Monday, November 26, 2012

An Early Christmas Present for Myself

Like most of us, I visit a lot of motorcycle related web sites. I belong to a motorcycle camping forum, A few weeks ago, one of the members posted a few pictures of some handy security cables he's made and selling. Here's a link to his thread, Click Me.

I know that the use of cables to secure items to a motorcycle is not a new idea, but the price and color were right. I gambled, and won! They arrived today.

I ordered a short cable and a long one, in neon green(is there really any other color?). The finished length of the short one is about 21" (53cm) and the longer one is 53" (135cm) The prices were right too. The short one was $3.00 and the long was $5.00. He wanted $1.70 for shipping US Mail. I noticed the postage sticker was a little over $2.00. He might want to up the shipping a bit. For $9.70 I feel like I won the lottery.

I'm happy with them, now if it weren't another 5 months until I can ride again it would be perfect.

Brandy, I added this just for you!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

End of Riding Days.

In the last 2 days I've read the blogs of at least 8 other riders. They all have one thing in common, the writers are out riding, or enjoying their weather. My riding season ended with my Thanksgiving meal. The temps dropped from the upper 50's that day to the lower 20's that evening. It started snowing later that night and it has pretty much continued since.

So, like the cats... we enjoy the fruits of my labor and watch as the firewood burns.

The bikes wait for warmer weather in the garage. Oils have been changed, fuels have been Sta-Bil-ized, tires inflated and all batteries wired for a Battery Tender.

I think they'll have a long wait...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Light Hoarfrost Morning.

It was very damp this morning, and the temps were low. It made for some interesting pictures. Nancy took these before the sun burned through the fog.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sad Tractor News...

When I knew I was going to be moving up to northern Wisconsin, I asked a friend of mine if he could store my 1950 Allis-Chalmers "B" tractor in his garage. He said that he had lots of room and it would be no problem.

This spring, when I went to pick it up, I found that it had been sitting outside, and by the looks of it, probably all last winter. When I got it home, I noticed that the oil was over full, and the anti-freeze was low. That's not a good combination.

Today, the weather was nice and the garage was warm, so I thought I'd take a few minutes to look at the tractor. The first thing I did was remove the spark plugs. 3 of them looked normal, 1 was rusty. I put the hand crank on and tried to give the engine a turn. I couldn't budge it. The engine wouldn't turn over. I got out my little Mityvac and hooked up a long plastic tube and the 4 oz. brake bleeding catch can. I put the tube into the #2 cylinder, the one with the rusty spark plug, and pumped. I pumped out 8 oz. of rusty brown water. Not good!

The antique tractor forums are full of suggestions on how to free it up, but most people agree that you have to pull the head to see how bad it is! I really didn't want to tear into it. It was a nice running tractor before this happened. I hadn't had it running in years, but I always kept it inside. It sat outside with no cap on the exhaust and water probably filled the cylinder through an open exhaust valve.

I guess I have to decide what I want to do with it... sell it as an un-running tractor, or tear into it and maybe have to buy an engine rebuild kit? The engine is designed with removable/replaceable cylinder sleeves. They just press out, but it involves a complete tear down. It's possible that the head my have cracked, or the water in the cylinder may have cracked the cylinder if it froze over the winter.

If it hadn't been my father's tractor, and if he hadn't talked about wanting to fix it up and get it painted, I wouldn't feel bad about selling it and replacing it with another Allis-Chalmers B or even a Farmall A, B or Cub. There's a lot of sentimental value in this tractor! I restored the trailer, I guess I could make this live again too.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Snow Removal Equpment

All this talk about snow, and Richard posting a link to a BMW R-motor powered snow blower got me thinking....

And lastly.... This might keep the plow drivers from filling the driveway back up with snow...
None of the images are mine. They were all found with a Google image search...

Monday, November 12, 2012


I woke up this morning to 20°F and it didn't get much better the rest of the day.

It was a light snow, but it snowed most of the day!

It's a good thing I snagged some more dry Oak out of the woods the other day.

About 6 seconds into the video above, one of the cats says hello...

Friday, November 02, 2012

A Cold Fall Ride...

I've been spending so much time cutting and splitting wood that I've neglected the motorcycles lately. Today, I took the FJR out for a spin. I left Cable and headed north. I drove up to Ashland to see Lake Superior. When I left home it was a nice 41°F (5°C). I drove the 40 miles up US-63 and by the time I got to Ashland it was 35°F (2°C).

I drove through the lot of Ashland Toyota. I spotted the kind of car that Nancy might someday buy to replace her aging Scion xA. We've seen the new Scion IQ, but only in white. I wanted to see one in the "Hot Lava" color. The picture I took makes the paint look kind of reddish, but it's orange, bright orange.. It's simiar in size to the Smart car, maybe a bit bigger.

I drove down to the marina. All the boats except one were out of the water.

A few more of Lake Superior...
The old Soo-Line ore docks, being demolished.

The ore docks, the power plant, and straight out is the Ashland breakwater lighthouse. You have to click on the picture to see it.

It was a nice day for a 95 mile road trip