Shake Down Run #2

Shake Down Run #2

Finally had time the other day to pull the carbs apart and see what was inside them.
Wish I had a garage. This working-on-gravel-driveway thing might seem glamorous, but it really isn’t all its cracked up to be.

And my dog wasn’t much help

but, got them dissected

and found that the main jets were 130 and the needles were at third clip

Decided to change out the mains and see what happened.

Didn’t have time until yesterday to track down some jets.
Luckily, I found some 120’s in the next town over. (yay small towns?)

After looking closer at the carbs, saw that one of the gaskets was on upside-down, obscuring a port.
That probably contributed to it’s not running so good the other day!

Got the 120’s in and the carbs back together and on the bike.
While I was in there, I bought a new battery too – having lights is nice.

Test ride time!


I had so much fun that I shook a rivet right out!

Luckily, that’s an easy fix.

When I finally got home after a run to dinner and then over to show off to some friends 🙂

I found that my low-beam on the headlight isn’t working, and my tail light isn’t working. The brake light is okay, but the running light is no go.

What now?
Need a front fender or fork brace, tach, prolly need a mirror (legal).
There was something else…but I seem to have forgotten.


I was thinking this evening about how wonderful it is to ride something you’ve built.
I mean, I had help from friends (yay friends! holy cow my friends are awesome), but I made this happen.
I created this thing that now transports me! Such a fantastic feeling.

Shake Down Run #1

Spiky Bike Shake Down Run #1

I’m writing this before work instead of taking a shower. I hope my coworkers appreciate it.

You know how it’s a good idea on your first ride out to go around the block a bunch of times so that you aren’t far from home just in case something happens?
Yeah, I know its a good idea, but when I get excited about something, I tend to forget those things called “good ideas” or “rational thinking.”

Holy crap is that bike fun.

Until it isn’t.
But at least it’s not heavy.

Spiky Bike did great in true ring-a-ding-ding two-stroke zippy fashion part of the way out-of-town.
I thought I heard something ‘not quite right,’ so I pulled over and listened for a few minutes.
Seemed fine, but then ‘rational thinking’ took over and I decided I should turn around and ride more in town and not so far from home.
Also, Tuesday nights are my regular Howlers Vintage Bike Club get together and I wanted to have the RD there. Gotta show off a bit, doncha know! 😆

I got back to town and got to a stop light. The RD bogged down and died. I tried kicking it over a couplea times to no avail.
So, pushed the bike to a side street and a friend went to get a spark plug puller.
(Another “good idea” is to bring some tools with you on a shake down run.)

A very helpful guy (I put the italics in there to indicate sarcasm) stopped by and gave me a whole bunch of advice about what to do.
Truth be told, he really was just trying to be helpful. But please, people, before offering your sage advice, determine what your audience already knows first.

Pulled the plugs and they were a tad rich.

That’s what the road surface looks like up close.

We cleaned off the plugs and made a plan to try to avoid stop lights.
I kicked the Spiky Bike over and away I went!

Until I didn’t go anymore. At the first stop light about two blocks away.
Cleaned the plugs again, and away I went!

According to witnesses, there were flames coming out of my left pipe.
Kick ass!
Okay, maybe not so much.

Luckily, the bar wasn’t much further, so I opted to push Spiky Bike the rest of the way.
I was making it to that meetup come hell or high water. (Sorry, Colorado friends 😦 Hope your high waters are receding)

It was downhill all the way to the alley I was planning to use to cut across to the bar, so I got on Spiky Bike and coasted.
On entrance to the alley, I almost hit a man with a dog who was crossing on the sidewalk. “COMING THROUGH! CAN’T STOP!” 😆

I pushed the RD through the alley and as I emerged to the next street I heard my name wafting down from above.
Some friends of mine were sitting in an outdoor area at an upstairs bar.
One of these friends just happens to be an exceptional RD tuner (he builds RD racebikes!)
We chatted briefly about my situation, then on I went.
Only two more blocks to go!

Made it!

Our group gathered and I told them about the Shake Down Run.
Sure, I’d rather not have had to push it part of the way, but IT RUNS! (and stops too)
Luckily, one of the guys had a pickup truck there so after dinner we loaded it up.
The RD is light enough that three guys just picked it up and put it in the truck. No ramp necessary. Ha!
I didn’t get pics of that though because I was in the truck playing catcher.

Here’s the RD pre-loading up, in the Square (they already have Christmas lights up. WTF?)

I count this as a success. That first stretch was fantastic fun!
I’ll pull the carbs this week and go from there.

Hell Yeah!

Once the air/fuel mixture was dialed in, she stayed awake.
However, major clutch slippage made for first gear go, but it was kind of a sad mosey with a lot of noise.

You like how I walk with it there at the beginning? Not so much for “little rocket” right now.

This is what clutch slip looks and sounds like

All bark, no bite!

Turned out the clutch rod was in backwards. And missing a ball bearing. Der.
That’ll cause slippage.

Turned the shaft around

and put in a ball bearing (donated from my friend’s basket-case XS650)

gave the clutch some adjustment, and tested the spiky bike again.


After two years she’s on the road! YEAH!

Tomorrow, I’ll get plates for it, fix the headlight, clean up the wires (get a smaller fuse holder, etc) and probably look into getting a new battery.

Could not have done this crazy project without the help of many friends.
I am lucky to have such wonderful and giving people in my life.