Sunday, February 28, 2016


  Let me just say I don't get it. What is the fascination with walking dead and zombies and such? All I know on the topic is the hype I see on tv and online. It seems like a waste of time and thats my official position on the topic.
 Next topic. The weather yesterday. Temps got up over 50 and I saw a lot of bikes on the road. I would have liked to get out and check out my GoPro helmet mount but I chose to do something else which brings me to the next topic.

 Yesterday was my birthday. As much as I hate the thought of getting older, my friends and family made it an enjoyable day despite the way it started. See, my truck dang near left me stranded at the bar friday night and I had to replace the starter before I could move on with other plans. As long as the truck was on the hoist I changed the oil and rotated the tires too. So, thanks to everyone that baked treats, bought beer, offered well wishes, gave me shit, took me out to eat and made me feel good. My brother Uncle Tommy slipped me a gift card for the tool store an I applied it to the purchase of this:

  I have a 10 ton porta power kit and this is the "auto body" kit that goes with it. It has the smaller rams and also the pull (rather than push) rams and hooks. Schwing!
 After the tool store my wife and I stopped at the Duluth Trading store where she offered to buy me some new pants if I promised to throw out an equal amount of worn out jeans once we got home. I agreed and still need to follow through with that. While we were there I wanted to sample the scents of their beard oil. I currently use Dirt. Lumberjack smells a lot like Dirt but not quite as good. Datenite is just too foofy. It stinks like perfume. The other one they offer is Leather but they didn't have one to sample so I'll just have to stick with Dirt which pretty much agrees with my personality anyway.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Rebel Fuel

 I've known from the start that if the Rebel was gonna run again I would have to go into the carb. Its not that big of a deal but on a thirty year old bike you never know what parts may no longer be available. You also don't know what others before have left you to deal with. For example, buggered screw heads. Hey, if you stripped it taking it out, why put that shit screw back in the bike?
 Right away I could see the choke cable adapter to the carb was broken. Its broken on the spare bike too. These used to be made from brass but now they are plastic.

 I did get lucky because I was able to unscrew the broken piece out of the carb without cutting the cable. I was also lucky to find Honda still offers that piece. The unlucky part is that it cost $34.
 One part that doesn't seem to be available is the fuel pump diaphragm. The pump shaft was bent and I'm not really sure how that could have happened in normal use. I suspect it was bumped or messed with by a previous mechanic. Brooke did complain about the throttle sticking but I don't think a bent shaft on the pump would cause the throttle to hang on this CV carb. I'll take a closer look when I put it back together. Also the rubber diaphragm was quite stiff. So what do you do to soften up the pump?

To be honest I don't know but this is what I'm trying. I think this transmission tune up magic juice may help. I've heard that these stop leak products soften rubber seals. I figured it was worth a try so
I soaked it for a week or so and it is much better. The carb is back together and on the bike but I gotta seal the tank before I can put gas in and fire it up.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

HD For Sale

 Many years ago when my wife and I were married a lovely young gal named Christine stood up in our wedding. Life continued on and eventually she got married too. Unfortunately for Chris, last year her husband passed away. He left her with his pride and joy, a 2004 Harley Davidson FLTRI Road Glide. She has decided to sell the bike and this presents an opportunity for some lucky individual to get their hands on what appears to be a well taken care of machine. I'll be honest here, I have not seen the bike in person but from what I've heard it should be in great shape. It has 36,000 miles and a recently replaced battery and rear tire. Asking price is $9200. If this sounds like something you'd like to check out just get me your contact info and I'll pass it on. Thanks.

 In other news, temps got into the upper 40's on Saturday so when I got home from work I thumbed the starter button on the sporty to see if it would start. It didn't but thats not enough to pass on a February ride. After charging the battery for a bit I got the bike to fire up and headed out for a ride. I was dressed wrong but that didn't matter. I hadn't froze my ass on a bike in a while and it actually felt pretty good.
 Just by chance my wife was driving past this spot and caught me slackin off but did volunteer to take a few pics. Thanks Honey.

The ice didn't look safe enough for a ride so I kept my action on the streets. Bring on Spring! I'm ready!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Black Cats and Gremlins

 Its always something. Something as simple as greasing a swing arm bushing shouldn't turn into a project.
 I was thrilled when I saw grease zerks on the swing arm of the little Rebel. This would mean if they took grease I could move on to something else. I think there are gremlins living in my shop or maybe it was when this guy crossed my path...

 ...because when I pulled the side cover off the engine to access the zerk, it broke off in my grease gun. Luckily for me I had everything needed for this repair to include a 90 degree zerk, an easy-out for removing the broken piece and plenty of beer.

 The repair went smooth and it did give me a chance to better inspect the bushings and shaft which were fine.

 Yesterday I had a thought. It was one of those really witty realizations and it was my own original idea. I couldn't write it down because I was driving but it was so good I figured I couldn't possibly forget it. Well I forgot it so I want you to pretend that you just read something very creative and  inspirational. You're welcome.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

what up

 I know its getting closer to riding season because my commute home from work is no longer in the dark. Oh sure its still colder than polar bear paws but at least the wait time to the first ride of the season seems just around the corner.

