John Hoffoss

Follow @jth on Micro.blog.

I finally have my motorcycle in full riding condition! But first, so I don’t bore you with motorcycle talk, I also had a fun Dad moment today when I passed a car that lost a wheel on Cretin by 94 (a speed run where everyone goes 45+, in case you’re not familiar.) so this car is sitting in the left lane, their wheel in the right lane of oncoming traffic, and they were both just sitting there on their phones, clearly not sure what to do. I pulled a U-turn, parked with flashers, got the wheel out of the road (after 20 people raced up on me before going around then seeing the tire). Then I asked if they were okay, to which the driver replied “Yeah, our wheel fell off!” I allowed as how I could see that. Then I checked out the girls’ brake discs, found the vehicle was resting on the ground via a support, not the disc, so I had them pull off Cretin on three wheels so they did t get hit, then helped them figure out what to do. They’d had a lug nut and bolt sheared off, and all four remaining ones fell off.

It turned out they were returning after picking the car up from impound when the wheel fell off. Told them to call a tow, call the city and University of Minnesota police to report the damage to their car, and hope someone along the way owns liability for damage to their car. Anyway, my daughter was pretty confused why we stopped and so we talked through acts of kindness, the danger they were in, how once we got them off the road they started making calls and thinking clearly, and how I hope I can teach her to know how to get out of those situations on her own.

On to the bike…

After sitting a few years, I knew I had to clean the gas tank and refresh some hoses. So I replaced the battery, drained and took the tank off and soaked in vinegar for several days. I knew the secondary tank was in good shape so I didn’t worry about it…until Gunther stuck a golf tee into it. Guess I should’ve kept that plug in the fuel hose connections until I was ready to put the tank back on…So I soaked the secondary tank too, which meant removing the rear wheel and fender first. That eventually all came back together correctly, after replacing the fuel lines throughout, along with a new fuel filter, and then I got to give Gwyneth and Gunther both their first rides.

Later, I saw the fork was still leaking pretty severely, so removed the front wheel, brake calipers, speedometer cable, and the fork tubes. After quite a bit of reading, eventually got them back together, oiled and ready to go, which involved ordering the piece missing from disassembly (and no, I didn’t lose it). Then in remounting the brake calipers, my torque wrench didn’t fire and I stretched one bolt and snapped another. Eventually found some replacements at AutoZone that required me to cut 2mm off. With brakes back on, my last issue was to trace wires until I found the location of a short that has been present since I bought the bike from Sandra Shipp​​ I eventually removed the front turn signal to discover an electrical wire repair that wasn’t connect properly and wasn’t fully isolated. So to the store I went to get some new turn signals. Gwyneth helped me install the fronts, still deciding whether I’ll install the backs.

But good news is no more short and everything runs as it should. I’ll need to repeat all of this to pull bearings, clean hubs, degrease and paint parts where paint is failing, etc. now I just need to glue the cleaned up grip so I can ride again.