Monday, September 30, 2013

A Wee Bit Loud

I did a marathon 8 hour Triumph session Sunday. Lori watched Max and gave me all day to get some fab work done. 75% of the time was spent on aligning everything so everything jived. I got the rear exhaust mounts welded on, the front header brackets made, and modified the brake pedal perch to sit almost 3" higher to clear the stock exhaust. I also bent the kicker pedal to clear the trumpet tips. I noticed my rocker feed oil lines were completely cracked, so I replaced them with clear tubing so I can make sure the rocker is getting some oil. It took a while to start this time, I blame the 4 month old gas. California corn gas gets old really quick. I'm planning on putting some nice fresh high octane stuff in and see how it runs. But the pre-unit runs and it is LOUD! I rode it up and down the street a few times, a few gremlins to work out, especially brakes. Next up: wiring/charging system/lights. I also am going to put a drain plug back in the primary cover that one of the pprevious owners decided to weld over.

Rear exhaust mounts

header brackets

Brake pedal mount modification

Friday, September 27, 2013

Scratch and Dent

The gas tank fairy appeared and left me a mysterious box on my porch. Inside was a NOS RD400 gas tank with stickers. Must have been dropped off a truck, but still cool!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Bike Called Purgatory

After months of waiting I got my magneto back. There was a small short in the newly-wound armature. As an apology for the hassle, he even hooked me up with some new plug leads. I got the mag back on, which is still a pain with the long-bolt I got for the bottom nut. Everything is timed (I hope) and ready to get back together. I have 31 days to get the Triumph ready for The 49 Mile Ride on October 27th. I still need to make exhaust mounts, weld on the brake pedal mount, fluids, wiring/charging system/lights. That's a lot! Here goes nothing...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


We took a nice little vacay up in Bodega this weekend for a wedding and some R&R. Lori's mom and Pat were there and let us freeload in a house they rented. Max thoroughly enjoyed himself.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Timing is critical

For 4-5 years I have chased jetting issues on my RD. Why did it keep fouling? Too lean? Too rich? I tried to sell it so many times, but like a bad girlfriend, I couldn't give her up. I went on a night ride with some vintage buds a week ago and it left me stranded with fouled plugs. I threw my hands in the air. My buddy Julian gave me his opinion that it was timing. It couldn't be timing... I had an RD expert time it (with strobe) after I rebuilt the motor. His opinion was you don't time RD's with strobes, but a dial gauge. I checked the timing with my dial gauge. It was firing at TDC. It should be firing at 1.8mm before TDC. I set the timing and HOLY SHIT! That was it! All these years... I'm looking forward to getting reaquainted with my ol gal. I took a ride out on Redwood Road with Lucas and Doug this weekend. She was smokin! But I think it's time to take the Clubmans off. in the words of Danny Glover, "I'm gettin too old for this shit."

Friday, September 13, 2013

Thursday, September 12, 2013


A pic of "Where Motorcycles Go to Die"
Click for bigger

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Show N No Go

It's been 2 months since I sent my magneto back to the rebuilder (for the 3rd time). His armature guy found a short in the winding. I got word it's being sent back... finally. In the interim I picked up another piece of jewelry for the pre-unit. Jon Liddle in the UK casts these finned carb tops. When I saw them I had to have a set. They are a perfect fit and look fantastic!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Happy 1.5 buddy. We love you!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Saturday, September 7, 2013


After 7 long years "The Spirit of '76" had its maiden voyage. No lights, no front brake, and running off the battery... but she's burning dinosaur bones. I couldn't go full bore, but what a beast! Such a different ride than my other bikes, love it!!

7 years ago...

Black Bomber front drum

1940's Mercury parking light and custom mount

Max is excited too!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Light at the end of the tunnel

Painted bars (Front St Cycle, Dayton, OH)
Painted headlight bracket (Syndicate 71, Nevada City, CA)
12V bulb for 1940s Mercury parking light headlight
Lucas tail light mounted
New levers
Grips, throttle, front brake cable coming
New chain
Front end lowered 1-7/8"
New modified fork gaitors

Voltage Regulator/Rectifier
Seat upholstery
Opposite thread nut for front brake connecting rod


The Fink

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Kids, don't do crack

Max decided to show me I need a new helmet. A few wacks against the tile floor and I have a new source of ventilation. I've had this helmet a loooong time. I went through so many helmets trying to find one that fit right and didn't look like The Great Kazoo. This yellow 1966 (brand unknown) was perfect. I was just telling Lori that when I'm dead and gone this will probably be sitting on Max's shelf as a keepsake. Guess I jinxed myself. I'm thinking about getting one of the Loser Machine or Skull Crush, they supposedly have a smaller profile and are DOT. Even smaller profile than the new Biltwell Bonanzas. Hopefully the "low profile" is actually low profile.