Sunday, 16 September 2012

Rest day Sturgis


Well we have had our rest day.
It was not really a day of rest, more time to make sure we were capable of completing the ride, with necessary repairs and such happening in all area , workshops, car parking lots etc.

Our two biggest tasks were to fix our broken clutch basket and repair the brakes that had failed the day before.

The brakes were completed, however the complexity of the clutch meant that this had to be machined in a CNC machining center.

The parts arrived back to us at 10.30 Pm, and we discovered at 11.00 pm, that they were not correct.
Sort of a waisted day, hoever we assempble the remanent fo the broekn clutch and decided to try thi on the day 8 .

This was less than ideal, however we had little choice.

Christina is having fun, and toured thetown a little, while we worked on others bikes to get them prpepared for the race tommorow.

While our clutch is not a show stopper i am surprised that this actually still functions.

See what tomorrow brings.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Day 7 To Sturgis


We left Murdo at 7.00 for the 280 mile ride into Sturgis, throught the Badlands, via the Black Hills into Mt Rushmore.

It was quite a ride, and the bike was not going well.

It broke down 4 miles from the start with a dropped inlet valve collet.
These are unique and i was looking at another trailer ride.

As it happens the H/D pins fit straight in and a pal stopped an had these in his kit.
So 1/2 hr latter i was going again.
The rear brake then came loose, and as we were nursing a blown clutch basket this was going to put strain on the box and clutch.

The ride through the national parks were worth the trip, although a little hard to do with a weak box, and no rear brake.

At the 200 mile mark the exhuast baffle blew out, so i am sure our neighbours know how this sounds know.
It is not the noisest machine, but it is loud.

The bike is getting a full owrk out, and is actually getting stronger.

We Finshed the day within our time slot and again recieved the full milage.
Our score is respectfull and we are in 51 place.

There is a rest day tommorow and we will repair the brakes and clutch.

Others are busy doing motors, and there are many apart, or the second has also failed.
I'm sure ours is run in know, and will be getting stronger.

Unfortuanty i cant say that for the box.

The pace is so fast, no time to do anything.
I planned to take the outfit off and had to allow two days to do this.
One to cahnge the tyres and the next to remove the sidecar.

After the bikes are brought on the back up, it could be 8.00 or 9.30 pm and this doesnt allow much time to repair them for a 7.oo am departure the next day.
Sleep is precisous.

Must go.

Monday, 10 September 2012

The race is off.

We have just completed the third day of the ride.

I wish i could find time to do more, but the pace is fast, deadlines extreme.

We are struggling  with the hills.  They call the range the Never ending mountings and this is quite realistic.  They just go.

The scenery is beautifully, however not when the blizzards and winds blow.

We started strong on day 1, however 40 miles we lost our throttle cable.
IT was something that we couldnt fix on the side so we were on the pick up.

The start was amazing, rode through a cavalcade of people and this has been repeated most starts or finishes.

The good news is that we were not last on day 1.
Paul on his Vello dropped a valve, and the poor old triumph model p, made 9 miles.
There were quite a few who failed to make the start and are still Whit us getting there bikes organised.

We overhauled the bike and repaired what we could for the next day.
We decided due tot he weather and the hills that we would try this solo, with the chair.

The bike was running strong, 40 + miles / hr. The conditions were extreme and at one gas station the bike blew backwards in gear due to the wind.
I do believe the right decision was to leave Christina in the support vechile.

The clutch gave way at about 40 miles.
This was a little problem as it is tuff to ride through and up hills without the clutch.

I called for pickup, and decided to find a safe collection location.
The result was a total of 7o miles for the day over all the Ski resorts and hills.
IT was amazing country if you could see this.

The total distance for the day was meant to be 310 Miles, so we were in the sweep and arrived at 9.30 pm.

A quick unload, and we rebuilt the clutch, valves, chains, maggy, replaced the lost bolts, and had this back running at 3.00 am.

The third day was the most difficult, as we had a boat ride on the ferry and this was 300 miles away.
There was no way we could make this at 35 MPH average on time.
We headed out, and were collected 1 hr after the leaving.
The good news is that this was basically a time pickup rather than a failure.

It doesn't matter, we having fun.

Our bike is cool and tonight Willie Davidson and his wife Nancy were at the function at the museum.
Willie was snapping photos and Nancy loved the sidecar.
Especially the leather animals in the tauna cover.

