Sunday, August 24, 2014

Squirrel Season

I fired up the truck the other night to haul the garbage down and got a warning signal to check the gauges. Looked at the temperature gauge and it was pegged on hot even though I had just started the vehicle. I took a look the next morning and found where the wires had been bitten in half just above the top of the plug for the sensor. The next day I saw a little piney squirrel running out from under the truck, so apparently that's the culprit that got the temperature sensor wires and the wires for the fuel pump a couple of weeks ago. Fortunately, in both cases there was enough wire sticking out to solder things back together. With the temperature sensor I had to splice in a piece of wire because the little rodent had chewed the wires in two in a couple of places. Currently there's a live trap under the truck in the hopes of catching the little darling. Always something.

This one has nothing to do with squirrels other than the fact I might have gotten a little squirrelly on it a time or two. I got a comment from Rich on my last post concerning motorcycles from the 70's. This is my '78 Yamaha SR500. I bought it used sometime around the early to mid 80's. Surprisingly, I dated the back of the photograph and this was taken in '93. I sold it shortly thereafter when I got my '94 Ducati, so I had it about ten years. It had a pipe with a Super-Trap insert and a different carb on it when I bought it. I did the flame paint job on it. I'm a welder not a painter but I was pretty happy with how the job came out. Not bad for a rookie, as they say. It was a fun bike to ride. Yamaha came out with an updated version, the SRX which had a 600 cc four valve single cylinder motor and dual front discs. It wasn't real popular but was a really nice bike. I should have upgraded the 500 to one of those instead of the Ducati - probably would still be riding it. 

And for comparison, this is what Rich was riding back while I was on the Yamaha - '81 Sportster. Obviously, this one isn't quite as it left the factory either. To me this looks like the kind of rig you could ride to the store even if the store was on the opposite coast, maybe without the stroker motor, but still. If a guy was going to have just one bike, this thing could be it. My Yamaha was a great little commuter but you wouldn't want to spend much time on the Interstate with it. But then again, I've never wanted to spend much time on the Interstate with a motorcycle. 

I had a Toaster Tank BMW 750/5 for a while back then also. Realistically, if a guy was going to have just one motorcycle to do anything and everything, something close to that would be my choice. I commuted back and forth to work on it and the detachable hard bags were perfect for a shop teacher. It was nice and quiet, got decent mileage, had no chain to lube or adjust and was big enough to ride down the big roads and light enough to still be a sporty ride on the twisties. Actually, I think that's the only bike I've ever regretted selling.

Time to get out of the 70's before Mr. Peabody's WayBack machine throws a rod and I'm stuck there.


Rich said...

Much respect for those single cylinder Yamahas. A friend long ago had the XT500 enduro - a solid bike. I also recall the TT model, and it's funky exhaust design - for a dirt bike, anyway.

Shop Teacher Bob said...

The XT & TT were kind of the future of dirt bikes to come, just no-one really knew it at the time. The two strokes are all gone now and enduros and motocross are all using the four strokes. They used to have a big enduro close by - don't know if they still do - but an XT would be a lot of fun if a guy was going to do one race a year and just cow trail the rest of the time.

Rich said...

Our neighbor's kids have a trail on their property with jumps, etc, and they ride some pretty thumpy-sounding 4-strokes, Hondas I think. The Mrs. finds it very annoying, but not as much as the 2-strokes.

She always asks, "Why do they have to sound like that?"

Sometimes it is annoying, but other times it sounds like music.