doing it right this time

Last weekend was, according to the weather guessers, going to be in the high 40's-50's. Unfortunately, it ended up being about 30 with freezing rain and snow. This didn't slow us down too much but didn't make work any easier. With the heaters cranked and breakfast in our bellies, Funkz and I got to work. The goals for the day were fairly simple, pull his engine and finalize what we could on mine. It's a good thing we double, wait, triple checked the valve clearance on the 450. Turns out we were doing it the wrong way before. Thankfully, it didn't run long enough to cause any serious damage. So we got the valve clearance set, timing was still good and we moved on to the carbs.

Oh Honda and your stock carbs, how I love and hate thee. The Keihin carbs are a pretty basic set up and easy to set/tune. The hate part comes in when you try to install an air filter on the right side carb. There just isn't enough clearance to squeeze it all in there. This is one of the many reasons I stopped using the pod filters. Well, the stock filters didn't fit either, so it was time for a bit of 5lb therapy administered via mini-sledge. After a few good whacks, the box moved just enough to fit the filter without being to small for the battery. Now both carbs and filters are one and hooked up. Step back and look at the picture...."what's missing?", I ask myself. Uh...dammit, hose clamps! Three steps forward, two steps back.

Fast forward past lunch, the carbs are, complete with hose clamps and all. The mixture screws are set and the cables are synched as close as I can get them without making an adapter to use a mamogram-0-meter, I mean manometer. Hell, we even have the inline filters in and tank installed. But once again, we're missing on very important piece of the puzzle, gas. That's right, we're out of freaking gas at the shop. So, no test starts that day!

With the Frankencycle buttoned up as best as we can, it's time to pull the mighty 750 engine. I have a feeling we jinxed ourselves on this one.

"Looks pretty simple to remove, definitely easier than the 450...".

That's the moment Mr. Murphy stopped by to visit. Most of the mounting hardware was mismatched. Some a 13mm, others 14mm and even a 12mm for humor's sake. Once all the old hardware was removed, we used the bolts as lift points and began wrenching the engine out. It would move a couple of inches only to catch at a new spot. Clear that one and BANG, two more points are rubbing. The exhaust studs finally became too much for us and won the battle. So Funkz bike sits with the engine half hanging out...waiting. Waiting for the proper tools to remove the studs and finish it's surgery.

until then...


12 inches of frosty winter

34 days until spring. Obliviously this doesn't mean the Indiana weather will magically change. We still have weeks of thunderstorms, tornadoes and maybe some crazy hail to deal with. But scattered here there are nice weekends with lots of sunshine and higher temps. Those will be prime shop time, right now, it's just too damn cold. Our collection of little space heaters just can't compete with the slabs of cold cement and icy metal walls. So the shop sits dormant for awhile longer. Tools thrown about and scattered from our last wrenching session. Normally we're pretty good at putting up or tools and keeping the place clean. But the last time we were there it was raining like mad and getting chilly.

The 350 has been put on the back burner until after the wedding. Frankencycle is still waiting for the last few bits of tweaking. I got my stock air boxes in and they're in pretty good shape. The filters could use a cleaning but not too dirty to use. So, the 450's list is nice and simple. Slap on the air boxes, check the timing, check valve clearance, oil change and fine tune the carbs. That should definitely make her roadworthy enough to ride to get new tires and tubes. I'm going the cheap route with rubber, Cheng Shin Hi-Max. Might even go with a slightly fatter rear tire if I can.

Next Thursday, Funkz, Boxy, OddJob and I are heading to the Cycle Expo here in Indy. It will probably be a chopperfest but I'm signing up myself and RedQueen for the ABATE Course. I'm looking forward to taking the class. I have plenty of rough spots in my "skills" that need to smoothed out.

Keep warm, winter is almost gone...

(if you have seen "The Motorcycle Diaries" rent it. very good flick)