Rants & Raves Index
Guest Editorial - Scooter Trash
"Are Ya Ready?"
WoW! It was snowing outside, I dozed off, woke up and it’s Spring!! AND IT’S STILL SNOWING!!! Good Lord…where’d March go !,,,Hell, where’d February go?
I think the last time I showed my face around here I was getting ready for the big Show and Swap. Oh well, comes with age I guess. So Spring is here, the highway is closed, and my roof is straining under the weight of 2 plus feet of wet, heavy Colorado Spring snow,,,that can only mean that Summer is just around the corner. Are ya ready? Well, just in case you’re not, I’ve got some real dandy stuff for ya this time around. I did make the swap meet and only found one item for myself that I couldn’t live without. It’s this kick ass Cobra seat I found for just at a “C” note.( I did have to work on em a bit to get it for that, at first they wanted,,,are ya ready?,,, two bills,,,figure that out) so I got the first part of the makeover for my Beloved Softail,,,the rest we’ll cover as it happens,,,gonna be some fun stuff there.
The rest of the show was pretty good, lot’s of pretty iron on display, much of it unrideable, but some great workmanship, design, and some of the paint had to be seen to be believed. I didn’t find anything new and exciting to tell ya about, but hold on we aint done yet.
Your gracious host Warren and I ran all over the place looking for some 5 spd gears for his tranny case,,,( you know,,,”I bought a tranny case,,,,now I gotta build a bike around it”)and basically left with nothing, there was some good stuff, at a pretty good price, but he just decided to do something else…hey it’s his deal...
A note from Warren:
Dunno what the Trashman is talking about here....I got a set of 5 speed gears straight off a new bike for $265 - that ain't nothing!
So a week or so after the swap I get a call from an old Friend and riding Brother asking me to a party a small group of Riding folks are having, and I call Warren immediately to see if he’s going, ( We both went last year) he says Hell yes, and the deal was done.
You should have seen us trying to hook up on the road to ride there together. I gave him a rendezvous spot that doesn’t exist anymore, he got the time wrong, and was so damn far ahead of me, (I came from a different location altogether, and completely underestimated the time I needed to get there) anyway, we did get together, and rode into what was a great BBQ/Party with some righteous folks we’ve known for years.
Ate, laughed, ate some more, laughed, ate some more...you know the drill. Eventually we got around to swapping stories about “The Road”. What a hostile environment that can prove to be as we all know. Like the Guy that had such a radical rake on the neck of his chopper, with a less than satisfactory weld holding it all together, that, yep, the neck cracked, and dropped the frame to the street....at 70MPH!!! Ride that one out on the downtubes!!! Shit what else ya gonna do? Came to a stop, then whatdya do next? This was WAY before cell phones, for those of you that are of the Neo-(I think that means new)- biker generation, so ya gotta employ what my Ole man used to call a “Field expedient” in other words jury rig the sumbitch till it’ll get you to a better spot.
So get ready, with no other possibilities, and with the use of a pair of jumper cables (do I need to go into where they came from?) the frame was lifted, set on a rock, and the cables wrapped around the neck and forks to hold the whole works together while the bike was ridden, yes, ridden to the next town with an available welder.
Hey don’t forget the shift lever that fell off, again at 70MPH, (notice nothing EVER happens at 40MPH)at least that’s how it seemed, until a closer look was taken and it was discovered that the shaft had actually sheared off, leaving about ½ an inch of shaft protruding through the case. What to do with this one? Damn Jap Junk...(it was a Kawasaki Chopper...remember those? “Savior” plunger frame ,pull back handlebars and all.) A pair of vise grips were found, and yes they did hold on to that short shaft long enough to get the damn thing fixed properly, the guy even shifted gears with it.
Are ya ready for this? Yer gonna love this one, it’s a real peach. The guy’s bike started to blow main fuses...couldn’t figure that one out. Every couple of miles the motor would just quit, check, and yep, the fuse had blown again…so a stop was made at the local filling station/convenience store where a couple of dozen fuses were purchased. While this was being done, some smart ass (I don’t know who) lifted the seat, and LO and BEHOLD, a wad of black spaghetti was found (that means wires for those that ride Bourgets) with at least 8-10 bare spots right next to the frame!! Can ya see where this is going??? “Hey, take them damn fuses back in there, get yer dough back, and score a roll of ‘lectric tape”! Problem handled in short order.
