Sunday, May 5, 2019

Rebuilding my Choppers Engine

     On the way to Mexico, my chopper's engine began spewing oil out the air breather. I added more oil but it rapidly got worse and almost immediately emptied the oil tank. I hauled my motorcycle back 400 miles to Accurate Engineering in Dothan Alabama where my good friend, Berry Wardlaw agreed to give me a hand. As we pulled the engine apart, I found the culprit was a hole in the piston caused by an intake leak and incorrect timing. What I wasn't expecting was to see how well everything was performing in my motor. With over 120,000 miles on many of the parts in my engine, everything was doing very well until the piston failure. All my Feuling products, high volume oil pump, cam plate, Reaper cams, adjustable pushrods and Bee Hive valve springs, all only showe3d signs of normal wear. Anyone that knows me, knows that I ride my motorcycle anything BUT normal. I have ridden thousands of miles on dirt and gravel roads. I even rode 1000+ mile up and back down the Dalton Highway AKA The Haul Road AKA The Ice Road Truckers Road. I have also drag raced it at Rockingham and at Sturgis Dragway on numerous occasions.
    I just wanted to do a video explaining what I have and why I use the components that I do. I'll be posting more as I continue riding my chopper and hope to add another 100,000 + miles on my bike.
Here are a list of the parts I use-

                                                                       S&S Cycle

                                                          Spectro Oils of America   

                                                            Darkhorse Crankworks               

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Riding the coastal roads of Vietnam

   AH1 is the coastal highway of Vietnam. It isn't the most scenic and it is usually flat and straight. There are many trucks and buses and the speed is fast so it is incredibly dangerous. I was on it it make some time when I came across a tunnel that motorcycles were not allowed on. It detoured all bikes up and over the mountain then around some more, all with excellent views of the China Sea.

 The road curved up and down, hugging the mountains

  And when the road came back down, I was on the beach of Da Nang
  If you look closely at the top left, you will see The Bodhisattva of Mercy

 On the Son Tra Peninsula in DaNang, stands a 67 meter statue of the Bodhisattva of Mercy. The statue construction has been recognized as the highest Bodhisattva of Mercy statue nationwide. It is 17 meters in diameter and has 17 floors. Each floor worships a different Buddha. The 17th floor has a flight of stairs that lead to the statue's head. It was completed in August 2010.
But now I'm riding back into the mountains and it is more of  " Business as Usual "

Friday, January 4, 2019

Getting Lost in Paradise

Just one of the days that I have spent getting lost in Vietnam
The views were spectacular everywhere I looked!
  I was using a map app on my smart phone and I decided to take a short cut.
I rode down the "shortcut" for hours
  I didn't question it too much as the views were getting better and better
    Then as I came around the corner, the road went straight into a lake. It looked like a boat ramp. I was forced to back track adding another several hours to the days ride.
When I finally got near my destination, I came across the reason my shortcut was underwater. The entire valley had been flooded by a powerplant dam. It wasn't my plan but sometimes life has a much better ideas than I do.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Bad choice makes excellent adventure

  I knew my choice for route was risky at best. It really was a bad choice but I kept going even when I was advised to go back by locals. From the very start, the roads weren't roads, they were trails and they cris-crossed without any markings so I went down several before turning around.
This was the map I was using. I went from Krong Stung Treng up Highway 7 to Nakasong at The Cambodian/Laos border. Loas would not let in my Vietnamese licensed Motorcycle. I had to go all the way back to where I started and take 78 to the Cambodia/ Vietnam border. I remember seeing a sign for Siem Pang. This map looks like it has a good highway going towards 78. I rode hours to get there and kept thinking the dirt road would get better. When I finally got there, I found out that there was no road. Still I thought how bad could it be?
I should also add that by now, it was around 1 in the afternoon. I needed to get through here by dark or find a hotel along the way.
The road got worse and worse. There was also very little out there. No stores, restaurants or hotels that I could see. I knew that it was looking bad.
Even when the road ( trail) looked good, there was patches of deep, soft sand in the ruts. They took me down many times.
There was also 4 river crossings that I had to use ferries to get across. My map only showed 2 so I thought when I got to the second, it was over.
As night fall rapidly approached I tried picking up my speed by that was a big mistake. It made for faster crashes and they were taking a toll on me. I had to improvise with a plan B when I really didn't have a plan B. I was going to be sleeping out here somewhere and it was time to take some more chances.
I had seen a few of these house along the way and they looked unoccupied. When I came across this one at nightfall, I pulled in. The enclosed part was padlocked but I could easily sleep on the "patio".
They were all elevated and I thought that was move than just for flooding. I figured maybe snakes and things would have a harder time getting me.
I threw some hay down to comfort the hard wood floors and then got out my one sheet that I had brought along. I also had an airline blanket but my motorcycle chain ate it in Nepal when it feel out of my bag. It was hot enough that I really didn't even need the sheet. We did get a rain shower in the middle of the night but it didn't cool things much. I awoke to a herd of water buffalo rummaging around the shack. They even rubbed up against the posts and shook the house. I was worried they were going to trample my bike. I turned on my phone to take a picture and the light from just that spooked them and they scattered. I was glad I was up high.
I was up before dawn and just waited for enough light to take off. I made it to pavement in a couple more hours ( and another ferry ride). The bike did good. Just broken blinkers, blown fork seals, bent handlebars, a stretched, loose and dry chain that kept coming off and bent pegs.
The bike got me back across the border to Vietnam and to the big town of Pleiku only to have a flat tire when I arrived. A nail was sticking out of it. No complaints here though, just another adventure.
Found a shop and ready for the next adventure!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Foods of Cambodia

