Sunday, July 24, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend

Saturday, I rode my '59 Horex Resident from my Brother's house in Haddam, Ct., to the New England Motorcycle Museum in Rockville, Ct., about a 42 mile ride.  While the Museum is not officially opened yet, they had several bikes on display including a beautiful '49 Nimbus, a XLCR H-D, and several Ossas.  The Museum is an impressive project.  Ken Kaplan, its owner, has invested millions into restoring an abandon textile mill, parts of which date back to 1812.  Ken had hoped to have the official opening this weekend, but that's had to have been delayed.  Apparently, the State fire marshall has over ruled the local fire marshall, and more upgrades and mods have to be made.
On my way back to Haddam, I passed by Steve Rossi's home in East Haddam, and saw him in his driveway. So, I did a U-turn and pulled in and we chatted for a while.  When I went to leave, the Horex didn't want to start.  After a bunch of tries, where it would fire but not run, Steve suggested that I push it down the hill on his road.  He gave me a push and I got well down the hill building up speed when I finally dropped the clutch and, though turning over rapidly, it still didn't want to run.  then I noticed that there was about 1.5" of inner throttle cable pulled out of the outer.  Either the slide was hung up in the bore or the cable had broken at the slide end.  I parked the bike on it's center stand ( it has no side stand) and started walking back to Steve's house.  He had already figured out that I had a problem and was driving his pickup towards me.  When we got back to the bike, we found that it had fallen over.  We righted the bike and just managed to get in the back of the truck with his short ramp.  Steve drove me the 6 miles back to my brother's.  When we got it unloaded, we found that not only had the end pulled off the throttle cable (it was only crimped, not soldered), but the right exhaust pipe had broken when it fell over.

In the mean time, our friend Gordon Pulis had arrived on his '71 CL 175 Honda.  He and I set to soldering the end back on the cable.  Miraculously, the end was sitting in the bottom of the carb and had not been sucked into the cylinder when the engine was spinning over rapidly down the hill.  Now that I think about it, maybe it's not so miraculous because the slide was totally shut, so the cable end couldn't get by.  That fixed, we attacked the exhaust pipe.  The head pipes on the bike are in really rough shape and the right one had a section of EMT electrical conduit welded into it and it broke right next to the weld.  This pre-existing repair had caused the pipe to flare out too far outboard, so the break in the pipe offered an opportunity to tuck it in more.  I oxy-acetylene welded the break in situ, then removed the pipe and finished it up with MIG.  It wasn't elegant as I burnt through the very thin pipe many times but, with a bunch of grinding, was serviceable.

Gordon and I put everything back together, switched bikes, and went fo a 35 or so mile test ride.  Gordon pointed out that the motor's refusal to idle down after it got warm was perhaps just due to a lack of free play in the throttle cable and not an air leak or ignition advance problem.  But, investigating that would have to wait as Sunday was the Steve Rossi Tiddler Tour.
Steve is active in both the Italian Motorcycle Oners Club and the Moto Guzzi National Owners Club, so I rolled out my '53 Moto Guzzi Airone Sport for the TT.  Rich Hosley brought his Ossa Wildfire to Doug and Amy's house and, after he took the Horex for a quick ride, we all left for Steve's house across the Connecticut River, Doug on his '65 Benelli 260 and Amy driving her Subaru with a trailer running sweep.  
Rich Hosley heading out on his Ossa Wildfire.  Amy Roper photo
It was another gorgeous day and there was a big turnout, although there seems to be some displacement inflation in what people consider appropriate at a Tiddler event.  There were no Brit bikes this time, but plenty of Italian, Japanese, German and Spanish bikes.  In addition to my brother's and my bikes, there were at least three Sprints and three Ducati singles.

My '53 Airone Sport. Amy Roper photo
There were two DT 250 Yamaha singles, an XT 350, and a CS5 Yamaha 200 twin. Honda was represented by a CL 90, a CB 125 single, a 125 twin, an XL 175, and a CA 77 Honda Dream. 
Jean Frazier's 125 Honda twin

 There were three R-27 BMWs and a MZ 125 from Germany. And a Bultaco Alpina and Metrala in addition to Rich's Ossa from Spain.
Scott Rikert kicking Bill Burke's Metralla. Amy Roper photo
I finally bump started the 'taco and it ran fine for Bill the rest of the day.  Amy Roper photo
In the morning, we headed west and crossed the Connecticut River on the Chester ferry.  It arrived on the Hadlyme side just after I arrive so I nearly had to wait.  I was a bit outraged by the $6 fee for motorcycles as cars are $6 and bicycles are $2.  There's no justice.  Though last away after disembarking on the Chester, I missed the first turn and, even though I don't see how it could be shorter, I ended up ahead of the others on the ferry with me and was one of the first to stop for lunch in Durham.  Steve Rossi had some trouble getting his newly acquired 250 Ducati Monza started, but with a run and bump we got him going.  After Rich Hosley gassed up his Ossa Wildfire, he discovered he had a gas leak and put the bike on Amy's trailer.  But, it turned out the leak was high in the tank tunnel and, after it leaked down below, it stopped, so he pulled the bike off the trailer and rode it into the finish.  That was the only business Amy and Lynn had in the sweep vehicle. 
Amy Roper photo
After a good smooze at Steve's house, many retired to Amy & Doug's where the party continued into the evening.  Once again, great roads on a beautiful day with good turnout of bikes and riders.
Steve Rossi's Falcone

Steve is a Citroen nut, too.  An Ami 6
and a CX