mandag 4. juli 2011

"Skogsløpet" 2011 vintage motorcycle rally

Been too busy working with the house/ garage projects to keep the blog updated.
And, I haven't had much time to go riding either.

But, I made the Skosløpet this year, although I went alone since neither the K-750 (Dnepr) or the rider(Eva) was ready for the 1100+ kilometer weekend ride.  After working overtime and a visit to a customer to sign some papers, I finally left the customer located outside Oslo at 20:00 in the evening.
  It rained pretty bad from Jevnaker until Lillehammer, had to follow a trailer to stay on the road.
The riding boot is no longer waterproof, but the gloves did keep the rain out for a long time.
From lillehammer the rain got lighter, and it stopped raining when passing Tretten at midnight. 
Since I was already wet, I decided to keep riding.  It really doesn't get real dark early in the summer, but there could be more critters (moose etc.) on the road.
  Due to the wet pants, going over the Ringebu mountain was painful. The legs got so cold I could feel stings.

Arrived at the rally site at 02:30.  I brought my summer sleeping bag, so it was some really cold 3 nights in the tent (not a trekking/ mountain tent either..)

But the rally/ meeting was very good despite the rain and cold weather.  We stayed clear of the rain on the saturday rideout, and the wet gravel roads were a delight to ride on.  Alhough it was a bumpy ride for those riding bikes without a proper rear suspension. The chief's plunger suspension works pretty good.

Some pictures from the meeting.

Restored BP gasstation from 1955(?) just outside the rally site, used for rally registration.

Some of the late model indians present, up in the mountains during saturday's ride:

1195 metres above sea level, and climbing..

 1917(?) Excelsior on the gravel roads:

mandag 28. mars 2011

Last week's progress on the car garage.

about half of the "second floor" was done, and 3 windows installed.
Hope to get the second floor and start installing the drywall in the first part of this week. But need to insulate the roof first I think.

torsdag 24. mars 2011

March 23, updates on the car garage build

Got the garage man door installed, and 2/3 of the wall insulation is in place.
Also picked up 3 windows to be installed over the next few days, if my time permits.

lørdag 19. mars 2011

First ride of the season!

Well, actually I rode in Florida/ California in early February.. but today was the first day riding here in Norway this year.

The chief ran pretty good, but I think it wants more fuel.. and the foam type airfilter is restricting the intake.
It sounds gorgeous from the saddle..

fredag 18. mars 2011

A short video of the chief with the new cams.

Opened the motorcycle garage door for the first time in months.  To keep the heat inside, the garage door was sealed using screws and ducttape..
The weather is supposed to get warmer next week, so I hope for an early spring.  I may ride a short bit this weekend, but since the generator isn't charging I can't go too far with lights on.

Still need to do some adjustments to the ignition timing, and I will need to check if the jetting is ok. 

onsdag 16. mars 2011

Car garage build updates

Some updates on the garage.
Most of the siding is now done, put in quite some hours in the weekend plus 2 evenings.



mandag 14. mars 2011

Building the car garage ..and workshop.

Our house was built around '54 -'55, and then extended 2 times later.
The last extension was in the early 1980's where they also added a single car garage in the basement.
While this garage turned out really nice after a lot of work, there's no room for a car anymore.  The garage is now a motorcycle workshop. 

We are going to change the looks of the house over the next 1-2years, and at the same time we (I :) ) decided to add a new double car garage. Available space was limited, so the footprint of the garage was limited.  So we decided to build up instead, and install a lift to store the third car.

Apart from some of the landscaping/ leveling, we will do most of the garage build ourselves with help from family and friends.  So we have to do this on evenings and weekends, since we both have daytime jobs.

But first we had to spend a lot of time making a foundation for the garage, since the backyard is sloped.

And then we also needed to level the backyard and make a new sloped driveway..
The excess dirt and rocks was pushed into the lower part of the backyard, we will later lift and level the whole backyard.

The driveway:
 Then the driveway was was filled with course gravel and then fine gravel, and compacted several times.

And luckily, we managed to pour and polish the concrete floor on the absolute last possible day.  The frost set in the following day. 

After one and a half months of really cold weather, we got the precut framework/ roof trusses delivered just before Christmas.  It was -18 degrees celcius outside, so the crane on the transport truck was causing problems for a while.

