Instagram: For those of you who want to follow the Ariel across the country, with it either leaving a trail of grease or riding in the back of a van, most updates along the way will be via Instagram since I can quickly upload photos from my iPhone. I might compose posts to this thread via computer from my motel room after working on the bike until 3 am, but those probably will be less frequent.
My Instagram name is charlesfalco which you can find using their search function. It also will find #charlesfalco which isn't the same thing (there you also will find posts by the guy who infiltrated biker gangs and then took my name as his pseudonym). There's also a falcocharles to further confuse things. Anyway, if you use Instagram's app on an iPhone, or go to Instagram's website on a PC, enter charlesfalco in the search box and you'll find my photos. You can then choose to follow me to continue to see the posts. I've populated it with a few images so far, and there will be more to come in the next two weeks, but then it should get a lot more activity.
Please, no complaints about social media being the end of civilization as we know it. This is the 21st century so suck it up and enjoy the ride as civilization goes down the tubes.
The gearbox was overfull. It is NOT leaking because it is defective. As Burman so nicely put it back in 1930 "It sometimes happens that a box is slightly overcharged with grease to ensure a supply reaching every part of the bearings, and this surplus may work its way out of the box. It will, however, cease after a few miles, and the grease having found its normal level, no further escape will occur." If you put more grease in now to replace that lost you are maintaining the overfull condition and it will continue to overflow.
Of course some still escapes anyway. It just dribbles less, it doesn't stop entirely because why do Burman further go on to say about replenishment. "every 1000 to 1500 miles, about 3 to 4 oz being required." Gearbox grease doesn't evaporate or get used up does it. It just leaks out. Basically Burman are just telling you the gearbox leaks a bit all the time and to top it up occasionally. This is not advice that sits well with the MM we all know is it.
Burman never gave advice on the precise amount of grease required. You have mentioned the term one third full in previous posts but Burman rather gave a politicians answer here didn't they. They actually wrote, "To obtain best result the box SHOULD be ABOUT one-third full." That is far from instructions to maintain a regular one-third full level. One has to take a rather agricultural and empirical approach here which again we know is not the MM way.
Curiously Burman also advised "For long distance racing and fast touring we recommend light grease with the addition of about 25 percent. of engine oil."
Sorry about the hectoring tone in the above. I really am there with you all the way but I'm increasingly frustrated at the lack of mileage. If I was in your garage I'd embarrass myself pushing you out of the way and riding off muttering things about "bloody fusspot, It's mileage that's required."
here's me thinking you were the gang infiltrater hiding under the assumed identity of a University professor and having an interest in Brit 'bikes was a clever diversion!
Shhh. The Hells Angels haven't thought to look for me on campus yet so don't give me away. Seriously, biker gangs are one thing, but I don't know how all of you have fallen for the ruse for so long. Think about it, the odds of an educated academic being interested in rusty, greasy old motorcycles must be essentially zero so clearly the guys in the Witness Protection program came up with a horrible cover story for me.
Originally Posted by Villiers
Sorry about the hectoring tone in the above. I really am there with you all the way but I'm increasingly frustrated at the lack of mileage.
Duly chastised, after dropping my daughter off at the airport in the morning I'll return home, take the cover off to see if I can determine the grease level (hey, it's me, after all; I can't not check), then head out for a run. I already have my breakdown truck driver committed to follow me to the top of the 8000 ft. mountain on Monday, which will add another 70 miles (and 8000 ft.) to the total.
That's a very impressive trailer/workshop you guys have built. Early on I considered the idea of outfitting a 6'x10' trailer, although much less extensively than yours, and using it. However, aside from anything else, the number of days it would take me to drive it across the U.S. to get to Portland ruled it out. Instead, I will get on a plane at noon and land at 10 pm, which is my idea of the way to cross the country. Either that, or on a rigid-frame, girder-fork, 90-year old motorcycle...
Originally Posted by konon
I'll look for you in Anamosa ( the museum). Looks like September 13.
The most recent schedule has us arriving at the museum 4:00-4:30 pm (depending on Class) on Thur. the 13th, with bikes parked for viewing until 5:30. There's a hosted dinner for participants at the museum starting at 4:00. Our team will be at the Marriott Cedar Rapids which also is where the start line will be the next morning between, yawn, 7:00 and 7:30 am, depending on Class.
A reminder to everyone who plans to show up at one of the stops, please don't take an uncomprehending look from me after a day on the road as impoliteness when you introduce yourself. And please make your introductions a few sentences long with enough background information to at least give me a chance to associate your name with how it is I should know you. I know I told the story in some other thread of how two years ago someone came up to me at a local bike show, held out his hand and said something like "Hi, remember me?" I didn't, and it turned out he had asked a question after a talk I gave in another city 18 years earlier and obviously expected that to have been a memorable event in my life. Sadly, it wasn't. That's an extreme example of how a person should not introduce themself.
A reminder to everyone who plans to show up at one of the stops, please don't take an uncomprehending look from me after a day on the road as impoliteness when you introduce yourself.
