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Friday, November 16, 2007

Sinking Floats

Let me start by saying that Blogger has been messed up for a long while and now that I have gotten some response on how to fix it, I find that the problem was on my end all this time... Sorry.

I have been having a problem with fuel leaking out of the overflow tubes on the carburetors for some time now. I figured that it was simply some dirt in the float needle and it would eventually work it's self out. Unfortunately it didn't and it was getting worse. I tried the simple, quick fix where you spray carburetor cleaner in the drain screw hole and tap on the outside of the float bowl in an attempt to dislodge the dirt from the float needle path. Well, that didn't work either.

The Float Bowls on the Mikuni Carburetors on the 1982 Yamaha XZ550 Vision are accessible while the carburetors are still mounted on the bike. The tops of the carburetors come off with the floats attached to the top of the carburetor. When I disassembled the carburetors, I found that the rubber O-ring on the jet above the float needle had shrunk considerably. Fuel was simply bypassing the jet, float, needle all together and over filling the float bowl.

It's good to have spare parts! I took apart another set of carburetors I had and found brand new jets in my spare carburetor! It appears that someone tried to rebuild this set of carburetors and quit. A quick check to see that the jets are all the same size... A quick swap and everything was put back together. Fired the bike up and blammo, no fuel leaking anymore. Problem solved and I didn't even have to re-synchronize the carburetors.

Next Fix: Shift Shaft Seal Leak (I've done it before, don't want to take the side cover off again to do it. Procrastinating...)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Riding Naked - 11,759.2 Miles

I picked up a winter project a few days ago, a naked, black 1982 Yamaha XZ550 Vision. This new to me bike will be a companion to my red fully fared 1982 Yamaha Vision. The two bikes look very good together, however... anyone who own a Vision knows that when two Yamaha Visions get together, the dreaded gremlins procreate and have nasty little offspring. The bike came from Rider's of Vision Forum Member Blue Bass (Phillip). I helped him a year or two ago in getting this very bike running. I went to his house and in about an hour or so, we got the bike to idle. Phillip then went off to college and took the bike with him. Now he is enlisting in the U.S. Army and already has another bike (2007 Yamaha V-Star). Whoops one too many bikes... The Vision had to go somewhere. It's now at my house!

The new Vision has some problems that will need to be taken care of before she is road worthy. She will need a new charging system, both Regulator and Stator. She will need the carburetor sorted out. Her gas tank has a small amount of rust in her. Tires need to be replaced.

And that's just the beginning....

Let's not forget the tapered head bearings, progressive fork springs, '83 rear shock, volt meter, oil pressure gauge, braided steel brake lines... Oh, the list goes on. Luckily, I have many, many parts in the shop. I do have a Stator from a Virago (I think) that only has 1,000 miles on it, that will also fit the Vision. As I have several Stators lying around, I will be selling the newer Stator to start to fund this new project of mine. Anyone want to make an offer?


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Lotto Bikes

Alright, I guess it's been a while since I posted, so I better get caught up.

I participated in this years Ride To Work Day and all went well. It just so happened that on this year's Ride To Work Day (It's in July every year) I actually had to work. Other than seeing a couple of deer on the way into work, it was an uneventful day.

I left for vacation, in a cage, to New York to visit family for the last week in July. We had a good time other than it being very HOT! I couldn't wait to get back so that I could get back on the bike. Before heading off for vacation, I put a new battery in the bike. A Wal-Mart Deluxe Battery. When I got home from New York, the bike started up on the 1st tap of the starter button. With the old battery, I would have to keep the bike hooked up to the battery charger and then, after just a couple of days without riding, the bike would take a couple of tries before she would start. While in NY, even in the City and Staten Island, I saw many bikes. These guys from NYC are nuts on a bike. I've never lane split before, so watching these crazy riders do it gave me chills up the back of my neck. However, it appeared they do it a lot, they made it look easy. Still 30mph (with the bikes doing 40mph - 50mph) in stop & go traffic on the Belt Parkway was something to see.

Since returning to the big city of Callaway, Virginia, I am back to the routine of commuting to work. Haven't taken the "family truckster" to work since getting back from the "States of Northern Aggression". I did take the Yamaha Vision to a Doctor's appointment in Roanoke yesterday. When I got to Roanoke, the thermometer on the bike showed 102F Degrees. I an very happy that the new fuse for the radiator fan is working flawlessly. I haven't had to use the emergency fan bypass switch yet, so that's a good thing. On the way back from Roanoke, I decided to take the Blue Ridge Parkway from Rt220 to Franklin Pike in Floyd County to get home. On the Parkway, I saw a lot of motorcycles, especially for a Wednesday. Sport Bikes, Cruisers, Tourers, a bit of everything. I also saw an ambulance with it's lights on heading North toward Roanoke. I was hoping it wasn't a bike accident. Unfortunately, a few miles down the road I found the Park Rangers with a Harley Davidson in a ditch. I stopped to see if the Victim's riding buddy needed a trailer or a place to store the bike for a while. The victim was from the other side of Winchester and there were already plans set in motion to have the bike towed to Harley Davidson of Roanoke temporarily. After seeing the bike in the ditch, I figured it was time to head home. I stopped at an overlook and had a cold drink then straight to the house.

