by DAVID SNOW
Photo by Snow
ANIMAL MOTHER: She wants to be let loose!
Just completed the first leg of today’s 100 miler, rolling into me mum’s driveway about 30 minutes ago.
I left the mountain. around 7:30 wearing a denim vest & t-shirt and the temps actually felt nippy in the shade. Had to get on the freeway for a couple of miles, but it was pretty deserted even for an early Sunday morning, and I was able to roll it on and cut the throttle without getting tailgated. Got caught at a couple of lights, which made me nervous, as it was already getting hot and humid. The motor is just pounding and strong, she’s just begging to be cut loose— as it is, the throttle is barley cracked before it hits cruising speeds. I’d ordered a complete James Gasket set
Gonna head out later this evening around 7 PM. It’ll probably still be hot, supposed to get up to 90 today, but I think Animal Mother’s up for it. Yeah— I can’t handle laying down metalflake orange, but it’s still on the list… altho, I’m really digging the black. Mosey, love that quote. If you read outside of the spinal tap context, it’s pretty heavy
Not sure on the length of the short one but just on looks alone it’s more stumpy looking than the longer one which also has kind of a little kink in it. Lookin for an 18 hoop & also, since those CH horseshoes are usually high priced, my second choice is a Moon type round oil tank. I ran a really pretty spun aluminum one on my Shovelchopper in the 80s and they used to be everywhere, but I can’t even find’em on Ebay. I think I got mine from Rivera or Jammer back in the day. The genuine Moon ones are pricey too.
Hell, I’ll probably just stick with the lunchbox. I meant to say above, RE: James Gaskets— I got the complete XL set as I plan on changing the primary fluid soon and it seemed a good deal to go ahead and get the complete set since separate purchases of head/rocker box/base gaskets was getting up there anyway. I was disappointed that there was no gasket for the primary inspection window! So I cut the cone timing cover gasket to fit but it doesn’t work worth a shit. It never bothered me before, but now I don’t want Animal Mother drooling like a drunken slob anymore.
Reckon I’ve got a little over 200 miles on her now. We made it home last night just fine but I was still a bit nervous. Temp was 91 even though it was 7 PM. After sitting all day in the heat & humidity, she started on the third kick. Most of the backroads were in shadow and it felt like the temp dropped at least 10 degrees in some of those shady spots. I’m still varying the RPMs rather than cruising and sure don’t enjoy stopping at red lights. I’m cautiously optimistic about her rebuild and am really pleased about the lack of oil consumption. A ride like this before her new top end would’ve taken at least a half quart, probably more considering the heat. As it was, she used nary a drop!
I can’t quite wrap my mind around that… What also helps is the o-ring I found in the James Gasket set that perfectly fit the dipstick cap. There was always a dribble all over the tank and now there is none! I checked the FSM and there didn’t seem to be an o-ring in the illustrations, but this fits and works great. Just for the hell of it, I kicked her over this morning to make sure she hadn’t been debilitated by the hot ride, and she fired on kick 3, just snarly and crackilng and raring to go.
I’ve been re-learning my warm weather kick ritual and think I’ve got it down. I just have to remember, the more humid it gets, the more sensitive she gets to excessive throttle. Got to say my confidence is building with every ride. Only now do I feel that I’ve actually earned the XLCH tattoo I’ve been contemplating. I feel that I’m really making her mine. I love my bike.
Now, I’m getting antsy about getting her into her short frame…