Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Anatomy of a Cafe Racer

Check out Pete's progress!


Monday, May 18, 2009

Decoking your silencers

Decoking your silencers is simply removing the build up of carbon, and in my case burnt-on oil, from your baffles. This is common in the two-stroke world but I must admit, I've never done it entirely. I have removed them before and sometimes they didn't come out willingly. I think I soaked one once in gas but very little crud came off. I usually replace the stock pipes/mufflers with chambers that don't have this type of baffle. These came from the '72 R5 and came out quite easily. There is a simple 8mm screw under the back of the muffler that holds each one in. You then take pliers and grasp a horizontal rod in the back of the baffle and twist it back and forth while pulling. It's all quick intuitive once you look at it. The factory recommends torching them every so many thousand miles so I fired up the OA set and after about 15 minutes they were both down to bare metal. You can see the after and before in the above pic. These were not bad at all and may not have even needed it. Some say they get so bad the bike runs poorly then they notice a huge performance increase once the baffles are cleaned.
Does it run better? Can't tell but I know that's one less thing in the back of my head. Timing will be next and is probably the most important setting on a two stroke bike. After that I don't mind taking off down the highway.
As an aside, there is a weird phenomenon that occurs when the motor hits the power band and you don't. Accordingly, I did a scary little slide backwards on the seat the other day - I'm just not used to these bench seats!

Friday, May 15, 2009

2009 HoAME Show

This is a good show. I'll admit, I have seen enough of the same BSAs and Vincents that show up every year BUT that's 'cause they are die-hards and hit all the local shows. There is always something good to see and good company to be seen with! This year we'll get to check out the local commercial aviation museum. I think we should meet for coffee and ride out together!

Good side story(and breaking the off-topic rule!): That airport reminds me of the time I went to meetings down there to discuss the restoration of a WW2 glider(delivered airborne troops). Bunch of old glider guys would show up. The organizer was a local author but he didn't own the plane. He certainly took charge though. Every meeting was drama as the aviation school there was selling out and they were loosing their free storage and work place for the thing. Whiteman offered to put it outside with their other display planes. "They would keep it up well every year." The group was split but keep in mind this was a cloth covered, all tube and plywood deal. It was coming down to donating the incomplete plane to a museum somewhere in Texas or placing it at Whiteman........ unless a private citizen could fund some better local plan. I knew it would deteriorate outside with the poor disinterested grunts slopping some OD paint on it each spring and knew the museum in Texas knew what they were doing with it. These poor vets were so attached to it since finding it in the backwoods somewhere in Michigan and starting it's restoration that they wanted it local so Whiteman was winning out. I dissented as I had no vested interest but I hated what was about to happen. I quit attending meetings. It was likely sold or went into storage at Whiteman as it wasn't complete enough to display.... another lost relic.
A few months later the "in charge" guy, who was kind of a creepy fast-talker type, overweight, and always in a cheap suit with a loose tie, called me and wanted a meeting with me.(!?) We met at Winsteads. I guess he had a side project of starting a local museum but didn't appear well-funded. My WW2 flight gear collection interested him and he suggested a donation. I dissented again and who knows what happened.
Maybe we'll see him there at the museum!
Just found this so I guess we know what happened.................

Monday, May 11, 2009

My gara..... ummmm porch

Here we go, the picture is somewhat blurry, but you can get the idea. My place of noise, cursing and other shenanigans is our sunporch. I do have a tiny garage that is barely big enough to fit my mower, tool chest, etc. But, I find it nicer to work in a heated (or cooled) location!