Side Note: Last tank of gas, 44mpg.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Pissed Off Gremlins

I will tell you that the Yamaha Vision Gremlins are a lot more vindictive than anything associated with Progressive Insurance. It was just one day last month that I went cheap on the bike and added one tank full of Regular 87 Octane Gasoline and that really pissed off those nasty gremlins. During just that one tank of gas, my bike over heated due to the thermo switch to the radiator fan fuse blowing and the engine not cooling properly (I've previously written about it) AND the front cylinder on the V-Twin stopped working.

Those gremlins were working over time! The front cylinder simply stopped working while riding down the road. I wasn't riding hard or stressing the bike in any way. I just didn't realize that there was a gremlin on the bike with me riding 2-up.

The rear cylinder of the bike got excessively hot as the coolant in the radiator was not circulating with the front cylinder staying cold. What a mess! I limped the bike home and found the wire from the rev limiter and just snipped it. Cutting the rev limiter is a common and easy fix to the front cylinder cutting out on the Vision. Easy as pie.

Now back to your regularly scheduled daily commute.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ride To Work Day 2007

Press Release: For Immediate Release
Date: 6/19/07
Subject: Ride To Work Day 2007

Motorcycle and Scooter Ride to Work Day is Wednesday, July 18, 2007
This year's sixteenth annual motorcycle and scooter commuting demonstration will increase the number of riders on the road, according to Ride to Work, a non-profit advocacy organization. "Riding to work on this day shows the positive value of motorcycles and scooters for transportation. For many people, riding is an economical, efficient and socially responsible form of mobility that saves energy, helps the environment and provides a broad range of other public benefits," states Andy Goldfine, the event organizer. Motorcycle and scooter enthusiasts and rider organizations worldwide encourage their members to ride to work on this day.

According to the United States Census Bureau and the Department of Transportation, over eighty million cars and light trucks are used for daily commuting on American roads, and about 200,000 motorcycles and scooters are a regular part of this mix. On Ride to Work Day, the practical side of riding becomes more visible as a larger number of America's 8,000,000 cycles are ridden to work.

Ride to Work Day helps demonstrate how these vehicles make parking easier and help traffic flow better. Studies have shown that across equal distances commuting motorcyclists reach their destinations in less time than those using automobiles, that motorcycles and scooters consume less resources per mile than automobiles, and that they take up less space on roads. Motorcycle and scooter riders seek improved employer recognition and support for this form of transportation, and more public and government awareness of the positive value of riding.


Ride to Work Day, a 501 c4 nonprofit organization, can be reached at:
POB 1072, Proctor, Minnesota, 55810 USA
218 722 9806
Christine Holt
Andy Goldfine
Ride to Work Day Mission Statement:
To advocate and support the use of motorcycles for transportation, and to provide information about transportation riding to the public.
Affiliated Ride to Work Day Countries:
Germany, Philippines, England, Germany, Israel, Turkey, Ecuador, United States, and many others.
Sample issues of 'The Daily Rider' newsletter are available for download at:
A brief history of Ride to Work Day is available for viewing at:
Fact Sheet:
A transportation motorcycling fact sheet is available at:
RTW Day Photos and Artwork:
Motorcycle commuting photos, ads, posters, banners, photos, illustrations and other artwork is available for view and download at:

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Hot, Hot, Hot.

Alright, I had a little problem with the Yamaha XZ550 Vision the other day. I went to the Cardinal Criminal Justice Academy Basic Law Enforcement Graduation last Thursday. While riding the bike in the Salem "High School is being let out" traffic, the bike over heated. Spewed antifreeze all over the exhaust and roadway.

I made it back home with the bike running very hot. Outside temperature was a mere 94 Degrees Fahrenheit. I pulled the bike apart yesterday and found the fuse for the radiator fan was bad. Of course, the fuse for the fan is behind the headlight bucket, so the entire front end of the bike had to come apart to get to the fuse.

I found the fuse that was in there was a 5 AMP fuse and should have been a 10 AMP fuse. I replaced the fuse with the correct one and then went a step further... I wired in a secondary, parallel switched, fused circuit for the fan motor. The secondary circuit will bypass the thermoswitch and the fuse for the fan motor. This way if I ever encounter another incident like last Thursday, all I need to do is flip the auxiliary emergency switch on the dashboard and BLAM, the fan will come on and stay on!

Another Vision problem averted.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Thanx Dear

My Wife Heather tagged me for a Meme. You don't have to know what that is, but the thing is, I had to post 8 random facts about myself on one of my blogs, that you probably don't care to read, then I tag someone else to do the same thing. I've tagged YOU! You HAVE to do it or else I'll haunt you the rest of your life. WHEN you do post your 8 random facts, leave a comment on my post here with the URL of YOUR blog post. Oh yeah, and you have to tag 8 more people. Have fun!

Here's mine...
1. I really really hate these things.
2. My motorcycle is a part of my family, but my immediate family refuses to recognize that fact.
3. I typically don’t like people.
4. I am extremely proud of my Wife and her career, my Daughter and her education and my Son and his sports ability.
5. I do most of my reading in the bathroom.
6. I think it’s fun to try and get people to thank me after I take them to jail. My success rate is running somewhere around 90%.
7. I am addicted to COPS, Scariest Police Chases, Forensic Files, CourtTV RED, and anything similar to these shows.
8. I will travel around the country on a motorcycle some day, hopefully, my wife will accompany me on this trip, but if she doesn’t I will someday do it by myself.

Okay, now it's your turn: DaveTN, PS2 and Mamba (Sorry only know 3).
Check out the links to the other lucky people I tagged...there's some great stuff out there. You'll be entertained, I promise. (And when you tag your 8, try to do the same and link them up.) Don'tchaloveme?

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