Took Forever, Part No. 2

So after 6 coffees (Smiley kept filling me up as he picked my brain about motorcycle electrics) the chopper started on the first kick and I hit the road again.  Stopped for fuel - took 1.2 gallons.  No leaks.  The clouds are swirling, wind comin' again so hard it's moving me around in my own lane.  Jacked up my speed to 65 on this two-lane-blacktop - I felt my Avon Speedmaster push a bit on some slippery white road paint as I accelerated off a high bank curve.  These up-sweeps are so loud - I wear those soft, yellow foam earplugs. Suddenly, it got louder still - I thought my pipe fell off, but it was my earplug squeezed it's way outta my right ear.  I know it's loud 'cause birds, bats, cats all take cover when they hear me coming.  Cattle seem annoyed too.  It sounds ok to me with the earplugs - like a small block Chevy with low gears and thrush mufflers.  At every stop & go, or turn . . . I try and shift smoothly - no grinding, no revving.  A jockey shift is not a ratchet shift.  The handle moves back for 1st, then forward for all other gears - and the handle stays where the gear is - so, high gear is all the way forward.  You reach down and forward to downshift from highway speeds.  You have to look at the road, not where the shift handle is.  You gotta "feel" for it.  Often times you grab a handful of air.  You can feel the shifter clutches engage.  You learn when to shift at the correct rpm - at the correct speed.  It's tricky.  I'm also dealing with a little shutter, or headshake on acceleration and deceleration when I remove my hand from the left handlebar to shift.  I tightened my Timken neck bearings a bit more and it helped - but it's still there - most likely due to an ill rake & trail factor mathematically.  I was about 5 miles from my next gas stop and I pulled out on a downside of a long, rolling hill to pass a semi.  The rpms came up and you could feel the main jet come in - just as the Sifton 412 started to pull.  It was awesome.  That roller bottom-end pan just kept pullin' . . . smooth as glass.  After 57 miles, I stopped in Brandon for 87 octane, yuk.  It took 1.5 gallons.

Seems Like It Took Forever - Part No. 1

Everything today is short, and quick.  Fast.  Hurry up, one day only, I need it by tomorrow, I need it now.  I started out my day on the chopper on the road in heavy wind.  7:30am, swirly clouds, damp spots, hot and cool areas.  High speed air was creepin' through my face shield with a small air whistle that was landing on the edge of my right nostril. Tickled and annoying at the same time.  If I turned my head slightly, the pitch would change, and if I looked to the side, the wind was strong enough, my tinted shield wanted to pop open.  I felt like a guy with a cheap helmet tryin' to go 180 on his sportbike.  I experimented with different angles of my head to get in a quiet zone.  This blacktop surface freeway I'm on - doin' about 68mph has these whoops in it I'm dealing with too.  Dips, humps and the "bridge on" and "bridge off" deals.  Anticipating the bump with a 1" raise off the seat delivers a double-bump that can send you straight up with your legs extended, looking down at the front tire - that's not good.  My knees hurt trying to keep myself in a safe position.  Move up, move back - cocked sideways - I've gone about 10 miles.  I start checking some things.  I reach out and touch my Bates headlight which is bolted to a block of steel I have welded to the lower tree.  It's quiet - no vibration.  I start feelin' around and find no vibrations from the gas tank, air cleaner, primary, reach back for the sissy bar (with my loaded pack) Nothing.  This thing is smooth as glass.  The '52 pan, pistons jumpin' up & down, wishbone pointed south - handlebars?  Just let go and she's straight.  I'm moving around like a monkey, feet up, feet back - fidgety.  I pull in for coffee at Smiley's after about 26 miles.  Rocker clutch, find neutral on the grabber - kill it with my feeler gauge at the mag.  Get off - shut off fuel.  Turn off key (for lights).  Open shield, take off prescription eye wear.  Take off helmet.  Take off gloves.  Kick jiffy stand ahead to lock.
Look up, and Smiley opens the door from his used car dealership.  Good Morning Ricky !

Born Free 6 builds . . .

From Matt Walksler's Indian, The SM(Speed Merchant) build, Bobby The Leg riding his entry out over 2500 miles !  Paul Cox this year . . . it's shaping up as a real good year as usual for this event.  I end up gettin' to see many of the bikes up close eventually . . . but, it ain't the same as being there.  Ricky, Shea and Polgreen can give me all the details later . . . so cool dudes.  Loads of talent just come pouring out.

