Not a lot of posts here lately you may have noticed. Well, this is primarily a tech blog and, well, we’ve been doing more riding than wrenching. We haven’t forgotten about you, just gone riding.
Happy Dan, Young Dan, VSL and I set off for a weekend trip down to western MD and WV on Saturday morning to meet with with Mitch (Kik) and head to his friend PeeWee’s for a party.
Despite it having rained all night and morning before, it cleared up beautifully for our 8a departure.
We were riding along through farm roads of southern PA smiling our asses off, feeling lucky to have gotten these two days together when suddenly we note the absence of Vinny. He’s prone to daydreaming, wandering or just plain doing his own thing so we figured it the usual and he’d be along shortly. He wasn’t. After rebuilding his ignition timer (’49 pan) and checking valves and compression, we got it started but something sounded a little off. Then his oil light came on. Uh oh.
Wrecked timing case gears. A big old mess. He had just paid someone a pile of $$$ to build his lower end.
We sat around for five hours waiting for a fetch from Philly. Vinny took it as well as could be expected but we could tell he was pretty sad. Young Dan and I set off to pickup some hoagies and beer for lunch while we were waiting. Twenty miles later we had the sandwiches strapped onto Dan’s bike and a half-case of beer in my saddlebags. Little consolation for Vinny, but at least we didn’t have to sit around hungry in the middle of nowhere while we waited. Oh, did I mention it was a stunningly beautiful day? It was. We were itching to get going, but not willing to leave one of our own behind.
After Vinny and his bike were safely in a truck with his friends, we got back on our way and made it to PeeWee’s just as the party was wrapping up (ring a bell?). Nothing left but drunks, crazies and a bunch of people who, to our best estimation, were under the influence of LSD or similar. It seemed that way, at least. We had fun fucking with them (good naturedly) and making new friends.
There were SICK old bikes all over that place. Pics below.
Mitch and Timmy, our hosts, made sure we had all the cold beer we could stomach and all the food we cared to eat. We even had a late night Waffle House stop for good measure before checking into the Day’s Inn. We’re out of practice with this stuff and are not much for sleeping on the ground lately.
Plus, we wanted to get up at 6am and head to WV and catch up on some lost riding time. Mitch and Timmy looked upon us with suspicion when we told them we were getting up at 6 to go riding. They were even more surprised when we woke them up the next morning ready to go, and good for our word.
I think they had some business to attend to that day and saw us off.
We spent the morning rolling through the Catoctin mountains just west of Frederick and even hit some goat paths with stone washes and spring water running across the road and even a few critters. Hit a small town for breakfast and then decided to head over to West Virgia for lunch and to dip our feet in the hot spring there.
Then we hot-rodded it home on the highway for four solid hours.
It was a nice weekend, if too short. We rode somewhere around 550 miles.
‘Til next time.
Thanks Mitch and Timmy and PeeWee.
Sorry, VSL. We’ll have you back up in no time.
A few days ago Denny from california called me to bounce ideas about his current pan project. He has these flanders risers that he wants to fit to an early springer. Normally the springer top clamp has two ears that you would put dog bone risers on. He told me V-Twin used to make sell this but has called around and no one has had this for years. After 20 questions and some pictures I decided to turn these up for him.
Although Ive tried plenty of times I am never happy with the the threads when using the lathe in single point threading. Most of the time I start the threads with the lathe and get them almost to finished size, then run a die over them to finish. I did the same on these and it worked well.
I bought plenty of extra stock so if any of you are looking for the same thing contact me firstname.lastname@example.org And yes these are MAIDEN AMERICA
Spring time and the smell of gasoline and old grease really stirs up the memories for me. Was thinking yesterday about past bikes and the excitement of spring coming. Living up in Rochester, NY for years where’s there only six warm days a year really makes you appreciate the coming warmth. What better way to celebrate than to go for a ride?
These are randoms from the pile/mess that exit on my computer.
Just when I was about to button up the ’64 panhead last week after rewiring and a bunch of other improvements I found the seat pivot boss to be stripped. Dammit. Decided to go to 3/8″ bolt from 5/16 as the tab is not really thick enough for a thread repair and tapping welded areas varies from troublesome to impossible. The original pivot pin is hardened and ground and made out of that incredibly tough metal that Harley used to employ as a matter of course. Carbide wouldn’t put a scratch in it. No way to bore out the original pin.
So I made one out of 660 bronze. Sorry once again, purists. Functional over stock every time, where the latter isn’t available and I’d like to actually ride somewhere.
So the only bronze stock I have is square. No way to hold it in the three-jaw chuck on the lathe. Guess I’ll break out the four-jaw. It’d been a while. Then I figured I take a couple snaps and show how to center a part in the four-jaw chuck. Here it is. . .
A three-jaw chuck is designed to close concentrically on any round or six-sided piece with a single adjuster screw. It is the type most commonly found on lathes and has a million uses. Sometimes though, you have do do offset or square work. The four-jaw chuck has four independently controlled jaws that must each be set when aligning a part as desired.
The first step is loosely place your piece in the chuck and get it visually centered by whatever means you like. You can eyeball it, rotate it by hand slowly, use the guide lines on the chuck face or anything else you can come up with. Once the piece is where you like it, snug each jaw, but not too tight as you’ll be making further adjustments.
Casey and I had an amazing riding day Sunday. Rode about 170mi. We left promptly at 8a, bundled up good for the 40F weather. At 70mph on the highway, it was REALLY cold. Easy enough to ignore when you know it’ll hit spring temps and be sunny as hell later in the day. Willpower and mental discipline will serve you well.
We hit a couple off-road sections which were fun. Went around a few “road closed” signs. Stopped for coffee a few times. Then we headed to Oley, PA for the 2011 Turkey Pro National, an annual memorial event for Snuffy Smith. Great turnout and even more cool bikes. The kind you don’t see every day. . . Vincents, Knuckleheads, rare Italian bikes, old Velocettes, etc.
Despite the crash on the way home, it was a great day that I’ll remember for some time.
. . . but the 47 year old cloth wiring and flag terminals had to go.
Made a mistake by not replacing all of it when I rebuilt the bike. Too much resistance. This is only a 6V bike, making it worse. Many wires are internally corroded even though the jacketing looks fine.
I kept the old sheathing/conduit at least.
Bright lights and loud horn now. Hopefully better battery life too.