Saturday, August 29, 2009

Flanders - Raising the Bars!

Here is an interesting Flanders set up I picked up over the years. Designed to raise and rubber mount your stock springer handlebars. I have never seen these on a bike (or anywhere else for that matter) and would imagine there are allot of "flex" points. Probably not too popular back when.
It actually took me a while to figure out what the fuck was going on with these things. The risers were loose in a box of stuff with the "right angle" handlebar mounts in them the way you see them in the photo. There was no clamp or handlebars to clue me in. I threw them in a cabinet with the rest of my riser stuff and forgot about them. Then one day while mounting a set of stock handlebars on a springer it came to me. I pulled the weirdos out of the cabinet and started messing with them and sure enough it all came together.
Now I guess you might look at it and say the risers are upside down. I thought the same thing, but that is where the "right angle adapters" were when I got 'em and they just didn't want to go together "right side up". I guess you could arrange them a few different ways. I'll have to slide them on a fork and see what's what.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Inspiration - Part 2

A few more pictures of a junk man's dream. There is my 1939 WLD (in 1968) laying to the right of the well picked apart Indian Chief in the bottom picture.
Now those were the days!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Brookfield Odyssey - The Final Chapter

Your eyes look fine don't worry about it...the medicine worked.

Really? You wouldn't lie to me... would you?


Back Home.

The culprit!

Back to the story...

I made it back to Brookfield...barley. It was now about 7:30 PM and I decided to continue the search for a good distributor in the morning. More of the Jersey crew showed up and we were off to FLICKS Tavern (walking distance) to spend the rest of the night celebrating.

Early in the morning I dug up a good distributor and cleaned it up. I set up a work area away from the crowd so I could get this done in peace (not a chance). Every one that looked at the broken shaft could not believe it. No one there had ever seen one snap like that for no reason. It had to be 60 years of metal fatigue and a factory defect that finally let loose... I guess.

Well everything was ready to go back together. The old one was out, the new one was inspected, cleaned and oiled. Just before I slid it in another friend came up and for the 100th time I showed him the snapped shaft. He asked if there was anyway you could check for a crack in that spot on the shaft? I held the broken one up next to the new one and said nope the steel thrust washer is right there between the gear and the housing and you wouldn't be able to see it.

Oh SHIT! My stomach churned a little...the steel thrust washer... the steel fuckin' thrust washer! During all the mayhem on the side of the road did I forget about the steel thrust washer???Where is the old one? I dumped out all my tools and everything else that I had out on the side of the road. Did the washer come out with the gear? SHIT I don't know. Is it in the motor?

Son of a bitch! Only one way to be sure. Off with the cam cover ...again. I stuck a magnetized screw driver in and fished around in the oil... nothing, I tried it again, hhhmmm what's that I feel? Sure enough out it came. That friggin' washer was laying behind my oil pump gear the whole time! I rode thirty miles with a piece of steel 1/8th of an inch away from my oil pump drive gear! Damn!

It could have been worse!!! A lot worse.

Well I installed the new (old) distributor and after a few more minor trials and tribulations the Pan was up and running. Sam and Petey had already taken off to get lunch and a beverage at the Rockdale 50 miles away. I was to meet them there and down into PA we would ride.

I jumped on the bike and test rode it up and down the road once. Fuck it...good enough.

I started packing up my tent, tools, etc. and was getting ready to pack the bike and wouldn't you know it, the sky opened up! Rain, thunder, lightening, the works. I pushed the bike under an over hang. Disgusted I waited 45 minutes until it slowed down. Finally I packed the bike and hit the road.

I got to the Rockdale at 3 Pm and the boys were gone. I was heading home anyway. I called them to let them know I was up and running and I hit the highway. The bike ran flawlessly for the next 250 miles.

What a fuckin' trip! I can't wait 'til the next one!

Hey what the hell... it could have been worse!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Brookfield Odyssey - Part 2 "The Horror"

Here it goes. The first bazaar happening. Sam and I rode about 40 miles to a small town looking for a motel. The roads are beautiful and wind through farms and hills. As we approached the town I noticed my valve train getting a little noisier than usual. Clicking and clacking...not good! We pulled into a gas station and I could feel hot air blowing on my leg. Oh shit, a blown head I thought. Sam pulled up next me and I said "Blown head gasket". He looked down and said maybe it's a base gasket.

Upon further inspection we discovered it was neither. My timing hole plug was gone! The air and oil was blowing out along with my oil pressure. Fuck! How do we seal that up? Still sitting on the bike I looked down and to our amazement the friggin' timing plug was sitting right on the inner primary cover!!! What are the chances of that?! How long was it sitting there as I rode through the hills? I picked it up and thought stripped. Nope. I screwed it in and tightened it up and we were back on the shit.

Well we made it to the hotel and just before going down to the bar for some food and drink I happened to look in the mirror. Holy shit!!! I had a big friggin' bump of some kind right on my eyeball... WTF! I am 250 miles from home on my Panhead and now I have one friggin' eye! As I sat at the bar deciding what my alternatives were it was getting worse. I went to the drug store across the street to see if the Pharmacist could help me out. She gasped when I showed her my problem and told me to go to the ER. Now what are the chances that we end up at a motel that is three blocks from the only hospital in the area? I mean we are out in the middle of no where! What took place in the ER is a story in itself. I'll spare you. Anyway, three plus hours later the Doc checks we out gives me some meds and I ride back to the motel to get some sleep. Next morning I can see and we are back on the road.
This is all the beginning!

