Saturday, January 31, 2015
Life On The Road: Life out here on the road is real good ! I rode thru blistering heat for 3 days but hey,it's summer.I started typing a post yesterday but never finished it so here it is and I guess I'll finish it now. The trip started off at 5 am and by 8 it was already 95 degrees out and climbing.We rode all day in 100 degree heat to a state park about a third of the way across PA where we camped for the night.The bike ran well and things are ok. on Wed we rode to the far side of PA to a park on the Ohio border .Again it was a ride in 100 degree heat but we rode on back roads all day and it was fun .Dead tired when we rolled in for the night but after a swim in the lake next to my tent I felt refreshed .Thursday we rode to the event with a stop in Northern Ohio to look at these puppies Ariel wants.He and his wife are getting one of them so we figured while we were in the general area we could check out the breeder. That was fun and then we hit the interstate to head south to Mid Ohio Sports Car Course where the vintage motorcycle event is held. My buddy Greg from Vancouver rode over to the event towing a 1966 Yamaha behind his 2009 Kawasaki!!!!! Yes,there will be pictures but not tonight I'm beat.I left Mid Ohio this afternoon and now I'm in South West Michigan headed for the ferry to Wisconsin and west!I'm tired and ready for bed.I took a motel room 'cause there is nowhere to camp around here and it was getting dark and the fucking deer were gathering on the side of the high way .Don't need that crap so I went for a room and here I am.I'm a thousand miles into the trip and the bike is running great,I feel good,and the weather has been ok.So,there you have it,my first post from the road as I head out into the world of the unknown all alone now on my 1975 Moto Guzzi 850-T. Some call me crazy and reckless.I heard all sorts of crap about how I'm too old and what if and bla bla ball I know Is I'm going and there's no stopping me now !
Posted by valiantwagonguy at 8:21 PM
Down To The Wire: The last week has been insane! I fixed my friends Honda 450 and then moved out of my storage garage in 90 degree heat.It was close to 100 in the garage packing up .Had to move car motors,engine crane,countless transmissions and a few rear ends ,box after box of assaorted auto parts.Sold a few things like a 66 Valiant interior to a friend building a 64 Valiant convertible . That helped ,gave me enough money to buy fuel from here in NY all the way to the Upper Mid West ! Also been working on the bike at night. Everything was going smoothly until last night.I was doing a brake job on the front brakes when I discovered the threads were striped out on one of the brake caliper mounts on the fork leg!!! I saw this at midnight so you know I didn't get a good night sleep last night.Tossed and turned for 2 hours thinking of ways to fix it if I couldn't get a Helicoil that would work.8AM I'm at the auto parts store and my friend who works there is working.I see his bike as I pull up and I knew I'd get what I needed.Yup,I got the right stuff and now I can put the thing together and move on to the less stressful jobs I need to do like getting the wiring all straightened out.I am leaving on Tuesday morning.My friend Ariel is riding out with me on his mid 70's Ducati.We are meeting at the Ferry Terminal and taking the boat north to Conn. then heading west and thru northern PA on back roads all the way to Ohio to Vintage Days at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course.After that event is over I'm on my own and FREE!!!!! Tick Tick Tick ,the clock is ticking and the time is short now.
Posted by valiantwagonguy at 8:13 PM
Work and other assorted things : Things are moving along nicely.Tomorrow is my last day out there at the Vinyl Victorian ,well, at least until my return in October.I will have all the work finished that I promised him I'd do and they are happy with the outcome so in the end it all seemed to work out.Saturday while riding to work on the Long Island Expressway I got pulled over by the Sheriff. I'm thinking, what did I do? I was just going along slightly slower than the flow of traffic getting ready to exit when this happened.I pull over,park,take off my helmet and asked what I did.He just says nothing. Then he gets out and starts looking at my bike so I asked if he liked it.He said yes big time and a big smile came to his face as he started telling me all about how he loves Moto Guzzi's and also owns one! Then,for the next 45 minutes we stood there on the side of the high way talking Moto Guzzi.We exchanged emails and I gave him my phone number.It seems he wants me to help him find an older one like I have and fix it all up for him.Sometimes my life is so strange.I'm thinking I want to start working on bikes and get a little shop going at home and out of nowhere this just falls out of the sky and lands on me.Just like last year when I couldn't go on my cross country trip because I was broke and unemployed and this huge job at the VV fell on me.Fate and karma .Even the trip was influenced by fate and karma. You know, if I went last year the bike would have blown the clutch about 1000 miles into the trip and it would have been the end of that trip. Instead,I went broke,went off with some friends for a weekend to a bike show and upon my return there was a phone call and enough employment to fix up the bike, pay the bills for a year and go on a 3 month trip on my bike! Now I'm thinking,what the fuck am I going to do when I come home and I have these new options. Life is good ! I think these kinds of experiences are why I've always relied on myself for my own employment . It gets scary at times but when it works out,which it always does somehow, it is so fucking good.That independence is such a powerful thing.My parents had no idea what they were creating when they were handing me all their bullshit and rejection.In reality I have them to thank for the level of independence I have and the abilities I have.I had to learn very early on how to fend for myself and now at this end of life I can look back and see how that bad experience with them turned into a very positive one for me.I was lucky. Again ,fate and karma .So now I'm just under 3 weeks away from going off on this great adventure and wondering what will be waiting for me out there in the world as I ride down these unknown roads just wandering and taking it all in.
