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In the Garage

March 10th 2012 

First things:  I took the bike for its safety check this morning.  Since I had gone over it well, there were no issues, so paper in hand, I immediately went to the 'Service Ontario' office to register the bike and get a licence plate.  Before leaving, I had phoned my insurance company to add the bike to the burgeoning list.

Back at home, I bolted on some new passenger grab rails, re-attached the pannier frames, mounted the panniers and attached the licence plate.

Although it was running reliably, the California was still bucking and snorting as the ignition timing was slightly out and the points and distributor cap were a bit dirty.

Soon though, I had it running smoothly and took it for its first real ride.

The first thing that became apparent is that it is incredibly smooth - far smoother than my Eldorado.  The two bikes have similar engines, although the Eldorado has a larger bore diameter - now 949cc, up from the original 844ccs of the original.  Perhaps the weight of the larger pistons slightly unbalances the engine, or perhaps there is some deeper issue which will sooner or later surface as a catastrophic failure.  I doubt it though, because its been that way since I got the bike about 30,000 miles ago.  I guess its just a bit lumpy in contrast.

The second thing I noticed is that the clutch was slipping in the higher gears.  So far I haven't looked in to it.  If I'm lucky it will just be a matter of some adjustment; if I'm unlucky, I will have to drop the motor and replace the clutch plates, praying that the rear seal isn't leaking.  Still, this is why people like me like to play with old bikes - its just one adventure after another.

Then, to top off the day my tyres arrived.  I had ordered two Dunlop K70's for the Guzzis and a Bridgestone Spitfire for Steve's Honda Ascot FT500.  Now all we have to do is put them on....



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