CASPER’S A’COMING

CASPER’S A’COMING

CASPER’S A’COMING

Psssst, ……..Raeph and Priscilla  its that time again!

Seems a long time since my last trials outing, and looking back it really has been! I’m cartainly not
used to this type of riding and don’t much care for these financially induced lay offs. Suddenly what
was in the far future is now less than a week away and I really need to get my act in gear and be ready
for the event.

When was the last event? well, there have only been TWO this year, the Buckeye Bonaza in Feb and
Cotopaxi in June! Not having ridden in all the rounds, even those at relatively short range I now find
myself well down the Championship table and I’m struggling to find enough events to get on even
terms.

A week today we need to be on the road as Brenda wants an “add on” this year with a little “wine
tasting” and night stop in the Palisades and Grand Junction area. That will work out fine and we
should be in Casper mid afternoon on Friday giving Saturday morning to get a little refamil on the
bike.

On the route at Palisades

3 events on terrain that I usually like and go well on so better get the mind set going and remember
how to do it. Casper really doesn’t suit the big bikes although my Enfield with it’s short wheelbase
does have a slight advantage but as I’m only contesting Classic Expert, in a half arsed way, this year
it will be another 3 outings on the Cub. I would love to be doing Tooele the following weekend but I’m
not sure how that will go down……. and maybe Milliken the following weekend. It is almost a lost
cause as Eugene has 112 points from his 6 rides to date and only needs 3 more wins this year to
secure the Championship as he has an age advantage over me. I need 4 wins and if this can be
achieved then I can keep Mister Smith and Rick Wolff at bay as they are younger than me. Eugene
certainly has the upper hand this year as I didn’t ride at Terlton and even if he rides against me at
Casper and Tooele he can still win overall if he goes to any of the Southern rounds at  TTC, Barber
or Aonia Pass in GA which are way too far out of my stomping ground.

Getting a little riding time around the yard testing the Jumbo but I really need to check over the Cub
and Enfield and do some much needed work on the bus.

Getting to enjoy Ugly Betty

Balances well, and the clutch is now good

One of the most powerful 2T bikes I have ever ridden


Stop moaning, if there is a trials weekend then this it! The best sections, great location and 3 days to
enjoy. I have had good verging on great rides there and have also been unlucky a few times too, with
some stalling 5’s which have spoilt the day. With such a huge variety of sections there is something
for everybody, tight and I mean tight turns, big log crossings, water, mud, and a fair few rocks on the
hillsides, fantastic stream beds (my favorite) and some between the trees over the stump things
(my least favorite!). A lot of new sections last year to go with the tried and true and then there is always
lego land at the start with a mix of concrete things and logs. Of course I’m hoping there will be more of
the mud ones and also the stream beds and not too many of the clutch lover’s delights or running old
bikes over monster logs.

Deep water

A dose of real mud

Mud and water

Streambeds

My favorite section of 2009

Lego Land through the Diamond



More streambeds

Some big logs in the background that get nasty when wet !

Someone had better tell Raeph and Priscilla we are on our way again as their secret lover’s meeting
place by the babbling brook will all too soon be full of two stroke smoke and the crack of those 4RT’s
exhausts.

“Oh Raeph, did you hear, they are coming back to our secret place?”

With some testing done on the 350 Jumbo time to look at some rejetting on the Enfield. Last time I
tested her I nearly got the top end running cleanly on the 100 main but then went the wrong way on
the pilot and it was horrible! Into the workshop and change back down to a 35 as is was spot on in
Cave Creek at 2000′ with a 40 but up here at 7000′ it is a bit rich. A plug change was needed as well
but thereafter she ran as well as any 50 year old can considering age and weight. I often ponder how
to make something of this type lighter but I think it could only be done with a “cheater” frame and a
non Enfield front end.

Running well at 7000′

Turns VERY well……. tight turn left

Tight turn right……..

The short wheel base 50 year old

Still Bloody Heavy !!!

At 100lbs lighter the NO EXCUSE CUB can handle everything that Casper has to offer assuming the
rider can remember how to ! As it’s Sunday I’ll have her out this afternoon for a mini run and refresh
the memory banks with some balancing and tight turns.

Hello again

Perfect Balance…. NO EXCUSES, any department !

Bus got some attention with the broken front inner fender plate removed that was causing the most
God awful noise from a fractured piece of alloy that was banging on the chasis. Brenda decided it
was time to redo the bedroom ceiling as she didn’t like the water stains….. looks like a lot of work to
me. Tanks drained and filled and now time for fuel and LP gas. Currently running about 12 hours
behind schedule but, trailer swept out, bikes tested and loading could be done this evening if I’m up
to it.

