Sunday, June 29, 2014

Saturday Ride

 I got out for a ride on saturday afternoon. It started out a hot humid day but didn't stay that way. I saw a lot of "steering clouds". Steering clouds are the big dark ones with rain and lightning bolts coming out of them. I steer away if possible. I did manage to get wet and then dry out three separate times on this ride.
 The theme for this ride turned out to be murals.

This one is in Neshkoro. Its ten miles from my pad and I never noticed it until today.

Theres really a lot of things going on in this mural on the side of the public library in Wautoma. I may go back and take a closer look.

An ice cream shop in Nekoosa. This is very close to the paper mill. The smell from the mill is thick. So thick it almost becomes a topping on your ice cream.

This one is just a block away from the ice cream shop. A little further down the road is a casino. I made a small donation, drank free soda and used the rest room, then continued on my way.

 And back in my home town a few blocks from where I live we find the old Tiger Brew building. The brewery was established in 1857.
 The sportster held up well. Nothing fell off. I've ordered a tach so I can see how high shes buzzing on the interstate. More on that in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sportster Bling Update

 I couldn't think of anything else to write about today so I'll give you an update on the sissy bar bling.

 I did a little sanding and slapped some white paint on it. This is the way its gonna fly for now.
 Because of the way I welded the feathers on and left some space under them, they vibrate at certain rpm's. When I say vibrate I mean at hiway speed with a helmet on I can hear them rattle. Last night I sprayed foam sealant under a few of them to absorb some of the vibes. I'll find out on the way to work this morning if it helps.

 I'm not sure if I like the look of the headlight. I feel some ideas brewing for a mini fairing/headlight/dash kind of contraption. Not sure. Actually theres enough work that needs to be done before my Maggie Valley trip that I really shouldn't be creating more work.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sportster Bling

 If you follow this blog you may remember my sportster sissy bar build. The top of that bar has a shape that reminds me of an eagle head. I did a crude paint job on it to get a feel of what it could be.

Ya, I know, and I even rode around like this all spring.
  I've been gearing up to do sort of a sculpture. That means I borrowed some tools including a scroll saw and plasma cutter. Thanks Uncle Tommy. I started by making a wood pattern of feathers.

 If you squint real hard and hold your tongue just right it kinda looks like a feather. I made three different sizes and cut them out with the plasma cutter. That piece of steel used to be the top of my washing machine.

 Once I had my feathers it was just a matter of welding them onto the sissy bar. I was surprised how fast this project moved along.

 It still needs some grinding and sanding but not much. I kind of like the rough interpretive look. I'll get some paint on it with the ultimate goal of finding an air brush artist to give it some spice. I want it to look more like an eagle than a chicken.

 I still might not be done with the welding. I'm thinking about making it a "screaming eagle". I dunno. Maybe thats too cheesy. Anyway, It shouldn't be hard to find my bike in a crowd.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sportster Tech

 So I think I may have an idea brewing for my sportster vibration issues. The bike has been molting but I really need all those pieces its shedding.

 That thing attached to the back of the bike is one of those wheeled magnets the roofers use to clean up nails after a job. I figure I'll tow this thing and it should catch all the parts as they vibrate off the bike. When I stop for fuel I can gather up the parts the magnet picked up, get out some tools and my bottle of loctite then start bolting stuff back on the bike.
 Wrenching and riding. Schweeeet!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Fathers Day

 This was a gift from my middle daughter. Its nice having kids old enough to buy you booze. Sure beats a tie I'll never wear. Thanks Kenzo!

 In other news, I found out why the ABS light is on in the Rodeo.

 These little broken chunks are whats left of the abs sensor bolted to the front rotor.  I think I'm gonna keep the rodeo for now. After looking at whats out there and asking prices, I'm better off just throwing a few bucks at this one. At least I know whats in it and the history.

 I put a couple hundred miles on the sportster yesterday. The engine runs strong but vibes continue to shake the bike apart. The latest parts to come loose have been the rear brake pedal linkage, headlight bracket and both exhaust baffles.

 The good news is that anything that came loose and was reassembled with this product is holding tight.
 I plan to ride this bike to the BuRP rally in august. That gives me plenty of time to sort things out. From a mechanical standpoint everything is fine. I have a new clutch  to install but otherwise the bike works as it should.  What I need to sort out is the riding position. Its close but not quite right. I know a full day in the saddle would leave me feeling wiped out as opposed to the rat turd which is a joy to ride all day long. The answer may be as simple as putting the passenger pegs back on so I can move my legs around. More test rides are in order!

 I almost forgot. I saw this bike last week on hwy 33 east of Portage. I don't know if Dude from Baraboo follows this blog but I wonder if you have ever heard your bike fly by on the hiway. It sounds pretty cool!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Workshop Wednesday-Dummy Hung

 Last year I was going to post this pic.

