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Crusty 7th March 2016 14:51

Crusty's Travels
EXNAUTI suggested that I start a thread and name it Crusty's Travels. I could include all the details about my traveling, motorcycle modifications and whatever else I put down in writing relating to being a Tramp. It would make it easier for me and for those folks who enjoy following my misadventures. The XL Forum has more designated areas than I can keep up with, and I wasn't sure where the appropriate place to post was.
I needed a title for the next phase of my Tramping about, so I decided to steal the title that EXNAUTI came up with.
I'm not traveling yet, but I will be soon. Here's my latest snippet about it:

Tramp or Townie?

Iím kind of torn. I have an apartment that Iím sharing, and I want to make some improvements to it. Nothing major; a new (to me) used refrigerator thatís a bit bigger than the one thatís here and maybe some new carpeting for the living room and bedrooms. ButÖ those take money, and I donít have money to burn right now (do I ever?). Also, Iím going to be hitting the road soon. Iím making changes to the Roadster to make it a better bike for my needs, and that takes money as well.

Part of me wants to travel, and part of me wants to settle in one place for a while. As much as I love going places on the bike, I also like having a home and sitting still for a while. I keep getting pulled from one side to the other. itís like the old classic Devil on one shoulder and Angel on the other. The trouble is that I canít tell which one is the Angel or which one is the Devil.

When I first got back from Australia, settling down was really prominent in my thoughts. Now, however; itís less than a month later and Iím getting pumped up about where Iím going this summer. In the meantime, I also need to look ahead a bit toward going back to Australia. I donít know how itís all going to happen; but then again, when I first decided I wanted to hit the road, I didnít know how that was going to happen either. However, by keeping my focus on the goal, obstacles were overcome. I guess that if Iím meant to go, a way will present itself.

Then again; itís kind of nice to be sleeping in a bed and cooking my own meals. I enjoy cooking for myself, and canít really do it when Iím on the road. In the past couple of weeks, Iíve had 2Ē thick pork chops baked with Shake & bake, roasted split chicken breast (with bone and skin) with quartered Yukon Gold potatoes and baby peas baked in the dripping from the chicken and I think Iíll make a spaghetti sauce with sweet Italian sausage this week. Iíll save making meatballs until the next sauce.
Iíve been drinking fresh ground Kenya coffee with Half and Half each morning when I first get up after my shower. That beats the hell out of Tasterís Choice instant with concentrated Coffee Mate.

However, waking up in Utah to go pee and seeing so many stars itís almost frightening, or riding up the Going-To-The-Sun Road in Glacier National park are easily worth giving up some comforts for. Do I prefer to drink instant coffee in West Virginia surrounded by Buells? I donít have to answer that. You already know. I love both aspects of what Iím being torn by.

So Iím compromising. I probably wonít do all the things Iíd like to do for the apartment, and I wonít be able to travel as much as Iíd like to this year; but I will be able to do enough of each to keep both the Angel and Devil equally dissatisfied.

fmacdonald 9th March 2016 05:41


Originally Posted by Crusty (Post 5348186)
Part of me wants to travel, and part of me wants to settle in one place for a while. As much as I love going places on the bike, I also like having a home and sitting still for a while. I keep getting pulled from one side to the other. itís like the old classic Devil on one shoulder and Angel on the other. The trouble is that I canít tell which one is the Angel or which one is the Devil.

I look forward to reading your travels, it is a strange to swap between being stationary and travelling. After a road trip for 9 months and living with only what I could carry on a bike it was very strange to be living in an apartment with all the extra stuff that I had got used to not needing or wanting, getting married and having kids has settled me down for the moment but I still get all excited every time I see a bike packed to the rafters with gear and a foreign plate (not common in Sydney).

Once the kids are out of home (12 yrs from now) I plan to ride from Alaska to Argentina, well that is the plan anyway and in the mean time I will live through others :clap and enjoy the weekend trips.

Crusty 9th March 2016 21:17

Progress Toward Perfection

The rear turn signals on the Roadster have been relocated. It was a Royal Pain in the Butt job. Partly because I was doing it for the first time, but mostly because the Official Turn Signal Relocation Kit from Harley was designed by a moron. I won’t describe the personal details of his shortcomings, but “talented engineer” is not one of the terms I used when being vocal. What should be one to two hour job took me about six hours. Of course, I could probably do it in less than half that time now, but I probably won’t ever have to do that job again. At least, I hope not. I could go into a real ranting diatribe about the kit, but all I’ll say is that if I had to do it over again, I’d get a kit from some other source.

