2012-03-30

Oldbike: A 20,000 Mile Rebirth


Over the last week things had been looking up with Oldbike.  I had been taking it for short rides through the neighborhood and down the road with longer and longer distances each time.  The idling issues were alleviated with a simple cleaning of the plugs and the battery is holding a charge without issue.  When I was out on one of my rides I had a close call, riding past a police cruiser. With these things in mind I decided it was time that I registered the bike to avoid any unfortunate encounters with the authorities.



 During the last week I had noticed some exhaust leaking from H-pipe joints, I decided that some of my sub-par welding might be in order.



I also decided that I would try to weld the header pipe, reducers and silencers together to avoid any exhaust leaks. 





Once again my results were not pretty but they seem to be functional, I will need to get a grinder to clean these up and to see if here are any holes hiding beneath the ugliness.  It should be said though that if you d weld your pipes up like this getting them back on the bike becomes a little more challenging and some "armstrong" power is required to  flex the headers around the frame down-tubes and also that you should take care to make a number of aligning marks with the exhaust system still on the bike if you don't you could end up never getting them back on the bike.

When I got the welding done I decided to take my newly registered bike out on the town.  It's a thrilling thing to take a bike that you took from a non-runner to a fully functioning bike again.  A thrill balanced out by the awareness that of all the things that you have fixed and addressed and the lack of doubt that you have in your own work.  Your ears listen to every little noise and you wait for the inevitable failure to strand you miles away from home.  But when the failure does not come and you are finally in the back in the garage the true feeling of accomplishment comes.



I couldn't think of a better place to go on my newly minted street ride than to visit a good friend with a project of his own in the works.



Though his is much more near and dear to his heart as he has owned it since new; a 1972 Kawasaki H2.  he's been having some issues with the clutch as of late.  If anybody knows whether or not the waviness on the clutch basket is normal or not post up a comment on here.


The ride was not without incident though with all the riding I was doing was the speedometer cable finally gave way. When I first pulled the forks from the triple trees I had forgotten that the speedo cable was attached and stretched it a bit.  While it held up for a while it was not to last and finally the inner flex shaft broke.

I went to a couple of the local shops and found a replacement cable and also picked up an oil filter for a fresh oil change and a pack of bulk UNI filter foam and air filter oil as I had identified earlier that the air filter foam needed replacing.



The bike's performance did not change much with the new filter but it is good to know that it is no longer a lingering issue.



I wanted to stop and buy some concert tickets at the Coliseum box office too and while en-route there I rolled the bike over it's 20,000 mile mark.

It felt good to see that happen, to take something that really would have been destined for the scrap heap, or potentially to sit in someone else's garage and collect dust and never run again and give it a new lease on life. 


The Coliseum box office was closed when I got there but that just means I have another reason to go out and ride Oldbike!

There's a lot more to be done with my project, so as always stay tuned and thanks for sharing a milestone with me today.

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