Page 64: - No Return Ticket - Just a Ride Report /w Pics - From the beginning
The new bikes sub-frame is bent good so the title has been ‘junked out’. But, every part on this sweet little shinny machine has 55,000 less miles than the cavebike parts. I know everything on the cavebike works so my first goal is to just swap the motors and get back rolling. I see a lot of fun days ahead adding more parts, wheels, calipers, foot pegs and anything that looks good. The junk bike also came with a Mustang touring seat and cushy sissy bar pad, I can dig that.
I alert a few close friends about the operation that’s about to take place here in a couple days. It sounds like help is on the way. I spend the next morning setting up a good work area. I secure the cavebike to the lift.
Hipster tools in just after mid-day. Oh Yeah!
I check out Hipsters new KTM and Jessie bags. NICE…..
Remember that air cleaner cover issue we were having? Hipster tried everything but it still wouldn’t come off. He finally had to cut a plastic post off with a hacksaw blade. What a bugger.
Cavegirl is helping. She’s holding the biggest tool.
We slowly take everything off the bike that’s attached to the motor or in the way.
Mitch rumbles in later.
We all take sections of the bike and start wrenching. We are constantly talking about issues and things we may need to know, “Should the coil stay on?”, “Can you see where this tube runs?”, “That oil pressure sensor has to come off!” We get to one last bolt holding the motor on.
Tom and Mitch hold the motor while I lay the bike down to try to drop it out. It wouldn’t drop out the way we wanted but we see now how it wants to come out.
We right the bike back up then tilt the head away from the side the motor is coming out. We all heave at once, it pops right out. This will be good practice for the next motor.
The sun is low and that’s enough for one day. The motor is out. The cavebike is now ready to accept its new motor tomorrow.
Beers, sunset, campfire and friends A good way to end any day
The next day we are up early and ready for the day. Mitch gets the fire going while we drink strong coffee and talk about the task ahead.
It’s like we are taking part in a tribal ritual before the hunt. The sun starts to touch the tree tops while the mist clears. I feel the warm coffee hit my stomach while my mind accelerates. We discuss ‘plans of attack’ staring at the big V-twin. It’s as if the ground is talking, telling us what to do.
#1 we have to put the old motor to rest somewhere. A couple roller bearings spilled into the wheelbarrow along with the motor. With a flashlight we can easily see the stub of a piston connecting rod. Woooa!
We start the next phase of the operation. The cavebike moves out and the new junk bike moves in. Everything goes smooth. It’s as if we have all worked together for years. We are taking our time, talking, wrenching and passing tools.
The motor pops out onto the ‘bike lift’ just like we expected. Mitch rolls the junk bike out.
The stage is set. We marvel how far we have come and what we are about to do. Having friends who share similar passions and interests is priceless. We are all having a blast. Heidi says with a grin “you guys are boring”
The cavebike moves back to the work area. We look at everything ‘real good’. Then ‘one-two-three’ we ease the new engine from the lift into the cavebike. yee haw! Heidi shows up just in time with beer. If this entire event could be captured on a still media it would be art. Like Tom (hipster) said “It’s like we knew what we were doing!”
We admire our work and talk about how easy it went in. We did find one wire assembly pinched between the motor and frame. But we were able to loosen the motor bolts and raise it up with a crowbar just enough to free the wire. We slowly connect everything back up, each of us taking a different section of the bike. This is unreal!
Everything is pretty much ready for the final ‘go over’ now. Tom and Mitch want to get that old air cleaner cover ‘post insert’ off bad. Hammer, chisel and vice, no go. It’s as if that metal insert is welded to the screw. No biggie, I’ll use the junk bike air cleaner cover. It has some nasty scratches but will work just fine…….
That’s it. Tom and Mitch ride back home to Minneapolis. Heidi and I talk about how lucky we are to have such nice friends. Tomorrow I will give every wire, bolt and nut a final check. Then install the gas tank, fill the primary case and engine with oil and fire it up, I hope.
I start putting away all the tools then stop myself. I spread out some wrenches and drivers on the boathouse floor in preparation for tomorrow’s final ‘go over’. I kick back in a chair and stare at her new body. Every mile Heidi and I have ridden together race through my mind. I feel energy emitting off the bike. Tomorrow is going to be a good day……
The engine fired right up. This motor is the deluxe version with polished aluminum on black. The cavebike has never looked so sweet…... Heidi wants me to put the king-queen seat on while we are home. I Dig This Woman……..
This new engine also came with performance pipes and air box and I’m sure the carburetor jets have been changed. I wonder what my mileage will be now. I take a twenty mile test ride around the neighborhood. OK! The cavebike is back and she sounds ‘Bad’. I’m ordering baffles today but like I told Heidi yesterday while we were out riding “I’m cutting the baffles in half before I install them” ;)
The Ride Continues……………
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