Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Spirit of '76

Went for a ride this weekend. All this green will be brown soon.

Monday, March 23, 2015


Spent a little time this weekend in Briones doing some beautification and Lori caught a pic of me and the Wolf Boy.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Moving Pan

I posted a video of the Pan running, but it's time I posted a video of another momentous occasion, rolling down the street. This thing runs really good. Once again I ask myself why Ted pushed this aside and just hoarded all those XS650s. It runs so smooth. Eventually I'll be tearing down the whole bike and doing a nice mild custom job on it.

I also stumbled upon another bit of good luck and was given a Linkert M74b carb to replace the crappy Zenith. I probably won't get around to installing it and spending anymore money until I get a lot of other projects completed. I'm starting to feel overwhelmed again. The '62 Trump needs rebuilt, the Beezer needs attention, the '55 Tbird needs everything... it's just a lot to accomplish without devoting a work week to doing it, not to mention doing it without income. But the XS650 and CB750 run well!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Chico Canyon

Right after Max's party Lori and I took off for our first vacation alone since Hawaii when Lori was pregnant with Max. We wanted isolation, relaxation, and nature. We found a fantastic cottage near Chico. 3 miles down by 4X4, it was exactly what we wanted. We spent 3 days hiking, loving nature, eating meat on stick, drinking, and staring at the stars in the hot tub. I could have stayed many more days. It really motivates us to kick up our camping this year. We think Max is finally at an age where he will really enjoy it. Eventually we'd like to take Max with us to do a couple months on the Pacific Crest Trail.

All pics

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Most Untriumphant

The last month has had many wonderful things happen, but I did have some bad luck. The Triumph blew a hole in the piston at speed on the freeway and Lori had to come pick me up. The Trump has been smoking since the beginning so I assumed the rings didn't seat or the top end was getting too much oil. I decided to take it for one last run before disassembly. I rode to Redwood Rd, had a great ride, and was coming back home when climbing a hill I started hearing that "ting ting" sound in the top end, the sound of a bike running lean. I switched the other petcock on thinking maybe it wasn't getting enough fuel, and within 10 seconds the bike died at 75mph. I looked behind me and saw a cloud of black smoke leave the pipes. I was coasting in heavy traffic signalling to get over. I managed to coast down hill for over a mile on the side street until i was in a good spot to be picked up. When I got the bike home I had no oil in the oil bag, and a hole in the right piston.

After many arm chair mechanics diagnosing the problem, I'm not sure what caused it. Here are the ideas:

A) Timing. The bike is running too advanced, or the mag's lobe is making one plug fire at 38° BTDC and the other isn't. I'm ordering a mag timing light to check this. The mag was professionally rebuilt and I feel pretty confident about my settings, but who knows. It didn't act up until now.

B) Jetting. I'm running a 19 pilot jet, which is one step bigger than stock, and 200 mains. It's accepted that the Bonnies should be running 190 or 200 mains, so I feel I can't be that far off.

C) Air leak. The only air leak I can imagine might be the crossover tube in the intake manifolds. I don't have a clamp on them. Again, it's never been an issue, but something to check.

D) The rings. The theory is the rings were letting in too much oil creating a super-lubricated piston, making the bike work too hard. Climbing the hill made it work harder than it should, creating a super lean condition.

Whatever it is, it sucks. I will probably have to split the cases. But I'm looking at the silver-lining, too. This will give me an opportunity to try to fix some motor issues, change the gearing, and finally take the bike back down to frame to do a nice paint job.

The last picture I took before it all went down.

Waiting in a parking lot.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

He Be Three... Three? How can that be?

Another long hiatus. I felt it fitting to post with the best thing in the world, Max turned 3. We had a swell robot-themed shindig at our place. In preparation I grinded on getting a sand box built, did some hardcore landscaping and cleaning up, built him a life-size robot named Yo Bot, Lori made a shiny robot cup cake stand, and I cooked flank steak skewers and chocolate covered bacon which Lori made lemonade from our tree. Lori's mom and Patrick were here from Arizona and my mom and dad were on Skype watching the whole thing. It was a really great time to see Max have so much fun with the kids, the bullet proof pinata, toddlers fiending on chocolate covered bacon. It was great. Little dude is 3. Wow.