8 Ball In The Wind

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Still Chugging Along

I've been busy dealing with a screwed up back, the wifes car breaking down, trying to beg borrow or steal a ride to work.  But I still found a minute of two to sketch up the basic layout of what I have in mind for Frankenbikes brake system.  No hand brake, just the foot brake running both front and rear brakes.

I drew this up today shortly before I walked over to the Dr.'s office to get my back checked out.  I laid it out as a schematic, so it wouldn't make any real difference which side of the bike the brake pedal is on.

The pedal pushes the plunger into the master cylinder, the fluid comes out under pressure and hit the 'Tee'.  The fluid going to the dual discs on the front forks gets the majority of the pressure.  The fluid going to the single disc on the back wheel has to go through an adjustable proportioning valve first.  That should keep the back end from locking up if I hit the brakes hard.  Being adjustable, I should be able to get it set-up pretty damn close to perfect without a whole lot of trouble.

It's been a long and painful week.  The wifes car broke down at the drug store 3 blocks away from home when I went in to get the prescription for muscle relaxers the Doc gave me for my back.  I've been fighting the car, my back, and still trying not to spend too much money so I have a shot at buying what I need to get Frankenbike moving forward.  Besides that, I have some parts coming in to work on Gypsy's top end.  So I'll be bringing her into the front room as well.  Gotta clear some space in there.  Plus, I'm taking a bunch of parts to the Monroe Swap Meet at the end of March.  So I'll be organizing and packing all that up too.  At least that will help make some room for Gypsy to squeeze in.

Never any rest for the wicked...or something like that.

Catch you on the road sometime...

Monday, February 17, 2014

One Option

I've been catching myself thinking about throwing a run up into the hills again.  Nothing fancy.  No vendors, no live bands, no prizes.  Just a run truck, and a few bikes heading out into the backwoods somewhere just to hang out and chill.  If we want music, just a ghetto blaster and a few CDs should do the trick.  

All meeting up someplace in the city, and heading out from there.  I know places out on the Peninsula and up around Hood Canal.  As well as a few spots here in the Cascade Mountains that we could roll up into and enjoy.  The only catch with all the free spots I know, is they're also catch as catch can.  So someone would have to go up ahead of time and make sure the place isnt taken.  Then take it for ourselves.

Some of the really cool fee places I know, I have already looked into, and most of them are already taken for the whole summer already.  I did say they were really cool, right?  I'll figure something out, I am sure.  Especially if its just a small handful of bikes, maybe up to 10 or so.  The hardest part is where to start, and where to go.

Here is just one of the possibilities; a run up to the Dosewallips River on the Olympic Peninsula, and camping in the dispersed (and free) camping at the base of Mt Jupiter.  All but the last half mile to a mile of it is paved road, and it is fairly remote.  So we wouldn't have people bothering us, or getting bothered by us as we hang out and enjoy ourselves.  

For this run, we would all meet up in the Tacoma area.  Now just follow along wiht me, I'm just sort of playing this by ear as I roll out what I am thinking.  Not making any plans, just giving an idea or two of just one of the places we could go.  After we meet up, we'd grab some breakfast, and make sure the run truck has everything loaded and secured.  Personally, I was thinking of meeting up at the Tower Lanes on 6th Avenue.  It has a large parking lot, good food, and its handy to Hwy 16 when we head out.

We'd probably roll out the back side of Highland Hill and get on Hwy 16 from Pearl St.  It's a lot easier, and has less lights than going down 6th Ave to Bridgeport Wy and trying to get on the highway.  Once on 16, we'll cross the Narrows Bridge.  No toll going westbound so we won't even have to slow down, and won't have to pay to cross the bridge.  The plan is  to not come back on 16, so we wouldn't be paying no toll anyway.  
From Tacoma to Purdy is about the only streth of freeway we'd be on during the way out.  When we get to Purdy, we'd turn left and cross the bridge.  Since we'd only be about 20-30 minutes out from breakfast, I don't think we'd make a stop at the Floatation Device.  (But that could always be an option)  After we cross the Purdy Spit, we'd either stay on Hwy 302, and go around Dead Man's Curve, or we could take Goldman Rd and snake up the shortcut hook back up with 302 down the road a mile or so.  From that point, we'd stay on 302's two lane road, and follow it through to it's junction with Highway 3.

