8 Ball In The Wind

Monday, September 30, 2013

Choppers...They're For Riding

I was on the phone last night with Patrick, and the conversation rolled around, as it usually does, to chopping Sportsters.  He asked me if what I wanted was a '70s looking shop.  I told him that was pretty much what I had in mind.  But it was going to be a long bike...early '70s style, but built with what I wanted on it.  My view on the way I am putting mine together is; "building a roller for an Ironhead Sporty should be okay, since most of what I have planned won't interfere wihit the motor bolting up.  If it does, I'll modify it later."

We talked about radiusing the rear fender, and maybe welding 1/4" round stock along the new edge of the fender for reinforcement.  Mounting the tail light/brake light on top of the fender so it will be visible from both sides and far enough back that saddlebags won't be an issue.  I prefer throw over bags to permanently mounted bags.  It makes it easier to swap between bikes.

When the subject of what type of oil tank I wanted, I told Patrick I wanted a round one, not a horseshoe one.  He came up with a couple of cool sounding ideas that ought to look real sweet on the Frankenbike.  When we get closer to having them finished, I'll post some pics.

Then we got to discussing what I wanted to do about goosenecking the frame.  We shouldn't have too big of a problem with it, and when it's done, she'll be a sweet looking chopper with a sweet looking long and sexy front end.  I'm figuring about a 40° rake and up to a 10" over front end.  The length will get figured out once the rake is set and the trees are in place.  With a narrowed set of 6 bend pullbacks it ought to have a nice comfortable riding position.  

Patrick figured it will end up being a quick little bitch of a bike, and i said that's why I am leaving the dual disc front end on it.  The wheels are vintage AMF mags with dual discs already, so why not go with it.  It may not look like the choppers in the '70s with laced wheels on a spool hub, but I want this girl to be able to be ridden.  After all, to me, that's what a chopper is for...to be ridden...not parked in a garage until the weather turns nice, then taken bar hopping.

If things don't work out as I have planned, and I end up needing to get the bike inspected to get a title for it, then I'll just add the turn signals and horn as a temporary extension of the wiring harness.  Then as soon as I get home from getting it inspected, they'll come right back off again.

Now that I'll be getting a regular paycheck rolling in again, I figure I'll be able to get things rolling along quicker on Frankenbike.  With a little help from Patrick and a couple of other fabricators I know; a few parts from one or two friends stashes, some new stuff from Lowbrow and Paughco it ought to come together nicely.  

Hell, she may even be up in time for the next Bastard Bash in 2014.  It would be nice to rollinto the campground with my tent and bag strapped to Frankenbikes sissy bar and forks.  Ready to spend some good time with everyone there (and not ride down on an Evo Softail like I did this year).

Catch you on the road sometime...


What a wild weekend this has been.  Pissing down rain, High winds, and still we had a great turn out at the A.B.A.T.E. meeting on sunday.  I really was getting a bit worried about the turn-out due to the weather.  We needed ten paid members at the meeting before the State would vote in our chapter.  We needed two more paid members, and the guys said they'd be there with the cash.  But then the storms began to roll in Friday night, and by Sunday it was a mess.  High winds and several inches of rain, had me nervous that people wouldn't want to come out in this horrible weather.

I was more than pleasantly surprised when not only did we get our ten members, but we actually got three more come all the way from Randle, and Packwood.  So we shouldn't have any problems at the State level.  The Board of Directors meeting is in ellensburg on the 12th & 13th of October.  It's a good almost three hour ride over White Pass to get there.  And if we leave here Saturday morning, we'll have to hit the road about 6 AM.  Going to be mighty cold on the bikes riding over 4,500 foot White Pass in mid October that early in the morning, and if the weather is bas, it will be a miserable ride.  We may just end up taking the car.  So, I am hoping for nice weather, and trying to convince Robin and someothers to ride over Friday night.

With the way this wind and rain has been coming down, I think I am going to go down to the river in a couple hours and get some shots of the river...it probably has risen a few feet by now.  If the pics come out good, I'll post them here.  

I just realized that the blog has almost reached the 10,000 views mark...I'll have to come up with something suitable to mark that landmark event.  Until then...

I'll catch you on the road sometime...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Never Alone

Here's the video I put together last night.  After working on it for nearly 3 hours, I realized the audio suddenly stopped about twenty seconds before the song was suppose to.  So I had to buy the mp3 from Amazon so I culd finish it.  Oh well, all is good now.  I'll be working on an actual 'video' of the bke going down the road somewhere in the very near future after I figure out the angles and hots I want in it.  Catch you on the road sometime...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Man At Work

I started back to work this week.  But I'm doing more than just driving the bus.  I am also the cook at the Head Start center in Randle.  The old cook left for a job with the local school district for more money, and more hours.  We got cut-backs due to the government sequestration, so now I have to run the kitchen.  Whats really wierd, is all the food I have to make is supposed to be HEALTHY.  I mean whole grain, whole wheat, and all that good healthy, low fat shit.

