Let's Ride! NorCalTT on Tiger, Titan, R5 ...

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by SFMCjohn, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. SFMCjohn

    SFMCjohn 13

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    Hey all,

    We got a chance to ride some of our Old's Cool bikes here in California this weekend on the 7th Annual NorCalTT, a two-day, 500 mile ride for motorcycles made before 1975 ... here's a rough map of our route:

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    We met at DNA Pizza in San Francisco on Friday morning and were on the road by 9:30 am to wind our way to Auburn via Walnut Creek, Stockton, Copperopolis, Placerville and Cool ...

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    Purple Barry's 1970 Yamaha R5, which came over from Japan with a Sushi chef who put the bike in a container in Japan when coming to the States to prepare sushi in the city ... Barry's owned it for four years and it has two Moto Melees under its belt (a three day vintage ride for bikes made before 1971).

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    Jason's Suzuki Titan ... looks like the Titan was on the Moto Melee, too, in 2010 ...

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    And the 1973 Triumph Tiger 750, an oil-in-frame, front disk brake, five-speed, single carb model, the TR7V, I think ...

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    The Corner Saloon in Old Copperopolis, which was founded in the 1860s ... it was HOT by the time we got here and the food, air conditioning and drinks were required and first-rate ...

    We made it to Auburn at around 5 pm after the Tiger struggled a bit with a low charging situation and the Titan made a stop at the Harley shop on 49 to beg some wheel weights which the front wheel had thrown ... so far the Yamaha R5 was running like a top ...

    Next: Riders Meeting and on to Quincy ...
    #1
  2. SFMCjohn

    SFMCjohn 13

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    We stayed at the Best Western (which has a nice pool), east of Old Town and had a fine dinner at Lou La Bonte's, a local institution, where the waitresses treated us well while the twenty-two bikes and support trucks streamed in over the evening ...

    Eight o'clock Saturday morning we gathered for coffee and the rider's meeting ...

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    Liz implores us to stay on the route, while Lola, Dave and Dennis look on ...

    Some of the bikes:

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    Ivan Thelin's Scrambler ...

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    John's Laverda 750 ...

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    Danny's round-case 1974 Ducati 750, which he purchased new in '74 and has owned ever since ...

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    Adam's clean and fast bevel-drive Ducati 250 single, on which he's put 3000 miles since getting it together ... he won the "Best Bike" trophy at the end of the ride ...

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    Dennis's 1974 Moto Guzzi Eldorado ...

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    The only Harley this yearr, a nice example of a kick-start-only Shovel Head.
    He won a trophy, too, for passing Dennis on one of the dirt sections, sideways with his foot down, and for being the only bike heavier than the Eldorado ... ha.

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    Matt's "parts-bike" 441 Victor ... 60 mpg ...

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    Dave Halpern's well-sorted oil-in-frame Bonneville ...

    We were off about 9 am ... I'd fooled around with the headlight the night before and didn't put it back together well, and promptly lost it ... well, the bezel, bezel-ring, reflector and head light bulb, anyway ... didn't notice it for about ten miles, and doubling back to find it, I was on a frolic the rest of the day ... the low-charging issue seemed to be continuing ... my battery tested at 11.44 volts in Auburn, which is too low to keep the electronic ignition happy ... I charged it up in the motel room Friday night, but it still was not idling well on Saturday morning ...

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    An overlook above Sierravillle and exploring some dirt roads up off Golden Lakes Road at the end of the day ...

    There was a BMW MOA rally in Quincy, so a lot of nice BMWs were cruising around ... We stayed at the charming Ranchito Motel, where we feasted on Pizza and enjoyed motorcycle movies at the ice-house picnic area in the woods behind the original motel that was built in 1946 using old barn timbers, and doors ...

    The two-strokes of Barry and Jason needed the services of Kerrie's sag-wagon when their gas mileage plummeted as the elevation increased to 9000' over Sonora Pass, but no one needed to be loaded on the sag-wagons on this day ... although we did loose Danny and his round-case Ducati, who got separated from the group during the day and decided to find a motel after it got dark ... he got the Trophy for Rider-Lost-and-Found ...
    #2
  3. Rathlindri

    Rathlindri Guinness fan

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    Excellent ....more please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    #3
  4. killfile

    killfile 49/50

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    SF, CA
    Thanks for posting this up, John. I need to see how my photos turned out, that sure was fun!

