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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

R&D on a Stator Cover

Okay, this picture is what I started with. Not very pretty, huh? This cover started with some scratches, oxidation and yellowing clear coat. It appeared that someone had stripped some of the clear coat off, so half the cover was covered with yellow clear coat and the other half with stained aluminum. In this write up, you can click any of the pictures to see a larger picture with better detail. I started by removing anything that wasn't metal/aluminum. This included removing the oil level window and the plastic plug near the top of the stator cover. I also removed the crank end cover with the rubber o-ring seal underneath. When I jumped in to start this, I did not know what I was going to end with, so I did this experiment on a spare stator cover that I acquired. My spare cover was in worse condition than the one on my bike, so with the results, I am happy.

Clear Coat No More

I used a metal stripper I found in Lowe's to strip the clear coat off of the Stator Cover. The metal stripper I used was "Klean-Strip Metal Stripper". This is some powerful stuff. Make sure you wear safety glasses and chemical resistant gloves. If this stuff gets on your skin, it burns and burns a lot. Don't ask me how I know, just trust me. I can't imagine what would happen if you got this stuff in your eyes. I painted the stripper on with a disposable paint brush (trust me you will not be able to use the brush again for anything else). Applied it all in one direction as the instructions indicate. I left it on the cover for about 15-20 minutes and wiped everything off with an old, clean rag. If you leave the stripper on for too long, it will dry onto the metal and then you need to strip the clear coat and the old metal stripper. 20 minutes is just about the right amount of time. Make sure you clean up all the stripping agent, get it all off of there.

Green and Cream

The next step was to scrub the entire piece with a ScotchBrite Green scrubby Pad. The scrubby pad really helped get rid of a lot of the staining that was on the cover. You will really need to scrub with some muscle. Use a soft cloth to clean up any residue from the scrubby when you're finished. After the scrubby pad, I used a cone shaped brass wire brush in my electric drill. I used brass because it is softer than the aluminum. I worked the brass brush in very small circles over the entire surface of the stator cover. In this step, you can actually see the reflection of the drill in the cover surface as you work up a good shine. After the entire surface is brite and shiny, finish the job with some NevrDull Metal Polish, buffing to a brite finish.

Footpeg Mounts

I tried this same prodecure on one of the spare footpeg mounting brackets that I have and it turned out okay, I guess, but not as well as the Stator Cover. When I started, both of these rear footpeg mounts looked pretty much the same.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Local Favorite

I had to attend a meeting this afternoon at work. The meeting was scheduled from 1:30 PM to 4:00 PM at Ferrum College. Well, we were released from the meeting at 3:30 PM and Route 40 & Route 8 were calling to me. I took off on Rt. 40 heading West from Ferrum. The road was in excellent condition, the weather was about 80 Degrees. The road to Rt. 8 was clear of all traffic, except one pickup truck towing a trailer. The driver of that vehicle waived me past as soon as he saw I was behind him (He must ride).

Just as I got to Woolwine and just before the junction with Rt.8, I got stuck behind a mulch truck. Luckily, it was only for about a quarter mile, then the truck turned Left on Rt.8 and I went Right. Rt.8 was beautiful until I passed an orange sign that said "Road Under Construction". Oh no, what were they doing to my road??? Straightening it??? No, it appears that they are just widening it in one or two spots. I did however, sit waiting to the "Pilot Car" for about 15 minutes... It seemed like forever. Then after the polit car arrived I was stuck behind a line of cars through the construction zone, which was one lane. I was stuck behind all these cars and work vans until Tuggle's Gap.

At Tuggle's Gap, I jumped on the Blue Ridge Parkway and zipped along at about 10 mph over the 45 mph speed limit. Only got stuck behind one other vehicle and that was just before an easy "Motorcycle Only Passing Zone". While on the BRP, my bike passed the 20,000 mile mark on the odometer. I then hit Five Mile Mountain Road and zipped on back home. I was home by 4:30, quarter to five. This is about the time I would have gotten home if the meeting lasted until 4:00 like it was supposed to.

