30 December 2012

Night shift can turn you philosophical. The world is still and you and a small minority of people are awake, left with nothing else but your work and your thoughts.

Every once and awhile I question paths my life has taken. While I have no regrets concerning marriage or becoming a father, my occupation is an entirely different bag of hats. Between operating pipelines out of two facilities this morning, I also had the displeasure of writing up three procedures and "best practices," to be read by my peers. They concerned new startup steps with new equipment coming online, how to interpret unfamiliar data, and tracking surge relief flow to prevent overfilling tankage and causing a release. Light reading...

They won't read them, but they'll sign their name and say they did. Then everything I outlined in said documents,  I'll have to explain repeatedly over the next few weeks and then maybe my point will finally sink in... It's not like we could kill someone or destroy an ecosystem by fucking up at this job right? Oh yeah, we can...

I left field operations for a supervisory role, so I guess it comes with the territory. I guess business owners deal with incompetence and apathy on a more regular basis than I do, but then again their employees likely can't blow something up or destroy a town's water supply with a fuck up.

I miss swinging valves, climbing tanks, I even miss what I thought was annoying PPE, and standing by for cuts while getting drenched during a thunderstorm. I'm imprisoned at a desk now, doing a thankless job.

I find myself taking walks around this facility when I can, going outside and looking up at what stars the light polluted NJ skies will afford me to. Orion is most reliable nighttime friend.

Someday I want to ride my motorcycle out to the desert, if nothing else just to see an unobstructed view of the heavens. I don't think I've ever seen that in my lifetime and as a human that bothers me. Though even in NJ, working out in the field on night shift for 7 years, I've seen more shooting stars than most people will see in a lifetime. I've seen glorious sunsets and sunrises from the tops of petroleum tanks, someday I'd like to enjoy that without the fumes and chemicals around me.

When I'm in my garage rebuilding carburetors, welding up something, putting a motorcycle together and all that jazz I feel useful and at peace. If I didn't have so many dependents and responsibilities in my life I think I'd get out of the pipeline world and open up a shop somewhere. Apparently making sure the Northeast's infrastructure stays afloat doesn't rock my world, but it does pay my bills and affords my wife to be a stay at home mom.

I always tell people that even though my job is really important, it's not the least bit rewarding. When I worked summers doing masonry, I could finish a day covered in sweat and dirt and look at the job and tell myself, "there, I MADE that today." My work could potentially stand for generations to enjoy. The same reward comes with working on my bikes. Moving hundreds of thousands of barrels of petroleum product daily doesn't come close to matching that feeling.

When a guy in this industry tells me an opportunity arises in their life and are questioning it, I tell them to jump at it as this industry has a way of trapping you. My shift-mate is doing just that and becoming a police officer, taking a serious pay cut, but good on him. I'm envious, and I tell him that.

I'm certain that when G-Wagen gets older, I'm not going to push her into college or what I consider to be a high paying field. That was the story of my generation. A generation that can't think or do anything for themselves. A lot of times I feel like I'm 20 years older than my peers because of just this. That's why G-Wagen's gonna have that Macchi, and wrench on it, and learn what it feels like to think and work with her hands. By the time she's ready for a career, the trades are going to be damn near extinct.

I don't want her to wind up behind a desk, on night shift writing philosophy to keep from going insane. I don't want her wondering what it'd be like to ride somewhere remote to see the stars the way we're supposed to see them. I don't want her to have to see the sun rise in a petroleum plant with Nomex on. Fortunately I don't think I'll have to worry.

She's already smart and defiant. She's gonna be the tattooed girl with a hot rod daily driver like her mother, kickstarting her Macchi with a blunt, independent attitude like her father... I hope so anyway...

See where your mind wanders when the rest of the world is asleep.

Now back to the batches, making sure the rest of the world stays cruising



24 December 2012

No presents for Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone, may your stockings be filled with rusty gold and forgotten relics



22 December 2012

Success! Kinda...

Needed to make a few modifications for fitment today. Drilled out the angle irons to accept a 10mm bolt, had to reshape the center stand's feet to sit at an angle, had to cut off a segment of angle iron on the right side mounting tab for engine clearance, and then I had to weld additional tabs on the stand to stop it from moving forward too much (I thought the angle iron top tabs would do this naturally, I was wrong)...

