Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mr. Mojo Risin

No way in hell will this bike ever hit 100mph. It may be an old design, but not even a flux capacitor will get this thing back to 1955. Speedometer and Ammeter. That's as bare as it gets folks.

Ever have one of those long, exhausting, yet satisfying days? That's how I started my weekend.

I received a voicemail a week ago from Scott the mechanic at Velocity Motorcycles notifying me that my Enfield was ready to go home. I was nervous to call him back because I was afraid of the potential damage to my bank account after his month-long prodding around the bike. Turns out that I had no reason to worry because Scott knows his shit.

He was able to minimize the damage and get the Duchess back to rumbling, but from what I'm told it was quite a bit more than I had originally anticipated. The starter switch was fried, sprag gear wasn't catching, oil in the crank had turned to mud, battery was junk, wasn't shifting properly, clutch was loose, etc. Total: $424. Sounds high, but when you consider that the bike only had 234 miles at purchase, was never broken in, and had sat in a living room under a spot lamp for three years...well...that price is a bargain. You read me right. Motorcycle display pieces are the new Thomas Kinkade.

We picked up the U-Haul utility trailer today in Alexandria at 12:30, and arrived at the shop in Richmond around 2pm. I had a chance to tour the shop as we waited, and ended up purchasing a new pair of gloves and a clear face shield for my Fulmer helmet.

But, typical of Murphy's Law (and Royal Enfields), when the bike was rolled outside it wouldn't start; kick, electric, nothing. The service manager called Scott (on his day off) and asked him to roll over. In the meantime we kicked it and boom...backfire. The carb came loose from its housing. Tightened the carb, tried kicking once more and...gorgeous slow idle. I fell in love all over again.

Scott did some more adjusting and then gave me the low down:

1) Starter button was replaced with a Yamaha's, but it is still janky because of the sprag gear; which are notorious on REs for not catching. It's super easy to burn out the starter switch if you're not careful. Recommendation: be nice. play gentle. can be scuffed up further down the road if problem persists.

2) Decompression lever is not seated correctly and does not work properly. Recommendation: bring back in the spring if it starts to drive me nuts. more of a luxury than a need.

3) Scott didn't realize that I had installed the K&N filter but had not rejetted the carb. Too much air is entering the chamber without the proper fuel mixture. This explains the backfires. Recommendation: reinstall the stock airbox until carb is rejetted. i can either learn to do this myself (yes) or bring back to the shop. the K&N sounds like a snake hissing between my legs which is surprisingly awesome.

4) What the "f" is up with my gas cap (see above photo)? With a full tank gas leaks everywhere. Recommendation: i had been given two gas caps at purchase and the wrong one was installed. too big and had a missing rubber gasket ring, but i didn't notice because the tank hasn't been completely full until now. replaced with the stock one and now it works fine.

5) Bike needs a good looking after. Recommendation: ride, Ride, RIDE!

After a long haul home I replaced the K&N with the stock airbox and rode back to my parent's house. The bike puttered out several times. It starts bucking like a Bronco which can be unnerving when you hit 20mph. I realized that the breather tube had come loose from the airbox and fixed it tonight in the garage.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to take it for a longer test ride. Stay tuned for more quirky fun...

The all new 2010 Royal Enfield C5 on the showroom floor. I've read such great things about these bikes.

Another shot of the C5. Take a good look because you'll be seeing it again soon (with sidecar) in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

A nice vintage Triumph waiting outside for service. I don't know the model or year of the bike.

A 1975 Ducati 860GT for sale. $5000.

A 1985 Ducati Cagiva Alazzurra 650. $3,500. Velocity has a nice selection of motor scooters as well if you're a scooter-head.

Her Majesty, the RVA City Rumbler, waiting to be loaded onto the trailer. Check out that hot new state inspection sticker on the left front fork! Blech. I'm still not a fan of the aftermarket seat either. I want the solo saddle with springs instead. Next season my friends.

The 5 1/2 inch headlight that came stock on this bike is truly awful. In the near future I will be replacing it with the more period correct (and safer) 7 inch unit from Classic Motor Works.

Snug as a bug in a rug. The behemoth utility trailer worked out well in the long run.

Happy Trails. Until next time...

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