Wednesday, March 23, 2016

93* to 26* in one day.

On the road heading to Montana. We had 93* weather on Monday leaving AZ. Yesterday the temperatures quickly fell as we headed North with the low in the lower 20*'s. Encountered snow storms within 200 miles of Las Vegas. Attempted to make it to Wells, NV. but Mother Nature turned against us. Stopped just North of Ely NV. in a major blizzard....the snow came & went the remainder of the afternoon. We pulled off on a side road with a nice gravel pullout away from the main highway 93. We've "boon-docked" here in the past so I was watching for the turnout in the snow storm.
The two lane highway traffic was very heavy all day. We saw on idiot pass on a hill and the oncoming traffic had to run off the roads' edge to avoid a head -on collision, luckily he was paying attention. Another vehicle apparently attempted to pass in a sleet storm...hitting the windrow of heavy ice in the road, he shot off the pavement and into the ditch, ending up facing backwards in the sagebrush. Luckily he didn't roll or get tangled up with any other motorists.

We were happy to be parked as the weather turned for the worse. One other traveler was also parked in the same parking area.

The storm continued to rage until about sundown, then the sky lightened up and actually saw some sun breaks right before dark. Got pretty cold in the night, in the low 20's.

Today we'll depart when the ice melts off the car. We plan on traveling 300 - 400 miles today. Beautiful blue sky this morning.

Friday, March 18, 2016

GL1000 Auxiliary Fuel Tanks

A few years ago I recall seeing a pair of Gold Wing Auxiliary Saddle Tanks listed on a site for $100.00. Decided to see if I could find a pair so listed a "wanted" ad on a goldwing site. I had a couple replies. One guy had a New set but wanted $450.00 + shipping which I thought was way high.
Another bike shop owner contacted me and had a used pair for $250.00 which I thought was a good price....not a "steal" by any means but a reasonable price.

 They are aluminum, so I'll probably strip them down to bare finish and install them without painting. I think they'll look pretty good with their raw finish. will "polish" them lightly.

I had a single BMW "Luftmeister" tank a few years ago, but was missing the threaded cap. They had an odd thread and never did find a cap that would work. The old BMW tank had a few coats of paint, plus an "epoxy" type base paint....the epoxy base paint was a nightmare to remove. Hopefully the paint on these is not the same stuff. I think the "raw" appearance looks fine:

Fairly large tanks @ about 1 gallon each I was told. Not sure if I'll retain the emblems....we'll see how they look without.

Also found a "plumbing" schematic. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Eastern San Diego County Motorcycle Riding

I had planned a motorcycle ride over to visit friends in Oceanside CA. over the weekend but weather forecasts put a "damper" on my plan. 100% chance of rain for Oceanside on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Looking out my window Sat. morning, the bright sunshine was too much to take, a ride had to be accomplished! Even though the day was getting shorter I hit the road a bit after 11:00 AM. I had a possible route in mind and pretty much stuck to it.
(left click to enlarge photos)

I originally planned on riding my R75/5 BMW, but after checking weather forecasts of 40+ MPH winds, I decided to ride a slightly heavier bike, the GL1000 Gold Wing as it is quite a bit "friendlier" in high winds.
The first 80 miles going over were on the I-8 "slab" to make some time. Passing by El Centro CA. I saw that the annual Air Show was in progress. A group of five planes were performing acrobatics over the Air Station. A couple weeks ago I witnessed four of the Blue Angels practicing in the area:

Rising out of the desert north of Octotillo I exited the freeway onto "Old Highway 80". On the way up the grade I see "Radiator Water" barrels along the road.

The wind generators were spinning fast as the wind was howling here.

I got off the "super slab" ASAP and headed onto Old highway 80 which would take me to Highway 94.
At the top of the pass, an odd scene. "Wrights UFO Retrieval & Repair"

The view into the lower desert from the "Desert Tower" Parking lot.

The route follows along the U.S. / Mexico Border for much of the route. The border fence is an outstanding feature along the way. Looks like they missed a piece:

Old Rail Road Crossing:

 Getting onto "94" I spied a Taco Shop along the road at "Cameron Corners" so stopped for a quick bite to eat. The Burrito I ordered was the size of a small sandbag. Lunch for $4.00...not too bad...

Many miles of twisty roads ahead.

Heading West, the weather started looking a bit "shaky" in the distance....rain. I thought about avoiding the route for a few minutes but no way was I turning back....before I knew it, the clouds broke and clear sunshine prevailed.

Near the "Tecate" Border Crossing into Mexico, the traffic picked up immensely. Lot of cars coming / going. Law Enforcement vehicles seemed to be at every turn...Border Patrol, Ca. Highway Patrol, Sheriffs Vehicles and unmarked "black ops" looking vehicles. Also a lot of other motorcycle riders. I pulled over a few times for photos and to let "tailgaters" get ahead of me. The clouds above seemed to vanish in an instant.

Before I knew it I was at Jamul CA. Looking for "Lyons Valley Road". It was a great route, passing small farms, orchards, and vineyards. Was a slow, narrow route with minimal traffic. From the previous days rain, there was some debris in the corners from time to time which kept me on my toes.

I turned on the "Jacumba Highway" and headed north, passing under I-8 and towards Pine Valley for a gas stop.

