Robert Pirsig has a pre-recorded interview on NPR today. They usually do the interview in the morning time (a couple runs) and then again in the afternoon. Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was his book. I've read it twice(as an adult), and still don't really understand everything. It did help to explain a couple issues from my youth, that I always thought were kinda abnormal - but Pirsig proved otherwise through explaining the actions of his own son during the trip. Publishers tried to persuade him to write many more books on these subjects, however Mr. Pirsig generally stated, "I said what I wanted to say about the subject, and my feelings towards it, and that's it, all I have to say." A member of the Viking Chapter AMCA Club told me Pirsig still had his Honda ! Many offers from potential buyers - but he never sold it.
When your motorcycle is broken, or strands you . . . the situation cast itself as a "zen" moment, now an opportunity to stop and "take in" the nature around you.
He kindly confronted me on why I hadn't posted anything on this blog for "almost a week." I've actually felt kinda lazy and alone lately, that nobody cared really what I did, or how to do certain things I share with you. His encouragement got me going, and gave me some motivation to keep moving. I did some research, and found that blog readership is slowly increasing - it's true, blog readership is actually going up again. About 15-20%, and more for certain areas of subject matter, mainly consisting of areas that offer "how-to" or educational programs, or on certain "sales oriented" blogger sites. It also showed evidence where instagram usage is down - possibly 35%? So as long as Kenny is in-the-air . . . I'm gunna load you up with photos, tech tips, and what's happening in the world of two-wheels and (sometimes Morty the Official Shop Cat) . . . .
CO pullover (good chill-blocker weave).
John Parham (Left) and Pete Hill (thanks Bill R.)
The guy on the right could be any one of us. It didn't matter to John Parham, because even though he was possibly one of the largest and most influential people in the motorcycle industry, he never let that status go to his head - and he'd still take the time to talk with you about motorcycles. John was always right out there with everyone else, riding his bike, restoring stuff, and planning ways to get the parts to the riders. J&P Cycles and The National Motorcycle Museum were his major creations. He had a great team of people working for him. He led the way and let us all in to enjoy the great sport of motorcycling. My dad remembers one of his first shops, with a small sales counter, and Triumph motorcycles and parts . . . soon to expand. I talked to him at the museum last summer, and he still had "irons in the fire" and he was glad I came down, and was happy I was having fun and buying parts, and "tell your dad hi for me" and talking about Jeff Wiley and George, and he always had good things to say about everybody . . . and that's what made John so successful as a business man, but even more important as a good friend to anyone who got a chance to meet him.
The Rug Rat, since it has some ratty parts, and I've been sitting on the floor a lot, building this thing. Anyway, it's a day I'll always remember, spending a lot of time with Jim for once . . . But Nate's blue van will be back . . . and I'm getting my own swap space this year !
I spent a few hours assembling, and dis-assembling. Measuring and checking. Through a process of elimination, checking where I can feel a bit of binding. What part is doing it? Checking the cam and pinion bushings. Checking oil passages and surfaces. Eliminating burrs. Making threads and fasteners perfect. It takes time to do it correctly - so give yourself the time. It's just a good 'ol Harley motor again.
Harley-Davidson race team director, Dick O'Brien dug out Brelsford's old XR and freshened it up, put Springsteen on it . . . and Jay went out and won the race in 1983. Harley first. Then Ducati, Ducati, etc . . . Way to go Springer ! I always thought Springsteen was under-rated as a road racer. If he could have concentrated on road racing, like he did in dirt track - the possibilities for victories with his skill as a road racer were definite. Jay Springsteen, one of the best motorcycle racers to ever throw his leg over a race bike. I'm glad he went with Harley.
. . . then in 1987 - Scott Parker said, "Let me give it a try !"
Parker scored a podium finish in his very first road race in 1987. That's him No.114 on the Harley-Davidson. His 3rd place (behind the two Ducatis of coarse) was a very respectable finish for a first-timer. His efforts stayed with the Grand Nationals - becoming the all time winner in the history of the sport.
I've been really sick since last Tuesday (that's about when it started). My life put-on-hold. I sat under this light (sometimes off, sometimes on) for much of the time. Not getting anything done.
I started reading these books I've had for awhile . . . My whole body ached. My head throbbing. I never felt so weak - and I lost about 6 lbs. in 6 days. Not good. The books both take place in California, in about the same county. I bought Cannery Row on the suggestion of Max at 4Q - and I like the way Hunter S. Thompson writes. I read Sonny's version (which is great), now I'm reading Hunter's version.
Not one to lay around and do nothing, I made a few valiant attempts to do stuff. I needed some sort of forward progress I could achieve inside the house without too much effort. I was really sick and didn't feel like doing shit.
