Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Ride to the Park

Here is a motorcycle video I did of Clarence and I day taking a ride into Big Knife Park on the Battle River. Since the onslaught of cold weather and winter this may be the closest thing we can do to riding.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Project Bike is Running

The project bike is finally on the road.
I finally bit the bullet mooched a ride and haul from a Friend and took the bike into Red Deer to Ivan's Cycle and in the blink of a bikers eye he had the wing up and running smoothly. Ivan skillfully did in four and half hours what I couldn't accomplish in four months.
Ivan removed the carbs replaced some faulty O-rings, cleaned the carbs and synched it into the smooth running machine that it is now. He told me some one had been into the carbs before and used some wrong O-rings which resulted in the leaky condition. These were the carbs that I bought off of E-bay as the original ones that came with the bike were extraordinarily filthy and gunked up from dirt and debris. After about six attempts myself at trying to make them serviceable and grunting and groaning them on and off the bike, I just gave up on them.
Took the bike up to him on Thursday and he phoned me Friday night to tell me it was finished and ready to go.
My good friend Garry and his faithful Dodge pickup helped bring the bike back to Castor on Saturday.
The weather was cool on Sunday but the forecast was for colder temps moving into the region, so it was now or spring to go for a ride.
I didn't want to go too far or too fast as the bike had been sitting for a few years and I am still not sure what condition all of the other components are in like the brakes, wheels, transmission or tires. The bike purred like a kitten and ran flawlessly
Managed to put on about 100 km hitting the highlights of Fleet, Coronation and Halkirk. The project bike will be a warm weather bike as the rider is wide open to the wind not like the full dresser wing back in the shop.
Most of the things I do with motorcycles I can not accomplish without the help of friends and I am truly blessed to have some good ones. And I can't say enough of about Ivan and his repair shop in Red Deer, great mechanic, great guy and if you were to ask me, I would recommend him highly for motorcycle work.
The project bike is a work in progress and I have some ideas but not sure where I am heading next, but now that I now it runs and runs well I can work on it and ride it at the same time.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Image if you will, shedding every item you own, every problem you have, every burden you carry, every issue that haunts you, and becoming a free thinking, free riding, free man.
Image if you unpacked the bike you packed and retained only the things you really needed to survive on the bike. All you really need to survive is air to breath, water to drink and something to eat, the rest is just clutter. Add in some clothes to wear, cooking utensils, camping gear and some cash to buy gas and you will be completely outfitted to take the motorcycle ride of a lifetime.
Riding a motorcycle unencumbered by clutter, devoid of a befuddled mind and a yearning to learn is as close to being free as you can get.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Highway

The highway is the ribbon that binds everything together, without the road there is no ride, no story, no adventure to be had and no new sites to see. The highway is your friend, your companion and must be revered, don’t lose sight of it and don’t stray far from it. There are good roads and bad roads and roads to be avoided and if you pick the right ones you will be rewarded. Most bikers will avoid the freeways, the four lanners where the drivers seem to be competing for a pole position or just living their life in a mobile living room.
Most of the things the rider sees occurring in the cars dare not be attempted by the rider and the rider by virtue of being out there in the air shuns these things. Life in the slow lane is a better choice, how better to see the country, meet the people and enjoy the reality of real people. The pace is slower the sites more interesting the interactions more real and satisfying. My reality is the highway, the thing that takes me where I want to go, the conveyance of choice but it has to be the right highway. I don’t like to stray far from the highway when on a road trip, I don’t want to take ten mile excursions off the route to camp or eat and then back track to my resume my riding. Back tracking is a bikers no-no, something to be avoided. If caught in this situation it is better to re-route yourself and follow a new route to get you back on track avoiding back tracking at all costs, then all will be well.
There are so many ways that riders have tried to explain why we ride, all true and have meaning for the rider. Being out there completely encapsulated, not a kinetic energy but a dynamic force hurtling down the road, you are the scene not just a part of one. A throwback to the cowboy era, a man on his horse on his own traveling with not a care in the world. Freedom of the open road, a free rider in a free country choosing where and when to go, which roads to take and in which direction to take them. Control, one man, one bike with the power and authority to hurl and guide his missile down the road.
The biker pounds the pavement in his own reality and passes through other peoples reality only choosing to stop and participate if he wishes. To the passers by he is just a fleeting glimpse, a rider on a motorcycle, here and gone in the blink of an eye.
The route ahead is taking me to a better road, more scenic, more curves, more motorcycle friendly and most importantly less traffic.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Project Bike