This pic was taken with the bike running, hence the rear wheel is in motion...

The only thing that kinda pisses me off is that I got rough measurements to build this from an old cached ebay auction and I think the guy wasn't using a 19/18 front/rear set up. There isn't a tire mounted on my front rim right now because I'm going to be switching to alloys, so on a naked rim I only have about 1-2" of room to lift the front end with the centerstand in use, that can't be right... Easy fix would be to cut the steel bar sides and weld extensions, but I'm gonna wait until the front and rear rims/tires are all replaced... in the meantime I still have the "jiffy stand"

21 December 2012

Aermacchi Center Stand & Google+

I really hate not having a center stand on the Aermacchi, this became even more apparent when I took the front wheel off. Why'd the European models come with one standard and in the USofA we're left with just a "jiffy stand." Bullshit.

Apparently aftermarket ones are a one man show, at $250... this is what I came up with with about $13 of steel and some scraps and a rough parts diagram pic of what it's sorta like


I don't know why it looks cocked in the pic, I measured twice and it's within 1/16" of parallel

Anyone who tells you you need a TIG to make a stack of dimes is full of shit

 Yeah yeah, I know, flux core. I may as well be using a stick welder, but it works, I just need to clean it up, a lot...

I didn't bother drilling it out for bolts yet, that would require a trip to the hardware store and I'm already in Dos Equis Ambar and PB&strawberry jam land. 

Luckily, there are already mounting tabs and a nub for the spring on the stock frame, some old VW bolts threaded in nicely, don't even have to worry about welding in a nub for the spring to attach to





Also, what's the deal with this google+ thing>? I'm getting hassled to implement it all the time, is this a facebook substitute? another way to homologate google services? Anyone else using it?

Having gotten off the facebook black hole last month, the last thing I need is another one of those...




19 December 2012

More Tommaselli

Was looking for some vintage matador levers to complement the Condor bars and all I could find was the cheap pot metal repros. Then I scored this for a price I couldn't refuse, should be arriving any day now:


Not matadors, I think they're from a Ducati 900SS, but NOS and beautiful

The Macchi has a Tommaselli Super Practic throttle stock, thinking of replacing it with a QA type throttle, but not sure if I want to give up the vintage look and feel. The Super Practic would require drilling into the Condor bars and tapping a fine thread for the locking screw in the throttle housing, the Quick Action throttles just use a bolt to tighten on, on the fence... If I go new, I could probably sell the old one and come out ahead, decisions, decisions...

Also got a tach drive cable for the '67 for a whopping $14, again new old stock... MotoMacchi quoted me around 80 bucks for a German repro of one of these, so I planned on just welding a tab into my old one, 14 bucks saves me the effort



 I do have some welding planned in my future. Gonna be fabbing up a center stand for the Macchi, and since there's only one other guy making these (for $250), I think I might make a few and sell them for $100 each... We'll see how mine works first, more to come later

G-Wagen and the BMW, she calls the Macchi her "Hummmm"



I finally manned up and spent the 2 minutes to replace the lever bushings on the BMW (#5), got really sick of the slop.

It's amazing how much adjustment the cable were out when the levers are actually aligned correctly



10 December 2012

09 December 2012

Tommaselli

There were 2 main reasons why I bought the Aermacchi. The first is that I wanted a departure from German stuff (mainly VW and BMW boxer engines) and a quirky Italian single fit the bill. Don't get me wrong, I love my German stuff, I love their elegance in engineering and function over fashion design, but I'm just a little bored with them right now.

The second, most important, reason is that I wanted a bike that my daughter could work on when she gets older, learning mechanical basics and then when she's old enough to ride, she'll have a vehicle that she not only would be able to work on, but it'd be something she built herself. A light Italian single seemed convenient in this respect as well.

Being that it's going to be awhile before she can ride on the street, like 14 years awhile, I'm gonna be riding this bike and working out the major kinks. I'm 6'2" and a tad large for the bike, but still don't like the cruiser riding position of the bike, I'm thinking rear sets and sport bars should fix that. Clip-ons worked out awesome on the R90, but a little too forward for this little bike, I have euro bars, but didn't like the look, and then I started thinking of angling clubmans to various positions. With this in mind I found a source for NOS Tommaselli Condor sport bars. The beauty of these is that they're fully adjustable. While I'm riding I can mount them tilted back and then pull back the bars, making a nice Z-bar kind of set up, when my daughter (or anyone smaller than me) wants to use it they can go with a race position, move the bars forward and have the typical cafe clubman look - they can be made to fit any riding position.

