Philosophy and Motorcycles

Philosophy and motorcycles are two of my favorite things in life. This blog will be bits of wisdom gleaned from a misspent youth and an adventurous dotage. People who like/love wisdom or motorcycles, classic or modern versions of either, are welcome to visit and comment.

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Location: Wisconsin, United States

I have been married to the same lovely woman for decades. We have one son, two cats, and live in rural Wisconsin, USA. I ride and rebuild motorcycles, and I am semi-retired. Favorite bikes are Yamaha XS650, FJ1200 and Ducati 900SS. My wife is a home care nurse. I am a Myers-Briggs INTP. She is ESFJ. Our son works at the Apple store in downtown SF and is teaching English as a second language in San Francisco, no grandchildren.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

April at last. Cooler than predicted but tolerable. It was a strange week in the shop. First I have a Gold Wing that needs a final drive. It started with not having the male spline section that attaches to the cush drive on the wheel. By the time the guy got one of those and I picked it up I realized that I also had the wrong final drive. The one I had has bigger bolts than the original. If it was the last one in the world I would have drilled out the holes in the swing arm but it isn't. Called owner. He went online and found a correct final drive. All this time I have a Gold Wing spread over a good portion of the shop. New final drive arrived. I went and picked it up. It fit and I thought I would be done but the right shock bolt would not go in. Removed the final drive to find that whoever took it off broke off the shock bolt in the casting. Steel bolt in aluminum casting. Bolt stub was broken at an angle so I couldn't get a drill to start even if an easy-out would have done the job. My experience with such problems mostly involves having a broken easy-out stuck in the hole. I took it back to the owner. He will search for another final drive. At least I'm not burning my own money for parts that are wrong or damaged. Meanwhile I sold a Yamaha XS650 to a young man. Nice old bike. Runs like a top. I drove it and it was fine. He drove it and it was fine. Next day he drove it on a longer trip and it leaked oil badly. I trailered it to my shop and checked it. Then I took it to the car wash and cleaned the bottom of the engine so I could hopefully see where the oil was leaking. It didn't leak. I drove it another 10 miles, still no leak. I loaded it and took it back. The next day he called and said that when he went for a short trip it didn't leak. When he went for a longer trip it leaked a lot again. Rather than fiddle with it when I know he wants the bike back to use for the upcoming weekend I just changed engines. He drove it and it was fine. The next day he called to report that the right muffler had fallen off. I have no idea how a muffler can just fall off. It had aftermarket mufflers on the original headers. I went to his place and sure enough the right muffler was missing. I don't know how he lost a muffler but since he has only had the bike a few days I felt obligated to do something. I replaced the exhaust with a much better system. Now I've got a leaking engine, an empty chassis and a pair of headers with one muffler. At least the customer is happy now. It was a strange week. Although it was chilly today I went for a 114 mile ride on the FJ1200 down river. It's the first time I've been down river this season. A lot of sand remains on the back roads. I took it easy. It was a pleasant ride. I made supper and watched Salt, the movie. Fairly well done. It always bothers me when a well trained slender woman is able to defeat a dozen well trained large men but that's Hollyweird. Until the parts for the wing arrive I will work on the chopper I'm building. I'm not a chopper fan but a lot of people still like them and I hope it will sell. I have more time than money in it so I can't lose a lot. And that is the story of my week. I continue to educate and entertain myself listening to books on CD in the shop. It is amazing what a man can learn just listening. There are a lot of educational materials in public domain. I have the entire National Geographic magazine from issue one through 2004 on CD. If I use my Mac to run the discs I don't need to read the text. I don't get to look at the pictures unless I step out of the inner sanctum. I keep the Mac where there is no dust or chance of it getting hit by a flying wrench. It has taken practice to get used to the computer voice but I'm now familiar enough with it that I understand almost everything.

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