If you have never riden Rt. 40 to Rt.8 to Tuggle's Gap/Blue Ridge Parkway you really need to do it soon. The roads have long sweeping curves and tight switchbacks and especially during the week, very minimal traffic. I would however, wait until the construction is completed.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Hey, This is a pretty neat page with a pair of Visions highlighted. Matt knows a good bike when he sees one. He even took the Vision to a California Superbike School. Good quick reading. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Deal's Gap Videos

All in all, my trip to meet the dragon was 912 miles. Not as many as James but still quite a few miles for a 23+ year old motorcycle. The following two videos are of the four Visions running through the gap behind a slow Miata. The videos show the Miata, a Vision, a Honda ST1100, two more Visions and then I am shooting the video from the fairing of my Vision.

Four Visions and an ST1100: Video 1 Video 2

These next two videos are of James (PS2) running the Dragon heading toward the Deal's Gap Motorcycle Resort again, with me following and shooting the video from the fairing of my Vision.

James Slaying the Dragon: Video 3 Video 4

Killboy Pictures

The pictures that Darryl Cannon and his crew from shot have been posted to his web site. I looked and looked until I could just barely see anymore and I found about 50 photographs of Vision Riders from the EROV Meet. If you click on the above title, it will bring you to the Vision Photo Album, then use "visions" as the password and it should open to a slide show of the 50+ pictures.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Off to Meet the Dragon

I left my house in Callaway, Virginia at about 11:00 AM on Friday. It rained a little as I was leaving the house, but soon stopped. I rode the interstate most all the way. I81 then to I40 to Knoxville. I81 was closed in Tennessee for a major accident involving hazmat trucks and fire. In Knoxville I hit a lot of traffic, but I was soon pulling closer to the rural area of Route 129. I had to ride the tail of the dragon to get to the motorcycle resort and on my 1st trip through, I had my picture taken by the infamous "Killboy". That was cool. As soon as I arrived at about 5:30 PM, James (PS2) was there waiting on me. About an hour later, Bill (Mutt) pulled in with his Vision in the back of his truck. All was looking very well. We ate diner and talked about Visions. Then we ran the Dragon a time or two just to get it done. There is nothing like that 1st ride through this stretch of road.

So this is the Dragon

The Dragon at Deal's Gap. Bill (Mutt) on the left came over to the gap from the Raleigh area and trucked his Vision in. I (MotorPlow), center, rode my bike from Callaway, VA and James (Right) rode his bike all the way from Michigan. This is where the East Rider's of Vision Meet begins.

East Riders of Vision Meet at the Dragon

The Sun is up Let's Ride

It was early on Saturday morning Bill, James and I were just starting to wake up and each of us was itching to ride. We ate a good breakfast and then off we went to slay that beast.

Off to the Overlook and then back again, each time we stopped at the overlook to talk with other riders (mainly to answer questions of "What is that bike?"). Of course Bill and I had to keep James from picking up rocks to chase the Miata drivers away.

Look at them, sitting there just begging to be ridden...

4 Great Bikes

All in all, we had four Visions show at the Gap. In order from front to back, they are (by Screen Name) PS2, Mutt, MotorPlow and Schanland.

Another shot of the same bikes in the same order.

This is a picture of Schanland's black '82 Vision. He just rode in for the day. We found him at the Deal's Gap Motorcycle Resort, just before he left.

Our Beer Run

One of our trips away from the dragon was on the Foothills Parkway. It was a nice enough ride, but heck, we were hungry and needed beer. After eating a nice lunch ar Shoney's in Maryville, we went grocery shopping.

If you notice the sign above where we parked, you will find that we had to get James pregnant to justify the parking space. If James carries to full term, we are going to name the little one Lucky Jr.

