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  #881  
Old 1 Week Ago
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Winter Blues


One of my favorite coffee cups says WINTER SUCKS in bold letters. Today is the kind of day it was made for. The sky is dark grey the temp is hovering close to the freezing mark and weíve been getting very light snow showers off and on all day long. I have no plans to go anywhere today, but I still feel trapped.

Iíve been doing things like looking at 1/4Ē vinyl tubing and soft jaws for my vise on fleaBay and Amazon. Iím not buying; Iím just looking. Thereís nothing worth watching on the idiot box and I donít feel like watching a movie; though I probably will, later on. Iím going to fix a BLT and Knorr Teriyaki Noodles for dinner, but that wonít be for a while.

I made the Pulled Chicken last night. Actually; the Crock Pot did. I just mixed up the ingredients and turned the crock pot on at 10:30 PM. When I got up at 6:30, it was done. Just as I predicted; I had a Pulled Chicken sandwich for breakfast. It was quite tasty. The rest of the chicken got measured out and put in little containers and stacked in the freezer. I have enough frozen items to have dinner for well beyond the next month.

Iím drinking a cup of Kenya Grand Cru coffee. Itís a light roast that tastes pretty good. I can get 12 Oz. bags of whole beans of it from Whole Foods. It used to come in 1 pound bags, but now, even the whole bean marketers have succumbed to the ďGive Less and Charge MoreĒ school of business that the whole coffee industry had fallen into.

I remember when coffee used to come in 1 Pound cans. Then, the size shrank to 13 ounces. I just bought a can of Haxwell Mouse Columbian and it has shrunk to 10 ounces. Like the Toilet paper Super Mega Ultra Rolls that say theyíre 4x as much as a regular sized roll, I expect coffee will come in Super Sized 16 Oz cans soon. Maybe theyíll even come with a key so that you can open the can without an opener and use the lid to seal the grounds back up to keep the grounds fresh.

Maybe Iím just an oddball; but Iíd much prefer the quantity stay the same and let the price go up proportionally. I really get tired of getting scammed. ďWell; youíre only paying 25% more for 33% less!Ē If itís going to cost me 20 bucks for a pound of good coffee; thatís fine. I can make the adjustment. 15 bucks for 12 ounces just annoys me and shows me that Iím being conned. I feel like that Abbot and Costello routine, ďHey; give me two tens for a five.Ē Itís like tossing a coin; Heads I win; Tails, you lose.

Then again; that attitude seems to have pervaded everything, from coffee and toilet paper to news reporting (especially) and politics. Weíve had two snow falls this past week The local weather forecasts have hyped the living dickens out of the ďMajor Winter StormsĒ. Yesterdayís storm left maybe an inch of snow on the ground before it turned to rain and washed it all away.

I wish I could get things wrong as often and make as much money as the local ďMeteorologistsĒ. Like that would ever happen. Who would want to watch an old, fat, crusty geezer who calls it the way he sees it, instead of a buxom blonde who says exciting things from a script?

Well; tomorrow, supposedly; the sun will come out and the temps will get as high as, maybe, 40ļ F and Saturday, itís supposed to climb all the way to the high 40s; maybe even 50! I guess Iíll be able to put a few more miles on the Express. That should improve my mood.
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  #882  
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John, 6 inches of wet heavy snow up here. Took me forever to move it and am exhausted. Did feel good to get outside in fresh air.
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  #883  
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Bike looks great!

Has to be satisfying.

I appreciate the going back to carb-fuel injection is great but the electricalness of it leaves me
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'81 Andrews "Y" cams, K. Black 9-1 pistons
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  #884  
Old 6 Days Ago
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It Was A Bargain!!!

Today, I blew my budget and I donít regret it. Actually, I started a spending spree yesterday. I was at Wally World and I was going to buy two pairs of curtains for the bedroom. Instead of two pairs, I bought four. I was afraid that if I waited until next month, theyíd sell out. Iíve had that happen to me in the past. So I bought the four pairs and put them on the plastic. I figured that I could pay half now, and pay the other half next month.

Then, when I got home and looked at my e-mail, Iron Pony Motorsports in Columbus sent me a letter saying that they had Kilimanjaro and Katmandu Jackets for $138.99. I got fired up when I read that and called them. I guess theyíre Blems or something, but they usually sell for $499.95. I asked if this was an Internet only kind of deal, or were they in stock and the guy on the phone told me that they had them in the store. So I called David and talked him into driving up to Columbus today.

