Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Arizona - Boondocks near Hyder AZ, Gila River / Agua Caliente

Yesterday was a bit cool and windy, but a perfect day for a quick tour in the AZ, "boonies"...I wanted to test range again with the auxiliary fuel tanks I installed. I made sure all tanks were completely full. The auxiliary tanks run off one petcock. The bike stumbled at a mere 72 miles so I switched to the main tank. I made a stop at Dateland AZ and opened up the caps on both side tanks...finding fuel still visible in one of them above the "metal foil" in the tanks.....after sitting for a minute with the caps off, I could see the fuel level change, equalizing itself in the tanks. I got back on the freeway and ran another 35 miles before "drawing air" again. So I now know I can run a minimum of 100 additional miles with the side tanks, using approx. 2.5 gallons (at 40 mpg) of the tanks quantity. I might now drain the remaining fuel just to see how much is retained in the tanks. If my original "fill" quantities are correct, only a 1/4 to 1/2 a gallon would remain in the combined tanks.

Running 2 individual petcocks / isolating each tank might take care of the non-balancing fuel issue. It is also possible that the OEM fuel pump cannot draw the fuel up high enough as the tank levels drop down.(?)  Isolating each tank will require adding another petcock (which I have) and at least one more fuel line "T".  This set up will end up with a plethora of fuel lines so I think I'll leave "as is" for now.

Got on I-8 and headed East to Dateland AZ  then another 20 miles East to exit
North towards  Hyder AZ. which was a WW2 Military Camp. (click on link) ....a Million Troops trained there according to the "link" info...

Crossed the "Gila River" which is dry most of the time...I suppose a major event will have it running water once a year or so...

Took the old Agua Caliente Road. A local told me years ago that the Hot Springs Resort shut down in the 70's due to loss of the water source....seems that the onset of irrigation of surrounding farmlands upset the aquifer feeding the hot springs and the source gave out...leaving the hot springs dry...

The location now sits boarded up and abandoned. So quiet here...not a sound to be heard.

"Hyder Valley Supply" now out of business.....with the small local population I can't see how any business could survive. Judging from the thousands of empty beer bottles along the miles of road shoulders, bottled beer is a main staple of the locals....picking up the trash is not.

When heading back West, I got off the freeway at the "Mohawk Valley", following the frontage road for the final 60 miles.

Ran across a group of Border Patrol Officers on a hill above an abandoned old gas station location. They had some sort of mobile tower erected, likely looking for illegal people / activities. Did not take a photo of them.
A nice day ride totaling 175 miles. Actually very pretty desert country. The bike worked flawlessly as usual. The Gold Wing likes to lope along at 65 - 75 mph and is happy there....I boosted it up to 90 mph a few times just for fun....Will likely need a new rear tire for next summers riding season as this one is getting a little thin.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Colorado River Ride - Arizona

Took a quick ride up to Quartzsite last week to check out one of the local "Flea Markets". Also wanted to check the highway range of the auxiliary fuel tanks. Riding around town they ran out of fuel at 60 miles. I re-filled them and surprisingly they only took about 2 gallons initial fill showed 2.8 gallons so I think the fuel pump meter was off at the gas station.
I ran to Quartzsite and hit "air" at 80 miles...haven't refilled the tanks yet. Either the tanks are not drawing fuel evenly or their capacity is around a gallon each. I could pull the fuel line off each tank and see if any fuel is remaining. If they are not drawing evenly, I could isolate each tank and add another petcock so each tank has its' own.

I routed the individual fuel tank vent lines up under the seat and they were open.....bought a couple of cheepo one way vent valves and installed them yesterday. /that should reduce any fumes or chances of leaks due to expansion....although I won't over fill the tanks.
I wandered around the largest Flea Market for an hour or so....found a nice set of Heyco, West German end wrenches for 5 bucks. Upon leaving the area, I spied a friend on a Ural Sidecar rig pulling into the Post Office. He and I have a way of crossing paths by chance quite often....this is the 3rd. time we've had this occurrence. I followed him out to his place for a quick visit and looked at his recent completed Gold Wing 1100 model he has redone....very nice bike and spotlessly clean. Also for sale....if I had room for a 4th. bike I would own it.

