September 10th, 2011

#2929: Thoughts on motorcycles, and other nifty stuff

And some non-nifty stuff, too, like what happened to the shirt I'm wearing right now.

I was wearing it yesterday. When I was filling the battery with acid. And at one point the hose came off the bottle of acid and a few drops flew; and as it turned out they flew onto my shirt.

...I didn't realize until this morning that the spots on my shirt were acid rather than rain, since it rained at various intensities for most of yesterday and I was dampened by rain while filling the battery. But when I pulled on my shirt this morning and saw the holes in it....

*sigh*

I can't tell without lining 'em all up, but I think this is one of the new henleys. I paid almost five dollars! for this shirt! It's a short-sleeve henley, which are apparently only available at K-mart for a few months per year! What am I going to do?????

...then I remembered this nifty thing called "Google" which lets you search Al Gore's Internet. Prices vary between $9 (any color you want, as long as it's black!) to $YEECH! But it's not like I can never find another one.

It's just annoying. I like these shirts, and I've got about a dozen shirts I could have worn which are already screwed up; I don't need more. If I had just put a smidgeon of sentient thought into the issue.... *sigh*

* * *

Speaking of which:

After I went to bed last night, I figured out the motorcycle thing, I think. If the check valve in the fuel petcock is malfunctioning, it explains the behavior perfectly.

You see: when you're driving around in first gear, and even second, the engine is going to develop some serious vacuum when you roll off the throttle. But as you move higher in gears, the load on the engine increases (because your speed is increasing, and drag, and-and-and) so it requires more throttle to keep your speed up. More throttle=less vacuum.

...and whenever you open the throttle, the vacuum drops, which lets the fuel petcock close...and that's exactly when you need that bitch open.

The float bowl keeps the machine running for a while--and the deceptive part comes from the fact that fuel can flow to the carbs sometimes--but because the fuel flow isn't constant the thing eventually runs out of gas and dies, and then you have a bitch of a time restarting it and making it move under its own power again.

When I thought it through--and was able to consult the manual to learn how the petcock is supposed to funtion--I realized that nothing else makes sense. The check valve in the petcock means the entire system is designed to have a near-constant vacuum at the petcock's diaphragm; if the check valve malfunctions, the whole freakin' ball of wax becomes a paperweight.

Advance Auto has this for $5 and if I'm right about the fix for this problem, it'll cost a damn sight less than buying a new fuel petcock would.

BTW, that one site where I ordered the tool and parts for the dirt bike lists the petcock as a $92 part. Shit. And of course you can't buy any internal parts for it. That's a madness which would never cease, if you could replace just the $0.43 part that makes the whole $92 petcock unusable! (Or the $400 motorcycle, if you prefer.)

* * *

Last night I was doing a quick pre-bed surf that turned out not to be very quick.

I ended up here. It's the site of a guy in Australia who does all kinds of experiments with Tesla coils, high-energy discharges, lasers, and all sorts of cool shit. I read just about the entire damn thing.

And that was after I read most of a site that was primarily a gallery of images from "urban explorers". *sigh*.

* * *

Running continuously since 1840. The Oxford Electric Bell.

* * *

Og's busy at a side job today; naturally the weather is sunny and pleasant. *sigh* Tomorrow I can go over there and test our theory about the check valve, and maybe ride the thing home. (Hopefully. Keep fingers crossed.)

Once I get the bike home, the real fun begins, because I get to start cleaning it. It's sat, unused, for a couple of years, and while it's in really good shape it has a "patina" due to the fact that it has sat in a shed.

...but while Og and I were talking Thursday night I rubbed the front fender with a shop towel and it shined right up. Mainly it's just dirty. Get some metal polish and spend an afternoon on the porch with some rags, and that bike will look fine.

The best part of all this: if the spirit seizes him Og can still ride the bike, and I'll probably get to shoot the AR-15 that he's going to build with the proceeds from selling the bike to me. If that's not win-win, WTF is?

I realized that I have the same feelings about my Escort that Og has about the motorcycle: I don't want to sell it, but let's face it; I've got the Jeep and the Fiero and the Escort, and I can't use three cars, and I can use the $$ from selling the Escort to finance the motorcycle in its entirety. It just makes sense, damn it.

* * *

So I've been sitting here trying to think of what I'm going to have for dinner, and my head aches because I haven't had any food today, and I'm writing about the motorcycle instead of thinking about the shopping trip I've still got to make because I've got two cans of cat food left. *sigh*

Maybe what I ought to do is go get a non-acid-ruined shirt on, and go remedy all this BS.

I guess I'd better do that.