TONY DOWN

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TESTING, TESTING, 1,2, TESTING

TESTING, TESTING, 1,2, TESTING

TESTING, TESTING, 1,2, TESTING

And so after many moons, a lot of setbacks, a degree or two of frustration, the reconfigured JPS SWM
Jumbo was finally brought out for a test run.

To cut a VERY long story short this beast was delivered to me down in Phoenix circa 2005 on
completion of the 349 Montesa which was also a disaster on arrival. At the time I had a part renovated
SWM 320 model and so it was wheeled into a back room where it sat with it’s buddy until we were
forced to give up our Arizona lifestyle and retreat into the mountains of Colorado.

I’m forever blowing bubbles…..pretty bubbles

Revamped and in it’s new livery

A very pretty 349

The Backroom with “Ugly Betty” joining my 320

God, that’s UGLY !!

Being, in my opinion, one of the ugliest trials bikes I have ever seen it was stored in the tool shed until
the summer/fall of 2009 when I decided that I really ought to set about rebuilding it for it’s owner. It was
duly brought out of hibernation and put in the workshop where against all the other bikes it really was
the ugly sister.

UGLY BETTY in the fall sunshine

No matter, the die was cast, the scene was set, and the rebuild started. When you are dealing with a
basket case of this nature, and no idea of past history or even if it was a “runner” it can be somewhat
daunting. You can mentally see its transition from showroom perfection to scrap as it has gone
through a very checkered history. No doubt several changes of ownership maybe even given to the
children as a “field bike” and you ponder all the likely screw ups along the way.

As you start dismantling the horrors become evident, many broken, twisted and bent parts, chain on
backwards, self tapping woodscrews, wheels bent beyond recognition, and an assortment of frayed
cables and unmatched control levers etc, etc. Add to all that my own views on its basic looks and you
have a real problem trying to get enthusiastic about bringing it back from the grave.

Not nice !

Eventually it is all back together but we are now in the grip of winter, its f******* cold and we have 2-3
feet of snow and I’m testing nothing! Richard has other projects for me so the Jumbo departs but he
wants one or two minor parts changed so it will be coming back. We note the leaking shaft oil seals,
the stiffness of the big Betors and of course the possible broken kickstart spring after doing the oil
change.

Too cold to test !

With all the final rectifications done, time to see if it will start? 50:1 made up and pointing it in a safe
direction the fuel is switched on, the choke set and the duty 3 kicks given to get some crankcase
compression. As hoped for on the 3rd kick the big motor bursts into life and the clanking begins. Yes,
it needs a rebore!

Ready Betty ?

As the motor warms the engine settles in as oil lubrication flows through the Jumbo’s arteries once
more and it quietens down. Without any carb fettling it seems responsive enough on the throttle so
time to see whats what. The 1200 cc’s of transmission oil will eventually soak into the clutch plates
bearing in mind this engine was “dry” for God knows how many years and only produced a dismal
100 cc’s on draining and that was mainly mud and water.

Out in the yard and despite the non freeing dragging clutch, and zero adjustments on the carb for this
altitude (7000′) it did seem to run pretty well !  Plenty of responsive power in the first 3 gears, the
suspension front and back seems to work well… now! and the brakes are powerful and functional. Yes
I could ride this thing, in fact I’m getting quite fond of it.

Plenty of ground clearance

Balances well enough

Dragging

Loads of POWER here!

Smiling? I guess the Tester likes it ?

For the next session I’ll let the tires down to normal pressures adjust the clutch a little and maybe
tweak the carb. I’m pretty sure that with a bit more running time and a hot soak of ATF the clutch will
work again.

So what have we learnt so far in our brief test ? Well, if this were MY bike I would either have Magura
or Domino control levers as I don’t like the ones that are on there. The footrests are the original but
they are very small (like Gucci shoes!) and would be better replaced with wider ones. Some nice rear
Falcon shocks would be good and perhaps a more modern lightweight tail pipe. Despite limited
“saddle time” it seems to handle well enough and even with the forward axle position it seems to
steer to my liking. True slow speed handling can’t fully be explored with the dragging clutch and
untuned carb but this can be evaluated on Test 2. The now shining Akront rims are beyond repair
and need to be replaced with my GOLD ones! Plenty of power so put the rebore on hold. Looking at
the frame design a one piece SM tank seat unit from a TY175 I think could be adapted to give a really
smart finish to the machine for modern day trials. Overall impression from this brief test: NOT BAD !