Suffering From Motorcycle Related Burnout

Kurpius' Instagram ( Jeremiah etc.)

If you search around, find Josh's Instagram . . . and check out their trip to California the last couple days.  You know it's a hard ride, but to them it's just business-as-usual . . . really neat - 

Ride Safe Fellas !

Meeting People via Motorcycle Style . . .

I've noticed in my travels the type of people I meet are in direct relation to the style of motorcycle I'm riding that day - which is understandable.  But, with this chopper - I've met some really interesting characters so far.  Example: Jay.
I took off Saturday about noon for another shakedown run on the panhead chopper.  I already had about 35 miles on from the morning coffee run to Clarksville and around.  I headed toward Nora Springs to check out the annual Buffalo Days Car Show, chow a real buffalo burger, and have a cold High Life.  I then made a loop through Osage on backroads - and snaked up to the Town Pump in Mitchell, Iowa.  It was hot and balmy - the corn is knee high - all the streams flowing fast and full to the top of the banks from recent rains.  Mitchell is a little hole-in-the-wall town with trailer houses wedged between stucco shacks.  There's a few nice homes, manicured lawns with new F250s (but these residents work somewhere else) 'cause there's no opportunity in this place.  I came blastin' into town doin' 65 in a 25 and coasted up to The Town Pump.  A guy named Mick runs it - his original bar in Osage burned down years back, and he bought this place since it's all he knows - and he's good at it - a real, original bar owner type.  Just as I got my stuff off, the front screen door swang open and out popped Jay - In a slurry vocabulary of jumble and stumble . . . "Holy fuck - look at that - sweet MF'r - damn, shit - I ain't seen . . . Fucken Aye - It's like it rode right off - n David Mann painting !  How much???? I want this fucker.  Fuck. Man.  I'm just standing there taking it all in.  The door flies open again and the skinny, scratchy voice barmaid comes out next.  "Jay, you get the hell away from that man's motorcycle . . . Get back !"  But, as I talked with Jay, he's led quite a life - all by his own doing.  Married, divorced, jail, married, divorced, on-the-run, back again, out and back again.  His very own panhead confiscated.  His whole life pretty much on the edge - probably due to that bottle of warm beer in his hand.  Once I got him settled down - he was real cool to talk with.  Jay knew a lot about old choppers since jockey, girder, devil's tail, stroker, flanders, jammer and wishbone were words that came up.  I was impressed !  I didn't hang around long, but I thought about him on the way home.  If I hadn't been riding that chopper - we might not have met.  Maybe see Jay again sometime - maybe not.  You meet the nicest people on a Harley.

Side Valve Tappet Covers - Late Model

If you look closely - there are small "ears" that stick out
on the inner covers.
You use this special tool (Noot had an original H-D one)
and lift up the cover, remove clip, and the ears
fit in notches to hold up the covers, so you
can adjust your tappets !
Then you pop the clips in (with square holes)
and undo the ears and the spring tension holds
the covers - and seals in the engine oil.

No Kansas City . . .

Cheryl could see how sad I was not being able to go hang out with my friends Shea (his wedding and party was Saturday - Congrats !) and see Ricky & crew again . . . . So, she made me up a KC dinner with all the BBQ fixins !  My wife is the coolest. 
PS. We had high water in CC, and I had my pumps ready, but luckily Mother Nature spared me from any water - Thank You !

If it's makin' noise . . . better find out what's wrong.

His rod rollers are square now.  Finally after a huge build-up of shavings in all the other bearings, scored cylinders, cam bearings all loaded it . . . it quit.  Now he's gonna spend some money. 

Tacos !

Cheryl makes the best . . .
They look plain - but the flavors !  So delicious.

Falling in love with your own reflection . . .

When I was in college (BFA, U of Northern Iowa)  I learned lessons early on from Greek gods I had to study, and the mistakes they made.  If you find yourself leaning towards destruction, there's usually a story in Greek myth to set an example for you to follow.  All types of conditions and diseases are named after Greek gods.  The ancient Greeks were around for 2000 years, so they know what they're talking about.  I never finished my masters - and I never got a teaching position.  I became interested in motorcycles again, and never really looked back.  So now I have this body-of-work, of motorcycles. But, I did get a lesson early on from Narcissus.  Try not to get hooked like Narcissus did in the "Look at Me" syndrome.  It's a bitter pill to swallow, and you will miss out on all types of creativity to further your own ideas.  Don't forget to tell people the good job they did and how impressed you are with their builds.
It will benefit you in ways you never thought possible.