Test fit, not bad. A bit of a chopper look, but position is a lot more forward and comfortable for riding in a sport position



I wish I bought these for the Beemer instead of the clip-ons. These Tommasellis feel a lot better built, I like the adjustability and natural angle of the bars, and it saves you from having to remove the triple clamp and modifying the headlight ears - though I changed the triple clamp with a beefy, billet SJ one anyway so I guess that point is moot.



Too much information for handlebars, unless someone wanted to rip them off


The one issue with using these bars is that Aermacchi rubber mounted the stock bars and welded on a tab to secure the bars from moving forward and back. With the Tomms on there and tightened up I noticed just about as much play in the bars as I did with the stock, but I think they could still be studier either by putting in a couple spacers to further tighten the clamp, or by completing removing the top triple clamp, making my own, and then going to solid mounts, haven't decided yet.

Going to need to replace the levers/controls with the new bars and I've got my eyes on some 1960's NOS pieces, we'll see how that goes

04 December 2012

you know it's Christmas time when...

There's a K├╝belwagen on the tree


I took the tach drive apart on the Aermacchi since the tach wasn't working when I test rode it. Half of the problem was that there was no grease, that problem is solved


The other half, and main problem, is that the tach cable's end that connects into the drive is sheared off. Simple fix.

Wondering if I should lose the dash pod and get a nice Veglia race tach and just run that. This 250 is so slow I think I'd rather just know the rpms and listen to the engine, thinking I'm on at Bonneville. Despite considering all this I took apart the stock dash panel, cleaned up the instruments, cables, and wires, and then implanted all of them into a nicer '68 panel which I'm digging. The stock '67 was just plain aluminum and mine was cracked, chipped, and beat to death. The '68 is a little bigger and better designed, still aluminum but with metal hammered black paint on the top, and has an all important SS sticker. Same P/N and everything went in nicely.

Speaking of stickers



250ccs of Italian sex




03 December 2012

IM - practical welding

Grilled up some excellent flank steak for tacos tonight and realized the sheet metal around the charcoal grate has met its end.


I've been meaning to get a sheet of stainless and just make a new one of these things, but figured I'd cut out around the hole and put a band aid on it for now... This is the welding equivalent of treating cancer by taking tylenol.

 tons of tacks since I was still burning through rust, but it'll last me another few years I think... This is the kind of stuff Kenny would rag on me about, riding in 10 degree weather and putting bandaids to fix a severed head

30 November 2012

Speed records, slow bikes, and smoked Cowboys

Every year I get a DomiRacer catalog/poster in the mail. I think the only thing I've ever actually ordered from there were some clip on bars as their inventory is more suited to English bikes - i.e nothing in my stable. I've held on to them because they have pretty neat posters on the back of them and I didn't want to just throw them out. This year I sent off the BSA one to Ranger and the Triumph land speed record one to CK. It got me thinking about the BMW museum in Munich where Sara and I came across Ernst Henne's 1937 supercharged 500 (pictured below) that set a speed record on the autobahn at 173.7 that held for 14 years


I remember reading something about them having to remove the cockpit hatch to set the record because it was making the bike unstable. Then I think about BMW airheads being notoriously tractorlike and slow. My R90/6, even with the modifications I made, tops off around 115-ish, and even if I put in the higher compression pistons and dellortos I can only expect gains of about 7hp. Airheads were never close to the supercharged racers, or even the naturally aspirated RS54 racers, whereas other manufacturers kept their street bikes somewhat tied to competition racers (Ducati for instance).

