So, summer is upon us, Jared finally got a motorcycle, and I’m still not ready to ride. What I am ready for is to overhaul my carburetors. So, I pulled them out of the bike, cracked open the first one along-side my trusty Clymer manual. Everything went fine until I went to remove the needle jet from carb #1. It’s supposed to slide right out, but this bastard was completely stuck. It’s also soft brass, so I have to be extra careful in trying to get it out. I double checked everywhere I could find to make sure it really should come out the way I think, and then got out the hammer. I selected a small piece of scrap pine, trimmed it to fit, wedged it in, and gave it a few exploratory taps. I got a little movement, but didn’t think through the fact that my little bit of scrap was getting crammed into the hole in the jet. Eventually I got the thing to pop out, but I also managed to break off a big chuck of wood inside of it… wood that has been hammered in. Brilliant. I can’t just dig it out, either, because I don’t want to rip up the (brass, remember) threads inside. AARRRGGG!
Knowing we would be out of town for a while, and that the weather would almost certainly not hold, I made sure I got my bike out last weekend. It only took a little coaxing to get it started, and then everything was great. Great, that is, until I tried to pull in the clutch handle. The thing would barely move. I disconnected the cable from the clutch, and tried moving the cable by hand. This worked a bit and things started to loosen enough that I felt okay hooking it back up. I’ll need to lube that cable, though.
Then I was ready to ride, sorta. It turns out the cable was only 1/2 of the problem. Once it was all hooked back up, the lever was still tough to pull, and extremely slow to return. It turns out there is a little spring on the outside of the transmission housing that assists in engaging the clutch. That spring broke at some point, and is just hanging loose. Ok, the clutch is a little too slow for me to ride it safely, so I decide to take a quick look for any other obvious problems. Step one: Check the oil level. Looking through the peep glass on the reservoir, I couldn’t see the line indicating the level of oil in it. This tells me that either the thing is way over full, or completely dry. Any guesses?
After putting the two quarts of motorcycle oil I had into the engine, and running it for a bit, things were a lot better. The clutch was returning reasonably, and I figured I was okay to run to Kopp’s to pick up dinner. On the road, the clutch was still slipping under moderate to heavy load, so I took it easy. Got to the spot, ordered the food, snapped a quick picture, and headed home.
I pulled into the garage, feeling great about my first quick ride of the season, and dismounted. That’s when I noticed the oil running out of the bottom of my bike. Shite. I laid some rags down underneath to catch it, and went upstairs to eat. Now I just have to figure out how bad the problem is.