8 Ball In The Wind

Monday, June 24, 2013

Gathering Parts

I scored a new exhaust set over the weekend.  They're for an Evo Sportster. But, I can adapt them for the Ironhead.  If nothing else I can use the pipe to help build a custom exhaust from scratch.  I'm planning on removing the baffles from the slip-ons, and doing the old trick of running a bolt through the back and welding a washer to the end of the bolt.  That does two things; it gives you a little bit of back pressure, and also provides something for a cops billy club to hit when he runs it down the exhaust to see if your running without baffles.  I figure those slip-ons ought to make a nice set of resonation chambers for the exhaust.  Especially since I'll be running P Cams on Frankenbike.  Still gathering parts that I need.

Catch you on the road sometime...

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Rally At Morton Dice Run 2

Here's a video I put together from pics and ride videos from the Dice Run we held on Saturday, June 22, 2013.  I hope you like it.

Catch you on the road sometime...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Dan George Memorial Run

Saturday dawned with clear skies and a warm breeze.  I got up at 6:00 AM to go see some friends who were moving to Utah off on their journey.  They didn't finally get loaded, and the trailer all connected until a hair after 9:00 AM.  By then, the day was already beginning to be T Shirt weather.  Things were really looking good for Danny's ride.

about twenty minutes before we were du to leave, the bikes started rolling into the parking lot at the Gas Plus here in Morton.  Not a great turn out on such a lovely day.  But considering this was mostly an event for local riders, and the same weekend as the Spring Opener, I wasn't expecting too much.  But we still had a good turn out.

We pulled out and headed west on Hwy 508, and made a nice 40 mile loop back to town before heading off to Mt Rainier for the day.

After a short stop back at the Gas Plus, we headed up north to Elbe before heading east to Mt Rainier, and Paradise.

From there, well..I'll just let the photos tell the rest of the tale.  It was a great day for a ride, and a good time to ride with friends.  If you ever get the chance to ride up to Paradise take it.  I must admit, I think a summer weekday might be better, to avoid some of the crowds, but anytime on Rainier is a good time.  Especially if you're on a bike!!

Did you notice the deer?
A couple more.

A little loose gravel in a construction zone.

Reflection Lake, frozen and covered in snow in mid June.
Lousie Lake, just a couple miles down the road.

Catch ya on the road sometime...

Monday, June 17, 2013

Ironhead Progress

I finally made some progress with the Ironhead today.  I pulled the heads and the jugs, then the cases out of the frame.  Then I removed the triple tree and front end, and finally the rear fender, and wheel.  

Once I did that, I took the frame out to the shed, and grabbed my drill and wire brushes.  Figuring on cleaning up the frame to get it ready for paint, and see if there might be a VIN under the bondo on the steering head.  

There weren't any VIN or other numbers under the bondo I got off.  The only numbers I have found are on the center support tube that the rear motor mount of the motor bolts to.  Even that is only a five digit number followed by a dash and then the numbers 67. 

So I am back to thinking this was originally a pre-70 frame that someone hardtailed.  From the look of the frame after I got the bondo off the downtubes, I'd say someone played with the rake this thing just a bit back in the day some where along the way.

After less than an hour, of wire brushing the crap off, I had to stop.  Even thought I didn't get very much done one it as you can see.  Not because I was getting tired, but because I had drained both of the batteries on the drill. I swear, on days like this, I wish I had a sand blaster so I could just clear all that crap off the frame and be done with it.  I don't, so I'll just keep working on it when I can.  A few more hours of brushing and cleaning and the frame will be ready for whatever lies in store for it.

I'm not putting any money into this thing until I know whether or not I am going to be able to get it titled.  If not, I don't want to waste any more money on it.  But if I can, I want to at least be moving along the road to being ABLE to put money into it.  Going to have the local cops run the VIN to make sure it isn't hot (or at least warm), and then put it together so it can be inspected by the state to make sure it has what they require it to have to be titled.  Keeping receipts for everything to show where it came from.  If it doesn't absolutely have to be on the bike to be titled, it probably won't be...at least not after it gets titled.  This Ironhead is gonna be a pretty stripped down and basic rigid framed little ride.  Just fast enough to be fun, and nothing extraneous to get in the way.  But then, ain't that what a bike should be anyway?