This got me thinking about the Aermacchi/H-Ds, mainly this:


My Sprint 250 isn't a CR model, but I still doubt that this was a standard CR engine, either way this is pretty insane. This record is 100mph more than the top speed of my SS 250, I'd really love to see more details about this bike and how they eked out that much power from a 250 single - with apparently no intakes in the bodywork for cooling the engine. Mick Walker never really covered the stuff going on in the US in his book about Aermacchi/Harley Davidson and since Harley refuses to acknowledge this part of their history it's slim pickings for info online. Maybe a trip to the H-D museum would yield more info, but I'd rather use that time and go back to Germany for the BMW museum again

In other news, Dunkin Donuts let me have this poster, my boss wishes they hadn't


I should have added a bloody spinal cord to Tony Romo's head

24 November 2012

Terrano Iron Works?

I can't believe that it took me till this Thanksgiving to find out that my late grandfather was an expert welder, along with his brother and father. They ran the Terrano Iron Works in Queens, hand making fire escapes, railings, and the lot. I knew my grandfather was a salesman for a welding company, but never knew of his training previous to that - no one in my family thought this was important to tell me either. I chalk it up to my Dad similarly not teaching us too much about dry cleaning and tailoring trade (he was 3rd generation) because he didn't want us to enter the trade...

I'm pretty upset with myself about this too. I spent a tremendous amount of time with my grandfather, whether it be car shopping (he really got a kick out of fighting with salesmen), building balsa wood model airplanes, helping with yardwork, or just being around for Sunday fun days (an Italian thing) and never really knew that much about his past. On the the contrary I know tons about my other Grandfather's past (German side of the family), which could be because I'm seemingly drawn to German stuff and was generally more interested in the genealogy of that side of the family.

I could've been making expert welds since I was 6 if I had known about this instead of making average ones at 28. Instead of making model airplanes we could've been brazing tanks and learning all the old school methods of welding various metals. I got really sad after finding out all that family history, but at least I know now.

On a positive side, check out my buddies' blogs, they do much cooler stuff than I do

Shane von Cycles and his Asphalt Redemption
who just conquered the East Coast on his BMW R100GS P/D

and

Chris von Kool with Rust is Gold who besides owning a shit load of cool machinery, is now building another pre-unit Triumph

21 November 2012

Nearly killed myself twice while test riding the Aermacchi. I thought I was cool and would immediately get used to the shifter being on the right and the brake being on the left. Downshifting when you want to brake is no bueno. At least I got it on the road finally, now it's time to really start messing around with it


20 November 2012

BMW motorcycle owners, women want you and men... want you


18 November 2012

Gerry Anzovino showed me this years ago, still awesome


14 November 2012

NOS NIB MADE IN ITALY

1967, NOS, NIB, MADE IN ITALY, 11 Harley guys just spontaneously combusted



Dropped off the seat at an old school auto upholstery place in South Amboy. Turns out my Dad went there once when he was a kid. I'm gonna have to take pics of this place when I pick up the seat. Total time warp. Front window full of drag race trophies, vintage hot rod magazine write ups hanging on the walls, and the type of disrepair and general disorder you often see with old shops owners whose work, instead of shop appearance, sells itself

11 November 2012

You meet the nicest people on a BMW, even after a hurricane

I haven't talked much about the hurricane that hit NJ last week, somewhat because my family got lucky and only lost power for 3-4 days and only had minimal damage to the house, but mostly because everyone in the area has been assessing the damage and trying to recover. Alot of my friends have had it much worse than me, some just got power within the last couple days. I intentionally didn't travel down rt. 35 because I didn't want to get in the way of the cleanup, or clog up roads for people/emergency services that really needed to get somewhere. Gas rationing didn't help either, and we're still in conservation mode. This weekend "normalcy" has sorta been established and we ventured off into the harder hit areas.

Yesterday while my wife was getting her haircut, my daughter and I went through South Amboy and Perth Amboy to walk along the waterfront. Unfortunately we couldn't really get that close to it in either town. In South Amboy Police were blocking access to not only the waterfront, but all the blocks (maybe 5-6 or so deep) in from the waterfront. We had looked at a house in this area a couple weeks ago, now that house will need to be torn down as the basement and foundation have collapsed, the surrounding houses were also devastated. There was a Red Cross station on the block, and we didn't stop to take any pictures considering we weren't even supposed to be there in the first place. This is from two blocks away though, and was taken by a friend who used to rent on this block:



Now imagine collapsed homes that washed off their foundations and you get the picture of the block where we checked out the house. It should be noted that the owners of the house lived there for 40+ years and didn't have flood insurance. They assured us when we viewed the house that they've never seen water reach the house since they'd owned it, now they have nothing.