His "Adventure Rig Options" stir up some attention at the local Border Patrol Check

Took a break near Palo Verde at a Colorado River access point.

More like a lake here....a few folks were fishing.

Worked my way down to Ogilby Road which then leads to I-8. The road is in rough shape.

So I was able to make the 220 (or so) mile loop without adding fuel....should have 1.5 to 2 gallons left in the main tank. Safe range with the added tanks is now at 280 miles. I would normally have to fuel up at Quartzsite to make this loop.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

GL1000 Auxillary Tank Plumbing

Got the parts needed to plumb the tanks in the mail late today so hooked everything up:


I purchased two petcock assemblies but the schematic shows using only one....I guess they figure the tanks will draw evenly (?) The additional petcock lined up neatly with the existing one and both are "Horizontal / Off".... For some reason the extra petcock they supplied is opposite with "Horizontal / On".
I'll try it with one petcock and if the tanks don't draw evenly I'll add the second one.
I'll visit the gas station tomorrow and see how much they hold and check for any leaks.

Nice day (78*) in So. AZ. today....(Home / Montana is near zero & below currently - glad I'm not there!) took a nice little 80 mile ride:


Old Mission overlooking the Colorado River.


Large collection of old military tanks / hardware out at the Yuma Army Proving Ground. They have a couple dozen on display....the old WW2 era Sherman Tank directly behind the bike is heavily "Pock marked" with .50 & .30 Caliber hits....must have been a target practice victim back in the day.


Honda GL1000 Auxilary Fuel Tanks

Finally arrived in Yuma AZ. on Dec. 1st. after a long trek down. Caught by some inclement weather in central Nevada but had no issues.
I had delayed preparing the Gold Wing side tanks all Summer and finally had the time to start work on them once we were here.

The Emblems were simply glued in place so came off without a fight. With not much Paint Stripping experience, I purchased a spray can of paint stripper.....the paint partially came loose but they were quite a mess when the can ran empty.....the next day I bought a quart can of "brush on" stripper which worked quite well. After 3 applications all paint was gone...took a lot of scraping & scrubbing but finally was removed.  I then scrubbed them with SOS Pads.....and some fine grit wet sand paper....finally polished them with "Mothers" Aluminum Polish. Not overly shiny but I wanted the "raw" appearance.

I mounted the tanks as I figured they should be mounted but they crowded the foot pegs quite a bit. did not like that at all....found by reversing the tanks there was a lot more foot room and the lower mounting bracket holes were right above the passenger foot peg mounts.

I had a few old BMW Airhead fender washer plates which were the exact length needed. Just had to ream out the holes a bit. I removed the rear passenger pegs as they are never used anyway, but they would still fit if needed.

I found this schematic for plumbing in the tanks somewhere. I order two petcocks as I'm not sure the fuel would draw evenly from the tanks with one outlet?????....maybe some smart Engineer could educate me on that matter.....or I install one petcock and give it a try.....but maybe it would be better to be able to isolate the individual tanks using two petcocks, which I ordered.

Kind of an "Aluminum Overload" in their "Raw" state....I ordered a pair of simple  "Honda" emblems to attach to the sides. Don't think I'll paint the tanks. If I decide to sell them down the line color match won't be an issue.

 One has some minor  "road rash" damage but nothing some alloy filler couldn't fix. Was going to buy some Aluminum "propane only" brazing rod but haven't been able to find any other than on $30.00 + with shipping.

Monday, September 5, 2016

The motorcycle repair "Piddly Project List"

Luckily I've had most weekends off from work, but due to Family outings / commitments and short day rides I have not completed any little repair projects on my list.....likely they will all simmer until the Winter months.

