Saturday, April 29, 2017

All Up To Speed

Last night and this morning the last 2 riders for the year were repaired and are now on the road; more line-bleeding in 24 hours than I luckily have to do in a year.

First, I finally got to the bottom of my Honda 400 Automatic's front brake problem.  For some reason, I couldn't get it through my head that the problem really wasn't down in the caliper but rather up in the master cylinder.  A bit of sleuthing online helped me determine that the problem was most likely a plugged orifice in the master itself but there were reports of blockage in the old rubber line so I decided to go whole hog and replace most everything.

New master cylinder from the auction site, braided stainless steel line and finally new brake pads as long as I was at it.

 Not the styling I'm supposed to like, not an overabundance of power or much of anything else but the darn thing is fun and that comfortable.  We are good to go.....

Bled the line, a quick install and the red one runs.......

This one is fun too.......:)

Routes and plans were all set for next weekend's Slimey Crud Run but something else has come up.  Pine Bluff and Leland will have to wait until October.

Monday, April 24, 2017

So Much To Tell!

This week's wrap up is going to be full to the brim, brim full I tell you!

Weekday evenings out in the garage that were supposed to be happening during the cold months have found me playing catch-up with getting the bikes ready for the '17 road.  A new windscreen on the Enfield sidecar rig, wiring/turnsignals/stoplight/license plate light/license backer plate all were finished up.  I finally decided on a few pounds of ballast (tools, some extra fuel, odds and ends that might help others....) since getting that wheel off the ground has been easy to do on the tight right handers.  The Cozy came with a windshield (left off for the time being), a luggage rack (now installed) and a steering damper (left off for the time being.  More on the rig later.

Friday morning I changed oil in the Morphous, then took it out for a nice 100 mile loop.

Various shades of green.....

So I got home and since Richard has been after me to get all the bikes on the road, I'm down to just a couple and the ST2 was closest to the front.  After wheeling it outside, gear on, confident and ready, it turned over twice and started right up.  Sounding nice....almost musical...I pulled the clutch in and....Nothing.  The lever went right to the bar, my hydraulic clutch quickly diagnosed to a leaky slave cylinder.  The red one needed to be backed inside, to right where it had spent the last 5 months for a bit more rest.  Before the evening was through, a new clutch slave cylinder was on the way.

Saturday's plan had originally been for a quick run up to Mpls for coffee, the Morphous loaded and ready.  But Friday evening I found out that plans had to change; our daughter was busy and would not be coming down until Sunday to finish up the build phase of her Tack Cabinet.  There was a quick text message sent to Eric and Jeff to accept their ride invitation.  It was necessary to inform the Minnepolitans that I would NOT be attending their gathering after all and I later heard about it...."where's Doug...he said he'd be here??"

By 9 AM we all had arrived at the Riverside Cafe in Durand.  Jeff, Eric and Kevin, who I hadn't yet had the chance to meet.

Based on the planned machines that would be on the ride, I naturally picked the Morphous as my Adventure ride.

Thanks Eric!

During the course of our day, Jeff once again reminded me (he's been very patient with me.....) about listening to the Adventure Ride Podcasts, knowing full well my penchant for radio and podcast leanings.  He went on to explain to the group about a recent show highlighting the exploits of a certain Aussie Royal Enfield rider that while at work one day, dropped EVERYthing he was doing and soon was on an African adventure.

Well that did it, not only did it sound interesting (Jeff shared that this guy was a hoot) but he was loyal to my new loyal brand, Royal Enfield.  Last night I not only listened to the podcast, but downloaded the free copy of Luke Gelmi's Book 1.  I could provide all sorts of links here but instead will encourage anyone interested to listen as I did and not take any shortcuts to that prize.

An African riding adventure wasn't the only thing Jeff shared yesterday, he was really full of it information yesterday.  At coffee one morning he told a few of us that he'd been watching Harley and The Davidsons on the television.  Here at home we don't have cable but we are customers of some of the internet access channels so last night I jumped on Prime with my Kindle and did some treadmill time as I started watching the series.  This came along just in time since I'd just finished my 3rd read of Nick Adams' Beyond the Coffee Shop while walking in circles.  Now I've got Africa and old times in Milwaukee to learn about while hoofing.

Breakfast in Durand....

A rest stop along the Chippewa River.....the sun was feeling oh so good!  Eric and Kevin had started out Early....still frosty.

Kevin had things to take care of at home, so he left from here, Jeff, Eric and I continued on to Elkmound and down-geared our way on the steep road up into the park so that we could climb the stairs in the observation tower for some more up.  The view from up there is actually quite amazing.

Up through Colfax, then north on W into some very nice gravel road country.  We stopped as I have before in front of the No Trespassing Sign....."Vincent, this means YOU" for a snack and water break.

Though nothing like Luke Gelmi's West Africa trip, we did what we could.....

Thanks Eric!

The Storage Industry is huge in our part of the country and Eric managed to catch this one wants to pay for more space than they use.

Thanks Eric!

From there we worked our way south and west along Red Cedar River where the many, many homes and summer residences line the shoreline.  We stopped for a sandwich in Knapp and the cafe there was in big preparation for that evening's local prom.  People dressed much nicer and with a great deal more flair than our table of 3 were beginning to arrive, decorations were being was hard not to get caught up in the excitement.  After one of my longer fueling stops, we zipped over the hill and through the switchbacks to within throwing distance of Interstate 94.  

Jeff headed back to Mpls, Eric headed to the Southeast (never the short way) and I headed back to MN.  I'm sure that neither Jeff or I took routes as convoluted as Eric's though both of us certainly could have gone more direct.