I knew Perth Amboy was hitting equally hard (the towns are only separated by the Raritan River), but headed there to try and take a walk along the water. We were able to access certain points, but the once beautiful dockside area was completely off limits. The ice cream parlor could be viewed from afar and you could see that the front had fallen off, fishing piers were demolished, and the restaurants along the Arthur Kill weren't that much better. Going down High St. there was access, albeit fenced off, and that's around where these pics were taken.



not the best pic, but those boats are toast, as is what used to be a nicely paved waterside walk


That was about as close as I could get to anything worth seeing, the police were blocking everything else off.


Today while my daughter was napping, I took a trip on the Beemer down to Morgan Beach and Keyport to see how those areas made out. Keyport's always been a nice place for our family to go for a quick walk, or an equally nice place to go for a ride and stop for a drink. Most of these pictures aren't mine, my cell phone wasn't taking very good pictures in the dusk, so I'll expressly say when they aren't my pics and where they are from:


this is the Steamboat Museum (right) and the bar I frequent on late night mid-week motorcycle rides. Not my pic, via Frances Micklow/The Star-Ledger


Ye Cottage Inn, landmark restaurant, Sara and I had Valentine's day dinner here once. This isn't even the brunt of the damage. The dining area is to the right of this picture and was washed away, while the floor above it collapsed on top of it. Not my pic, via Heavy Staff (http://www.heavy.com/news/2012/10/hurricane-sandy-nj-photos-best-jersey-shore-flooding-damage/)


Another one from Heavy (http://www.heavy.com/news/2012/10/hurricane-sandy-nj-photos-best-jersey-shore-flooding-damage/). This is the Morgan bridge, right by the Morgan Marina on the way down 35 toward Laurence Harbor.


 It was surreal heading into Keyport. Boats were all over the place, places you didn't think a surge could even push them. The Blue Rock Cafe had three boats thrown into it, both marinas were destroyed, the hot dog shop opposite to the Keyport waterfront was flattened. All the images you've expected to see from hurricanes on TV, but which, when seen in real life, don't seem to compute mentally. These are the areas you don't see on the news, these aren't the popular vacation spots or famous shore towns. In fact, these are all in Middlesex County

While I rode into Keyport, I saw an old BMW RT airhead parked, so on my loop back toward 35 I stopped to meet the owner. These folks are Laurent and Valerie, with their 82 BMW R100RT. There were down in Keyport surveying the damage just like I was and it was great to meet them amidst all of the devastation. We exchanged contact info and I may have found another riding buddy. In the pic you can see two beacons, those mark the entrance to the parking lot to Ye Cottage Inn. I kinda wish I took a more wideangle shot so you could see this happy couple in contrast to all the destruction around them.





This is the area I surveyed, only about 10 miles, and with the exception of Staten Island (immediately east of Perth Amboy), these are well away from all the new coverage.


10 November 2012

IT'S ALIVE


Rebuilt the stock Dellorto UB24 and reinstalled it on the bike with a velocity stack in place of the air filter. Jetted up the main from 100 to 108, can't seem to find the needle jet for this bike in any other size other than the stock 260. Replaced all seals and did a good carb clean, didn't replace the float... When I bought the bike the guy had a really hard time starting it (I think it was because the valves were out of adjustment which I fixed), but he only filled the float bowl with gas, he didn't put any in the tank. Once I got the tank and put a little gas in it (today) I found the carb was flooding big time, despite the float arm being set at the right height. Since that's the only thing not replaced, I think I'll go ahead with that, there's plenty of NOS ones around. A couple hours after this vid I kept the petcock closed and started the bike (third kick), and everything sounded great, idled nice and steady as well. The second I opened the petcock the carb flooded and bogged the engine down

Additionally, getting the bike running revealed an exhaust header leak at the flange, noticed a little gas along the intake elbow as well, but that might have been from flooding the float bowl

Took the seat to my retired tailor Dad for some reupholstery help. Decided the foam padding was too far gone so never got around to riveting the new seat cover, this got me weighing out some options with the seat, mainly to keep it stock or go custom. There's a professional auto upholstering guy a mile away, going to check in with him to get some opinions and prices.

