8 Ball In The Wind

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dice Run

OKAY, here it is...the frst fund raising event to support the rally here in Morton in August of 2014.  It's going to be a variation on the traditional "Poker Run" heading up to the edge of the metropolitan Tacoma area.  May as well let people up that way know about riding options out here in the country.  

I have this set up so that there is at least 30 minutes riding between stops.  Don't know about you, but I hate going on a run where the next stop is only 15 minutes away.  The route is 110 miles long, and except for the last two stops, there is at least 30 minutes between stops.

It starts at the Bucksnort Pub here in the heart of "Beautiful Downtown" Morton.  Right at the flashing yellow light on Main Street.  (Hard to miss the place...it has an old K model Harley up on the roof.)  From the Bucksnort, it's a run into Pierce County, and up to the Pour House in Eatonville.  From there, it's another 30 minutes to Uncle Sam's in Spanaway ( a VERY nice biker bar with a HUGE back yard and stage area.)  After leaving Uncle Sam's the route runs through the town of Roy, and out to McKenna to Walt's Place right on the Pierce/Thurston County line.  Once you have your score from Walt's, you ride back to Elbe to the Elbe Bar & Grill  before heading back to Morton to get your final roll back at the Bucksnort.  

After the final stop at the Bucksnort, everyone (who wants to) is going to putt down the street to the local Moose Lodge for a Spaghetti feed.  Once there, we'll have the drawing for a 50/50 raffle.  All to raise money to help cover the cost of liability insirance the City of Morton says we need before giving us final permission to hold the rally in town.

Keeping my fingers crossed that this has a decent turn-out and good weather.  Once the folks up north see some of the roads to be ridden down this way, maybe they'll come to some of our other runs this summer.  There will be several of them.  Each with a different route into a completely different area.  We even have one that will cross three mountain passes (all from 4,500 to 5,200 ft elevation) along its route.  That'll be a bit over a 200 mile route through some amazing countryside.

I hope some of you can make it this way to enjoy the rides.  It ought to be a good time.

Catch ya on the road sometime...

Friday, April 26, 2013

Spur Of The Moment Ride

I was no sooner walking in the door from work, and putting my stuff away when I saw the wife on the phone talking to someone.  "I'll ask him." I heard her say, and already had a feeling I was going to get asked to drive the car somewhere.  Since I had just finished a 200 mile day at work, the idea of driving again wasn't really appealing to me.  All I wanted was something cold to drink, and a little something to eat.

Then she said my Brother Dave wanted to know if I wanted to meet him out in Centralia and ride back with him.  That's about a 100 mile ride.  But it is riding, not driving, and I said sure.  It was a beautiful warm 70 degree day.  I threw on my cut so I had a place to attach the camera.  Strapped my jacket across the bars, and the wifes jacket to the sissy bar and we were off.

About 10 minutes into the ride, I had a corvette going the other way flash his lights at me.  So I slowed down to what I figured was about 55 and kept going (I havent run a speedo on Gypsy since late 2009 early 2010.  So I have elarned ways to "guesstimate" speed that are pretty accurate.) down the road.  

Sure enough, there were two cops parked alongside the road.  Just before I got up to them, the both pulled out.  Each going their own way.  About 3 minutes later, I was just passing the Mossyrock dam when the cop that had gone the other way shot around the corner and was hard on my ass with his lights and siren going.  I pulled onto the shoulder and was more than a bit relieved to see him blow past.  Gypsy isnt exactly the most "legally" set up bike.  No front fender, no speedo, straight pipes (loud fuckers too), so I am always half expecting to get some hassle from the cops.  About 5 miles further on, I see a whole shitload of cops with their lights going all pulled over alongside the east end of the birdge across Mayfield Lake.  I could see the ditch on the right side tore up, and dirt and debris all the way across the road to the other side.  Where an SUV was sitting on its top against the bank in the other ditch.  The road was still open, they hadnt gotten organized enough to block anything off, and the ambulances and fire trucks hadn't arrived yet.  We'd run into them several times along the way over the next 5 miles or so as we rode on to Centralia.

We finally made it to where Dave was at, and after a few minutes visiting, we hoped back on the bikes and headed back towards Morton taking the backroads.

At first we were going to head down through Chehalis and take Jackson Highway to Highway 508.  But after topping off the tanks, Dave kind of looked over and asked if I wanted to run Alpha-Centralia Rd.  It was closer to where we were, and we could avoid towns by taking it, so I said "Hell yea."

I always enjoy taking this 18 mile backroad out of Centralia instead of going through Chehalis and then turning east again.  Can we say "BORING"?  Alpha-Centralia climbs up onto the top of the hill, and then drops twisting back into the valley before climing up the next hill.  It is a fairly scenic road compared to the other way, and it is much funner to ride than Jackson Highway to 508 anyway.

When we finally hit Highway 508, we were still a good 20 miles or so from Morton.  So we headed down the highway and  in a few short miles crossed the Bear Canyon Bridge and climbe up over the ridge and began dropping down into the Tilton River valley.

