Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

Get Bent

3 bends with a rosebud tip, the ruining of some new chrome, and one burnt finger equals proper footpeg/header clearance. One less thing on the To Do list.

Friday, April 26, 2013

$400 Make Me Holla and Cuss and Piss and Moan and...

I got the official word from the machine shop, my barrels are so out of spec they weren't even sure how the bike ran. I've put about 15,000 miles on a "rebuilt" XS. When I pulled the barrels off, the hone marks looked brand new. My best guess is the previous owner's rebuild was a hone on the cylinders and putting standard sized rings back in... when they should have probably gone to next oversize. Needless to say a $100 head job has become a $400 job. I've been spending a lot of money lately. Have I mentioned I'm not generating an income? This is quite possibly the last of the Desoto money.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Red Green would be proud

Child gate destroyed by dog with separation anxiety. One escape artist toddler. One frugal and resourceful dad.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

In the sunshine

I took the Triumph off the lift and into the sunshine for the first time in at least a year to do an updated TODO list, and to make some "vrooom vrooom" sounds.

* Need motor for final fitment

Front End:
-Make new left spacer to fill empty area by bearing
-Shorten brake cable
-Change from 3" drop to 2"
-Add oil

Oil Tank:
-Final mounting hardware

-Make 1-7/8" O.D. / 1-3/4" reducer sleeves for funnel tips
-Make mounts to secure tips*
-Make front header mounts*
-Bend right peg to clear headers*

Gas Tank:
-Clean out
-Attach Petcocks, repair levers

-Modify cable input

-Add mirror and mirror bracket
-Remount bake pedal in new location*
-Bend kickstand*
-Create license plate bracket
-Bend kicker to clear funnel tip*
-Redesign head steady*

-Mount rectifier*
-Create magneto kill switch*
-Wire the damn thing*

-That's a whole other todo list!

BTW, found out these are American market BSA A65 bars, can't seem to decide between these and the Front St ones.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Friday, April 12, 2013

Grandpa's Tools (Redux)

I got to thinking about the short story I wrote 3 years ago and read it again. Hopefully some people out there will enjoy it.

"Grandpa's Tools"

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Head Case

I got the head off last night, without needing an engine stand. Just a little rum and sweat.
The rocker cover was the hardest thing i ever had to pull off. I needed a shower afterwards. There are 4 washers with rubber grommets that really hold tight and make pulling rocker up VERY difficult. Otherwise, all looks well.
I was hoping for an obvious gasket blow out but nothing really too apparent. It actually looked pretty good except for some burned oil on the left valves and piston. left side is where I noticed the leak. I couldn't keep it running so I was definitely losing compression. Reading up it appears the cylinder studs are to blame, they are too weak. You need to retorque the head annually, which I didn't do. This motor was rebuilt about 6 years ago and I never touched it except adjust the tappets.

I think I'm going to pull the barrels off and check the rings too. Sucks that new rings cost $70+. This whole job is going to cost me a little over $100. Disassembly is the fun easy work. Now for the dirty work.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013



Have I mentioned what a PITA it is to have to remove a motor to do a head gasket? Especially after you realize you don't have any degreaser. Luka agrees.

Monday, April 8, 2013


I finished the illustrations for the children's book "Lily The Lizard" this weekend. I'm spending the week flattening the water color paper (I can only do 8 at a time). Then they will be professionally scanned. I'll put a week of Photoshop in and then another week of formatting them into a book, and then I'll be done! Attempting a children's book during the first year of Max's life was one of the most difficult jobs I've ever done. Lack of sleep and spare time made it very complicated to juggle.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Tried on some of the new parts for the '55. Now I'm conflicted, maybe I don't want to bob the fender? Maybe I'll run a stock seat? I love the bars I got, but I'm still planning on doing lower stock bars.

Of course, I had my helper...

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Clubmans Booty

Today was Clubmans Show and Swap. Last year I left empty handed. Each year it's become more and more picked through and not much to offer, this year was the same. The pre-unit stuff was almost non-existent this year. It's either all gone or everyone is selling on eBay. I did my rounds and didn't see much, then did another round and found a few things. All I have to say is thank Jeebus I'm not restoring a bike... there is just not much left to work with. Everything I got needs some attention, luckily I'm making another custom out of the '55. The big ticket was the fender, it's been modified a bit, but no sweat, as I'll be bobbing it. I also found a right side footpeg with a Harley folding peg welded on. I had the left side peg... but will require some attention. Found cheap cheap cheap passenger peg triangle brackets, I had the pegs... again more fixing will be required. I got some cheap generator front motor moutns, I'll fill in the holes. A kickstand. And for $5 I found these narrow clamp bars, very similar to Flanders or Hellings Stellings... pretty cool and perfectly straight.

I still need:
Option A: a complete front end, either nacelle or trophy (I have a wheel), but think I prefer nacelle style.

Option B: Piece together. I have fork lowers, a decent upper nacelle yoke. I need all internals, lower yoke, and damper rod.


8" front wheel backing plate
'55-'59 brake pedal
an iron head (4 or 5 fin) no cracks, all good, etc
push rod tubes for iron head
rocker oil lines/tubes for iron head
'55-'59 chain guard would be cool
BTH Magneto + auto advance, I have (most of) a K2F, but want to run KC2
2nd gearbox adjuster (I have one)

The Goal

In all I went away happy. I didn't walk away with a front end, brake pedal, or an iron head, but have some leads. There's always eBay I guess. I didn't even look at the bikes this year! Good to see some old friends, some acquaintances, and speak to people who know me from this little blog.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Head Ache

The Triumph is a little stalled so I'm going to get going on my next task... head gasket on the XS. I blew it last October on the 49 Mile Ride. You have to pull the whole motor out to do the head, so major PITA. But the more running bikes I have, the happier I am.

Support Pack

Got my support pack from Lee

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sf Vintage Cycle

Visited Jason and Dan for some parts.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Egg

Enjoying the hunt