The sponsors’ T-shirts turned out very nicely – if you would like one they are still available at 2nd and 3rd tier of sponsorship!
Time is rapidly running out to get ready for the trip west. Another new alternator in the Suburban, new brakes, new exhaust, the A/C recharged, etc. etfreakin’cetera. Next week we finish servicing the Suburban, do the trailer wheel bearings, and put in the cabinets and fuel jug racks.
Of course there are the obligatory rides around the block on the long bike. This helps me get used to riding a twelve foot long bike again and shows patent flaws before we get out west. Well, after replacing a bad thermocouple, all the systems worked well. With all the changes to the chassis I expected some differences, but not the terrifying wobble in slow speed bumpy corners I got. It was a lesson in elementary physics involving springs and levers. Moving the steering damper down increased the leverage the damper had on the frame bracket and the bracket was made of chrome moly steel which is pretty darned springy. This allowed some flex that was thrown back the other way by the resilience of the moly. You could look down through the fairing bracket and watch the wheel start to wobble. Turning up the damper only amplified the effect. The second trip around the block had the damper nearly off and then the “nimbleness” of the bike became apparent when making 12 lbs. of boost and clicking second gear allowed a car ahead to come back at an amazing speed. The new nose geometry allowed a nice lane change and then a turn into the driveway. At that point in time a reassessment was needed of the wobble.
Nick provided that when we went to examine the steering bearings and adjustment Tuesday, discovering the flexure in the bracket. We then boxed in the bracket, reset the bearings and this morning’s ride was actually fun. The bike turned in and you could feel a bit of chassis wind-up, but no wobbling. Traffic was heavier on the avenue and included an unmarked police car. I don’t know if he saw me or really cared, but gliding by at 35 mph with the clutch in didn’t get me any unwanted attention, so another turn in the driveway, shut it off and go inside quickly, get the gear off and no harm-no foul! The tank shelter added measure of comfort and stability to the riding position that was very welcome. Many years ago we tried to eliminate the tank as a push-off point on a Ducati roadracer, but would up going to a building supply store for foam, and lots of tape to correct that. As they say, those who ignore (or forget) history are doomed to repeat it. We need to tie in the left side of the platform as it is a bit wiggly, see the speed sensors data, reinforce a couple of areas in the tank shelter, and move on.
Today, we pour concrete in the spare cylinder heads for the fueler, check some data, and head to the hardware store for more stainless hardware.
Enjoy the photos of the newest steps.