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Old 12-21-2010, 08:50 AM   #1
KeithTurk OP
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Honda 550x4 to Mexico

Well I've finally got the time to play with this... it's winter and the ride's long been over.... the pictures are here.... I'm here and I'll invite some of my butthead buddies along for the ride...

What we have here is a failure to plan .... or a plan to fail.... I'm not sure which... but we're going to have fun.... we're going to drink, carouse and generally blow off a bit of steam.... Or not... and we'll have an exercise in mechanical mayhem... We know the truth since the trips long been over... but we'll let it unfold for you as it happened.... Basically it's going to be 4 idiots riding to Mexico from Southern Alabama and back sorta....



The Back story...... As a heavy smoker ( 3-4 packs a day ).... I'd got on a bike and rode for 3 days to quit.... I came home without the habit... but the addiction was brutal.... one of the things I'd promised myself is that if I made it 1 yr without a cigerette I'd treat myself to another bike trip .... but one of epic proportions.... something serious... like Belize or some silly poop.



So the bike....well... I had this cool little 550 Honda that I'd been whittling on and it was more then adequate for running around town and showing my ass...... hell got to the point that I really liked the stupid little thing....reliable fun... light wieght... and kinda sexy....( oh come the hell on... I'm telling this story... ) So anyway.... Since it was old... I should get me a parts bike....




What ya think.... continue?
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:56 AM   #2
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:11 AM   #3
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Old 12-21-2010, 12:25 PM   #4
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Well 550 Honda's are like patato chip's... you can't have just one.... So I decided I needed a parts bike.... Freaking E-bay is going to be the death of me..... ( or so says my wife ).. ( she really used a term just like that )....

I find a seller in Indiana willing to part with a Cherry 1976 550 Honda for the current bidder price of 183 bucks.... Yep.... 183... Hmmm and I have a good friend that lives right near there.... and he's coming to Maxton isn't he??? oh hell that'll work.... ( the 3' tall pink sissy bar wouldn't fit in his Van so we didn't get the "Whole bike"...) one week later this thing runs like stink.... better then the first one actually.... here's a picture of #2 as I called it....



Funny as it might seem I didn't really get a lot of pictures as I was acquiring these things nor did I really have a plan or scheme in mind.... I was honestly just looking for a parts bike.... Hmmmm and as you can see #2 was just as nice as the first one... and honestly with 7800 miles on it's clock it was better then #1 with 30k ....
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Old 12-21-2010, 12:49 PM   #5
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Okay now I have an issue..... I've got 2 decent running 550's and genuinely need a Parts bike.... ... I mean come on... the damn parts for these things are selling for more then i can buy a bike for.... shoot.... Hmmmm

Back to E-bay,... what to find... what to find....... Okay now this is to weird... but there is another baby poop brown 1976 Honda right here in Lovely Downtown Alabama.... well actually it's up North in some little hick town just off the interstate...not more then 50 miles off as I recall... but pretty close to the middle of nowhere.... or at least you could see no where from there.....

225 bucks later I'm the High bidder and WINNER.... ( did ya hear that Honey... I won it.... I won the bid.... ) ( this to the sound of a ratcheting shotgun )....

Look I need a parts bike and the color even matches...

So I go up there to pick up my favorite new 550 honda parts bike.... This to supply the 2 550's that I already have.... and I meet this guy.... Long hair hippy type guy ... but he rides Motorcycles.... you know... them 2 wheel things with handle bars and such...... Oh and he's loading up a trailer with 3 of his closest friends .... and it's STUFFED full of bikes.... all kinds of bikes... this biker type dude... well surely he's not wait a minute... you ride them WHERE???

