On Two Wheels


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Hardley Ableson Electric Starter Odyssey

'80 Hardley

If you’ve never dealt with an AMF-era Ironhead Sportster electric start problem, perhaps this will help you deal with it – learning from my fumbling around. Here’s the scenario: I agreed to try to sort out an ’80 Sportster that had been sitting for a long time. Bike needed a pretty major going-through, including cleaning/rebuilding…

The Harley Odyssey

harley 1

So the bike won’t start. More accurately, the starter won’t spin the engine – which is why the bike won’t start. But the starter spins. It just doesn’t spin anything else. So, I know the breaker for the circuit is good; the wiring (especially the ground) is good. The solenoid is good. This leaves the starter…

FrankenHarley

Frankie pic

For about a month now, I have been trying – like Dr. Frankenstein – to breath life into something inert: The cobbled-together corpse of what was – once – a 1980 Harley Davidson Sportster. The derelict ironhead had been been left outside like a yard gnome for about four years. Its owner – my neighbor’s son –…

The Littlest Triple

'72 S1 ad

Weird little bikes are hard to find new. A bleak homogeneity has settled in. Small bikes are safe bikes; conventionally styled, with mild engines. Made, in brief, for beginners. To be thrown away once mastered and their owner moves on to something more interesting. Kawasaki’s littlest triple – the S1 250 Mach I – was…

Thinning The Herd

last sherpa 2

When you haven’t got time anymore, it’s time to let some of them go. So – with lots of sadness – I recently sold one of my five bikes. The dual sport Kaw I’ve written about here on several occasions. The bike did not deserve this. Indeed, it deserved better. Which is exactly why I…

A Ride on the Old Zed

Here’s a quick “from the saddle” viewpoint ride on my old Zed – a ’76 Kawasaki Kz900 (subject of several articles, here, here and here). This bike is one of my all-time favorites because it combines the coolness of look and layout of a ’70s superbike with modern-comparable reliability. I’ve owned this bike for almost…

I’m Tired of Wearing a Helmet

helmet lead

The tyranny that rules over us could at least be consistent. I’d object less to being told I must wear a helmet when I ride my motorcycle because it’s “risky” if it weren’t done by a cop who is 30 pounds heavy, hypertensive at 40 and a regular consumer of fried pastries (i.e., donuts). Shouldn’t he…

’83 Honda GL650, Post-Jetting

air screw 1

It’s alive! My ’83 Honda GL650 Interstate – with the cleaned and re-jetted carbs (Keihins) installed. The results are good all around. No, great all around. The bike pulls noticeably harder than it did before – and (based on two rides so far) seems to run cooler, too. The gauge indicates just past “warm” whereas…

Experiment: 1983 Honda GL650

air screw 1

Regulars here will have already read my series of articles (here and here) about battling the ethanol demon  – and casting him out of the fuel tank (and carburetors) of my ’76 Kawasaki Kz900. Well, I’m now in the process of doing the same to my ’83 Honda GL650 Interstate. The carbs are being cleaned…