From there, "Old Highway 80" takes you along the freeway and is a great road. Entering "Jacumba" I stopped for one last photo op. after spying this old "fire hearth"

This must have been a pretty beautiful Hotel in its' day.

An odd looking home directly on the Mexican Border.

I returned to the I-8 slab, and immediately got off on the Calexico / Mexicali Ca. Route 98 to avoid the Interstate for a bit longer. Finally back on the last leg / I-8  freeway at about sunset. The last hour of the ride was mostly dark. I hadn't ridden the Honda GL after sunset for a couple years and had forgotten how poor the lighting was. I adjusted the headlight a bit lower and switched on the "brights" for part of the ride home. Total riding time from home around 9 hours. Covered over 350 miles of some fantastic roads and scenery. I plan on returning next season on the BMW Airhead. We now are faced with returning to Montana and back to work for me. It has been a great Winter. Now I'm looking forward to some riding up North!...not so much looking forward to returning to work....

Monday, March 7, 2016

"Picking".....Parts & Pieces

I'm always watching for "buys" on EBay.....searching Flea Markets for old misc. treasures.....keeping my eyes peeled for things I can resell at a profit if I don't want / need them.
I had a lead on a set of N.O.S. (new old stock) Henry's Floor Boards from an acquaintance a couple years ago but passed on them. Decided to buy them last Fall...the guy still had them. I was thinking of using them on my /5 but decided against it. Already have a set on my sidecar rig. Decided they needed to go to a new owner so off they went on EBay. Received a very good price for them.

This morning my neighbor said he spied a pair of old Motorcycle Saddle Bags at the local "Good Will" Store down the street. Asking $9.99 each. I hurried over there hoping to find a set of old Wixom Bags, but not to be. Ended up being old 50's Harley Bags. But for the "under $20.00" price I couldn't pass them up.

They've been painted a few times and have some old repairs but are actually pretty "sound". Will be a good project for refurbishment for someone. Only one used, similar condition pair on EBay right now...asking price @ $344.00.

I held them up to my R75/5 to see what they look like. Actually looked pretty good but I would have to fabricate some proper mounts. A couple mounts were present but not all there. Surprised to see something like this at a Good Will Store...I guess you just never know what you might find.

As far as "function", the saddle bags are too small for touring use and the lids are the type that would fly off if the front latch came loose. There were probably hundreds of these scattered around the shoulders of US highways in the 50'
They'll eventually go on EBay.

I recently bought a lot of different vintage tools at Flea Markets around Yuma: Early Kawasaki "Meguro" tools, Toyota Tools and lots of Euro "DIN895" wrenches. Heyco, Hazet, Stubai, Dowidat are a few of the West German DIN Tool Manufacturers of the past / present. These Companies supplied most all European Automobile / Motorcycle Manufacturers with OEM Tools for their Tool Kits.
Funny that most Pawn Shops only hold higher prices on "Snap On"..."Craftsman" U.S made Tools when the value of the Western Euro Tools is also good. I now see a lot of "DIN knock-off" tools coming from China. The differences in quality is very apparent so no Chinese Tools are ever purchased.
I've cleaned out most every Pawn Shop in MT. buying these old wrenches. Typically pay from $.25 to $2.00 apiece for them. I sometimes offer single wrenches but usually will group up an assortment of "like Brand" tools and sell as a group on EBay.
                                       Toyota Tool Group, purchase price $3.00...selling price $34.00:
The Toyota Wrenches / Pliers are especially rare. I once bought a single large 21mm X 24mm Toyota Motors Wrench at a Flea Market for $1.00. I listed it on EBay and it sold for over $30.00. That sale got my attention to the collectible values of old tools. Another group of pristine old WW2 era Jeep "Williams" tools cost $5.00....sold for over $100.00 on EBay. 

So this tool acquisition thing has become a hobby that makes me some $$.$$ and fattens up my Pay Pal Account for needed BMW Parts. The "nickel & dime" tool sales don't sound like much but I've probably sold well over $1000.00 worth in recent years, with a 500% (or more) profit margin. The buyers market is a bit small so I usually will only list tools every few months and don't constantly try to sell.
 I try to keep a close watch on EBay for "new listings" as some bargains are often found there. Recently bought a nice alloy /5 fuel cap for $30.00, which is a good price. Typically sell for over $75.00. Found some very nice early /5 turn signals, with the side reflectors quite cheap. Some of these small parts I'm hanging onto for the present as the market value is constantly climbing higher. I saw a large /6 fuel tank on EBay this morning for $200.00. which is a very good price. Decided not to buy it and it sold minutes later. I try to be selective on purchases and let some go by if the timing for delivery is poor. 

I had a very large selection of parts on Craigslist earlier this winter:

Had all these parts listed for the ridiculously low price of $250.00 just to get them out of here. Had a few "bites" and people were offering me less. That being said I had a change of heart and pulled the ad. Having a spare complete BMW engine / transmissions / final drives sitting around is not a bad idea. I have other spare drive train parts also, these were the ones in less than perfect condition. 
I did give three BMW main frames away (one with  a Title) for free.  Did not have room to store them and no takers at $50.00 for all. Have a quite large selection of spares for future use if needed.

My "Holy Grail" of Searching / Picking is to find a "Hella Spotlight Mirror". These are very rare but I know there is one out there somewhere, waiting for me to find it!

Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.