Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Fond Farewell

In a fit of responsibility, I sold the Thruxton in order to free up some money to work on World Headquarters. I found that I was riding the Trident pretty much exclusively, and I figured the money I was paying every month on the Thrux could be put to better use.

Brad hooked me up with Morris, who was looking for a bike, and we got the deal done within about 48 hours. Brad and I installed the upright bar kit, knowing Morris wouldn't want the stock clip-ons, and cleaned it up on Saturday, I showed it to Morris on Sunday, and we payed off the loan and I dropped it at Morris' house Monday.
Now to thin the bike herd...

Friday, April 20, 2007

Playing With My New Video Camera

I bought a cheap little memory-card video camera, a few weeks ago, and I decided I should try to learn how to use it. Being a moron when it comes to such stuff, I have found it to be slow-going.

I uploaded this short little video of the two best attempts I've made at reverse 360's onto YouTube, today. Now, I just want to see if I can link to it.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Iver Johnson Build Commences

I got the frame back from the powdercoater, yesterday, and threw the parts on it this afternoon. I really just wanted to see how it was going to look. I will eventually do some cleaning up and polishing of the cranks, etc.

The frame is showing some dents and dings (it is about 100 years old!). Lee (the powdercoater)filled the dents with a high-temp filler, but the two-stage powder coat apparently was just too much for it. It came out so bubbled and flawed that he called me and told me he wanted to get the frame stripped, again, and then redo the powder without the filler. I agreed with that.

I would have liked to get it all smooth, but I can live with it, as is.

The original headtube badge which reads "Iver Johnson Arms & Cycle Works Fitchburg, Mass, U.S.A."

I swapped out the NJS track bar I originally had on it for a Soma Major Taylor bar. I thought it looked more appropriate, plus Major Taylor rode for Iver Johnson in the 1920s.

I put a coat of Bullseye Amber Shellac on the cork grips, just before taking the pictures. They may get more coats, depending on how they look after drying.

The finish actually looks very much like antiqued copper plating. It is a pretty close approximation of the example I was trying to emulate. And, I decided to not run a brake on it, just to keep the look a little more correct.

It won't be getting a great many miles on it, anyway, unless someone else buys it and rides it.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Why Run Brakes On a Fixed Gear?

Here's why:
It's the classic JRA (Just Riding Along). I was cruising along, going downhill even, not doing a thing which would make you think the chain would fail. No skidding, sprinting or mashing the gear uphill.

Just Riding Along.

Then, I heard something go "PING".

"Ping?" I thought. "That's not a good sound..."

Then, as a follow-up to "ping", I heard "Whappity-whappity-whappity", and the bike shifted to neutral. I realized then that the chain had broken. So I stopped (Brakes, man! Brakes are handy!), and looked back behind me to see where the chain had ended up. But I didn't see it anywhere in the street.

Then, I looked at the rear wheel, and saw the chain wrapped around the cog. The "whappity" sound was the loose end of the chain coming around with each wheel revolution and smacking the seatstay.

So, I scootered the bike back to the laundromat (I had taken the bike with me so I could jet over to Kaladi Brothers while the clothes were in the dryer) and drove to the coffee shop.

In retrospect, it makes me glad that I took the orange Peugeot on my 20 mile coffee-shop ride, yesterday.


Long Time No See

Talk about a project getting put on the back burner! I originally started this Blog to document the XS650 Street Tracker project, but that sort of lost momentum after I got the bike rideable enough for Tyler to learn how to ride a bit before going to the MSF school to get his license.

Then, the seemingly unending cold weather/snow scenario we suffered through here in Colorado really pushed it back.
But, the weather has improved, and Tyler is talking about riding again, so I decided to get the Yammie out from under the cover and charge the battery, in preparation for getting it sorted out. Of course, once the battery was charging, I had to see if it would start and run.

So, I turned the gas (and the ignition) on and started kicking the motor over. After finally getting smart and putting on my boots, I got it to fire up. Of course, having set through the winter, it doesn't want to idle very well. I may have to pull the jets out and clean them again. And, I have to admit, I am not looking forward to that. It is a minor job, but an aggravating one.

I decided I would throw some filler on the tank, while I was at it. I plan on flat-blacking the tank, and leaving the good tank in the storage building. If I ever sell the bike, I'll send the good tank along with it for the next owner to paint.

Looks like a map of Africa, doesn't it?

The dents range from broad and shallow to small and relatively deep on this tank. I will let this first application cure for a few days (I put it on a little thick) and then sand it down to prepare for another coat.

In the meantime, I need to start scraping the decals off so that I can finish-sand it and prime it without seeing the old graphics. Then, good-ole Krylon flat black and maybe some pinstriping or girlie art on the tank...

I am actually more concerned with making it run smoothly and reliably than I am with making it beautiful.


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