Catch you on the road sometime...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Saturdays Weather

I've just seen the weather report for Saturdays Dan George Memorial Run.  Mid to upper 70's and partly to mostly sunny.  I can deal with that.  Keeping my fingers crossed, that when we ride up to Paradise, the clouds won't be obscuring Mt Rainier.  I don't know how many times I have gone up there only to see the mountain hidden in the clouds.  There should still be plenty of snow alongside of the road, and the views coming down Stevens Canyon ought to be spectacular.

I'll post some pics after the fact.  Robin bought herself a new digital camera when mine gave out.  So there should be some good pics coming out of it.

Catch ya on the ride sometime...

Sunday, June 9, 2013

5th Annual Chris Walters Memorial Run

I had tweaked my back a bit last week, but nothing major.  It wasn't going to stop me from riding in the 5th Annual Chris Walters Memorial Run that ran from Tacoma, around Mt Rainier, through Morton and back to Tacoma.  Then on thursday night, I was surprised to have a Brother ride in so after a bit and a few drinks of Apple Pie, I started up a fire in the back yard and the fun went on into the night.
Robin had given me a Vicodin because my back was bothering me, then on top of two quarts of Apple Pie I got pretty ripped.  Between the two of them I was fucked up.  Anyway, to make a long story short, I REALLY fucked up my back on Thursday night.  I don't know what I did, but I spent all day Friday in bed.  I wasn't that hungover, but my back was killing me.  When I got up on Saturday morning, still planning on going for a ride, I walked in after about 20 minutes and told Robin I wasn't going.  I was having a hard time even sitting upright in a chair.  Riding over 300 miles on the back just wasn't going to happen.  Not if I wanted to lead the Dan George Memorial Run next weekend.  So I made a sign saying "I.M.O. Chris Walters" and knowing they were stopping in Packwood for lunch kept track of when they would be riding through Morton.
This video was the result.  I would have much preferred to be one of the riders, but shit happens.  I am going riding next weekend, if not sooner.  My back is better, but still stiff as hell.  But I will be making Danny's Ride, and the one after on the 22nd.  After that, I need to lay out some more fundraising runs so we can raise the money for the Rally's insurance.
Catch ya on the road sometime...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dedication: The Stampede

The Stampede: An infamous and grueling chopper race across the breadth of this great nation of ours.  Over 3,000 miles with only a handful of very basic rules.

The rules are simple:  
1.  All bikes must be rigid framed (no rear suspension)
2.  All motors must be solidly mounted (no rubber mounting bushings of any kind)
3.  No hard saddlebags 
4.  No windshields
5.  No chase vehicle of any kind (other than another participant in The Stampede)

Basically that's the rulebook.  Although this year, the powers that be were so impressed by a couple of small displacement bikes making the entire route that it was decided to limit the size of the motors.  Just to make this grueling trek that much more difficult, there are (for this year at any rate) the bikes have to be 550cc or smaller to compete.  The only exceptions to this rule are; if you are riding either a British vertical twin then you can run with up to a 650cc motor (Which still limits you to pretty much mid 60's or older Limey bikes), and old Harley flathead 45 cubic inch 'V' twins (so again, at least 40 plus year old motors to begin with).
To make it across the US to North Carolina is a major trek on its own.  But to do it on homebuilt or modified choppers of such limited displacement takes ture dedication.  Plus I am sure more than a bit of just plain ass hard core attitude.  I tip my hat in deep respect to anyone who makes a serious attempt in The Stampede.  
This year, they are also changing the starting point.  Normally it is somewhere in the California area, but this year, I have learned it will be on the Washington Coast.  They'll be leaving the start at 6:00 AM on June 16th and hauling ass like the "high speed, low drag mother fuckers" that they are.
I probably wont have a better chance to have a face to face with some folks I admire, and have wanted to meet for quite a while.  The problem is, I am leading a memorial ride for a friend on the 15th that will be about 175 miles long.  So to be able to make it to the start point before everyone heads to bed the night before, I'll have to leave as soon as the Dan George Memorial Run is finished.  Then make the two and a half hour ride to the start point of The Stampede.  I figure if they have the dedication to make this years Stampede, I shouldn't have a problem with dedicating myself to see off the lunatic men and women who proudly call themselves "Stampeders".  They'll be looking at well over 3,000 miles...I shouldn't have a problem with about a 500 mile day.  Maybe someday I'll actually be riding amongst their crazy asses.

Catch ya on the road sometime...

Monday, June 3, 2013

We Don't Need No Stinking Plan!!

Back about 5 years ago, a few of us gathered for what had become sort of a regular thing.  A day ride through some part of western Washington state that we wouldn't really plan until we all got together at the AM/PM at the junction of I-5 and US 12.  This is the bare bones of the story of one of those rides.