But since this is a federally funded program, there is paperwork up the ass.  I have to keep a log of the temperature inside the refridgerator and freezer everyday, and how much chlorine is in my water for sanitizing the dishes after I wash and rinse them.  I think I spend as much time doing paperwork as I do actually cooking and cleaning.

Which still boggles my mind that I have made it through two days already.  I have had to make Gingerbread Pancakes, Turkey Chili, bake Cornbread, Bran & Blueberry Muffins, and all from scratch.  Thank God I can read the instructions in the recipe book.  'Cause when I usually cook something, it either involves a barbecue grill, or I'm opening a can of something and heating it up.  This baking and cooking from scratch shit is way out of my comfort zone!!

So, if I don't post quite as much for a couple of weeks while I try to get the hang of this, that's probably why.  This is a whole new deal, and I haven't gone this far out on a limb in a long time.  Of course, I have other irons in the fire too; like organizing a chapter of A.B.A.T.E. here locally so the members dont have to ride an hour or more each way for a 40 minute meeting,  trying to get the rally moving forward, and also the combined effort of keeping the Ironhead project going, while being one of the FNG's on the Quad Cam Bastards Forum and all that entails.  Can you see why I feel like a one legged man in an ass kicking contest?  As long as even half of the shit I got going comes together (including looking for a full time job with decent pay), I'll call it good to go.

All this, and I am still planning on making a run to Chicago and back (the LOOOONG way) next summer.  So, as long as nothing breaks totally loose and brings my world to a sudden and violent end, I'll be around.  Probably still trying to figure out how the Hell I keep getting myself into the shit I do...and even more importantly, how I keep getting myself landing on my feet when I do get into the shit.  When I can get something together, I'll let you all know.  So, until then...

I'll catch ya on the road sometime...

Saturday, September 14, 2013


I was riding back into Morton this evening with Patrick, and I got to thinking about the frame for my Ironhead project.  There really isnt a whole lot I'm going to need to do with it, but there is one thing I can do to really make her look more like what I have in mind.  I can 'gooseneck' her.  Instead of stretching the downtubes or the backbone, I can add a sweep towards the front that will push the lower end of the neck forward a couple of inches.  That will increase the rake without jacking the bike way up.  Helping to give her a much more elegant look.

If I was better skilled wiht Photoshop I would have been able to change the rake of the front forks instead of just making the frame gooseneck a bit.  I think, if you compare the two pics, you can see what I am thinking of doing to Frankenbikes frame.  Of course, this will mean I will have to use fork tubes that are several inches overstock.  But, if I have to, well then I'll just have to live with having a raked out long bike.

I do have a off the wall idea to shorten up the trail, so that the front end won't "flop" from side to side at low speed, and will handle corners a bit better.  I won't go into it now because I have never seen a bike with hydraulic forks set up like I have in mind.  It may not work, and if it doesn't, well then only me and my fabricator will know for sure.  I'm not even sure my idea will work with hydraulic fork sliders, but I am curious to find out.

All I will say, is if my idea works, it will be more than just melding parts from different bikes together.  I will be using elements from different types of fork configurations to decrease the trail on a raked out, and extended front end.  I'll keep you posted if I get it to all work out.  Until then...

I'll catch you on the road sometime...

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Keeping The Juices Flowing

I know that I'm probably going to hear about this from somebody.  Everybody has their opinion, and this is just mine.  That doesn't mean I am anymore right than any other yahoo out there who has one, I'm just saying what I think...and maybe why.  What the Hell am I talking about, you ask?  Well carburetors of course.

Like I said, everyone has their own favorite carb, and when it comes to carbs on a Harley, folks can get downright fanatical.  A whole bunch of people swear by S&S, Ultima, Weber, and so on.  Me, well I like the stock (yes, I did say that nasty word) CV carbs on Harleys over the past couple of decades.  There are a few reasons I like the CVs over most of the other carbs I have had experiences with.  Mainly though, it boils down to just a few very important ones.

First off, they are readily available, and finding one at a decent price isn't a big concern.  Also, they are pretty simple and easy to repair along side the road if need be.  As with the carbs themselves, parts are easy to find.  But I think the biggest reason I have for liking the CV so much, is probably the fact that here in Washington state, I can ride literally from sea level to over 5,400 feet in about 90 minutes without even trying.  The old CV on Gypsy takes the change of altitude without a hiccup.  I have had friends riding with me that have had Super B & Super E carbs, and have had "issues" with the change.  Sure, a fuel injected bike won't have issues either, but I'm not talking FI here, and I hopefully won't have a bike with FI.  I like to tinker with shit, and thats hard to do when you're relying on electronics to control everything.  So many additional components that could cause a problem on their own.  No thanks, I stay with a simple carb that I can probably work on alongside the road and get to run good enough to limp home.

