Friday, January 30, 2015

Thursday, January 29, 2015

I want to stop

I wanted to use yesterday's naptime to figure out what A) My front brake wasn't stopping and B) The tail light wasn't working. Brake was easy: it's soaked in oil. I think I have a leaky fork seal wicking into the hub. The tail light was a familiar problem. The wire pulled itself out of the LED bulb again, the third time. There is just not enough room in the tail light for the wiring, so I think it's time I called it and found a new light altogether. It was a good experiment (making a light from a 40's microphone) but I don't have the capabilities to make it work (welding to cast aluminum, making a functional socket).

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

January of trails

It's been a great month for getting out with the family and exploring all the amazing outdoor space around us. Just so many breath-taking views right in our own backyard.

Teaching Max to compost.

Monday, January 26, 2015

If only it could be a full time job and people paid me to work on my own bikes...

Lots on the needed list, but comin along. Save the Pre-unit swingarms.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Big Water

Took a loop to Pinole, Port Costa, and back.

Smooth and Creamy

2 bikes free and clear with the CHP.

El Smasho

I went to pick up a bike in Oakland and I had the trailer pop off the hitch going 70 mph. Max was with me. Scared the crap out of me; I'd never had one come off before. I pulled over immediately as it happened and I could feel the trailer sliding back and forth on the cables (they should be chains). On the side of the road I tried to slow gingerly, but the trailer kept smashing into the back of the CX-9. I thought it would be a mess back there. Many kind people honking at me as they go by. Thanks for the concern fellow humans. I can only assume it wasn't all the way down on the ball. I even checked leaving our place and down the street, it felt odd. I knew something was up. I should have just raised it and lowered it again to be sure. No damage to the car. The utility box on the trailer smashed into the hitch. Now I have a nice dented trailer box to remind me I'm an idiot. Luckily the trailer was empty, and Max didn't even notice the sweat coming down dad's forehead, he was singing "Let It GO."

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


I'm pretty stoked on this ebay find. I was looking for a cheap vintage Sparto Made In England tail light for the '55 Trump when I came upon a "Harley Sparto" tail light for $50 buy it now. I looked at the pictures and it looked more like the older Barnett Tools and Engineering bobber tail light from the 40's/50/60's out of Ventura. Sure enough, there was a picture that showed the BT&E stamp inside the housing. I snagged it up as fast as I could. The last one one ebay went for $225 with a cracked lens and beat up housing. They often sell at $400! This is the same one that is on the '50 BSA B33.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Lead Brick

I was really hoping the 1969 Trail 70 CT70 I got for Max (and maybe me too...) would need a simple carb rebuild and it would fire right up. It kicked over... I thought.

Once I pulled off the carb it became quickly clear that wasn't going to happen.

I pulled the motor guard, exhaust and pulled off the head. Crap. I already tallied up what a mild restore would cost, almost $1000. You can get a whole new top end for $200. After all this work, it still will be cheaper than if I bought running.

Friday, January 9, 2015


I took Max to Briones Regional Park nearby for the first time. What a great place, there are cows just grazing right on the trail. He saw Shrek's house, a dinosaur nest, and I believe he was a Big Bad Wolf for a while.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Some new bling for the '55

I managed to pick up (cheap) a much nicer bobbed (which I wanted to do anyway) swingarm rear fender. Plus I got my polished SS Webco style handlebars from Craig at Front St Cycle! It's all coming together. I have a solid lead on a smaller '56/57 T100 gas tank as well, ribbed badges and all. On the way to Arizona, I dropped the cases of at Wes' Four Aces shop in Pacoima to have his machinist do a little work on. In the future (ie after I get some funds) I hope to start planning out the upgrades and get his feedback. One piece at a time...