.

I should have added.  I installed the new tires front and rear but did not do the sidecar.  I wanted to relace the wheel down from a 19" to an 18" thinking that it would keep the rig on an even plain but after installing the bike tires I did some measuring and it looks like the 19" will still keep the rig very level once I readjust the shock absorber on the sidecar chassis.  So, I'm waiting for the new 19" tire.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Refit of sidecar

So yesterday, even though I have a horrible cold, I refit the sidecar body to the chassis.  I'm still hammering out the front end damage but wanted to make sure everything was falling into place with out any major adjustments.  I dry fit the new battery box and ran the cables.  Everything, including the bike needs a good cleaning and detailing.  I really don't want to paint the bike just try to do some touch up, looking "ratty" is ok with me as long as all the mechanicals are in excellent condition and new tires are installed.  The tires will be mounted as soon as the arrive plus I want to re-lace the sidecar wheel hub to an 18" rim from the current 19".