It snowed a little bit last night. Not much, maybe 2 inches; but it was enough to make the streets messy. Anyhow; we went up to Westerville (a suburb of Columbus) and spent about an hour and a half at Iron Pony.

Now, Iron Pony Motorsports is a motorcyclistís dream of a shop. Itís huge! I think it used to be a K Mart; but now itís filled with motorcycles and all kinds of accessories. They sell something like 7 different brands of bikes - Indian, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, Triumph and Can Am three wheelers and they have thousands of different gear items from incredibly cheap to top of the line expensive. You can get cheap Chineseum jackets for $38.00 or you can buy Klim jackets and pants for over $700.00 each and hundreds of others in between. I looked at both Firstgear jackets and grabbed a Kilimanjaro. Tried it on to make sure it fit and that was all I needed. It went into the shopping cart. (A motorcycle accessory shop that has shopping carts!) Then, we went over to the boot section and I tried on a bunch of different boots to see which fit best. I wasnít buying today, but I wanted to note which ones to come back for when I get my Income Tax return. I tried on boots from Milwaukee Leather, Firstgear, Noru, Alpinestar and Tourmaster. I finally picked a pair that felt best from Noru. David took a picture of the label on the box, so Iíll know which boots to go after when I go back. I also grabbed a couple of packs of socks that were two pairs for $4.95. I got the jacket for $360.00 under MSRP.

We left Iron Pony at 1:30 PM and we hit a Mexican restaurant that was about a mile away and struck gold once again. The food was really good. I got a Colorado Burrito that was very flavorful and David had a Fajita that he liked. The salsa that came with the chips was extremely tasty. It wasnít hot, but it had a wonderful flavor. Iíll be eating there again. Maybe Iíll try to organize a Meet&Eat there when the weather gets warmer. Have a really good lunch, then hit Iron Pony so that people who havenít been there can see what itís like to visit Candyland.

The ride home was pretty uneventful, with the exception of finding gas at only $2.99/Gallon at a Sheetz near Washington Court House. I got a cup of good coffee there and drank it as we drove back to Cincinnati.

It was a great way to spend a grey winter day when the temperature stayed well below freezing. And I have a new jacket that Iíll be wearing to the Arctic!
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  #885  
Old 2 Days Ago
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I Was Feeling Restless


So I brought a load of laundry downstairs this morning. It needed washing; I threw it in the washer with some detergent and started it going. However, the 78 is on the lift and itís right at the bottom of the stairs. Itís hard to ignore a bike when itís right in front of you. I had noticed that the docking hardware for a detachable windshield was on the fork tubes and the little bent wire ďguideĒ for the clutch cable was on one. I know that the wire is supposed to go under the head of one of the ďEyebrowĒ bolts, so I decided to relocate it; which took all of 10 minutes. but that got me looking at the 78 again.

It really is a pretty bike. Itís had a rough life; I can tell by the number of Jury Rigged parts. The clutch is in sad shape; it needs all new plates and new springs. The bike itself needs all new cables - throttle, clutch, rear brake, speedo and tach. The generator isnít generating, so it will have to back to Cycle Electric and get sorted. Iím going to have to hit a Swap Meet or two and find an aluminum front rim and a Superglide gas tank. I donít know what shape the engine is in; but considering how the rest of the bike has been, itíll probably need to be rebuilt. Fortunately, I know a really good Iron Motor mechanic.

Once the bike is sorted out mechanically, Iíll have to work on the cosmetics. Once again, I know somebody who really excels at body work. I donít know if heíll want to work on the tank & fenders, though. He does motorcycle stuff as a sideline. Heís done some phenomenal work for me on the Roadster, Cussedíem and especially, the Gentlemanís Express; but I think thatís because he likes helping me out. Heís not getting rich on what he charged me. But he likes a challenge; so he might want to see an old Iron Motor come back to life.

All of this is going to be a ways into the future. Iím pretty focused on going to the Arctic in June. After that, there are many other things that I will need to focus on; like the house. I want to turn the bedroom back to two rooms. I also want to rebuild the bathroom. I want to get rid of the bathtub and put a shower in its place. I also want to have the trees on the property cut down. I especially hate the two trees that are in front of the house between the sidewalk and the street. And I really want to replace the ugly, dirty looking carpeting in the living room, dining room and bedroom. That will have to wait until after the bedroom and bathroom projects are done. And donít forget the paint! Iíll have to paint the rooms after the work is done. I guess, like everything else, the price of paint has gone through the roof.