302 has some nice scenery to it as it twists through the forest.  A lot of sweepers, with a few "S" curves thrown into the mix.  The last few miles of it are along the shore of Case Inlets "North Bay".  But the views from here are just an appetizer for what is yet to come along the way.  

After we would turn right onto Highway 3, we won't be staying on Highway 3 for long, just a few miles.  Just long enough to roll into Belfair and top off the fuel tanks, and  maybe get the road dust washed out of our mouths with a quick, cold beverage at the Hideaway.  Then it's back south on Hwy 3 again for a mile or so to Hwy 106.  We'll swing right off of 3 and onto 106, and here is where the twists become  abit more pleasing, and the scenery begins to improve as we ride along the bottom of Hood Canal.

For the next half hour or so, we'll be riding along the south shore of Hood Canal.  Getting some swet views of the water and the Olympic mountains.  I know, the water front is getting and has been crowded with waterside homes for decades, but it is still a really good road to ride, and the scenery is tough to beat.  Besides, now we are getting down to the home stretch.

When we reach US 101, we turn right and head north.  Passing through Potlatch, Hoodsport, and Eldon as we twist our way up along the west side of Hood Canal.  With the Olympic mountains rising up on our left side, and the Hood Canal on our right. We keep going on up to Brinnon.  

When we reach Brinnon, we'd pull off at the Geoduck for smoe more cold beverages, and maybe a bite to eat.  Even though we are less than 10 miles from where we'll be making camp.  We may as well begin to relax, and enjoy ourselves a bit.  From the Geoduck, we'll ride north another mile or so to the Dosewallips River Rd, and turn left.  We ride down the river road, and climb up the hill and follow the road back to the river again.  At about the 6 mile point the road veers to the right, but there is a dirt road on the left.  We take the dirt road, and ride back down to the river.  After crossing the bridge, we take the dirt road on the left, and find a campsite to call our own for the weekend.

Once camp is made, we can spend time enjoying the roads around the area of Brinnon and Quilcene.  There are some sweet roads, and rides to take.  We could party up in Quilcene at the Whistling Oyster, or in Brinnon at the Geoduck.  Or just hang out along the river at camp.

After the run, we'd just ehad south on 101.  Not swinging back onto 106, but passing through Shelton, and into Olympia.  Maybe stopping for a cold beverage before everyone heading their own way again.  Between Shelton and Olympia is the only other section of freeway we'd have to ride.  But it is still riding through a fairly pretty area, so it's not too bad.  It's a bit over a 150 mile run from Tacoma to the camp spot, and back to Olympia.  Plus however far anyone rides to Tacoma, and back home.  

Like I said, this is just one of the places I know, and enjoy riding to and camping, and where we used to party quite a bit.  So this is just one of the options I have been toying with for an overnight, old style, run  for a good time.  I'll have to post more soon and maybe I'll put one of them together, and just have a blast with it.

Catch you on the road sometime...

Saturday, February 15, 2014

It's A Question Of Proportion

Since I can't afford the motor I want for Frankenbike, yet, I have been spending the past couple of days trying to work out a few of the other details I want her to have.  One of the things I have been wanting to do, but couldnt quite get my head around was just using the foot brake to run both front and rear brakes.  Then, just by chance I was reading an old article in a copy of Hints & Kinks about that very thing.  Using a proportioning valve to keep the pressures even.  For a stripped down Sporty, that was just what I was looking for.

So I did a little bit of research, and found a wide array of thought on the matter.  Why some people would want to do it on a bagger, or a big heavy bike with abs, and other crap is beyond me.  All I wanted was to keep the bike looking as clean as possible, and to stop as smoothly as I can make it.

With no front brake master cylinder and lever on the bars, that would  give her a real clean look.  Since the bike will be set up to ride solo only, I figure I wont need to worry about an adjustible proportioning valve.  So what I have been thinking about doing is running the rear brake master cylinder to the valve, and both lines from there.  A dual disc up front, and a single disc in the rear.  The main question remains what side of the bike the brake pedal will be.  It seems, I cant mount anything for the brake system up yet until I find a motor.  Well, excpet for the calipers at any rate.

When I decided to clean up the look of the bars...still planning on 6 bend pullbacks...I got to thinking what it would look like with only the grips on the bars.  If the brakes are being controlled by the foot pedal, wouldn't it be cool to have the shifter and clutch together and off the bars where I could just reach and shift?  Of course, that wouldn't work well with a right side shift Sporty.  So again, it all boils down to the motor I get.