Yep... it is Guzzi Doug who has become RTW DOUG on here ( Round the world Doug ) ( the Harley chopper and the Indian... so on... ).... he's selling me this clapped out 550 Honda that really isn't much to look at.... but Hey.... it's a parts bike... how good does it have to be... ( I'm not sure it had Carb's ... but maybe.... anyway) (here's Dougs hang out page if you've not seen it... he's got a bazillion more but this is a cool thread ... http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=516355 )

So I get it home and start to whittling on it... and within a couple of days it's running like stink.... I mean this thing while not as pretty it is every bit as Disco Bitchen as those first two.... Yep... I've got 3 count them 3 550 Hondas.... Hmmmm

Your Hero, to wife.... " No sweets ... I have no idea... but I need them... Please Put the Gun DOWN "....

I'm not going to bring it up this week.... but " Honey... I really need a Parts bike"..... Hmmm

Here's Number 3 you can tell cause it's got a 4 into 1... and sounds Bitchen ... ( you can hear it can't you? )
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Old 12-21-2010, 01:00 PM   #6
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#4 is another e-bay gem.... only this time... she really is a parts bike.... seized up tighter then a Nun.... and well she could look some better... only she could look a LOT better.... tanks been beat on some.... and it's black... but I've got this brown one I bought on E-bay.... hmmmm and wait...... I wonder if it will turn over with a little back and forth with the ole Marvel Mystry oil..... Nahhh come on.... YEP.... she's a runner.... ( okay maybe not really a runner... but Sorta... bit of smoke here and there....but dang ).... The fairing was Free as it came in a parts stash for another bike and the Bags I got at Barber for 30 bucks.... so total investment less then 450 with the bags, fairing, crash bar, Tires and Chain...
( one might notice the token quiet Harley pipes some pirate took off instantly ... which means we get great chrome pipes for FREE )
Hmmm Hmmmm

Here's number 4 not how I got her... but how I fixed it her up over the course of about 2 weeks.... it's a VERY rough bike...but not horrid....




I did mention a trip in here didn't I..... so... Belize is out... cause the situation down there had just really started to deteriorate and my pee pee started shrinking.......
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Old 12-21-2010, 01:32 PM   #7
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To be honest I've got two sons and like all dads I've dreamed of us riding off into the sunset on these things.... but they don't have the slightest interest in the bikes at this point.... ( I have no idea how that happens... but some peoples children, well... anyway... )

That having been said... and it being almost a year since I quit..... I had this brain dead scheme to run off to Mexico on a bike... having a BMW F650... I called this friend of mine who lives in New York City... ( I mean IN NYC, like he's got no car )( we'll call him Mark cause that's his name ).... We get to yacking... and he's got a hankering for a scooter trip as well and frankly he's known for his long distance scooter rides all over the country... so we chat it up and kind of decide we oughta take the Honda's .... shoot since I have four.... maybe we should get Steve and .... oh hey I'll bet I can con Paul into this..... Shoot next thing you know.... there are four idiots planing a trip to Mexico on a bunch of Crappy old Honda's.....

The Crew...

I'm Keith Turk... ( bet that's a shock ).... retired Apache instructor pilot and general mechanic... I've set records over 200mph at every Land speed racing venue in the US... oh and I help run the East Coast Timing Assn.

Mark is our New York connection and he's a retired Lawyer... ( banking but we'll take whatever legal help we can get ).... he's also a hard core small bore motorcycle racer and one of our starters at the Maxton Mile.

Steve is an Ex Pat that Lived in Australia forever and is a devote Harley rider/ worked in a scooter shop kind of guy.... he's great with his hands... but mostly doing paperwork type stuff.... ( he's ends up being my asst. as he's got the time ) Steve is from Daytona Beach Florida.... Also a starter at Maxton with the ECTA

Paul... is a real life Nurse.... and we all know this thing is going to need a Nurse before it's over with .... he's been on Drag week with Hot Rod Magazine several times and we've just kind of hit it off.... he's an old school Harley guy as well.... From Kansas City Missouri...