The problem is that the pic doesn't really back up the story very well. This was an oh-shit moment that was inches from ending bad for me.

 This is what the same spot looks like with the grass cut and the bank trimmed. Notice the stumps right in the middle of the pic.

 I was brush-hogging this lot. I knew the creek was there but had no idea these stumps were hidden under the tall grass. I got dummy hung on the stumps. A combination of using the differential lock, four wheel drive and some rocking back and forth only got me closer to the creek. The front wheel is actually off the ground just hanging over the creek bank. The back wheel is sliding down the bank but a stump was now holding me up and preventing a roll over.

 Ya know, sometimes when you try to do a nice complete job for someone, all you get is lemons. Then when you make lemonade it tastes like piss. Oh well, I've been stuck worse. There was that time with my truck when the river was a bit deeper than I thought. I later learned to remove the fan belt before entering water that was almost carb deep. And how come its easy to get out into a marsh but very difficult to turn around and leave?  Anyway, I decided the best thing to do was call for help. Al came to the rescue with a 4wd pickup truck. The tractor came right out. Thanks Al!

 For the record, I don't like this piece of property.  I was on this lot recently with a smaller tractor and got hung on a different stump and nearly ended up in the same situation. This time I actually had creek water on the tires. The boys at the shop would have never let me hear the end of it if I got stuck again in the same lot.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Used Car

Would you buy a car from this guy?

How about now?

If you answered yes to either one then I have a deal for you.

For Sale:

1999 Isuzu Rodeo LS
174K miles, 3.2L, automatic trans, 4wd w/low range, limited slip rear axle, tires 50%
fuel gauge has a mind of its own, ABS light works great as the light is always on, A/C doesn't work. Clean title. Asking $2500

 I also have a 2000 Subaru Outback I'm thinking of selling. Same mileage as Rodeo.  Fuel gauge works, ABS light is off but check engine light may be on. A/C doesn't work.
Haven't come up with a price for this one yet.

 By the way, that hat and glasses are the same get up I wear at work. Everyday is casual friday around here. Surprisingly most people actually answer the door when I knock. "Hey lady, I'm here to kill dem weeds in yer lawn!"
 The other day I arrived at a property and the lady saw me coming. She saw the truck and knew why I was there and also knew I was going to ask her to keep the dog off the lawn. She wisely took the dog out to do its business before I got started. The problem was the dog was a beast twice her size and was tugging her around the yard. When the dog finally stopped it dropped this huge mashed potato deuce. She attempted to pick it up with a small bag over her hand. That wasn't working and the dog was on the move again. When I finally got close enough to talk to her she had shit all over both hands, up her arm and all over the leash. "I'm dog-sitting, I'll keep him inside".
Yes Ma'am, have a nice day.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Fresh Front Forks

 Last week I put a bunch of miles on the sportster. At one point I was worried about all the oil on the front of the engine. I had the engine apart to do the 1250 big bore and for a second I thought I had a leak. A quick glance at the front forks revealed the truth. The engine was covered in fork oil.
 New fork seals were on my to-do list so I already had the parts on hand including new brake pads.

 This residue on the fork tube represents just about the only fork oil left in or on the tubes. One of the drain plugs had nothing come out at all.

 The bike got the new seals and dust caps along with Progressive springs, new pads and a new braided brake line. All this stuff should have been done before the bike went out this year but...well you know. When the sun is shining you gotta ride. Its was raining the day of this maintenance.
 That was on Sunday. Monday I was able to get the bike out for a test ride. The brake is very much improved but the real difference is the ride quality. The bike used to hammer pretty hard over bumps but now it just soaks them up. Someone must have messed with the springs at some point and set the bike up for a heavy rider. Yesterday I purposely rode some really bumpy roads and I'm diggin the way the front end works. I'm thinking I might freshen the rear shocks and make the ride the best it can be.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Random Rat-Suzuki

 Another sighting from the May 4th Slimey Crud Run. This one is an '82 Suzuki 650.

 I'm not sure how to categorize this bike.  Its not a survival bike or traditional rat, but like my Rat Turd, it's a deliberate rat. Personalized to please the owners tastes. If there is a name for this please let me know what it is.
 The owner, Matt,  told me its a work in progress. Well really they all are but this one is in a early stage of metamorphosis. Wannabe whitewalls and a really sweet sounding exhaust set it apart. The expanded metal is a nice touch I can relate to.

 While it already has character of its own, I think this one has potential to become a full blown rat. Its really just needs a little more time invested. I'm not sure if its headed in that direction as Matt says the only things planned for it are some motor work, paint and a lot of riding. I'll be looking for it at the fall Slimey Crud Run.