Leaving the clutch and shifting out of the picture for a bit, I can still lay out in broad general terms how the brake system should go.  The brake pedal pushes the plunger in the master cylinder.  The fluid goes up to the proportioning valve, and is sent off to the front and rear of the bike.  The line going back runs to the rear caliper.  The one  line going to the front leads to a tee splitter, and each side has a line going to an individual caliper on either side of the forks.  Outside of which side of the bike the master cylinder and pedal will be, this is the general layout of the brake system I want on Frankenbike.

I figure with this sort of set-up, I shouldn't have to worry about loss of traction from locking up the rear brakes when I jam on the pedal in an emergency stop.  It should help keep traction on the front wheel in situations like gravel too.  Because I have to admit, I dont always use my front brake anyway.  I sometimes realize I am on only the rear brake after a second of so, then I apply the front.  Or vice-versa.  So having just the one brake will help on that as well.

I'm not doing this just to get the look I want.  That is just a side benefit.  The main reason, is so I can cheat, and get the braking I want without needing two separate systems to stop.  The fact it cleans up the look of the bars is just a bonus benefit.  I really can't see doing this for a big twin Harley, at least not a modern one.  Not unless it has already been fairly stripped down, and is at least a semi-bare bones bike already.  But that's not what I am working with.  I'm working with a rigid frame, stripped down Sporty chopper.  I like to go fast from time to time, but I prefer to be able to stop ALL THE TIME.  So I can't see anything wrong with this sort of system.  It's been around for decades, and the proportioning valves can be had for a reasonable price.  I'll keep you all informed of how it goes as I get further along in the development phase.  As for the clutch lever and shifter; well, that's a whole other story for down the road somewhere.

Catch ya on the road sometime...

Friday, February 7, 2014

It's A Might Crisp Out There

It has been really beautiful and sunny, but majorly chilly the past few days.  Lows down to the single digits, with 30-40 mph winds.  Then, late yesterday afternoon, the clouds began spiiting out a fine, frozen powdery snow.  Almost to the point that you had to really look at tiems to see it coming down.  But as you drove along the road, it became clearly visible blowing in waves across the highway.  It hadn't gotten above freezing for a couple of days even though it had been clear and without rain.  There was still ice in places, and the snow slowly gathering and blowing across the road didn't make things any better.  I made it home with no trouble from work.  Although out on the freeway several multiple vehicle accidents had traffic stalled for hours.  

By dark, there was a mere half inch on the ground, but the wind kept howling and blowing it from the roof in clouds that made it difficult to see out the windows.  We only got maybe four inches over night.  But it is that fine powdery, frozen snow that blows everywhere.  When I go up this morning, the wind had calmed down, and the clouds were thinning.  So I decided I'd head out and take some photographs of the area around here.

I took a few really nice photos this afternoon.  It amazed me how completely frozen some streams had been.  Including a few waterfalls coming down off the hills.  In perhaps a weeks time, they have completely frozen over.  It truly was an amazing sight.

But I think the sight that blew me away the most was the one that greated me in my own car port.  In the 9 years I have lived here, snow has never covered the inside of my car port.  Last night, it not only covered the slab in the car prot, but it covered the bike as well.  I was surprised and amazed at how much that fine, frozen crap had spread all over.

I am going to be bringing her into the front room soon for a tear down of her top-end.  So I'm not too bothered by her getting snowed on, but just surprised.  The ol' girl will get a good cleaning too before she rolls back out of the front room.  So I'll make it up to her.  I'm hoping the weather reports are right, and it will warm up in a couple days, and all this will trun to rain.  Then maybe a couple days of sunshine to ride in.  Until then...

Catch ya on the road sometime...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Plans Change

I just found out today, that the financial situation has changed.  There is now no way I can make the cross country trip I had planned in June.  Deals were made, and plans built on those deals.  Then the other party reneged, and set shit adrift.  I am hopeful that my trip to Chicago, via Utah, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, and Birmingham is just delayed a year.  But it is looking like I may have a more difficult time finishing my Ironhead project on time now as well.

What ever happens, I'll deal with it.  It just pisses me off how some people are.  But thats life.  And it is being dealt with.

Catch you on the road sometime...