Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Bike Night

The local bike shop has a “Bike Night” once a month, and they’ve recently added a Vintage Bikes segment: bring in your old bikes, and everybody votes on Best in Show for prizes. They also have a dyno with a horsepower shootout, which is mostly a curiosity when you have a stock DR-Z400 (rated 34 HP) and several bikes there made well over 100 HP.

Honda PassportsThis was one of the vintage bikes, a Honda Passport C70 with… a NOS canister???? Someone has got an even weirder sense of humor than me, and that’s saying a lot!

I came for the free food, primarily, and to see how much a new front tire is going to run me ($120) when I need to replace it, probably next month. But the good thing about these gatherings is getting to meet up with other people who love motorcycles and talk about them. Two other guys came in (together) on bikes like mine, and so we hit it off pretty quick. Turns out they live in Buford, but come up this way often to ride both on & off road. One guy was laughing about my milk crate, and even offered me a tank bag if I’d get rid of it, but it was a magnetic bag and I have a plastic tank… then we all laughed about the 70cc scooter with the NOS canister.

There was a chance of rain, and I’d brought my rain suit… and it turned out to be needed. A few drops were enough to get the staff moving their bikes inside; some of the sporties clustered under the awning provided by the dyno truck and some of the visitors boogied on out. The few drops turned into an impressive downpour, which was kind enough to wash a lot of the grime off my bike, and those of us who waited it out alternatively watched the owner’s video of a Colorado ride or stood under one of the large metal awnings and watched the rain wash our bikes.

The rain finally let up, so I put on my rain suit and headed home. It didn’t take long to find some more rain, although it looked as if I might get a break closer to town… and in fact, it stopped for a couple miles. But after that, it pretty much rained all the way home. My hands and feet were soaked, but the rain suit did its job well and kept the rest of me dry and comfortable.

17 comments:

  1. FAR, wow, that's a whole world I've never been to visit. Bikes are totally beyond me, but we got a real kick out of the hippie longhair tattooed dude who roared up the street on Sunday, complete with full sized flag, the vest, and the quintessentially Easy Rider look going on.

    I said: "Dude, Easy Rider is so 1969. What do you have stashed in your tank?"

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  2. Hiya FAR and IVG.

    One of these days before I get to old to ride one, I'd like to get another bike. I still have to wait for Publisher's Clearing House to show up though. :)

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  3. IVG, being from Iowa, wouldn't it be ethanol in his tank? (Or as we call it on Planet Georgia, "moonshine"?) Dual-sport bikes could really take advantage: most of them have vent tubes coming out of the gas cap… replace with a long straw and you can really drink & drive…

    FM, it's not terribly expensive to get a bike these days. Some Chinese companies are producing knock-offs of smaller Japanese models, or just doing their own thing, with list prices about 2/3 of the Big Four. People are always selling off their smaller bikes & moving to bigger ones… except that I went the other way. :-)

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  4. Hey Far! I went to a "resort sale" this past weekend and picked up a 79 "Yamahopper", 50cc scooter. Needs some lines freed up and a little carb work, but for $100 what the heck? Plus, I won't need a license, plate, insurance, etc.... You'll just have to wait awhile for me to catch up! ha! ha! Guess, it gets 75 miles to the gallon, with a top speed of 30mph.

    Thanks, yooper

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  5. We have a number of vintage car shows here during the warm weather but none for bikes. I've actually taken my old 1994 Subaru SVX (recently sold) to one of those shows. I've got a younger (and less troublesome) car now that I'll drive over tomorrow night with the b2 boy.

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  6. FAR, very nice old and antique honda c70. i do have a collection for all honda c70, if you like you can visit my blog at http://honda-mc.blogspot.com/

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  7. Hey Yooper, sounds like a fun little project. I've found the easiest way to deal with carbs is to remove the float bowl and idle screws (writing down their settings first!) and soak the whole assembly in Simple Green for about a week. You know as well as I do, you'll also want to flush out any oil in the engine/tranny, at least look at the filters (mice like air filters, ask me how I know) if not replace them outright, and give the tires a careful once-over for dry rot.

    Boran, I remember you talking about the SVX, but didn't realize you'd sold it. Hope you & B2boy have a fun night of it. There's "drive-in" car shows around here too, about once a month or so.

