12.27.2010

success!

The pup is doing well. She was pretty doped up last night and really laying on the hurt puppy routine.

Got the furnace working and it seems to be pushing air better than when we first moved in. It might have been dying for a while. The parts were cheap too, the motor was a very common model. When I walked into the parts store, there was another guy carrying a filthy blower motor. Must be that time of year!

12.26.2010

injured pups and burnt out blowers

We took the dogs out to play along the river. It was tough keeping them away from the frozen edge of the river. Wiener broke through the ice twice, thankfully it was close to the shore but I had to climb down and help them find a way back up.

Once they were back up the bank and frolicking around we continued with our winter hike. Ruby was tearing up a hillside and started limping from her back right leg. As we called her back we saw fresh blood on the snow. Not a few little drops but bright splashes as she came back. It pooled under her leg from a good sized laceration. My ex-EMT brain jumped into action. I pulled of my t-shirt, wrapped her leg and put pressure on it. The bleeding slowed and we turned around to get back to the car. As the bandage loosened, I ripped the draw cord out of my wool hoodie and used it to secure the shirt.

Halfway to the car, she started favoring that leg pretty badly. Time for the fireman's carry, which only lasted about 50 ft until she got too wiggly. We made it my Grandparent's house and got the bleeding stopped with some improvised materials. We thought it was all under control until the bleeding started again. My shirt looked like evidence in a murder trial. The towels in the back seat looked terrible too.

Fast forward almost two hours and we left the emergency vet to drop off the other dog while puppers got her leg stitched up. Throw the blood stained junk in the washer..."what the hell is that weird smell?" my wife asked. Smells like burning dust, mothballs and hot electronics.

Shit.

The blower motor on the furnace has crapped the bed. Looks like I'm not going to work tomorrow. Time to learn my way around a HVAC unit. With a quick call to a friend that does Industrial HVAC (the kind you fly in on a cargo chopper) and he says if I can fix a washer, I can replace a blower motor. Pull the old one, buy a replacement and install it. We'll see how this goes.

I'm glad we have our wood stove!

12.17.2010

cookin' digits



Guess who ordered a set of grip heaters from Aerostich... this guy! Thanks to a fellow riding buddy, I have some goodies coming from the home of the RiderWearHouse.

I have a lot to do to the SECA before spring arrives:

- Heated Grips
- Fork Seals & Fluid
- Tires
- Mirrors
- Paint Header
- Oil Change
- Valve Adjustment
- Factory Rear Signals

We're gathering ideas for a spring ride. So far, we're thinking about Red River Gorge, Hendersonville TN and Point Pleasant WV. Any suggestions? Hell, we could spend a few days riding around southern Indiana and I'd be fine with it. Need to get down there and meet up with Unk too.

Stay warm! Everyday, we get closer to Spring.

12.05.2010

gun post!

Can $40 buy a unique and useful 22lr pistol?



Charter Arms Explorer II
22lr w/ 8" barrel

A friend of my Grandfather is selling off a lot of his collection. He showed this to my Grandfather and offered to sell it on the cheap. It's never been fired, has a broken rear sight and doesn't really seem to want to feed. All the guts were pretty nasty, so I gave it a good once over and it's cycling better but I have yet to attack the feed issue. We're going to put a slight bevel (or chamfer) on the bottom of the chamber and see how that does. It won't be some Bubba gunsmith job. My Grandfather is a retired Naval Machinist, so it will be done right.

The Explorer is one of the ugliest guns I have ever seen. Like some Third World Mauser made out of plumbing parts. But it's also pretty unique and very light. With the 8" barrel and big boxy body, you'd think it wouldn't point well. I believe the body and barrel body are all made out of aluminium. Plus, you can store a spare magazine in the grip. Should make a good little truck gun. It might even get thrown in my camping pack.

The internals and magazines are all interchangeable with the AR7 style rifles. So spare parts are available of the InterToobs. It was also the basis for the Buck Rogers gun!