We shot down over the road as it snaked down into the valley.  Then along the river until it was just a couple miles from Morton.  We stopped for a bear and burgers at the Bucksnort Pub in "Beautiful Downtown" Morton and relaxed a bit over good conversation and cold Coors.

Conrad, the owner gave us all some bumper stickers from the Bucksnort.  Before we left, Dave put one on the rear fender of his Fat Boy.  Then we headed home and kicked back for the rest of the night.

Even though I had been tired of driving when I got home from work, it was just too damn nice a day not to enjoy.  And having a Brother ask to go for a ride on the spur of the moment was the perfect way to unwind.  Thanks Dave.

Catch ya on the road sometime...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Good Pair Of Jugs

I always thought a good pair of jugs tended to get noticed.  Well, I am beginning to wonder about that.  Back in March, I posted these stock bore (3.188 in) 900 Ironhead jugs on Craigslist for $125 for the pair.  Not one bit of interest shown.  Which has me wondering.  Because I have seen similar jugs already bored 0.50 over going for nearly that much.  These have been mic'd and are the stock bore, and in good shape.  This pair of jugs even comes all lubed up so they don't oxidize and go bad.  
Maybe it's because they're just 900 jugs.  Could it be that no one out there appreciates a nice set of small jugs?  Is it only the oversized and big jugs that catch folks' eyes now a days?  I always thought there was something cool about a nice pair of small jugs in really good shape.  
Sure beats the crap out of a pair of worn and loose  0.50 over jugs.  Don't ya think?

Catch ya on the road sometime...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Close, But No Cigar...

This is my bike Gypsy.  The one I mentioned in my last blog entry.  I am putting her together the way I want,  But I figure it will be another couple three or four years before she is the way I want her to be.

Gypsy is running, but just not quite the way I want her to.  She is close, but no cigar.  It wont be long and she will be dead on.

I think part of the reason is she is cold, and hasn't had a warm up today.

What do you think?

Catch ya on the road sometime...

Saturday, April 13, 2013

What Kind Of Builder Is "Best"?

I was going through some stuff here in the house, when I unlatched and opened up a large plastic storage container to check out the contents.  It was full of motorcycle magazines.  Most about six or more years old.  Back before the economy too a big shit, and it seemed like everyone and their brother was 'building' bikes.

I pulled one of the magazines out to read at random. Then checked out a featured review on one of the bikes inside.  I won't mention the builders, other than to say their TV show seemed to always feature a lot of dispute between father and sons as they pieced together their builds each week.  The article was actually a review of one of their "production" bikes.  It was while I was reading the article that I began to think about the types of builders around.  There aren't as many by far as before the bottom fell out, and it seemed like almost anybody could build a line of "custom" bikes.  But, there are still a few out there.

As I read the review on the bike, I realized just how little of it was actually "built" in house.  They simply bought a frame from one company.  Modified it with off the shelf components from another company.  The power train, as well as most of the other components, were also bought from other suppliers and bolted into place.  Mainly the 80 spoke wheels, and a few minor cosmetic items where the only things "built" by these "builders".  To me, that doesnt count as being a "bike builder".  That's more of a high dollar bike "assembler".

Don't get me wrong, there is skill involved even in "assembling" a bike properly.  But it just doesn't seem, to me anyway, to be in the same class as someone who starts with virtually nothing but an idea and a limited budget and finishes with a sweet bike.

Building a frame on a jig from scratch.  Or modifying an existing frame with their own fabrication skills.  Taking an existing, and probably well used, motor and giving it a new lease on life as a well thought out and executed powerhouse.  Having to plan ahead and fabricate or modify as much as possible.  Simply because your wallet wasn't deep enough at the outset to buy new bolt-on high dollar components.  Or, your own sense of pride, and integrity (Yes, "bikers" have integrity.  But something tells me you already know that.) just won't let you just bolt together the latest chrome widget or billet doohickie and call it good to go.

To me, it is the builder who can look at let's say, an 80 inch Evo motor, and know they can get it to perform better than the factory did.  They just need to "lighten" things up in the cam followers.  Or use a different cam grind.  Or turn it into a stroker.  Or any number of things the "assembler" would have had someone else do for them before being shipped the motor to bolt into their frame.  Those are the kind of 'bike builders' I think are truly worthy of the name.

The guys building something in their own garage.  Out of a pile of loose parts.  Repairing cases, and massaging the pieces together in a way that fits their own personal vision of how a bike should look.  Not just like five hundred others with a slightly different paint scheme on the tins.  People (not just guys) who build their bikes from the crank on up if necessary.  Not because they "have" to, but because they can, and want to.  Because they have grown dissatisfied with how the bike handles, or looks.  Or just want to change things up once in a while.  

But they did it themselves.  Those are the "bike builders" I truly admire.  Those are the ones who come up with the truly original ideas that end up being copied by other riders.  Or who have other folks bring their rides to "build" for them.  To me, those are the best type of bike builder.

I have a feeling, if you really sit back and think about it, you probably know someone like that.  Or maybe you are that person.  

