After riding it home from church yesterday, as I was putting it away I noticed that the insignia on the left side looked...bent.
What the hell? My legs don't press on those--did I lean against it? and when I touched it the front end of it fell out of its hole and the thing went vertical.
What the hell.
These insignia are anodized aluminum. They weigh maybe an ounce or two, all told, and they're from a low-end bike. Yet apparently someone wanted them so badly he was willing to try to pry them off the motorcycle, perhaps even to the point of breaking them.
...and was such an f-ing retard he didn't even try to pull the side covers off. Of course, the side covers don't fit in a pocket the way the insignia would, and if a cop saw you carrying the side covers from a motorcycle that doesn't belong to you....
So I've got to go to the hardware store and get at least one new speed nut--since one's gone missing--and I'm trying to figure out what I would do if I caught someone vandalizing my bike.
I'd like to think that I'd simply call 911 and report the bitch, and give the 911 operator a description of what he's wearing. But I can't help thinking that I'd wade in and clobber him with my helmet first and then break all his f-ing fingers.
...I can't even convince myself that that would be a waste of a good helmet. Because I sure as shooting would have to replace it after I bludgeoned some asshat over the head with it.
But it really is better just to call the cops should I catch someone in the act of screwing with my bike.
* * *
Speaking of motorcycle repair--
Last night I brought the dirt bike inside again. I was going to do a bunch of things to it; the first thing I did was to pull the carb and reset the mix needle to one step rich (from one step lean, so I moved the E-clip two notches). Then I set to work on doing the rings.
As the bike has a two-stroke engine, there are holes in the cylinder rather than valves. These holes require that the piston rings not be able to move; the ring gaps have to stay put--otherwise when the piston goes to bottom dead center and uncovers the intake/exhaust ports, the end of a ring could pop out, catch on the edge of the port, and wreck the engine.
Something like this already happened once. You can see, on the piston, where the ring had broken and rattled back and forth inside the groove; also there are scars on the top of the piston (and the inside of the cylinder head) where a piece of ring rattled around inside it. That's why this bike is missing its top piston ring, and that's why it doesn't make as much power as it really ought to. Further, that's why I ordered a set of new piston rings for the thing last autumn.
Well--those rings are staying in their box, because I took the piston completely off...and discovered that the peg that keeps the upper ring from moving is gone. The bottom one is present. But the top one has eroded, or was knocked down in some other way; I can see where it once was but the remaining bit of it is insufficient to the task. I'm not going to risk it.
Ergo, I need a new piston.
Thinking about it last night, I realized that until I get a job I don't have the money to spend on parts to get the dirt bike up to snuff. I'd love to do it, but realistically I don't have the need for mechanical perfection in a bike I'm not going to ride all that much.
...which is a shame, because there's an auction on Ebay right now for a cylinder with a new piston, rings, and top end bearing for $50. And it even includes both exhaust studs. If I'm understanding what the guy is offering, all I'd have to do is to double check the cylinder diameter and possibly get it bored 0.5mm over as the piston is 0.5mm oversize.
What I really want to do is to restore the thing. It doesn't even need painting; it just needs a bunch of mechanical work. But the same way that every part I need for the road bike costs $20, every part for the dirt bike costs $50.
So after I thought that through, I decided just to reassemble the thing and use it as-is; it works (though not perfectly) and it's not going to hurt it.
The taillight bracket was another thing I fiddled with. I'm going to rewire it (and use bullet connectors instead of soldering and taping the wires 9_9) but my original plan to fix it may not work out. It got pretty badly bent in whatever calamity broke the tailpipe (which is badly welded together) and luggage rack (which is missing entirely) and busted the top mount off the bracket itself. And cracked the rear fender.
There's a guy on ebay who's got a complete bike he's parting out. I asked him what he'd charge for the taillight bracket but I'd wager he'll want at least $50 for the whole assembly.
Lastly, I popped out the old exhaust seal. I had to work for it, but it came out. If I can get something to hold the damn exhaust flange on (besides the one existing stud) I'll have a good seal at the cylinder for the first time since God knows when.
* * *
I've heard of this kind of thing before, but not on this sort of scale. Some gun guys keep their eyes open for junk guns, cheap, so that when there's one of those stupid "gun buy back" programs they can turn in the junk and make a little money.
Of course the nimrods behind the program don't like it.
* * *
Dark matter should be turning neutron stars into black holes but apparently isn't.
Gadzooks I can't wait until this nonsense is dispensed with.
* * *
Karl Denninger says a recession is on the way. An official one, I mean, since the government is gaming the statistics.
* * *
The revenge of bad sushi:
...you don't want to know.
* * *
I was talking with Og about cheap radio controls on Ebay and told him I'd seen it on-line "somewhere".
Well, this is the "somewhere". Weird how a totally different link would lead me back to the same place....