The Tree of Shame

The Tree of Shame... We did not have to pay tribute to the tree of shame during our stay at the Dragon, however many before us have. One of the 19/20 year olds staying in the room next to us did. He and his buddy came in late Saturday Night. 1st thing in the AM on Sunday off they went to slay the dragon on their superbikes. Less than 2 miles into the dragon on their 1st run, one of them got bit by the big lizard. We helped him fix the bike back to, at least, ridable condition.

We did pay a little tribute to the tree for our fellow Vision riders. For all of us who have burned stators in the past, this is for you.

Taking a Break

In between riding the Dragon really hard we would take the occasional break. Here we are at the Overlook posing with our beer guts hanging out. Well, all of us except James. James had to keep his jacket on to look half the size of the rest of us.

We took a break at the dam a little ways North of the Dragon on Rt.129. James decided to get a closer look at the water. I took this picture and then couldn't look any more, especially after some of the crash & burn stories James had told.

Here is just a quick picture from the dam looking North.

And of course my bike with the beer strapped to the back. This was coming back from the Grocery Store.

Missy had a Mishap

The people in the room next to us were from Florida. There was Ritchie, Missy and another guy who I can't remember his name. Ritchie is a registered nurse and this group of three were some of the nicest people you could meet. Unfortunately, while Missy was passing a pickup truck (Did you know there is no Chinese word for pickup truck?), the truck crossed the double yellow line. Missy had to choose between the truck or the side of the road. She chose the softer of the two. Other than bumps and bruises, she wasn't hurt. The bike on the other hand was.

And Then It Rained

At about 7:00 PM on Saturday evening the sky opened up and it rained and rained hard. The rain came down and just would not quit. Men and women and bikes all scrambled for cover.

Our beautiful Visions stayed out in the rain. We sat on the porch and told stories and laughed at everyone trying to cover their bikes. As the rain wasn't going to stop, we found the beer had chilled nicely and it was time to start drinking... So we did.

James seized the opportunity to use the rain and clean his bike. Why waste the water he said and started scrubbing away. Of course I noticed he only washed what he could reach from the cover of the porch.

Saturday Night Races

Once the rain stopped at about 10:00 PM people started gathering in the parking lot. From somewhere about 4 Honda 50s where getting ready to race. A make shift track was set up from the gas pumps to a chair with a glow stick. Grown men (and women) dressed in full leathers and helmets went for a fight to the death race on the little 50s. One of the little hondas even sported a basket and tasles on the handle bars. Darryl Cannon from was out taking pictures. It was great fun for all.

After the races, all four Honda 50s went and ran the Dragon. With make shift headlights and glow sticks and a sportbike escort, off they went. Unfortunately, one of the little bikes came back with bent forks after hitting a rock off the side of the road. Ah, it was fun while it lasted.

Heading Home from Rt. 129

After Bill loaded his Vision into his truck and left heading South, James and I took off on our bikes, through the gap headed North. James was having trouble with his bike and had to pull over during the run. After checking fuel lines and fuel filters and this and that, we tried a new igniter box. The new TCI worked. It appears that someone opened his TCI and then tried to seal it with a piece of a cardboard box from some Carmel Corn. With all the rain we had, the carmel corn box didn't hold up.

With James on his way, I took off into the Smokey Mountain National Park where it started raining and where I promptly got lost. I finally found the Southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway after 2 hours of trying to get out of the Smokey Mountain National Park. The rain continued most all the way home. This made it interesting riding on the parkway. At 6,000 feet it got down to 54 degrees and I had to turn on the heated grips. The only relief from the pouring rain was the numerous tunnels between the Smokey Mountains and Asheville, NC. In Ashville, I got off the parkway and hopped on I40 East to Statesville. In Statesville I met a BMW rider who happened to be sporting a Route 129 pin on his Aerostich. He was Southbound from Washington, DC and with his help, I decided to take I77 to Hillsville and then Route 221 back to Callaway. In Mount Airy, I stopped and got a hotel room as it was dark and I no longer had a head light. Monday Morning, the sun was shining and I had a great run up Route 221 and I was home by 10:00 AM.

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