I certainly know I'm not, but I do know a few who are.  It has taken me about 4 years to get my 91 Evo to where it is, and probably another 4 before I can say I am "finished" with it.  Even then, I have had help from friends and Brothers several times during teardown and assembly.  Personally, I consider myself one of the "assemblers".  But, with a VERY limited budget, and no pie in the sky dreams for a show bike.  Just something I can ride the Hell out of, and if it craps out, I can generally repair it.

Catch ya on the road sometime...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

In Paperwork Limbo

OK, on Monday I sent out via 'Certified Mail' the affidavit in lieu of title to the last registered owner of this set of cases.  If he signs it and gets it notarized, and mails it back, I can just have a new title transferred into my name.  If I don't hear from him in two weeks, I can go down and get the bike inspected by the state patrol, and get it registered.  But I won't be able to get a title for 3 years.  With all the dough I am going to have to dump into this, if I don't hear back from this guy, I am just going to dump the parts, and recoup as much as I can.  Then look for another project to build.  
I want to build this one.  But without having to put turn signals and mufflers, fenders, and all the "legal" shit that I don't want to have to fork out the money for.  So I am hoping to hear back from the dude.
Keeping my fingers crossed.

Catch ya on the road sometime...

Fund Raising

Getting things organized for a "Dice Run" next month.  Just like a poker run, except at each stop you get to roll dice, and add up the total.  At the final stop, for an extra $3 you can get one more roll, but you HAVE to take it.  So you'll lose your lowest earlier roll.  Even if it was for a higher amount.

So far, all the bars are happy to take part.  So thats not going to be a big worry.  Mostly going to be a question of getting some fliers made up and posted so we can get the word out.  Going to talk to the Moose Lodge about having an after run spaghetti dinner to help raise some money.  Anything to get some money coming in so we can get the liability insurance the City wants before they'll give the final OK for the Rally to go ahead.

Keeping an open mind, or else I'll get a fucking migraine.  LOLO

Catch ya on the road sometime...

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Piecing It Together

Going through the parts I have for Frankenbike, and piecing the motor parts together.  I can see what I still need, and what will go together where.  Soon I can start putting together the motor like I want.  I can see I have most of what I need for the gear case, only missing some gaskets and a couple of small parts.  Mainly the Flywheel shaft pinion gear, and the oil pump drive gear.  As well as the tappets and tappet guides.  

But first things first.  I need to gather everything up, and make sure the parts are all in good shape before I start putting them in place.
The crank is in good shape.  I just need to replace some bearings for good measure.  Then I'll put it back in the cases, and start putting the motor together.  I am hoping to have everything I need in the next couple of months.  Including a new set of pistons and rings and wrist pins.  There are some numbers on the cam side of the crank, but they are too faded to really make out.  But you can tell they are there.  If anyone knows what the represent, I would appreciate the info.

Then it'll be time to focus on the tranny.  Once that is complete, then I'll get to work on the cosmetic parts of the build.

Catch ya on the road sometime...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Basic Look

I've got the Ironhead's stance about the way I want it.  There will be little cosmetic differences, like the oil tank.  I'm not sure if I will stay with the narrow, square oil tank I have, or come up with something else.  I am thinking of running a set of narrowed 6 bend pullbacks for bars instead of the bars that are on it now.  But those are all cosmetic considerations.  She has the stance, and basic look the way she sits now.  But it is the internals that I have to get together.  And I am trying to focus on putting it all together before I worry too much about how she looks.  I mean Hell, the last thing I want is for Frankenbike to look really cool but run like shit.  Don't want her to be all show and no go.  I'd be more than happy with her to be all go and no show.
There is going to be VERY little shiney chrome.  I hate spending time polishing metal so it "looks good".  I am going to focus on collecting the parts I need so I can put the motor and tranny together.  Once I get the parts together, I can get to work on putting her together.  
The crank looks to be in good shape.  Even the bushing for the wristpins look in pretty fair shape.  But I am still going to replace those too.  I am planning on getting a complete set of JIMS gaskets for her.  But the list of needed parts is a bit more extensive than that.
I figure it's going to take a couple of years to get her together and running semi dependably.  But that's OK.  Because when I am done, Frankenbike will be a bike I can be proud to jump on and ride the crap out of.  But all that fun will have to wait for a while.  Wait for me to scrounge up the parts I need, and wait for me to put all the pieces together.  This isnt going to be a "Build My Dream" bike.  But a "Build It As I Can Afford It" bike.  That doesn't mean she's gonna be a rat.  More of a mutt...A bunch of different Ironheads and parts brought together.  She is going to truly be worthy of her name..."Frankenbike".

Catch you on the road sometime...

Monday, April 1, 2013


I had a meeting with the local insurance guy about getting liability insurance for the rally here in Morton.  He said he'd run the numbers through a few different underwriters, and see what the best deal he could get was.  That way we would ahve a good idea how much money we are going to have to raise before hand.  The City won't give full approval for the rally until we can show we have liability insurance.  Although they are supporting the event.  They're also just covering their own asses.  Which I can fully understand.  As soon as I know more, I'll post something.  But for now anyway, we are moving in the right direction.

Catch ya on the road sometime...