January 29, 2011

I've Waited Long Enough!

For those of you who've followed my blog, Thank you from the bottom of my heart!  I'm a much better talker than writer as you can imagine from the nickname.  But anyway, I've been blessed since early on in life to have enjoyed riding all types of bikes. The great ones, the ugly ones, the necessity ones ( no job, limited income) and some pretty cool ones.  And probably, just like many other riders I've run across a bike or two that has just caught my eye.  You know, that super-clean, awsome looking, gota have bike.  Such was the case at Alice's Restaurant one bright sunny morning back in 1979.  A bunch of us had met up at 4-corners in Woodside as we normally did almost every weekend, parked our bikes and commenced partying.  Yea we did the typical seventies stuff, drank some, burnt some, BS'ed some, whatever.  Anyway while coughing one lung out (after a really good you-know-what) a really clean looking Honda pulls in and parks across the street.  Now I knew my bike models pretty good back then and this one I hadn't seen before.  Two tone blue, kinda raked on the front end, four into four pipes, good looking two step seat.  Nice ride!  So like a pot-head to a potatoe chip bag, I went over to investigate.  Turns out to be a brand spanking new Honda CB900 custom.  I think it had like 23 miles on it.   It looked like this one in the photo.

Man that was a nice looking bike!  Well, in as much as five minutes there was a crowd around this fella, talking and looking and questioning.  Mr. "Popular new bike guy" then proceeded to cop an attitude which I didn't care much for at all and besides I needed my roachclips so it was a good time to split before I open my big mouth.  But that damn bike has stuck in my mind ever since then.  I swore that I day I'd buy me one of those and take it off my "Bikes I Gotta Have" bucket list.  Well 31 years later, lady luck turned her friendly smile towards me.   Here, "New To Me" is the latest two wheeler of the Chigger collection.

It's an 82 and it's not blue but hey, for only costing me a few hundred dollars I think it'll be fun to ride.  Poor thing been sitting in a dude's garage for about four years.  He said he started it twice then the battery died about two years ago and he hadn't messed with it since.  He just wanted it out of the garage-period.  I had taken one of our son's with me down to see the bike so we pushed the bike out in his driveway, (Brakes were all but seized up) grabbed some jumper cables hit the starter twice and she fired up.  We could tell she was running on the #1 & 4 cylinders and 2 & 3 weren't firing.  Shut it down and gas poured out the overflows on the carbs.  So you know how I played up that situation to the seller.  We told him, " This bike is only gona be good for parts, there's no way this will ever run" .  And on and on we went till the poor fellow grabbed the couple of hundreds I had in my hand and said, "Here, let me help you guys load it up in your truck".  That we did and away we went.  My son's still trying to figure out how all that went down.
I just keep telling him, "Son, when you get fifty plus years on this earth someday, you'll understand how old men deal with situations like that one.  Until then just be quiet, watch and listen.  You'll learn a thing or two from us old farts, I guarantee it.  So I've got my work cut out for me on this little jewel but I've always enjoyed bringing old neglected things back into their prime.  The Ms.says it's too bad the same can't be done for me-Ha!
Have a blessed day my friends!

January 27, 2011

A Fond Farewell To the Cypress 86er

It's with a bit of sadness and a bit of relief that I bid farewell to the Cypress 86er. A nickname given to a misused and abused 1986 Kawasaki VII Voyager.

After many hours of work on her I found out late one evening that she had indeed been crashed at probably a high rate of speed. You see I had a front tire that wore out in what one would call a bacon strip pattern
Weirdest thing I'd ever seen! The entire rest of the tire was in perfect condition except for a strip about an inch wide just off to right of the center of the tire. Of course I forumed the guys at several voyager sites and final get an answer as to what to look at. They mentioned air pressure, brake drag, wheel bearings, tire type and on and on. But those turned out to be okay. One last forum posting mentioned check the fork length and the triple clamps. Bingo! There it was hidden behind all that fairing crapp. The triple clamps looked as though they'ed been welded on and the forks lengths weren't the same at all. That made for a few days of, "How stupid could I have been" and "Dammit, what am I gona do now" thoughts. In the end I found a fellow who wanted the bike regardless of it's condition because he was gona strip it down to the frame and rebuild it. All in all I can say me and the Ms. enjoyed the heck out of riding the Cypress 86er and will probably find another voyager to buy someday.

See Ya Old Pal!