The garage build was started on January 1st , and most of the framework was up within two weeks.

Quite a bit of snow came in January, so it was a pain to keep the buildsite clear of snow..

Theres a porsche 911 somewhere under the snow...

The roof was then built, and the walls covered by windproof/waterproof boards.

We managed to get the roof covered just days before I went on a 3 week business trip/ vacation to Florida/California..and got the Porsche out of the snow...

4 weeks later we started working on the garage again, preparing for the outside wall siding and the inside drywall/sheetrock.

We managed to cover 2 1/2 walls last weekend, after some long days of working.  The garage doesn't have a very large footprint, but it's tall. The wood boards are primed impregnated "vestlandskledning) horizontal boards.

Sunday evening at 22:30,  nailing the last anglecut board in place...tired after climbing the ladder the whole weekend.. 

more later...

torsdag 10. mars 2011

New camcover and testing some cams...

The camcover which came with the '44 chief was damaged in transport some 12 years ago, as the motor was shipped to a rebuilder.  Over time the repair weld has loosened up, causing the steel insert for the rear cam to spin.  Loctite (green) worked for several years, but eventually it loosened up again. 
Since I already had a later camcase cover available, I installed that instead while searching for a new wraparound type camcover.  Apart from being the correct camcover for this model, I also thinks it looks better.  But the wraparound type cover also covers parts of the cylinder base, and makes it more difficult to see oilleaks etc.

New camcover

I will need the later style camcover for the '47 project soon. 
While the camcover was off, I decided to install some factory(?) racecams I got from ebay some years back.
They are mounted on the earlier type camgears (I'm no expert on the early stuff), and some of the experts think it's somekind of a late 1920's schunk cam.  The cams slightly resembles a "hooker" cam. I hope the modern reinforced cam followers won't see too much wear.

A "bit more" duration and different timing with the new cams, but slightly less lift than the Kiwi bonnie cam shown on the right side.

Starting the bike was a bit difficult, but as soon as there was gas in the intake the engine fired.
The bike got harder to start after putting in a foam type airfilter, the K&N filter actually shrunk due to the excess gasoline flowing back to the filter when starting the bike. Will put in a new filter.
When there is gas fumes in the cylinders, the bike starts very easy.

Since I started the bike in a closed garage, the old garage door being blocked and sealed for the winter cold, the engine sound doesn't sound right with a cellphone microphone.  It sounds much better in real life, and I can'te tell any difference in valve train noise.  But I need to take it for a ride I think.  It sound meaner after installing these cams...and the exhaust push a bit more air..:)  Need to glue the wallpaper to the wall again...

What do you think ?

onsdag 9. mars 2011

New projects.. 1947 Skirted fender Chief

In a "weak" moment I purchased a 1947 chassis off eBay. 
But it was a good buy I think..if the good parts are as good as they say.  I haven't seen the parts myself yet, but some friends inspected the chassis at Davenport last autumn.  Some of the parts have been damaged by fire, so they may not be usable.

Luckily I have Chief spares from before, and I picked up some crankcases, plungers etc while travelling in Florida /California.  Below are some of the stuff I already have at home.  Still waiting for the chassis to arrive here in Norway.

The chief bluesmoke travels far north.. 2008 North Cape ride

In 2007 we (my 1944 indian chief and myself) went to Iceland, and a ride report was posted on the Advrider forum after the trip.

From a bad start of the riding season, with delays and a troublesome transmission, everything got sorted in early July.
After longing for the open road for months and months, I just loaded up the indian and headed north on tuesday july 8th.
Actually I got the flu the night before, so I waited until 1400 to start my travel. Really I should have stayed at home, not feeling well at all.
But sooo fed up by the small hometown....
I've been to the north of Norway several times, and worked there as an officer for 1,5 year. I love the nature and the friendly people up there.

Since I left late and was not feeling well, I only rode some 475 kilometers the first night. And stayed at my brother in law's grandmother's house.
She is 90 years old, and still drives a car! She knows lot's of stories from the ww2 and earlier.

At the Aukrust museum in Alvdal. Abroad he's probably best known for the Pinchcliffe Grand Prix movie (

The next day I first had to ride back to Tynset to replace the front brake cable that broke the night before.
After one hour of ride or so, I reached Røros. One of the Unesco World heritage towns. Røros is known for the copper production, and the buildings and remains of the copper production still stands today.
I spent several hours in the narrow streets and the museum.

