Something happens when life doth spring forth from the belly of the Mother; and to be honest it doesn’t happen overnight.
Nevertheless the creeper takes control.
Yes, garage space disappears at a rate so fast it makes blazing, sexy race motorcycles look like my old Voltron Big Wheels of years gone bye.
Now that the KTM project is done (fingers crossed and more of that write up to come) and my baby clucker chicken heads are out in their coop I need to get The Hotness back to parking inside the comfort of the garage. Sugar melts when it gets wet, y’all.
Long story short, life springs forth and there isn’t room for shit in the garage. Eight car garage, you say? Doesn’t matter. Offspring take up that space so quickly your head will spin. Every time I head out to make room and clean up it seems like more room just disappears into the ether. Ghosts of girlfriends past and whatnot.
Love the fruit of my loins and all but, shit, give ol’ Papa Bear some space for his tools and toys, yo.
Our Lady of Divine Hare Scrambles came to me in a dream. She told me of how my Orange Beloved was feeling weary in her heart and soul but that she could still, in fact, be saved. Plans were formulated at the end of December 2016 and with the blessing of The Hotness and Rocky Mountain ATV/MC (and Bishop Visa) the initial order of parts was placed.
The main job was the rebuild the valve train as well as the piston and rings. I’d be lying if I said that I had done this job before so being the diligent, humble servant I am I consulted The Oracle of YouTube. Her soft light shone down upon my shoulders, anointing me with her knowledge; she covered me with her blanket of confidence.
When the email popped up in my inbox stating the goods were on their way to me I done got started on the tear down of my bike.
Let’s go ahead and hit the “Pause” button for a minute. Is it necessary to remove the engine to rebuild the valve train and piston/rings? No, of course it isn’t. But since this was my first time I wanted to be able to eye fuck the shit outta the engine’s guts so I could learn everything possible. That being said, the engine’s done gotta come out of that frame.
She’s a sturdy, heavy lump but a sexy one. A little dirty with cow shit and mud? Sure. But don’t you say an ill word against my lump.
Once you have the water pump cover off take the time to look at your impeller. I replaced mine about a year ago so it doesn’t look crusty but it did at the time. Take your snap ring pliers to remove the clip that holds the impeller in place. Once the clip is out of place you will need to be careful when removing the impeller. It does slide off the shaft (heyoooooooooooooooooo), I promise.
At this point one should take care to remove the RTV sealant that hugged the valve cover close to the valve head. It’s not hard and crucial so when you’re ready to reinstall there aren’t any sealing issues. Be sure that you don’t use anything metallic or abrasive as that can cause scarring and sealing issues when you go to rebuild.
If there is one thing this mild winter has been good for it is garage nights and maintenance. The KTM has never been torn down and I am the third owner since 2005. Based on everything I have seen to date the two dudes before me took care of her but seemingly didn’t go much farther with maintenance beyond standard oil changes. Now, I’ve never torn a motor down before but decided to go for it because not only was she due but it would be a learning experience as well.
With liquid courage coursing through my veins I decided to get the ball rolling and I have to say it escalated quickly. The project is probably half way through and a full write up will come shortly.
Hot damn! I sure do love me some Clutch! Their newest album has basically been on repeat for sometime now so I just gotta share the goodness.
Lead track off Psychic Warfare: “X-Ray Visions”
Followed closely by this mother of a jam right here: “A Quick Death in Texas”
Are they the best music videos I’ve ever seen? No. But hot snot do these two jams get the blood moving on a daily basis. Time flies when I’m wrenchin’ on the KTM or Triumph in the garage with this band pumpin’ through the sound system.
Give ’em a listen. They’re very much worth it.
Not to mention the fact that they make me wanna pick up the Gibson and work out some jams of my own.
Sometimes even Modern Men get depressed and, by golly, it has been quite the week.
Fuck it, I can’t even build this story up. My beloved Triumph Speed Triple, Tammy Mother Fuckin’ Lou, fell. Thanks to a trailer/strap mishap she fell over/off the trailer while I was pulling onto the road to head to my first track day. Never mind the fact that she has been trailered to and fro for many miles in the past year including the nearly eight hours north to Cleveland, Ohio (FUCK YEAH, CAVS!!!!!!).
I met up with my buddy, Rick James, so we could trailer together to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for our first track day and this shit happened. I spent a solid two days as depressed as can be but at the end of the day it was a turd sandwich that apparently nobody saw coming. Rick James feels it was a sign and we should count our blessings since the Ol’ Girl saved us from a bigger mishap.
We were able to reschedule our outing for the end of August so I guess we’ll just have to wait to rip it up until then.
In the meanwhile I will set aside a corner of the garage so I can make a shrine to The Parts Who Are No Longer With Us. Spectacles, testicles, wallet, and watch. Pour one out for my homies. Light the funeral pyre.
Maybe I’ll write up a proper trail review another time but I need to get to this mission debrief. It had been miles. Mud was spilled. We fought bravely against the elements and came out on top this time so I guess you could say we were lucky. No. Fuck luck. We had skill on our side and some times that is all you need to get the upper hand. That and good engineers who ate Wheaties for breakfast the day they designed our vehicles and/or aftermarket upgrades.