I was within sight of the meeting spot doing about 55 when I saw a good sized bird fly across in front of me. Just as it got to the edge of my peripheral vision, I saw it bank hard into a tight hard left turn.  The next thing I saw was a bright flash as the bird hit the side of my head and majorly rung my bell.  I managed to stay up as I rolled the last 500 feet or so into the parking lot, circled around behind everyone and came to a stop.  Thats when the world started moving.  The sky was rolling farther to my right, and the ground was rolling higher up on my left.  Thats about when I realized I hadn't put my feet down.  Like I said, that damn bird MAJORLY rang my bell, and the damn thing was still ringing.
I saved it, and didnt go down.  My feet hit the ground and I was able to pull the bike back up.  With everyone looking at me with the same wierd look on their faces I had to tell them about the bell ringing bird.  They all just laughed, and figured if anyone was going to have a bird circle back and hit them, it would be me.  Scott even made a comment about every time he had ridden with me that he could remember, some critter had taken it upon themselves to try to take me out.  Deer, elk. dogs, and now birds...I must have really pissed off Mutha Nature.

As we sat there and tried to figure out where to go, we couldnt agree on a destination.  Everyplace we could all agree on wasn't going to be open on a Sunday.  Finally we decided to just head out Hwy 6, and we'd figure out where to go once we got to the end of the road at Raymond.
Along the way, we stopped just passed Rainbow falls state park to look at what was left of one of the many bridges that had been washed away in a storm a few weeks before.

From there we just enjoyed the sunshine and the road as it snaked west through the foothills into Raymond and US 101.  We stopped and topped off our tanks, and talked about which way to go from there.  Scott said he knew a great place to get something to drink and eat down in Long Beach.  It sounded good to everyone so that's where we decided to go.  At least it was for about 15 seconds.  Some guy walked out of the gas station just about then to get on his bike, and had overheard us.  It seems he lived in Long Beach, and knew the place Scott had mentioned well.  Or at least he had, before the owner got divorced, and had to closed the place and put it up for sale to pay off his soon to be exwife.
Since we couldn't think of anyplace else to go, and since Scott lived in Astoria, just across the border in Oregon, we figured we'd go to Long Beach and find something to eat, then figure where to go from there.
As we rolled south on 101 between Raymond and South Bend, a deer jumped out onto the road in front of a 4X4 going the other way.  He slammed on his brakes, and guess where the deer went...That's right, right in front of me.  I couldn't move over to the right, because Bear was right beside me, and didn't have a shoulder to pull onto.  The 4x4 got stopped but I could tell I was going to be two for two in the animal incident department, and it pissed me off.  Suddenly I pulled my left hand into a fist, leaned the bike quick right into the middle of the lane (sorry Bear), and as the deer came up to the handlebars of the bike in a panic, I just swung.  Hit the little bitch right in the side of the head. I satyed upright, and no one else came close to hitting the deer as it veered back across traffic and off the road.

We made it into Long Beach with no more conflicts with Mutha Nature.  But we did stop to help a few bikes that were pulled off onto the side of the road.  They were tourists from Canada...or was it California...I don't really remember, and it doesn't really matter anyway.  We just got them headed out along whatever road it was they wanted to go down and we putted off along the bottom of Willapa Bay to Long Beach and had some really good burgers, and some cold soda (it was a burger joint and didn't sell beer).
By this time, everyone was developing a thirst for something other than cold soda, so Scott said he'd lead us to the Sea Hag down in Ilwaco.  I hadn't been there in a few years, so this was going to be a treat for me.  We stopped at the beach for a few minutes, but they ahd the gates closed so we couldn't ride on the beach, then headed odd towards the Sea Hag and some cold refreshing ones.
Along the way, we swung up to check out the North Head lighthouse, and the view (a nice ride on a bike).  Then we rolled down into Ilwaco and stopped at the Sea Hag.

