My Cannonball adventure

My Cannonball adventure
Meet "Effie" our 1915 Harley-Davidson Twin 3 speed

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Where is she?

Just waiting to hear whether or not the bike made it to LAX. We shipped it by boat to Honolulu where she was going to be unloaded and put on a plane yesterday to LA. No word yet... probably hear later today. Our friend Mark is standing by in LA with his trailer to drive her up to the mechanic's place. :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

On the boat

Bon Voyage Effie. Our 1915 Harley "Effie" is on her way to Honolulu on a boat this afternoon. She will be picked up and flown to LAX tomorrow. Hope she's okay in her crate and that no one drops her. Feels like my baby on her way to her first day at kindergarden!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Effie around all the new bikes

Out of focus photo. but here she is at the Harley shop service area. She's the old lady compared to the other bikes here... 95 years old.

Feb. 12, 2010

Feb. 12, 2010

Sadly, but happy too, we loaded Effie into the bed of the truck for her trip to California for her makeover. After riding her the other day we realize just how badly she is in need of motor work. She ran fine until going up any slight incline. Pat thinks it must be the magneto not putting out enough. The plugs seemed to be fouling a bit and she smoked and coughed too. Carb was running too rich too. We think the needle in the carb is the wrong one. Tough to get the gas/air mixture right. Probably needs rings, bushing and bearings too.
So… there is not much more we can do here. We know our limitations. A guitar player and a writer do not make a real mechanic! The bike will be sent to Steve Huntzinger in California for the “real” work.

So, we unloaded her at the service department of the Harley shop today. They will take care to load her into a crate.

I feel bad that I didn’t get much seat time practicing my shifting, but I will figure out how to do that later. Maybe in CA?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Road Test... kind of.

Today was the day! Bright, sunny and perfect for a nice test ride. We started the bike to make sure it was running okay first. After sitting for a few days it took a bit, but it started and sounded pretty good. We loaded the bike up in the truck and drove the mile or so to the spot we found yesterday. Pat made a test run first and actually got it into 3rd gear for a second or two, but it was too fast for the road we were on. It was easy on the downhill, but coming back uphill (not steep at all), the bike started running like crap. Probably fouling plugs in my opinion. The carb seemed to be running really rich too. We picked this road because it was off the beaten path, but we had people stopping to ask questions and even take pictures. It was a little distracting as I was nervous anyway. My turn came and I rode it about a mile down a slight incline. Not even what I would really call a huge hill. I shifted into second and she took off pretty well. I got to the bottom and turned around and headed up hill and it really lost power. Bummer… I really wanted to ride this today and practice shifting and downshifting. Oh well… at least I got to downshift once!
We loaded the bike back up and got it home. I was a little sad... and disappointed I didn’t get more time with it. I think it needs some major work before I can really feel safe riding it anyway. I imagine it needs some carb work. The jet in there seems to be wrong. Also, I imagine the rings are shot, as any uphill made them start to foul. Oh well… we did all we can here. The next step is to get it off to CA asap so Steve Huntzinger can go through the motor.
After we let the bike cool down a little, we played with the carb adjustment and got it running a little better, but it still seemed not as good as before.
We drained the gas and oil and are going to make some plans to ship it soon.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Test Ride?

Feb. 9, 2010

Pat and I did a little driving around the neighborhood and found a nice road close by that we think I can ride on. It’s a long 1mile straightaway, with a cul-de-sac at the end for turning around. It’s a dead end too, with little traffic. We figured we would do it in a day or so late morning, after people are at work and kids are at school. I think I may be able to get it in 2nd, maybe even 3rd gear.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Need a Road Test

Pat and also realize I need to find a good, open straight road to practice riding and shifting. I would like to try and get out of first gear sometime! I called the Maui Drag Strip a few months ago and they said no due to insurance. I found a Maui Motor Sports Car race track here too. They have a closed course that the public can race on once a month. I called and he said they couldn’t let me do it. I guess the county owns the land and they only have permission to use it for what they do once a month. Other times the police use it for training etc…
I’ll keep looking. There must be a place. I just don’t have a title or registration for this yet. So I can’t get caught by the cops. Reminds me of when I was a kid and rode my Yamaha 100 in the alley so the cops wouldn’t catch me. I was too young for a driver’s license.

