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  1. Score One for the Gilera 106 Group
    From Underblog Rides Again The Lil Thing aka the Gilera 106ss kept acting as if it had no clutch. Starting and idling fine, just cutting out. A saint on the Gilera 106ss Group had encountered the same problem and simply started rolling the bike before putting it into gear, pumping the clutch lever all the while. The technique worked like a charm. Now the bike is at the welding shop, getting the tabs to which the center stand mounts attached to the frame. Once it comes back from the shop, I'll be ready to register it
  2. Morini Sighting
    From Underblog Rides Again First other Morini sighting today. It is hard to believe that I have been here five years and have seen none other than my own so far. It was disc-brake, cast wheel, 3½ heading SBD Coors from EBD Montano, not so far from my own place.
  3. Underblog Rides Again
    From Underblog Rides Again I wanted to make some room on the lift, so I gave touching up the electrical contacts one last shot and replaced the flywheel cover, gas tank, spark plug, etc. Then I went to start it. First, nothing. Tickle the carb, a soft pop. Continued kicking. A tentative turn-over. More tickling. Rest leg. Kick some more. More tentative starting. Then it started and died immediately. Repeat previous steps. Runs longer. I made it as far as the end of the driveway when I decided that I better wait for better weather
  4. Minor Miracle
    From Underblog Rides Again Last night, I left Marble Brewing just after sunset. I was on the Benelli and I was fairly sure that I would have to ride home without a headlight. Over the winter, I had replaced the rusted out CEV handlebar switch with a Chinese generic sourced from BevelHeaven. Lacking proper means to attach the thing to the handlebars, I drilled a couple of holes in the bakelite and safety wired it to the bars. And lo and behold — and in spite of the lack of battery operation of the
  5. Gilera Woes
    From Underblog Rides Again The lack of a flywheel nut should have been a tipoff. Today I set the timing and was getting improved spark. Great, let me see if the PO put oil in the bike. Hmm, only a few oz of sludge. I figured I would use the sludge-draining time to check the valves. Got the valve cover off and there is 1/2 inch of play. I removed the pushrods and removed the head. Now I see that I appear to be missing a cam follower. Bottom line: Can anyone sell me a cam follower? Also:
  6. A Deep Sickness
    From Underblog Rides Again I came across a listing on CL for a Gilera. I offered the fellow half what it was listed for. He took it. Now I have sitting in my garage a ca. 1966 106ss, now with newly-installed Heidenau tires.* The checklist:Tires [check] Fork boots Wiring (weak spark) Headlight retaining clip / spring As if seven motorcycles were not enough. * One synergy of this new acquisition is that I now have a source for Trail90 street tires.
  7. Routine Maintenance, continued
    From Underblog Rides Again I finally worked up the courage and the ganas to do my own belt replacement / oil change / valve adjustment on the ST 4. So far it has broken down (poor choice of words) as follows: Day 1: Remove bodywork, drain and replace oil; Day 2: Drain coolant, remove expansion bottle; Day 3: Remove radiator, remove belt covers; Day 4: Run over to Sears for a couple of offset wrenches to remove belt tensioners. By springtime I should be done.
  8. Ripped From Today's Headlines
    From Underblog Rides Again Spotted in the nytimes online this morning, this article. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/12/us/12helmet.html I think I am one of the few people to examine the methodology of motorcycle helmet laws and the statistics used to promote and resist them. In fact the only contribution I made to the field in graduate school was to look at the wholly unstudied phenomenon of motorcycle helmet laws and the interest groups that argue their merits. If you look at the graph that accompanies the article, it shows "deaths per motorcycle registration." Since when did the number of motorcycles
  9. Mechanical Inclination
    From Underblog Rides Again I have been deferring maintenance on all my bikes lately. The Morini need swing-arm bushings again, the F1 needs wiring, the ST4S needs and oil change and valve check. Then, I notice sputtering from the normally trustworthy CT90. This continues for a week or two, as I become increasingly concerned that the little thing is trying to tell me that it needs some kind of major work, after years of mostly benign neglect. I am suspicious of the carburettor, and sure enough I look at it on a recent arrival
  10. How Little It Takes to Cheer Up a Gearhead
    From Underblog Rides Again New license plates for the Land of Entrapment. Where do I sign up? http://www.newmexico100.net/mvdsurvey/mvdsurvey.aspx
  11. Lambretta Day
    From Underblog Rides Again A colleague rode his SX200 to work today. I got kinda choked up so similar was his bike to my old one. Later, when I was leaving work, I saw J125 riding down 8th St to the roundabout at Central and then head west. It must be Lambretta day.