Test 2, Fired up on first kick today and after warming up was a little quieter. A few tweaks here and
there and off to get some running time. The oil is working and although the clutch is not totally free
it is getting there and stationary in gear balancing can be achieved. With some adjustments to the
carb it will now run slower and the pick up is excellent. Gears change smoothly and the fork action is
superb. From a personal, large handed perspective, I would fit the Domino black levers and some
wider footrests. For a novice rider maybe a slow action black throttle would be beneficial as there is
a ton of power and this machine is one of the reed valve motors so doesn’t need much persuasion
to get going. QUITE NICE !

TONY DOWN

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  • 8/30/2010 10:41 AM Robert Cline wrote:
    The SWM jumbo was the most powerful twin shock trials bike that I had and great trail bike for single track riding.
    Reply to this
  • 8/30/2010 5:10 PM Jim Beville wrote:
    Hello Tony ,hope all is well. Glad to see you ride the SWM. I knew you would like it! My Modified Schrieber Replica is awesome, a much better bike than I’ll ever be a rider. Cheers,Jim
    Reply to this
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MAHOUT TRIALS TRAINING CAMP

MAHOUT TRIALS TRAINING CAMP

MAHOUT TRIALS TRAINING CAMP

No unlike the last article this is not a “wind-up” !  If you want to ride a Jumbo then you need to attend
the training camp where Instructors will handle all aspects of Jumbo riding and the techniques
required. Now I know you still think I’m joking but this is for real.

Students arrive on a wide variety of machines

After initial selection to the course you are given your uniform (blue) and then after some classroom
instruction and practical demonstrations the class begins. The curriculum is quite intensive as can
be seen from the list below.

Students get issued with their blue uniform……. Is that Fred Martinson ?

Students meet their Instructors

Classroom training begins……..

The rigorous schedule

Of course you can bring your own machine or one will be supplied. A few days dealing with the
technical side and some classroom instruction and then its all hands on.

First up, mounting the Jumbo, either from the front , with a degree of cooperation, or your standard
John Wayne side approach and for the Pro Class a rear entry using the rear suspension.

Front mounting

The Instructor gives a little help

The “John Wayne” side mount

The Instructor demos the “Pro Class” rear mount using a back shock

“Improperly Seated”   which of course is a classic 5 !

As always a degree of time spent on “posture” and some easy riding before moving on to the more
advanced techniques. The most popular is legs behind ears and using the Sammy Miller and Gordon
Farley style “knee gripping” technique with a lot of “Body English”. Another style is “cross legged” and
can be used in deep water sections but of course you run the risk of coming off unless you use a lot
of “Body Indian” to maintain balance and control.

Standard riding set up from the rider’s view point

Chief Instructor shows the perfect posture, legs behind ears and slightly
bent, relaxed arms and “banana bend” from toes to top of head


Another Instructor shows the correct posture as he brings his advanced
class back from river work

The view on a slightly wider model

Crossed legged riding position and also good in deep water

After the “posture” and “riding position” famils its time for some simple slow speed figure of 8’s.
Finally the Chief Instructor demos the art of the tight turn.

The class tackle some simple figure of 8’s

The Chief Instructor demos the tight turn

Once the basic skills have been learnt then its time to tackle some of the more advanced techniques,
the “planned dab”, “log handling”, “steep climbs and descents”, “wheelies”, and of course the
“deep water” river sections where anything can happen.

THE PLANNED DAB
“Plant your foot, then pivot and use the other three for traction”

Early stages on log crossings

More advanced log work

Steep slippery climbs

With all this power they wheelie easily enough

A nasty “5” going through the rocks but she kept the trunk above water

Too fast! and another 5 ! Instructor dashes in to keep the motor running

 With all the fun of training we are all too soon ready for graduation and the End of Camp Trial. Usual
format, draw numbers, fixed time to complete 2 laps of 10 sections, single line, prize giving, and then
the end of camp Pot Luck Bar-B-Q


THE GHANDI CUP
 TRIAL

Sign up 0830-0930 and collect numbers

0930 Rider’s meet

1000 riders set off on the loop

Tight turn sections in the trees

Hardest section of the day, The Log Pile, muddy adverse downhill with a
pile of logs to cross

Chaos at the “Pit” with a lot of waiting and looks like this one has stalled.


An argument at “Swamp” ….. ” The tusks are OUT…. honest “

Illegal use of the trunk…… but they gave him a “baulk”

Guess she got a clean !