Posted by valiantwagonguy at 8:07 PM
Quality Time: Now it's June 2010 and It's getting close to my departure . -------------------------------------------------------- After working 17 days in a row out at the Vinyl Victorian in the last big push to get as much finished as I can before I begin my journey westward to the mountains and beyond I decided to spend a weekend of quality time with myself. Friday I left work at noon,came home ,showered and got on a train into Manhattan to go to an opening of a friends art exhibit.That was ok but you know,those artsy rich people aren't really my kind so after about a half hour I booked and started to wander.Plugged in my Ipod and took a nice walk on the High Line then went and had some dinner .After dinner I went to one of my favorite bakery's ,Bruno's way downtown and had an espresso and a few goodies.Ended up walking down to the river.Man,has that place changed from back when I used to hang out there in the late 70's.It was nice sitting by the river watching all the people go by and just listening to music taking it all in.I miss the World Trade Center though. Everytime I look in that direction I see a hole in the sky but all the lights in all the buildings on both sides of the river looked really nice and I just relaxed and enjoyed myself.Got home around mid night.Saturday I rode with my friend Mike in the morning then just took a nap .I slept all afternoon! Sure felt good to just rest after pushing myself like I have been doing.Mike and I decided we'd rebuild the carbs on my Moto Guzzi on Sunday and that's what we did.It was a good day.Now my bike is starting to run really well.Each time I do something I see a real improvement and I'm becoming confident that it will do just fine this summer on this long trip I have planned.I love playing in my garage!It's an extension of my twisted mind .It's chaos and somehow it works perfectly.I know where everything is and can just grab what I need and the work flows like water over smooth rocks.Go figure , you'd never guess it looking at the reality of the space.
Posted by valiantwagonguy at 8:02 PM
IT"S ALIVE IT"S ALIVE ! : Buttoned it all up last night and it fired right up and all is good! No funny noises or any bullshit,just a smooth running motorcycle.All I have left to do is adjust the shift linkage and I'm ridin!.Tonight that will happen when the rain finally stops and tomorrow she comes home and goes back into service just in time for a warm beautiful weekend!. On the other matter,I'm still employed . He showed up late in the afternoon,payed me and acted like nothing was wrong. Go figure!
Posted by valiantwagonguy at 7:41 PM
Monday Nights Work: Went over to Paul's last night .Checked out all the wiring and made sure the starter worked and I have spark then started the final reassembly. Got the air filters on,the both side covers on taped up the alt wires for now and closed that mess up, installed the exhaust system,and routed the breather hoses underneath the motor.She's close to running now! Tonight she'll be a running motorcycle again but stuck in the garage because of the fucking rain! Last nights photos:
Posted by valiantwagonguy at 7:36 PM
Saturdays Work: Mike called about 10AM and asked if I needed a hand so I gave him directions to Paul"s house and headed out for the day.I got the bike disassembled before either one of them walked into the shop and when they arrived we figured out how we were going to proceed.On this motorcycle you remove the bike from the motor.The motor itself is a frame member.So, to do this you need to take apart the whole rear end and the sub frame that connects the rear section to the main section and the motor.Once this and all the wires and hoses are removed from the the motor leaving the motor on a jack of some sort(in my case a transmission jack with casters) so you have full access .
Posted by valiantwagonguy at 7:27 PM
Friday Night Progress Report: ------------------------------ Worked all day painting the foyer with the 20 foot high ceiling at the Vinyl Victorian ,the name I gave this house I'm working on, and after dinner went over to my friends house and attacked the bike.Took off most of the stuff I need to get at the motor starting with the tank & seat and moving into the more tedious stuff.Bagged each component with all the nuts & bolts for it to speed reassembly too.
Posted by valiantwagonguy at 7:11 PM
This blog is about my cross country motorcycle trip on my 1975 Moto Guzzi 850 - T . As always anything I do always starts out in chaos and a huge amount of hard work to make order out of that chaos. This is how this trip began in March of 2010 three and a half months before my departure on what would turn out to be a three month journey covering 14,000 miles in two countries alone. But,as we all know,you are never alone on a vintage motorcycle. ---------------- Bike Work : Yesterday I left work early so I could get home and ride my Moto Guzzi over to Paul's house.The work has begun ! Got the bike over there just as he finished moving his stuff out of the way and we got it up on the lift. Pulled the drain plugs out of the engine and transmission so they can both drain over night. I'm committed now!Friday night we are going to rip it all apart and start wrenching.I can't wait! Here are some photos of his garage.As you can see we have everything we need including a milling machine,lath,drill press,shop press,and so on. This job is going to be fun.Paul and I have been building bikes together on & off for about 15 years and work well together.
Posted by valiantwagonguy at 6:54 PM