But maybe, while Iím doing all of the above projects, I could buy a cable or some clutch parts and store them until I have enough to start doing things for the 78. Kind of like the seat I got for it last year. I scored a brand new, never installed stock seat for a very reasonable price. Itís downstairs, just waiting for when the 78 is ready for Prime Time. I have a not so perfect seat on the bike, right now. Itís in good shape; but the other seat looks better than any other that Iíve seen.

There are many other things that the 78 is going to need, but those will get addressed as the build happens.

Little by little, though; the projects are getting accomplished and things are looking brighter. Step by step and inch by inch.
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  #886  
Old 2 Days Ago
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Arctic in June, I was in George River on a 16 of June and it snowed.
Better middle of July.
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  #887  
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Pirelli And Shinko


Iíve been looking at tires for my upcoming ride to the Arctic. I was leaning pretty strongly toward getting a set of Shinko 705s, but I donít know how long theyíll last. Itís always a bad idea to start a long trip with unknown items. A new helmet that youíve never worn before can become a torture device within 200 miles. That would ruin a 2,000 mile ride without question. Untried tires would have me worrying for most of the ride after Tuk. Iíve been using Pirelli Scorpion Trail 2s for a few tire changes, now and I like them a lot. Iím just hoping that theyíll last for the whole ride. Iím pretty sure they will. I figure Iíll put a set on just before I head out. Iíll be riding mostly secondary roads, so they shouldnít wear as fast as if I was running really high speeds.

The big appeal of the Shinkos is that they cost $100 less than the Pirellis. Iíve been running Shinko 777s on the Cussedíem and they work well enough for me. Iíd like to try the 705s, but not on a 10,000 mile ride. I probably will try them after I get back.

Anyway; I just spent some time pricing a set of Pirellis and it really irritated me. I mount my own tires, so I look for the best prices. The three big internet suppliers that I use-Dennis Kirk, J&P Cycles and American Moto Tire all want the exact same price. $179.92 for the front and $211.21 for the rear. Revzilla and Cycle Gear want three bucks more for the front and four bucks more for the rear. The Visor Shop in Northern Ireland has great prices for the tires $124.58 and $156.51, but they want $143.33 for shipping, which has me walking bowlegged.

I just feel like Iím getting the shaft when I have to deal with fixed pricing. I thought price fixing was illegal; but it obviously isnít.

Iím pretty sure Iíll be trying those Shinko 705s after the trip. I think Pirelli has gotten a bit too greedy. Not as greedy as Michelin, but still more than I care for. I just wish I didnít like their tires as much as I do. Then again; maybe Iíll fall in love with the Shinkos. I really like the 777s on the Cussedíem. A lot more than the Michelin Commanders or the Conti Tours that preceded them on the Roadster. I hated the Dunlop American Elites that I put on when I hit the road back in 2015. They were a Royal Pain to put on and I didnít like the way they felt in the rain. They also didnít last as long as I had expected.

The thing about tires is that so many people have different experiences with them. I went to the ADV Riders Forum and asked folks about the 705s One guy got over 10,000 miles out of his and another guy was getting 5,000 out of his. Most of the replies were between those two. Everybody seemed to like the tires, though; whatever mileage they got. My problem is two fold. One; none of the bikes were Sportsters and Two; everybody has different riding styles. I remember when I was running Metzelers on my FLHS. I consistently got 1,000 more miles out of a set than another guy who I knew that also rode an FLHS.

Then again; for every tire that I donít like, there are people who love them, and for every tire that I really love, there are folks who hate them. I guess thatís why tire threads on forums get so heated.

Maybe I should talk about oil, next. Thatíll get everybody either calling me a genius or an idiot. For what itís worth; Iíll be using Harley oil in my Sportster.

Now; I think Iíll go fix my dinner.
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  #888  
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John, F.W.I.W. I’m on my third set of the Elites and have averaged near 20,000 on each one. Also, I probably ride in more rain than nearly another rider out there, I’m saying 6-12 hours of wet at times, and additionally tire pressure will play a role in wet performance. Dropping a couple pounds can have a serious affect on wet performance. Again, when you hit the road for a loooong run you will be heavier loaded which will cut your mileage down some more. I’ve heard a lot of great reviews on Shinkos and almost everyone reported lower mileages. If your Pirellis are good for you then get them, you’re worth it. Oh, and recent tire pricing becoming same-o, same-o May be because the suppliers you referenced all get their tires from a big centralized warehouse I think located in Kentucky. Hope this helps you.
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