Monday, December 2, 2013

The Horex lives!  Today I started it for the first time.  And, remarkably, in less than a year from when  I first got it.  With the first kick I gave it, the headlight fell out, which amused my brother and sister-in-law no end.
It took a few kicks and a couple of pushes and at first it didn't want to run down low.
 But, after I noticed that the carb was loose and tightened the nuts securing it to the head, it actually idled.  No bad noises, almost no smoke and no big oil leaks.
 I ran the bike up and down their road, up to third gear and it seemed to pull well.  The brakes, however, weren't too impressive.
This is very encouraging, but there is still plenty to do to get it road worthy.  The fuel tank needs to be cleaned of all the rust inside.  The mufflers need to be mounted better.  The fork stops have to be increased.  A side stand has to be welded on, as the center stand is a two person affair.  And, the wiring has to be straightened out to get the lights and horn working.
Sat. we continued our ancient family Thanksgiving tradition of putting the bike in the basement.  For the four strokes, this involved taking them for a ride to warm them up to drain the oil.  Unlike last year when I took long rides in balmy conditions, this year it was around freezing, so the rides were short.  Amy had ridden he R65 BMW Fri., and that was already lowered in the basement.   I took out her CL350, which has been converted to low pipe and disc front brake.  That disc brake seemed to be dragging and the clutch slipped initially, but after I got it warmed up, the brake freed off and the clutch stopped slipping.  It's a great running bike and quite agile, but the brakes aren't too impressive.

Next up was Doug's '77 850 Moto Guzzi LeMans, that he's owned since new.  And, actually it's 950cc.  It's a bike that really easy to go fast on, maybe too easy, but I got away with it this day.
 Being a 90 degree V-twin, it's really smooth and he's put a comfy seat on it.  He's also put handle bars that are wider than my taste.  I missed the 2nd to 3rd shift several times; you have to be quite deliberate.  I was thinking the front brake wasn't too impressive, then realize it has linked brakes and front brake lever only works one side and you have to use the pedal to get the second front brake.  And, the switch gear is terrible.  But, fast, long legged, stable, comfortable and with a great sound.
Finally, my Moto Guzzi, from 24 years earlier, the 250 Airone Sport.  It's also comfy and has a great sound, but slow and mediocre brakes.  It doesn't  have a terrible turn signal switch because it doesn't have turn signals.  Remarkably little oil came out of the tank and sump, because most of it was on the outside of the bike.  But, I still love it.
All photo by Amy Roper
We saved Doug's '66 250 Benelli for Sun. which was forecast to be warmer.  In the morning, the internet told me it was 38 degrees, but don't believe everything you read on the internet.  I had intended to ride it to the British Iron Assoc. breakfast in Colchester, but a fuel tap leak cause me to go to plan B and ride in the cage with Doug and Amy.  Good thing as we were spinning up in the car and saw a couple of accidents on the way.  A couple of guys arrived late because Rt.66 was closed in Hebron because of the black ice.  But, by the time we got back it had warmed up enough that the ice was gone. We changed the fuel tap and I took it for a 10 mile loop.  The motor ran great and was much smoother than the last time I rode it as Doug had changed the crankshaft.  He got it with a 260 crank and it vibrated badly.  With the proper 250 crank it was quite pleasant and went well.  He's put a 2LS Bridgestone backing plate in the Benelli front hub and it now stops very well.  I found the shift lever quite awkward, the bars at a odd angle and the seat quite hard.  And the exhaust is pretty loud, but a great running and stopping bike.
Another motorcycling Thanksgiving.

1 comment:

  1. Hip-Hip-Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!! The HOREX Lives!
    Great action photos of you on the First Ride.

    You mentioned riding at Phillip Island in the Island Classic in January, is this the AMCN International 24-26 Jan?