June 3rd, 2007

Hmm... again, a year between entries. Also, my first entry of the year. I guess I've been preoccupied. Well, the R1 had taken a bit of attention off of the Daytona. The original intent was to keep the Daytona as a street machine, and basically have the R1 for a track bike. A few track days have come and gone now this year, and honestly part of the reason I didn't want to do a track day was because I didn't have any street time under my belt since September. So I decided to make a concerted effort to fix the Triumph, or get street tires for the R1... well, I guess I wound up with both (see a new R1 entry soon), but I wound up doing some final tweaks to the Daytona to make it ridable. I actually had this thing insured this whole time since last year and never once rode it since my last entry. Oh well... just as I wanted to ride it again, my insurance had lapsed, so it was time to renew. That, plus the new tags, and I was ready to play with it again. I did my final check of bolts, etc, filled the tank up with gas, and tried to start it. Guess what? Well obviously the battery was dead. My charger was elsewhere, so I let it sit overnight. When I woke up in the AM, the whole house wreaked of gasoline. I walked into the garage, where of course the smell was worse, and noticed a pool of gas underneath the bike. Hmmm bummer. On closer inspection, it was obvious there was a leak in the tank itself... a crack of sorts. Considering the impact, I guess I'm not surprised. The crack was on the upper half, which is why I didn't notice it before... never had more than half a tank of gas in there. So, back to ebay... I was lucky enough to find a tank with a low reserve price. While most tanks on ebay go for $200-250, I somehow got one for $31 + $35 shipping. Not bad at all! It arrived a few days ago, I installed it, and had no leaks. Of course it was red... and the odd thing is it doesn't quite fit right. I'm not sure what's going on here. I would expect the tank to be perfectly straight of course, so it makes me wonder... is the frame straight? There are no broken welds, and I would think they'd look at least a little distorted if the thing wasn't straight, but there's definitely something funny here. This is the tank mounting...

Not sure how apparent it is, but the tank is definitely not sitting right. There are several pads on the underside of the tank, and they should be resting on the frame itself. They definitely are not... and as you can see, from the front two pivot points, the tank is not all the way in the socket that it should be... but with the lower bolt secured, this is as far forward as the tank will go. So... something is not straight. So, now the plan was to ride it, and see how far I could get! I hopped on (after charging a dead battery) and started out VERY easy... just seeing how the bike felt. The plan was to just ride "up and down the street." As I started getting into it, the bike felt totally fine. At every point where I had thought about turning around I just kept going. Wound up riding 32 miles.. with no fairing other than a tank. This ride became no different than any other first ride of the year. I felt completely comfortable on the machine.

I suppose part of the reason it took me so long to ride this thing again was that I had always planned on completely painting it before I ever road it again... well my laziness obviously got in the way of that. All the parts I got on ebay were all different colors, so I really wanted to get the paint done, and figured I'd just ride it naked, as I did above, a few days ago, until then. But you know what? Screw it... I decided to put all the mis-matched body work on there, and just ride it as is... just to see how hideous it looked! Well, I spent a couple hours this morning getting everything situated... there are definitely some other bolts that don't quite align right, but for the most part, it's looking like a bike, just with funny colors. Of course I don't have enough bolts for all the holes (since most of them are still in the grass at thunderhill), so I installed bolts in "every other hole," where necessary. And now... it looks like...

Hmmm... I see why they don't come from the factory like this. It looks so confused... I'm not quite sure what to think when I look at it... but somehow, it confuses me. I knew it would look haenous, but there is something even more odd about it. Whereas before the bike had beautiful features, now I just don't know where to look... the colors seriously confuse my eye. But at the same time... as I said, I wanted to paint the complete thing before I road it, but after its history, it somehow seems appropriate like this... Anyway, with a few bolts missing, it was time for a serious ride. Went with my friend Ken, and this also marked his first ride of the year. Honestly, there's not too much to report on... which is good. The bike road 75 miles like any other bike would. The fairing does seem to mount a bit crooked, but the bike FEELS fine. Though, about 50 miles into the ride, the left handle bar started moving. Stopping at my friend Roy's house, I saw that the clamp was actually fractured. In attempting to secure it, the end pieces of alluminum wound up breaking off, which made it even worse. Wound up riding rather precariously back home, without putting much preassure on the left handle bar. I guess I should have bought a new left bar just as I did the right! Oh well.. back to ebay I go. Oh, and once I got home I also realized that the left foot "chain guard", where I lay my left foot in right hand turns, also had fallen off. Nice! I guess the piece was fractured, and once I started putting pressure on it, it gave way on my ride. Oh well... so make that two more parts to search for on ebay. All in all, a fun filled day, and a successful one. I expected to run into a few problem... these weren't too bad. The biggest was perhaps my phone jumping out of my pocket at who knows when, and me being left without communication to the rest of the world... oh well. Hopefully once I figure out this handle bar thing, this bike will get some more miles!

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David Paris
Last modified: Sun Jun 3 23:46:28 PDT 2007