The project bike is coming along slower than I would like, I have managed to get it looking like a standard bike again by replacing the parts discarded by the previous owner in his quest to make it a touring bike.
My biggest headache has been the carbs as they were filthy inside with rust, corrosion, dirt and gravel and a healthy dose of stinking stale gasoline residue.
I attempted to clean them myself and ordered carb parts to do the job but I failed in keeping the carbs from leaking like a sieve and gave up on the original carbs as I have had them on and off the bike and apart at least ten times in order to make them stop leaking and work adequately.
I bought a set of complete carbs off E-bay thinking I could just bolt them on and I would be away. When I received the carbs a quick check in the bowls seemed to indicate that they were in good shape and should work. They were in far better shape than the originals that I had taken off the bike, but alas they proved to have the same faults as the originals.
After some doubts, deliberations and anxious thoughts of cheapness, I have decided to take them to a mechanic to see if he can rebuild and get the bike running properly.
I have to make sure the bike will run properly before preceding with the next steps of new brakes, new tires, new mufflers and maybe a new paint job.
I got into this project cheap but I won't be getting out cheap as this thing is a money pit like most of these bright ideas. At first I thought if I couldn't make the bike viable I could just part it out and make my money back or a small profit, but I am way beyond that now.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I hate Motorcycles..........

That don"t run and look like crap, so I bought one.

And this one fit the bill, look at it, it looks crappy with that white fairing and white lidless saddle bags. I don't think a guy can have too many motorcycles so I picked this one up for a project bike and what a project it is becoming. If you think you can get into this kind of thing cheap and enjoy some trouble free riding you are in for a shock and some sticker shock.

First things first, off with the fairing, to the dump with those scuzzy looking saddlebags. But then I find out I need to replace the taillight mounts the headlight bucket, brackets and front signal lights not to mention after sitting for a few years in an abandoned granary it don't run so good any more.

Looks better after a bath and those hideous looking white attachments banished to obscurity, but lots of work to do yet. The carwash didn't wash the rust off the mufflers or make a dent in the deeply embedded dirt hiding under the frame and plastics. And it didn't make it run any better either.

After a generous supply of carb cleaner and Sea Foam in a furtive attempt to clear the carbs did I realize that the carbs had to be removed and cleaned. And what a cleaning they needed, after years of running up and down a gravel road they managed to accumulate enough gravel and sand in the float bowls to start their own road project.

Carb removal on a wing is not for the faint hearted and after a brief struggle with the linkage and getting the carb pack to clear the frame and out did I get a look at the mess I thought I was going to fix with Sea Foam.

Cleaning was done with carb cleaner spray and some very fine wires to clean out the ports and I was very careful not to re-adjust the settings well it sat on the bench. Then after another brief struggle and colorful words sprayed at random around the shop I managed to re-attach the carbs, and what can I say other than it ran great, but the brushes in the starter decided to give out and it hasn't been running since I am still waiting for the parts to arrive to fix the starter.

While waiting for various parts to arrive from various parts of the northern hemisphere, I managed to score some new rear signal lights, headlight bucket and brackets and get all the signal lights and headlight working as well as attaching some new driving lights to the front of the bike.

My goal this year is just to get it up and running good and make sure it is going to be a reliable ride but I am still waiting for starter brushes, hand grips, windshield and a test ride.

Maybe next year I can address some new mufflers, some new paint and some new tires for the project but stay tuned I will update later on my progress.