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Monday, January 30, 2006

2Wheel Traveling GeoCache

I went for an 80 mile ride today. I had to get the Vision inspected and I had to hide the 2Wheel Traveling GeoCache. Once again, I went to Reed's Garage near where the Blue Ridge Parkway meets with Rt. 221 at Bent Mountain. Once again, they refused to charge me for my inpsection on my motorcycle. After Reed's, I went on my quest to locate a good place to hide the Cache. I started on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but couldn't find any place decent. I then wandered down Five Mile Mountain Road in Callaway, still no good places. I wound up near Woolwine after riding Rt. 40 (Wow, what a ride). From where the cache is hidden, A ride East on Rt.40 to Ferrum or a Ride Northwest on Rt.8 to Floyd, would make for a great day.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Roanoke Times: Virginia Motorcycle Council

Here is a great article from The Roanoke Times about Virginia being a great motorcycle destination and how the Governor has set up a Virginia Motorcycle Council. Click on the heading, above, to read the article. Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 20, 2006

Head Shake ~ GONE!

The other day I decided to see if I can tighten the steering stem nuts any more. I took the spanner wrench that I bought from Lowes and filed down the ends to about half of what they were. I took off the Vision's gas tank and loosened the handle bar pinch bolts and steering stem bolt. I lifted the top triple tree plate and cranked down on the steering stem nuts with everything I had. I used the left side bar as leverage and gave it everything I had. The nuts did tighten up some more ~ about 2 full turns. Then, the handle on the spanner wrench snapped. Moved the steering from lock to lock, still not binding. Can't tighten the nuts any more without a wrench.

Rode the bike to work last night.... The head shake I had is completely gone. I am a happy camper! No more shakin' ~ The bike feels really good. In addition, I had to swap the forks out again and go back to my old forks. The newer forks had really bad leaky seals. They leaked so bad that after a short ride, the radiator was wet with fork oil... Not good. So I will run the old forks until I can rebuild the seals and dust covers in the new forks. I also found that my old forks have Progressive Springs in them and the new forks just have stock springs. Head shake gone and I have progressive springs. It was a good day.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Starter Clutch Hell !!

Alright, where do I start? What started out as a simple Shift Shaft Seal replacement turned into major surgery. I took off the Left side cover to gain access to the shift shaft seal. After I pulled the cover, I checked the Balancer Nut and that was good and tight. Then I looked for the starter clutch bolts inside the rotor. As I looked, I didn't see anything. I looked closer, with a flashlight. What I found was that all three of the starter clutch bolts had backed out and removed themselves from the rotor.

Pulling the rotor is not an easy task on a Yamaha Vision. First, you need to have a Harmonic Balancer/Flywheel Puller, which I didn't have, so I had to go buy one... $26.99 at Fisher Auto Parts. Then I had to get the rotor off. Yeah, Right! Lots of banging and twisting and banging some more, then get the deadblow hammer and whack the side of the rotor. Bang it some more and twist and whack... for several hours this went on. Finally, off it came. The back of the starter clutch was destroyed along with the bolt holes on the back of the rotor. This is odd. The normal tell tale sign that the bolts had backed out is a distinctive rattle noise from the engine that goes away after about 2500 RPM. I hadn't noticed a distinctive noise. There was a time or two that I did hear something, but didn't think much of it. One time a buddy of mine advised that he thought he heard a slight noise from the crankcase. Never was it very loud to cause any alarm.

Okay, now what? Pull the starter clutch and rotor from the spare engine.... Here we go again. Several hours later, I have a starter clutch and rotor in great condition. In fact, it appears as though the starter clutch bolt fix had already been done to the spare engine. Before I realized this, I pulled one of the bolts as I was going to match it up with a longer bolt. While looking at the bolt, I realized the end was mashed as if it had been peened over. Looking at the other bolts, they look like they had been peened also. Although the bolts could be a bit longer, these look really good. I did notice that when I took off the Flywheel puller, the center shaft forced it's way into the crankshaft and destroyed the bolt threads inside. Now, if I ever need to use the spare engine, I will have to replace the crankshaft.

I put the new rotor and starter clutch on the bike and torqued it down. On to the shift shaft seal. The drywall screw trick to removing the old seal didn't work. All it did was shred the old seal. I tried some dental tools I had lying around without success. What did finally work was an old paint can cover opener, you know, the kind you get free from the paint store when you buy a gallon of paint. With the old seal out and the new one in, all was looking good. A little Threebond 1104 and a new side cover gasket and it was all back together. 24 hours later, fresh synthetic oil and a trun of the key, it all started up nicely and charges as it is supposed to. The engine does sound a whole lot smoother, more like a happy sewing machine.