    I made that tax disc thingy back when I was 22, sure do feel silly rockin' it as an old man now!
    #4
  5. SFMCjohn

    SFMCjohn 13

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    Hey Jason,
    Fun three-day weekend ... we'll have to go for four next year, what with Blaze bragging about having done 900 miles ...

    Don't worry about being an old man, whippersnapper, I'm blazin' a trail for ya. Ha.

    See you on the 49 Mile Ride,
    -- SFMCjohn
    #5
  6. SFMCjohn

    SFMCjohn 13

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    Hi Rathlindri,

    Thanks for reading and posting, it's always nice to get comments! :ricky

    Should be able to finish this up tomorrow ...
    See you around the campfire,
    -- SFMCjohn
    #6
  7. killfile

    killfile 49/50

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    #7
  8. SFMCjohn

    SFMCjohn 13

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    Nov 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    931
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    San Francisco, CA, 94102
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    Handled ... Wolf Style! :ricky

    Google Maps says that we did 219 miles on Friday, or 700 miles for the three days we rode the bikes ...

    Thanks for the map link, Jason, very cool ... :clap

    See you at the fountain,
    -- SFMCjohn
    #8
  9. SFMCjohn

    SFMCjohn 13

    Joined:
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    The weather on Saturday had been cooler than predicted, at least above 6000 feet, which seems to have been the elevation sign I saw the most ...

    We all met on the west end of town at a nice coffee place that had lots of room on the curb in front to park ...

    The Ranchito Motel turned out to be a charming place. The front part had been built in 1946 using old barn timbers and pretty recycled wooden doors, and all the rooms had a porch out front ... the small set of rooms where I slept actuallly had a tiny babbling brook and footbridge right in front ...

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    Parking in front of the rooms ...

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    Jason fettling the Titan as Windsor looks on ... Jason would got the Trophy for Best New Rider on the NorCalTT in 2012 ... I think he impressed everyone by fooling with his timing in the parking lot in Auburn, rendering his engine un-startable for a while until he got the Chec ignition parts to remember their duty ...

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    John (Laverda), Windsor (Duc 900 "GTO") and Larry (BMW) ...

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    Windsor's Ducati 900SS based "GTO" with risers, handlebars and more reasonably placed footpegs ... he jokes that the "O" in GTO stands for "old-guy" because the goal of the build was to have a bike more forgiving than the SS for long days in the saddle ... Ivan helped with the graphics and Dennis painted the body work ... Windsor missed getting the "Favorite Bike" trophy by only a few votes, nipped by Adam's Ducati 250 single ...

    I kicked my Tiger to life with the usual difficulty at Quincy's altitude and chilly mornings, and met the gang at the coffee shop in preparation for the roll down the Feather River Canyon to Oroville on the famous Route 70 ...
    #9
  10. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    Glad you guys had fun. I ran into you guys in Quincy, at the old hotel at the end of town,,,,I was with a couple buddies, we were riding GS's and a Cagiva Elephant. Great to see the old stuff,,,,,us guys all have old stuff, we should try to join you guys some time.
    BTW, hope you were able to find your buddy who went missing.

    Steve
    #10
  11. LasseNC

    LasseNC XSessive!

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    How did the R5 compare to the T500, performance wise?
    #11
  12. SFMCjohn

    SFMCjohn 13

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    Hi Steve,

    We should try to join you, since most of us have BMWs ... ha. :D

    Did you all ride down from BC ...? Wow.

    We found Danny (round-case Ducati 750), he got caught out after dark and found a motel, and simply had trouble getting a phone message through ... finally made contact around 10pm after our motel provided him with a cell phone number of one of us who had good cell service in Quincy ...

    We'd love to see one of your Nortons on the ride, we didn't have a single example this season ...

    See you in Quincy,
    -- SFMCjohn
    '73 Tiger
    #12
  13. XS500RUS

    XS500RUS Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    378
    Very cool! Love seeing old bikes on overnight trips, seeing as that's what I like to do myself. Also happy to see a T500, I just started restoring a '75 this weekend, and am planning on doing some touring on it.
    #13
  14. killfile

    killfile 49/50

    Joined:
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    The R5 has been more reliable, but is over oiling a bit. Neither of us brought jets to adjust for altitude. The R5 is topping out around 60 mph, which seems low. The clutch also went on this ride, so we are hoping a new clutch and checking the oiler settings might open this up a bit. At 9,000 feet above sea level, it was eating 2.4 gallons of gas in 40 miles. Yep, something is very wrong there.

