Monday, April 28, 2014

The Big Motorcycle Pictures Post

I have kinda dropped the ball on blogging here. So many tasty beers and motorcycle tribulations have passed by since returning from Afghanistan. So if you had never seen a picture of the New/Old Yamaha, this is what she looked like back in December:

Frost on the seat lets you know this shot is really from December
Big padded sissybar, buckhorn chrome handlebars, only one somewhat floppy rearview mirror, stuck clutch, hadn't run in... some time. But the bones are good and there's comparatively little rust for a bike this old.
Fast forward to yesterday: 

After a few months, I caved in and pushed the bike to a mercifully close-by shop to have the clutch and electrical business professionally sorted out. He also rebuilt the front brake cylinder and gave me an overall inspection.

New handlebars/grips/mirrors. These handlebars are black-coated carbon steel intended for 4-wheel ATVs, but I liked them. It's hard to shop online for something like that unless you already know exactly what you want. 

I bought these coyote-tan pouches to increase the carrying capacity of my medium rucksack for Afghanistan, but now they make tidy little saddlebags that loop right over the frame beneath the seat.

Found a permanent destination for that mustache patch
The vinyl seat is in great shape for its age
I really, really wanted to ride the bike to the Handbuilt Motorcycle Show in Austin. It's the successor to the 1 Moto Show that I had been traveling to when I crashed in 2013. I imagined the excursion as a triumphant getting-back-on-the-horse moment, however, the ol' Yamaha still likes to stall out and refuse to restart at intersections on occasion. I had my first mystery stall about 6 miles from the house and chickened out. I eventually got it started again, but I didn't feel confident riding the whole way down to Austin for the show.
photo by Sean Delshadi of Cycle World
It was a cool show. Free admission, free parking for bikes (6 bucks for cages), cash bar and hotdogs, leather jacket drawing. And some world-class custom and vintage motorcycles in the flesh. I didn't effectively capture it, but here are some of the bikes that were there; guess which photos I took:

1973 Yamaha TX650 by MWPerformance
1974 Yamaha XS 650 by Wesley Case
Pre-war Vincent Rapide
1979 Iron Head Harley Sportster customized by Aaron Buck
Triumph T120? I didn't take the best of notes on all of these
Wall of Death customized Indian Scout
Wall of Death photo by Sean Delshadi of Cycle World
Stock Indian Scout
The Mako 2003 Harley Sportster by Brawny
Hardtail Triumph bobber parked outside the event