Friday, October 23, 2009

Checkup of the Gilera XR2

We were ordered to be at the DOT building at 7 a.m. sharp for the Gilera's state inspection. Yesterday I'd filled it up and taken it across the Buchenegg and Albis to make sure it ran all right. The clutch is spongy, and the power only comes around 7000 rpm, but as a daily workhorse it does a good job. It's not finicky with starting either, and if the battery is too weak it can be kickstarted.
The expert was a very friendly guy. Unfortunately we'd overlooked the faint wrinkles and tears in the front tire; weaknesses that develop when a bike stands too long. Also, it turns out the back tire was too wide for the rim. We should have oiled the chain, too. But otherwise, it was in good shape.
The expert gave us the data sheet; within 14 work days we need to bring the Gilera back with new tires and a serviced chain, and then all is well.
Florian's going to go to PSS this evening to schedule the tire change; I'll look around for a new chain but I don't think we'll find one. Then we'll take it in for the final inspection, advertise it and get rid of it. That'll free up room for the Daytona 955i, which is arriving at midday today.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Silver lining

I figured I'd sleep on it and try to overcome my shock. I slept badly but I was able to put plenty of thought into the new situation in the world of motorcycles.
As a matter of fact, it shouldn't matter to me whether the company of Buell exists or not. I've got two XBs; spare parts will continue to be produced and delivered; there are plenty of aftermarket parts. But the knowledge that one's favorite company wasn't profitable is bitter, as if one had bet on the wrong horse. Which is ridiculous because the bikes are just as awesome now as on Wednesday.
If Harley would at least sell the brand! But no, it'll be let die and filed away. End of that.
The only thing left to do is look for the positive aspects of this development. And there are enough of those.
Buell existed sind 1983; XBs have only been built for about six years. So there are few Buells and even fewer XBs. That means the value of mine can only appreciate.
That also means I shouldn't just fix up Silver to toss around as a stunt-practice bike. (Now that I've ordered and paid for crash bars, handguards, carbon frame protectors and such.) Silver will be fixed up nicely; I've got an idea for a polished frame, chrome parts, aluminum covers and an elegant white design - angelic, in contrast to the black, lightinged Beast. But dang, that'll cost another small fortune. In the end I can insure my license plate for thirty grand.
The Sprint 900 would be a usable practice machine. It got the same power as my 9er and is only slightly heavier. Remove the cowling and it'd be comparable.
I'll talk to Florian about it, considering you can sell the old Sprints for anything between four and ten thousand now. We'll have to see on Monday how much fixing it needs.
The Gilera would be the other option. Selim and Löchen both got wheelies out of it. But for stoppies and burnouts, forget it. The clutch and brakes on that thing are pathetic.
Anyway, nothing's changing in my treatment of the Beast. It'll get out every day, rain or shine, on and offroad. But Silver has from one second to the next gone from fixer-upper to a prestige project.
The timing is lousy. I'm on the brink of going into a quarter-million debt...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

...and bad news

I just found out Harley's discontinuing the Buell line. Fabio from my mechanic's confirmed this.
I feel sick.

Free Triumph

Luck struck again.
The boss of our facility management firm finally called me back about the motorcycle they fetched from Uster years ago.
"It's a Triumph Bandit 900er, pretty new. I'd be glad to get rid of it."
But of course! No matter that he turned the thing into a Trizuki. It's actually a Sprint 900. I don't know the year; I'm going to go look at it on Monday evening with Löchen. The cable harness is cut through and the steering clumn lock is broken, but both those things are fixable.
On Friday in a week the Cilera's going in for an inspection, and then I'll put out some online ads so we can sell the thing and make room in the garage. There's seven motorcycles overnighting in a space meant for one car.
On the aside: Silver's still in the basement. This evening I hope to get the oil filled in and the gearshift lever remounted. I'm still looking for a used but intact fork. There's nothing unsuspicious on E-Bay and a site in Germany only has a black one.
As soon as we got that, Silver's ready for the road.
We're making progress!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fall photo op

The weather was too good today not to spend time outside. After crisscrossing the Albis in search of various screws and a confirmation form for the Tweety Bird, I took the Beast back into the Hüri woods, along the pretty little trail that Dad showed me a couple months ago.
At 4 p.m. the sun was already going down, but the air was warm and the road was flecked with spots of light. I shot about a dozen pictures, three of which I've given to Joshua for Photoshop work.

Later, leaving the road, we bumped our way along a gravel logging path, to the point where it ended and the trees took over again.

Say what you will, the Beast really is a photogenic little machine.

The little Opel I caught up with on the way down the mountain politely pulled aside for me. The motorcyclists were all in a salutatory mood, and the car drivers were tolerant, if rather sleepy and unconcentrated. It was a good time to be out.
Turning back toward Aegeri on Sattel, I passed by a little farm stand offering blueberries. As I rounded the curve away from it, I remembered the occasional thought that once I was moved into my own place, I'd try to get my food products directly from farms as much as possible.
Then I thought, what the heck, why am I waiting for that? And we pulled a U-y, returning to the stand and trading two five frank pieces for a bowl of a blueberries and jar of kiwi-peach marmalade.
Once home, I saw Florian, around working on the KLR and Selim's decrepit Hyosung, had mounted the rubber foot pegs on Silver and was ready to squeeze in the stearing head bearings which we'd left in the freezer for a couple hours before.
So in they went - by hammer. Using a pliers handle or a Hyosung bearing so as not to put dents in the Buell's bearings, he coaxed them into their proper positions. The mechanic would trow a fit if he saw we work on that wreck, but I just want it to teach me stunts, not win a prize.
Now my blueberries are all gone, and for supper I'll try the marmalade.