04 November 2012

25 November, I should be able to actually make it this year



Should be a nice ride after that bitch Sandy stopped by. We lost some aluminum flashing which I recovered during the storm (stupid) and power for awhile, but things are back to normal. Glad I prepped by getting a generator and supplies beforehand. Next time I need to get a heavy gauge chain and more ammo, I found out I'm the only one that was prepared in the wasteland. I also discovered that babies love generators, this will be the only jap machinery she'll get to play with.



As much as I trash Hondas, all the characteristics I hate in their cars and bikes are ideal for an emergency generator. Interesting generator facts: valve lash is the same as my '75 R90/6, uses same spark plugs and gap, has aluminum cylinder lining (weight savings I guess), has a plastic cam (so says the internet), and takes normal 10w30 oil. I find all that to be fascinating


Unfortunately some buddies down the shore are still far from normal, heavily intoxicated and armed to the teeth to battle looters. I'm kinda envious, except of Ranger... his place is being gutted- at least he and his Triumph are safe.



21 October 2012

lonely at work on a Sunday, the life of a shift worker...



my Beemer is so fast I'm doing 10mph on the centerstand




I need some hot pictures of my wife posing with the bike, or just hot pics of my wife doing anything... lonely at work on a Sunday

18 October 2012

Google, when I type futurism as part of a search I mean it, I don't mean futuristic. In other news I'm still waiting for parts to arrive, thinking of giving up on the generator and getting a Powerdynamo ignition so I can lose the battery and invade Ethiopia without worrying about where I'm gonna find another 6V battery. German parts on an Italian bike, why not? I'm also getting sick of all the bolts on the Aermacchi being weird metric sizes. VW and BMW taught me all I need are 10, 11, 12, 13, and 17mm wrenches to work on them, what's with all this 9, 14, and 16mm bullshit

Mussolini says I should've bought a Bianchi



Hitler says fuck the Italians



Was invited to ride down to MD tomorrow, but I kinda want to go to Allenhurst. Either way they're calling for 1" of rain and that could put a damper on things, no pun intended. I've been itching for a nice riding day trip really badly as of late, but it doesn't look like it'll happen tomorrow. I also need some new books, I've wiped out the three I just bought last week in 2 days.

oh yeah, and the waxed moustache is coming back, again, so I can get sick of it in another 3 months and then shave it off and repeat the cycle... again...

16 October 2012

Carb fitment looks good with the stack, plenty of clearance. I'm into the tank color too, I'll have to finish up that paint. That green snake is some cool Italian fuel line I picked up at guzzino

13 October 2012

While the baby was taking a nap I figured I'd try some stuff out.


Half stripped, getting an idea of how much I have to paint other than the tank and fenders... not too bad

The bike was originally black with a white stripe down the center and I'm thinking of returning it to that look. Had some semi gloss rattle can in the garage so why not see how it looks





Here they are drying off. I had to put them on box pedestals to paint them, but it doesn't look bad in black. I predict a lot of future coats and wet sanding in my future

12 October 2012

BMW is much easier to deal with for parts

What are the chances that I win an item on Ebay, ships from Ohio, and make an order from a store in SoCal, and both orders arrive at my house the same day? Now what are the chances that both orders received were completely wrong? I had to bid for a 67 gas tank just for access to the petcock which has some weird 18x1.0mm threads (from what I can find the only bike that had this, and only in 67-68), what I got in the mail was a brake pedal and master cylinder from some Jap bike. Ordered a Dell'orto UB gasket set and strainer, and that just wasn't in the box of parts at all...

I've never had this problem when I've ordered German parts

Aside from those hiccups, the postman's been busying delivering other stuff to the house

via Italia



This is what I've been waiting for the most, but it's kinda a let down. I own VW and BMW factory service manuals that are insane with specs and various tolerances. Harley only feels it's important when noting stock carb settings, to indicate the size of the main jet, omitting needle jet/carb stock, idle jet, needle type, and needle clip settings. I at least know from the main jet info that my bike has been rejetted at some point to run leaner, the rest I'm going to have to figure out/tune the old fashioned way. I wanted to at least get a base setting to start because I also got one of these