Big piles of remains from the copper production

The museum with the church behind

Old houses

The old pharmacy at 15:00 o'clock I left Røros and headed north.

On this trip I went high tech and installed a Veypor ( ).
For this trip, the Veypor's fuel gauge function and the speedometer was in frequent use.

After passing Trondheim I noticed there was no charging.
It took some minutes before I saw the generator pulley stop when I revved up the engine. Just before the trip I decided to replace the old pulley with a shiny new one, a custom chrome part. Actually no reason to replace the old one apart from the visual appearance.
For some reason they had managed to machine the pulley too narrow, so the locknut bottomed out in the threads instead of keeping the pulley secured on the tapered drive axle. And the pulley was probably too soft also, so the key on the drive shaft had spun in the pulley.
Only the weak give up by minor problems like this :) ... so I made a shim from a .006 feeler gauge I use for valve adjustment. This was enough to build up the gap between the tapered drive shaft and the pulley.
After securing the locknut with a wide washer underneath, it was back onto the road.

I noticed the voltage regulator had some issues regulating the charging to the almost drained battery. Had to replace the electronic regulator last year, and have been running a mechanical bosch regulator since.

Entering Nordnorge (northen norway ) just after midnite, the darkest time of the day

Anyway...the bike ran good.. and with the help of the midnight sun I kept riding until 02:00 in the night. Just found a spot near the road and slept for some hours in the tent.
Distance covered on day 2 was ~590 kilometers.
Day 3:

Well, I usually don't sleep well the first night in the tent.
So I spent some hours in Mosjøen and had brunch and lot's of coffee before leaving at noon. Bought a package of 10 fuses for the bike, as the regulator now charged too much. After opening the sealed regulator housing I noticed that the points inside were quite worn. Probably best to look for some VW beetles or some old Opels/ Saabs along the road. It takes only a few minutes to replace the regulator if I find a better one.
Since I'm following the E6 road, I should be ok.

Near Mo I Rana there's a big racetrack called the arctic circle raceway.
They say it's a very good track...but I can imagine the season is short due to the location almost at the arctic circle.

The following weekend was a classic motorcycle race weekend, so there were some vintage race bikes already present.

80's vintage racebikes

The E6 road goes over the Saltfjellet pass, and halfway over the mountain I pass the arctic circle.
Later on I passed this cool old gas station which had been restored.

After a stop for dinner i Saltdal, I decided to skip the big motorcycle meeting in Sortland. It's like every other motorcycle meet, beer and mostly modern bikes. Apart for the occasional voltage regulator "adjustments", the bike was running like a champ. So I decided to try ride all the way up to the north cape.. after first attending a vintage motorcycle meeting in Lakselv. Hey, at least I'm halfway up..

To make the vintage motorcycle meeting in Lakselv, I had to speed up.
Off course I missed the ferry from Bognes to Skarberget by a few minutes.
Saw a big moose eating from the trees just 25 meters away from the parkinglot where I was waiting for the ferry. Entering wilderness...
So I passed the town of Narvik near midnight.
From Narvik I rode to Bjerkvik and then over the mountains to Bardu.
I planned to stay at a 24hour motel (Øse) on the Gratangsfjellet mountain, but managed to ride past it since there were lots of new cabins around.
I've been a lot around in this area, since I spent 1,5 years working in the army up there.
Instead of turning back I just continued over the mountain towards Setermoen.

It doesn't get much darker than this in the summertime, due to the midnight sun.

At 0200 in the morning it's almost daylight

Pitstop at Setermoen...everyone else is asleep.

After passing the camp where I worked as an army officer...I saw no reason to stop yet. So I kept riding through Andselv and had pretty much the road to myself.. and a few foxes and birds... luckily no mooses or raindears.

At almost 0400 I found a nice spot near the fjords just a bit north of nordkjosbotn.

Distance traveled on day 3, approx 740 kilometers.
Average speed around 70km/h .
The roads are not highways, just narrow roads with endless number of curves... following the fjords and harsh mountains.
Day 4:

It was hard to get up in the morning after riding until 4 in the morning.
But after breakfast (outside the gas station) and a coffe, I was ready to ride to the vintage motorcycle meet in Lakselv.
The "Lyngen" alps and Kvanangen area are among my absolute favourite places. It's so beautiful that pictures really can't capture the beauty.