The older carbs; Linkerts, Bendix, and others, I don't think could handle the change as easily as the CV does.  Hell, it doesn't even seem to notice it.  When I ride from the warm moist sea level air over the Cascade Mountains into the hot, dry air of eastern Washington, Gypsy just keeps right on chugging along. 

So, I'll stay with me CV.  Like I said, I'm sure I'm going to get shit for it.  But hey, you got to admit, they are a dependable carb.  If they weren't dependable Harley wouldn't have stuck with them on Big Twins and Sporty's for so long.  What, nearly twenty years using the same carb?  To me that is not only dependability, it also means parts are going to be easy to get for  quite a while.  Other carbs may be better, but I am a cheap bastard, and I'll stay with what works and doesn't cost me an arm and a leg to buy or keep working.

For the foreseeable future at any rate, I'll be sticking with a CV on my Harleys.  Hmmm, I wonder how my Ironhead project would work with a CV.  Who knows, it might reinforce my opinion of them...or blow it out o the water...we'll have to wait and see.

Catch you on the road sometime...

Friday, September 6, 2013

Well it looks like the weather gods have conspired to kill the campout tun I had planned for this weekend.  Two days of wind, rain and lightning seem to have scared everyone off.  Understandable, but kind of a drag for having a get together on the river.  Oh well, what the Hell.

Tomorrow is suppose to be a decent day, and a guy I know is having a BBQ.  So maybe things will work out, and I'll ride up to his place.  There'll be a few of the guys I ride with I am sure.  Who knows, might turn into a good party.  Might be able to get some riding figured out with a few people.  I'm always up for a ride.

So, things are up in the air; if folks so up for tomorrows ride to Windy Ridge, cool.  If not, well there are always options, and I am sure I can play a couple of them out.  You never know, I might discover one or two more that I hadnt thought of before.  And, isn't that what makes life grand?

Catch ya on the road sometime...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

We had a bit of thunder and lightning last night.  My 10 month old Shepherd mix pup didn't really care for it too much.  First he put his paws on the edge of the bed, and his head across my neck.  Then he jumped up on the bed and tried to cuddle as tight as he could. 

 After awhile, it seemed to mellow out and stop.  So the wife let Knucklehead, and her English Mastiff out to go "potty".  You guessed it, while they were out, the stuff started up again close and loud!!  Knucklehead shot back into the house, and when he got back into the bedroom, he curled up into the dog crate he had used when he was a tiny pup.

The weather forecast is for more storms and heavy rain today and early tomorrow.  They're suppose to clear out by midday on Friday.  Which is good for me, since I have a bike campout and run starting Friday night and going through the weekend.  Keeping my fingers crossed that the weather today and tomorrow morning doesnt scare a lot of people off.  But oh well, I'll deal wiht whatever comes.

Catch you on the road sometime...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Phone Call

I was talking with Patrick on the phone today.  He's thinking of going to a smaller tank on his Chopster.  Since he figures he is averaging almost 70 mpg, that he could get away with a 2.4 gallon fuel tank all friscoed out.  Then he asked if I was ready for him to start putting feelers out for a pre-70 Ironhead motor with papers.  As much as I wanted to say yes, I had to tell him I was holding off until my income tax comes back for this year.  He said he could understand that.  Because that's what he is doing for the new springer he wants to put on El Jefe.  That bike is going to look sick as Hell with a nice long springer on it.  Washington Choppers has them for less than $700 for a 4" over springer.  Lots to do it seems, on shoestring tight budgets.  But that's what keeps us rolling down the line.

Catch ya on the road sometime...

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Short Putt

Went on a nice little putt yesterday.  Nothing special, just a couple hours worth of riding around through some of the local two lane backroads.  We had a couple rigids riding with us, so I tried to keep on the smoother of the roads, but there was one I had to take just because of all its winding ess curves and nice sweepers as it wound up and over the hills south of Mossyrock.  Then along the north side of Mayfield Lake, and back down to the property again.  

Like I said, nothing really special, just a nice little ride to get out and enjoy riding with each other.

A longer ride would have been nice, but that wasn't meant to be yesterday.  Family commitments kept it down to a couple of hours, and then some of us had to get back to doing the 'family thing'.  Oh well, better a couple of hours riding than no riding at all.

Catch you on the road sometime...