Certainly a summer of frustrations but there have been some bright spots and successes as well so not all gloom and doom although on many days it felt like it. As I come up on the “eve” of Casper I still have yet to complete an event this season!

My initial plans were San Ysidro, Sipapu (can’t think why), Turkey Rock, Dolores, Casper and to finish out Tucker Ranch. On the planning table it looks really good with 6 double weekends and 12 fun trials …… or so it should have been. Both bikes were ready pre season and everything appeared in good shape. Primary weapon would be “The No Excuse Cub” with all her frame mods and just itching to get back in competition after last year’s Superglitz run.

Superglitz had a quick bout of mods post Casper 2013 with a new tire, sprockets and chain, new Rockshocks and chain tensioner block not forgetting the clutch arm extension and new lever.


NEW tire, sprockets and chain + those Rockshocks


Not forgetting the MK II hangers and NEW footrests

So what went wrong ?   well school bus driving got in the way for San Ysidro as they had me on a 4 day Denver trip and we were short of drivers. Sipapu looked good until time to leave when the generator failed to start and as any RV’er will tell you “if the wife isn’t happy then NOBODY is happy!” ……. and that was compounded by the Cub not running well at 9000′ (yes, I forgot to re-jet) and then breaking my new clutch lever on Superglitz…….. but it didn’t end there with two of the front axle bolts shearing on bumpy NM roads on the way home!


Replacing bolts post NM …… and the step saga, now resolved

Then the miseries started with the generator saga running on until Friday 11 July which was our leaving date for Turkey Rock. The Cub was meanwhile having some unnecessary surgery (as it transpires) when maybe all I should have done was change the jets. Initially (and this is often how it starts) Ray suggests a bit more WOOF by fitting a 9:1 piston and freshly bored new barrel. I needless to say accept and while in discussion also accept the offer of a head makeover to complete the job. None of this makes it back in time for TR and only arrives with two weeks to go for Dolores……… apart from the gaskets which take another week to get here!!

With Dolores fast approaching and zero help from anybody in ANY area I’m forced to concede that I will not have time to rebuild and get any “running in” time…. and as days slip by it doesn’t look good for me riding at all as there are no volunteers for the score table or signing in.


Saturday section 1 ……. too hard, dangerous and unrideable  ??


Contrary to opinion it takes a LOT of thought and TIME to lay out


Section 2, also classed as too difficult ?


all the 3 line required was to ride to the left of the Yucca then right to the Ends card ???

Then comes the event with all the discontent and moaning and bitching from some of the lesser lights and indeed from some others who should have known better. All that can be said on this issue is that thanks to their rudeness and inappropriate behavior they won’t have to endure any of “my” trials in the future as my yearly 2 months of trailblazing and tree felling on Casey’s land has now come to an END …….. and NO, I will not be reconsidering my position . The golden trials goose of Dolores is DEAD! You want one laid on……. get off your arse and go do it, but please don’t ask me to help !!

……. and now with 11 days to go until departure I still haven’t got the Cub engine running due to the NEW exhaust valve which must have a thicker seat and is therefore showing less of the valve stem out of the head and not allowing any chance of setting the tappet to 6 thou. Does life ever get easier ?

Monday morning and ready to go and see my expert welder. One final check to see how much the gap is and it seems its almost right ? Very strange! Maybe another retighten of the head and it will be close enough for govt  work. Last day of my summer holiday and back to school bus driving tomorrow so time to press on and get it buttoned up and started.

All ready for the test firing and kicking it over it seems a bit “chuffy” rather like a bike with a decompressor fitted…… thinks bubble …… not good!  No start, plug out, yes we have sparks but then notice the plug cap is in poor condition and needs replacing. New cap fitted, try finger over plug hole …… 4/5th of nothing! Consult Guru.

Must be an air leak somewhere but where? The cylinder gasket looks like the culprit as (a), it was new, (b), its difficult to get a wrench/spanner on the head bolts and (c), the neoprene gaskets on the pushrod tube may be too tough to compress fully at this stage. Following the Guru’s advice the motor was assembled dry whereas I usually put a little oil around the piston to grease the bore so to speak. Oil is NOW added, the 4 head bolts are loosened once more and after a search in the UK toolbox a Whitworth is found. For those not familiar with this its another wrench/spanner size which was the hallmark of the British steed, British Standard Whitworth, BSW and British Standard Fine, BSF can now join your “buzz words” collection adding to Metric, UNF, AF and plumbers pipe thread. Having found the correct size for the head bolts time to modify for this task. The headbolts are behind the pushrod tube and amid the fins! The distance between the fins is too close for an ordinary spanner so you can only get about 1/2 a flat of turn and then you have to turn the spanner over to get the second 1/2 of the flat……. all very time consuming…….. Out comes Mr Makita and the spanner is ground down to a size where I can fit it between the fins.


A slimline Whitworth for head tightening


Between the fins at last

The head is retightened, there is compression and this morning when the tappet covers were removed both adjusters are in full contact with their valves. Readjustments done and test fire…… YIPEE! it starts, doesn’t smoke or rattle but is leaking from the front rocker cover as it has a bodge up nut on it which will go tomorrow!


It runs at last !


One nasty nut to replace on the exhaust rocker cover

Some may remember a few weeks ago I was on my way to the bus barn to get the axle bolts replaced after NM roads and when I tried to leave the bloody bus steps would not retract. Well in this case it was self inflicted as we had decided to remove the screen door which was rattling and seemingly didn’t provide any useful service …… well not so fast mister, there was a magnet on the door, which when closed and with the ignition on, then activates the steps to retract! No screen door no magnet…… so while trying to source a new motor or whatever else was going to be required I watch a trouble shooting video ……. and lo, there is the magnetic door switch but of course we junked the whole door a few weeks ago. No matter another magnet is found and hey presto the systems works!




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