Saturday, July 5, 2014


This picture was, supposedly, taken somewhere in Santa Monica. Unfortunately, that is all I know about this bike. Well...that and I wanna be on it. I love it. Super tasteful and I've always used it as a reference while building mine. Some have said that they don't like my seat (just like this one) but...there are reasons why I keep it. my great wife (who has been incredibly supportive and tolerant during this project as she always is) can sit back there and we can go grab coffee in town. Two, because I have a really simple way to carry camping gear in my head (just need to build it) and hope to be able to do a bit of touring on it next year after a few more issues are addressed. While I could design something that works with a solo seat, I just kinda dig it. 

A while ago I did bob my rear fender but I do want to go more with it. My idea this winter will be to acquire another fender and actually section it and then re-weld it, patch up the holes left from the stock tail light, send it out for chroming and throw it on. I could have a fender custom made but, part of the reason for doing this build in the first place is because I wanted to do as much as I could with my own hands because while I could go get a loan and buy a new bike, it would not be as unique as I wanted it to be. 

I think/hope that I am finally close enough to being able to ride this thing further than around the neighborhood and start to see if it's reliable or not. For months now, I've wrestled with issues with the motor just not running on all cylinders and it's been due to a variety of reasons. This piece showed up today. This is a solid state, modern ignition from Dyna that will replace the 40+ year old points/condensers. A lot of guys like the points system but it does require a lot of attention. You have to make sure that the gap is properly set in order for the ignition system to run properly. If this was a bike that I intended on flipping, I would have simply thrown new points in it but I think this is a bike that I will keep for some time and I wanted it to be as reliable as possible. This setup costed me $134 from Dynoman out of Texas.

Here's the points plate. The points were in bad shape. They are supposed to have less than 1 ohm of resistance and mine were in the upper 30's so they just weren't able to deliver a hot enough spark to the plugs and this was causing a horribly rich condition. The install of the Dyna system isn't horrible but you do have to pay attention. The first step is to remove the points cover and rotate the motor so that cylinder 1 is at top dead center. If you look through the peep hole in between the points, you can see a T and a notch in the housing. To the right of this are the numbers 1-4. At this point, either 1 or 4 are at TDC. I removed the tappet covers for cylinder 1 and they were both tight so I actually had 4 at TDC. If you go 360 degrees around, you end up with 1 at TDC. At that point, the 10mm bolt in the middle is removed as well as the 22mm nut. Disconnect the wiring (a yellow and a blue) and loosen the three Phillips screws and the entire plate comes off. Underneath this is the spark advancer. You have to remove this and replace it with a piece from Dyna. It's important that this piece gets installed in the right orientation. I initially had it 180 degrees out and had to go back and fix it.

Throw the Dyna plate on, insert the 3 screws loosely, as well as the 22mm nut and the 10mm bolt. Now you have to set the timing. This was a little difficult but only because I was eager to fire up the motor and didn't read the directions as carefully as I needed to. I spent quite a bit of time cranking the motor over before I figured out where I screwed up and by then the cylinders were flooded. So I pulled all 4 plugs to let things air out, threw the battery on a charger, walked away, showered, and went with H to Colorado Springs to run errands, grab dinner and get 4 fresh plugs. When we got home, I threw the plugs in, double checked a few things, and she fired right up. I did advance and retard the timing slightly but ended up going right back to where I had it. I took a quick cruise around the block and the motor idles so much better than before. The spark that is being produced is very nice. I'll probably throw a timing light on tomorrow but I know it's damn close.

I was pretty sure that the motor would fire up with fresh plugs but I was still a bit nervous. But not nervous enough for a tall beer.

So on Monday I will get up bright and early, head to Colorado Springs DMV (there is one in particular that I have to go to in order to get my endorsement). Then I'll get the plates and insurance and I'll be able to ride. I'll have tires on the way soon so I won't go too far on the old tires. I may have to ride to Springs to my buddy's place so that I can borrow his vacuum gauges and sync the carbs. Pretty psyched.

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