Friday, September 4, 2009

Real life makes for the best anecdotes

October 20, 2008 - Monday

One of these days, when I'm old and retired - or in the hospital with broken bones; either way. I don't really want to get old - I'm going to go through my blogs and journals and collect all the motorcycle anecdotes I've been told over the years. Florian brought a couple good ones in over the weekend.

He's been driving evenings and weekends with Selim and Aleks, ever sincethose two got their bikes back in working order. On Saturday, I think it was, they were doing a tour in Schwyz: Sattelegg, Ibergeregg and Hoch-Ybrig. Or they would have, if they'd finished it.

Florian was riding his Husky; Aleks his Old Unreliable and Selim on his tattered Hyosung. They were ripping up the Ibergeregg. Selim was in the lead and long gone; Florian was stuck behind a car, and Aleks was coming last. Florian came to a left curve, leaning in, too far right, his foot on the back brake and locking up the back tire. He saw he was getting to close the edge, but instead of letting go of the back brake and swinging out of it he kept his drift - and bounced off the edge.

The BMW he'd passed on the way up stopped, as did another car and Aleks. They heaved the Husky back up on the road, no damage done, and got ready to take off again. Aleks was having trouble starting his Husaberg, and he complained of a rattling. He figured he'd have to adjust the valves again. Florian came over and listened and then told him to stop kicking the starter and come look.

The Husaberg's frame is rhombus-shaped: struts to the back wheels, two vertical struts in the middle and the front top corner holds the fork. The two vertical struts were.. broken. They looked as if they were cleanly sawn through, Florian said. There was no contact and no support in the middle of the frame.

Florian said that when they'd put the Husberg back together a few months ago there'd been a tear in on the of the vertical supports. Aleks got another frame, but since it was for a difference year model it didn't fit they used the old frame, ignoring the tear. (Why would anybody drive a bike with a tear in its frame? Granted, it's a cross machine and take a lot of licks, but if you're fixing it up, do it right!)

Aleks has covered about 800 km since his bike was rebuilt, and all the shaking and vibrating simply cut the frame apart. And people say my Beastie's bad for occasionally shaking a screw loose. Pfff.

So, Aleks is without a bike, again. Selim's is still running; it's about he got rid of his learner's license and got the real thing. Florian's Husky is working fine, and his Tweety Bird is reliability personified - despite tumbling over the edge of the Albis road last week when a dumb car driver got so scared of a sharp right turn that he halted, rolled and then halted again. Florian, on two wheels on a wet road covered in slimy leaves, got more practice drifting, but lacked the few centimeters distance from the back of the car to come to a full stop without falling over. Nothing happened to him or the Tweety Bird, but he says that's the last time he's wearing that particular pair of pants across the Albis. That's the same pair he wore when he ran off the road the first time over the Buchenegg Pass last August.

Yesterday Florian tried to get some work done on his car, but ended up helping Joshua and me more. Joshua needs to get his 50 running again before Friday, when he has his driving test. Right now it's a skeleton, stripped of pretty much everything. Florian helped me loose all the lock-tited screws on the front fork of the wreck (I'm not strong enough to get them turning on my own), and we removed the front wheel and both shocks. One of the shocks, the left one, is scratched but still usable; the right one is definitely busted.

I removed the LED light assembly yesterday and put it in my room so we can mount it on the black Beastie as soon as it comes home. Florian said with the right primer and four layers of paint we could make it a suitable black and I wouldn't have to buy a GFK piece. I want to see what kinds of black we have first and whether they really fit the black on the Buell. Otherwise I'll just ride around with the tea strainer for a month or two until I can put on the shortened GFK-painted-sparkly-blue tailpiece.

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