Victory wheelie exiting “Watersplash” and a celebration squirt

With the event over and training complete the winners take the rostrum for the prize presentation
and the Bar-B-Q begins

Victory salutes all round from the winners

Best Performance of the day     “The GHANDI Cup”

Best Performance by a Novice Mahout        “The Dabbers Stool”

The Pot Luck Bar-B-Q is enjoyed by all

Better get my Blue riding gear for next year! ….Jumbos FOREVER!!!

TONY DOWN

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THE CLOCKWORK ELEPHANT

 

THE CLOCKWORK ELEPHANT

THE CLOCKWORK ELEPHANT

Time for the big wind up!

With the weekend upon us again and only two weeks until Casper time to finish off all things Jumbo.

Today’s mission, Jim, is to rewind the kickstart spring while attempting to preserve skin and bone.
Select your team carefully Jim, one slip here and you could find the parts scattered to the four corners
of the workshop.

I’ll take Brenda

The technique seems simple enough on paper, locate the spring in the case, other end in the rachet,
fit the kicker and rotate 360 degrees clockwise, Now insert the joke drain plug and release the tension
90 degrees to lock the rachet gear behind the inserted bolt, put the clutch back on and THEN test the
action!

Good luck Jim, remember should you or any member of your team…………etc, etc, …….this tape will
self destruct in 5 seconds…….

Cog suitably marked in red, Brenda does the compression while I wind up 360 degrees, drain plug/
kickstart spring stop in place, and gently release through 90 degrees. So far so good, now replace the
complete clutch unit and tighten up while still in top gear. Find a big enough screwdriver to bend the
locking washer and then refit springs, bolts and pressure plate. Out with the plug, a little upper
lubricant and see if the motor will turn over freely. A little initial resistance but then a nice smooth
rotation in all gears.

Compress, red at 9 o’clock, turn 360 right, bolt in, release 90 left to the 6
o’clock position and it should lock in

Rachet locked it behind the bolt

Clutch on, now bend the tab washer

Time for a bit of straightening for that crude kicker prevention mechanism and then it will be gasket
time and more aquarium sealant on the clutch cable entry hole. If that all goes well then just maybe
make up the 50:1 mix and have at it tomorrow for my first ever ride on SWM’s finest. I’m actually quite
looking forward to it with all the man hours invested in this beast. It was sparking the last time i tried
it so once again fingers crossed for no more Italian surprises.

Can I fix it ?

Straighter, new nuts and recut threads

Nearly forgot the last JPS logo to go on the tank and then the final blow over with Armorall and of
course Solvol. I might not want to part with it but unfortunately Ahrma persists in not letting these
machines into competition.

The last of the JPS logos goes on

Better not forget the chain tensionner which also needs a little work and I might have to make a steel
guide to hold the block in place as I can’t get the proper SWM one in time. Well, seems its my lucky
day as there was a new block in the spares box that I must have acquired when I was going to rebuild
a TL320.

Lucky find of a NEW pad

Out with the Blue and first refit the cable so no Ice Fishing today. Get the case done up and see if the
reformed kicker protection device will work once more. Give it a couple of hours to dry off then put the
ATF in and see if there are any leaks this time.

The “Ice Fishing” hole is sealed

All buttoned up !

Final adjustment for the new decompressor

This morning open up the workshop and see if the beast is dry and clean underneath as ATF can find
it’s way out of anything thats not well sealed. All looks good so on with the bash plate and the tank unit.
Make up some 50:1 and get ready for the test firing.

Happiness is a dry drain pan

Ready to ride

Outside at last and all seems ready to go, fuel on and no leaks from any of the common places, carb,
transmission, fork legs so I guess all is ready to test. ……….. you are no doubt wondering what
happened next ? ……… well that will be the subject of another saga in the life of a Jumbo.

TONY DOWN

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JUMBO BWANA

JUMBO BWANA

JUMBO BWANA

With the “Busted Flush” Rally behind me, and overall misery and depression lifting, time to get on with
the last few items on Richard’s Jumbo.

These cases are very prone to allowing water to get in via the clutch
cable which mixes with the oil to make a very goopey mess!

The new decompressor is now fitted, and the problematic leaking seal on the gearbox/kicker shaft
has been removed and replaced. Now I need to straighten the bolts of the “kicker prevention” system
and have that ready to refit after the challenge of removing the clutch and replacing the kickstart
spring.

