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.

Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.