Now with all that done, I can't remember if I torqued and locktited the starter clutch bolt I took out. Well, if I didn't, it should hold together for another 20,000 miles when I will have to do it all over again. With a test ride, I found that I still have the front end wobble on deceleration. I am starting to think I will never get rid of that wobble. The next time I have a chance to work on the bike, I am going to crank down some more on the head bearings. I will also need to swap the forks back to my original forks as the replacement forks have a very bad leak in the seals. So bad that it is blowing fork oil onto the radiator. My old forks had good seals and the wobble apparently is not associated with the forks, so the old will work nicely.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Starter Rebuild Today

The DPO (Dumb Previous Owner) and the SCO (Stupid Current Owner) both did something stupid with the Vision Starter. I started out by pulling the starter out of the spare engine. I opened the starter and found it to be in perfect condition, however the seal was the original OEM seal. So, I wanted to upgrade it to the seal with the spring lip. Everything went very well and smooth, until it was time to put the armature back through the bearing. The socket I used to drive the armature through the bearing was tapered inside and I didn't realize it. The taper made the inside diameter too big and using it damaged the bearing. In removing the bearing, I read the instructions wrong. I interpreted "drive the bearing out from the sealed side." as "drive the bearing out from the seal side.". One simple word, "Seal" and "Sealed". I tried to drive the bearing out the wrong way. I cracked a perfect "O" ring off the top of the nose of the starter.

Start over, remove the starter from the engine on the bike. Open that starter and find that, yes, the seal failed and filled the starter with oil. The DPO, apparently tried to fix a dry rotted rubber "O" ring with some sort of silicone. The DPO didn't even try and remove the starter from the bike to hack this fix. I had to remove the silicone from the starter with a razor blade. The back side of the starter had nothing, no silicone, no seal, no nothing. I then took the good body from the starter I broke and put it with nose of the oil filled starter. I cleaned up and repaired the seal and then used the correct socket to drive the armature through the bearing. Between the two starters, I believe I ended up with one good one. I greased the gears in the starter and oiled the seals and reinstalled it back into the bike. Can't test it yet as I have to take the Left side cover off the bike to replace the Shift Shaft Seal while the bike is still empty of oil.

Monday, January 09, 2006

70 Degrees Today...But.

It started out being a great day...

Woke up this morning and the temperature was already up to 50 Degrees. My thinking, what a great day for a ride... Nope, The spousal unit had stuff that needed to be done that required the minivan. Okay, get all that stuff done and I decide, let me pull the front wheel and change the front axel and see what I get with the front end wobble.

1st I pull the front wheel. I then pull the bearing seals and clean up all the excessive grease in there and repack the wheel bearings. I notice on the exploded view of the front wheel in the Haynes Manual, they show 3 wheel bearings. Well, I have had this wheel off enough times to know that's not right. Maybe there is some type of bearing in the Speedometer gearing. So I pop the speedo gear apart. Nope no 3rd bearing in there. Clean up all the extra grease in there and notice a couple of places where there is rust in the splines. Decrease the entire thing, break out the emory cloth and clean up the rust. Re-grease everything and pop it back together.

Okay, wheel bearings regreased, speedometer gear cleaned and regreased... Lets put the wheel back on and hopefully still have time to atleast ride the bike to work. Still don't know why the Haynes Manual shows an extra wheel bearing in their exploded view of the front wheel.

Put it all back together, with the replacement axel, spin the front wheel.... Wow. This thing glides beautifully. The wheel spun easily before without any problems. Now, it's almost like it floats. Spin the wheel and I got tired of waiting for it to stop, had to use my hand as a brake and stop the wheel from spinning... Beautiful!

Clean everything up, put everything away, get changed for work... Push the bike out into the yard, fire it up. Fires up on the 1st push of the starter. Go back in as the bike warms up and get all my gear on. Outside now, swing a leg over the bike, drop it in 1st gear and it stalls. No big deal, just hit the starter again... Click, click click from the starter solenoid.


Reach under the seat rail and hit the starter while I am feeling the solenoid, yup it's the starter solenoid clicking, wait what was that... The starter tried to turn. Humph, the battery is fully charged. That was a weird sound the starter made.... Click, glub, glub,, click, click, click.

Roll the bike back in the basement, strip out of my gear and go to work in the minivan. Next day off, pull the starter and swap it with the one from the spare engine. It really did start out as a beautiful day.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

2005 End of Year Mileage: 20716

I went for my annual New Years Day ride this morning after work. I met 15 or so other riders at the Plateau Plaza BoJangles for some hot coffee and strong conversation. The temperature was in the mid to upper 40s and overcast. I put about 50+ miles on the Vision this morning before finally returning home to go to sleep. The Vision ran very well and sounded great. Unfortunately, that damned head shake is still present. I almost feel like it's silently laughing at me. Next step, work on the swing arm bearings... (4,142 Miles in 2005)

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