And let’s not forget the guy that found that a short length of well oiled leather belt would suffice for a rear axle bearing until the real deal could be found some 20 miles further down the road. Wow, what stories the road holds...some of em are even true, and witnessed, or experienced by credible people! Or at least as credible as some of us can get! Ya got any good ones? Send em to me, I’ll read em, and if they’re hard enough to believe, I’ll put em in future “Sez” columns. Until then, get ready, the 75-80 degree days are just around the corner, maybe one or two more winter storms, one of which just kicked our ass,then I think we’ll be there, and it’s been a long wait this year. Are ya ready?
If you’re not ready then you need to do a few things. No need to “Make an appointment”, at least not in my world, ‘cause none of this requires a PHD rating to pull off. First of all, if you don’t have one...GET A MANUAL!! Even the saltiest of wrenches sticks close to his manuals, and service bulletins, so it’s no disgrace. Then get that oil changed, put a fresh filter in service, and use the best oil you can get. ‘specially if you’re in some serious heat. I’ve always liked Valvoline 20-50 racing oil for Evos, Valvoline Straight 60 weight for earlier motors, and Valvoline “SynPower”Full Synthetic 20w-50 for Twin Cams. See a common thread here? (Honest, I don’t get a kickback from the Valvoline people)
Oh, be aware that there is a difference in oil filters between Twin Cam motors, and earlier models. Make sure you get the right application, your local dealer’s parts guy SHOULD know which one you need. (We’ll go into the reason they “SHOULD” know at a later time) While you’re at it, drain the tranny, I like to use “Bel-Ray” 85w-140 Gear Saver...Chain case is in need too...all I ever used is H-D Chaincase fluid.(mysterious stuff)
The Valvoline is available at any Auto Parts house, filters and the rest at your local dealer, or custom shop. While you’re in there, check the tension on the Primary Chain, and adjust if it needs it, (your manual will spell out how to do that pretty clearly) Check that rear belt/chain while yer in the neighborhood too, not much fun replacing one of those in a parking lot, and don’t forget them tires...make sure tread and pressures are good. I like to run 40lb front, and 30lb rear on a bike with 16’’ on the back and 21’’ on the front. Sounds like a small thing, but again, it can save you a lifetime of misery, and just maybe your life. (cap them valve stems too)
Speaking of saving your life,check those little ½’’ nuts on the bottom of your front forks if ya got em too, make sure they’re nice and tight. Manual knows the torque value, I’m pretty sure it’s 11ft. lbs. While your at the front tire, drain the forks, and put some fresh oil in em. The thicker the oil, the stiffer the forks, and keeping fresh oil in em will help the seals last longer. I know this all sounds simple, but it can prevent a basket full of misery from coming your way this year and years beyond. Take care of em, and they just keep on going. All this shouldn’t take ya more than an hour or so, maybe two if ya never held a wrench in yer hand before. If ya ask nice, maybe the ole Lady’ll bring ya a sandwich while yer working hard so she can ride later on, if not, Hell, get your own damn sandwich, and find somebody else that wants to ride.
If ya got any questions, send em to me, especially the ones you think are stupid, I won’t rag yer ass, cause we all have em, just some guys won’t admit it, but they never get any answers either. OK, enough for now, I got 3 sleds need attention, better get busy, the way things go, it’ll be July ‘fore I’m done. Have a Great Spring, and let me hear from ya, I’ll be back after the first run of the summer to see how things are going. Remember Scooter Trash’s three basic rules of ridin to NEVER forget...
1.ALWAYS watch out for the other guy, cause he don’t give a shit about you.
2. ALWAYS try to leave yourself an out...sometimes ya gotta escape quickly
and last, but certainly not least in importance,,,
3.NEVER OUTRIDE yourself....you’ll know it when and if you’re doing it...yer gut will
A note from Warren:
All sage advice from a seasoned pro. Are ya ready? I'm gettin' there....