Toad On The Road

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by MoToad, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. jdgretz

    jdgretz Looking for new places

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    988
    Location:
    Canoga Park - A great place to live work and shop
    Hell, if you get up to the LA area, you need to get in touch with Todd at Guzzi Tech - he's nicely positioned in the Santa Monica Mountains (also known as the Malibu Alps).

    jdg
  2. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    876
    Location:
    Nelson BC, fer now.
    I've been chattin with Todd. Hope to have a cup of coffee with him.
  3. jdgretz

    jdgretz Looking for new places

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    988
    Location:
    Canoga Park - A great place to live work and shop
    Be sure to post up when you do. In SoCal, we get three or more Guzzis being ridden together and we call it a rally :1drink

    See you when you get here. Oh yes, if he needs your bike for an overnighter, I've got the loaner 750 Shadow you can borrow to get around a bit if needed.

    jdg
  4. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    876
    Location:
    Nelson BC, fer now.
    Finally got back on the road and reached the 'Wet Coast' yesterday. Up in the PNW we call it the Wet Coast but what the Hell is all this? Pleeeeze, Mr. Sunshine. Comeon down!:D
    I also find myself getting to far in a hurry again with a good two months left before my scheduled return to Good Ol Canada.
    Checking short term accommodations in the SD area has not revealed much fruit. In my pricerange anyhoo. So, any help would be appreciated in info on oneor two week furnished studios or whatever (efficiency motels) in say, the Oceanside area. As I work past LA I will be looking for same between there and San Fran. Just need to hang back and see the land at a reasonable price. $100 motels will kill the budget again. Now if spring does come down here I'll be the first back into the tent.:1drink
    Preppin the bike in the bunker.
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    The last sunrise. (Didn't sleep much that night, just wanted to get goin.)
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    An overnighter in Tuscon got the Big Gal's toiletries all taken care of by Steve at Renaissance. Great guy with much knowledge. He put in a warranty claim on the fog lights but I am not holding my breath.
    It was starting to rain when I headed out on the road to Ajo. Stopping to take this pic I got a bit of an airshow overhead with F16s chasing each other in and out of the clouds. Like great eagles playing only a lot faster and a lot better sounding.
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    But I seemed to have dodged all the major stuff. Ajo looks like another one of Arizona's open pit mining towns.
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    But 86 thru Ajo to 8 was worth the ride.
    Crossing into California here you hit the dunes.
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    And these guys were having a blast!
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    The rain held off to Yuma and I bedded down at a fleabag for the night.
    Next day had me riding into more and more of the wet stuff. My Oly gear held true to form and kept me totally dry. Heated grips on low worked flawlessly. The summer boots soaked right thru but my waterproof socks did their trick. I did call it an early day when I got to the Anza Borrego area because the deluge had increased into the mountains. Plus another inmate had clued me into the De Anza Springs Resort, clothing optional, and the only place around. In the cool downpour the option was definitely clothes. The mile ride in the now well muddied dirt road turned BG into an offroader and she handled it with grace.
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    The resort, however was a lot different than the online pretty pics I saw.
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    Overpriced, I made it a one night stopover.
    Next day was on and off showers to begin with but, finding Old Highway 80 that turned into the 94 Campo road made it all worth it. The rain came down but getting to burn at least a little rubber off the sides of the tires was definitely worth it. What a great road.:D
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    Out of the rain and into a bit of fog at the great Pacific. My southwestern most point.
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  5. jdgretz

    jdgretz Looking for new places

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    988
    Location:
    Canoga Park - A great place to live work and shop
    So you're the SOB who brought the rain. Cut it out!! It's January already, it should be in the 70s and clear!

    Sorry for the wet reception. Hopefully it will get a bit dryer in the next couple of days. Give a shout when you are heading to the LA area.

    jdg
  6. pyoungbl

    pyoungbl Colonel Blood

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    565
    Location:
    Portsmouth, Virginia
    Toad, glad you finally made it to the west coast. Did the service in Tuscon turn up any issues with tune, valves, etc? I'm asking just to get a feel for what might have caused your problems and what appears to have solved them. Yours is the most problem plagued Stelvio I have heard of so there has to be a reason most of us don't have similar problems.

