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  #691  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Food at the Millstone is reasonably good, but I'm not a "Foodie", so what do I know? If I can get it past my nose, I'll most likely enjoy it. I'd not been to Ash Cave before, so was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be handicap accessible. Not that bad off just yet, but my knees & back really don't like rough terrain. Glad Joe suggested it. Thanks. Old Man's Cave is a bit tougher to get to, but I walked back there a few years ago. Probly won't happen again, tho. Great day for a meet-n-eat.
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  #692  
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Glad you liked the hocking hills area. I am only about 20 mins from that area. I ride over there often.


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  #693  
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Why A Sportster?


Iíve been sitting here, this morning, thinking about my choice in bikes. There are many bikes out there that are superior to Sportsters in many aspects. Some are bigger; some are faster; some handle better. For my trip to the Arctic, there are many ďAdventureĒ bikes that would be more appropriate. Also, out of three Sportster engines, two had crankshafts that went bad and I didnít mistreat them. Hell; I donít think I ever hit redline with the engine in the 16. I tour on my Sportsters. I donít baby them, but I donít beat them, either.

So why do I keep riding them?

I originally got a Sportster when I hit the road for a couple of reasons. First, because when I was traveling on a Moto Guzzi, back in 79, a U-joint went bad. In 20 minutes, I had the old broken one out and in my hand, when David Kaelin told me nobody in the state of Minnesota had one. My bike got trailered to a shop in Minneapolis and I took a Greyhound bus back to Louisville, Kentucky so I could go back to work on time. I decided that I wanted a bike that had a large dealer network and readily available parts.

The other main reason I got one was that Bill (my friend who unexpectedly died in his sleep) was a die hard Sportster lover. We had been planning a trip across the country on Ironheads when he died. I hit the road as a tribute ride to him.

There are more reasons than that, though. Sportsters are an addictive motorcycle They have a feel that nothing else can match. They also are designed for very easy maintenance. Thatís a big plus when youíre changing your oil in a Walmart parking lot. Sportsters are also the ultimate raw material bike. Itís the easiest bike out there to personalize. There are more different accessories for them than any other motorcycle made.

In spite of the two bad cranks Iíve experienced, I think the basic engine is sound. When the MoFoCo came up with the rubber mount Sportsters, they let the bean counters have too much input into the design and the cheapened aspect of manufacturing hurt the reliability of the product. Thatís why Iím spending big money with Dark Horse. Iíll have a bottom end in my engine that will hopefully still be running when archeologists find the bike in the next millennium.

As I said, Sportsters are addictive. They are an extremely satisfying bike to own and ride. I canít think of any other bike Iíd prefer to own. Both times, when the cranks died, I thought about getting something else. In 2016, I bought a beater Concours. I hated it. Last fall, when the engine started knocking, I thought about a variety of other bikes, then I called the shop and asked if they had a used Sportster for sale. (Thatís how I got the Cussedíem).

There is no other bike that is as satisfying to me. Itís not perfect; but it can be made into a bike that meets my idea of what a bike should be better than anything else.

Itís the right bike for me and it's the bike that Iím going to ride to the Arctic Ocean.
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  #694  
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And when you go to the Arctic, we hope to be following along!

I have been a Sportster rider for 40+ years. Before that I had a couple Bonneville's and Daytona's.

For years the Sportsters did double duty, touring and round town blasting. I'd change shocks and the seat and add a windshield for trips, then change it back when I got home.

Eventually I bought a RK for the long rides and the Sporty remains, sporty.

Both do what I need them to do. Never really considered anything else.
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  #695  
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Quote Of The Day



ďIt is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.Ē

― Theodore Roosevelt
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  #696  
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Nicely done John, thanks for the post.
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  #697  
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Spare The RodsÖ


Today marks exactly four months since I dropped my bottom end off at Dark Horse. If I had known that it was going to take this long to get the Carrillo Rods, I would have told Andrew to use the stock rods. He did try to talk me out of the Carrillos; saying that they would be overkill for my engine, but he also understood why I would want such beautiful parts in my engine.

Anyhow; Iíve been getting anxious as time has passed. I decided to call and if the delivery date for the rods was still in the nebulous future, I was going to forego the Carrillos and tell Andrew to just put the stock rods in. However, when I called he was happy because he was about to call me. My rods shipped out this morning and Dark Horse should have them this coming week. It will probably take another week after that to assemble, True, balance and weld the crank; then assemble my engine.

In two weeks, I should be putting the engine back into the Express and making it a functional motorcycle again. Then, Iíll just have to break it in. I donít know if thereíll be enough time to accomplish that before I head up to Taxachusetts, or if Iíll be riding the Cussedíem. Either bike can handle the trip comfortably.

*********************************************


I wrote the above yesterday afternoon. Iím still fighting writerís block; my mind stopped at that point, so Iím hoping to pick up from there this morning.

August is going to be a busy month. Between (hopefully) breaking in the engine in the Express, Riding up to Mass., back to Cheviot, over to West Virginia for the WVBR, then back up to Mass followed by a return to Cheviot then over to the Springfield Miles on Labor Day weekend, I should put enough miles on to satisfy the Tramp part of my personality.

Iíll also be going through a lot of oil. I believe in frequent oil changes for a new engine. I have a few filters stocked up, so Iíll just need to buy enough oil. The way prices are going up, thatís going to be expensive. For that matter, Iím looking at almost 5,000 miles in my travels. Thatís going to be pretty costly, as well. Premium is running close to $6.00 a gallon. Just between gas and oil, Iím looking at almost a Grand. Add in other expenses and I may just have to rethink the whole thing. The good news is that after Labor Day, Iíll be back to keeping a Low Profile. I guess Iíd better sit down with my calculator and do some serious figuring and maybe some corner cutting. I know that I can do it, I just have to put a little more thought into the details.

Well; itís July 4th weekend. I think Iíll call Wassler Meats and order a Rib Eye. I have a few rockets to light off for the Fourth. Maybe I should fix something like burgers and dogs, but I really have a thing for Rib Eye steaks. I have a watermelon for dessert. I have a couple of ears of corn, as well. Rib Eye, Corn on the cob, Asparagus and Watermelon for dinner, followed by a few hundred little rockets, whistling and popping. A good way to celebrate the USAís Birthday, I think.

I hope you all have a great weekend, as well!
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  #698  
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Very happy your engine is finally coming together John!
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