    Pasifik, looking over your front page, I suspect there's a lot of those machines on the street where you live!

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  8. Hey Far, you bet. I'll free up the cables, flush gas tank out, then I'll likely load it into the minivan and drop it off at the Yamaha dealership. The carb is missing at least one part (choke barrel?) and at this point I'll just bet someone has fooled with the settings. I'll jot down the carb needle, settings when I pick up the bike from there! ha!

    I've been extrememly busy lately and hope to get at it maybe this Sunday! Ha! I need a little break, anyway...

    Thanks, yooper

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  9. Oh dear… if someone was taking pieces of the carb off, that doesn't sound good. Good luck getting a replacement! The mechanic could probably rattle off settings off the top of his head; if the carb isn't a complete loss, that should be enough to get the bike started.

    Speaking of bikes, after all that rain we had, the battery on mine died. Water must have gotten in somewhere. Grrr!

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  10. Hey Far, you might just be right, the carb may be a complete loss, oh well, not a problem. I'm sure since it is of a "standardized" circumference, I should be alright, eh? ha! ha! heh! heh! following my tread over at Johns! ha!

    The mechanic over at the dealership and I are old friends, he used to race snowmachines too. I figured, I'd better do a little work on it, or it might be sitting down there until New Years! ha! ha!

    Thanks, yooper

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  11. That is Far, making one of those pups (carb) would be near impossible, by hand. Wouldn't it? ha! heh!

    Thanks, yooper

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  12. Yeah, Yooper, I'd think so. OTOH, someone with a machine shop could probably make the missing piece for you!

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  13. Machine shop? What's that? I thought everybody went over to China! ha!heh!heh! Not in this town! Maybe in Detroit...maybe..then it'd likely cost three, quite possibly 30 times, what a new carb from Japan, might be... ha! ha! And that's just for a little brass choke barrel. Hope I'm not in for a rude awaking! Gee, this little bike is as simple as they get! ha!

    I'll keep ya posted. She'll be dropping it off there tomorro. heh! Now isn't that nice? She can do it! ha!ha!

    Thanks, yooper

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  14. Actually, there is only one remaining machine shop capable of making this part, at least, I'd hope so.... However, I'm quite sure they would tell me to piss off.

    Far, I can remember there being at least four or five commerical machine shops, but none would be capable (not having the correct tools to do the job) or probably master the tolerances of this little part, except the remaining one open, and that would be iffy at best.

    Over the years, my family has done a lot of business with these people, enough to know what their capable of doing...

    Thanks, yooper

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  15. Yooper, I think he got lucky, but I remember hearing a story about a guy restoring a vintage Honda. The carb was either gone or otherwise irreparable, so he wrote a letter to the HQ in Japan asking if they could sell him one someone had in a box or something. About six months later, he got a box in the mail — they'd machined him a new carb!

    Two of my uncles in Allegan run a machine shop. If I had a similar request, they'd probably do it just for kicks & a couple of beers.

    But here's hoping the dealer can fix you up!

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  16. Hey Far! Yup, I got lucky and they have the "choke plunger" whew! Now, I'll estimate repairs at $200. Told them if the trottle lines were too much to screw with, go ahead and replace them. Gee, I could have gotten a new gas tank for $150...! So they'll be soaking the carb in cleaner for the next day, trying to free up lines (choke and throttle), replacing new fluids everywhere.

    Gee, they were telling me business has never been better! Keeping a scooter on the floor for more than a day, is rare!

    Hmmm, maybe I should buy the scooter manual for $80? Heh, heh, from snowmachines to scooters! At least those scooters weigh a lot less!!!!!! By far, easier to work on!

    I'm suppose to get the "estimate" on Wednesday, told them, "No hurry". ha! Sure, they're taking all the fun out of it for me, but like I said I'm real busy, plus they'll have it done a lot sooner than what I could afford! ha! You know summer doesn't last long here in the North Country!

    Thanks, yooper

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  17. Wow, you're in luck for sure!

    I know what you mean about having it done too soon… I've had car work like that in the past. I'll bet the dealer will be using carb cleaner, but Simple Green is great stuff & not nearly as toxic.

    I'm surprised they move scooters that quick in the UP, though. I figured dirt bikes and/or dual-sports would be the big sellers there… put some aggressive knobbies on a dual-sport and keep riding it in the snow.

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