Back to Brookfield we go and spend the first part of the day hanging out with friends and checking out parts. Our buddy Petey rides up from Jersey to meet us and we decide to take off. Back to northern PA where we can ride without helmets and hit Petey's house on the lake...or so we thought. We cruised down route 8 and decided to take a detour through some great winding roads Sam and I had found on the way up.

As we rounded a bend my Pan just shut off. Sam was up ahead and out of site. I pulled onto the shoulder at an abandoned farm. Petey stopped as I looked over the bike. Hhhmmm this shouldn't be too hateful. Something simple I'm sure. I popped off the points cover and checked the points to see if they sparked...they did. I kicked the bike over to make sure they were opening and closing. Much to my horror the motor turned over but the distributor did not spin. Holy shit! I'm fucked!

I grabbed the end of the shaft and I could spin it with my fingers. Not good! Sam came back to find us and the three of us stared at the distributor. "That's hateful" Sam said. We looked around and there was nothing but hills and road. Well, Brookfield was about 35 miles away and Sam volunteered to ride back and see if he could find me a distributor at the swap meet. But first I needed to take it out to see what, if anything else was broke. I got out my tool bag and got to work on the de-install. I was hoping the pin that held the gear sheared and the whole thing would come out in one piece.

NOT A CHANCE. As I pulled out the distributor we saw why it was not spinning. The shaft snapped! This meant the gear was in my cam chest! Fucked again!
Well there was no choice but to pull the cam cover right there on the shoulder of the road. So I got to work on that. After removing the cam cover I fished around in the molten hot oil with my fingers (ride 35 miles in 90 degree heat and see how hot your oil gets) and found the distributor gear tucked under the oil pump gear. How fuckin' lucky, no damage to anything else!

Sam was off to the meet to search for a replacement. Petey went off to search for some Permatex that I would need for the emergency gasket fix. I got to work on cleaning the goo off the cover and prepping everything for a quick re-install. Not so bad, it was a beautful spot to be broke down. Not to mention what are the chances of the shaft snapping (God only knows why) within 35 miles of an antique motorcycle swap meet? Could be worse... (that phrase turned out to be the theme of this whole adventure).

Now folks would stop occasionally and ask if I needed help. One guy in a pickup wearing a Harley T-shirt pulled up and walked over. He couldn't see what I was doing and asked if I needed help. I said, "nope, just a quick repair". When he walked around the Pan and saw its internals hanging out he gasped in horror, grabbed his chest and stumbled back a few steps... I am not kidding. He just couldn't believe it. I reassured him and sent him on his way.
Petey finally returned with a tube of Permatex and much to my delight, two tall cans of Heineken! God bless him! After guzzling the beer I got back to work on reassembling the cam cover. By the time I buttoned it up Sam returned from his 70 mile round trip with a distributor.
Yeah! Problem solved...back on the road! Off to the mountains of PA.

NOT SO FAST. I grabbed the end of the shaft and twisted the gear on the "swap meet special" Fucked again! The Harley Gods are relentless this day! The gear had back and forth slop. The hole for the pin must be worn. There is no way I would get the bike timed properly. Oh well, I had no choice. In it went. I messed with the distributor until it ran good enough (not very) to attempt the 35 mile ride back Brookfield.

Now what?

To be continued.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Brookfield Odyssey - Part One

A couple of weeks ago I contacted some friends for a road trip. One of the stops would be the Brookfield NY AMCA Empire Chapter meet up in rural NY state.

Well only Sam was able to make the whole trip on his 47 UL. I packed up my 1950 Pan with all I would need for a four or five day excursion and hit the road.

The trip began without incident. I met Sam at a bar up above Easton PA at about 2 PM on Wednesday and began the trek north into the mountains of PA and NY. We had a great ride up in through PA meeting up with another friend at a bar along the way who road with us for a little while...that's when the rain came. It rained all night. We road in the rain stopping at another tavern for dinner where George peeled off and headed for home. Sam and I continued north and grabbed a room for the night around 10 PM. We were soaked to the socks. We figured when we got up in the morning the sun would be out and it would be nice and dry...not so. It rained all morning as we road into NY State until it finally broke around noon and the weather turned great. We stopped at many little taverns along the way. No highways, all "two lane" through the mountains.

One great spot was The Rockdale Hotel. We sat outside at a roadside table and I aired out my soaking feet, wet boots and socks while the bar maid brought us cold mugs of beer. We lingered for awhile. We made it to Brookfield by about 5 PM and hung out with some friends. The meet officially started the next day but there were a few early birds. Luckily FLICKS Bar was opened in the tiny town. Sam and I decided to hit the road, do some more riding and find a motel somewhere and return to the meet in the morning.

Here's where the Odyssey begins...

To be continued.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Inspiration...

This place inspired me as a youngster. These pictures are from a time when an old motorcycle was just that. Pile them high and wide! I used to wish (and still do) that motorcycles would become just junk again so that I could surround myself with as many as I could drag home and not give a crap about the "investment".