Saturday, August 13, 2016

North Carolina Git t'Gather

Following a long ride from Jacksonville yesterday, gathering with the nine other riders, dinner and a nice quiet night's sleep, today was the big ride.  Kevin and Noreen planned some great routes and off we went.

It started at the Pig & Grits restaurant in Burnsville.  The sun was out and the temperatures nice. After fueling we were off on some of the best roads anywhere.  I was just following, so the names and numbers get lost, but these photos tell the story well.

My favorite photo, so I put it first.

Breakfast on the porch at the Pig & Grits

Past cemetery number one

Through the woods in the morning

Fresh asphalt and a long view.  Not many things are better.

I always like rust

We all stopped for the one incident.  A young deer ran in front of Noreen's MP3.  I was right behind her and thought it was a dog at first, but after it was hit, it spun around and I could tell by the long, thin legs that it was a deer.  Very fortunately, Noreen was ok.  Her scooter was damaged, but she didn't go down and was able to continue.  She was understandably upset, but carried on.  We were all sad for the lost deer. 

Back on the road

A beautiful downhill stretch coming down from more than 5000 feet.

Nice view

More curves and scooters

Cemetery two

Starting again after lunch at Bonnie and Clydes in Bakersville

Deer in the area.  Like, really.

Zooming through the woods

Barns and rust

Riding along the Toe River

The bikes at the ice cream store

The riders

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Preparing Rocket for North Carolina

Yesterday, I opened up the transmission cover on the new engine and found beautiful new parts.  Because Rocket has had a loose variator nut twice in the past two years, it has some damage to the transmission cover.  Big scrapes frm the outer drive pulley scraping against the inside of the cover.  This caused great heat, melting the screened vent cover and even the plastic off the rollers the last time.

So, with all new parts awaiting, I began transferring good parts to Rocket.  These included the variator, outer drive pulley, bendix, black roller between the variator and clutch, and the clutch itself.  I topped it off by using the new cover as well.

The variator had blue, Piaggio rollers but I changed these out for new Dr. Pulley rollers (not sliders) at 10g each. Out of Rocket,  I took out some black (Malossi, I believe) rollers that I weighed, showing 11 to 12g each.  They were quite flat spotted too and the acceleration was not very good due to the weight and flat spots.

I rode it around the neighborhood and found it to be very smooth and quick.  Today I rode up to Fernandina Beach to test it in a variety of conditions and found it to be perfect.  Acceleration at mid speed was back in full and top speed a bit higher than before.  I think it is ready for NC now.

The spare engine with the transmission case opened.  Fresh Parts for Rocket!

I don't have a lift, so I put the stand on bricks to get a little more height.

Rocket ready to receive the new parts.

One of these clutches has 71,000 miles on it.  Oddly, the friction pads were as thick the new one.
But the new one is a lot shinier.

The Beach House that Scott and I designed.

Cypress paneling from the owner's collection of woods from his property.

The two story living room.  It is quite a nice house.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Rocket is calling!

When I returned from the Cannonball, I thought I would be able to choose between three bikes for local rides.  But the Honda was still returning from its trip to Denver and Banff.  And Razzo, usually reliable, wouldn't start.  To make it worse, I had removed the back wheel from Rocket to use as a spare for the Cannonball, and my tools were in transit back home, so I ended up with no bikes to ride.

That took a week.  Since then Rocket was re-tired and the Honda returned.  Razzo still balks after trying a few fixes.  

Now I have a trip to North Carolina planned next weekend.  And Rocket is running better than it has since before it broke in the 2014 Cannonball.

Riding Rocket instead of the Honda presents a couple of concerns.  One, is that it might not make it.  Two is that it has been hesitating when accelerating between ten and forty mph. (I think it is the heavy rollers that I installed a while ago.)  And the third is that if I ride the Honda, I can plan a highway route that will get me there in seven hours instead of nine taking the roads better suited to the old scooter.

I think I am going to give Rocket a shot.  It's longest ride in a while.  And I will be bringing tools and spare parts.

My most recent photo of the old girl.
With Ken on Riverside Avenue in Jacksonville.
On our way to Gainesville.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A Thing of Beauty!

The new engine safely awaiting its reuse in one of my scooters. I hope I never need it, but will be swapping parts where needed for now.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Spare Engine

It has been a while since posting about the recent Scooter Cannonball Run.  Writing every day was cool, but not much to write about since.  Until yesterday.

There was a posting in Modern Vespa last month about a wrecked 5000 mile Vespa GT that was disassembled and parts made available to purchase.

Those parts included an engine.  With Rocket at over 71,000 miles and Razzo making a strange knocking sound, I thought it to be a good idea to go ahead and purchase this one.

I wasn't a good blogger because I didn't take photos of the parts or nice family, but I did get some photos of the long ride yesterday.  760 miles in an Acura TSX.  It is a great touring car.

They live north of Atlanta, a 375 mile ride up I-75.

I left at 7:00 to meet them at 1:00 at their house.  The ride up was pleasant enough on I-10 to I-75 near Lake City, FL, but traffic steadily increased as I drove north.  Around Macon I was in fast moving packed traffic.  As I approached Atlanta I rode through an area where I could see that construction had traffic backed up for miles.  I knew that I didn't want to go back through that.  In Atlanta, traffic moved quickly but it was not pleasant to have so many cars on the same highway.

Near Macon on I-75.  Traffic actually much worse than it looks here.

Approaching downtown Atlanta.  The Garmin said to stay on I-75 but kept directing me to the exits.  I didn't trust it and made my way without making mistakes.

Bad photo of downtown Atlanta.

Near where Sam lived for his year at Georgia Tech.

I was early arriving, so I stopped at a Wendy's for lunch.  Then arrived at exactly 1:00.

Parts purchased included the complete engine and transmission (all in one piece), two wheels with decent tires and the exhaust system.  I would have gladly purchased the entire damaged scooter before disassembly for probably more than they are going to get for the parts, but I am pleased with my parts.

After visiting for a few minutes, I headed back.  The problem is that I was too lazy to stop and program a route on the Garmin, so I picked a few waypoints and headed out.  The Garmin alone is not a good way to plan routes.  Because it shows such a limited amount of information on screen, it requires matching shapes of roads for picking waypoints.  Then, simply touching the screen can send the pick in the total opposite direction.

I stopped for gas shortly after leaving and picked a point off I-20 to head south to home.  Then accidentally picked another location in the opposite direction.  Luckily I realized this quickly and only lost a few minutes.

The opposite of I-75.  I had pleasant roads to myself the entire way home.

Pecan Trees

The highlight of the ride home was riding through the beautiful small town of Monticello.  All of the houses were fine houses, well maintained.  Of course the Monticello Bank had to copy Jefferson's house of the same name.

A drive by photo of a house in Monticello

The Bank of Monticello.  Did Jefferson live here?

I avoided I-75 and Atlanta, but rode on I-285, I-20 and I-16 for a total of around 100 miles of the trip.  All of these were better than I-75.  The trip home took almost seven hours, but was much better than five on those highways.

I much prefer back roads.

Because you never know what you might see.
Architectural comment:  That base doesn't appear to be the right size for Lady Liberty.