  When I got to Cambodia, I thought the foods would be what the locals eat. Like this fish vendor who pulled up on his bike and tried to sell me some fish.
I had to pass but not before taking a picture. I like sushi but this is too much for me.
  Ducks are cooked whole with the heads and necks still on
But I did find a lot of fried chicken and it was very good
They have plenty of fruit as you can see
My favorite is whole pineapples, 2 for a dollar-
Of course, you can always find the treat of raw sugar cane. Here is a mobile vendor-

And once I made it to Phnom Penh, the capitol of Cambodia, food became plentiful and I was able to get tasty westerners food. I thought it was some of the best of any foreign country.
Take for instance my breakfast of strawberry waffles with ice cream and a caramel mocha frappe

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Welcome to Cambodia

  I bought my motorcycle and took off. My bike may be loaded down but not as much as this garbage barge. See, this is a REAL garbage truck, Cambodia style. One of the many things you see every second of your travels. That is why I like doing this.

This is what my bike looks like. Like my last trip here, I bought another Honda Win only instead of 100cc, this is a 110cc. It has a slipping clutch though, just like the other. I am beginning to wonder if it is the clutch or just my man size plus my luggage weight dragging the clutch down.
I packed my bike down in Saigon and took off for my first day travelling, getting a late start of afternoon. I rode all the way to the Cambodian border. Last trip my entry was denied due to the fact that my motorcycle was Vietnamese licensed . This time I hired a "broker" and paid bribes. I also notice that I don't interact well with government officials, lol.  I defiantly benefited from the help of my "broker" though it cost me about 15 dollars extra. I wanted to get a photo of the sign but Cambodia has a different alphabet so I couldn't read anything. 

What is really cool is the bikes and stuff they ride. It is for a purpose so the get the max out of everything, as you see in this 5th wheel "garbage truck"
Or how about this AC repair "truck"
It can carry everything from tanks of Freon to whole air conditioners and compressors
But my favorite is still the oldies
Stay tuned for more. I'm heading to Phnon Penh now and see how I like the big cities of Cambodia.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

More Friends supporting Share the Wind

    Recently some good friends made a donation to my Share the Wind program that enables young children to get their first taste of the wind. Gerlinde McCurry, Richard Restall and Matthew Obrien from Greasy Creek Farms had this ATC 70 Honda since purchased new in the mid 80s.  They haven't used it in years and decided to offer it to me to offer some rides at events like The Tennessee Motorcycles and Music.

   At The TMMR we offer clinics to increase riders skills on a small dirt track. The skill levels are from children's beginners to adult pros. We offer this free of charge. We also supply mini bikes, mini cycles and even some of our personal motorcycles. Now we even have this ATC 70 for the kids that are too young for 2 wheelers. In first gear, the speed is slow enough for them to buzz around the track safely as if they were on one of their electric ride on toys but they get to hear their motor roar like the big kids.
Here you see " Danger Dan" taking his 3 year old for a ride on the ATC. His boy thought he wasn't ready for his first solo ride so Dan sat on the back to add moral support.
 As soon as they started rolling, Dan stepped up and off and the little guy rode all the way around the circle track before he realized he was riding solo.
I can't thank enough, the people that help out and make the Mayor of Fun's job bigger and better every year. Thank You and I hope to see you around very soon!