If things were as they should be, I'd be in Vegas right now, finishing up a practice day. But no, things didn't play out that way. Last week I found out my Kaiser health insurance won't kick in in time. And that's that. Meanwhile the bike was basically ready. A little tight, but ready. I had it fired up and sounding pretty close to norm with another week to sort out bodywork, recheck all fasteners and all that other miscellaneous crapola. Now I have a bit over a month to prep for the next event. Maybe I'll give it a good paintjob for once...
Trying to get the motor to fire.
Over the weekend, I got everything hooked up (water hoses, electrics, exhaust, carbs, fuel) and tried to fire up the bike. So far, no such luck, but the motor did make a promising noise and the starter feels very strong. Will try later today. I just hope it's not a high compression motor that requires race gas.
New way of mounting an engine.
So stoked tonight. I figured out a way to singlehandedly mount a motor (at least an EX500 motor) in the frame. I did one motor before with Alix' help and it was horrible. We panted, swore, and almost broke our backs lifting the engine into the frame and maneuvering it so as to align the holes for the mounting bolts. It dawned on me when I was taking the frame to the welder that I could do the opposite. The frame's relatively light and I could instead lower it onto the motor. It worked out almost exactly that way and I was shocked how quickly I was able to get the first mounting bolt in (about 20 min total). The rest was easy -- just a bit more pushing and pulling and then some clever manipulations with jacks and I now have the frame with the motor in it up on the stands ready to get running.
EX frame back from the metal shop
Got the frame back from Weiss Welding. They did a really good job. The guy who worked on it (Boyd) said it cracked as soon as he tried to straighten it cold, plus another weld in the area was already cracked from the crash. He welded the break and redid the two failing welds around the join. All in all, it's now looking straight as an arrow and the welds look good to my untrained eye -- all for $40!