Spring is here, and I am back in the shed where I ought to be in my leisure.
Tended to the motorcycle’s rear brake first. It was a bit stuck, but a once-over with lots of grease, new brake fluid and a good bleeding has returned it to up to par.
I suspected the spark plugs on the vintage machine were fouled, and swapped out the old set for a new gang purchased for me by a very considerate friend. The old were ashen; too much oil last season and a weak battery being the likely cause. I made sure to screw in the new lot only after a liberal application of anti-seize grease to their threading; the very idea of stripped threads on an engine utterly terrifies me.
In the process, I managed to pull a spark plug wire out of its cap and had to re-wire it. Not something I’ve done before, but it seemed simple enough in execution. Better something like that coming undone in the shop than on the road I say.
I dumped out a fair share of the old oil and replaced it with a bit of fresh up to the fill-line. I thankfully had a new bottle in the garage larder, left over from tinkering with a car. For luck, I also gave the air filter a light squirt of starter fluid from a can abandoned some time ago in my garage by a fellow gearhead. A quick electric jump and the bike started with a roar, strong and lusty, and quick to warm up too with just a bit of choke. To test the wire job, I pulled the repaired cap from the spark plug which produced a mild electric shock to my fingers verifying my handiwork was quite adequate.
Engine at a good tick, I noticed a bit of exhaust coming out of the front part of the engine. Not good. Shutting her down to cool, I examined the front exhaust outlets to see they looked a bit rusty and crooked. Wrench in hand again, the first no. 10 nut cap on pipe four came off with no issue but its neighbor cleanly snapped off the dowel-like mounting stud. Fiddle-dee-dee. Removing the pipe collar, out tumbled a snapped 29 year old collar plug and a ratty looking gasket. Fudge. Tight clearances made getting the rest of the broken, rusted stud out a slow, contemplative affair.
Not pricey bits to replace, but I’ll have to wait a few days for the mailman to come with replacements. Also, I’ll need to check the other 3 to assess their worthiness. Again, better in the garage than on the side of the road. In the interim, I’ll air up the tires and thoroughly clean and check the crucial front brakes.
I save the broken bits off the bike for reasons of practicality, but perhaps for reasons of sentimentality or spirituality too. They are offerings of humility to both the Goddess of Speed, as well as to Columbus, the acknowledged Patron Saint of motorcyclists. In time, my garage will likely have an altar built in their honor, with small lamps burning smoky exhausted engine oil reverently.


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One Response to “Spring”

  1. ben Says:

    an altar is old parts sounds marvelous….perhaps after the wall comes out you will find the right place for it…

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