    Peter Y.
  7. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    876
    Location:
    Nelson BC, fer now.
    Peter.
    I think I had mentioned a bit earlier that I had now felt with certainty that the big majority of my running problems stemmed from the mysterious lack of, and badly installed and blown out, exhaust gaskets. Since having them installed the bike has just gotten better and better at smooth running. I actually asked Steve at the Tuscon dealer if the little mechanical brain can actually learn and fix itself over time and he said the ECU does do that. Because by the time I rolled into his shop it was running great. The failed battery didn't help but that was another matter.
    But the exhaust has continued to this point to be completely sealed and with those O2 sensors right there at the y pipe connections it can only make sense that leaking would effect them. Pete, I even chatted with Steve about the fact that you had had your O2s removed with the ECU flash and, altho I asked for that to be done to mine, they left them in saying the ECU setup is working in conjunction with the Lambdas, and why they would do that. He suggested that, down the line they had discovered that it's actually a better way to go but who knows. (And I see on the bill they even billed me for the bungs!):lol3
    All that said, the three days of total rain rides have had the Big Gal acting up a bit and missing a low end but cruising around here and 75 on the freeway is still way better than it used to be. Sun's out now and BG got treated to a super bath and manicure so she seems real happy.:1drink
  8. pyoungbl

    pyoungbl Colonel Blood

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    565
    Location:
    Portsmouth, Virginia
    My re-flash was just to lower the engine temp a bit. Remember, it gets pretty hot here in the summer and with a lean running engine my left thigh was feeling more heat than I liked. The bike was already running good, just too warm. As I understand it, the re-flash added 10% more fuel across the board. Now that the bike is broken in pretty well I'm getting 47 mpg on the highway.

    When I checked the temp at the head it was a pretty consistant 170F. As I think of it, that is probably due to the oil temp. I need to actually check the jugs once the weather permits.

    Peter Y.
  9. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,388
    Location:
    Shediac NB
    Hi Toad

    I'm chillin in Cusco Peru this morning, waiting to watch the Superbowl at Norton Rat's Pub. It occurred to me today to check and see where you are. You've covered a lot of ground since we nearly met in Panama City Beach, Florida

    I'm heading toward Bolivia tomorrow. Only Bolivia and Argentina left until I'm back in Florida:D

    Looks like I'll get home around the same time you will.

    Ride safe!

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=832336

    Kedgi
  10. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    944
    Location:
    God's country, Western North Carolina
    Glad she is running better. If you still have the oem plug caps, swap for some NGK replacement caps. As often as your bike has been worked on I am betting the oem bits insulation is failing and they are now arcing and the rain is adding to the problem resulting in the rough running.

    Some beautiful places to camp all over that area and check out KOA Kabins if you find the need for more protection now and again, some areas are pricier than others, but they usually are much cheaper than hotels and do a good job.

    Your bike troubles have caused you to miss some fantastic riding areas, I hope the rest of the journey allows for maximum exploration.