  12. Mountainair Loop
    From Underblog Rides Again How far we've come! Since Roomie chose not not to come along last week, she asked if we might go for a ride. Our so-called monsoon season has arrived early this year, so we did not want to get too far afield. Roomie suggested Mountainair for breakfast at Pop Shafer's. The ride from Tijeras down NM 337 was better than I recalled. Perhaps the ST is more comfortable for long straights than the 851. It certainly soaks them up faster! In any case, once we were past the congestion immediately
  13. Riding With the Big Boys
    From Underblog Rides Again Monday, I had arranged to meet some of the High Desert Hooligans at Coffee at Dawn's. Just as I pulled up, without so much time to even check the time, I notice Jim about to follow a bunch of other Ducati's up NM 14 on his 1098. Thinking this must be my group, I follow Jim up to the Shell where the others are fueling up. Jim responded affirmatively when I asked if his was the group meeting at Dawn's at 10.Mike and Tom on matching Pearl White 848 and
  14. Binned: A Squid's Tale
    From Underblog Rides Again Driving to Sears yesterday to pick up a mid-section toolbox to house my new goodies (see post below), I notice a motorcyclist on a wide-tired sportbike, fender eliminator, LED taillights, etc zipping through traffic, weaving to and fro. Minutes later, I pull up behind a stopped car in the right hand lane. I notice two people trying to move a hulk of a motorcycle off the road; they are not having much luck. Plastic bodywork littered the lane 30 feet ahead of where they were handling the motorcycle. As the car
  15. Routine Maintenance
    From Underblog Rides Again I just placed my order for some serious specialty equipment: doo-dads to check and adjust the shims on the 851 and ST4S, micrometer, belts, etc. Although such tools come at a rather substantial cost, they will save me money in the long run. Perhaps sooner. Each 4-valve Ducati tune-up runs about $700. By the time I do each bike once, the materiel will have paid for itself. Moreover, as much as I like the fellows at PJ's and appreciate all they do for the Ducati community in Albuquerque, I think that
  16. Garanimals
    From Underblog Rides Again With the higher seating position on the ST4S, Roomie decided that she needed a full-face helmet to replace the ¾ helmet we purchased last year. Choosing a brand and a model was fairly straightforward—I was ready for an upgrade from the HJC I bought back in Maryland when we were strapped for cash. I had had Shoei's for years before that. Both of them were in advanced disintegration before I managed to get rid of them. More difficult than choosing the model was choosing the color: I first had a
  17. By the Numbers
    From Underblog Rides Again It being a lovely spring day, and having done a weekend's worth of chores yesterday, Roomie and I decided to go for a ride. Things were looking dodgy—her helmet has not arrived from Cycle Gear, and the gloves we ordered from newenough.com were backordered, then too small. A third pair will be ordered once the small Fargo's are returned. But mostly I think the hesitancy was in the thinking about going for a ride. The temptation to try out the new gear (her new jacket) won out. We set her
  18. Matching Luggage
    From Underblog Rides Again Roomie got all misty-eyed when she saw the embroidering on our TLC bag liners. But the ST4s is special, because I purchased it with her in mind. Roomie even gets a little jealous when I take it out without her. In any case, I am looking forward to taking some day trips (and perhaps beyond, once our housesitter arrives) later this summer. For the time being, an occasional toot up to Madrid or Leona's will have to do.
  19. Bike Night
    From Underblog Rides Again Last night I attended Bike Night in Albuquerque. Garduņo's on the Green is a local chain restaurant set in one of Albuquerque's more unique environments. The Balloon Fiesta Park is a ready-made tourist attraction, complete with Balloon Museum, golf ball driving range, hundreds of acres of soccer fields and generally much open space. In the middle of all this is Garduņo's on the Green. And oddly, there were a lot of people at this large-sized family venue. Even before the motorcyclists arrived there were bunches of people, coming in from
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