Much as I would love to be there, I won't be there, so if any one does appear claiming to be Adrian Gunn from the UK, it must be someone from the aforementioned biker gang/witness protection scheme..... In which case I suggest you jump on your Ariel and head out of town as fast as possible
Last edited by gunner; 08/19/188:34 pm.
1968 A65 Firebird 1967 B44 Shooting Star 1972 Norton Commando
if any one does appear claiming to be Adrian Gunn...
The only other two Gunns I know are John, inventor of the Gunn diode, and Peter, 1950s TV detective.
The Morris K400EP "semi-fluid" grease is semi-solid enough that the grease splattered onto the cover stayed there despite the temperature after the last run. Because it was stuck to various surfaces, rather than sitting at the bottom, it was impossible to determine if the level is anywhere like "1/3 full." But, it certainly seems like there is sufficient grease inside the case. I also have 50 mL of appropriate 90W gear oil in the mix.
There only was time for a short ride today, but all went well. The last three things on my to-do list for the bike itself are to rebuild a spare magdyno, assemble a backup Monobloc, and rebuild the oil pump that I have on loan. I'm not sure at this point there will be enough time for the last one as well as adding miles to the bike, but we'll see. However, I'll have a week after the bike departs to take care of things so rebuilding the pump (and Monobloc) isn't hopeless. The magneto has to go in the crate, though, because airlines can have issues with magnets and a solid lump of metal like it is certain to get the suitcase opened for inspection.
Good luck. although I seriously doubt you will need it with all of the prep work you have done and thanks for the thread.
On the subject of not remembering people. We were doing a static show and like most it was 90% tractors. A thin attractive blonde with a tatooed brick dunny in tow cam racing across the show ,and gave me a big hug. Had no idea who she was and brick dunny was not that impressed either. She was the woman who printed the club t-shirt I was wearing at the time ( 15 years previously)
MMan---I will be there at the start to wish you "Bon Voyage". I will introduce myself as Adrian Gunn and/or Spartacus and/or Tridentman and/or Richard Beard.
BTW--after the bike starts its journey to ME ---if you discover you have forgotten something that you cannot take on a plane, let me know--I will buy it in Joooisey and bring it up to ME for the start.
Regarding your Instagram account, does this mean that you are not 'the' Charles Falco, just 'a' Charles Falco?
I'll be at the start. I'll introduce myself as Gunner (albeit with an Irish accent)
Last edited by NYBSAGUY; 08/20/187:14 pm.
1949 BSA ZB34 'Bitsa' 1959 BSA DBD34 Catalina 1973 Norton Commando 850 R 1974 Norton Commando 850 R (I know, one too many) 1975 Honda TL250 Trials, a new addition to the family 1998 Montesa HRC Trials 2004 Ducati M1000ie
It sounds like each stop could be like a Captain Morgan rum commercial, except instead of "Captain, Captain, Captain,..." it will be "Gunn, Gunn, Gunn, ..."
The Ariel reached another milestone today, completing a trouble-free 89-mile ride, with 23x2 miles of those on a mountain road to 8000 ft. and back.
The tank was full when I started and with the 30 miles of city traffic and flat-ish roads plus 46 miles up and down the mountain until I reached a filling station at 76 miles it only took 1.19 U.S. gallons, for a remarkable 63.9 mpg. If I've done the conversion to U.S. gallons accurately from the drams and gills listed in the Ariel manual, the tank holds 2.4 gallons so this would give it a range of ~153 miles. This means I won't actually need the 1 gal. auxiliary fuel tank that the Cannonball recommends for several of the stages for bikes whose range is less than 90 miles. I think I'll keep the tank anyway...
I decided I have been treating it too gently up until now so I let the revs rise a lot today. In fact, I never shifted into 3rd all day. Notes from today in no particular order:
-- The mountain highway is smooth and well maintained so the lack of anything resembling suspension on the Ariel didn't come into play. The bike handles great and takes the curves like its on rails. The steering leans toward the cruising end of the spectrum rather than for flicking back and forth at high speed, which isn't to say it isn't perfectly happy on a twisty mountain road at a sporting pace. Unlike the issue I had on the rough road a few days ago, today I took "35 mph" curves at 45 without pushing things at all. I wasn't trying to be a sport bike rider today, but I certainly didn't hold up any traffic.
-- If I knew before what I know now I might have considered dropping the engine sprocket by a tooth. However, I'm not at all sure I would do that because my only concern with gearing at this point is pulling away from stops on steep hills, and I'm not sure one tooth would make any difference.
-- The issue of a gearing "sweet spot" on today's mountain road turns out to be the speed between 1st and 2nd, not 2nd and 3rd. The engine is turning over fairly slowly (but not lugging) at 35 mph in 2nd. It has sufficient power to accelerate when traveling up the mountain at that speed, just not enough power to build up speed fast enough to pass a slow car going the speed limit.