11.29.2010

164.2 miles

Funke and I went out yesterday, enjoying one of the last nice days. We headed south to Nashville for some grub then head home. Thankfully, I had my hand guards installed (thanks DirtCrashr!) Without them, I wouldn't have made it much farther than a few miles. We tore down I65 and eventually to 135 which has some great curves and hills. It was pretty common to see flowers and crosses in those turns. Kinda unnerves you a bit.

After a while we hit Nashville and filled up on coffee and grub. Eating at restaurants is always challenging and a bit nerve racking for me, thanks to my stupid gluten intolerance. The bean soup proved to be safe and tasty. With full bellies, we headed out to hop on 45 towards Unionville where we met up with Funke's riding buddy.

Another cuppa joe at an amazing house tucked back in the woods and we were back on the road. By now, it's pitch black and a bit frosty outside. I tough it out and we navigate the twisties in the dark. We hit massive traffic in Bloomington and finally get out on 37 North. Control..., we have a problem. The faster I go, the more pressure my right guard puts on the brake lever, causing my brake light to stay on. We thought we had fixed this before we left. Now, it's night and really freaking unsafe.

I pass Funke and he tails me into another gas station. I'm starting to get pissed. My hands are cold, I'm hungry again and just wanna get home and warm up by the wood stove. I pull out my tool kit and start pulling off the guards. I can either try to secure the guard another way (no can do, forgot to pack my zip ties) or I can pull the wires for the front brake switch. With wires pulled, now I have to try to mount the guard again. All the while, thinking, "where the hell are my zip ties?". Oh, they're in my old tool kit that was packed for my CB750. Generous use of white electrical tape does it's job and we're geared up and ready to go. Crap....just like Randy in "Christmas Story", I have to pee. No more delays, I'll ride it out and stop when my hands go numb.

We make the rest of the trip with only one pitstop. The cold and hunger start to take their toll on my newly forming skills. Thankfully, the ride is uneventful. Once we're off the super slab, I start to get some feeling back in my digits. Wind guards and insulated gloves just can't cut it when it's 20-some degrees outside w/o calculating speed into the mix. I'll be adding heated grips and hard hand guards before the bike comes out of winter storage.

I know we got some strange looks ripping up 37 in the cold and dark. With my hands frozen into hooks, lips cracked and dry...I am alive. Aware of my existence, aware of the eventual dirt nap and everything in between. What an amazing night.

11.23.2010

scratch and sting

First off, the Mrs found my knife in her car! So, I added a a pocket clip from one of the box cutter knives. Works pretty well.




So, the Mrs and I were thinking about getting a few chickens next year but I'm also thinking about getting a hive instead. Eggs are pretty cheap, honey is not. I don't want to do both because it will pretty much just be me tending to whatever we get. The bees seem a bit less involved and I could be the crazy guy in the neighborhood with bees. I could also rock a bee-beard.

It's all just day dreaming right now. Before we start another project, I need to finally get our garden going.

11.16.2010

it's sad day indeed...

When I was in 2nd grade, my Mom gave me a Victorinox Hiker. I've carried that knife off and on for the past 24 years. It lost it at work a few months ago and thankfully someone turned it in. Today, I wasn't so lucky.

I'm obviously pissed but now I'm faced with a choice. Do I buy another Swiss Army style knife or do I step into the world of multi-tools? I have a few multi-tools around but they live in our emergency bags, so I've never carried them on a regular basis. I'm hesitant to go with another knife (I'll buy a replacement but probably won't carry it) since they're easy to lose. Right now, I'm leaning towards the Gerber Octane. It's simple and it has pocket clip!

11.11.2010

cookin' in the sun, freezin' at night

I've been riding to work the last couple of days. Chilly in the morning, 70 by midday! The main reason I've been riding (I'm ashamed to admit) is because the waterpump in my truck decided to start peeing coolant all over the place Tuesday afternoon. Limped it home and started wrenching that night. Had to call it a night when I could see my breath in the flashlight beam.