So Mark, Steve and Paul are all Harley guys and I'm the only one that knows jack poop about 550 Honda's... but all these guys are very capable in thier own right....and genuinely shouldn't require a ton of hand holding if the junk breaks down....

The phone calls started.... back and forth... well what about....xxx and yyy and Geez don't ya think we should have a zzz.... and and and ...... this goes on for a month or so while I'm getting the scooters ready for the ride.... So that, I guess is the next part of this hair brained fiasco....

Hmmm
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Old 12-21-2010, 02:28 PM   #8
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In case you haven't noticed.... one of the significant points of this program is the bucks down aspect...

I'm just tired of everything costing a bazillion dollars.. Since I get to pick what I call fun... this is it... and it's BUCKS down... less then $500 per bike and ultimately they are going to be fairly reliable or not.... and that's the fun...

Hopefully we'll have more zen then motorcycle maintenance but who knows... I'm simply out to prove it's not about what you make.... but how you spend it...

We're not going far into Mexico... as much as showing up at the border and saying we've been there...

The trip is the goal... not the destination...

K
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Old 12-21-2010, 03:08 PM   #9
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Well, it's about freakin' time you went public with this story!
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:15 PM   #10
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Okay Jack.... it's cold and your here reading ride reports cause you dont' want to take your candy ass out in it... Fair enough.... ( he rode to Alaska last year and made me endure his ride report.... Perfect .. sit back Jack... my turn)


So where were we... oh yeah .... getting our ducks in a row....

Basically it fell on me to make them run and lucky for me... I had Scott Korol and Stormy's Garage as a base camp.... Scott is outfitted with a brand new high tech DynaJet with all goodies and he's extremely competent on it... so first things first.... make them run well... or at least make sure they are all motorcycles....

Hmmm guess we oughta get some tires and chain as well..... So we order it all up in Bulk and nothing but the finest Chinese stuff for our trusty steeds.... Scott even makes me get new tube's.. ( they go in the black tires... both of them )

yes sir e bob... it's going to be a LONG trip....

nothing but the finest....

So we get these tires in and I go to work....all the bikes get new shoes and chains and we dyno them all.... with varying degrees of success.... 1-3 are fairly equal around 35hp at the rear wheel but #4 it's sucks out loud.... we get some jets in it and work it pretty hard and end up at 39hp... no kidding.... lot like a motorcycle, only down say 50hp...

Steve shows up from Daytona a couple of days early and starts helping out with the scooters... basically we simply ride them a lot.... the circle around my town of Enterprise is 15 miles and we do it two at a time for a couple of sessions each day.... the rest of the time we work on them and sort through the crap we find on each ride.... using the white board we simply write up the issues and take them one at a time in order of priority.

Steve turns out to be really good at finding ( / creating ) faults .... and we quickly see that all the bikes are going to need new starter buttons... so we rig up an assembly line and each of them gets a new button from Radio shack that should be "just Right" or not... but if not...they will ALL go bad!!!




here's a pic of the tires they all got... and this is AFTER the ride... so these puppies did just fine ( thank you Scott for your faith )... ( yeah he beat me up for being a tight wad... )( I win )




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Old 12-21-2010, 05:54 PM   #11
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Sooo.... Steve got here yesterday and we immediately went to riding... him to close of course... and now the guy want's me to use Turn Signals.... ( of all the nerve... Geez ) Like I'm supposed to indicate my intentions and EVERYTHING... guess I'm not supposed to keep Secrets or something... bitch bitch bitch... LOL ( okay he never said a word... but how funny is that? )

Anyway... we stuff a couple of tires on the last scooters that need them and we did a Seat, Tank and Float bowl ectomey which included a Jet ectomy as well as a Swap of intermediate jets... went out at night and lost two head lights on #2 and #3... #4 seems to have liked the jets... ( more testing to follow ) #1 is a thing of MF beauty as David would say... so I'm not messing with it much yet... Runs rides... and looks disco bitchen...

Anyway There you go...

