25 June 2015

The Stuart Parr Collection - Art of the Italian Two Wheel - NYC

Despite living within 5 or so miles of Staten Island (almost my whole life), I haven't been to the city in over 7-years. Part of this has to do with being married, having kids, and being a grown up, but I think more of it has to do with working in Park Slope and having to commute there 5 days a week. Hanging out in nyc every weekend loses its appeal when you're trudging between 3 boroughs for 12 hours daily during the work week. Not much gets me excited enough to make the trip into Manhattan, but my mom (who works on Madison ave.) kept telling me about some weird vacant space getting filled with old Ducatis, and that piqued my interest. Then I started getting pics of the place and it wasn't just Ducatis, but also MV Agustas and a Laverda, but there were still no signs up and by all appearances, it just looked like they were assorted in some vacated building. Eventually the place opened, and it wound up being the Art of the Italian Two Wheel (Stuart Parr Collection) exhibition and what finally got me back into the city. It's open through July 18th (and it's FREE), and is definitely worth checking out.

Here's some pics of the trip. I took a lot and was going to post them all, but there's just too many.

We were greeted by a '64 Aermacchi Ala Azzurra at the door, a very good sign.

Definitely not abandoned looking anymore

This '66 Motobi racer was my favorite bike of the bunch, shame it was hanging vertically by the front desk, there were a lot of details I wanted to check out on it.

Side case cutaway in weight saving, aesthetically pleasing, sexy-Italian kind of way

 MV Army

I love the note to replace the rings on the top piston. The air-filter hidden under the tank is a nice touch too, reminds me of the original set-up on my Aermacchi 250 SS.


 Above and below - the two red-headed step-children of the MV Agusta family.


14 June 2015

North Carolina

I had to take a trip down to Goldsboro, NC for work and this place is what comes to mind whenever I think of a typical Southern town.

Chevy C10 parked on the lawn (another in the backyard), '59 Impala drag car in the car port

Main Street, USA. They don't tear their history down and replace it with strip malls.

Local, seasonal food and beer. Can't beat it

Cool town, at least the old part further away from the Air Force base. A lot of blight though, a lot of abandoned buildings. Probably would be a cool place to set up shop once I retire and can finally get a bike shop going full time.

06 June 2015

Deutscher Club of Clark BMW Biergarten 5 June 15

Every summer the Deutscher Club of Clark hosts German car shows/Biergartens and last night was BMW night. As a member of the club you're encouraged to volunteer to help out during the summer season and I always end up working this one; some day I'll make it out the Mercedes, Audi, and VW ones too. BMW night is hosted by the BMWCCA and in past years I've tried to get BMWMOA clubs to show up, but they never returned my emails, I don't know why, and have since given up. Usually the cars that show up are newer ones, with brand new ones supplied by JMK BMW, which is fine, but the older stuff is better. This year I was happy to see a '71 2002 and an '87 (IIRC) M5.

I rode the R90 in and parked it in the lot, when the DC President came out and told me to move it to the showing area. I don't really like showing my stuff and generally I don't like attention, but at least I'd be able to keep an eye on it while I was working the grounds. No one from the car club seemed to mind (or if they did they were polite about it)

Something here is not like the others.

M5, probably my 2nd favorite car of the night

 One of the two I3s at the show. Pretty strange cars, the front doors open normal and the rears are suicide doors. There's no pillar separating them so when all doors are open the car is wide open and easy to get into. This is probably really helpful with getting kids in and out of the car. There was natural wood trim along the dash which was a nice touch, but there's something about electric cars that I just can't get into. I think it's also silly to emulate gas engined car features, like a front grill, which with the I3s was solid (doesn't need an intake) and a crummy facade.

Delphin grey, I think I may use that color for the R60

On the left was a line of M cars, probably should have taken more pics of them

2002, great to see one on the road instead of only at the BMW Museum in Munich. I don't know which car was voted best of the night, but this one had my vote.

I wound up leaving the the show around 8ish and when I started my bike, gas started pouring out of the right side. Apparently the fuel line to the carb tore. I don't know how that happened as it wasn't broken when I parked the bike, but it did. Unfortunately the spare gas line I always keep with me was absent as I used part of it for the Aermacchi vent line and the rest I left on my work bench. To fix the issue I had to cut off the bad section of line, which made the fuel line too short, then rotate the carb to make up the difference. This was enough to make it home, fix the problem, and then make sure my spare lines went right back into my backpack.

Some of the car guys came over to help me, but stuff like this doesn't really need tools and is sort of a one person job, but it was very nice for the offers, especially for some guy with a motorcycle at a car event. One of the guys held a flashlight for me while I worked, which was very helpful and he did it on his own accord without me even mentioning anything. I was a little short and cut off people that genuinely wanted to talk about the bike, but it was a long day and I just wanted to get home (I finished night shift at 6AM that morning and only slept for 5 hours). I still feel bad about it and wish I could contact someone and apologize - if anyone reading this knows any of the guys please let me know so I could do just that. I remarked to one of the guys that I thought someone was messing with the bike because tears like that don't just happen (it wasn't in a position to rub on anything and wear), but he didn't think so and honestly he's probably right - maybe I am just too cynical... blame it on life in NJ.

03 June 2015

Venting the Aermacchi tank

Lately, I've noticed on "spirited" runs that I'm getting vapor lock issues because of inadequate gas tank venting. The problem only presents itself when running WOT up a bridge or on a long straight and I think arises from the fact that I adapted a Benelli 2-stroke tank to do a job that it was never intended to do - if you look at the top of the cap it has the instructions for how much 2-stroke oil to add to the tank. There is a sub-par venting system within the cap, but it just wasn't up the task. I fixed the issue by taking a 1/16" drill bit and putting it right through the top of the cap, but that allowed gas to escape and collect on the top of the cap and wasn't acceptable. As a temporary stop gap, I cobbled up some parts laying around the garage and came up with a working vent, until I can get better stuff and perfect it.

You can see the hole I made with the drill bit, and the dried gas on the top from the test run. Next to it is a Verlicchi cable adjuster I had laying around with M7x1.0 threads. The threads aren't important, but the screw is, as it already is bored out through the center to accept the cable in its former use and the length was good enough to clear the cap and still have enough room to attach a hose.

I tapped out the cap to accept M7x1.0 threads and used the base of the adjusting screw as a stop on the bottom of the cap.

Attaching the fuel line vent was straightforward. I wanted to retain the adjusting nut to help secure the screw/vent in the cap, but it didn't allow enough clearance. To fix this, I just put a hose clamp on, and that'll keep the fuel line on and keep the screw from backing out with engine vibrations. I needed a method of securing the fuel line away from the tank in a clean manner, so I added speed-holes to the steering damper knob. Functional, but doesn't look out of place on a cafe bike.

The line isn't took noticeable, but it was pinching a little in it's current position. I needed to remove the kinking and had to raise the hose a little, which doesn't look as clean.

Not sure if I'll just replace this cap with a better, stainless, proper venting cap, or install an L pipe to allow the vent line to go straight to the front of the frame without having to arc it (as pictured).