The partial list for piddly stuff:
1)  - rebuild the Honda Gold Wing front brake calipers....easy job, just ordered the new rebuild kits.                      EDIT-- received brake caliper kits and rebuilt last weekend...yay
2)  - install the Gold Wing auxiliary fuel tanks.....need to perform some minor aluminum filling /paint removal          on both...then fabricate two small mounting brackets...plumb in the fuel lines.
3) -  replace the /5's header guards....bought 2 cheap on EBay for spares....found they are in much better             shape than the pair I have on now. Might need new clamps.
4) - address oil leak on sidecar rig....appears that the oil pan gasket is seeping...pretty bad when engine is            cold, heals up a bit after engine heats up. Has the "Brielle" static oil pan cooler spacer...maybe it is                warped?
5) - mount a volt meter on the Gold Wing...purchased a stock 1978 Honda GL volt meter. It will be                   mounted in the tank shelter where the stock fuel gauge sits. Volt meter is more crucial than the                       fuel gauge. Fuel gauge is finicky anyway....sometimes works....most times doesn't.
6) - developed a "chirping" noise down low on the engine of the Gold Wing...haven't properly diagnosed it            yet...I think one of  the idler roller bearings is getting tired.(?)

The list for "not so piddly" stuff:
1) - maybe change out rear swing arm on sidecar rig...current swing arm appears to be a bit tweaked.(?)
2) -  change out the sidecar transmission....had an evil noise during Death Valley trip last                       went away and has never reappeared. Some tiny metal flakes on magnet....chances are a bearing is                wearing out. Not sure if the spare transmissions I have are up for the task.
3) - might change out the /5 transmission too....2nd. to 3rd. gear has a bit of a "catch" when shifting.
       has been that way since I acquired the bike so is not a priority.  

Monday, August 29, 2016

NW Wyoming Scenic Mountain Routes for Motorcycles

I've been "itching" for a long day ride on the 1977 Gold Wing for a couple months, but the front brake calipers were sticking. I finally got off my rear and ordered a couple of caliper rebuild kits which arrived last week. Late Saturday I decided to tackle the rebuilds. Everything went without a hitch and in a couple of hours I had functioning front brakes. Had it put together just before dark in my outside "garage".
Prepared the bike late Saturday and hit the road at 7:20 AM Sunday AM without knowing where I was going. Decided to plan my route "on the fly"....
NW Wyoming, heading South, sounded good as the early sun wouldn't be in my eyes.

Stopped at the junction at Fort Rockvale MT. for my first major route decision of the day....Life is a Circus?

Wyoming Highway 14 beckoned me so off to Greybull Wyoming I went. Stopped in Greybull for a quick fuel up and a massive breakfast burrito.....the "gas station burrito" left a lot to be desired....even the hot sauce sucked. But it filled the void. Typically, "gas station burritos" suck...this one was no exception.

Some minor clouds and a LOT of smoke in the air all day. The old bike hit a steady 42 MPG all day long which gives me a total range of 200 miles with the 5 gallons. I have a pair of  one gallon saddle tanks, which replace the side covers. That will boost my range to 280 miles. I will prepare them this Winter and mount them. They are massive tanks and somewhat "angular" which will look a little strange on the bike.  Guess I don't really care what they look like but the maroon (purple?) paint needs to come off first....then a little aluminum fill repair.

Just before Shell Wyoming...looking up towards Shell Canyon.

Red sandstone lump....

Part way up Shell Canyon I stopped for some photos...the above and four photos below are at the same location....kinda gives a panorama of the awesome place....

I covered the next 30 odd miles quickly to Burgess Junction and stopped at Bear Lodge for a quick break. A few other MT. bikers were also there. I thought I recognized one of them, but couldn't place him....right after they pulled out I realized one of them was an old acquaintance that I hadn't seen for 30 years....just didn't recognize him right away....leaving there I was initially headed down the mountain to Dayton WY....but then something inside overtook me and I did a u-turn in the highway and headed back to WY Highway 14A....this mountain road parallels Highway 14 and comes out in Lovell WY.... Don't know why I turned around but I don't question such snap decisions....just meant to be. 

14A is a great mountain road...about 15 miles of variable 10% grades down the behind some older / slower riders and followed them a while as passing wasn't safe. One old fellow looked pretty shaky on his loud Harley....he "squared up" most of the curves / corners. Made me nervous watching him....when I finally was able to pass he disappeared quickly in the rear view mirror. 

