From: Zandor []
Sent: Saturday, March 10, 2001 9:21 AM
Subject: Ride Report

28 April 2000, 10:13 p.m.

WAHOO! The weather person says that it will be almost perfect riding weather tomorrow. Lows in the 40's and highs in the 60's. No or little wind in the morning then coming out of the south early afternoon and lasting for the rest of the day. Only bad part is that it will be about 30+ mph but that should not matter as I'll be heading north on the super slab by then. Going to be a good day to get my first I've Been Everywhere Tour (IBET) pictures.

Time for some shuteye. Since I have my jammies on all I have to do is clean my fangs and say my prayers..... "Now I lay me down to sleep............"

29 April 2000, 5:00am

Buzzzzz. Whap. @#$%, it can't be time to get up yet. Ah, where was I? Oh,....yeah,....I feel the physical warmth of Cindy Crawford against my back as we blast through the sweepers. Physical warmth? Where is that coming from? As the fog clears from my brain I realize it is Angie my live in companion.

She is getting restless as she knows that I'm awake. It isn't long before I feel hot breath and a moist tongue on my ear. I know what you want, you dirty dog you. So I rise to the occasion and....... let her outside.

After a quick shower and breakfast I see dawn is fast approaching. Time to get the bike loaded. As usual I'm not satisfied with the way things are packed and spend considerable time re-packing. A look at the temperature shows 43 degrees. The wind chill charts show it will be about 3 degrees at road speed. (Thanks Don Moses for the charts.) Will need warm clothes this morning.

Bike's loaded and I'm wrapped in suitable clothing. The dog is back in the house and my brother will be by later to check up on her. Time to get this show on the road. First stop is the petrol pump.

The road heads south out of Aberdeen, SD on US281. I love the morning and the time is best enjoyed on seat of a 'cycle. A quick stop at Redfield just a short 40 miles south for a splash of fuel which will take me on to Mitchell on I90.

Blast the wind is coming up sooner than forecast. Of course this eats into the fuel economy and a fuel stop is necessary before my planned stop. Oh, well, who cares as this is just a short 600+ mile one day ride. A check of bike shows everything is in good order. The journey continues east to Mitchell on I90 then south on SD37 on to my first photo opportunity at Springfield, SD.

As I continue on my way I remember I left my tour flag clamps at home. I'll need to get something to replace them. The miles roll on, Ethan, Dimock, Parkston.. Hey! There's a Country General store. The Wally World store for farmers. I'll zip in there; I'm sure to find something that will work. Since it is 11am I'll stop at that café down the road for lunch after I get the clamps.

I pay my moneys for the nifty clamps I found and I'm back out to the bike in no time. Clamps quickly stowed in tank bag and I'm off. Out of the parking lot and onto the highway. BANG! What the @#$%^&*. Grab the clutch and coast to a stop. Engine is dead. Shift to neutral. Punch starter button. Fires right up. So far so good. Shift into gear; ease clutch out, no go. This is not good. A quick check for traffic and off the bike for a look see as to what happened. Uh, oh, seems to be missing a drive chain. A walk back locates all 102 links and what is left of the master link. Not a problem! I've got spare master links.

Better get this thing to a safer place to work on. Super, there is a paved approach that goes nowhere. Another check for traffic and across the highway we go. Up on the center stand and off comes the counter shaft cover. What do my eyes see...... another case vent and is it a big one. "My what big teeth you have." All the better to eat case pieces with, sport! All that busted aluminum has got to come out before this thing goes anyplace under its own power. Shit, shit, shit!

I sit down on the pavement in the lotus position facing my dilemma and practice my motorcycle zen. Boy are you screwed! What do you do now? Let's see, what are the options here? 1. Leave the bike here and thumb a ride home to get my pickup. 2. Call my brother and have him come get me with my pickup. 3. Fix it.

Number one is out as all my stuff will be gone when I get back. Number two is a possibility but it will probably be 6 hours before my brother gets here. Besides he's been in a grumpy mood lately and another call to drag me back home again (all cage problems) would float like the Titanic. That leaves number three.

Soooo.... what do I need to do this casectomy? Tools, check. Some kind of sealer for case half, nope. JB Weld or some such to fix hole, nope. Oil, nope. Solvent/cleaner, nope. Oil drain pan plus something to store used oil in, nope. File to make sure flat surfaces are flat after repair, nope. Rags, nope. Well, that stuff should be available at the CG store. Time to go shopping. If they have all the stuff I need I'll give it the old one, two. Thirty four plus dollars later I'm back to the bike.

Ok, to fix this I need to get the chunks out of the gearbox. Hmm, to do that I need to split the case. Hmm, to split the case I need to get the engine out of the frame. So the work begins. Seat, tank, pipes, carbs and air box come off. Oil tank, sumps drained, oil filter removed and oil cooler adapter next. Uh, oh, no tool to get that big bolt for the adapter out. CG here I come! Next comes the sump, pumps, side cases and case guards. Electrics disconnected. Engine mounts removed. A few grunts, huffs and puffs, appropriate "expletives deleted" and I have the engine on the ground.

Now that the circus is in town. Lots of locals are stopping to see the show. Most don't believe what they are seeing. You would not think they have never seen anybody doing major engine work by the side of the road before, odd. One fellow stops and asks if there are any tools I need. I says a hammer would be nice. He kindly donates a rusty claw hammer to the cause and tells me where I can leave it when done. Another kind soul gets me some water as I've run out. It's hot in 60 degree weather with long johns on. One old timer stops by four times and keeps saying that he never in his life seen anyone do major repair work along the road. Guess what, neither have I but that doesn't mean anything.

Groups of Harley riders go bye and wave. They know the score as most have "been there, done that". Found out later that there was a blessing of bikes in Mitchell that morning. I should have stopped.

Time to split the case. All bolts come out except one. No way to get that sucker without a socket. Another trip to CG. Asked by clerk if there is anything they can do to help. I mutter something about staying open until I get it back together. I get a helpful reply, "We're open until 6."

Now that the case is open and all the case chunks are removed, time to fill the hole. I found this nifty epoxy putty called "Quickset 2000". Just cut off a chunk, kneed, and push into place. Sets in 15 minutes. In a few minutes all the aluminum pieces have been stuck back in place and holes filled. A little file work at the repair site and it is time to reverse the process.

7pm and the local LEO stops to see how things are going. Says nothing about the mess I've made. Asks if there is anything he can do to help. "Nope, got it under control." Engine is back in and the rest of the big pieces are almost back on.

By 8:30 p.m. the bike is back together and oiled up. Time to clean up my mess. The old timer stops by and offers to cart my trash away. "Thanks, sure will help me out."

9pm engine is running and no oil is leaking out. Looks like a go. I think about continuing my photo quest to Springfield, Sioux City and Toronto but decide even the toughest need to rest. So a short trip to drop off the hammer and I head north towards home at 9:15pm

1:30am puts me in my driveway and lots of noise from the house tells me Angie is happy to have me home.

Since then I've put a additional 2k miles on the bike with no problems. Looks like a go for the rest of the summer.

Back to IBET Archives

Unless otherwise indicated, all material herein © Team Strange Airheads, Inc.  All rights reserved. 
Reproduction or duplication in any form without our express permission is prohibited. 
The "Ironbutt" name and logo used by permission of the Ironbutt Association.
Direct web-related inquiries to