Sunday, May 8, 2011

Moto Archaeology


Today I got ambitious and tackled a long-delayed clean-up in the garage. I had six or seven large boxes full of motorcycle stuff I've been carrying from house to house for years without looking inside to see if what they contained was worth keeping. Here's a partial list of what I found:

• A complete valve-shim set for air-cooled, two-valve, four-cylinder, GS-series Suzuki engines

• A 35mm film can full of valve shims, both opening and closing, from my Ducati 900 SS Darmah

• A header-pipe wrench for the same Ducati

• The speedometer from my 1970 R5 Yamaha

• A set of valve-cover bolt seals from my CBX

• Factory valve-shim tools for the CBX and the CB900F I once owned

• A box of racing spark plugs from my TZ250

• A pair of new rear-shock springs for a CB400F

• A single gasket for the top cover of one of the CB400F's carbs

• A complete set of Mikuni hex main jets from 110 to 380, a pair of each

• The cover for the air-cooled clutch of a 1974 TZ250A

• An exhaust valve from a Honda CR110 50cc production roadracer I once bought in boxes for $400 and later sold in the same boxes for $600, congratulating myself on making a $200 profit on a bike that would become a sought-after and insanely valuable classic 10 years later

• Several pages of notes from my racing days containing detailed port dimensions of the RD350 I ran in the production race at Daytona in 1975; the same dimensions for a TZ750; gearing, tire pressures, and fast lap times for a 1974 race at Sears Point and another in 1975 at Laguna Seca; and notes from my 1975 Daytona Novice race (best practice lap time, 2m31s; gearing on the TZ, 15/34; premix ratio, 20:1 Castrol R-30; 290 main jets; tire pressures, 30/32; and the reminder that the 76-mile Novice race took about 4 gallons of gas)

When I started the garage clean-up, I told myself if I hadn't used something in the last two years, out it went. Everything listed above fit into that category. But I figure since I did toss six boxes of junk, I could keep just one little one, taped shut and marked DO NOT TRASH, EVER!!! in thick felt-tip marker. I defy you to tell me you wouldn't have done the same.

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