High Aqua

Creeping closer up my street . . . sucks
It's like 15-20 steps down to normal river levels . . .
No fishing today - Hang on Main Street Bridge !
A lot of Minnesota water coming through . . .
we had like 6 inches of rain ourselves,
plus everything up north, it will be high for awhile.
( Morning mist makes foggy photos )
 Hopefully back to normal soon ?

DICE: Clip n Save

Sunday after Davenport . . . Hmmmmm?

Tasteful Paint - Daring Carburetion

This paint is what it was . . . it's simple and the colors compliment each other.  A great layout done with a buzz can - always trumps a high gloss goofy paint scheme.  Some paint is so weird you miss the cool shit about the bike all together.  This cat ain't afraid to run his Tillotson either . . . you see S&S E or B or L or Two Throat, or Linkert . . . an SU maybe . . . possible Mikuni . . . but not many Tillotsons

Timing Light

The only true way to really know where you're at . . . sometimes it matters, sometimes it don't really matter. But it does really matter -  if you're serious about your engine.

Swell Fellas . . .

Thanks for the conversations and lettin' me hang out.  It was nice meeting you all again.  Everyone is so talented - I'm always blown away by the builds these guys come up with . . . A really great day for buying parts . . . and checking out Dave's chopper (Ricky, he noticed my Anchor hat . . . and said, "Hey, that guy was just at my shop !"  pretty cool . . .)

Hwy 56 North

Minnesota 56 is a nice road again.  Over the last 10 years it got bad, then 3 years of road construction - and my back way to St. Paul is fun again Photo: Kenyon, Minnesota
Vintage Shasta camper ! 
The guy needs to pull it with a '66 C-20 . . .

Dick Allen's Pan

This bike is clean . . . sano

UL Valve & Spring Check

These motors are nice since you can slip on a cylinder and check for possible coil bind, etc. Make sure all your measurements and calculations are correct.  You can simulate the motor running and listen for clicks and ticks - listen for incorrect gear lash.  I had to turn off Molly Hatchet for a minute . . .

Bummin' around Anamosa . . .

It always interests me the different ways people attempt to go fast on a motorcycle.  Car engines, drag bikes, streamliners, multi-engines, minimalism . . .
- Joe checks out the sidecar rig
- Noot & Frankie discuss their meeting in Sturgis

Aftermarket UL Late Model Covers . . .

Trying to get reproduction parts to function as the original parts can be challenging.  Many times you can end up with actually a better performing product . . . but, special tools and/or modifications are almost always required.

GM - Bright Headlights ! M.A.D. Enterprises

Mark Hamilton is a genius.  His wiring kits for 1965-1972 Chevrolets are the best.  Full instructions and the finest quality wiring available.  Fuse-able links, Bosch relays. soldering advice . . . complete wiring kits to supplement and replace your "faulty engineered GM wiring system."  You are not replacing the entire harness - you are just adding and replacing and upgrading to your existing system.  My '66 has great headlights now and I've had the kit for about 10 years with no problems ever.  Call Mark at the number above - or go to his website and read about his upgrades.  These kits work !

Nice Rides . . . 1966

Viking Chapter - St. Paul, MN - Fairgrounds Meet

Very good meet and fun to see everyone . . . there aren't many like this anymore.  Small meet, but you get a little of everything . . . motorcycles, parts, show bikes, history, food & drinks !

Side Valve Rumbl'r

Me & Joe stopped by Pat's garage he's been workin' on . . . drywall, electrical and all that it takes to have a workable place to work.  I always liked his WLD stroker he built.  The sound from my camera video is crappy at best - but, this thing sure sounds cool in person. 

Good Times Saloon Renovation

Not sure what they'll call it now . .  ?  Any suggestions ?

UL Pinion & Breather Timing

Big twin side-valves locate pinion face 7/16" from gasket surface - different than overhead valve motors.
Time your breather, and always rotate motor in operating direction and check it again with timing mark.  The top hat "ears" were interfering with the splines on this new pinion shaft, so I modified it to fit properly.