Monday, July 21, 2014

A Weird Conclusion to The Fork Rebuild... and Some SWEET Time in The Wind

Sooo... I'm at a tee total loss. The bike is back together and I've not got a sliver of a part of a small bit of the shadow of an idea how.

The curbside of the forks was together days ago. The road side refused to go. I broke down and ordered the pro tool which required waiting a week for it to arrive. When it did it was the wrong "drive" so I had to hunt up an adapter for it...

Then I went to assemble the fork tube... and the PRO tool wouldn't hold! ARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!

I had help to hold the holder and no matter what I/we did... nada... it wouldn't go together. Frustrated and angry I called it quits at dark. Went over and sat under the shredded awning and sipped a beer... stewing in my own juice.

Shortly after dawn I walked back over to give it one last solo try... and failed again. That damned tube just kept turning. No Joy.

So there I am... bike sitting on a jack. One tube that isn't and won't go together and stumped and frustrated and fresh out of any ideas....

Absent mindedly I picked up a wrench... and just went to turn that bolt again, and turn the damper rod, while trying to come up with another "idea"... and with NO HOLDER in the tube... the damper rod wouldn't turn? Locked up solid... WTF???!

I picked up the torque wrench and put it on... and CLICK! with NO DAMPER ROD HOLDER IN PLACE...not one damn thing to hold it... and it didn't/wouldn't turn...

So now, I'm kinda freaked; Did I screw something up and have the forks all jammed up?

No... it works like it's supposed to, both sides... Weirdness... checking the other tube it wouldn't turn either???... IDK. I've no freaking idea what or why or when or how...

I only know... the forks weren't together... and then they WERE... and I didn't do a damned thing... but... I'll take it! I hurried and got the oil in and leveled, the wheel and fender and brakes on... got her back together... and then gingerly rode a hundred miles... testing to see all was "Right"...

The brakes work. The forks work. No leaks. No Squeaks. No heat... just... doing what it's supposed to do...

Then yesterday I climbed on and went on a nice wide circle.

Ran up Hwy 287 through Laramie. Rolled out Hwy 130 through Centennial and climbed up into the Snowies...


You're just over 10,000 feet up in Snowy Range pass on top... Far Country that soothes the soul of a grumpy old puss gut like me!


Coming down off the west side of the Snowies I caught Hwy 230 just a little below Saratoga and turned south for Walden in the North Park country of Colorado.

Grab some fuel there and came back east on Hwy 14 over Cameron Pass, another 10,000+ footer... and down the Poudre Canyon back to Fort Collins.

That's a nice run down the canyon... until you get to the lower end...and then all the cagers who can't go around a 35 mile an hour bend at 25 without hitting their brakes kinda mess with the day... :)

Buuuut... bottom line... a few hundred miles on my unknown-how-I-did-it repair... and all is good. Awesome!

Grab Your Handles and Ride
Brian


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Remember Maxwell Smart?

What's he got to do with Motorcycles you ask?

"Missed it be THAT much!" Just imagine Max's voice :)

I haven't gotten Sonja put back together yet...

But I came close... I found a five dollar tool for plumbing (a nipple extractor) that gripped the curbside damper rod perfectly, allowing me to torque the bolt holding the tubes together...


That center offset section "cams" or turns eccentrically and wedges into smooth round holes to grip.


A small collection of extensions gave me the length needed to reach down inside the fork...

The first tube was torqued in but a few seconds... so excited that I'd have her back together in another hour or so I slid the contraption down the second tube and turned it to lock in place... and turned it to lock in place... and turned it, and turned it... and whispered a curse... and turned it...

Nothing! What worked 100% perfect a foot away in the other identical tube... wouldn't grip even a slight bit in the second... arrrrrrgggggghhhhhh!

Sooooo... I spent five hours running around, calling, walking through tool/hardware stores trying to scheme and option... went back to the garage and tried again... fail... ugh...

I smell that sorry little irish again. Who else do you know, 'cept for me, takes a two hour job and converts it into a three week ordeal? That pest Murphy has GOT to be mixed up in this ;)

Well... I finally surrendered and called Motorcycle Superstore to order the "Pro" tool... which of course they have to get from THEIR supplier... which is identical to the plumbing tool I used to sell in MY hardware days... which they no longer manufacture as a Five dollar plumbing tool.

Nope... it's a $25 dollar Motorcycle Damper Rod Holder tool! or more if you go to the wrong place. :) So... I wait another week for the HOPEFULLY last tool to arrive so I can put my girl back together!

I did succeed in finding a boot that will, also Hopefully, protect the forks from future premature fork seal failure from dirt...


I located a pair of what were manufactured as Rancho Suspension Shock boots that fit near perfectly. They'll keep grit and rocks and bugs from either dingin' the tubes or getting into the seals and causing future leaks.

Kinda old school and I'm sure the chrome and flashy paint boys will thumb their noses... but then... I've never seen the chrome and flashy paint boys on the roads I ride. :) How-some-ever... I HAVE seen plenty of grit and rocks and bugs...

... and it wasn't just in my bed roll!

Another week and she'll be healthy again... my fingers are tightly crossed...  Until then... I walk over to the garage twice a day and ring that gremlin bell you can see danglin' just under the frame below the gear lever...

Oh yeah... I don't think I told you here... maybe it was just on that "other" blog...The RV one ;) (that story starts here)... I'm still dealing with wasps on the roof of the rig that won't let me up there to do THAT maintenance either... So I built a tent to hang a pest strip in, and traps all around to kill the nasty little parasites...

*Bug tent on the 5th wheels roof surrounded by traps*


Tough as they are... I'm more stubborn than they are (Yosemite Sam genetics prolly) and I'm winning that battle too, if slowly... My "bug tent" is knocking them down day by day...


Putting my frickin frackin motorcyclin' butt back in the wind will be a VERY appreciated day! :) ... even if it IS on a Yamaha... bwahahahahahahaha

Grab Your Handles and Ride!
Brian