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  • Thomas Fishel

Repair, Tear Down, Repair, Tear Down…..

Well, the scheduled day of rest in Sturgis did not go at all as planned. All the 101 bikes underwent major repairs and only three (Josh, Jeff, and Ian) of the six made it out of the starting block today headed to Sheridan, Wyoming. Also today, Dick Jones rode the Indian drifter and Marcin left riding Tim’s BMW to enjoy the beautiful weather in Wyoming. Buck and Steve were racing in the excursion to Sheridan to begin the work to replace the engine in Steve’s 101 as they couldn’t get the original one to run because of the carbon buildup that apparently is hidden on the valves somewhere.

Yesterday, Steve’s repairs consisted of 2 blown head gaskets and the mag seal which had went out two days ago, plus a carbureator to tear down and rebuild. After completing this work, the bike wouldn’t fire and run, so he traded mags and still….it wouldn’t run. George Yarocki and Tim even helped him go through everything…. 6 times, yes 6….. and still the bike wouldn’t fire and run, so at 10:30 pm they called it a night and made the decision to take off for Sheridan first thing this morning (Sat) and just replace the whole engine with the spare Steve took with them. Steve, George and Tim have determined that there is a chunk of carbon stuck to the valve train somewhere that they can’t see. All the 101’s are experiencing a great deal of carbon buildup that they are cleaning off on the valve stems or the valve seats. Just talked with him this evening and as of 8:30 pm this evening, the work is completed and the bike is running…. ready to take on the Big Horn Mountains on the way to Cody, Wyoming. WhooHoo! Keep your fingers crossed for the start of a great second half of the Cannonball for Ginger!

Josh’s bike repairs consisted of a new float bowl for carbureator which Steve built him. He installed new gas lines and he also had a great deal of carbon buildup to clean up. His bike is running better and better each day as they are repairing and fixing all the problems that he accumulates throughout the day’s rides. Josh made it into Sheridan, WY after a successful day. Way to go! Also, I just watched the video they posted of today on and watched Josh’s shorts go up in smoke. Great interview, Josh!

Ian replaced his neck bearings and races. He had the whole front end off and apart and also rebuilt the front wheel. It was up and running and he completed the 242 mile run today. I’m sure Ian was glad to be on the road again!

Jeff’s bike had 5 hours of service which included cleaning the carbon off his heads. Tim has been working extensively each night until 2-3 am on the Beast to keep her going for Jeff. Jeff completed Stage 8 just as he has completed all of the others. George and Tim are doing an awesome job keeping The Beast going.

Marcin got his new piston and after tearing down his motor and during assembly he discovered that the rod didn’t fit the piston, so at 8 pm last night he was headed back to the machine shop to get his head milled out to fit. He realized that his has chief rods in his bike. So, his bike didn’t get completed and today he rode Tim’s BMW.

Doug worked until 4:30 am. He got his new cylinders from New Zealand and when he went to install them, he found out that it wouldn’t clear the toadstools in motor and he is going to have to cut out the side of cylinder to clear the guides. He also had to make valve spring retainers by hand filing. He didn’t make it on today’s ride either.

As of today the 101 crew is out of head gaskets AGAIN!

Steve hopes to work on the original motor during the evenings and have it for a spare. He says they are working until they are too tired to continue, but are having a great time. He said the ride is starting to take a toll on all the bikes, not just the 101’s.

Tomorrow’s ride will take them through the Big Horn Mountains, which is gorgeous as I have been through there many times, but it’s tough and they will climb close to 10,000 feet. The coolness should help the bikes as they will be working hard during the ascent. They will lunch at the famous Irma Hotel in Cody, Wyoming before they head on into Yellowstone National Park to the Lake Lodge for the night.

Hang Tough Tribal Council!


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