ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-26-2009, 05:56 AM   #31
rcook52459
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: portland ore.
Oddometer: 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haroon
Firstly, a full round of applause for restoring that bike into mint condition and secondly full marks to your grit & determination to do a long trip on a 31 year old harley. You sure make some of the modern day big-bore harley posers look like pussy riders. Liked the dig on the 'stealership'

Great trip and enjoying the pics. Pls keep it coming.
+1 on this
rcook52459 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2009, 06:04 AM   #32
GB
Mod Squad
 
GB's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Toronto, ON
Oddometer: 55,251
Wow! That's quite the thread.. how did I miss it. That Sporty's an original ADV bike too!
__________________
ADV decals, patches & flag? Here
GB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2009, 06:49 AM   #33
rockjohn
Studly Adventurer
 
rockjohn's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: VA
Oddometer: 567
Way to go Reryder, great bike we don't see many RR on old sportsters. My Dad was reminding me how back in his day they raced sportsters, on road or off it didn't matter. He was telling me this while he stared at my sons DRZ 400, he's hiding it for me till Christmas. Pop thought it was tits but I could tell there was only one word on his mind (Pussy's) he would never say it but it was there.

Good luck on your ride and thanks for reminding us we don't need $20.k in a bike to enjoy the ride.
__________________
Knuckle Dragging Silver Back

Free Your Mind...And Your Ass Will Follow
rockjohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2009, 03:34 PM   #34
Reryder OP
Onward through the fog...
 
Reryder's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Cairns, Oz
Oddometer: 1,397
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
Wow! That's quite the thread.. how did I miss it. That Sporty's an original ADV bike too!
Thanks for the feedback guys. Yeah, it is not quite RTWDoug's round the world on a Panhead chopper, in fact it is a cakewalk by comparison, but I figured this ride was a bit of an adventure for sure.

And yes, maybe the Sportster was the ORIGINAL purpose-built adventure bike, starting out as a desert racer then adding hard luggage and windscreen back in the early 60s.

You could use the off road:

(Image from www.harleykrxrtt.com)


Or On tour:

Or a bit of both.

Although really, this was probably Harley's first purpose built adventure bike. Whole different kind of adventure though.
__________________
'77 Harley Ironhead 6,000 miles across Oz
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=527966

Reryder (AKA Hopper)
1977 Harley Sportster
81 BMWR100RS
01 HONDA VFR800
99 SV650
Ancient Harley 45, Snortster (Sporty engine in a Norton), Norton Atlas, Honda 350/4, Ariel HS scrambler
Reryder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2009, 03:56 PM   #35
Reryder OP
Onward through the fog...
 
Reryder's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Cairns, Oz
Oddometer: 1,397
West Wyalong and across the Hay Plain

By now I was really getting in the groove of long distance riding. Ended up deciding fcuk it, I would just go and see how far I got in the day. Ended up doing 550 miles (900km), starting at 7am and pulling up at my folks' place in Adelaide at 8.30pm.

I was cruising the old bike right on 60mph, the speed limit, for much of the way. Even at that speed the engine, doing 3,000 rpm, sounded like it was ready to self-destruct any minute. I guess I have gotten soft in my old age ridding modern bikes, but damn the rattles and roars and vibration that come out of that motor are something else. It really needs a fifth gear to drop the revs to an easy 2,500 at road speed. I already have the biggest gearbox sprocket and smallest rear sprocket that can fit and it still seems like it is running mad at road speed.


It was one hell of a ride that day and I was still recovering two days later.
It was probably a bit of a dumb thing to do, I was absolutely trashed the last couple hundred miles but it was so damn freezing cold (for tropical me) and so close to the destination that I just kept going, and loving every minute of it. In the cooler weather - about 50 or 60 F - I wound the old girl up to 110-120kmh, about 70mph, and just kept heading for home. No way I was going to camp out in that cold. It was shaping up to be one of those clear nights on the high plains when the temperatures just drops like a whore's drawers on a Saturday night.
Despite all the hard riding, and the horrendous heat back up in Queensland, the engine still remained totally oil tight. Thank you James Gaskets, and to my mate Terry who taught me how to make the torque wrench extensions to get in to the head and rocker box and cyl base bolts.


AS I left West Wyalong I headed out into the infamous Hay plain, across low scrub country like this.


It was 250km from West Wyalong to the town of Hay. There was only one petrol stop along the way, a tiny little wheat silo town that has all but blown away since the railroad pulled out of it. Cant remember the name but it was one of those Aussie unpronuncable names that sounded like Gingangoolieguts or some thing like that. Great old pub is obviously from grander days when the railway station bought the world to its doorstep.



Most of the other shops were boarded up.



And the gas station was not much.


Some settler's hard scrabble farm house has seen better days. I reckon it could be fixed up to a nice house though. And the more I rode out here the more I liked the isolation and open space of it all. It could be ok living out here I reckon.


The trees were starting to thin out as the land got poorer and farms fewer and further between.



OUt in the middle of the Hay plain, before I got to Hay, I started to feel cold. First I had to zip shut the vents in my leather jacket, then had to stop and put the padded jacket liner in and and put on a thick warm lumberjack shirt.

I Stopped by this old closed down church on a dirt track by the side of the road to put the warm gear on. No sign of the town it once serviced. But it looked like somebody lives in the old church now.



It is so flat and sparse out there I had to photo a 360 degree view from all four sides of the bike out in the middle of the Hay plain. You can see there is just nothing out there, not a tree. Nada.






GAssed up in Hay, where the locals have not much to do other than fix up their utes, the original sport utility vehicles, invented in Australia. The bull bar on this one is a beauty. Driven by a hefty looking chick in a cowboy hat. I waited till she went in to pay for her gas before taking a pic. Didn't want to get my head torn off.


I had seen a few kangaroo road kill carcasses along the road here, but not many so I was hoping I didn't end up wishing I had a bullbar like that on the front of the bike.
__________________
'77 Harley Ironhead 6,000 miles across Oz
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=527966

Reryder (AKA Hopper)
1977 Harley Sportster
81 BMWR100RS
01 HONDA VFR800
99 SV650
Ancient Harley 45, Snortster (Sporty engine in a Norton), Norton Atlas, Honda 350/4, Ariel HS scrambler
Reryder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2009, 05:20 PM   #36
Laconic
Gaulded
 
Laconic's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Moran Nation, NC
Oddometer: 15,441
This is great!

It's interesting that there is a Tamworth Farm in my home town in New England...

I only rode an Ironhead once in my life. All I have to say is, "You are one tough hombre".

Thanks for posting.

Laconic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2009, 07:50 PM   #37
Reryder OP
Onward through the fog...
 
Reryder's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Cairns, Oz
Oddometer: 1,397
Quote:
Originally Posted by 257bob
This is great!

It's interesting that there is a Tamworth Farm in my home town in New England...

I only rode an Ironhead once in my life. All I have to say is, "You are one tough hombre".

Thanks for posting.

LOL, yeah I think you have to have ridden one to appreciate what it is to travel far on one. But it turned out to not be as uncomfortable as I expected. The lambswool seat cover with a bit of high density foam helped, but mostly having that bag set against the sissy bar as a backrest was the lifesaver. It takes a lot of the weight off your ass and braces you against the "human windsock effect" of the buckhorn handlebars.
I put a piece of high density foam down the front of the bag, held on by the bungee cords because the zipper on the bag dug right into one vertabrae in my back and was intolerable by about day two.
Then I just played around with packing the contents of the bag so soft clothes etc were at the front.
That were luxury that were!

And of course the higway pegs are essential, if you are 6'1 like me, as I found out when I busted one off on the ride home.

And I guess those New England names all came from merry old England and were transplanted to both the US and Aussie New Englands. Towns like Warwick, Inverell, Glenn Innes, Stanthorpe.
My favourite was the town of Woodenbong, but more about that on the ride home.
__________________
'77 Harley Ironhead 6,000 miles across Oz
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=527966

Reryder (AKA Hopper)
1977 Harley Sportster
81 BMWR100RS
01 HONDA VFR800
99 SV650
Ancient Harley 45, Snortster (Sporty engine in a Norton), Norton Atlas, Honda 350/4, Ariel HS scrambler
Reryder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2009, 12:23 PM   #38
Rammster
n00b
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Oddometer: 7
Great trip, great write up. I have a fully restored '77 Ironhead but I don't take it too far from home - I take my hat off to you. I do long trips on Harley's - I prefer to solo on a '99 Dyna and tour with my wife on a Road King - UK and Europe. - Mostly I dream of the temps you were in and consider myself lucky if I don't get wet on any given day.

Thanks for the thread.
Rammster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2009, 07:46 PM   #39
Reryder OP
Onward through the fog...
 
Reryder's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Cairns, Oz
Oddometer: 1,397
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammster
Great trip, great write up. I have a fully restored '77 Ironhead but I don't take it too far from home - I take my hat off to you. I do long trips on Harley's - I prefer to solo on a '99 Dyna and tour with my wife on a Road King - UK and Europe. - Mostly I dream of the temps you were in and consider myself lucky if I don't get wet on any given day.

Thanks for the thread.
Cool
Please post some pics of your restored '77 on here. I would love so see them. Very few around still original these days and I dont have much for pictures of mine before it got extended forks, bobbed fender and all the usual stuff back then.

Yeah, I am thinking a Road King may be my next bike so I can take the missus on rides like this in comfort. I had such a great time on the road I really have both the Harley bug and the touring bug pretty bad now.


Haha, yeah our weather here is pretty conducive to biking. In Cairns I ride to work pretty much every day of the year, except if there is about a foot of water over the roads as happens once or twice a year in the monsoons. Front plug on my little Suzuki SV650 does not like operating under water.
__________________
'77 Harley Ironhead 6,000 miles across Oz
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=527966

Reryder (AKA Hopper)
1977 Harley Sportster
81 BMWR100RS
01 HONDA VFR800
99 SV650
Ancient Harley 45, Snortster (Sporty engine in a Norton), Norton Atlas, Honda 350/4, Ariel HS scrambler
Reryder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2009, 08:13 PM   #40
Reryder OP
Onward through the fog...
 
Reryder's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Cairns, Oz
Oddometer: 1,397
Not much out there on the Hay Plain. Just me and the trucks. Not even much for hay really. Mostly bare-dirt scrub country. I could go half and hour or more with out a vehicle coming the other direction. Hundreds and hundreds of miles of just nothing. Gives a man time to think about stuff.





I hit the Victorian border mid-afternoon at the River Murray.



Then rode through salt pans and through the Murray Mallee wheat country on the high plains, freezing my ass off . I stopped at Pinaroo just over the South Australian border, so trashed I did not even see the border sign to get a pic. Stopped at a gas station to put my woolly sweater on - while the locals were getting about in shorts and standing in the shade out of the sun and looking at me like I was some kind of mad man.


There was a buffeting wind coming straight off the south pole and blowing in over the couple hundred miles of wheatlands between me and the coast.
Effing freezin I was. Might as well have been out on the Siberian Tundra I reckon.

I decided I was not going to camp out in this wind and cold, but none of the little wheat towns along the road even had a pub to get a room at. They were just a silo (grain elevator) beside the railroad track and half a dozen houses and a few boarded up shops.

So I decided fcuk it, I would head for Adelaide. Called the folks and told them I was on the way. Trouble is my watch had gotten so cold it stopped and so I thought it was much earlier in the day that it really was. Plus I was now 2,500 miles further from the equator than where I live, so I was not used to daylight that lasts for 3 or 4 hours after 6pm.

From there it was a mad sprint up the MUrray River, along the Freeway in to Adelaide. The freeway in Adelaide runs for 50 miles OUTSIDE the city, but there is now freeway in town Go figure. I was the only vehicle on the freeway at 7.30pm on a Saturday night. Talk about twilight zone.

And I was saving my headlight for when I got into town becuase I had two sealed beams shake apart in the months before the trip, so I had a feeling I might have limited use left in this one after 2,500 miles on rough roads. (Paint shaker, what paint shaker?)

Cut down through a winding hills road, yep headlight was strobing on and off in the increasing darkness, causing helpful oncoming drivers to flash their high beams at me. Effin cagers, always so damn handy.


Finally made it into town where my wife, son, folks and various family were gathered for a family get together. My brother and my Dad - ever the clowns - thoughtfully strung a streamer of toilet paper across the driveway for me to cross the finish line.

My son took a video of me arriving and breaking through the finish line.
The video is posted here at this link. Wait a few seconds or more for it to load up, it seems slow. But you can hear the bike running pretty good in this, and see how trashed I was.




VIDEO LINK - with audio
http://s254.photobucket.com/albums/h...t=DSCF1134.flv





Here's me getting off the bike after parking down the driveway. Man, I can't tell you how absolutely trashed I was. But absolutely jacked that that the old bike made with the biggest hitch a lost muffler bolt and half blown out headlight bulb. Did 550 miles that day. Had done 500 miles the day before, and about 400 or 450miles the day before that, since I left my nephew's place at the Sunshine Coast. On that old boneshaker with virtually no rear suspension, I was freakin delerious by the time I got there I reckon. But wouldn't have missed it for quids.


This pic above is taken in the spot but from a slightly different angle as the old pic of me in 1980 or so. And by coincidence, or sheer bloody mindedness, I had just ridden from the same town that day, West Wyalong.



Me and the Missus, who flew down for our holiday. Not the warm coats for us tropical types. It was probably 60 degrees out or something.


Still no oil leaks after 2,500 hard, mostly hot, miles - just a bit of grahpite grease weeping down out of the tacho cable. Downright spooky. Had to check and make sure there was oil in the tank.




Total mileage: 4080km, about 2,500 miles.



OK, so that was 2500 miles and halfway. The next couple weeks I spent riding around old haunts in the Adelaide Hills and then going to the 32nd or 33rd annual Christmas run with the guys I used to ride around with when the Sportster was new. I got some pics to post from there, and some pics of us at the same venue back in the 70s - when everyone had hair.

The ride back ended up taking a loooooot longer, and about an extra 1,000 miles. But I travelled more slowly and took lots of pics, which I will post as we go.

I just got totally into the riding on the trip down so did not want to stop for anything.
I'm sure you know how that goes.


Will post more pics of riding around Adelaide Hills - God's own motorcycling country - and the epic ride home later.

Gotta go do some work. See ya.
__________________
'77 Harley Ironhead 6,000 miles across Oz
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=527966

Reryder (AKA Hopper)
1977 Harley Sportster
81 BMWR100RS
01 HONDA VFR800
99 SV650
Ancient Harley 45, Snortster (Sporty engine in a Norton), Norton Atlas, Honda 350/4, Ariel HS scrambler

Reryder screwed with this post 11-27-2009 at 08:32 PM
Reryder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2009, 08:48 PM   #41
OldOzy
Banned
 
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Childers S.E. Qld. Australia
Oddometer: 4,055
nice,,, Real life...
OldOzy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2009, 09:40 PM   #42
Rich Moran
Adventurer
 
Joined: Nov 2004
Oddometer: 18
The clutch on the late AMF deigned models has always been a nightmare.

Get a Barnett clutch, a new clutch cable about 2" longer than what your running, and if you don't have a tranny double bearing trap door, you might be in for some tranny suprises....even worse related motor problems....... & thats why all the noise.

If you'd also install a primary chain tensioner, but before all of that, remove th einner cover and install a 25 tooth sproket on the tranny end shaft you;d have a more pleasent ride.

I'd also swing the bucks for drive chain tensioner as well. If you do keep an eye on it daily for all the riding your doing.

Oil is another issue with the iron heads, they heat up and stay hot as you already know. If you can install on oil cooler that will help drop the temperatures too. Heavier weight oil helps too.

You've had excellent experience so far, but keep in mind the clutch will slip until it is steel on steel. Once that happens it can burn together and cause some crazy torque on the trap door, sometimes pulling the tranny out of the case......not a good thing to happen so far away from a major overhaul shop!!

Not trying to make you worry to much mate, but if your feeling that pull on the handle bars when the clutch is engaged, like an intermittent pull, then the pull becomes longer in duration....while all along tightening and stretchign the clutch cable....if this sounds familiar the upgrades will save the motor.

Sorry mate, bringing a fire hose to the candle party.........otherwise this is a great report okay it is a flip of the coin?

Remember don't overheat the clutch too much!!

Whose early rider is that in the background of your first few pics?

Rich Moran screwed with this post 11-27-2009 at 09:49 PM
Rich Moran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2009, 12:12 AM   #43
Reryder OP
Onward through the fog...
 
Reryder's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Cairns, Oz
Oddometer: 1,397
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldOzy
nice,,, Real life...
Mate, I reckon a bloke has got to be a definite nong to make this ride.
__________________
'77 Harley Ironhead 6,000 miles across Oz
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=527966

Reryder (AKA Hopper)
1977 Harley Sportster
81 BMWR100RS
01 HONDA VFR800
99 SV650
Ancient Harley 45, Snortster (Sporty engine in a Norton), Norton Atlas, Honda 350/4, Ariel HS scrambler
Reryder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2009, 12:30 AM   #44
Reryder OP
Onward through the fog...
 
Reryder's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Cairns, Oz
Oddometer: 1,397
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Moran
The clutch on the late AMF deigned models has always been a nightmare.

Get a Barnett clutch, a new clutch cable about 2" longer than what your running, and if you don't have a tranny double bearing trap door, you might be in for some tranny suprises....even worse related motor problems....... & thats why all the noise.

If you'd also install a primary chain tensioner, but before all of that, remove th einner cover and install a 25 tooth sproket on the tranny end shaft you;d have a more pleasent ride.

I'd also swing the bucks for drive chain tensioner as well. If you do keep an eye on it daily for all the riding your doing.

Oil is another issue with the iron heads, they heat up and stay hot as you already know. If you can install on oil cooler that will help drop the temperatures too. Heavier weight oil helps too.

You've had excellent experience so far, but keep in mind the clutch will slip until it is steel on steel. Once that happens it can burn together and cause some crazy torque on the trap door, sometimes pulling the tranny out of the case......not a good thing to happen so far away from a major overhaul shop!!

Not trying to make you worry to much mate, but if your feeling that pull on the handle bars when the clutch is engaged, like an intermittent pull, then the pull becomes longer in duration....while all along tightening and stretchign the clutch cable....if this sounds familiar the upgrades will save the motor.

Sorry mate, bringing a fire hose to the candle party.........otherwise this is a great report okay it is a flip of the coin?

Remember don't overheat the clutch too much!!

Whose early rider is that in the background of your first few pics?
I have actually finished this ride, and am posting the pics etc after all is over and done. The old clutch stood up ok, just seemed to come good with a bit of use.

Yeah, I already put all new bearings in the clutch and a new clutch gear to repair the damage from a few too many wheelstands at the King William St traffic lights on Friday nights in Adelaide all those years ago.

And I will be opening that primary up to inspect the chain tensioner every 10,000km I reckon. The old one was worn down to metal on metal and had filled the primary and tranny with some lovely metal shavings, chopping out the bearings. Didnt seem to do the gear teeth any harm though.

I am going to open her up and put the Barnett plates in before any more major rides. Still has the originals in there, so could certainly use a freshen up. Dont like the sound of what you say can happen if they get down to the steel. Might explian a few of the broken trapdoors you see around.

I put the Lockhart oil cooler on it years ago, along with the sidemounted XLH oil tank so it sticks out in the wind instead being tucked neatly in behind the rear head out of the breeze. Seems to work good with straight 50w. I tried straight 60w but the oil light would stay on at cold starts. Too thick to flow, even at Cairns morning temps of over 20C (70F).
Funny that in the cooler Adelaide weather I could feel the 50w oil as much thicker than out in the 100 degree heat. A much thumpier feel at low revs. Smoothed right out again when I rode north on the way home. By Broken Hill and the heat, she was back to normal. Just a real subtle difference but after 2,500 miles in the saddle in a week like that you get to know every intimate feel of the bike real well.

I got a 23T gearbox sprocket on her, the biggest that will fit with the 77 model sproket cover - it has a pressed steel inner cover necessary for the brake cable mounting and brake light switch, plus alloy locating dowel bosses for withstanding kickstarting forces. And cant go smaller on the back with the drum brake. I would love to go up one more tooth on the gearbox, but it just cant be done. Anyhow, she made it all the way there and back at 3000-3500rpm all the way, going like a buzz-bomb. (Paint shaker? What paint shaker.)


The old earlyrider in the background in that pic is an old 1923 J model - the original Ironhead.
__________________
'77 Harley Ironhead 6,000 miles across Oz
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=527966

Reryder (AKA Hopper)
1977 Harley Sportster
81 BMWR100RS
01 HONDA VFR800
99 SV650
Ancient Harley 45, Snortster (Sporty engine in a Norton), Norton Atlas, Honda 350/4, Ariel HS scrambler
Reryder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2009, 01:45 AM   #45
Mototrans
Studly Adventurer
 
Mototrans's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2006
Location: Sydney West
Oddometer: 685
To cool for school...

man.. love your style..

musta been shit hot to climb on top of the old girl and fall in love all over again. Its a true passion you have for her and the road..

Moto
__________________
Contents packed by weight.. some settling may occur over time...

"Ignorance of the law will never save you. Good suspension and a full tank might." - Sundowner
Mototrans is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 02:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014