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April 11th, 2009

I brought heads for the R50 to Kevin Brooks who went over what he could do for them. He's been doing some really interesting stuff with the engine on his "Bonita Rapide" 1955 R50. Most of the really interesting work has been done on the heads. He's lightened the valve train by 40% by replacing the valves with custom stainless steel valves with longer, thinner stems. The keepers are now made of titanium, and the springs have been lightened to suit. The results of this are less stress on the valve train and more room for air and fuel to get into the cylinder. It also looks so nice that it's a shame to cover it up. In theory I'll not only going have a more robust engine but I'll also have a bit more power too.

Next weekend I'll be heading down again. I'll be dropping off the valve covers for cleaning and I'll also be cracking open the transmission with Kevin's help. That's the last major component to be opened up. It really needs new seals and the bearings should be inspected.

In other news, the final drive is apparently on it's way back to me now. Things are really starting to come back together! Here's what's left to do:

  • new seals and bearings for the transmission
  • blast and paint the cylinders
  • re-line the rear brake shoes
  • bolt everything back together
  • profit? hah!
Friday was my birthday so I took the day off and had some fun. I decided to take a ride on my Rockster in my new Aerostich suit, visit some people and places and just generally do what I felt like. When I took off it was starting to rain a bit so I stopped in at Ride West to see if they had a rain fly for my tank bag (something I've put off buying.) They didn't have one in stock, but Omar had one that he'd snagged from the 'free' bin at the last parts swap and passed it along to me!

From there I headed down to Dauntless Motors which is out in the middle of farm country. I was given a full tour of the shop and got to see several sweet rigs. We discussed what I'm looking for and to my surprise that turns out to not be as pricey as I thought. Not cheap enough to do it now, but at least I have something to aim for.

After that I rode down to Brooks Motor Works where Kevin was pulling out the race bike to give it a spin. We didn't get it on the road but it did fire up after we poked and prodded it a bit. We then had a look at my cylinders.

I then rode north again stopping in at my parent's house for a while. My mom had made me cupcakes, so I ate 4 of them (what? they were small!) and then set them up with GMail and explained the use of the archive button. I had planned on going home via Vashon island and visiting a friend out there but unfortunately I ran short on time and had to jet home via I-5. I hadn't realized just how stiff my legs were until I stopped just off the freeway. Upon putting them down on the pavement (and circulation returning) I proceeded to yell inside my helmet. It was pretty therapeutic so I did it a few more times.

Julie and I then headed over to lisa and henry's for a party. It was awesome to see them again. After that we had a late night snack at Bilbao. I highly recommend the crispy potatoes.

It was a full day, but a good one.