-- The altimeter in my GPS speedometer uses an internal pressure sensor and it reads low by ~6%. When I passed the 8000 ft. altitude sign on the way up it displayed ~7500 ft and I checked it at a few lower altitudes on the way down and it was off by the same percentage. This isn't an issue, just a note.
-- The labels I have on the controls are very useful. At some point halfway up the mountain I noticed the choke lever had slightly closed and I would not have seen that without my markings. Also, I could tell at a glance if I had the magneto somewhat retarded (or not) without having to fiddle with the lever.
-- The Ariel may make it 4000 miles but I'm not sure at this point if my butt will. Muscles I didn't even know I had back there are sore.
-- It likes full choke when starting even when hot, and the mixture is a little messed up when hot and takes a few seconds to clear up (e.g. when pulling away after a fuel stop when it's 102 oF).
-- The oil seal is working great. With no more excess chain lube to fling off and confuse matters there's not even a drop of oil. However, I have to wonder how well lubricated the chain is at this point. The high temperature, 'high cling' lube is due tomorrow.
-- The gearbox continues to ooze grease. I'm disappointed to see it also is managing to sneak past the edges of the blind bush I pressed into the case.
Originally Posted by Dick Harris
Where is a site on which to follow your ride ???
The answer is, I don't know. In previous years the Cannonball website posted the daily scores and sometimes had stories about some of the riders. The AMCA site had more extensive coverage. I'll post to Instagram, but only photos with short captions. Once it's underway time spent with Google will be needed to find the best site(s) for "live" coverage.
Last edited by Magnetoman; 08/21/1812:06 am. Reason: p.s.
[quote]The Ariel may make it 4000 miles but I'm not sure at this point if my butt will. Muscles I didn't even know I had back there are sore.[/quote
Go enjoy yourself.
If your butt is more sore than your thighs, you are not putting enough weight on the pegs. So if you are not prone to leg cramps, try sort of just hovering on the saddle with about equal weight on the butt & the feet. A lot easier to do than it sounds and makes those pot holes & such you did not notice so much easier on the back.
try sort of just hovering on the saddle with about equal weight on the butt & the feet.
Originally Posted by Alan_nc
Are the foot pegs set up so that you can stand while riding
I'll try the 50/50 weight suggestion but despite my two months of rigorous gym workouts I'm not sure I can hold a partial squat for 4000 miles.
I, too, like to stand on the pegs from time to time. Unfortunately, the locations of the pegs (which can't be changed) and handlebars (which, in principle, could be but won't) aren't optimum for this. The Ariel forces me to stand leaning forward or in a partial crouch.
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every day you do not take a chance is a day of your life that you will never get back.
I removed the stamped steel Burman cover and found less grease where it shouldn't be than I expected. As can be seen from the first photograph the gear/shaft that is allowing grease from the main case is ~1/2" below the top of the kickstarter mechanism housing.
At the risk of villiers telling me I shouldn't do it, I thoroughly cleaned the surfaces with acetone, added a 1/16"-thick felt seal, and used high quality GE "100% silicone" sealant to keep the grease inside rather than outside on the exhaust pipe. My premise is that the main case is only 1/3 full to begin with so even if a lot of that ends up making it into the kickstarter housing the highest the level can get is the gear/shaft, at which point as much will go back into the main case as comes out into the kickstarter housing. I realize this won't be true if it actually is being pumped rather than being flung onto the shaft and then oozing because of gravity, but hope springs eternal.
I also thoroughly cleaned the area around the bush and "sealed" it with RTV as well. As long as the vapor pressure of the grease inside the case doesn't get too high as it heats up, the RTV won't have to hold back against much force so grease won't be able to leak via that route, he says optimistically...
Well, the villiers theory is that an effective breather is the answer to pressure build up pushing the grease out rather than trying to seal it off but as I also like the oozing visual evidence of the bearings being greased I am a tittle torn between the two. Unfortunately this is not the time to start experimenting with an adjustable breather to control the ooze rate. That can wait.
At this time I'm more interested in the sore butt issue. This is serious. Am I right in thinking the rear cross bar of the saddle is in just the wrong place? The average male was a little smaller in the 1920's leading to today's riders finding the riding position just a wee bit too scrunched up. They have to sit back a little too far. The best I can suggest is a piece of sheepskin on the saddle. It's old fashioned but it does help spread the load so to speak. I'm not that keen on gels or air filled and water filled things. Too awkward to ease the load by lifting one cheek as they rend to rise up with the butt cheek.
For post ride butt comfort each evening I can only suggest a friends remedy. We did a month long tour of the European Alps and in his toiletries was a tube of baby skin cream, the stuff mothers put on baby butts after changing them and a tube of haemorrhoid cream. This contains a certain amount of local anaesthetic and was used as a general butt cream rather than the makers intended purpose. They worked well on the one occasion I begged them off him.
If I may make another suggestion for your comfort: bicycle shorts under your riding gear instead of underwear. They really help. Get two pair and wash and dry one each day. They need to be pretty tight.