Not quite sure what was protecting what? Bent to hell

While rolling around on the floor I noticed that the chain tensioner system is not as perfect as I
would want so some extra work here to get that working correctly. Another item that had suffered an
almighty clout in it’s lifetime and doesn’t run true with the chain.

Long time running with a bent tensioner

On the positive side I’m now very happy with the fork action so progress to date has gone well. During
the research phase and upward swing on the learning curve of all things Jumbo and, Rotax in
particular, another bolt has come to light at the front of the engine. Now this looks like a level plug,
and could easily be confused for such ….. but no! It is in fact a drain plug if you drown the engine, or
you can remove same and insert a special bolt which will engage on the crank at TDC and allow easy
undoing of all those very tight rotating type nuts!  Good to know if I ever have to work on another one of
these engines.

No ! not a level plug, but a drain plug for the crankcase should you drown
the motor, and also a crank locking position at TDC

Still the clutch to remove and several different ways to skin a cat or elephant in this case. A clutch
holding tool of the universal type could be used but for the life of me I can’t see anywhere to attach it.
Another method, I’m told is the air wrench or the use of the impact driver…. and from Rotax, their
suggestion is top gear, lock the back wheel and just undo conventionally.

The basket case nut……YOU will come off!!

Several hours spent working on the very last phase of the census over the weekend so time for a full
assault on the remaining items amid mowing the grass which is having a field day with all these
thunderstorms. Should put me in a “trials mood” as Casper is only a couple of weeks away and some
spannering will spark the interest once more.

The clutch removal went well, and as expected the spring is good !

Finally followed Mister Rotax’s suggestion but didn’t need to lock the rear wheel and the nut came
free with hardly any effort. The goopey mixture from oil and water ingress was everywhere but with that
cleaned out of the way I’m closing in for the kill on the spring. I’m hoping I can do this myself without
an assistant so after coffee and writing this paragraph I will return to the beast and coax her over on
her side and attempt the spring reset. A lot of work to overcome the “dumb” boobey trap drain bolt, …….
but we live and learn!

More of the “mud & oil” lubricant 

The one word answer is NO ! This is a two person operation as it requires the spring to be
compressed then tensioned and with that done and a big ring spanner  to hold it in place the
“naughty bolt” can then be replaced and the spring tension released. Well it looks like I have it
figured out but not yet completed. Might be tricky but I’m very pleased that I have access to the spring
without having to disembowel the entire engine.

The 3 handed problem!  Compress, rotate, and lock in !

With the patient ready for surgery all that is required is my faithful assistant to join me and we will
attempt compression and rotation and see if it will lock into place without a tornado of bolts, washers
and springs flying round the workshop.

TONY DOWN

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FRIDAY THE 13TH

FRIDAY THE 13TH

FRIDAY THE 13TH

Had she lived my Mother would have been 95 today. However she passed 7 years ago so she did
have a very good innings. Today was also Day 2 of our very own Dolores River Rally and following
yesterday’s fantastic success of absolutely NO riders it was little surprise when this morning’s start
time came and went with the same number of entries!

So for all of you out there planning a motorcycle event, take heed, as despite all the interest along the
way the proof of the pudding as they say is in the eating. Well in this case nobody ordered from the
carefully prepared menu and the “pudding” remains untried !

The untried pudding goes up in flames!

Of course the “recipe” is still intact and it could be recooked at a moments notice although I’m now
very reluctant to go through the exercise again, but having said that, I, as a motor cycle rider, would
have enjoyed both days had I been a participant as this one certainly has more “meat” in the dish
than others that I have ridden in.

Well no use crying over spilt milk, clearly I will not be doing this sort of thing again as despite all the
fantastic roads and bends a’plenty to test any rider’s skills, it would seem the Hardley Ableson
fraternity would sooner ride in straight lines on a 20 mile “there and back” Poker Run.

Another piece of engineering excellence!  Perfect for long distance
riding, superb handling through the bends and about as comfortable
as being nailed to a cross!!!!

Having seen the constant stream of demi unrideable machines passing the house I can see that
230 miles might be pushing them way outside their physical comfort zones let alone the other side
of limited riding skills which can be witnessed all too frequently as they ride around the bends!

Dressed for the ride. No helmets (who needs them?) deep sea diver’s
boots for him and high heels for her, duty doo-rag and no gloves.
Forward controls and apehangers for improved handling and blood
circulation! Range 50 miles max.

One we don’t teach on the MSF course. “Enter the turn too fast, power on
before the apex, run wide into oncoming traffic, then ground out into a
classic low side crash!”