Somewhere along the E6 road ..



In Alta I phoned the guys from the vintage motorcycle club, and told them I was heading their way.
Also this is raindear country, so one have to be careful not to hit rudolph...

The raindears are mostly property of the native "sami" people, they have rights to use the icecold finnmarksvidda desert for their raindears. Still lot's of the sami people live in tents parts of the year. With their snowmobiles parked outside:)

Riding over Sennalandet, a part of the Finnmarksvidda

After some hours of riding I finally made it to Lakselv and the campsite in the beautiful Stabbursdalen valley. The Stabburselv river is next to the campsite, and several of the tourists caught some big salmons while I was there.
The rest of the night was spent at the campsite checking out the other vintage bikes and drinking beer :)

Total on day 4: ~440 kilometers
The voltage regulator was troubling several times during the day...
Day 5:

The day started early with a ride out to the institute for research of the Kven people and the Kven-land.
The Kven people are considered a minority with their own language, descendents of immigrants from what is now Finland (and Sweden). The actual location of Kvenland is unclear, Kvenland is mentioned in 9th century writings. More info here:

In the end of the second world war, most of the houses in the northern part of Norway (named Finnmark) was burned down by the nazis to halt the russians from liberating (or invading?) Norway.
So, the old style houses are gone. But the Kven institute have disassembled and moved a similar type of house from Sweden for displaying it for the future.
Lots of ww2 history in Northern Norway...

Vintage motorcycles outside the old style house

Later we teamed up with the local motorcycle club and did a couple of laps through the town to show the bikes to the public.

on display in Lakselv

Since there was a gas station nearby, I borrowed an electric oil pump and changed the oil while I was there. The bike had only consumed 1 litre of oil over some 2400 kilometers, which is quite unusual..:)
But thanks to totalseal pistonrings and teflon valvestem seals it's possible. However I do expect the oil consumption to increase when the rings get worn, however not as rapidly increase as with standard type rings.
Back at the campsite it was time for a cold beer and a quite delicious grilled (marinated in white wine etc..) whale beef.

oh yes.. I forgot to tell you about the mosquitos....they are everywhere and they love me..

just some 110 kilometers covered on day 5 of the trip

Most of the guys left at lunchtime this sunday.
Including a 80 year old rider who was going to ride the 2000 something kilometers back home in 3,5 days on his 1970's bike. Quite impressive!

I loaded all the stuff back onto the bike, and headed further north towards the North Cape.

Nice weather at the Porsanger fjord

Before heading up to the North cape I stopped in Honnigsvåg, a small town not far from the cape.

Cruiseboat leaving Honningsvåg, in extraordinary nice weather.

The Honnigsvåg church

And then, after some 2400 kilometer of riding I finally got to the turning point at the North Cape. 71° 10' 21" ...pretty far north! The road and mainland ends at the North cape. The only way to get to the northpole is by air or boat.

The "chief bluesmoke" made it all the way...!

been there, done that... 71° 10' 21"

I figured that a fish soup was the proper lunch at the north cape, and the tourist center have misc historic information and a cinema.

The weather on the north cape is not always as nice, I was very lucky to be there on this day. The sea was covered in mist..but we could see for miles.

After some hours on the North cape it was time to get back onto the road, and start riding south again. Especially since the weather forecast said bad weather was coming within the next two days.

The fog coming in from the west..

Along the fjords there are small fishing villages and occasionally some raindeers.

Before leaving Lakselv I had talked to a guy who knew someone that perhaps could help me with a new voltage regulator.
But since I had to wait until the next day, I skipped it and kept on riding in the still good weather.

Along the fjords there were cold fog, and slight rain...
Had to put on some warmer clothes before going over the mountains.

Still snow in the mountains in July

As I said before, I find Kvanangen to be one of the most beautiful places I have seen... and it didn't disappoint me this time. Even with fog and mist covering the sea.
I wish I brought along a better camera... or even better to be there yourself. It's hard to capture the tone of the northern light and the view over the fjord

From there it was full speed ahead along the fjords to Skibotn, where I arrived at 01:30 (AM).

