Monday, September 29, 2014

There was this storm.......

Two weeks ago, we were hit by this monster. We only got our internet and electricity back yesterday. Apparently the wind speeds in La Paz (where we live) were 125mph+. Our home has a palapa roof (palms) and there was some damage from the wind and the rain (6") Most of the news coverage in the United States was focused on the resort city of Cabo San Lucas. We live about 100 miles north of Cabo San Lucas and we got the same storm. It went directly north through Baja.

Luckily for me, but not so luckily for him, my son and his girlfriend arrived in La Paz the day before the hurricane arrived. The intention was to spend a week riding dirt bikes and generally catching up on things. It ended up being a week of cleaning up and scrounging around our stricken city for ice and food. Believe me, if you find yourself in a disaster area there is absolutely nothing more useful than a couple of 29 year olds who love to help. They will be back in a couple on months to have that vacation they had in mind.

Prior to the storm, this is as far as I had gotten on the project bikes. The TLR really just needs to be reassembled and the TY just needs the top end stuck on. My plan was to get these last few tasks accomplished with my son during his visit. The Hurricane blew up that plan. Nevertheless progress has been made. As far as I know I have all the parts on hand to finish the bikes and figure out if they will start and run. The seat/tank units on both bikes look good and the alloy fender on the Honda is just what I was hoping for. I finally figured out that I could attach the alloy fender to the tupperware fender which was already in place.

As the followers of this blog might remember, the point of building two bikes simultaneously was so that when my son came down to visit we would have two new bikes to shake down. I had a bit of a deadline, i.e. September 13. The cool thing about a self-imposed deadline is that nothing really happens if you miss it. In my case I just rationalized that it might be more fun to complete the bikes together. That did not work out. We ended up cleaning up after a hurricane....which was, in and of itself a bonding experience. Well, now I've got a new deadline....sometime in December/January or February when he will come back with some friends to go riding. Wish me luck.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Constructum Interrumptum

It has been a bad couple of weeks for both of the project bikes. The TLR (above) was coming together very nicely. This was mainly a cosmetic project and so I was not anticipating any impossible stumbling blocks. About two weeks ago the seat tank unit was ready for its clear coat. The Honda wing was in place as well as the NGK decals and the HRC decals. I set the tank up on my short ladder (which I use to support things that I am painting) and began applying the clear. It was going on so well, I barely took a break between the first and second coat. About five minutes into the project I realized that the HRC decls were dissolving which was going to make about three more days work for me. By the way, I absolutely knew and understood that I needed to give the HRC decals a mist coat first and allow that to thoroughly dry before applying any more clear. Again, it is very frustrating to sabotage your own projects.

My next mistake was to bump the ladder which was supporting the seat/tank unit. That particular move sent the unit on to the ground causing even more damage since the clear was still very wet. It was a bad couple of minutes.

Now I needed to order a couple more Honda decals. This moved the project out about two more weeks...leaving me plenty of time to sand and re-paint the seat/tank unit. I am currently waiting for the delivery of the Honda decals. My last couple of deliveries have been delayed by a hurricane raking the west coast of Baja.

The next disappointment was the TY. I had a nice morning getting the gap on the rings just right, and then I spent a bit more time measuring the re-measuring the piston clearance. I was ready to go. I went to get the base gasket when I realized that I had never seen a base gasket, despite the fact that I had ordered and received two gasket sets from two different sources. I am the idiot for not checking. Nevertheless, it is a little disappointing that these two suppliers would send out two gasket sets without a base gasket. By the way, both of these same suppliers failed to supply a gasket for the clutch side side case cover. Again, my bad for not checking. So, I have had to order some base gaskets from a supplier in the United States. May be I will get them in a couple of weeks.

The TY was also stalled for a week or so while I tried to sort out problems with the kickstart unit. After spending some time on the Trials Central Forum-Yamaha Specific Forum I really did not conclusively solve my problem but I did discover what the problem was and I figured out that by adding a couple of appropriately sized washers to the kickstart shaft between the spacer and the inside face of the clutch side case the problem was solved. My problem was that the stop on the inside end of the kickstarter shaft was riding up and out of the recess provided for it by the right side center case. I have ordered a bunch of new pieces from TY Trials. Mainly the shaft itself and the sliding gear. I really do not know what else to do. No one has explained to me how the shaft can ride up and out of that recess, but I did figure out how to stop it happening. May be that's enough.