I managed to get out on the Dominator for an hour or so this last week, thanks to Nigel Locke.
I’ve been keen to ride with the Coffs Restorer’s Club, but haven’t made it to any meetings. Attending meetings is how you join the club, and I knew both Gav Gill and Nige were members. I had some bits and pieces for Nige, so I phoned when I thought the meeting was on, figuring I could maybe cajole him into supporting my membership application (even though I don’t restore anything…quite the reverse when I think about it. I seem to damage and destroy a lot of great bikes). When I phoned Nige explained I had the wrong week for the meeting, but that the club was meeting for coffee at North Beach the next morning.
We loaded up for the challenging and very demanding five-minute ride to the shop and met what seemed a great group with some really nice bikes.
There were a few little drops of rain as we left for North Beach, so when we returned I thought it best to chamois off the Dominator – I like it to look good in retirement – and in a rare burst of defiance I decided the work on my desk could wait 30 minutes while I fitted a pair of Monkey Bones road-bike lever guards.
If you watch road racing you’ll have seen these things often enough. They’re a little like half a Barkbuster, and the idea is they stop accidental application of either brake or clutch if bikes touch in close racing. There have been several horrible incidents where bikes have touched at speed and the brake lever’s been depressed by the other bike.
In my case I need some way to keep the muffs I use in Winter from blowing back on to the levers at freeway speeds. On the clutch side it can touch the lever enough to make the clutch slip a little, and on the brake side it usually means the brake light stays lit. Sometimes it causes the pads to rub just gently enough to heat things up. Also, it takes the edge off my incredible speed.
Can’t have that.
Barkbusters hit the fairings on both the KLR and the Honda, and although Craig Murcott was keen to fabricate something from the numerous sets of Barkbusters and handguards I have in the shed, I thought these looked ready-made for the job.
As usual when I try and do simple jobs, I seem to create a lot more work.
I had everything fitted up and looking good, but when I tried the throttle it stuck.
It hadn’t been great before, but it did slowly return…in a reluctant kind of way. With the Monkey Bones in place it just stuck wherever I left it.
I thought, ‘As soon as Dan Vaughan’s finished with the KLR I’ll get him to have a look at the Honda’. I went back to my desk a little annoyed.
As I sat there messing about with the usual work stuff I couldn’t stop thinking about that throttle. It was only a throttle, for crying out loud. I could pull apart a throttle. I’ve done heaps of them when I was young and eager.
I went back to the shed, removed the Monkey Bones guard, pulled the throttle apart, removed the spider nest inside there – true!- and a large glump of some kind of sticky shit, cleaned everything with parts cleaner, lubed the cables and put it back together. It took about 20 minutes of a lunch break and now that throttle is fast and slinky.
I’m definitely getting lazy. Maybe ‘lazier’ would be more accurate.
I’m learning to drive a sidecar this week. I’ll tell you about it next blog.