Tomorrow, I’m bringing the cast wheels over to the shop to pull the wheel bearings out and put new wheel bearings in. I’ll also pick up my belt and sprocket while I’m there. Dondi is giving me a ride to the shop. Well, kind of. She’s coming over to Hudson where we’ll load the wheels into her car, then I’ll drive over to Malden. She hates to drive in the city. If I can get the bearings changed out relatively quickly, I’ll treat Dondi to lunch at Nana’s Pizzeria. They make great pizza.

The next item in the Transformation is to bring the bike and the H&B Mounts to the Fabricator. Hopefully, it won’t cost an arm and a leg to get the mounts modified to fit on the Roadster. Once that’s done, they’ll be off to the Powder Coater.

I got my taxes done at the Accountant’s and I’m getting a refund from both the State and the Feds. That means that I’ll be able to order the 30 Liter Junior bags as soon as my refund is direct deposited into my Checking account. I might just have the hard bags on the bike before I set out for Vern’s in just a few weeks

It’s all coming together!

Crusty 11th March 2016 14:31

Step By Step

Itís been warm the past couple of days, and itís supposed to stay fairly warm (for March) right through the next ten days according to Intellicast. Wednesday, it almost hit 80ļ F, and there were hundreds of bikes out . It seemed like everybody who owned a bike left work early and went out for a ride. That was a truly beautiful sight.

Yesterday, Dondi came by and we loaded up the cast wheels into her car and went over to the shop to use the blind hole bearing puller. Little Guy pulled the bearings for me, and I got new bearings and spacers to put in the wheels. We were actually out of there in less than an hour! I think that might be some sort of record.

At any rate, it was high noon when we left the shop, so we went to Nanaís Pizza in Everett for lunch. I love their pizza. Then we came back to Hudson. It was raining for most of the day, so I didnít really feel like going anywhere. Instead, I did something I rarely do. I took an afternoon nap. That actually worked out in my favor as last night was the opening round of the AMA Flat Track season at Daytona and I was wide awake and watched it live on Fans Choice TV.

Today, Iím going over to the Garage and Iím going to bring back my Tire Irons as well as my bearing Installer tool and Iíll put the bearings and spacers in the hub and mount the tires. Iíll save balancing them for a later date. Part of me wants to install the brake rotors and belt sprocket on the wheels and put them on the bike, but it makes more sense to just leave the spoke wheels on until I wear down the tires that are on them.

Tonight is round 2 of the AMA Flat track series. Iíll be in front of the Laptop for the evening.

Donít forget to set your clocks on Saturday night for Daylight Savings time. Spring Ahead!

Crusty 12th March 2016 13:38

Back And Forth

I just went back and read a few Snippets from last Spring. I could feel the anticipation all over again. There is a magic to being on the road that permeates pretty much all my actions. Even when I feel like settling down, the road calls me.

Watching the Short Track races from Daytona the past couple of nights didnít help things. Sitting here in my room watching the races on my Laptop has made me want to attend one. Thereís a Half Mile in Texas right by the Circuit of the Americas thatís going to run during the Moto GP weekend which is the weekend following Glitch Badness (the rally Iím going to in Georgia). I could make that. I checked ticket prices, and, theyíre pretty high for a Flat Track race. 55 bucks is too high, in my opinion. Then again, I bet theyíre really stuffing people for tickets to the Moto GP. (I didnít check the prices). Still, itís a track Iíve never been to, and it would probably be fun. It would destroy my budget, but it is doable.

No; I think it would be better to stick to my original plan and return to Massachusetts after the rally (after a short visit in Fayetteville). I want to do a lunch (or breakfast) with the Badwebbers in the Northeast, and I want to finish the metamorphosis of the Roadster. If I blow the money for the hard bags on an overpriced race, Iíll regret it. Besides, Iím going to see the Springfield Mile on Memorial Day weekend. Thereís no better venue in the world for close, action packed racing.

Still, the excitement and anticipation is there in the background. Itís kind of a quiet hum. Iím pretty sure it will grow as I get closer to the end of May and my kick off for the West Coast.

A while back, Dondi asked me if I was addicted to traveling. I am. I might want to settle down at times, but the Urge is always there. It ainít a bad addiction to have.

Crusty 14th March 2016 16:04

Inch By Inch

Well, the wheel bearings are in and the front tire is mounted on the cast wheels. The rear isnít because Iím going to have to take the wheel over to Fitchburg and use the bead breaker on the NoMar to break the bead loose. Iíll bring my tire irons and mounting lube along, and maybe Iíll be able to mount the new tire without having to kneel on a garage floor. Even though the NoMar isnít bolted to the floor, I think I can still use it. Itís worth a try; my knees really donít like concrete floors any more. I guess that the NoMar spoiled me. There are a few tire shops around, so Iíll stop by one of them to inflate the new tires. I have my compressor in the garage, but thereís no power there, so it doesnít help a bit. Sometimes I really miss my garage at the house on Mill Street. (I miss the house, too, but I wonít get into that, right now) Iíll bring the balancing stand back to Hudson and balance the wheels here. Iím not going to put the cast wheels on until I wear down the tires on the spoke wheels. That will probably be after my trip to Tennessee and Georgia. Iíd like to put them on before; but tires are expensive, and I want to get my moneyís worth out of the tires that are already mounted.

