Saturday, July 11, 2009

rolling into the hills!

Well that little trot across town two weeks back is technically the first real ride but today I actually reached into the hills for my first OFFICIAL ride up to the Wall, an East Bay motorcyclist's stopping point with a panoramic view reaching over the UC Berkeley campus, Oakland, the bay, the Golden Gate, and some clear days you can even make out the Farallon Islands where great white sharks still roam...oh and San Francisco. Claremont Ave->Tunnel Road->Grizzly Peak->The Wall.

A few other gents up there waxing on about the state of MotoGP and it was fun hearing people talking about bikes. It was flattering to have a few questions and compliments about my 'tracker. That's a Ducati Hypermotard right behind mine:

What did I learn? Well, my forks are in dire need of a rebuild. They have a harsh clunk sensation, probably from being hammered to death by the 1989 CR-500 where the Showas originated. Looks like there might be a little oil dribble forming right on the threshold of the carb intake insulator...not sure where it would be coming from. Bike makes a ripe oil smell when I'm parked at a light; I think that's outgassing from the crank case breather which no longer recirculates through the air intake. I also should remember to tighten some bolts around the tail light so that my lights aren't wagging around shamefully.

I improvised a speedo with one of Sarah's old cycling computers (programmable circumference). Max speed hit was around 50mph indicated. Felt pretty good. This bike is gonna be all kinds of fun once it's dialed!

...I'm going to build a new seatpan/rear fender with more clearance, and better attachment of the plate/lights. bang it out quick now that I know what to do!


  1. Congratulations on the ride! I know what it feels like to go for a shake down....I've had stuff literally shake of the bike! Anything that is not torqued properly will vibrate off!!! Sorry about the tach...I ended up installing a trail tech speedo on mine.

  2. yes the trailtech seems like an appropriately minimal instrument for your bike's design, i like it a lot.

    funny thing, my kickstart lever bolt had vibrated off and was wedged into my footpeg when I got home the other day. I first noticed the bolt not knowing where it came from and thought it might have been a spare I dropped or something. I then went to kick the engine over and the lever jumped off the shaft! luckily I didn't bugger the splines.

    Seems I'm always wearing the "Dunce" cap in my garage :)