    The Titan tops out at 100 on it's speedo, which is probably closer to 90 mph. It was also having running problems and needs some more fine tuning to the electric ignition, which was not correctly set on this ride. As a result of all this, the Titan was keeping up with the R5 without getting out of 3rd (see next answer for more on that)

    I've heard a ton about cranks seals that go when these sit too long. I believe I'm running the original crank seals and I haven't had any issues with that so far, but I'm always suspicious. If you are restoring a '75, then you probably already know about the 1200cc / 1400cc oil issue that was delightfully solved by '74. The earlier bikes did not have enough oil to lubricate 5th gear at all, or 4th gear as well is it should. The factory issued a service update that added a rubber dam in the gear box to allow the oil level to be increased to 1400cc, lubricating 4th and 5th gears. The '75 should have it, so you should be running 1400cc of gearbox oil.

    Unfortunately, I'm a lazy bastid, and despite the fact I've had this bike for 15 years, I haven't torn it down to make this modification. As a result, I baby it, and was rolling almost all of the ride in 1-3 gears, briefly touching 4th and occasionally 5th. The T500 handles 55 mph in 3rd on the power band.


    Steve G, come down and join us for the 49 Mile ride in SF!
    #14
  15. dilandau

    dilandau Been here awhile

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    you lazy cuss! you taking the T or are you going to get the norton done in time for 49? im thinking of putting the sport away as I get the tank fixed and work through some issues it has, and maybe drag out the strada and see if i can get it going in time. be fun to change things up- albeit only slightly i suppose.
    #15
  16. SFMCjohn

    SFMCjohn 13

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    The Feather River and Route 70 is an alternate way to get from Oakland, for example, to Salt Lake City ... It crosses the Sierras on Beckwourth Pass, which is 2000' lower than Donner Pass ... at the turn of the last century a railroad was built, and both Hwy 70 and the railroad are used today when Donner Pass is impassable due to weather or other closure ...

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    A highway bridge and train trestle over the Feather River ...

    In any event, we had a beautiful day to ride down the Feather River Canyon ...

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    How to mount a license plate on your vintage Ducati ...

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    A covered bridge off Cherokee Road near Oroville ...

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    Some typical NorCalTT adventure routes ... Oregon Canyon Road ...

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    Scot's Moto Guzzi and Matt's Victor 441 on Oregon Canyon ...

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    We had a nice awards banquet when we got back to Auburn ... Barry, Anton and Jason with the ride trophies they won for participating on the 2012 NorCalTT ...

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    We loaded up the bikes after the awards banquet, and made it back to the city around 1:30 pm on Sunday night ...

    This ride was super fun ... looking forward to next year! :ricky

    see you around the campfire,
    -- SFMCjohn
    #16
  17. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    Hey, I've ridden with that Anton guy before. He crashed hard one time on his XL500 Honda when the dirt went to ice all of a sudden, good thing he had on his leathers. :lol3


    Love the old bikes, thanks for posting!!
    #17
  18. killfile

    killfile 49/50

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    I'm very keen on taking the Titan, but I will admit it isn't the funnest bike for the city. I don't think I told the BAVR guys, but I also picked up a Lambretta about a month ago. I love the lammy and I might just ride that instead. Truthfully, the CB350 is the idea bike for the city, it is just so nimble and quick around the corners!

    I think you should ride the FZR, but I realize that's breakin rules. Would love to see your strada in person after all this time!

    Anton is a great guy, and pretty infamous around these ADV parts because of that whole scooter engined BMW debacle a few years back. Great story though! Anton also won the 'best rider of the year' award by a landslide.

    come on a ride with us, larry!


    I'd like to ride more of route 70 and the feather river, how soon do we need to head back up there in order to avoid the snow?
    Loaded up after the awards banquet but it was 1:30 AM when we rolled into town, and I was dead asleep, apologies for the snorin'. Next year I either need Monday off, or I'll bring a truck from the get go.

    I'm still proud of the Titan making it from San Francisco to Nevada under it's own power!
    #18
  19. jbcaddy

    jbcaddy Long timer

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    sure wish I knew you folks were going to be coming through, I'd of baked a cake! or at least said howdy as you went through town. a good loop if you come back up this way is 162/Oroville Quincy Hwy from Oroville to Quincy and then back down 70. or turn right at Quincy and then take the road through La Porte back over the hill to either Oroville or Marysville. either route will be OK untill it snows. if you trailer up to Oroville, you are welcome to park it in front of my place. JB
    #19
  20. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

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    It's great to see old bikes out where they belong, racking up miles and not o a trailer.:clap
    #20