    Cheers
  11. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    876
    Location:
    Nelson BC, fer now.
    Hey Kedg.
    Still followin your RR daily. I've been holed up in Oceanside for a week now taking in all the great roads they have around San Diego. I will slowly start my crawl north tomorrow with intentions of killing two more months before landing back in Lotusland for the start of the rest of my life. Hope it all keeps going well for you.
    Toad.
  12. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    876
    Location:
    Nelson BC, fer now.
    Hey Bob,
    I have been very careful with the plugcaps since new using the zapstrapwrap method to gently pull them off. Just pulled them to check if there was any signs of tearing from the last service but they still look good. I put some dielectric compound in them to see if that helps. Hope compound doesn't mean it will turn into any sort of hardened up crap because I was not able to find any grease, just the compound.
  13. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    876
    Location:
    Nelson BC, fer now.
    It's been over a week since I dipped my already wet toe in the Pacific. Scouting cheap places to stay around San Diego proper brought up too many price ranges above my liking so I decided to crawl up the coast a bit to see what I could find. Still cloudy but the weather was breaking when I stopped to have a look at this pretty little cove.
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    And one more pic of the recently head shaved guy. (Helps to keep the lice down.) Kidding. Just kidding.
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    I could live here if I won the lottery.:1drink
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    A little farther up the road and a stop for eats and sports. D'ya ever get a sore neck from watching too many TVs at once?:rofl
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    Satiated, I was back to cruising thru Torry Pines looking for the Tiger when all I really saw was a lot of traffic and Mr. Blimpy.
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    Ah, the sun was lookin real good at the Oceanside Pier.
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    Got a surprisingly plush and clean room at the Ramada for the week for a surprisingly cheap price. Altho they kept the place clean and running well it was what was going on outside the door that wasn't so nice. The homeless, the crack hos, the tweakers and the like. They didn't bother me at all and with the beach a short drive it turned out fine. Had to wait for the ambulance and fire truck to move yesterday before I could get out.:D
    Did a couple of planned circle routes thru a couple of days up into the mountains with the first heading out thru Pendelton to check out the armored museum.
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    they had some big guns there. Huge arty. Some strange morers. This one they tried in Nam and, altho it could crawl thru just about anything, apparently it was under powered and did not work so well.
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    Loved the halftrack with the four 50s
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    There was a string of KLRs
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    And outside (did I say huge arty?)
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    I was told this yard was full of stuff they brought back form Iraq. You can just see a SAM battery.
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    And, of course, these big puppies right off the Missouri. 16 inchers. Hey Saddam. Look up!
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    Past Pembelton and thru the orange groves.
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    Up the switchbacks
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    The road was full of cyclists all heading up hill, God bless em:norton
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    Lilac Rd and Valley Center Rd. would bring me around and down to the coast that day.
    The next day I went out counterclockwise to hit 78 past Ramona and up to Lake Henshaw. Nice ride but kind of a bust because a Trooper had us all turning around about five miles from Henshaw because of a rollover and power pole down. Still, a nice ride.
    Hung around the Oceanside (literally) for a couple of days and tried to fix my fog lamps. One wire was actually soldered to the bulb with the other on a clip. I was toying with different ways of reattaching the wire after I had J Welded the broken brackets together. My disgust and impatience ended when, after waiting 24 hours with the properly prepared and applied J Weld, I dropped on on the carpet. I snapped like fine china. Giving the other a light rap on the table produced same results. So much for JWeld and into the garbage with the worst designed lights I've ever seen.
    The next day I decided to go for Palomar/Henshaw on a clockwise route.
    Turned into a great ride
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    But took longer than I estimated. I had planned on dropping down to the Air and Space Museum in SD but ending up in Friday afternoon rush hour traffic would have put a big damper on a great day. I just stuck to the valleys circling back.
    Saturday was bringing some overcast again and I was wondering what the week would bring
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    The surfers were loving Sunday
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    And this local resident was loving the free fish.
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    So, as I set out this morning it is looking like I've got a few days of good stuff to ride thru but, once again it looks like Old Man Winter is tryin to blow the nastys all the way down here again. More cold rain predicted in a few days. Camping may be out for a bit yet.:D
  14. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    876
    Location:
    Nelson BC, fer now.
    OK. so leaving Oceanside gets me onto I5 for a little bit but not for long. I quickly find old Pacific highway and chunks of the coast highway. No. 1 is pretty steady up thru Laguna, Newport and Huntington and the few detours I make to get closer to the water just end up in more and more stop and go action. After all, I am approaching Megalopolis so the only thing in my mind really is to get on thru it.
    Passing Long Beach I can see the Queen Mary and the dome where the Goose used to be and I'm thinking, well, been there done that, when I see the Iowa sign. When she was still commissioned I saw her at anchor looking down from Vancouver's Lions Gate Bridge and I can remember thinking, My God she's wide! Coming up ahead I decide on the detour and tour.
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    What spectacular might!
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    Think I was hummin the old Jonny Horton tune, you know "...and shells as big as trees.:D
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    Anyhoo, that made for a great two hour stop.
    It was a pretty slow roll skirting the massive LA but I had decided on a destination stop in the Malibu area. One inmate in particular had told me to give him a call when I got over this way so I did just that. John Gretzinger, a fellow Guzzi rider and local now has my complete and total admiration and thanks for taking me on personal tours of all the fantastic riding roads in the area.[​IMG]
    The canyon roads,
    [​IMG] the Rock Store
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    Neptune's (altho I've been there before)
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    were all opened up to me by John. He even topped it off with a well hidden peek at the 747 House.
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    That's right, a house made from a 747.
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    The fensing for hundreds of feet down the road was made from old runway steel, the stuff they laid down on all those coral islands thru the Pacific in WW2, I think.
    And the gatehouse? Engine parts.
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    But another good reason for hanging in was to go and see Todd Egan of GuzziTech who had said look him up when I got out this way. John knows Todd so we made arrangements to pay him a visit.

