Friday, June 10, 2011

Fri., 10 June, 2011 Someone commented on the blog that this Indian adventure is turning into a nail-biter; they don't know the half of it. I thought over night that I hadn't actually done a clutch start with the Indian; I'd always been pushed off. So, I thought I'd better practice that and slipping the clutch. I called Richard in the morning and we agreed to meet at Point of Ayre. I took off alright and the clutch was pretty controllable. But, the bike seemed a little sluggish even with the lower gearing we had installed yesterday, and when I went to make the u-turn, it stalled as soon as I started to re-engage the clutch. I pushed it back and we tried it again, this time making the u-turn. It didn't want to pull high gear though, and we looked it over and found a tight tappet. Tappet adjusted, I tried it again and it went a ways, then died. We took the float bowl off and found the screw holding the (cork) float to the needle arm had fallen out. That must be the problem. That fixed, I made another run and again it stalled on the u-turn. The ignition seemed really retarded as the motor was really hot and it was sluggish. We looked at the points and they seemed too closed. So, out came the points plate and Richard opened up the gap. All the while, Mary was repairing my leather pants. I had a 'wardrobe malfunction' last night at our demonstration on the prom when the crotch ripped open. Points adjusted, I went to try it again, and the left handlebar gave way. They're brazed on and the joint failed. At that point, we decided to decamp to David Plant's shop again to braze the handlebar and adjust the timing. Richard and Peter took the bike, while Mary, Maryjane and I stopped at the Bride Tea Room to get some baps and scones to go. While we were there, I got the phone call that the parade had been moved up to before, rather than after, the Senior race because there had been a shower and they didn't want to start the race on the wet roads. That ended our chances as there was now no time to do any work on the bike and we rushed as fast as we could to get the bike to the start just to display it. In fact, the first bikes had left by the time we got there and they put us in the back of he queue. They were announcing a description of each bike and what it represented before it left the grid and did that for the Indian after the last bike left. Then we just push it back to the scrutineering bay for static display as the parade bikes finished there lap. It was very disappointing as some many people had worked so hard and so many had contributed to the effort. The silver lining was that we had met so many wonderful people. The bottom line is that the preparation should have started much earlier. The bike is much better now than when it arrived and Richard Burch is going to go through the engine in the next few weeks as the bike is going to stay in the IOM through the Manx Grand Prix where there is going to be a big Indian rally.
The Senior race ended up being postponed another hour and a half to let the roads throughly dry and started in gorgeous conditions. We went to the bottom of Bray hill just down from the start where the bikes bottom out at about 175mph 20' away. We stayed until the leaders came through on their second lap (and their first 'flying' lap), then drove around to Hillberry near the end of the lap and saw them come through for their 4th, 5th, and 6th laps. One of my favorite spots to spectate (and ride), it's a very fast bend with a long view. After Guy Martin led early, John McGuiness took control and won his 17th TT, a record only bested by Joey Dunlop (26 wins.) McGuiness is extremely smooth, precise and consistent. It's doubtful he'll match Dunlop's record as he's 39 years old. Then again, Dunlop won TT's well into his 40's.
Another TT in the books and it's future looks fairly secure. There was a big crowd here this year and there seem to be plenty of riders and manufactures that want to do it.


  1. Something tells me that there will be a sequel
    At some point in the future. Too many friends- too much time, effort and determination not to have a proper ride on the 100 year old bike. Even though it never ran as you wanted it seems that it is a small miracle you never fell off- through the lawn , dusting the kerb, sliding the front and snapping the bars... What a crazy week! Thank you for sharing the intrigue Dave. See you at Barber.
    - buff

  2. There Has to be a future ride on this bike for you Dave after all the time, money and effort spent on it. When the whole thing is gone through again, hopefully it will run reliably enough. Now; what about that Indian show coming up...