Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Keeping Busy

Painted, assembled and installed - and it works, too! Had a comment on the last post from Rich saying he had seen one of the store bought ones in the wild. Said it looked a little flimsy. I can believe that. You have to build 'em to sell 'em. However, around here we try to adhere to the Uncle Pete philosophy of "Ain't much for looks, but hell for strong.

Ducati single case repair. Broken fin and a couple of cracks in one of the bosses for the footpeg. In on Monday, out on Tuesday.

Plate for Cuzzin Ricky's new trailer. About the time I was starting to work on the Ducati case he showed up with this. 

I need to drill some holes in the plate to mount this winch and then weld it to the tongue of the trailer. The winch is designed to have the mounting bolts come up through the plate into holes in the winch base. There are slots to put the nuts into so you don't need to have a wrench on them. However, I measured the holes and they're not quite 7/16" in diameter. If you use 3/8" bolts, the nuts will spin in the slot. I'm going to check the hardware store and see if they have any square or heavy duty nuts that might work. If not, I'll make some up that will fit the slot and not spin so they can be tightened up and come off without a lot of grief at a later date if need be. Once I figure out what I need Rick can get some Grade 8 bolts to fasten the winch down.

Surly picked up a couple of parts for my old Honda. He wants to get that thing gone and I'm in total agreement. I don't need it and even if it was running, I wouldn't ride it anyway. It just takes too much work to maintain  a fleet of any type of gas powered rigs running as they should. Peddle it off, use the money to buy parts for another project and gain a little room in the bargain. Not a bad thing, I suppose.

Not a bad looking rig. It's a shame they laced up the "chopper" rim on the back. Needs a valve job and a battery and a little TLC from sitting around but that's about all. I had it running a few years back. Every thing checked out fine except for one cylinder with low compression. 

It's Spring and the weather will be warming up, I'm back to two days per week on the job so I should be able to get a few things done. I've been thinking about a couple of things that I'd like to investigate, however. Maybe get in touch with Frankie Flood at Handverker and get some advice about doing some anodizing. I remember him doing a workshop on the process when he was in Milwaukee. I wish we had a Maker Space around here.  

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Can Carrier

I finished engineering the can carrier. When I originally looked at the video, I wasn't quite sure how the action worked and I over-thunk it a bit. When I got down to the nitty-gritty of making it, it became pretty obvious as to how the whole thing worked. And work it does. It's just tacked together right now but I'll take it to work this coming week, finish weld it, clean it up and paint it. So that'll be one I can chalk up in the finished column. 

I also finished one of my "top secret" basement projects this past week. Hate to think I had a week off and didn't get anything done. Would have gotten some more done but the weather's been bad and my heater quit in the shop. I'm not sure if I ran out of gas last time or if something else went haywire. There's a thermocouple sticking out in the combustion chamber along with the igniter. Might be the thermocouple quit. I need to dig out the manual and see what I can come up with. I shouldn't need it much more this winter but now's the time to get it fixed.

Back to work this week but only two days per. Counting down from 60 now. Knowing that I'm about finished will make things go easier, as will the warmer weather that should be coming along. I need to get out and start doing some serious walking to prepare for the upcoming race. It's been a while since I've trained in earnest and it seems to be a bit harder to get the old body moving like it needs to. I've still got six weeks but it's going to take every bit of that it I want to get my old form back. Might be it's not coming back no matter what I do, though. Regardless, I'm planning on doing what I can and having a good time with it.

I meet with the tax lady this week. I get that out of the way and it'll be back on the big projects soon there after. Need to finish the sidecar fender and wiring, get some brake calipers for the bike and jerk the motor out and go through it. Need to get the veranda for the barn done and some other outdoor things. All in good time. At least I'll be able to take the garbage down in style!

Thursday, March 16, 2017


John Surtees passed away last week. I just happened to stumble upon the news while looking at one of the bike sites I check out occasionally The only man to win world titles at the highest level on both two wheels and four. The link takes you to his site where they announce his passing. The home page gives an excellent bio of his storied life - I didn't realize he started his racing career as the monkey in his father's sidecar rig. 

While we all have to go sometime, it's still a sad day when a true legend passes.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sidecar Racers Association

Found this at Silodrome. Husband and wife team who raced at the Isle of Man with their outfit. Great story - mentions the Sidecar Racers Association. I was a member for a few years when I was planning on building my Norton powered outfit. Sidecar racing at that time wasn't real popular. Usually only a half-dozen or so rigs at a race but nice people and competitors. 

I found this on Facebook - restoration of the above rig only now it will have Norton power. There are several pictures at the link as well as a short article. Interesting.

I've been doing a whole lot of nothing the last few days. Spring Break is turning out to be not even close to spring like.  Snow, cold - temps in the teens last night - so not much getting done outside or in the shop. I'm getting caught up on some of the magazines in the pile as well as working on the book list. I decided I was going to try and read fifty books again this year after all. I'm on pace so far. I'll see how it goes if/when the weather decides to improve. Staying inside except for chores for a few days isn't all that bad, I suppose. Lots of people do it all the time. At least that's what I've heard. Don't know how they do it though.

After I had this post scheduled to go I started hitting some of my regular spots on the Internet and came across some info about big wildfires out west. Not the forest fires that you usually hear about but prairie fires. Three young adults and who knows how much livestock and wildlife gone. I didn't hear anything about this on the news. These truly are some troubling times we're living in.

Take care, be safe and don't take life for granted. It can change in a heartbeat.

Sunday, March 12, 2017


Forty-six years and counting. As long as we can stay alive, fifty is a cinch. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Test Post

For some unknown reason, the last post didn't come in normally. It came up solo rather than leading the list of previous posts. I'm putting this one up to see what happens.

Update: looks like we're back to normal.

Street Rod


Saw this in the Cycle World weekly e-mail - new HD 750 Street Rod. Looks cool, priced at $8,699.00. It's got a few more ponies than the regular Street, as well as lots of other chassis improvements. I like it. Now that the Sportster has left the building, I've got room.