Nerd stuff . . .

Can I be considered a "nerd" 'cause I enjoy reading technical information?  Why, the answer is YES. 

Morning Commute

I kick started the 1950 Schwinn and hit the trail . . . down the brick street, over Arlen Ness Bridge.

The river was like glass (slight fog over the water downstream).  The recent high water has washed all the goose shit off the trail !  The geese are still here, so more shit coming soon . . .
Downstream fog is lifting . . .

Over the stone bridge and around my exercise loop . . . then past Frank Lloyd Wright's house.
The river is back to normal levels, with good flow.
The kayaks will be out this weekend . . .
McQuillen Place construction seems slow, but they say they're on schedule.  A worker was on the boom early this morning . . . time for a cafe' . . . .
I sit with the bankers and financial wizards of our fine city.  I get the el cheapo $1.38 coffee-of-the-day (black, no room for cream) then I sneak in some half & half anyway . . . and talk politics, city history, and what I did last night when they were probably all in bed by 9:30 . . . . I don't buy any coffee that's from Africa, because I heard they exploit children really bad over there . . . all over coffee beans.  Fuck those dudes.

120 Mile Clutch Test

My clutch basket was leaking oil into my dry clutch plates . . . so I cleaned it all out, and hit the road to Clapper Restoration outside Clear Lake to check out some parts.  On the way back, I rode out to girlhood home of women's rights leader Carrie Chapman Catt (my wife is a docent volunteer in the visitor's center).  The retired farmstead, with brick house is beautifully restored.  It's peaceful out here.  My clutch is working
now too.
This lady founded The League of Women Voters . . . and then, she kicked the ass of all the stuffed shirt men back in the day . . . which was instrumental in giving women the right to vote - which is very cool.

2017 Land Speed Record Attempt

Andy Green (United Kingdom) is planning to shatter his current land speed record of like 750+mph with this new rocket and jet engine propelled vehicle.  He's pretty sure he can go over 1000mph this time out . . . and they've cleared a track with a length of 14 miles in Africa to make a go of it.  I suppose that open cockpit is where the driver sits with his head sticking out so he can see, with his leather racing cap and goggles on ?

Vintage Shine

Bill (Harley Museum Bill) has us doin' a rebuild of an early CH motor.  The rockers had that "aluminum disease" corrosion all over . . . so I wet sanded and buffed 'em up a bit.  The plan is to make the engine have some vintage-shine patina . . . like a polished up barn find Ironhead Sportster . . . soon ready to hit the streets of Milwaukee !  Again !
PS.  I still haven't finished my Grain Belt.....

Do you know any Idioms ?

I just talked to a dude about motorcycles, bike builders, bike shows, mechanics and about everything motorcycle related.  Everyone we chatted about, he had some type of "idiom" to relate me to how he felt about such doings . . .

- "Hey, It takes one to know one . . . "
- "Revenge is a dish best served cold . . . "
- "That's the pot calling the kettle black."

Huh, the pot calling the kettle black?  I guess here's how that one goes.  This pot and kettle are beside each other on a stove top.  This "pot" (which is very shiny and looks real polished, almost like chrome) calls the "kettle" (which is a dark, black and stained finish from doing all the work) . . . The pot calls the kettle Black.  I guess the kettle responds that, on the contrary, "It is "You, the Pot" who is Black, and you are seeing your own reflection on my shiny surface.  It's the kettle who intellectually outsmarts the "simpleton" pot who was eager to degrade the appearance of The Kettle, who plays a mind-game type trick on the pot and . . . Of coarse that gets the pot all pissed off . . . and they still hate each other to this very day !  * The photo of Cindy Crawford has nothing to do with this post.  She's just got that 80s hotness that most all younger women of today seem to lack a bit. 

Illinois State Fairgrounds: Springfield, IL

The Short Track and TT motorcycle races take place 
" The Arena " (Saturday nite)
at the grandstands . . .Sunday
I think I saw my first Mile here in 1990 or 1991 ?
. . .  I rode an 883cc Sportster (chain rear) all the way !
The mile track is one of the oldest and most historic race tracks in these United States, and the world.
All the motorcycle racing greats have raced and won here . . .
 The race celebrated 50 years in 1987 - Big Noot was there that day . . .
Dave Despain put me to work at the Hall-of-Fame Race.
The Mile is still run (2 times) per year !

