Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

I have done a fair share of desert races. I have also ridden many a gnarly duel sport rides. But I have never partaken in an organized duel sport ride until this years 31st running of the LA Barstow to Vegas. Two days, 500 miles and some 600 riders. It was dusty. I started the build of my XS650 specially for this event two months ago and I had my doubts about getting it to the finish. I bought the bike as an ugly old cafe race/ chopper with an extended swing arm, super low clubemans and a big end bearing knock despite the 2000$ worth of receipts of engine work. I paid 200$, replaced the crank with a spare lying around in my "rape room". I rigged on an '84 XR500 front end salvaged from "#project retard", An XR250 sub frame and of course the daunting mounting of a '91 YZ125 swinging arm and mono shock. Despite fettling the shims in the shock 3 times and creating the most stiff spring I could it is still under sprung and blows through the damping like a bullet through a brain.
The chassis did very good however. As long as I didn't charge big whoops and g-outs. I was bewildered buy the amount of big money desert racing machismo wantabees with support rigs and satellite communication and navigation. I had a flask, a film canister of Colorado's finest and a roll chart. Learning how to use the roll chart was fun. So was passing KTMs one after another being piloted by over weight stock brokers wearing "adventure" jackets that cost twice as much as my bike. Things were going great on the first day until internal engine noise suddenly became very apparently external. I removed the clutch cover, entailing removing kicker, foot peg, and brake pedal to discover the clutch spring bolt had pulled its post clean off of the clutch hub. Removed the little fucker, little bit of JB weld, quick aluminum and some oil resistant medical tape on the case cover and back at it. Day two was going great as well until this time a clutch spring bolt backed out. Same fix, One mile later and one snapped off the post again. This time leaving a hole big enough in the case to see the bastard of a shitfuck clutch spring bolt. By this time the sweep riders (not much help they were) had passed me. Earlier in the day I had lost Mike my wing man on his XL350 when I had to take an emergency trail side shit. I spent a good two housr in a wash alone a long way from any roads wondering why I forgot my map and if the JB weld and remaining clutch would get me out of there. It got me close when another one snapped off. Again; remove cover, remove aluminum chunks and patch cover back up. With three of the six clutch springs remaining Loc Dog thought it wise to take the interstate the remaining 80 miles into vegas.
Beer was drank, fun was had with Co-Built Geoff and the crazy Bixby scooter trash guys and I look forward to next year. The End.

4 comments:

Paul said...

Love it! Travis: the father of ingenuity... Awesome job Dood!

benchdonkees said...

Great result on a freshly built bike, as entertainingly written as ever Travis! What you need is a benchdonkees tee, send me your size and address to andy@benchdonkees.com and I'll send you one.

OILY RAG said...

What happend to the map? Did you need " papers" for the contence of the container?
Well done for showing everyone that the most important tool is persistence

Adam Bauer said...

Fucking RAD Dude, Just Plain RAD! Sounds like a great adventure!