Monday, April 30, 2012

Only Took Me 4 Years

I've had the visor for the Desoto for 4 years and never got around to putting it on. I was probably intimidated. It came with no hardware, no instructions. These were not an option for '53, just an aftermarket accessory, and not a common one at that. I've only ever seen one other for sale. I had asked the seller to scan me the instructions he had but he never did. 1953 was the first year of the one-piece windshield, prior to that being split-windows, which I think look better, especially for the visors. They had the cool-old articulated Fulton visors.

Oakland Cruise Night is this Friday and we're bringing Max for his inaugural trip. I really wanted to have the visor on. It's not painted yet, but that's ok. It took some modification to make it fit anyway. I initially asked Lori for her help but it soon became apparent I needed more hands, so I also got Lucas to help out. The hardest part was centering and aligning and deciding how far back to mount the roof bracket, plus actually convincing myself it was time to drill. We made a rubber gasket out of an old motorcycle tube. I also cut about 1/4" off each side of the visor so that it wasn't bowing. It must not be in the perfect spot, but over all it looks good. I did the best I could, but the roof has a few more scratches, no big deal. Next up is to mount the sides with some sheet metal screws and then get some color-matched paint.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Black Keys St. Louis

This is the poster from last night's show. By the way, this is from the last time I mentioned the Black Keys on this blog.

Stay Put

Yesterday Lori had a mom's group meeting with Max for a few hours and you know what that means... GARAGE TIME. First order of business was taking half a millimeter off one of the new spacers for the XS to make it fit a little bit better. Stainless steel takes a lot longer to grind, and I did my best to keep it true to flat. Having a lathe would be so handy. Next up is the brake stay which I spent the majority of my time on. The longest part of these tasks is setting up. I have to move all my gear outside. Makes me want to have a dedicated fabrication section in my garage but there's no room. Anyway, the stay connects to the bolt that someone had put in the brake plate to one of the caliper mounts on the fork. It's a bit of an S shaped bracket. I'll eventually shave the forks but I want to run it for a while to make sure it works. I've also decided to still run a fender, for looks and to keep everything in line. I started to think about mounting the headlight but I think I need to find a new one as the one I have is side mount and I need to mount it from the bottom. Until next time garage.

Friday, April 27, 2012

From the Vault

4 year old me and older brother Jeff, 1980

Rippin' it up at 8, 1984

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Turtle And His Flying Motorbyke

I'm pretty rusty and have a lot to work on, but I managed to pop this out during a few of Max's feedings. A bit rushed and non-focused due to some upset baby moments, but I think it came out ok.

Friday, April 20, 2012

White Knuckle: The Story of The Motorcycle Cannonball

Someday I'd like to do this. I'm not there yet.

Hankerin' for another pick'em'up

A man should have 2 vehicles: a family cruiser (the Desoto) AND a pickup to haul his bikes, lumber, and dog. One of my biggest regrets is selling my '49 Ford. It was necessary to help finance buying our house. But boy do I miss it. And Lori actually liked that truck. She's not as big of a fan of the Desoto. It had some growing pains and stranded us a few times, and even though it's been years since an incident and it is pretty well sorted at this point, she's never forgotten nor forgiven. As much as I'd love to find a 1940 Ford Pickup to haul around my rigid Pre-unit (see my favorite picture ever), it doesn't appear that it will happen anytime soon. No space, no money, and Max comes first. Maybe in my next life stage I can get that car/pickup combo again. I've really taken an affinity to Dodge pickups, and I think it would be fantastic to keep it old MOPAR. I like to play imaginary car build in my head a lot. I found this great 1946 Dodge rolling chassis. Maybe to avoid the Hemi cliche, I'd stick a Nailhead in it or something. I can already see myself cruising around in it with Max beside me and Luka sitting in the bed. I like living in an imaginary world. I found this great video that helped burn the fire even more.

Missing Dottie's sister Flattie May

This turned out well

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Shim Shim Shiree

I had one major maintenance item I had to get done before going back to work and that was doing the valves on the KLR. I'm at 26,000 miles and it's been 14,000 miles since the last one, so I'm way overdue. I finally found time yesterday. Amazingly all my valves are in spec except the right intake, which was fairly off. Luckily I have the shim I need, don't need to order one, and I can go back to giving zerberts to Max.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Motherless Goat Rides Again

I rode a motorcycle for the first time in about 5 weeks this weekend... and it was the RD. She is finally sorted and ALIVE. I have missed riding this bike, it is possibly one of the funnest bikes ever put on this earth. Now to get her on the highway. And maybe registered and insured at some point?

A walk back thru time...

Time to redo this video

Monday, April 16, 2012

Frog Boy

One our friends gave us a Swimava for Max. He's still a tad too small for it (his chin falls through and gives him super chubby cheeks) but we think he loved it.