Friday, February 5, 2010


Feb. 5, 2010

Pat and I stopped at the H-D shop and talked to Sid, the service manager about helping us ship the bike to CA. He’s ready when we are. We will bring it down when we are ready and they will help us crate it. Sid has a friend on the Big Island who helped ship our last bike and can do it again. We will crate it and fly it to CA where our friend Mark Allen will pick it up for us and take it up to Steve Huntzingers place a few hours north of LA. The plan is to go out and see it and then when it’s done go out and spend some time riding it out there. I will also get it titled and registered there. Too hard in Hawaii. We didn’t have the bike listed on our original shipping manifest when we shipped it to HI when we moved there in 1997. Too bad, cause I really wanted to run Hawaii plates on the bike. Oh well. Their loss.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

No more smoke!

Feb. 2nd, 2010

Got the bike running again. Figured out it was probably the carb adjustment. Wasn’t getting enough gas. As soon as we backed the jet out it started right up. Lots to getting to know this bike. We’re getting there though. After having the carb apart and together so many times now I’m getting to know it like an old friend. Also figured out we should have drained the oil in the crank case. Maybe that’s why it’s been smoking more than it probably should? Duh! The outside rockers have to be hand oiled every so often and that in itself causes loads of smoke. Drained the old oil from the crank case. It was black but didn’t have any weird chunks in it anyway.
Sure enough, we started the bike and it didn’t smoke as much as before. Ran pretty good too. This motor sounds so strong and it runs good.

Took a few runs up and down the driveway. Still in 1st gear, but I was a bit more used to it than the last time. I stopped using the foot clutch and began to learn to use the clutch lever that comes up the left side of the motor. This way I can put my right foot on the brake if I’m on a hill and be able to put my left foot on the ground. It works good, but I still need lots of seat time on this bike before I head to Kitty Hawk.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Lttle Ride and a my first flat!

The BIG news is that 2 days ago, on Jan. 30th. We started the bike, (after taking that carb on and off at least 20 times.) It had been so long since Pat had started one of these that he forgot that you had to open the spark all the way, pedal it, then pull in the advance at the right time. I even started it! Yeah… BIG moment for my confidence. I was starting to get discouraged and began to think w should just send the bike off to Steve in CA to get it running good. I really need this time to learn to ride it. I can’t imagine how freaky it would be to start off in Kitty Hawk on a bike I haven’t had much experience on. Scary thought.

So… not only did we (and I) start the bike… we pushed it up the hill and started it in the driveway, on the straightaway. Pat went first…than goodness. Then, I took the handle bars… made 2 or three good passes up and down! I only rode it in first gear, but it felt pretty good. Talk about a confidence booster! I think I can get netter at this if I have more time. I would have ridden more… BUT got a flat tire on the rear. Unreal.. we worked so hard and now a flat? Oh well. Back to the drawing board for another day. We hung it up for the day. Oh and the carb started to leak again… my beautiful, squared cork washer failed!

The next day, yesterday… Sunday Jan. 31st, we once again removed the rear wheel. Hung the bike from the ceiling n the garage and took the wheel off. Pat thinks that Sid, ay the H-D shop, who mounted the new tubes and tires for us put the washer on the valve stem on the outside, instead of the inside. So, we wrestled with the tire, Pat had a old metal barrel that the top had rusted off that we used for the perfect tire changer. We tied the wheel down with straps and it worked to get the old tube out. We got some dishsoap and water and a brush it slipped off the rim. Then, we carefully put the new tube in. (thank goodness we ordered a few extras) and after a few tries, we got it in okay. Popped the tire back on… more soapy water did the trick. Filled the tire with air and it seemed to be fixed!

We decided… okay, lets try and start the bike and ride it again. Well. After trying for a while it wouldn’t fire. Pulled the plugs, checked the spark and it was there, though weaker than it had been before. Now… I’m getting discouraged again. The horn isn’t working, so the battery must be dead and not holding a charge. I am totally confused as to how this Mag Dyno is supposed to work. I thought the battery was only for the electric lights oh this bike. First year of electric lights for H-D. Not sure what we will do if this is a Magneto problem. We put the battery back on the charger and went out for dinner.