Sunday, December 6, 2015

December in the Desert

Nice to be down in the sunny Southwest again!
We have been busy cleaning up our lot / vehicles / trailers , etc.
Darian is in the process of planting new flowers around the property.
Drove into just enough foul weather coming South to make a mess of everything.
Lots of nasty black "road grime" from wet, snow melting highway sections.

right after arriving, a pretty cool old V1000 Convert (Auto Transmission) Moto Guzzi showed up on Craigslist. The bike was only a couple blocks away. A friend of mine here also saw the bike and "beat me to it" on a purchase. The seller was asking $1500.00, my friend picked it up for $900.00 which was a pretty good deal.
I went over with my trailer to haul it home for him. The bike has good possibilities, as long it is mechanically sound...that has yet to be determined. He got the bike running, but it needs some more fine tuning.
               (click on images to enlarge")

 The bike appears to be in pretty cood condition, showing 14k miles on the odometer. Not sure if the mileage is accurate. Looking at the foot pegs, foot boards, they show very little wear, if any at all.
 The proud new owner of the Guzzi:

The old Honda Gold Wing has been dormant since last March due to a non-functioning headlight and "sticky" front brake calipers. After some other tasks around here I decided to try to figure out the lighting glitch. Luckily, I have a friend next door who happens to be a pretty good electrical "wiz". After some checking of the systems we figured out that the "backup lighting system" had a malfunction present. The early Honda Gold Wings had a back up system which would some how overcome burned out bulbs by redirecting power through alternate light filaments. (I think?). Any way we found headlight power going into the "box" but none coming out. We simply bypassed the "box" and all systems work as they should.
The front brake calipers were slated to be rebuilt, but I removed the calipers from the rotors, extended them further than their normal travel a few times, rotated the pistons in the bores, and the "sticky" calipers now work as they should. I will change out the brake fluid and run them another Winter season as is.

Decided to take a quick 200 mile loop the other day. The ride was pretty cold up through Quartsite AZ / Blythe CA. then some back roads back to Yuma. The old bike ran / braked flawlessly and got over 40 mpg as usual.

I spied a pretty cool old "Califia" after market Gold Wing seat on EBay the other day. I do like the aftermarket seat now on the bike, but the padding feels a bit thin after 200 miles or so. The seat was listed starting at $100.00 a few weeks bidders. It was re-listed last week starting at $60.00. I decided to "go for it" and won the second auction for $102.50. Not too bad a price for a nice (rare) seat.:

     Seat on a similar (1976) gold Wing:
Hopefully the seat will be a bit more comfortable. If I don't like it, it should bring back the purchase price (or more) without any problem.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Winter is getting closer

Getting much colder here in Montana. We planned on heading towards Arizona today but a snow storm hit last night and snowed here most of the day.
MT. DOT cam near Reed Point MT. at mid morning. Didn't look too bad.

DOT Cam on Bozeman Pass looked a bit worse:

Tomorrows forecast looks much better with some sun, but still pretty cold.

Woke up to very cold 0* wind  chills in Billings....RV water system froze up. Had to fill with Propane prior to hitting the road. Ran into intermittent ice on some sections of I-90 but not too bad. Drove 8 hours to near Blackfoot Idaho where we parked in a truck stop lot for the night.
Next day we decided to make it a short drive and went only 200 miles to Jackpot NV. Parked in the RV Park there. Got the RV water system back into action.
Next day we drove 400 miles to Ash Springs NV. to a small RV Park. We are now below the forecast winter weather which is approaching the North. Supposed to hit 60* here today.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Original Paint 1970 R75/5 Fenders

I typically check for EBay listings for "Airheads" every evening on the lookout for good buys and vintage parts.
These original paint 1970 R75/5 fenders appeared last night from a Texas seller for $45.00 each & "free" Shipping. Not really in the market for a set of fenders but I just couldn't help myself since the paint / pinstripes were OEM vintage....and the decent low price & Free Shipping tipped the scales for me.

If I ever want to return my 1970 /5 back to an original paint scheme I'll have some original paint parts....or I can fit them to my sidecar rig if wanted......Or if I want to mount the black Heinrich Tank permanently to the /5 bike I'll have original black fenders to match.
 Of course a photo examination never does an item true justice so I hope they are in fair condition. My previous experience with old BMW OEM painted fenders has been pretty good, so I hope these will clean up / shine up. I can see a number of scratches in the fenders, but hopefully a bit of touch up paint will disguise the flaws enough for use and retain the patina of the old paint.
A few years ago I sold a pair of the same fenders to a guy in Italy....he wanted them real bad and paid me over $300.00 for the "original paint / striped" pair.

Service time is coming up when we get to Arizona next month so I also bought a box of 5 filters the other day. Ended up paying about $80.00 for the 5 filters (including shipping) so was not too bad a deal. I see them offered for $17.00 - $19.00 each + shipping for the hinged filters I have to use. So $80.00 for the 5 was a decent deal.