The great Jim Davis raced at Springfield.
Scott Parker has the most wins on the Mile 
(and if I'm not mistaken, still holds
the track lap record and fastest speed)
Other great milers were: 
Ricky Graham, Chris Carr, Bubba Shobert and Carrol Resweber
Mile wins for the Harley-Davidson XR750 may be ending soon ?
The greatest dirt-track engine ever produced. This may be one of the last years to hear it, and feel all 45 cubic inches at 130mph, with your face up against that chain link fence, the number plate pushing the air past you before the bike and rider shoots past in a blurr, on the fastest-mile-in-the-world . . . the black, dirt gumbo from the Sangamon River Valley which was ox carted to build the fastest dirt mile racing surface.  The small, jockey-build riders tucked in to achieve the greatest speeds needed to win.  Lap after lap.  Pass after pass.  Truly a spectacular show of racing to behold - I've never seen anything like it.  
 The man to beat, the favorite to win by the narrowest of margins:  

Bryan Smith #42
Can Brad "The Bullet" Baker or
"The Jammer" Jared Mees get that Kawasaki ? 
Harley vs. Kaw

I can't wait - When you're in the stands and the first riders pull out on the track, single file, one after one for time trials from the pits and start cranking them thru the gears - and pull a big wheelie for all the fans . . . that's the best - that's when you know you're in for a treat of a race !
If it wasn't for this guy, I'd have no idea what the Springfield Mile was . . . Here's a shot of my dad just before we went into the historic Stadium Bar for a delicious cheeseburger and a cold beer.  We got on our phones and tried calling all the Springfield "regulars" back home - to see who was coming?  Nobody was coming.  It ended up being just us two that rode down last year.  I hope a few more come this time, it was a great weekend of racing.  I just can't wait . . .

In my free time . . .

Fiberglass fender (off a Honda race bike) with original steel, H-D fender braces.  I want it to look authentic for a KR.  The braces are sturdy, but it took some bending and forming to fit with this lightweight fender.  Chad got my early style oil tank all painted and buffed so pretty . . . I rinsed it out and detailed all the fittings.  The tank is installed for good now, and I use extra-reinforced, power steering hose for oil lines. 

Panhead Transmission - Broken & Cracked

I bought the broken & cracked (date coded) case and the broken & cracked hog nose kicker cover from Les in February.  We rounded up a broken & cracked ratchet top - and Pat Lehmann welded up all the broken & cracked bits.  Then McFarland machined everything.  Then McFarland's kid, Randy did some more work for me.  Then Benassi's and a couple other people sold me a box of gears which I went through and tossed all the junk.  Then I bought stuff on Ebay and at a couple more swap meets this last spring.  Then dad rounded up a bunch more small parts he had stashed . . . and Finally I got it all together, and it shifts and everything ! 

Even though I've done about a dozens of these transmissions now, you still learn a lot about mechanics with each build.  Things come up, problems and road blocks during assembly.  It keeps your mind sharp and I feel it's somewhat more constructive than watching television or playing on a phone.

Morty says . . .

" Your rear fender looks fine, now turn out the lights, I'm sleepy. "

Off my rocker . . .

I worked on these '57 rocker boxes yesterday.  Played around with carburetor adapters and a DC Linkert.  Then I drank a bit of Grain Belt (tasted terrible) so I went to McCoy's for a good beer and catch up on local gossip, Sturgis, etc . . . a full non-productive day (which I need every once in awhile).

VL Pinion Oiling

A Harley-Davidson Model VL has a threaded plug, spring and a seal (from the outside of the cover) where the pinion shaft gets oil to the connecting rods.  It's that threaded boss you see in the center of the cover. 

Cool Pipes

I like the pinch-pipe on the front (so you don't have that big, ugly loop around the frame) Maybe some little, short OEM XLCH mufflers, slightly staggered.  Can you buy pipes like this for a panhead?  What are they called exactly?  It would be easier . . .

The Undisputed KING of Peoria

Henry Wiles No. 17
Henry Wiles dominates the Peoria TT National event like no other racer.  Yes, there was Chris Carr.  But Wiles really smokes the competition.  Nobody really ever comes close.  A few will hang on his tail for a few laps, but as the race goes on . . . Wiles just starts pulling away.  Hammerin' Hank is a true master of this legendary racing venue - still the oldest, continuously "club run" national on the circuit.  Next year I guess they'll run twins only again here . . . and I'm sure it may make a difference . . . probably the only way they got a prayer - to dethrone The King of Peoria.  