Prepare yourself for CUTENESS OVERLOAD

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Gift from the Spacer Fairy

I found these stainless steel spacers for my XS under my pillow.

Cain's Arcade

Caine's Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Black Velvet

Growing up an Ohio country boy I was surrounded by country interior decor, taxidermy, barn-wood wood paneling, yard geese, ceramic roosters, and a big 'ol wood stove on a hearth. One specific item always stuck out to me and it was this black velvet painting of a deer. I love this painting. I'm sure others don't see the beauty in it, but this is 1970's midwestern museum quality artwork. Needless to say, I asked my parents to bring it to Californee for me. I was unable to convince Lori to let me hang it in the house, which I expected. But I imagine someday I will have a man room with worn leather chairs, a fine whiskey collection, a humidor, old wood book cases, and this painting prominently placed on a wall. Max will inherit this bad boy.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sold the '67 TR6

I ended up selling my 1967 TR6 basket to Jason at SF Vintage and I'm sure he will put it to good use way before I would have. It really came down to having too many projects and knowing it would be years and years before I got to it. I added up every piece and part I'd need to get for it and it just made sense to buy a rough runner for about the same price eventually. I didn't want to make a chopper, I wanted to have a moreless stocker for trails and desert riding. Selling it allowed me to purchase my Premier Amal 930's and main bearings (with roller bearing on timing side) from Troop at British Cycles LTD. for my '62 Bonnie. One less project allows me to not feel so suffocated either. I can finish the CB750 next, and then get on the '55 Tbird.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Martin Wittig

You'd think with staying home for 7 weeks with a newborn I'd find lots of time to draw and do other art. Maybe I'm lazy for not at least doing a little something each day. Needless to say I was looking up turtle illustrations and I stumbled upon this illustration blog the other day. I am just in awe of this guy's style.

Martin Wittig

Ohio Loves Me

"But mom and dad forgot about us."

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Gratuitous Use of JB Weld

Hey, if you can't weld aluminum, might as well slap some on and get some helicoils in there. Should hold...

Max's 1 Month Birthday

Holy Rigatoni... that month flew by!
He weighs 11lbs 8oz, almost 2 lbs heavier than at birth, and is now 23" long.
That puts him in the 98th percentile. Chubby monkey!

Compare and contrast

Happy birthday little dude, rest up, teething is coming up in a few months!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Doin' dishes

Lori doesn't like when I bake, either.

I've given myself one small task a day. It all adds up.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Max gets a bath

7 minutes long so I hope you like cute babies.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Ebay Score - Pre-Unit Double Gearbox Adjusters

I've often been told that one of the major weaknesses of the swingarm pre-unit is the primary chain. I think the strength is about 60% of the final drive chain. So to keep the chain in good shape you need to have the gearbox tightened correctly, and to help that even further, you should run gearbox adjusters on each side. What I'm confused about is some models apparently only ran left side adjusters, and some ran both. I can't seem to find a correlation. If anyone out there has any information, I'd love to hear it.

Needless to say I picked up these gearbox plates and a double adjuster for pretty cheap to use on the '55 Tbird. But seeing as my '62 Bonnie only has a left side (the top adjuster shown), I will be cannibalize it for that bike.

I asked Paul about it and he says, "The dual adjuster is the later type used on the duplex models, but it is the setup you want to use on any preunit swingarm build because the single adjuster setup just doesn't cut it."

Mama Said Knock You Out

Thursday, April 5, 2012


It is amazing how hard it is to find 5 minutes to go do something for yourself with a newborn. And if you do, you feel you have to hurry up before the volcano erupts. It took me 6 hours to get away long enough to pick up dog shit today. I haven't rode a bike in a month, but I have found time to sneak all my motor parts upstairs to do one last look-thru for parts needed. It's amazing how much shit I need to fix this bike. I've probably bought about $1000 worth of motor parts in the last year to fix it up. I got a nice parts pile at Clubman's from Troop, and just sent him my final order, including my main bearings and nice new Premier 930 Amals. Once I get those bearings, I'm ready to assemble the bottom end. I'm trying hard to get this bike up and going. I've aged 7 years on this bike. I've become greyer, balder, fatter. I've seen multiple motorcycles and cars come and go, gained 2 dogs, a house, a wife, and a kid. I almost can't imagine riding this thing at this point, as I've been dreaming about it for so long.

I've probably posted these before, but back in (I believe) the 90's, this is how my '62 looked. Built by Hack-a-saw in Tennessee. He sold it and it traded hands a few times. I traded my first '63 Galaxie for this bike.

This is how I got it right before I moved to California from Ohio. After 3 days I got it running. It oozed oil from every orifice. It ran for about 5 minutes before the primary chain exploded.

...........soooooooon (?)