Maybe I could stripe my rims? I'd been thinking about it - and I didn't want it too bright. The One Shot paints are fine, but Fire Red is too orange, Bright Red is too bright when painted on black. Their Maroon is too purplish. I found this old can of Sherwin Williams - Carmine. It's a very old can of enamel, but I shook it - and it sounds good? A local sign painter named David Scrimger gave me all kinds of paint from his days of sign painting in Los Angeles, San Diego and here in Iowa.
The can had the name Paul Pellner on it. Who's Paul Pellner? Maybe I should call Dave and ask him who he was? So I called Scrimger, and asked him about Paul. He told me Pellner was one of the best layout and sign painting artists he ever saw. "You give him a sign job, or a banner to paint . . . and what you got back was a real advertisement !" A beautiful piece of work." Very detailed and perfect on proportion and style. Paul was from right here in Charles City, and many of the signs throughout the city in the 50s and 60s were from Pellner.
This old KEM Bulletin Color No. 106 Carmine is a beautiful shade of a classis evening lipstick red. It striped great - and I didn't thin it or anything. It flowed like genuine, old vintage enamel paint should . . . rims striped in the tradition, and with honor of Mr. Paul Pellner.
Ricky (Anchor Moto of Kansas City) is building a chopper. Not just any chopper. The powerplant will run a chopped 1981 Sportster set of cases, with the transmission portion sawed off. This modification was all done by Lehmann Performance (Pat Lehmann of Minnesota). It will run a belt drive primary, and standard FLH 4 speed transmission.
The Last Word indicator don't lie . . .
Pat did a really nice job on these cases. They look like Four-Cam drag racing cases ! Ricky will build the rear motor mount into the frame to match the case assembly. I'll remove the races and rollers and have them blasted by Gelner, then assemble the lower end, bore the cylinders, do a set of heads . . . and hopefully it will go go go . . . .
1952 K Street Bike: Good Rear Brake, Poor Front Brake, Mushy Front End(little rebound), Stable handling at speed, Greasy rear tire, Sticky front tire, Good power band 20mph-55mph zone, lightweight, easy starting, low maintenance. Left Hand Clutch/Right Foot Shift, CV Carburetor
1952 K Flat Tracker: Good Rear Brake, No front brake, Mushy Front End(some rebound), Stable handling at any speed, Good tires, Good power, Very lightweight, ok starting, Left Hand Clutch with Right Foot Shift, Dellorto Carb.
1952WLA: Good Rear Brake, OK Front Brake, Bouncy front end(no rebound), Twitchy handling at speed, Solid, Sticky tires, Great low-speed torque, lightweight, easy starting, low maintenance, Left Foot Rocker Clutch/Left Hand Tank Shift, Linkert Carburetor
1952FL Chopper: Great Rear Brake(but it can lock up rear wheel), No front brake, Good front end, Stable handling at high speed (but wobbly at about 30mph if you take your hands off the bars), Solid tires, Great power band, Ok starting, Left Foot Rocker Clutch / Left Hand Jockey Shift, Super E.
1961XLCH: Good Rear Brake(touchy), OK Front Brake, Mushy Front End, Stable at all speeds, Great Tires, OK Starting(but it is an XLCH, so that can change), low maintenance, Left Hand Clutch and Right Foot Shift, DC Linkert Carb.
1964XLH: OK Rear Brake, Grabby Front Brake, Ok Front End, Stable at speed, Great tires, Good Starting, normal maintenance, Left Hand Clutch, Right Foot Clutch, Super E.
1965XLCH Stroker: Good Brakes (front and rear are good), Stable at all speeds, Good Tires, Hard Starting (you probably couldn't start it), some maintenance, Too fast for braking (but they're all a bit like this) Left Hand Clutch / Right Foot Shift, Super E Carb.
I guess if you ride old bikes (which you do) you adjust to the conditions of the motorcycle? It's a sub-conscience ability to know what's happening under you. If you have multiple machines, and you ride them all regularly, you can jump on one and not miss a beat. The more you ride it, the more you get in-the-groove. There's not a (new or old)motorcycle that you'll just jump on and everything will flow perfectly. I'll let someone ride my bike, and they're like - "That was fun." We didn't go real fast, and we just cruised around.
Vintage motorcycles, it's just a great way to spend your day.
I like the dash the same color as the tanks (Clapper's suggestion).
This bike kicks serious ass.
These rear fender strips are kinda short?
I like this black SU Eliminator. It looks vintage. Maybe powdercoat the air cleaner parts and just paint the carb slide bowl so you could keep the inside clean? The whole motorcycle a stripped stocker, small mods the more you look. Functional. Ride the sucker.