With the raging success of this one the proposed “Trials Camp” that some readers frequently
express interest in, is now firmly shoved on a back burner. The land is available which is perfect for
vintage novice and beginner riders, and permission was going to be sought from the local Sherrif’s
Office to ride the illegal non registered bikes down the road from Cozy Comfort to the training venue.
This would have also culminated in a Saturday Trial after 3 days of practice and training but as people
will NOT commit themselves to actually turning up at events, or booking ahead for a trials school that
they have asked for, the effort and workload seems somewhat futile. All very sad as well organised
opportunites don’t come round that often. So although the Trial’s School was going to feature in an
upcoming article and be scheduled for mid October, the current slap in the face with a wet Travelocity
Gnome has left me with no desire to put anything on for others.

I can only feel for the most recent Ahrma Trial where they had only 7 entries…… but at least they did
get some people unlike our rally!!

…. and finally a heart felt thank you for all the advice, suggestions, promises of participation, the effort
in spreading the word, etc, etc. Well done to all, and please do the same Next Year for somebody
else !

The 15 hours driving & riding, the countless hours of computer planning, devising of clues, printing,
etc and the $500 of pre event expenditure and purchases of prizes, banners, posters, gnomes and
passport stamps can now all be laid to rest.

I think they found my last clue, which read  “Follow the River of Tears”

Just like Mother, let the Dolores River Rally R.I.P.

DISGRUNTLED of Dolores

PS If you would like to join the rally fraternity try this link, and to show
no bias watch the BMW GS vid afterwards

Harley video

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  • 8/17/2010 9:10 AM Jack Knoops wrote:
    What a crying shame Tony. I was looking forward to the result, visions of these guys doing 15 point turns after wrong slotting, and taking part in a bit of off roading!
    Perhaps that what some of them thought, it was an off road event on Harleys, now theres a thought!!
    Now all you have to do is collect the Gnomes.
    I keep checking the Boddingtons, it’s still very, very good.
    All the best ,
    Jack
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  • 8/17/2010 3:09 PM John Holbrook wrote:
    Tony I have been following your post for several months, its a shame that no one supported all your hard work. I don’t ride a street bike and was looking forward to your trials event. Don’t lose faith, I think the trials community would be more supportive.
    John
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PRE RALLY WORKUP

PRE RALLY WORKUP

PRE RALLY WORKUP

Wednesday morning, grey and gloomy, and despite weather forecasts to the contrary the weather
looks decidedly unfriendly! Today is the drive round day to hand out Gnomes, secrete some Immunity
Idols and brief all the clue holders of their duties and how to stamp all the rider’s passports,
assuming we get any, riders that is.


Another great riding day in SW Colorado

Departure to Mancos goes on time but our venue is closed!  A few frantic phone calls and still nothing,
but we can use a plan B here if need be without wrecking all the work. Pretend nothing has happened
and off for “Scoot & Blues” in Durango. Been in here on many occasions in the past and of course it
was selected as yet another biker bar. The clue to get here from Mancos read…….

“Travel to Durango Main Street, and find a Man with a passion for the Blues and Indians who has your
next clue” This WOULD have been all well and good but although I can find the building it seems the
place has been sold, revamped as a different style bar and no longer has vintage Indian motorcycles
in the windows or hanging from the roof!!!

Indians everywhere

Fortunately we find another bar which has a mural on the outside wall recording Jack Dempsey
knocking out someone at this very spot umpty ump years ago. Bar owner is a Harley man and is all
for it. I now need to dream up a suitable clue.

The alternate clue

Onward to the Pinkerton Hot Springs and hide one Immunity Idol, and three dummies! Now I’m not
telling the riders about the dummies so yet more fun unless you find one and think its the real thing.

Where to hide the Idols ?

Ever onward and through rain and roadworks and into Silverton where it always seems to rain
whenever we go there in the summer. Must be good for the tourist shops selling plastic rain gear.
Quick lunch at the Grand and brief them while Dale at the honky tonk piano bashes out more Scott
Joplin and others. It rains some more!

Summer in Silverton

Train & Tourists here

Time for lunch

Dale plays on

The Gnome enjoys the music

Out on the Million Dollar Highway but today for the most part we are against the cliff so it isn’t quite so
scary, but still mighty impressive. 24 miles of non stop bends and drops a’plenty we make it into Ouray
where the weather has perked up a bit. All well here and the bar owner will join in with the fun and
games.

Dream bends

Now its fun!