Keith
( You meet the nicest people on a Honda )
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Old 12-21-2010, 05:58 PM   #12
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Man we worked it today.... oh and it worked us... Well Steve anyway... for me it's just another day on the ole Dyno...

Like I'm a Pro or something... LOL.... Freaking kicked our butt's... checked float levels, Jets, so on and so forth...

Felt like a total rookie... but ultimately... we won and the "Jamm'in Famliy Truckster"... ( #4 ) got Way bigger jets and was quite the happy thing... made 6 more HP then all the rest... but it didn't give it up without beating us up ...

Ultimately I rode 3 today and only one is left pissing with us... #2 is just being a weenie... got an electrical gremlin that we can bypass... but we're trying to fix it correctly FIRST...

Tomorrow we do Oil changes, Jacking points on the side stands and clean up... and pick up our other riders at the airport in Hotlanta... ( can't wait for Freakweek this year there eh... woooo whooooo )
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:00 PM   #13
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The next day Steve and I worked at the head light on #2 and we built these little jacks we welded to the bottom of the side stands... it seems when we bought the tires they were substantially taller then stock and the bike just felt like it was falling over on it's side.... no big deal really you can see it in that last picture it's just a U channel welded to the bottom... worked great. We cleaned up our mess and headed out to pick up the Boys in Atlanta... we'll get back in the dark and I'll post again in the Morning....

Next Morning

Okay it's o'dark thirty... and I'm the only one up... ( my what a shock.. )... For those of you who don't know me I'm actually a VERY early riser... and I'm not good at sleeping... just the way I'm built...

Anyway we picked up Paul and Mark last night.. ( they all whinned like little school girls over the weaving truck... Bitch bitch Bitch.... ) anyway... they met and fell in love with the Honda's... and they said... Geez... you meet the Nicest people on a HONDA!!!.... LOL okay that isn't exactly what they said... but the other words Ain't repeatable...

Hey they signed up for this Defication... or goat fornificantion exercise.... LOL we were howling in the truck on the way home... Paul and Mark are going to be fun.... and best of alllllll... they took Pictures!!!

I'll get someone to post... oh and the trip from Atlanta for us was 225 miles.... Steve and I rode all day and then drove 450 miles round trip to pickup the boys
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:40 PM   #14
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Okay it's time to sort out who is riding what....and it's one of the times I'd kind of dreaded.... what if nobody wanted to ride this one or that one.... or everyone wanted to ride this one or that.....

Ultimately it simply flowed....

Mark Grabbed #1 which he promptly named Cafe Ole'

Paul was next to pick and he snagged #2 which was named "Big Easy" simply cause it was a joy... other then the head light that Steve fixed... the bike just worked and worked... Still does as a matter of fact ...

Steve had a thing for the way the 4 into one pipe sounded on #3 so he picked it and because of a noisy timing chain he named it the " The Rattler "


I was happy to end up with #4 cause it's got the Wind Jammer and the bags.... which was good cause I carried all the spares...

1-4



Easy way to tell them apart.....

Cafe Ole... cafe fairing, #2 or the " Big Easy " has 2 into one down turned pipes, #3 The Rattler has the 4 into one and isn't very pretty.... #4 " the Jammin Family truckster obviously looks like a Super cool grand sport luxuray wagon

Enough of that.... we all had scooters and were set to change the oil and get the hell outta there.... Paul in the green shirt doing the oil on the big easy and me doing it on the Jammin Family truckster....




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Old 12-21-2010, 07:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithTurk View Post

I'm just tired of everything costing a bazillion dollars.. Since I get to pick what I call fun... this is it... and it's BUCKS down... less then $500 per bike and ultimately they are going to be fairly reliable or not.... and that's the fun...
Well said! Looking forward to the rest of the report. BTW I'm sitting here shaking my head because there -is- something wrong with you, LOL. BTW, what did they dyno?
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