A Red Letter Day

I don’t always get around to posting immediately when something happens.  Life is just too busy right now and so it sometimes has to wait a few days.  Thursday was a red letter day; a day where the calendar is marked with a reminder of good things or important dates.  I’ll have to mark it in arrears.

First, the most exciting…  It finally rained!  After nearly two months with only an occasional slight drizzle,  or as is so common here — a “10 inch rain”.  The drops are 10 inches apart. It was raining everywhere around us, but it never seemed to make it to us.  The rest of the county was greening as always happens with the Summer monsoons, but the rains were bypassing us. Finally, we got a fully blown gully washer.  Thunder, lightening, strong winds and a half inch of rain in fairly short order.   The plants are so happy!!! Digging down, the soil was moist 2 – 3 inches down.  Very good for us.  Now, if we can just repeat that activity a few more times for a deeper watering and a chance to wash some of the salt built up from watering with our oh so hard well water.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Now for the excitement that at least the moto crowd will find more crucial than just a dab of water.  This week we had several days with 4 folks working in the garage to get the bikes further along. Jim felt like the circus ring master helping everyone find tools, parts and the next task. Our neighbor John dropped by again and took on the thankless task of sanding, filling and prepping Jimmy’s tank for paint.  Thanks John!!  It was a rebuilt tank that showed up from the UK on Monday and was bare metal. Jim did the painting (don’t look to close as it was a fast job all the way around!), he and I did the decals and Jimmy drove the tank to Clovis (that’s 215 miles from here) for pin striping last night.  Just got a pic from Jimmy.  It looks beautiful.  But, we don’t get it until Monday.  We also had Jimmy’s friend Roger from Taos down for a couple days.  Roger was great.  Jim would give him a task and it miraculously got done in short order.  So many little nits, and some very big ones, taken care of.  So the result of tons of effort is other red letter event.  Jimmy’s bike made sound on Thursday!  He has yet to ride it… we’ll wait for the tank.  But, with some luck Monday afternoon we’ll have some video of that!

As for Jim’s bike… it is completely apart again.  He knew it was going to happen.  He was waiting for crank pins from the UK; much harder to find than one might think.  He was running with an “original” bottom end of which he had no knowledge.  So, today he is finally, with the help of a very talented buddy Jim (everyone is named Jim or Jimmy in the vintage world it seems), hopefully finishing the 3rd and 4th bottom ends (both bikes get one spare and Jimmy had both completed bottom ends).  The process is apparently incredibly complex to get it right.  Jim and Jim already have roughly 40 hours into 2 completed bottom ends and one failed one.  Cross your fingers that my Jim arrives tonight with two completed and solid ones!

Tomorrow, Jim will put the top end on the new bottom end and install it.  Thanks to another gracious friend Brian who lent Jim some parts and a custom parts machinist down in Albuquerque (also named Brian – it is so hard to keep this straight) who made some tricky parts in less than 24 hours, Jim will have a more solid timing setup and oiling system that should allow his bike to run much more quietly (like Jimmy’s) and not be so smokey.  Fingers crosssed.

Turns out it takes a village to build antique motorcycles.

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