    But right now I'm outta time so I'm posting this part and will get to Part Duex later.:1drink
  15. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    876
    Location:
    Nelson BC, fer now.
    Thruout my trip I have had several services done on the bike to 1, follow the routing services of a new bike and 2, to hunt down the bad running problems that have plagued me since the beginning. Going west to east on the first leg I had decided to go for a known ECU 'upgrade' one of only two that I had found in North America. That was done along with a service at an east coast dealer who, when I was told to come and pick up the bike was informed that I had exhaust leaks but made no effort to correct that problem.
    As I carried on, conditions on the overall running of the bike worsened and I started to wonder what exactly had been done with this reflash prompting me to get back in touch with the outfit that did the work. At the time of the work I was at no time allowed to talk one on one with the actual technician and, when I asked why the O2 sensors were left in instead of removed as I had asked with the holes bunged (my bill shows I was charged for the bungs) was told by the service manager that the remapped ECU was working in conjunction with the Lambdas. After this the question was put to every Guzzi dealer I had services done and not one was able to tell me anything about the mapping of the ECU.
    Until Todd.
    When I contacted him it was with the intention of an anyalsis, a chat and a cup of coffee. Todd said shure come on up. He works out of his house purched high up overlooking the Pacific. John had been there many times and took me up there. This is Todd's view.
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    Sorry for the shitty Iphone pics, it doesn't really like low light.
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    And the man himself.
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    Todd Egan turned out to be a straight on, friendly and honest person with an actual shitload of technical, mechanical and experience related knowledge on all thing Guzzi and many other things bedsides.
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    With his electronics he is able to peer into what you have and do what's right for the bike. What did he find with mine? The O2 sensors operation was deleted and the rest was the stock setup. How does he know this? He has the stock setup for a 2012 Stelvio NTX and mine was the same with the deletion of of the O2 sensors.
    Todd installed a setup that had me running 100 per cent better than before with a lot less decel pop.He spent more than four hours tweaking and asked me to give him a call in a day or so to report on the overall performance.
    Above 4 grand I now had a superbike. 2 to 4 grand cruising still had a bit of leanness. Hearing this he agreed to come down to the Motel and do some more tweaking.
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    Todd spent another two good hours tweaking and riding, tweaking and riding and got it down to about as good as it can be without the addition of Autotune and Power Commander. Unfortunately for me I am on the fourth quarter of my budget and that other part will have to wait.
    I know that I had heard from some of you that you felt that the Auto tune and PC were more a bandaid than a fix, a statement I presented to Todd but, as he explained, don't hold your breath for a fix. You're fighting the EPA and your fighting a scooter company that is just not used to being presented with development bills far exceeding what they have been used to.
    Also, a quick explanation to the PC and Autotune. My ECU has a number of set variables that can be tweaked thruout, let's say, the 3000 rpm range on up. But at the low range you've got a set variable with a rich or lean adjustment. No tweaking. The ECU works off of temp, barometric pressure and, I think I am spacing it on something else. Regardless, settings are different at sea level as opposed to Rocky Mt. Park. Power Commander allows a shitload of adjustments thru all ranges. And Autotune implements then. So, you just can't run PC thru the ECU I asked Todd. And, of course the answer was no.
    Now I may be wrong about my explanation on this. It's from memory and I'm a half month away from 62 for God's sake!:rofl
    But I have, once again, a better running bike and am slowly getting there. And a new friend that I support entirely in what he is doing.
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    Thank you Todd.
    Before I left I spent the last day or so riding all there was around there.
    Charizmatic fatty rides the snake.
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    Love the rocks
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    Then there is this silly assed place
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    When I asked John wether he had noticed it and what was it, as we turned onto Mulholland he replied 'just a house':D

