Arctic Spring – Night Snowmobiling

There was an outing that was on the itinerary that escaped Jen’s attention to detail – a snowmobiling outing after dark with dinner (link). Snowmobiles? Driving them? Not for some of us. Lily and Bryant, however, thought the idea was pretty cool. So, Jen and Hil skipped it, while Bry and Lily revved it.

We started out getting picked up from the hotel, then a stop at the guide’s office for winter clothes, then a stop at the Ice Hotel for the other 2 customers (a doctor couple from Stockholm – she was a psychiatrist and he was an ER doc), and then finally to the garage to get the machines. Here is a pic of the garage, and Lily getting all suited up for the adventure!

After the obligatory safety demonstration, we were off. Bryant and Lily on one, the Stockhomers on another, and the guide out front on their own machine leading the way. These were pretty simple machines to operate, save the weird thumb-throttle that was a lot more like an ATV throttle than a motorcycle (which I am more used to).

The route was a mix of trails thru forest and across the frozen Torne River and Sautusjärvi lake. The ride out was still light, and it was pretty easy to follow the track of the guide in front. The main thing was to stay on the track. The show was very deep and soft on either side of the track, and the risk of the big touring machines nose-diving and being stuck was a big one. So, stay on the track!

We arrived at a low, octagonal wooden hut with benches around the inside walls and a fire pit in the middle. The guide made a fire and set to cooking dinner, which was a delicious reindeer stew made from smoked, salted and sliced meat called suovas in Saami. Here is the outside and inside of the hut.

After dinner, we rode back. It was a lot harder to follow the guide’s track in the dark, but we managed. Along the way, we stopped to look for auroras and to hear the Saami constellations story. Basically, the Big Dipper is the bow of a hunter, and the “w” of Cassiopeia is the horns of a great moose (and other stars make up the body). As long as the hunter shoots over the North Star, then all is well. If the hunter hit the North Star, then the heavens would fall down and things would be bad. Luckily, the North Star has not fallen down … Another stop along the way was for the guide to explain the giant crack in the river ice and the differences in the levels of the ice due to the levels of water under it.

Of course, all the pick-up logistics had to be reversed, and Lily and Bry were finally back at the room by about 12:30.

More Motorcycle Nostalgia

As I mentioned elsewhere, I have a pretty long history with motorcycles. Well, I found some old snaps of the ’89 FZR400 that I thought I’d share.

Here’s the trimmed rear with the then-sweet Deltabox swingarm and the track rear sprocket:

 

And here is a little more of the rear of the bike. Ohlins rear shock, hacked-together bracket for taillights.

A shot of the main frame with the FRZ600 motor crammed into the 400 frame. It was bored out a little with a Wiseco piston kit, jet kit, and pipe. Made around 90hp, which was pretty boss in those days.

Here’s the dash. Tack front and center with a Sigma cyclocomputer for the speedo. Custom head light bracket. I was doing streetfighter before there was streetfighter.

All in all, it was a 380lb bike with almost 90hp. It went like stink, went around corners like a champ, and buzzed the life right out of your arms and shoulders. It’s a wonder that I rode from Denver, over Berthoud Pass, and back in one day on that little beast.

CB For Sale (SOLD)

SOLD!  

So, it seems that the thing I liked most about the CB project was the project, less the riding. So, I’m selling the CB in order to start the next project! Somebody gets a sweet CB restoration and I get space in my garage for the next one. See here for some pictures of the progress. This is a kick-ass custom resto-mod on a classic vintage japanese bike. The big customizers charge twice as much for less work. This is a killer opportunity.

Stored only in a garage, under a cover. Clean, current title in my name.

Asking $4000 firm. Interested folks in the Twin Cities can do this Craigslist style (i.e. come over with cash 😉 and tell me in the comments. Current Craigslist posting here.

4-into-1 exhaust, jet kit, pod filters. This is a strong bike that pulls like a beast all the way to 10k. Very lightened up from stock. This is a real hoot to ride!

So, here’s the run down.
– 1981 CB750K, nearly everything has been re-done or restored. The donor bike was a barn find in Austin MN that had only 8700 miles on it.
– Engine has 8700 miles on it with excellent compression in all cylinders (~145ft-lbs)
– Frame was torn down fully, stripped, and powder coated silver. A few tabs/things were cut off the frame before it was restored. Such as the center-stand (there isn’t one now).
– Tank was totally restored with a sweet silver and orange color scheme.
– The front-end was replaced with the front-end from a 2012 CBR600RR front-end. The complete front-end: wheel, brakes, forks, triples, and clipons. I used the Classifed Moto triple tree swap service, so you know the work was well done, as well as new headset bearings. Also installed were stainless steel braided brake lines.
– New Tires – Bridgestone Battleaxes front and rear.
– The seat pan was retained, but it was totally re-upholstered for a slimmed-down sleek look. I retained the ability for biposto (2-up) riding for the wife.
– New DID o-ring chain.
– New NGK Iridium spark plugs
– New headlight, tail light, and turn signals (which all work correctly!). Headlight is mounted on a low-rider custom AL bracket that is pretty slick (no fork ears here)
– Gauges. Single tach that uses the stock cable. I’m using a Sigma bike computer for a speedo. Quite accurate and very moto looking. You can pop on an Acewell for a very sweet look.
– Clipons. From the 2012 front-end.
– Bar-end mirrors that are nice – you don’t have a mirror filled with elbow …
– While the wiring harness is original, the battery is replaced with a Ballistic multi cell and the main electrics are tucked-up in a custom fabricated box under the seat.
– New alternator rotor, stator, and regulator/rectifier as well. So, a fully replaced charging system.  Old Honda’s still had some challenges there, so don’t expect a modern charging system.  Thats part of the charm of old bikes!
– The carbs have been completely re-built with even new o-rings. Re-jetted to accommodate the 4-into-1 header and open pipe. The stock air box has been replaced with UNI flow pod filters. These are much less susceptible to power loss with a cross-wind than the Emgo or K&N pods.

Now for some pictures with the mods.

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First “Recreational” Ride

I’ve been riding a little to work and such. Today I rode out to Excelsior and back. Nice ride. The bike is a little buzzy – it’s a 30+ year old 750! I kind of expect it to “have some character”, but no leaks or breakdowns! Here are some pics with the nicer camera and outside in some real light.

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Out and about

Took the CB out today after a little not-charging incident over the weekend. Here it is at the parking garage at my satellite office. Ride is good but buzzy. May have to put some kind of vibe dampeners in the bars.

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Getting Close

Well, I buttoned up the front light and did a little more ogling. The next step, really, is to schlep it off to Bluecat for tires, brakelines, and some electrical work. And then a license plate … It’s a far cry from where it started.

Rear quarter:

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Front quarter:

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Headlight and gauge bracket:

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View from the seat:

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With the longer shocks and the headlight lowered, it’s totally the right stance. Get some balanced tires on there and this thing will be bitchin’.

Session time: 2 hrs. Total time: 51 hrs.