Copyright Notice

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Updates elsewhere...

Seems its being easier this trip to post prates at my ShutterPilot Racing Facebook page, so please check there for updates to our efforts out at Bonneville:

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bits and pieces...

My number plate for the Salt Bike...

Got a few odds and ends sorted last night, and a mystery solved...

Monday, July 7, 2014

Ready to race! Well, almost...

BMW R65, rolled out and started for the first time since January.
Over the long fourth of July weekend, I managed to complete the reassembly of the beemer. She's now as complete as she was when manufactured in October of 1980. 
Good news: she started right up and ran pretty strong.
Bad news: she seems to slip in 5th gear just a bit, so we'll need to investigate and sort that out real soon.
Other than that, I have some safety wiring left to do (the first two bolts drilled real nice and easy, and I even managed to finish the holes off with nice beveled edges so nothing catches.

Another photo:
Not showroom, but not too bad for going on 34 years old.
She's not looking much like a race bike, 'cause for her race class she has to be 100% bone stock,
and let me tell you, 34 year old stock bikes are hard to come by.
I'm really happy with all I've learned on this project so far - and soon we'll get to run her at Bonneville.
Pretty cool anyway you look at it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Making Progress...

What am I looking at?! L-R: Cylinder, Piston, Wrist pin, Connecting Rod
I finally got a large enough block of time to install the newly worked piston, cylinders and heads onto the salt bike…

Monday, June 9, 2014

My very own "Altar to the gods of Speed"...

Over $1000 worth of machine work and parts, ready to re-install!
Got the pistons back after de-carboning, with new rings and scrubbers. And the cylinders have been cleaned up and re-honed, and of course the heads have been rebuilt.
You can see in the photo above the parts are divided between the right and left sides of the engine, so I can keep track of what goes where on install, and to make sure I'm not missing anything.
Now? I've just got to get it all back together and see if she'll run!

Here's a cut-away of a BMW "airhead" engine, showing where a lot of the stuff currently on my bench goes...

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

R65 Heads update...

The heads just came back from Peter Bombar, all clean and spiffy, and holding perfect vacuum:

Refurbed head from the R65 - ready to install

These absolutely look great, and hold perfect vacuum. Ready to rock n' roll!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Distillery Tour...

So yesterday, Pillion and I enjoyed a tour and tasting at the Top of the Hill Distillery in Chapel Hill, NC.  The tour was given to us by my eldest daughter as a birthday gift to me.
Top of the Hill, which also operates a brewery at its restaurant site, now manages a distillery offsite, creating award winning Vodka, Gin, Whiskey and Moonshine using only Organic wheat for their mash. Here are a few pics from the tour and tasting:

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Like clockwork?

Two early memories involving any mechanical aptitude I have involve my perpetual job of being the flashlight holder for my Dad, (once while he destroyed a Holley carburetor with a ball-peen hammer because it assumedly wasn't installing itself correctly)...and a mantle clock...

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Rocks and water...

I was in the mood to review some photos from one of my favorite "local" places to photograph: Hanging Rock State Park, in Danbury NC. What else but rocks and water, like usual.
Here are a few of my favorites from past trips - I hope it inspires the photog in you:

Friday, April 25, 2014

Carb Rebuild Time-lapse Video

I felt proficient enough after rebuilding the right side carburetor, I filmed the cleaning and rebuild of the left side, and set it to some clockwork-type music...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bing Carbs, Part 2

We put it all back together - after disassembling and cleaning the enrichener circuit, that after the break:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bing Carbs, Part 1

I started the carb rebuild on the Type 64-3 Bing carburetors on the R65. No hiccups so far, here's a few pics after the break:

Monday, March 10, 2014

Ice, Ice Baby...

Sunset on the 2nd day of ice storm
Some select pockets of NC got severe ice Thursday night through Friday afternoon, with major damage and the accompanying power outages. Some of the restoration work has been truly heroic and epic in proportions in Alamance, Guilford and Orange counties, while the rest of the state was relatively unaffected. We had more trees and tops come down on our property than we did in the statewide ice storm of February 2003, but not as much as back after Hurricane Fran in '96. Here are some snaps of the damage around our house. So while we've entered day four without power (so, no heat OR water as we're on a well), thankfully, everything big fell AWAY from any structure so we're blessed its only cleanup at this point (lots of cleanup):

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Gosh Darn It!

Ok, not the words I've really been using...
Rare, "unobtanium" right ATE caliper on the BMW R65
I performed, or I should say, started, the rebuild of the 2 ATE calipers on my '81 R65. The right side, which was the side that was frozen up, came off and came apart with little resistance. After hours (literally) of scrubbing and cleaning, I had a very clean and serviceable caliper that took the rebuild bits – along with the little o-rings from Mike V– just fine. There was some pitting on the pucks, but these were above the seal line so I dressed 'em up and reinstalled. All's well says I.
Then came the LEFT side. I was stymied in minutes. The 2 bolts mounting the caliper to the fork leg loosened just fine by hand, and the top 8mm hexbolt holding the caliper halves together broke loose too.
But the lower bolt was another story. I was initially being careful, as it looked a little rounded by a previous owner, but no amount of pressure using a breaker bar would pry it loose. Hours of liquid wrench, PB blaster, and heat from a propane torch only yielded a severely buggered head. As this head is the one that stands proud, I even tried locking it in a vise and rotating the caliper around it. No joy.
I'm ashamed I let it degrade this far, but it ticked me off that bolt wouldn't give up.
I really think some previous owner musta JB Welded that bolt in there.
In defeat, I'm off to Bombar's Beemers tomorrow to see if it can be tapped out. I need the leprechauns on my side for this one.
What follows are photos of the successful rebuild of the RIGHT caliper:

Friday, January 24, 2014


“Reflect upon your present blessings -- of which every man has many -- not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” - Charles Dickens

Its in my cynical nature, I suppose, to seldom remember that our lives can be wondrous. A bit of a hindrance to a photographer, I admit. There are those who see the glass as either half full or half empty.
Then there's me: I see that the glass has a crack in it.
While this attitude serves me well when dealing with various mechanical or procedural challenges I may face, either on the bike, in the garage, or behind the camera, I'm aware it can poison my outlook to the point where I forget that the challenges of everyday life are in themselves a gift and blessing (beats the alternative, eh?). So what follows is a brief recap (via my photos of course) of the many blessings I've been fortunate to experience just in the last few years:

Monday, January 13, 2014

We're headed to Bonneville!

Famous photo of Rollie Free making a land speed record on the Salt Flats in 1948
My ShutterPilot Racing Team is planning to head to the Bonneville Salt Flats in August 2014 for the BUB Speed Trials in an attempt to capture a National Land Speed Record - and now we have the bike we'll make that attempt with! Here are first photos: