Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ABee, Jun 6, 2013.
You just have to do it, don't you? Near Branson, CO
Andy, this is awesome. Ride on brother.
I think those pump motors are big block Ford engines, the 385 (named for their 3.85" stroke) aka Lima block series that includes the 429 and 460. There used to be a lot of those in northern Texas too, but last time I went through there they all seemed to have been replaced with electric pumps.
Checking his "spot" looks like a long day with lots of elevation. Go Toad!
Thanks for a very unique RR. I never did know much about these little bikes and it's sure interesting to read about them here. I'd love to have the chance to go for a little ride on one.
Grampas Lake Superior Ride
Grampas National Monument Ride
I like that you've slowed down and are smelling the roses. Thanks for sharing.
My father taught me this one....
AB,CDLFN? LMNOLFN. OSARALFN.
Bob and Andy service the Toad
Days Eleven and Twelve
Colorado Springs and Denver
Before I started on my journey, I had made arrangements to visit my friends Bob Garner and Candy Seaton in Colorado Springs. Bob is an avid vintage racer as well as off-road rider. I met Bob years ago at a vintage motocross race in Colorado. We discovered that I now live in his original hometown of Rome, Georgia. Small world, isnt it? Bob offered to let me use his well-equipped garage to service the Toad on my journey, which was a huge help as the Toad would need a few things after over 2,000 miles on the trail. I planned to replace my tires and tubes, brake shoes, kick-start return spring, the carb to airbox boot (which was developing dry rot cracks) and headlight. I would also need to re-jet for altitude and re-gear for the mountains. I planned to remove the cylinder and de-carbon the head and exhaust port. While the cylinder was off, I would measure the clearance between the piston and cylinder as well as the ring-end gap. In the event that I needed to freshen up the top-end, I had Bob line-up a machinist to bore the cylinder on short notice. I also had the Hodaka parts suppliers, Paul Stannard and Bill Cook, ship the needed parts to Bobs address. Both men did a great job getting the parts to Colorado before my arrival.
After arriving at Bobs from Trinidad, we set about our work on the Toad. After a quick pressure wash, the bike was on the work table and we removed the cylinder. When we first looked at the piston, rings and cylinder liner, all was good. All of these parts were still serviceable despite the Toad having been run virtually wide-open for the last ten days. However, the rod had too much play. The big end as well as the little end bearings on the rod were loose! Drat! The oil pump fiasco on the second day had damaged the engine. I decided to go ahead and install a new oversize piston and rings and replace the piston pin and bearing. I did not have a rod kit and related parts (or enough time to rebuild the bottom end on the road), so there was nothing I could do for the big end at this time. I hoped that a tight new top end would help reduce the strain on the bottom end, and somehow the Toad might go the distance.
The local machinist that Bob had lined-up to bore the cylinder did not pan out, so he called a friend in the Denver area, John Sawazhki, to see if he knew anyone that could do the job on short notice. John had made arrangements with a local shop in Denver, Pro Motosports, to have us drop the cylinder off at their machinist. We would then go back to the shop later that day and pick it up. John is the go-to guy to help make things happen on short notice! I remembered John from vintage racing. I always admired the cool twin-pipe CZs that he rode in the Classic classes. While we waited on the cylinder, we went over to Johns and he took us on a tour of his home and garage. At one time, John had hundreds of restored vintage bikes in his huge garage. Today, he only has two; a pristine Monark 500 and an immaculate Husky Viking four speed. John also has an impressive fleet of modern KTM and Aprilia off-road and supermoto bikes that are in the place his vintage collection used to occupy. He also has a deluxe shop that any modern motorcycle shop would be proud to own. John still has an amazing motorcycle memorabilia collection: toys, literature and artifacts. We only had time to look at a small portion of it. Best of all, John entertained us with a wealth of motorcycle related stories. I could not think of a better way to spend an afternoon. When the cylinder was ready and we were leaving, John gave us his latest business card. His new title is Certified Emotional Engineer. I could not agree more.
Martha at Pro Motorsports was the person John called on to help get the cylinder done for me. Martha seemed to be amused at the Hodaka across America on the TAT story, and insisted that I tell the others in the shop what I was doing. After hearing the story, most gave me the this guy must be a weirdo look, which I was getting used to on this trip!
On the way back to Bob and Candys the traffic was fierce due to the wildfires that were raging out of control only a few miles from their home. The fires were a cause for concern, but luckily for Bob and Candy, the fires were still a ways away and they were not yet in an evacuation zone.
The next day, we were able to get all the work done on the Hodaka. Mr. Toad was now fresher and had the proper gearing and jetting for the mountains, but he was also wounded with a weakened crank assembly with the toughest tests just ahead of him. What would be our fate?
That evening at dinner I had the opportunity to meet one of Bobs friends, Jeff Slavins, a well-known off-road rider and businessman in the industry. Jeff looked on with amusement at the collection of Hodakas in our possession. For a fellow that helps to develop the latest and greatest equipment in the off-road world, a person riding a Hodaka must seem very odd indeed!
I feel very fortunate to have Bob and Candy as friends. Without their help, time and generosity, it would have been difficult to continue the journey.
Tommorow, the hills of the eastern slope await.
John Sawazhki- Certified Emotional Engineer
Candy, Bob and Andy with the Toad
Martha at Pro Motosports- What's a Hodaka?
Toadride,degeezer, Mr. Magoo, norham, Miguel Sanchez, Maine Scoot, socalhodaka, SuchesRider, CoBob, oldone, HighFive and Ratman- Thanks for the comments!
WECSOG- Thanks for the info.
sidetrack one- How very astute! Your calculations are correct, sir!
Unstable Rider- Garmin 62s, RAM mount. I love those pieces of equipment!
ROAD DAMAGE- I really appreciate the offer and would have loved to take you up on it, but my route was way to the south of Steamboat. Next time!
prsdrat- No problems with the fires other than what was already mentioned. I am a few days behind on my reports, and have already passed by all of the fires in Colorado.
For everyone asking if I have run into the CT90 dudes on the trail, the answer is no. I would have loved to have chatted and taken photos with them to post here. I should have met them on the trail somewhere between Silverton and Salida, but I did not see them. I was passed on the TAT today by two XR650 riders from California that did not see them either. However,the fellow at the RV campground in Silverton where I stayed said that they were in the very same campground the night before. I will be very impressed if they can get through Cinnamon Pass.
You can look up the local kart racing shops and they are setup for this type of work.
Mr. Snake meets Mr. Toad, outside Trinidad, CO
Trinidad to Salida, CO
I was excited, but yet a little apprehensive entering the Rockies on the Hodaka. I had a fresh top end and tires, lower gearing and new brake shoes. The big question was whether my damaged rod would be able to take the strain climbing the high mountain passes. Since the top end was new, I left the jetting in for the 4,000 to 6,000 foot range. I would be climbing a few passes today in the 9,000 foot range and the bike would be running rich, but that was an acceptable compromise to avoid a piston seizure.
I was on the trail around 9:30 after the drive down from Colorado Springs. The day started sunny and mild, but the wind was already beginning to gust. The ride out of Trinidad is a series of dirt farm and ranch roads that head north before finally turning west, crossing the Interstate and heading into the foothills. The route here passes the site of the Ludlow Massacre, where striking miners in a tent colony were attacked by the guards of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company and Colorado National Guard on April 20, 1914. Between 19 and 25 people were killed, including two women and eleven children. The public outcry resulted in the creation of the House Committee on Mines and Mining, which investigated the incident. The Committees report helped promote child labor laws and the eight hour work day.
After Ludlow, the climb into the foothills begins. You can see Culebra Peak off to the west before your turn into the San Isabel National Forest. The roads here are loamy soil without too many rocks as you climb to the northwest towards La Veta. After fueling in La Veta, I headed north past the town of Gardner. The climb became steady, up into the hills of the Ophir Creek area, towards the Bigelow Divide which has an elevation of 9,300 feet. It was here that I saw my first snow banks of the ride along Ophir Creek. The Toad was wheezing a bit with the rich jetting at this elevation, but had no trouble getting over the divide. The road eventually turned west and I dropped down into Silver Cliff, Colorado, where I saw several dual sport bikes parked in front of the various cafes in town. The road turns north again and I zigzagged on the dirt side roads off of Highway 69 towards Cotopaxi, where I crossed the Arkansas River and started a steep climb through Red Gulch up into the mountains to the east of Salida. The summit of the divide was close to the elevation of the Bigelow Divide, so the Toad had its second major workout of the day.
Salida was a happening place with a festive mood. Tourists crowed the streets and outdoor thrill seekers were everywhere. The Toad had survived its first day in the mountains, and I felt good. It was time to put a leaner main jet in the carburetor, because Hancock and Cinnamon Passes were on tomorrows route, the biggest challenges yet.
259 miles traveled today, 5.5 gallons of gas and 23 ounces of injector oil burned. 2,596 total miles traveled to date.
Ludlow Massacre Site
Peaks in the distance, near La Veta, CO
Old Church, near La Veta, CO
Near Silver Cliff, CO
Last Climb before Salida, CO
Maybe I missed something, but didn't you start the ride with a rebuilt engine? Why was the new top-end necessary after 2000 miles?
A thought on Ludlow - John Sayles has an amazing film on miner strikes: Matewan. It's about the Battle of Matewan in 1920, but very much related to Ludlow. Highly recommended.
I'll not speak for the op, but on the second day the auto oiler failed to deliver enough oil to the mix.
Top end was still good but bottom was hurt by the lack of oil.
So helping the top might make it easier on the bottom.
See post 88.
Will be interesting to see if you can climb these two passes. The boys riding the Honda CT90's on another ride report here apparently met their match in terms of altitude or snow cover; not sure which but hope you can make it.
When was the last time a 100cc bike made it over Cinnamon Pass? 12, 640 feet.
Salida to Silverton, CO
Today would be the biggest challenge yet for the Toad. The route would take us over both Hancock Pass at 11,600 feet and Cinnamon Pass at 12,640 feet. I had dropped the main jet to compensate for the altitude, and as I left Salida this morning the little Hodaka was running cleanly. The view of the Collegiate Peaks just outside Salida to the north was breathtaking, but I wondered if the Toad would have enough steam to take me over the Continental Divide. The route took me to the south of Mt. Princeton past the resort of Princeton Hot Springs towards St. Elmo. Although steep in places, the little Hodaka chugged along and finally the road turned from pavement to dirt. The road itself is a designated ATV route, and this being Sunday, the four-wheel crowd was out in full force. I passed several old abandoned mines on the way up, as well as the ghost town of Iron City. Iron City does not seem too much like a ghost town on the weekend, as the street through town was crowded with tourists. After Iron City, only the occasional four-wheel drive vehicle could be seen. People come up to this area to fish, hike the Continental Divide Trail and visit the remnants of the old narrow-gauge railway. The entrance to Hancock pass is just beyond the parking area for the railway. Immediately, the road gets very steep and seems to be paved with boulders the size of bowling balls. I jumped up on the pegs and did my best impression of a trials rider as I picked my way through the rocks in first and second gears. The little Hodie rolled right along, but I admit that I had to abuse the clutch and scream the engine to make it through some steep switchback turns. I was getting close to the top when I saw it, a huge sheet of ice and snow coving the surface of the trail for hundreds of yards. I could see about a quarter of a mile up the trail, and it looked like the ice and snow covered most of it for the remainder of the pass. Hancock Pass had yet to open for the season, and the Toad would not be the first vehicle through it this year. I was stopped dead in my tracks just a few hundred feet in elevation before the summit. I cursed myself for being such an idiot. Everyone knows that one should always check with agencies or the locals on the status of a pass before attempting to cross any pass in the Rockies. Now I was going to have to give up the precious altitude that was hard-earned by the Toad as I backtracked toward Salida, Highway 50 and Monarch Pass. There is really no such thing as an easy re-route in the Rockies. This detour was going to cost me at least 80 miles today. To make matters worse, a thunderstorm brewed overhead and I began to get pelted with rain, a penance to be paid for my mistake.
It is not much fun going over Monarch Pass on a 100cc bike with all of the traffic on Highway 50. In places I could only manage 20 mph and had to hug the shoulder of the road to keep from being mown down. The Hodaka made it without becoming a hood ornament on an SUV however, but it did not seem fair that the Toad had to do twice the work necessary to make it over the Continental Divide.
Just after Sargents, the trail turns to the southwest on the way to Lake City. This is mostly a mild climb on manicured dirt roads until you get into the hills around Cebolla Creek, where the trails get steeper. I passed through two more thunderstorms, both of which clobbered me with pea-sized hail stones. Riding along in the rain and hail, I eventually intercepted Highway 149, which dropped me down into Lake City for some fuel. Lake City is a scenic little town which boasts a beautiful lake, San Cristobal, which you ride by on your way to Cinnamon Pass. It was late Sunday afternoon and most everything in town was closed save for the general store and the pay-at-the-pump filling station. After topping off with gas, I headed out of town toward Cinnamon Pass. As I did so, it finally stopped raining, a good sign! I had ridden this portion of the Alpine Loop several times before. On my big KTM, the pass did not seem like a big deal. On a 100cc Hodaka, it is, shall we say, a bit challenging! Like Hancock Pass earlier, I had to scream the engine and feather the clutch to keep my momentum up on the tight switchbacks. The little bike forces you to pick the smoothest lines through the rocks so you can continue your progress. The Hodie was about to run out of breath as we crested the summit, but we made it! I could not help but wonder, when was the last time a Hodaka had made it over Cinnamon Pass? On the way down, I passed the old mining ghost town of Animas Forks before dropping down into the town of Silverton for the night. Silverton, as its name implies, is an old silver mining town that subsists on tourism today. It has several good restaurants and bars, hotels and places to camp. It is a great place for a TAT rider to spend the night.
246 miles traveled today (including the backtracking). 6.3 gallons of gas and 28 ounces of injector oil.
They don't call them the Rocky Mountains for nothing. The road up Hancock Pass.
One of many old mines on the road up to Hancock Pass.
Hancock Pass, less than a mile from the summit, just before I had to turn around.
Iron City "Ghost" Town, near St. Elmo.
Trailhead near Hancock Pass