and then some Granturismo Brevettata grips




The manual also gives the most retarded instructions for adjusting valves that I've ever seen. When I did them earlier, I set the piston to TDC, spun the pushrods to make sure they were moving freely, i.e no pressure against them from the valves since they should be closed on the compression stroke, and them set them to spec .002." H-D says to rotate the engine until one valve is fully open and then adjust the opposite valve. For shits and giggles I went back and tested this method which: 1) was a pain in the ass because it was difficult to keep the valves in a full open position and avoid overlap - the valve springs seemed to win against the piston in closing the valves 2) Yielded the same specs that I achieved in a single step... I'm slowly beginning to understand why the stereotypical H-D riders are the way they are

since I got the stack and I'm gonna be burning up the roads like no other 20hp 250 single, I figured I'd need to reattach the stock tank decal omitted from my tank. Super Sport Baby! or Schutzstaffel depending on the rider

So all the tuning I planned on doing on my one day off this weekend will now have to wait until I receive the gaskets in the mail that the store forgot to pack. While I'm waiting for that I'm going to have to send back this Jap brake assembly to the ebay seller, pray the guy who received my gas tank is as punctual in shipping his wrong part back, and then wait all over again

In the meantime I might begin prepping the tank that came with the bike and fenders for paint. I was thinking about just taking everything apart, but with my house on the market and me wanting to tune the bike, it'd probably be better to have everything mostly on the frame instead of in pieces assorted in cardboard boxes




09 October 2012

Well, I needed some basic tune up parts and since H-D abandoned their history they were no help, but fortunately this site guzzino.com had everything needed and more. Was able to pick up a Dell'orto carb rebuild kit, threaded velocity stack, new jets, handlebar grips, and gas lines all in one clip.

Here's the Dell'orto UB carb in pieces after cleaning, so simple, so tiny



When I bought the bike the owner had a somewhat difficult time starting it... the first thing that came to mine was that it needed a valve adjustment and a points check. Didn't check the points yet, but I did adjust the valves. Spec is .002" (0.05mm) lash on both intake and exhaust, that's pretty damn tight. Exhaust was close, intake was too tight. I have to admit that I've been spoiled by boxer engines (the VW type 1 on the Thing and the type 247 on my BMW). It's so easy to access the valves and adjust, completely out of the way of everything in the open air. This little Italian had the front fender/wheel in the way and had the adjusters on the right side of the bike, but the rockers on the left, silliness... I was amazed how non-rusty everything was for a bike this old that mostly sat around.



Next thing to tackle was the generator which doesn't seem to be working, or at least not lighting up the instrument panel test. First thing to check was the bulb at the panel, good. Checked external wiring, good. Removed side cover to access generator... crap

I was expecting to see tons of grime and worn down brushes, but the brushes are nearly new and everything was mostly clean. The armature and field coil shoes were a little rusty, but I cleaned that up and it still didn't work... Not sure how to test this because the readings you get from testing the parts are supposed to be compared to readings on brand new parts according to the manual. Way to go H-D

07 October 2012

jumping on the bandwagon

because all facebook does is reveal just how stupid my friends really are... Besides, this seems like a more appropriate format for documenting builds and conquests.

this piece of Italian machinery is the latest project I picked up to distract me from going overboard with my BMW. 1967 Aermacchi/H-D Sprint 250 SS



As of right now I took apart the seat pan, destroyed the rust, and repainted it, that's on standby for reupholstering. Also removed the Dell'orto for an overhaul, neat little carb, but I'm pretty sure I'm the first one to remove it in the bike's 45 year history. I'm also pretty sure all the fiber bushings and washers are asbestos...Next on the list are: valve adjustment, generator diagnosis, and all the other necessities to get a reliable start.

Then comes the bodywork.

Since H-D refuses to acknowledge the existence of these bikes in their history (despite speed records, IOMTT wins, and a long flattracker pedigree under their name), it's going a pure Aermacchi route; that's what it is, even if my title says otherwise. For those who don't know, Aermacchi is an aircraft manufacturer going all the way back to WWI, motorcycles were a post WWII project, and a successful one at that. Once the tank and fenders go back to black, the H-D logo is getting replaced with one of these:



This'll be a nice little commuter, an easy flip, or better yet something for my daughter (or wife) to use if they so desire. Look at how cool they could be