Had the Iron Indian Riders from South Carolina up here tonight, Its a small world.
They were looking for us, and have some more cards coming so we can hand these out.
I think we are about 59th or 60th in the listings , but there were many today who have problems.

This just reminds us all of how tuff the men were back in 1920 when they originally rode.

Friday, 7 September 2012

The night before the start


We are at the start of the Biggest International motorcycle event in the world.
We have passed the saftey check and also been briefed with the Route and symbols used.

The public is amazed with our machine and that someone is going to be riding in  he sidecar.

We have been doing laps arround the packing lot with our Flag in Full Flight.
Tommorow we change the Kangaroo to the Australian Flag by popular demand.

It looks like we will swap and change the flag sevearal times along the route.

The bike is going well, had a few minor problems with loosing a bolt on the exhuast and also replacing the broken glass on the fuel cap.

Reg this glass didnt work and we know have a hotel Card cut to shape and will know the number of Donimo's pizza soon.

The bike seems to be going strong and we are certainly exciting being here amoungst some really neat prepared machines.

We ahve just finshed the Gala dinner and again i think this was great.
Jsut so many peope we know.

The sidecar we doanted to the Organisers is going to be awarded to a team at the organisers discresion.

It was well recieved and will be a coverted trophey.

Anyway we leave for 210 miles tommorow at 7.04 am and 26 seconds.
This is our starting time.

I'm sure this is for logistics at the photo shoot  at 8.00 am.

More later.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Video update.

We have been buys bee's since arriving in the USA.  The issues with customs allowed some breathing space for a few days and this resulted in some free time to put together a Video (DVD) of the pre-start.
The Video is out for production know and is a short documentary of our adventure and the road take to date.
This will be available shortly, but a little hard to sort out logistic while travelling on a bike.

I am quite surprised at the quality and interest this has received to date and hopefully i remembered to acknowledge all.

What most readers will find surprising is that we are belong to the Newport Folk and Fiddle Club back in Melbourne and recently recorded our first CD.

Newport Folk and Fiddle Club have been great with the local community support and have supplied us with several copies of the CD to hand out to get our music to the broader audience.

Well we have certainly achieved this and i hope that all are impressed with the results.
The DVD will be available before the start.

The title of our DVD is "The Invincible Adventure" and i hope that all that view this can enjoy this special event, along with our journey to date.

We are moving to the start tomorrow and the vibe is really abuzz.

Christina arrived and all is well.
We are amongst like minded people who all talk our language.

Must fly


Sunday, 2 September 2012

Pre-Start Mobilization


We have come a long way from Newport to Kingston.

It is 7.30 Am Sunday morn and today we have so much planned.

The Facebook cannonball site has got people coming from here , there and everywhere to congregate on the town of Newburgh, which is about 40 miles south of where we are staying.

Its funny how things seem to work out.
I met Bill Nugent last season on the C/ball 1 and all i really knew about Bill was that he lived somewhere close to NY and had a finance background.

Good things seem to happen, as Bill  bought a Harley Davidson Dealership in Woodstock which is where the hippie festival happened.
The interesting thing is that the guys in the know are all heading to Woodstock to prepare for this race.

Again i have landed on our feet, and am already running.
Davenport swap (Which is the major flea Market) finishes today in Iowa and most guys packed up last night and are heading east to Woodstock.
It threatened rain, so most packed up to avoid this.

Our support  from Texas (Buck Carson) had trouble with a trailer tube on the 40 ft trailer and lost half a day on the 1600 mile cross state trip.
I received a TXT last night that they were in Newburgh and arrived late, but have made the start, although the next txt was that they are also coming to Woodstock today.

Jeff Decker (who is the H/D fashion and Sculpture legend ) for the vintage movement is also due in, as are many of last years entries, like Billy Campbell and Jon Szalay.
All i can say is, well i am in the right place.
I could say that this is because we are there, but it isn't.
Bill has a full shop, and is known from last year with the dealership the second closest to the event.
It makes sense, as the other shop closer is not that tolerant to the older machines and certainly would not want a troupe of characters disrupting the flow of business.

Bill looks as this differently and roped off a section of the workshop , so i have been working on display for the last week.
It is no problem, as we have also been on display at home back in Newport, but this is in a public environment and it makes you concentrate.
The media is yet to pick up on this, but i am sure this will swing into gear early next week.

Having a Camera around makes people take notice as well,a nd we are shooting a few segments for our  DVD. We have shot some really good film on the preparation, to add to our photos.