There we were, me and 4Runner with Buddy and Jeep checking out some previously unexplored forest “roads” on a fine Friday afternoon. We were in the home stretch and there was a medium sized limb in the middle of my path that I figured the Jeep couldn’t make it past (I kid, I kid) so I stopped to swiftly ninja kick the shit outta it when I saw it. I can guarantee he saw me coming and if it weren’t for a keen eye I may have squished his ass on accident.
Operation Slowpoke: Trail Edition went into action without hesitation. Honestly, I wish I could’ve seen the fluidity of the cartwheel I executed while snatching his/her (Billy Box Turtle/Bonnie Box Turtle) ass up out the leaves. After a reassuring stroke of the head and a kiss for good luck I placed Billy/Bonnie up the bank in the direction he/she was headed.
Crisis was averted. Lives were saved. Branches were ninja-fucking-blasted out of the way. We drove home kings of the forest and sacrificed lambs to the engineering gods that bestowed their favor upon us.
Let’s just go ahead and say that I haven’t really much felt like myself lately. Honestly, life is going well right now and shit is getting knocked out just fine but something feels like it is missing.
One thing that has suffered a bit for me is the guitar playing. I started taking lessons roughly two and a half years ago and the journey has been good. Basically I just need to buckle the fuck down and get my nose back on the grindstone so I can earn my damn denim vest. Playing at an open mic night is a dream of mine that I would like to turn into jammin’ at a local bar or two every now and again. It would be a big step for me as I do not love being in front of people as the center of attention but you gotta face your fears at some point, right? I feel like I have something to say musically but whether or not anyone wants to listen is another story for another day. And, to be honest, I need to play with some people that are better than me because I kind of need to be pushed to reach my full potential. Am I lazy? No. But someone better than me is a good kick in the ass to get my situation in order. I tried browsing Craigslist for a bit to get a jam buddy but that just ended up being a little weird. Maybe I just need to revisit that scenario and go with the flow to see where it’ll take me. Hopefully it just doesn’t end up being tied up in someone’s trunk.
Maybe it is a lack of goals. I mean, obviously I have goals but I have a harder time achieving them right now. Besides playing guitar and singing publicly I would like to race (and race well) in a hare scramble next year. Me and Kathy soaring like eagles through the forest on a trail leading to infamy. Now that sounds magical as shit. Do I have dreams of being a factory rider? No. But I want to jam out rock solid in an intermediate class. At this point I know that she is ready for the challenge but I need a bit of work. I’ve been riding pretty well lately but winter was coming and my frame prepared well. I need to lose about fifteen to twenty pounds to be competitive but at least I’m more 6’4″ than 5’4″.
Alright, so more gym, riding, and more guitar time. Check. Jam on. But still, where does that leave me?
I have to be honest and tell you that there is someone in my life that you don’t really know. Her name is Kathy and, my God, does she turn me on. She loves getting dirty and the harder you push her the more she wants. She really can take a beating and some days all I can think about it is mounting her.
I surely do love my KTM 450 MXC. Seriously, she’s a fine dirt bike!
After my last trip out on the single track I noticed that my rear wheel and steering stem bearings needed to be changed. I have never had the opportunity to perform this task before but, being The Modern Man and all, welcomed the challenge and started assembling the tools I was lacking plus ordering the bearing kits.
Rear Wheel Step One:
Find your jam music and crank it up to 11. Enough said.
Step Two: Remove your rear wheel and pound out the bearings while being careful to not damage your hub. I got excited and didn’t take pictures of this process so I’ll go ahead and deduct 10 or 15 points for myself.
Step Three: Whip out your new bearings and make sure you eye fuck ’em hard, they like that. Also, you’re making sure there aren’t any defects and it might be a good idea to pop the dust cover off so you can be certain the guy on the assembly line didn’t mentally shit the bed and forget to put grease in there. A utility knife works great just don’t cut the cover in the process of removing it. Obviously, properly pack the bearings if none is present.
Step Four: Hub Prep. Ensure that your hub is clean and ready to receive your balls…er…ball bearings. Slap a lil’ grease in there to help the bearing slide into place.
Step Five: Proper tools help you get the job done right the first time. I don’t buy all of my tools at Harbor Freight but sometimes they have just what you need when you need it. This is a race and bearing driver set that retails for about $35 and you gotta admit the colors really pop in that red case! These drivers help you drop the bearings into the hub in a straight fashion with equal pressure and whatnot so you don’t damage the bearing. Use a rubber mallet and pay attention! The bearing needs to be properly seated in the hub.
Step Six: Flip the wheel over and grab your spacer. Apply some lube to the shaft and drop it in the hole. I mean, drop it into the hub.
Step Seven: Drive the other bearing home so the spacer is sandwiched between the two bearings.
Step Eight: Install your dust covers on both sides of the hub to protect the bearings. Be sure to pop some grease on the dust cover around the inside and outside edges.
Step Nine: Before you can put the tire back on the bike you need to pop the spacers in place. As with the other pieces to the puzzle, grease the spacer.
Step Ten: Install that tire!
Step Eleven: Bam! You did it! Bearing install completed! Now it is time to celebrate and grab a beverage from the garage fridge. Don’t forget to bedazzle your fridge with the hot stickers that undoubtedly came along with the parts you ordered.