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Old 05-13-2015, 09:42 PM   #1
Nixels OP
Face fears - live life
 
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Joined: Sep 2006
Location: West Oakland, CA
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Books & Bikes

Sometimes a motorcycle ride is just a ride. And at other times, it’s a dramatic escape from the shackles of entropy. This particular ride started with an escape and developed into a dream.





I closed my business this year after 12 years in operation. My time was my own again and I could take a trip and get on with things that I’d set aside for years. Some of y'all had nothing better to do and followed along.

The motorcycle for this little excursion is a 1987 Honda Hurricane 1000F, commonly known as a sport touring bike. My knees may disagree with its suitability for long hours in the saddle, but it was a good mount as regards power.



Honda made a great bike in the Hurricane - big brother to the fabulously designed Pacific Coast bike that Vermin used to create the legendary Cack.

My Hurricane was bought with most of the fairing intact and unblemished - but that didn't last long in Oakland. Two weeks after I got it, somebody backed into it and knocked it over, taking it down a couple of notches. And two weeks after that, somebody else did the same thing!

I've had it since the Fall and knew that it was pretty reliable.

Except sometimes the starter would grind and slip. It got to be quite frequent and I thought I might want to address this noise. I imagined it to be something like a solenoid???

Well, no it is in fact, a very complicated bit of engineering that those wacky Japanese designers came up with in the 80's. Some things bring their own challenges and this one offered me a growth opportunity.

The alternator damper is a clutch mechanism that spins the starter when required and spins the alternator at other times. If the damper clutch goes out (and it always does) it becomes the damned clutch and yer fucked.

Why? You ask.

This little operation requires removing the starter, the alternator, holding down the chain tensioner while removing the damper, and keeping it detented for the duration of the change out and reassembly, then twisting the damper out of the slack chain and replacing it. If a bearing falls out, you're fucked. If the chain tensioner re-engages, you're fucked. If you can't get torque on the bolt to loosen it, you have to take the alternator cover off and you could still be fucked.

Can you see the math?

I was about to be fucked.

For 5 days.




Homegrown puller. 2 days to design, fabricate and assemble.
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Nixels screwed with this post 05-14-2015 at 08:39 AM Reason: I hate auto-correct!!!!
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Old 05-13-2015, 09:56 PM   #2
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Old 05-13-2015, 10:11 PM   #3
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Old 05-13-2015, 10:42 PM   #4
Nixels OP
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The part was $250 and only a few original ones are left. I was able to score an NOS part out of a shop in Ohio (name goes here) and they were great. larryboy found that connection for me.

I enlisted the help desk support team of Dyno, larryboy & Poolside. As you might guess from my description above, it's a bit of a hassle to figure out the steps and the people that have written the procedure up left a few steps out making it difficult to follow along.

I would call, text or email this fine group for guidance. I won't violate the privacy of the transmissions, but I can tell you that I tested their patience.



See that cup inside the alternator cover? It houses the alternator shaft bearing. It is a perfect receptacle for grease, debris and crud. This combo made the cover fused to the bearing. I used heat, wasted WD40, banged on it and cussed it out, all to no avail.

larryboy tells me to quit using my librarian muscles and slam that fucker with trucker's muscles.



Right when I was ready to blow of this whole trip, I used the slide hammer one more time and the cover came free.

This step made it possible for me to attempt to hold the shaft stationary so that I could loosen the nut on the other end. I tried a screwdriver across the tines of the alternator fan. THAT didn't work and I bent the tines.

I put a socket on the shaft finally - and assumed that it would spin free while the nut on the other end would hold fast.

My fortune was bound up in this little endeavor - and I was happy when the correct nut loosened.

Now I could get to the whole wire-bending shit and trying to figure out what I was doing and how given that I couldn't see anything inside the engine case.

I could begin to describe all the things I tried but I'll skip it. This was another day and a half, I think.

It's Wednesday, April 8 in the middle of the afternoon and I manage to get things assembled. But I'm not convinced of this, so I reattach the battery and hit the starter. It spins freely and sounds great.

So I finish the assembly and put the carbs and tank back on. I hit the starter and discern a high-pitched note of displeasure. Like the whole engine is screeching in anticipation of its eminent demise.

Maximum pain. One more quick tap of the starter button and a bit of concern creeps into my consciousness.



Off comes the alternator cover - it took about 10 minutes. I tap the tines back into place - the ones that I straightened had pivoted out slightly when torqued and they were scraping against the inside of the alternator cover.

I'm failing to describe the many, many cries for help that Dyno, larryboy and Poolside answered with (mostly) helpful attitude.
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Nixels screwed with this post 05-14-2015 at 08:38 AM
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Old 05-14-2015, 04:20 AM   #5
Ladybug0048
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Someone pass the butter, my popcorn is dry.
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Old 05-14-2015, 08:55 AM   #6
MoBill
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Le Awesome.

You are an intrepid soul with the fixels Nixels
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Old 05-14-2015, 09:01 AM   #7
Nixels OP
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Damned computers!

I wrote a splendid account - only to have my computer freeze up.

So, you get the stripped down - not poetic version.

I wrapped up the reconstruction and was ready to start packing. At 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8, 2015. The original plan was to take about 4 days to travel 1700 miles from Oakland to Llano, TX for my niece's wedding. That plan had evaporated on Monday and was a joke by Wednesday.

I am not an Ironbutt rider. My bladder's too small and I just don't give a shit about going 1,000 miles in a day. The only time I tried it I had a rear flat doing 85 passing somebody on the Snake River with a double yellow line coming up.

Without my jacket because it was 102º and I thought it was a safe place to forego ATGATT.

I was able to save it - and not get creamed because the woman I was passing saw what happened and floored it past me and blocked oncoming traffic.