    Heading north I chose to go up thru Ojai again and stop for lunch at a little hamburger shack I saw when John and I did the ride.
    Stopping and walking to the order window I met Bob who asked where I was coming from and upon learning of my trip starting long, long ago and far, far away, said he was buying me lunch. It turns out Bob had a load of restored bikes in his 'garage' and took me for a look. The garage was a huge new barn and here is some of the stuff found inside.
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    Laverda moped
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    One of my favs
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    Bob Andren
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    oh, to be him.
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    Took 150 past Lake Casitas hooking onto 152 to the back side of Santa Barbara. From there 154 up past Lake Cachuma with a great view of of Santa Barbara's Pacific on the way.
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    On thru Solvang to Lompoc and the only reasonable motels in the area.
    Hope you all are enjoying bike shots because I'm off to Solvang's bike museum today.
    And an apology to Todd if I didn't get any of the facts straight.:D
  16. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    876
    Location:
    Nelson BC, fer now.
    The trip to Solvang's Classic Museum is well worth the time. Just so many perfect 'specimens' of which I'm sure I have seen several featured in Motorcycle Classics mag.
    Where to begin...ah yes,
    I spent a year or two running the shit out of this guy when I was a young fool.
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    And the Mars of course, is just complete beauty.
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    I love the way they entitled this one 'The Last Norton?' Besides the mechanical misgivings, the motor looks more like an abscess.
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    The Black Bomber and the Rotary Suzuki may or may not have been featured in the mag.
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    I remember when the rich kid at the top of the street got the 450 after successively going thru the 150 and 300 models (red ones) and how we, as 16 year old kids where in awe of the BB. It seemed so huge at the time.
    And the Rotary Suzuki certainly had its own story having single handedly sunk Suzuki. (well hardly single handedly as they built a whole factory to produce these short lived critters)

    Was just lovin the Jawa ice racer
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    With iys multitude of spikes on mostly one side of the tire for oval Ice racing. I've seen this performance with the bike leaned at almost impossible angles.
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    The colorful blue lady was our host as we walked over to the warehouse section. She told us this wasn't all of em. There were a lot more somewhere else.
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    Todd asked me if I had seen the 8cylinder Guzzi. Unfortunatly at the time it must have been somewhere else.
    This was the workshop/storage.
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    With row upon row of mouth watering favorites.
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    In the 'Strange But True' catagory, the Megola.
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    Built in Germany, probably priceless, one of two, the other owned by Jay.
    Engine is a radial in the front wheel that rotate with the wheel. No easy feat as it has no clutch!
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    And what's this guy doing in here, you might ask? Looks pretty original, right?
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    Oh ya, pretty original.
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    Just another Beemer getting the tooth brush treatment.
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    And lastly a sweet ride named after me!:rofl
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    There were, of course a lot more bikes but I have to leave some room for what is to come.
    As I am now planted in Morro Bay for several days waiting for spring and exploring a cool little town and a definite tourist trap ($30 fish, chips and a beer last night), I will post more catch up soon.:1drink
  17. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts!

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    573
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    Great to see your bike is running better. :clap
  18. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    876
    Location:
    Nelson BC, fer now.
    Yes it is and a bit of a surprise twist coming up shortly.:evil
  19. borscht zanetti

    borscht zanetti Pura Vida ! ... eh?

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    305
    Location:
    Castlegar, BC Canuckistan
    Do tell? I like surprises.


    Sent ... MePad.
  20. jdgretz

    jdgretz Looking for new places

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    988
    Location:
    Canoga Park - A great place to live work and shop
    I'm glad to see you got to see some of the stuff that is not on display. Last time I was there (three or four months ago) the Douglas and the Megola were on display. In the rear work room was these guys

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    Always something fun to see there.

    jdg