People have been asking for pictures, but there really isnít much to show. I could take a picture of the bike with the relocated Turn signals, I suppose; but thatís not much of a change. Maybe I will, anyhow. Then I could take a photo of the wheels sitting in the garage. I canít take a picture of the tank yet Ďcause itís in Tennessee. I will take pictures of the bike when everything is assembled on it. I promise.

Next up will be bringing the bike over to the fabricatorís (welderís) to see about getting the bag mounts set up for the bike. Iíll do that this week. I hope it wonít be too expensive.

Crusty 16th March 2016 01:10

Some Days Are Like That

The day started with a plan. Dondi was going to come over and I was going to load up the rear wheel, new tire and some tools and go over to the storage garage in Fitchburg. One there, Iíd pop the bead with the NoMar and remove the tire. Then, Iíd mount the Michelin on the wheel. I also brought along the front wheel that had itís new tire mounted, but it hadnít had any air put in yet.

We got to the garage and I rearranged things so that the NoMar was up front near the door. That way, I would have maximum light and a little more room for maneuvering. But no matter how I tried, I couldnít get the bead to break I fought with it for a while, then decided to just take the wheel to a Tire shop and ask them to break the bead for me. I hit two tire shops and neither would do it. They were afraid of a motorcycle wheel. So, I took it over to Central Mass Powersports where the guy behind the Service Desk took the wheel out back and returned two minutes later with the bead on both sides broken. When I asked how much I owed him, he said, ďNo ChargeĒ and wished me a nice day. So, I went back to the garage, took off the old tire and mounted the new one. Then we went to the closest tire shop and inflated both wheels.

After that, we went to the Gold Bowl Chinese Restaurant, and we had a very tasty lunch. We had to kill a little time until 3:30 when I was supposed to meet Scotty and get a piece of dense foam to make kneeling pads from. I had asked him in an e-mail and he said no problem, so I told him Iíd be there by the back door when he got off work. That all happened as planned. I got to talk with Brian and John Husar, who I used to work with for a few minutes, then Scott came out and gave me a 4 ft. square piece of 2-1/2Ē thick foam. I guess theyíve been busy the past couple of years and theyíve got a ton of it laying around.

So; the old tire got removed, the new tire installed and both wheels were inflated to factory spec, Dondi and I went to the Loonie Noonie, we ate some (too much, actually) pretty good Chinese food and I got the foam to make kneeler pads from. It was a fairly successful day.

Crusty 17th March 2016 02:44

Hoo Boy!

This is kind of weird. This morning, I just happened to stumble across a real estate listing for a house in Fitchburg, and as soon as I saw it, I got the same feeling that I got the first time I saw the listing for my old house in Leominster. Itís a feeling that I can only describe as this house looks like it should belong to me. Did you ever look at someone who just sat on a bike at a dealership, and you knew that was the right bike for him (or her)? Thatís the way I felt when I saw the listing. So I did the reasonable thing; I drove by and looked it over from outside. It looks pretty nice. I looked through the windows; the house is empty, but I can see me living there. It just calls to me.

I talked to a friend, Johnny Donut about it. Heís a good guy and knows a lot of people around Fitchburg. He turned me on to a Realtor who I called as soon as I got home. The Realtor, in turn turned me on to a Mortgage Broker. We spoke a bit on the phone, and I may just be able to buy a house! I have to go over to my storage garage and dig out some paperwork, and weíll take it from there.

If it all happens, it will drastically alter my plans. I wonít be going to nearly as many places as I thought. I wonít be doing much tramping. But Iíll have a Home. I will still be able to do some traveling, just not like I have been doing. If it doesnít happen, then Iíll fall back on my plans for this summer. Itís looking like a win/win situation to me. If it all goes through, then Iíll have my home and garage, which will be pretty sweet. I really would like my own home. If it all falls apart, then Iíll get to see my brother Tony, who I havenít seen for something like 12 years and the Canadian Rockies, which Iíve never seen.

Life is what happens while youíre busy making other plans. Iíve been making plans, but this blind sided me. Iím just going to do the Next Right Thing and see where it takes me.

ChinCactus 17th March 2016 03:21


SonWon 17th March 2016 22:26

Following too!

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