 Or is it?  I'm enjoying working on bikes this winter but lately I've been jonesing for a ride on the Ultra. Unfortunately that won't be the first bike out of hibernation. Salt residue on the roads will mean the rat or sportster will be the first bikes to drink the sweet petrol this spring. Either way, spring needs to get here quickly or I may slip away into withdrawals. Even my wife has been talking about where we can ride to this spring. Bike fever has spread through this house and we all know there is only one cure.
 So what else? Well I hadn't mentioned it here yet but a few months back my employer sold the business that he built from scratch. This came as a shock to everyone at work as he and the new owner didn't leak their intentions to anyone. Our first reactions were typical. Why? Are you ok? How will this effect me? As it turns out everyone stayed on and although he has some big shoes to fill, it looks like the new owner will do alright. You would think after something like this transpired that  there would be rumor or concern. I'm not hearing any of that and I'm excited to retain my job and move forward.
 Speaking of retaining my job, there is no shortage of broken shit to fix. We've had a streak of breakdowns lately. Some are just regular maintenance things and others are real life dumb shit attacks. So when someone starts with the small talk and asks if we're keeping busy, I laugh and say ya, we're always busy, how can I help you? Translated that means get to the point so I can keep pushing on.
 Back at home in my little workshop I'm sitting at my desk wondering how it got so messed up again. Didn't I just report to you about cleaning it? The pile appears to be about eight inches deep but this time there doesn't seem to be a lot of trash. I must have a hat fetish cuz I can see five without even digging. More GoPro shit, some parts catalogs, the front axle for my BSA along with some engine side cover bolts I bought. I guess there is also some stuff that doesn't belong in here like three sleeves of ritz crackers I forgot to take to work for lunches. Its a small room to be working on two bikes at once so flat surfaces are valuable real estate.
 When I turn around its not much better.

 Brookes tires, tubes and rim strips came in. I gotta get the rear swapped out so I can put the back of the bike together, spin it around on the lift, and pull the forks to check the neck bearings. I see a couple of chainsaws I need to work on. The box under the lift has BSA goodies in it and if you "wheres waldo?" the picture you might see the BSA cylinders I recently got back from honing.
 Brookes little Honda is thirty years old and has been in storage for a while so there is rust on some chrome and the paint is rough. She wants to keep the bike original if possible and because this bike is a special edition model it has a bunch of fancy stickers on it. The plan is to attempt to buff out the tank and make it presentable. I first washed it then used Maguiars Ultra Cut compound with an orbital buffer. I followed up with some wax. It looks like it might be alright but there are some scratches yet and a few chips. I think I'll go back and buff it one more time and re-wax it. It is what it is and the only other option is to source some decals and have a professional paint it. I still need to deal with the inside of the tank. I can hear the rust rolling around in there. More on that when it happens.

 Although my wife and I don't celebrate Hallmark holidays, I figure it wouldn't hurt to say Happy Valentines Day Honey!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Rebel Brakes

  Todays blog is about Brookes broken back brakes. I brought the bike with the busted binders onto my bench. Before I could break loose the buggered bolts I had to blast them with busterloose. Bringing the brakes back to brand new condition was but a matter of breaking the bits down to their base configuration and brushing some grease on the bushings. Because the backing plate was breaking out with little blisters of rust, buffing was not my best option. Bringing it back to its original luster was best done by hand.
Enough of that bull. I just had a bug in my butt to be a bastard.

 The brake shoe cam was in need of some lube because the original grease had turned to a sticky gunk. I suspect the steering neck bearings will look the same although I may luck out with the swing arm bearings. This bike has grease zerks for those and just maybe someone greased them in the last thirty years.  Either way, I plan to go through the whole bike and make sure every part works as it should. We dasn't neglect the brakes as that would go against the #1 rule of riding...never outrun your guardian angel or as I interpret it, don't ride faster than your brakes.
 While I had the rear hub apart I figured it would be easiest to polish that chrome now. There is some pitting so I had to be careful not to scratch the good chrome. It turned out alright.

 Lookin good. The chrome looks decent too.
 And finally, a short video for Brooke so she can see what I was telling her about the sticky brake pedal.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Six Speed Down

 I mentioned that I now have a gopro camera and that I needed to figure out how to use it. Last week we got a bunch of snow and I decided to mount the camera in my plow truck and capture some footage. I have a larger battery in it so the plan was to just turn it on and forget about it. I got two hours of video before the battery died and now all that was left was to edit it. Having never done anything like this before, I was in for a treat.

 My goal was to get that two hours condensed into a two minute video. Yaaaa, that ain't gonna happen. I did get it down to 15 minutes but that's still way too long. I wouldn't watch your 15 minute video of snow plowing and I don't expect you to watch mine. I did however learn a few things about using my video editing program and I wanted to post something. I made a short video of a broke down truck. The video sucks and was really just an exercise in editing. Having done this once I now have a better idea of the mechanics of using the gopro. For example, I should have used the skeleton back to better capture audio. I also have a better idea of the viewing angle and how boring a video can be when the camera doesn't really show any action from the point it's mounted. If my plowing video had showed even a little bit of me or the steering wheel it would have been much more interesting.

 My plan is to make and edit a few of these before riding season gets here and maybe provide you with some motorcycle footage worth watching.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Fluffy The Cat

 Yesterday we got a big wet snowfall and I was in the truck plowing for eleven hours. I came home and got a few hours sleep and now I'm about to head back into work to relieve the shift that plowed overnight. I got two hours of footage with the GoPro while I was plowing and that was my plan for this post but I just don't have the time to figure out how to edit that right now. Instead, you get a pic of me and Fluffy from a long long time ago.