Together we did the Red, my ride was the grey.  Another, very nice day of riding together.

Sunday morning I had time to sneak in a breakfast ride, the weather once again perfect.  I stopped here in Bay City, anxious to sit down for coffee and breakfast to enjoy a meal as I've done in the past, only to find that the diner had closed.  

The entire dining area has been converted to beer storage (Wisconsin), the only remaining sign that this had been a cafe....

Honest, I don't seek these now seems they're seeking me!

So, still hungry AND thirsty, I headed north through Esdaile on one of my favorite local roads.

When it gets better than this where you are, please send me a postcard.

Breakfast finally happened in East Ellsworth, then a dash home to help our daughter finish up the "build" phase of her Tack Cabinet.

It was a Grand'll hear not a single complaint from me!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

An Easter Weekend Mix

Thursday evening I was excited about possibly getting our family (my brother's new in '70) SL100 Honda back on the road, maybe even as my Pit Bike for the Road America event rapidly approaching.  The old, now rare original muffler was shot a few years ago and the last time I had  this to use around the infield at the AHRMA event, it was pretty loud.  I've dabbled with replacement muffler/pipe combinations but for numerous reasons, haven't stumbled on the perfect or even a workable solution yet.

Something complicating the exhaust issue is the kickstart shaft that's about ready to call it quits.  I'm not sure where all the repairs happened, if it was back when my brother still had it or when dad had it, but this little normally easy-starting Honda start mechanism has seen a lot of toil.  I knew that the splines were poor.  The sewing pins were a temporary fix; the weld another.  I drilled a hole for a dowel pin but even with all of that, the real issue now is that the end of the shaft is actually bent.  This off axis rotation of the kick start lever got to be a problem with exhaust pipe and muffler clearance.

A fix was in order.  The gaskets arrived, the auction kick start shaft is on the way so in my excited state Thursday evening, I started pulling the bike apart, only to discover that unlike my two previous kicker fixes on other bikes, this one was going to involve a lot more work.

An entire case splitting will need to occur and there's just no way that one of those will happen during riding season, not around this hacienda.  December and more likely January will have to be soon enough.

So, she was buttoned up to wait for better (repair) weather.

There is now an opening in the schedule for time on the lift.

Friday morning I was busy in the shop, woodworking and finishing up the wiring on the Enfield sidecar rig.

Then it was time for a ride, Old Blue was looking at me with wanton turn that's what we did.  No destination in mind, other than some coffee and pie led us up river to Prescott's Freedom Park.

Overlooking the confluence of the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers........

The long way home past the Treasure Island Casino and some more garage time in the evening.  Peg's half day working at home had her busy getting her latest knitting project stretched out while drying.

Saturday morning early, some audiobook time and then back out to the shop to do some more wood gluing on our daughter's Tack Cabinet.

Thunderstorms over night and a lot of rain we didn't need (first mowing approaching rapidly!!) saw me cozily in the garage until late morning when surprise, it was time for another ride, this time the little V-Twin was anxious to get some air.

Near Welch, in the Cannon Valley Trail parking lot.

I saw a repair/air stand just like this up in Grand Marais at last year's MN Guzzi Rally.  The Hyosung was in no need of repair thank you.

This one for might try this.  Brad, what do you think???

No, it's not a key but special in its own right!?!

An Easter morning shorty breakfast ride with a stop in Red Wing's Memorial Park.

The green's will persevere.....

Happy Easter!!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

First TW200 Ride of 2017

Another early trip up to Diamond's for coffee yesterday (in the van, not on the Yamaha) and then over to GoMoto to pick up my newly mounted Breva front tire.  I got a couple of R.E. oil filters as well as long as I was there and an optional rear fender that I might or might not install.

Turnout was good, the weather extra nice and warmer; good things on a Saturday for coffee drinkers that ride.

Mike was there with his newly enhanced Helix and his I-don't-know-how-much-increased-performance.  Flip the switch and the hook-up rotates.  You probably won't see many of these.

The big plan was to get my newly mounted Continental tire installed on the Guzzi and then out for its first Go of the season but the weather so fine and me in too big of hurry....The TW200 was together, right in front and just as deserving.  It hadn't been in the shop for any '17 "updates" ...time for that later.  New tabs slapped on, a few ticks of O2 in the tires, 5 kicks and off we went.

Last weekend there was a gravel bicycle competition in the area and this road was on their route.  There were literally a hundred small tire tracks in the now much firmer mud.  I was glad I had the Yamaha.

A lunch stop in Plainview.....

The 2nd of 3 Minimum Maintenance roads traversed yesterday.

Coffee stop in Mazeppa.....

My bicycle Sigma and the GPS trip meters close enough for the roads that I go out with.

The plan was to stay off the bikes today (Sunday) but darn, the morning was just too nice.  Eric had written that they'd be gathering for breakfast and I turned them down, staying true to the aforementioned plan.  Spending some time out in the garage and then outside turned me;  front wheel on the Breva, a text to Eric about an early lunch gathering and the Plan Foiled.

I started out early so that I could make a loop, as Eric paraphrased this morning, "taking the short way is just about impossible".  The trees are showing spring color, their buds doing what they'll do.

Eric's helmet cam captured my parked bike at the Nelson Cheese Factory.

That lump over by the white tank is me enjoying a cup while I waited though as usual, Eric was right on time.

Still getting comfortable with my new modular helmet, hopefully I'll get use to removing the helmet without constantly dealing with my eye glasses.  A bit more breaking in should help.