The Pusher

" I said God damn . . . God damn the pusher man. "
( airplane spiral dive sounds now )

If the trip's not far . . .

Don't take the car . . .
Ride the XR !

1966 XLCH for Kurpius

Startin' to look like something . . .

1975 Sportster XLH Custom Stocker

High Gloss Black (by Clapper Restoration)
Aluminum Rims
Stock Seat
Chrome here and there . . .
Goodyear All-Traction - Straight Rib too
Bendix !
NOS Cycle Shacks
Did I mention Gloss Black?

VLD Cylinders

I bored these .030 over, with 60 degree cross-hatch.  I slow my honing rpms down at the end - and move the hone(up and down) at a faster rate to achieve the desired final degree finish.  Wiley gave me a "honing tip" to just slightly relieve my final stone pressure at the end . . . this will facilitate a smooth, final finish. 
Then I clean out the bores with solvent, brake kleen, hot soap and water - then coat and rub down liberally with WD-40 until I'm ready for installation. 

Vetter Fairings are the shit . . .

A construction road stop, near Wanblee, SD in Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.  He was riding a mid 70s Guzzi with a stark white Vetter fairing . . . nice fella.  (photo by: Rattlecan)

My Panhead Chopper: Tested and Passed

This was my first real chopper build.  It's made this Rally trip for the 3rd year in a row - and taken me on many over-nite trips.  I don't physically look like a hard-core chopper rider - but I am now.  I've done it.  It's never stranded me yet (knock on wood) and always makes it back on it's own power.  The motor is smooth and that helps to eliminate broken bolts and cracked fenders.  The frame is holding up, and I've hit the biggest potholes, bumps and ruts (hey, this is Iowa).  I keep up with all required maintenance - and when wiping it off, I find leaks and tweaks . . . and fix them as I go.  It's a blend of man and machine.  When you build something all yourself - and then put it to the test, there's a great feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment that takes over - the best feeling.

Story:  It was the hottest day of the rally, and I like the Pizza Hut on Lazelle ($8 buck buffet) then I sit outside and watch the swimsuit girls, strut their hot little bodies for the bike wash: "Dirty Girls, Clean Bikes !" . . . when a simple lookin' gent (in a car) pulls up next to my bike, as I sprawl out on the concrete with a diminishing hangover, and a full belly . . .His wife is with him.  "You know, it's been awhile since I've seen one of these . . . is this your motorcycle?"  I get up - and we go around with small talk - and as he walks away - tells his gal, "You know, it's not just anybody who can ride one of those things, (pointing at my jockey shift), especially through these hills."  It made me feel kinda cool.  Little does he know, this chopper craze has gone crazy . . . and there's dudes riding these jockey-jammers all over again - but, it made me feel like a badass none-the-less . . . and it sure is fun.  Except for the 10% down grades, uphill stop-lights, 20mph hairpins, and long 70mph sweepers . . . holy shit, my nerves tight, heart rate outta control, sweat, jitters . . . then I need an FXR all of a sudden.


I caught these two burnin' around Sturgis . . . the long pan was 2-up and havin' a blast !  Maybe you know these cats ???

"Too much time on my hands . . .

This belt drive set-up required sealing up the transmission door.  Hydraulic Clutch.  All these up-grades and still running a cable rear brake and cheesy brake light switch ?  The pegs resemble side-car step ups.  I can appreciate the effort, but when things get clunky . . . Hmmmm . . . show bikes or go bikes? 

1980-81 XLH Sportster

This bone-stock 1000cc was gassin' up in Interior, SD . . .

Hux & Jess . . .

Chad (in back) head down, thumbs movin' . . .
Dungeon Bar, Sturgis, SD

Heavy Rain Primary Drain

Tin primaries tend to fill up with water in heavy rain.  I find the lowest point underneath, and mark it.  Then remove the outer primary cover, and use a ball-peen hammer to pound a small "water reservoir" and drill a drain hole.  Any water, condensation, etc. that happens to squeeze in . . . just runs right back out !
Slippery hand shifter and foot clutch to keeps you alert . . .