18 July 2014

back in sync

After mulling around what I was going to do with this bike for three days, I was convinced to just put it back together and use it. It's served me well in the 6 years of owning it, never having tracking issues or anything resembling having a bent frame.

So... I wound up putting in new steering head bearings and races, rebuilt the forks, and needed to send my front wheel out for new bearings and shims (I bent two pin wrenches trying to get the hub nuts off). It's all back together and working wonderfully. As expected, the steering and cornering is a bit better since the rebuild, and there are still definitely no signs of a bent frame. I tested the bike at speeds from 0-110mph and it tracks straight and stable. Took my hands off the bars doing 60mph, still straight and stable, whacked the bars to intentionally destabilize the front end, and corrected the wobble by gently grabbing the bars - in other words, there is nothing wrong with this frame.

The tweak is still there, but I immediately forget about it once I'm on the road.

I remember watching a Jesse James special many years ago, I forget what he was trying to make, but he said something along the lines of "when you're bikes not feeling well, you're not feeling well." It's simple, but it's so true, and I think it's difficult to convey these feelings to someone who hasn't built a bike or a car. Having this bike OOS drove me nuts, I couldn't sleep right, everyday I thought about the problem and was dying to fix it. Everyday I had to wait for a part or tool to come in (btw, the CycleWorks bearing puller/press made life really easy), was like anxiously awaiting Christmas as a kid. I stayed up till 0010 last night putting everything back together. Even though I got up at 0445 that morning, I got in the zone, and then immediately test rode it. Knowing that everything was together, fixed, and didn't need any adjustment, I went upstairs, washed, kissed my wife, and slept like a baby.

Everything in my world is back in sync

07 July 2014

not an optical illusion

Since I'll have to take everything apart to get the frame straightened and since the R60 engine build is nowhere close to being finished, I think I'm going to transplant the drivetrain to the R60 frame for a conversion

I don't know how I missed this for the 5+ years of owning this bike

01 July 2014

dice magazine

I have a very conflicted relationship with this magazine.

I haven't ever subscribed because I'll always get a copy and something will almost always piss me off and I'll swear off the magazine. Then months will go by, I'll get curious about new bikes, and then order some more, get pissed off, and then repeat the process.

I think the bottom line is that I'm just not cool enough to appreciate the magazine. 

For starters, I love old BMWs, although I don't fit that stereotype at all. I'm far too young, skinny, and without a neon Aerostich explosion-proof suit. That being said, with a house, wife, and 1 kid (+1 pending), I'm pretty much living the life of a 50 year old anyway. I don't buy jeans more expensive than $20, my boots are purpose built (i.e. industrial designed for the industry, not "artisan" designed for hipsters), and I prefer my old leather jacket than a vest, even in the summer. My skin, and tattoos on that skin, are too valuable to me.

But I still like custom vintage bikes, and excellent photography, both check marks in the Dice category. I find both the bikes and pictures inspiring, but sometimes I get the feeling I'm reading a fashion mag. On one page I'll be checking out the primary on a pre-unit Triumph, the next page I'll be reading about what clothes and accessories somebody is wearing. I almost wish the magazine would be published without text, that way I can just enjoy the pics. Once I start reading about how someone bought the bike built from somebody else and the various shout out to all the popular Cali builders that did this and that - at that point is about when I get ready to toss the mag into the garbage. But I don't, I finish reading and eyeing, and then file the mag away in the book shelf.

I think this is it though. I'll keep getting my fix from GKM, IMM, and BMWMM. I'm the kind of guy that thinks if you spend $250 on a denim vest you're an asshole, same with having someone else build your bike so you can pose on around it in clothing more than my mortgage payment. I'm unimpressed by cute girls with 2 weeks riding experience on a stock Honda that someone else works on. I'm unimpressed by motorcycles being used as fashion accessories. Unfortunately all of these things have been outnumbering the gems that I buy the magazine for in the first place. 

People seem to be into this though, a lot of them; so the real problem, I think, is my antiquated, BMW riding, self.