Sadly I never had time to repair my Honda Goldwing headlight this Summer so the bike was not ridden all Summer....headlight functioned when we left AZ, but did not work when we got to MT. I've religiously started the bike up every couple of weeks and ran it up to operating temperatures so have kept fuel circulating.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Beartooth Pass - Cooke City - Ready...Aim...Don't Fire

We decided to take a little trip a few weekends ago. We've been over the Beartooth Pass hundreds of times, but never on the sidecar. Ended up a perfect weekend for the ride. We decided to forgo camping this time, instead reserving a cabin in Cooke City MT. We used to camp at Soda Butte Campground in the past but a few years ago a tent camper was killed / consumed by a Grizzly Bear at the more tent camping allowed.
We arrived in Red Lodge MT. just in time for the "Festival of Nations" Parade. We became part of the parade for a few minutes.

                                          (left click on photos to enlarge)

MT. Highway 212 was in pretty good shape, some new sections. LOTS of bikes on the road .

We stopped for a minute at the Vista Point overlook for a few minutes. Talked with some other riders. The sidecar always brings out folks curiosities.

One of the lakes near the summit....I've seen people fishing in some of them over the years. Unfortunately some tourists don't realize most of these small clear lakes freeze solid in the Winter so no fish inhabit them.

The lower lake in the photo is "Beartooth Lake"...lots of fish there.

Darian at Beartooth Lake. A couple on a Harley stopped to visit for a while.

They lived in the virgin Islands....had their bike stored in Michigan or somewhere. He turned 100,000 miles on the Harley the day before.

Fat (or pregnant?) rodent looking for handouts....

Pilot / Index Peaks "peeking" over the horizon.

Waterfall.....Darian got the Airhead Flag in there too....Good Job!

Dropping down into the valley.

Cooke City Traffic Control.....they were having a street dance so simply threw up two of these signs and took over Highway 212....a local cowboy, dressed in in had, was the traffic "flagman"...

Music went on til all hours of the night.

The next morning we headed over to the Chief Joseph / Sunlight Basin Highway for our return trip home.

A wonderful route!

I always keep my eyes on the road. I thought I saw a gun on the pavement shoulder in a "blind" corner....did a u-turn and returned and sure enough there was a Ruger .380 was laying on the road, the detached / loaded clip a few feet away. Being a blind corner I snatched the gun up (first making sure the chamber was clear) and got down the road. At our next stop I looked it over. Minor "road rash" but nothing serious. Many bikes on the road so it likely fell from someones jacket pocket.(?)

    My "new" Ruger .380...for a few hours anyway....:

My initial thought...."I got a new gun", never being in the position before....... But then I got to thinking....what if the weapon was stolen....what if it was used in a crime.....what if the owner reports it stolen.....what if...what if...
I'm used to finding tools, misc. other items on the road, but a gun?....that is a totally different thing.
We weren't going into Cody, where the Park County Law Enforcement is located, and of course never saw a cop on the road. I took the gun home with me. Company Business took me back into Wyoming the next day, so I called the Park County Sheriffs Office and turned the gun over to them in Cody Wyoming. Today I received an e-mail from the Sheriff and the rightful owner reported the weapon as lost, and he picked it up at the Sheriffs Office. Hopefully he will be a bit more careful in the future with his gun. (I'm sure he will!)

I have had thoughts about finding something like this in the past, but in reality, finding / keeping a weapon is a violation....and likely a Felony. I've made it to nearly 60 years old without "going astray" with the law...not gonna start

We made it home safe and sound and really enjoyed the 260 mile ride. I went over the same route a few weeks ago on the solo R75/5. I never grow tired of this ride!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Hacks at the Billings MT. MOA Rally

Wandered around a few times and photographed a few of the Rigs / other bikes present.


"Boxer Metal" tank badge.


Thought there was a dead animal in the chair...guess I was right....







Not a "Hack" but interesting.....Matt Parkhouse's "Eco Friendly" Electric Toaster


I seem to run across this Rig / Rider every couple of years around the Western US


Obviously a "pooch" hauler....


Kayaking anyone?


My rig:



a small fraction of the bikes in attendance:


This R80ST Was very nice.


Another clean solo bike which caught my attention


and another:


Michelin sold a lot of rubber.


Grass camping space was at a premium & crowded...this area was right along a major road...had to be noisy. I think a lot of folks were in motels. Final attendance was around 6000 I heard.


I returned for the closing ceremonies hoping to win a door prize or something....of course I left empty handed. There were a lot of European Bike Touring prizes.....when you think about it, I would likely pass....."Air Fare Not Included".....Prize for one person...would end up costing thousands out of pocket for your "Prize"...

Sunday, May 10, 2015


Happy Mothers Day.....a I am a lucky man, blessed to have such a Wife and best friend.

Not so happy day....she don't like rid'in in snowstorms too much....

More at home in the desert.....

And she loves the ocean....

And the mountains...

After riding her own Airhead for many years she is now happiest reclining in the sidecar with a good book.

I think she is pretty "hot" with her "fuchsia" colored Toaster back in the day.

I Love her more than I can say.

Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.