Scott reintroduced me to an old friend, the Sea Hag, and after a drink or two we had decided that we were this close to Astoria, and none of us had ever been to the Astoria Columns we figured; "Okay, let's check it out."  So we did.
We headed across the Astoria bridge, and followed Scott up around the twisting road to the column and scoped it out.  The views were great, but the stairs inside the column were closed for repair so we couldn't go to the top to get the really good view from 120 feet up.  Since Scott only lived a few blocks from the column, we stopped by his place on our way back out of town, and said our good-byes.

half of the Astoria Bridge

the other half...almost

The ride back was fairly boring.  Cruising down US 30 we hit a little sprinkle of rain.  At least thats what the others called it.  I am still not sure we just didn't ride past some big irrigation system that oversprayed the road.  But it don't really matter.  When we corssed over into Washington again at Longview, we refueled, then hit the freeway.  
I broke off at the Toledo exit, and headed the back way up to Salkum to at least put some enjoyment back into the ride.  Freeways just bore the hell out of me.  Unless they're passing through some scenic area, or the pavement totally sucks.  But I digress...I made it home, and was filled wiht the joy that comes after a nice long ride.  One with no planned route, no schedule, and each leg gets figured out as it starts.  Even then, the little side trip can lead to quite the hidden treasure that fills the trip with memories.  I wouldn't have missed this ride for anything.  It was a keeper.

Catch ya on the road sometime...

The Memorial Rides Are Beginning To Pile Up

I'll be leaving Morton early (around 8:00 AM) on Saturday morning heading up to Tacoma to the start of the 5th Annual Chris Walters Memorial Run.  It'll seem almost like old times heading up to the 48th Street Pub, and seeing a load of sweet rides.  I'll even be seeing a few friends there, but not the ones I used to ride with way back in the day.  So in a way, while we ride in honor the memory of Chris, I'll be remembering so many other friends who arent here anymore.

It doesnt even bother me that I don't know where the route is going.  It doesn't really matter does it?  I've heard rumors that it'll be about a two hundred mile run, with about a hundred miles between stops.  Sounds good to me.  Only the start and final stops have been announced.  Both are bars in the south side of Tacoma.  Both, while I wouldn't say I "hung out" there, I did spend a good deal of time at.  So I am looking forward to getting to spend some time with friends, and making a few more along the way.

Just by chance, if you should happen to find yourself in Tacoma on Saturday, June 8th, and for some reason are in need of something to do, come to the Fallen Rider Memorial at 46th & Yakima at 10:00 AM.  Everyone will pull out at 10:30, and until we end up at Gloria's down on 82nd & Pacific Ave, it's just like life...a bit of a mystery.  I have been told, that it is usually a really good route, so come on and join us in Chris's memory.  A June ride in the PNW, is always a wildcard weather wise, but I have a hunch it's going to be a good ride either way.

If you can't make Chris' ride there is always the 6th Annual Dan George Memorial Run on the 15th.  Come make them both if you can.  They both ought to be worth attending.

Catch you on the road sometime...

One More Thing Off The List

Well now the clutch problem is taken care off.  After adjusting it and taking my time with it, Gypsy is running down the road just fine.  At least as far as the clutch is concerned.  I still have an intake leak I need to fix, by replacing an old funky gasket, and a couple of other minor issues.  Then she'll be good for the rest of the year.  

This winter she'll get a major teardown and rework in prep for the big ride to Chicago next summer.  I don't want to get stuck a couple thousand miles from home due to a problem I could have fixed at home.

But at least I have one less thing to stress about in regards to my Gypsy's being on the road.  Looking forward to a good summer, and making it possible for the rally to fire up next August.

Catch ya on the road sometime...

I Wonder About Myself Sometimes...

Recently I have been having to adjust Gypsys clutch a lot more than usual.  With clutch plates only a couple years old, and a new compensating sprocket, I knew the clutch itself and most everything in the primary was in good shape.  I was over at a friends place yesterday, and we got to talking about the problem.  Everytime he suggested checking something, I was able to say I had already checked or replaced the part with a new one.  That is, until he finally had a lightbulb go off over his head and asked about the clutch cable.  It turns out he had one still in the package in his garage that he let me have for dirt cheap.

I brought it home, replaced the clutch cable that was on Gypsy with the one that he sold me, and I was amazed at the difference between the two.  The new one was smooth and flexible.  The old ones housing was so stiff it was hard to bend or straighten out.  Thats when I got to thinking...I have had that same clutch cable on the bike since I bought her in April of '09.  I've put about 40,000 miles on her since then.  No telling how long it had been on the bike before that.

I should have replaced that cable a long time ago.  I've replaced so many other things on her, why the fuck didn't I replace the clutch cable?  It really makes me wonder about myself sometimes when i do stupid shit like that.  Well, now I am going to finish off a cup of coffee, and head out and adjust the clutch with the new cable and see if that resolves the issue with the clutch I have been having.  If not, I am back to square one.  At least Gypsy keeps my life interesting.

Catch ya on the road sometime...