Next way point was Powell Wyoming for fuel and refreshment. Decided to take a 19 mile back road I'd never traveled over to Belfry MT. But when I got to the next junction, my bike turned back South towards the Chief Joseph Highway....what the heck it was only 3:00 PM so I had plenty of time for Chief Joseph and then the Beartooth Highway. That stretch would be around 165 miles to the next gas station, within 35 miles of my 200 mile maximum limit. Since gas consumption was stable I knew I'd be fine. 

Top of  "Dead Indian Hill" looking into the Sunlight Basin. Great set of roads ahead...I've ridden it once this year already....time to go again!

Looking SW

Clark Canyon  / Sunlight Basin

Eerie view of a smokey Pilot & Index Peaks.

Stopped at Beartooth lake for 1 minute and a couple photos....temps dropped quickly and the riding jacket liner had to be zipped in. Probably only in the high 40's / low 50's going over the Beartooth Pass....I did not stop for any photos for the remainder of the ride.....focused on getting over the top and down the hill....Arrived in Red Lodge MT at 5:30 PM and took on 4.1 gallons of gas....surprised I didn't have to go on the reserve tank petcock setting....supposed to be a one gallon reserve.Must have been real close. I noticed a faint "bird" sound coming from the lower front of the engine. Figured one of the cam belt idler rollers was going....not much I could do but keep going. Ran 35 miles and stopped.....noise was gone.(?) Still completely quiet when I got home. I'll check them out closer this winter in AZ. as long as the noise doesn't reappear. The idlers were replaced less than 10k miles ago so I'm not too worried. 

A great ride and I covered 452 miles per my never missed a beat. 
I see the National Gold Wing Riders Association is having their National "Wing Ding" in Billings this week.  They say 11000 - 12000 riders are supposed to attend....that's a LOT of Gold Wings. Working 10 - 12 hours a day doesn't leave much weekday time but maybe I'll try to check it out if I can.  Most the later model Gold Wing riders seem to "look down their nose" at first generation Gold Wings like mine from my past experiences....But then I guess it doesn't have 150 pounds of chrome, 250 pounds of farings, and 50 pounds of

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Annual Beartooth Beemers Rally 2016

Decided to attend the 17th. annual Beertooth Beemers Rally this year. Took a Friday off work. I've only taken a couple of  Summer leisure days off in the 15 seasons I've worked for this company.
The weather forecast was looking very poor the previous week. A friend of mine dissuaded me from not attending due to foul weather. I committed to attend regardless of any bad weather. As things worked out the weather was fine....hit some light rain going over on Friday AM but that was the extent of the "storm". Folks at the rally Thursday night had to deal with a few good rain storms, but they were short lived.

                              ("Left Click" on images to enlarge)

The final aftermath of the clouds were burning off as I approached the campground. Photo is about 10 miles out, The campsite sits right at the base of the Beartooth Highway.

Clouds vanished and the days were clear. Down to near 30* Friday night but my gear is good and didn't suffer a bit.

Heard that about 120 riders attended. 

Lots of various bikes there. I liked the 1977 K1 - 750 Honda 4. 

Buddy Rex showed up with his newly setup R75/6 with "Pop Dreyer Racer" sidecar.

Cool "knock off" Dreyer Racer sidecar wheel hub.

He's using a 3 - point "ball & socket" mounting setup. Each attachment point has a built in lever....that allows him to disconnect the light sidecar in a couple of minutes and ride solo when he wants. 

Bob C.'s beautiful 1978 R100S. There were quite a few Airheads present....I counted 15 one time....more came and went.

Sidecar friend Paul S. from Colorado was there with four or five riding buddies...."The Inconsiderate Bastards".  I had a great time hanging with them for a while each afternoon.
 Haven't laughed so much for quite a while.  

Friend Paul S..... also rides a K-Bike sidecar (above). Paul lost a leg years back. He is a testament to toughness. A very intelligent fellow with great stories to tell. He amazed me with his intimate knowledge of so many different topics.

The rally is scheduled again for next year. The Lions Camp folks are great hosts and fed us well with good food and plenty of it. I will plan on attending again next year!

Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.