Rode the scoot to work Thursday. After work, I strapped a milk crate on the back to haul home my water pump and anti-freeze. This would have been fine but I'm also on-call for work. So, in addition to my cargo, I was also carrying my laptop, work tools, and all the liners/layers from my morning commute in my backpack. I felt like a cramped pack mule. The load shifted my riding position forward quite a bit and made the ride pretty crappy.

Got the pump swapped out last night and had to research how to bleed the stupid closed cooling system. What a messy job.

Taking the truck tomorrow, need to give it a good test run.

In addition to the waterpump, I ordered parts for my Remington 597 and realized I lost a set screw for the guide rods! Ugh... After a bit of shopping, I found the right size by trial and error. (Remington doesn't list the size/pitch.) If anyone needs set screws, I gotta ton!

11.04.2010

frosty

I got my riding pants last night and decided to ride to work today. Put some layers on, threw my work clothes in my backpack and fired up the bike. I left about 30 minutes earlier than normal, so traffic was very light. The ride was good and all the gear kept me warm. The insulated gloves work ok but my hands still get chilly. So, I'm thinking about doing this instead of heated grips or electric gloves. Seems like a good alternative to the slip on grips.

The weather should be nice next week but due to work scheduling, commuting will be unlikely.

Riding to work...a good way to start the day.

10.28.2010

crosswinds and taillights




Went out for a short ride last night. Battled some good crosswinds and interstate traffic. The SECA gets tossed around pretty good but it also recovers from blasts easily. I had to get into a full tuck at a few points to minimize the effects and it seemed to help.

The air was chilly but my hi-viz jacket (TourMaster Transition 2) did great. I'll have to post a pic of it but be warned it's bright enough to see from space. Which means, drivers still won't see me but they'll end up with a spot in their vision like when you stare at the sun. My boots should be here today (Joe Rocket Sonic WP) and my pants (AGV Telluride) will arrive some time in the future. I'll try to post a few reviews if I get the chance.

10.15.2010

new bike!

I picked up my bike last night.

1993 Yamaha SECA II XJ600S
w/ Yoshimura 4 into 1 and Corbin Saddle

It's a big change from the 76 CB750 I was riding off and on last year. Very light (450lbs curb) and pretty thin. You had to really make the CB lean, this leans over very easily. I'm slowly building up my confidence again and my situational awareness. I screwed up a couple of turns, ended up taking them wide and slow. The skills will come with time and practice.

All in all, I really like the bike. I'm adjusting to the foot position, it's slightly farther back than "standard".





I extended the Battery Tender leads and routed through the back rest hole in the seat.







10.09.2010

updates!

Well, still waiting on the dough but I set up some test rides today. On the schedule was the 1993 750 Honda Nighthawk and the 1993 Yamaha SECA II. After waiting for call backs to confirm, we decided to set out and try to blindly find the Ducati Dealership.

About 2 hours later (we eventually found the dealership) the owner of the Yamaha called so we swung the car around and headed north. Not 5 minutes after the guy called, the owner of the Nighthawk called. He apologized for taking so long to call me back. Before I called, two guys showed up and bought the 'hawk. "No worries, congrats on the sale." I told him.

Fast-forward 45 minutes, we arrive at the SECA II. Visually, it's in good shape for a 93. The front brakes are out due to pads (the owner says he ordered them, just hasn't got them yet)and the shifter linkage is a bit loose. No leaks, oil smelled fine, chain and sprockets are good. Some minor scratching on the engine cases from a drop or two. Nothing broken though. The engine wasn't completely cold but it started right up and ran well. No valve chatter, no smoke.

Throw on the gear and hop on for a test ride. Man, this bike is narrow and light compared to ye olde CB750 SOHC. The throttle has a sharper power curve too. Out tooling around trying to get comfy, the posture is good but I'm not used to the foot peg position. It rides, runs and shifts great. No flat spots or stumbling problems. After opening it up a bit, the smile begins. I like this bike.

