25 June 2005

It's Alive!

Lightning struck, Igor recoiled in terror, I hit the starter, and the Road King came to life. Right away. No sputtering, no timing issues, no fuel injection nightmares. Everything was beautiful (thank you, Mr. Stevens - now play Misty for me).

And man do I feel better now that the two wheeled instrument of death is back on the road ... I'm sleeping again at night, I've cut down on the beatings I dole out to the wife, and the kids no longer hide under their beds when I come home at night. Open heart surgery on the chrome phallic symbol is bad enough, stripping the threads on the cam support plate simply pushed me over the edge.

120 inch pounds my bitter stinking ass.

Just a hint: the cam support plate allen screws, mainly the two located in the aligning dowels, will NOT support a torque of 120 inch lbs as specified in the damned HD manual. Furthermore, if I thought disemboweling the twin cam was unsettling drilling and tapping my cases pushed me right past clear thought and sanity. Not that I needed any help ...

When the allen head screw spun free and the aluminum threads on the first bolt of the torque sequence gave up something snapped. Something synaptical. Nothing mechanical. From that point on it was all downhill. I went through the basic stages of Apocalyptic Motorcycle Trauma. Much cussing, a great deal of cold beer, more cussing, analysis and advice from armchair mechanics, more beer, a late night of debauchery with an Original Goon, reassurance and tales of woe from old-school hoodlums, beer, harassment of locals, forcible expulsion from area establishments, a 4:30 am feline funeral, a hangover, a yuppie house party, skinny dipping, weirdness, violence, latent lesbianism, another hangover, and finally: acceptance.

Heli-Coil. Loc-Tite. Less torque. A vow to kick Willie G right where his nuts used to be. All is well.

The good news is I have little or no top end noise. No idea exactly why but I like it. Since I rode the bastard home new the twin cam motor has had more top end noise than a detroit diesel. Rattling, tapping, clinking death throes. 50K miles of that had me acclimated to the clatter. The only time I really noticed it anymore was when I'd pull the earplugs to exit I-70 for gas. That's when it seemed the valve train was about to come through the tank and emasculate me right on the Interstate To Nowhere. Other than that I was accustomed to my noisy motor.

Whether it's the new cam chain tensioners or the ThunderHeader's improved breathing capabilities my motor sounds like it should have when new. I pull up next to opposed Beemers and tell them, "Jesus, is that thing about to come undone?" I scoff at Goldwings. I consider the VTX a rattling death trap. Road Stars sound like open-primary Knuckles. The hum of a gixxer seems unsettling to me ... wait, it always did. But pride goeth before a fall. And as a friend mentioned the other day, "Yeah, they always sound best right before they take a big ol' shit." Thanks. That helps.

So the Japanese engineering will likely outlast my new cam chain tensioners. But it's nice to pull up to the light next to cat on the ACE and not read his thoughts through terrified stares: "Holy hell! Listen to that fucking thing! My salesman was right, those things are junk! I'm glad I got the Honda!"

Gimme another 20K miles. It'll be back to chattering death.

The cam chain tensioner replacement was over due. Witness the above picture. That's the old inboard tensioner on the right. New one on the left. I'm thinking that's what it looks like when they're about to come undone and have babies all over the cam compartment. Wouldn't that be fun? And it wouldn't have come undone on the way to the Frisco. No, it would have taken a shit in Assbag, NE. In a rainstorm. When I was gooned.

Preventive maintenance is so cool ...

Loc-Tite, used in moderation, is your friend.

Never-Sieze is as great a gift to mankind as penicillin.

Never sleep with a woman whose problems are worse than your own.

Whoops! Slipped into a philosophical soliloqouy. That won't happen again.

Road test today for the heli-coiled and thundered-up masterpiece. A lazy roundabout route to Sparks America for the weridness and nudity one can expect at Tony's place. Rumors abound concerning the death last Saturday. But all the witnesses and folks who were there (the only views that matter) I've talked to say the same thing, "Unfortunate, but the cat brought it on himself." Hey, people die. That's what happens. It's the logical conclusion to this whole "life" thing. We're all gonna die. The trick is to live in the meantime. If your version of 'living' includes better living through chemistry, mass quantities of tequila, and tempting fate by thugging up hoodlums then the clock runs faster for you.

Hopefully today we'll gather up some of that Bad News Jimmy action out of KS and head off for some beer-soaked hoodlumery in the expanses of central OK. With highs in the upper 90s hurrying to get to the campsite so we can stand around and sweat with the unwashed masses appeals to me very little. Six hours to cover 150 miles, that sounds about right for the way I like to relax. If I wanted to get there faster I'd have bought an airplane. Besides, we don't call it 'Iron Liver' because we get lots of rest and exercise ...

As a side note, now that the Road King from hell is off the lift the Lizard Glide cop bike has a spot. If you reading this from The Sandbox, Major Del Lagarto, rest assured your two-wheeled conveyance is currently on my lift. Bleeding nasty black fluid. Waiting breathlessly for the new synthetic oil. Loving the attention. Anticipating its new salmon and canary paint job ...

I wouldn't do that. Would I? I could ...

Vaya Con Dos Equis.


Blogger badnewsjimmy said...

Hey! Sparks was a good time! I had to sleep all day Monday just to recover. Glad you found me. I might have just stayed where I was and skipped the rally. Was tired of moving and needed more drinking.

You can come spray my bowl any old time.


6:32 AM  
Blogger Gymi said...

Glad to see you have your chopper up and runnin' again. It blows when your rig is laid up, you seem to see twice as many bikes on the road. Makes you miss it even more.


3:22 PM  
Blogger Mayes said...

Be sure to put a couple of baby chairs on each side of the Lizard Glide and change the license to abbreviate something along the lines of "future property of my next ex wife" ...if possible. Im just glad he's over there with a loaded weapon instead of here....I've seen how he can't see without his bottle-rim glasses....no telling what he's shooting at.

4:01 PM  
Blogger bayou_boy504 said...

"...a 4:30 am feline funeral, a hangover, a yuppie house party, skinny dipping, weirdness, violence, latent lesbianism, another hangover, and finally: acceptance."

All sound like great fun to me...

12:11 PM  

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