With 850 miles under my belt in about 19 hours I said fuck it, I'm alive! and then I got a room and rested for the night.

So, no 1000 mile days - unless I have a deadline.

Oh, wait, I've now put myself in a position of having to travel 1700 miles in 2.25 days.

Well shit. I decide I'm gonna leave around 8:00 p.m. and get a headstart. I text larryboy and he suggests that I pack the bike and get ready, go home and get some sleep. That guy is way smarter than me.

I get to bed around 1:00 and get up at 4:30. It takes me another hour and a half to shower, repack the bike, get gas (why didn't I get it the night before? ) and I blaze outta there at 6:05 a.m.





Seventy five miles later I stop for coffee, gas and a piss. There's a bunch Harleys on a flatbed with the dually truck suckin' fuel like a - well, you know...

None of the guys that are traveling with the Harleys are coming over to say hi. Oh, yeah. I didn't have my pirate gear on.

Time to roll! I traveled down I5 with an overcast sky. Perfect riding weather - temps were just warm enough and the light wasn't so strong it blinded me. No real heat all day long.

My navigator, Dyno (Dave) tells me to head for Bakersfield and east towards 40. But I'm a little concerned about going on 40 because I don't have a liner on this jacket (something I chose at 4:30 instead of my leather jacket ) and I was chilly this morning without it being all that cold.

Dave's got a nice little road picked out for me that runs south between the Mojave Desert and Joshua Tree NP.

If you ever want to break up your ride, take 247 outta Barstow and go through the Morongo Valley, you'll be glad ya did.
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Old 05-14-2015, 09:09 AM   #8
Radioman
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IN Another Great Nixel adventure in the works. So glad Larryboy was there to give you some muscles!



Gotto go ride to Overland Expo.. will check in next week...
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Old 05-14-2015, 09:48 AM   #9
Trixie
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An '87 hurricane. I had that exact bike for a number of years, same color and everything. Still miss it. Got divorced, and managed to pick up an '88 after the fallout was over. Sold it and my Ducati to buy my first GS, to slow down

You picked a great ride, Nicky!
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Old 05-14-2015, 03:25 PM   #10
Nixels OP
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Guys!

By mid afternoon, I've stopped a number of times to piss, fuel, eat and sleep. I pull into a desert gas station. Got a pizza shop next to the convenience store gas station. Real local flavor - not a chain. This whole road has that desolation-end-of-the-world feel to it. Like people out here don't come off their land any more than they have to. And it's all barren, so these are not yer wealthy retirees enjoying some golf and a poolside cocktail party.

The tattooed young men are brothers and are really nice. I think Tony Hawk was hosting a stupid-shit-you-shouldn't-do-kiddies kinda TV show. The brothers wanted me to guess which was older. I picked right even though the younger (21) looked a little older than the 27 year old baby-faced one. The older one carried himself differently and that's how I picked.

They couldn't believe I was 61.

I left that place refreshed and hopeful - sometimes a little human contact is just what ya need.



This is what I rode towards outta there - seemed like 30 minutes of riding right for that switchback mountain. The road veered and went around that mountain.

After that, I was on the predictable path - I10 - and rode that till I got to Gila Bend, AZ.
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Old 05-14-2015, 07:37 PM   #11
moe.ron
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61? No shit eh? Never would have guessed.
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Old 05-15-2015, 07:33 AM   #12
larryboy
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You dragged me back in.


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Old 05-15-2015, 10:03 AM   #13
Nixels OP
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I’d like to give you a mile-by-mile description of I10 - but I don’t want to be banned for boredom!

Once I was on 10, I needed gas and stopped at Chiriaco Rd., home of the General Patton Museum. I was kinda interested in making time, so I didn't visit - and I think they were closing as it was late afternoon. So I took a couple of cool pix of the old gas station that has been "preserved" by the Chevron station there.





I’d tried contacting a Tenspace host, but got no response. I mean I was giving the guy something like 4 to 6 hours warning that I was going to crash at his place.

Dave pointed me to Gila Bend - just southwest of the sprawl and out of traffic camera range! I found a truck stop on Hwy 8 - got there around 11:00, charged my battery and read and warmed up in the laundry room. Funky little space in a courtyard that was where the showers were located. Right at the back of the truckstop they had an RV storage and campground space, so I rolled in there and parked up against the back wall next to a stored Jeep. It took me a while to set up the tent in the dark as I’ve only set this tent up once before and it has some weird-ass cross member construction. Once I had the tent up and crawled into my sleeping bag it was after midnight. I figured with my flashlight and lengthy set-up the camp host had enough time to find me.

But nobody came a calling’ so I stealth camped.

My first night camping on a trip is usually a series of 30 - 45 minute naps punctuated by frequent awakenings. The wind blows or a truck’s brakes squeal. And then there’s that tiny bladder.

There’s something downright spiritual in taking a piss at 3:00 a.m. looking up at the stars filling the sky.



Up and gone by 5:30 a.m. the morning is chilly and clear. I shoot a quick note to Dyno that I’m on my way.

Still dark when I leave I get to watch the sun come up as I ride into it. A beautiful Spring day in the Southwest is reason enough to get out and ride.

When I stopped for coffee and warmth, Dawdlin’ Dyno tells me to: “Wakey Wakey, Don’t Choke the Snakey” or some shit - at 6:30. I’m long gone and he didn’t bother to read his texts.

The day progresses as I ride towards my home state and the hope that I can make the 950 miles in one day.
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Old 05-15-2015, 09:34 PM   #14
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need to

long's yer gonna write this, reckon i better read it. [looks for smilie showing person reading. cain't find one. now there's a design oppatunity waitin' fer some ambitious pixel craftsperson...]
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Old 05-16-2015, 04:01 AM   #15
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