I pull in and tell the guy I have a few more to look at and I'll call him in the middle of the week and see if he still has it. (Try to hide the excitement) So, we'll see if it's still for sale. Next comes the barter. He's asking $1400, down from the original price of $1700. I'm going to offer $1200 and go from there. I'd pay his asking price but that's not how this works.


We'll see how things turn out.

9.23.2010

I reached the end of craigslist...

I'm completely burnt out on internet bike shopping.

The BMW has been sold, which is cool by me because I had a bad feeling about it's mystery history. There are still a few SECA IIs for sale and a couple of NightHawk 750s. Both are still on my list of bikes to test ride. That seems to be the only thing I like that is somewhat new and within my price range (under $1800). The rest is all sport bikes, cruisers and MX bikes.


No more posts until I start test rides. I think I've far exceeded my whining limit.

9.20.2010

BMW update and others...

I spoke to the owner of the BMW. He's the third owner, it's from California. According to him, it runs well and shifts fine. The only issue is a flakey rear brake light switch. Might need to be adjusted or replaced. He said it's been down so there's some scrapes on the engine case. Unfortunately, he does not have any maintenance records, so that makes me a bit uneasy. The rear shaft had the u-joint replaced 500 miles ago. All in all, I'm not hopeful about it's condition. I'll still check it out and take it for swing.

There's also a 93 Honda Nighthawk 750 for a good price only about 30 minutes from me. I'll check that one out as well as the SECA II.

Tired of internet shopping and research...I want to get on with the test rides.

9.15.2010

another one to consider...



Found this 88 BMW K75 on CraigsList for around $1500, has 86k miles (is there such a thing as high miles on a BMW?). I'm not normally a fan of BMW but this bike has my interest piqued. Still digging the GS700E and the SECA. Right now the GS is in 1st with the SECA and BMW tied for second.

9.12.2010

hmmm

I found an 85 Suzuki GS700e for a good price. The more I read about the GS series bikes, the more I like 'em. Plus, the insurance is a lot less than bikes like the SECA II. It also helps that it's white, for some reason I like white bikes. You don't see many of them. I think it would be a perfect do it all bike, let's hope I think the same thing after a test ride (and that it's still for sale when the time comes).

Looks like this one:

9.11.2010

I need your opinion....

So... It will take roughly $1200 to finish my CB750. I have a choice, I can either finish this bike all at once or put that cash towards a running bike. I'm leaning heavily towards the purchase of something different. So, I need your opinions on the few bikes I'm considering.

1. another CB750 (F series)
2. 2002+ Buell Blast
3. Yamaha SECA II
4. Any suggestions?

I love the 750s but I won't be selling mine, so I can piece it together slowly over time. I like the simplicity of the Blast plus it's weight and size are a plus. The SECA II seems to be a great "do everything" bike. Once it gets closer to purchase time, I'll do some shopping and test rides.

What do you think?

9.09.2010

better vid



A quick vid of Funky starting the CB970.

Still running great and getting easier to start as everything breaks in. In other happy news, I believe we have the 77 CB750K sold, just waiting on funds. Of course, now that I'll have cash for a running engine, I can't find one. That's how it always is.

9.05.2010

Rise of the CB970










New videos to come.

"Official Ride Report":

The bike runs like a dream. It takes a massive leg to kick start it. As Ken from CycleXchange says, "Welcome to the world of High Performance.". Tons of power all through the throttle range, no leaks, no stuttering, did I mention tons of power?

One bike resurrected, one to go.

9.01.2010

8.28.2010

assembly complete (for the most part)

Still have a few gremlins to sort out. Unfortunately, we didn't get to hear it fire up today. Won't have another shop day until next weekend. But progress has been made.










8.07.2010

glimpse of things to come....

Just a quick mock-up with the tank and seat. Still have plenty of wiring to finish up, put the coils on and then we should be able to do some test runs. =]

Funky is starting to get giddy!

















8.02.2010

progress...







quick pics







We installed the engine last weekend. The top bars are in and the new wiring is 90% complete. Tonight we're going to button up the front end and I'll try to get some pics up.