They just keep coming

A pleasant rain free run all the way to Telluride stopping at Ridgway to see John Wayne at his bar and
drop off another gnome and rally clue. Telluride concludes today’s mission and should anyone turn up
then I can deposit the last clue and remaining Idols at Rico on Friday morning.

Last stop of the day

Leaving Telluride the sky gets dark and by Rico its raining hard which it does on and off all the way
home culminating in non stop thunderstorms for the rest of the evening. Well all my tasks are done,
whether we get anybody to ride remains to be seen but currently there doesn’t seem to be much
interest.

TONY DOWN

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ELEPHANT TALES

ELEPHANT TALES

ELEPHANT TALES

Yesterday saw the departure of the two Ducati Elefants and the return of the SWM Jumbo for it’s
remedial treatment. The Jumbo owner wanted new fork boots, the decompressor unit refitted and a
few other minor items. The minor items were the double seals on the kickstart/shifter shaft and a
replacement kickstart spring.

Welcome back

The new parts were duly ordered and arrived after it’s departure back in December 2009. On the day
of departure it had “marked it’s spot”, a bit like a Harley, and I removed the bash plate to check the
drain plug……. quick tighten and “CLACK” a nasty mechanical noise from the bowels and now the
kicker won’t return all the way. So either the spring has come off its peg or out of it’s hole and by the
feel of it the drain plug for the motor runs very close to it.

Trying to find an engine diagrams for this Rotax engine is just about impossible so I’ll be contacting
the UK Experts tomorrow to try and fill some of my gaps of knowledge! From what I have managed to
read so far I get the impression that this spring lurks in the bowels of the motor and requires splitting
the cases……. I hope not as that will require more specialist tools to get the flywheel off and get
inside.

The forks were never brilliant so they need a flush and another blow through to get an improved
action. This may well be the easier of the projected tasks!

Those nice Betor forks!

What WE have learnt so far! The kicker spring thing is a common problem as most SWM owner’s
(me included) don’t have a workshop manual and as the (drain) bolt looks like the obvious most
owners remove this NEVER touch bolt!

Which one would you remove ?

Seems I fell foul of this gotcha too! Now assuming the engine construction is the same then its off
with the clutch case remove the offending bolt, then with the clutch removed and kicker back on swing
the shaft 360 clockwise to retention the spring and slowly put the securing bolt back in. Well thats the
theory so hope “springs” eternal otherwise the whole f******** bike has to come to pieces as the
engine itself is the rear mounting point for the swinging arm and back end.

The whole back end is connected to the motor

Up front the rare 38mm Betors give me concern as with the oil removed they are still as stiff as a
brick and the springs protrude a good 3″ out of the tubes requiring a great deal of strength to replace
the crown nut. I get the impression they are about 2″ too long and may well have been replaced by
“Shadetree” in an earlier life. I’ll take the complete front end off and see if there is any “binding” when
its off load or whether the upper tubes are slightly bent? The spring length remains a mystery!

There are indeed some slight bends in the upper tubes, evidenced by rolling on the pool table
surface. Not sure that this would cause the problem, and it would appear one leg has been
incorrectly rebuilt and is missing a part. The internals are fairly rusty which is causing some
snagging so without any reference info I’m still in the dark as to correct spring length and diameter.

Not nice, but I’ve seen worse

Some months ago there was an advert on Craig’s List for some Jumbo Betors for sale and although
I can find the ad via Google there is no tel no or method of contact to see if they are still available. All
very frustrating!! Well eventually the phone number is found, but the item is sold! however he did put
me onto another source which I’m waiting on. Bugger! that’s sold as well, so I’m now left waiting on
the UK expert to see if he either has these forks or the parts for them. No answer here to emails
and his cell phone is switched off.

So near and yet so far, the required Betors……. but sold!

Meanwhile, I will give them an intensive clean, remove all the rust and compare the feel and action
with another pair of Yam forks and see if there is much difference. In the worst case scenario I could
always align the bent tubes in the same direction and then at least they will be working in harmony
instead of opposition.

Nothing for it, a complete dismantle of the legs and see what can be found while I’m waiting for
Martin to switch his phone on or reply to the emails. I thought one leg was missing some parts, but
NO, Shade had used his mechanical prowess and shoved them in arse backwards!! Amazing how
you can rebuild two legs and have them completely different, as well as gummed up with mud, crud
and rust. However they are slightly bent but I don’t think that will be a major issue.

Shade has one leg correct, but reversed parts 3, 20 and 21 in the other!