I was a little concerned yesterday as i offered to collect Christina form the Airport.
She arrives at 9.30 Pm after a longish flight.

It is hard to get out of the airport, let alone find public transport.
We are in a regional part of NY similar to Bendigo in Victoria, so it is a little hard to get transport.

It took me 6 hrs to find public transport here and arrive at Kingston at 1.30 Pm.

Anyway it turns out that Buck has to collect the English at a similar time, so we can ride together.
Its amazing how these sort of things always seem to fall in place.

I must say that Christina does not like my planing, as she is the organized one, but alas as long we don't forget her and leave her stranded!
Maybe I'll Get the Texans to hold up a sign with her name !

Today i am taking the bike out to a lake, and going to put in the Fiddle and sit at the lake for an hour.
It is really pretty, and looks like a nice place to relax.
I need to take an hour or so for me time, so i can get organized as i doubt i will have time moving forward.

It is going to get hectic, but what most people don't know is that we have been at this pace know for the last 6 months, with so much against us.
It will work and if it doesn't we will make it work.
Just have to remain focused and we can do anything.

I cannot load photos on to our blog as i am in a hotel Foyer.
I can load them on to Facebook, so if anyone wishes to be my Friend, i would like that.

there are also some other sites i am posting on Facebook
These are the
Iron Indian Riders Australia (Club site)
Motorcycle Cannonball  (Run site)

Oh, must fly.

Dyno run


As all the teams congregate upon Newburgh NY it is quite comforting to know that we are here, about 50 miles up the route and more importantly nearly ready.

The English teams on those magnificent Rudges are flying in tomorrow.

Buck and his Texas crew are pulling half of Texas over with them in the larger than life trailer.
I had a text from Buck about an hour ago, advising that the valves on the trailer had not held, so they were awaiting repairs.

Already in training for the cannonball.

Christina is flying it tomorrow night and Ian Lihou is due to touch down on Tuesday.
It will be good to catch up and have our team together again.

We have been making progress out here.
Despite the Custom-s deli ma in which we lost a full week, i read that others are flying there machines in and i pray that they don't have the issues we had.

Our issue was quite simple.
It seems that the staff were back-logged with clearances and it just had to go in order.
Monday is a public Holiday out here so i hope the clearances go smoothly for the others.

In fact it took 5 hrs of waiting in a Que to obtain our goods.
There was not really another way around this, but all has worked out.

We have removed our transmission again, and checked this out, and are using a semi fluid (grease) in the box to hopefully stop the leaks.
It was interesting as the Head Mechanic at Woodstock Harley Davidson noted that the original spiral groove on the shaft was cut the wrong way, so despite all our efforts to correct this it was just poorly designed.
It is amazing as i had spent countless hours trying to understand this and fresh eyes provided the answer in a matter of minutes.
I guess that speaks volumes for the competence and skill level within the dealership.

So much for the best of British Engineering.

The gearbox will be our Achilles heel and luckily we obtained a spare from and old pal over in Scotland prior to our departure.

This is neatly tucked away for safe keeping.

We also changed the gear ratio and fitted a 53 T on the rear.
It is hopefully set for sidecar load know and should get our speed up to a comfortable touring speed over 30 MPH. 

We put the Jap on the Dyno today.
Had some fun guessing its output.

It ran 5.93 HP @ 2100 RPM with 15.93 Torque.

As this is in sidecar ratio, it is about 20 % less than the solo figures, so these are closer to the  7.5 Hp.

We also never got the motor to full revs, as this is quite a fresh motor, so didn't wish to race it over that.
The motor is basically a veteran style JAP with a nominal 8 hp rating.

Anyway we are close to the factory figures.

Bill put his 29 JD on the Dyno after and this had 23 HP, but running a solo gearing, and is also IOE (inlet Over Exhaust ) and was running at 3500 RPM.

I will be glad when Christina arrives so we can put some pictures up on.

The sidecar chassis has been fitted and tomorrow we shall fit the body and trial this.

It has presented quite well and the bike will get a full detail before we head to Newburgh.

It is only a few days away.
I look back at our photos , where we started and it seems like yesterday.

I guess this is part of the journey, but we have almost made the start and for us this was the Goal.
IThen what happens , happens.

Again we wish to thank all those along the way who have helped out in kind, with time and work in kind and to our sponsors.

It is quite a heart felt feeling to be here and without this help and support, i am sure we would not have been here.

Stay tuned folks.