Using a little logic I will reassemble the “clean equipment ” keep the bends on the Elephant tusks
in the same direction, and see if the action is anything like a trials fork from Mister Betor should be.
Regardless of bends and things, without the mud, crud and rust the oil should be able to circulate
and just maybe the springs will set correctly

The “before & after” of the internals……. yikes!!

So time to rebuild and see if the action is any smoother and if they actually go up and down this
time. Closer inspection of the springs shows they were binding on the tubes, but this time the leg
goes together nicely, the spring seats, crown goes on without needing extra arms and the whole
assembly seems to function. Just oil to add for taste and we will see. 220cc’s of the finest fork
lubricant added, fit the brake cable and off the stand for the fingers crossed test.

Test completed, nice hissing noise from the now working air caps, a smooth trials like action with
good  smooth compression and rebound. Shade 0, TD 1.  Now onto my “goof” with the kickstart
spring and the shaft oil seals which needed replacing anyway.

The protector plate and it’s associated bolts are severely bent but eventually they come off, the oil is
drained and all allen bolts removed. Quite nasty in here! and at last I can see the “clutch Ice fishing
mechanism” …… next up remove the clutch and see what happens next. Q, can I hold this with a
flywheel holder or do I need a specific clutch holder?

This crude appendage is supposed to protect the case from the kicker!

The inside of the “ice fishing” case

Off with the pressure plate and the springs and flatten the tab washer….. hummmm! the plates go on
from the other side and the master locking ring means you have to get the inner basket held to remove
the clutch center nut. Of course all my clutch holders are Yamaha so as much use as a Chocolate
teapot here! Work comes to a complete stop as I need a universal holder, and Martin still has his
phone switched off.

So now it is a waiting game, I need a clutch holder, a new kicker stop assembly, the decompressor
cable, some fibre oil washers, a SWM chain tensioner pad, and while we are waiting I might persuade
Richard he REALLY needs my spare pair of Gold alloy rims fitted on the Jumbo to match the color
scheme. Looks like I’ll be waiting a couple of weeks to finish this project.

TONY DOWN 


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THE GNOME ROAMS ALONE

THE GNOME ROAMS ALONE

THE GNOME ROAMS ALONE

“Where is everybody ?”

Getting a little depressed this morning as we are less than a week away from what should be a lot
of fun riding in the Colorado Mountains. A Treasure Hunt with 35 clues to solve and an Amazing Race
style Poker Run. Invitations sent, flyers out to all Clubs and Organizations, word of mouth, cards
handed out to any passing bikers, and not a SINGLE reply or registration!

By now I would have thought we would have had at least 20 bookings and about the same showing
up on the day. This is getting to be a bit like the last Ahrma trial which only had 7 entries!! I despair!

I needed 10 entries to break even and so far not even a sniff apart from the dog.

The last of the gnomes turned up yesterday, as promised, all beautifully packed, but somehow due
to some poor handling expertise one was broken. The suppliers have supposedly already shipped
another after my heart felt request.

One complaint in already from someone who would love the bikers to come to THEIR bar but
doesn’t want them nosing around in THEIR secret places in THEIR town!…….. I shouldn’t worry lady,
at this rate the roads are looking VERY quiet!…. and your bar will be too!!

As life can sometimes do this I still have to continue with the planning which involves hiding the
Immunity Idols, and riding the entire route next Wednesday to visit all the bars and explain the clues
and what they need to do assuming anyone turns up. Right now, I’m thinking they will have a very
slow day!

Might have to apologize to Sir Richard who was on hand to present the prizes and I’m sure he
wouldn’t want to fly one of his jets into Cortez to find nobody had showed up.

Sorry Dick, maybe next year

With all these gnomes everywhere the question has to be asked “what will I do with them if nobody
shows up?”    ………. well maybe some Nine pin gnoming, a formation flying team, let them loose in the
garden?  Maybe get them into training for the Iditarod as that goes from Anchorage to somewhere?

Nine Pin Gnoming

Team Travelocity  gets some Iditarod training in for their run from
Anchorage to Nome !

Immunity Idols all wrapped up on the sled

Inspiration for the old rock song……… FOOTLOOSE !

Sherpa Tensing Gnomegay with a very bad case of frostbite

Where did we get the Immunity Idols?.. They came from a broken gnome

…….. and finally some good news to celebrate my birthday, some riders rang from Vegas and will be
here, and a check on the weather for next week shows all these thunderstorms will be out of here
and Tuesday-Saturday should be cloudless skies with abundant sunshine and temps around 85F.

Thursday 0830 Rider’s Meet

TONY DOWN

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