Distance traveled on day 6: ~700 kilometers
Day 7:

Before I managed to put up the tent after day 6, I had to walk the beach to get some heat back into the feet. In the haze of preparing for the trip I had forgotten the thick socks at home.


Mountains, midnight sun, fog and clouds..

After some hours of sleep it was time to load the bike up again.
Tried to find a better voltage regulator in Skibotn, but I was out of luck.
Managed to work the points on the regulator using the striking surface on a box of safety matches.
I took a 110 kilometer detour from the route to visit Tromsø, also known as the Nordic Paris. Tromsø is a nice small town with lot's of restaurants and bars. I've been there several times before, but not since 1996 !

The Tromsø harbour

The white building in the background is the Arctic Cathedral

After a very good lunch I rode back to the E6 road and the inland.
When I reached the Bardu area I rode around a bit, just to see what had changed sinced I moved south in 1996.
I think I read that StrikingViking on this forum was born/ have family in Bardu ?

Anyway.. before 1995-96 the area had lot of military camps and active troops. After several downsizes, it's probably just 1/3 left. Some of the camps are now used for civilian purposes, including a film studio.
Sometimes I miss this was both fun and challenging.. and I was out on excercises in the "bush" some 50 days a year. Quite cold at times..

Outside the Army Signal batallion camp (still in use) where I spent 1,5 years

I noticed the front end being a little bit "loose" after passing the Gratangs mountain. And a check of the front wheel showed inconsistent wear and worn bearings. I tried to tighten the front axle to help the situation, but I felt the threads were slipping.
Anyway, since I was in Bjerkvik I just had to eat a "Bjerkviking" hamburger.
I remember the taste from last time I was there in 1996:) I can recommend it to anyone passing through Bjerkvik ( E6 road) !

I decided to ride easy towards Sortland where I should have a better chance to find new bearings and fix the bike. I would say the bike handled like an old harley at this point, not as tight as a leafspringed indian should be
On top of this the regulator was switching on and off, and it was raining at times.

After cruising through Sortland I found a repairshop in the same building as the hotel. So I opted for the hotel and a shower...

Two of the so called "adventure bikes" ?? :)

After a warm shower and a cold beer, it was time to sleep a bit.. and the clock wasn't even 00:30

Total distance on day 7 = ~500 kilometers
With the help of a friend we actually managed to find new bearings.
But the front axle was bent... after bottoming out the front suspension several times this season. With a borrowed 20ton press I managed to straighten the axle. Had to rethread to M14 threads on one side of the axles, as the threads gave up. I will make a new axle as soon as time permits, maybe thicker. I made the adaptors for my triumph TLS hub some years ago. The problem is that the rockers(leafspring) needs to be modified if I want to use a 20mm axle, so now I'm using a 16mm axle which is stepped down to the original axle size on the left rocker.
Also a new or rebuilt leafspring can help the suspension from bottoming out... or even better if our government spend some of the billions of tax money on road maintenance!!!!

Anyway... antique bikes needs frequent servicing and misc things can happen. But in 99% of the time I've been able to fix the problems with this particular bike while on the road, either temporary or permanent.
The chief bluesmoke will usually keep running, even when severe wounded!!
If my modern ducati stops I may be stuck for days.. and I don't know that bike enough to do a quick diagnose. I'm not afraid to get oil on my hands, and seldom give up (or start crying) when problems occur.

So after a lunch with my friend and her sweet friends (girls), I put the bike together and headed towards Melbu.
Since I missed the ferry to Lofoten, I opted for a buffét at the local hotel in Melbu while waiting.

Since it was already late at night and dark clouds ahead, I opted to ride as far as possible... again. After arriving with the boat in Fiskebøl in the north of Lofoten, I turned right and rode along the western fjords of Lofoten.
Luckily parts of the road were loose gravel... and I really love riding the old indian on gravel.
The sea was calm as mirror, and the fjords and mountains along the route was really spectacular. I tried to catch some of the magic with my compact camera.. but it's quite hard.

Gravel roads with 80 km/h speedlimit is fun!

Turbo tourists don't even stop the engine:)

What's up or down..?
Ran out of battery on the camera while trying to film some of the gravel riding :(

After a faboulus ride along the fjords, I had to hit the E10 road.
And then I met the rain..

For some reason I wanted to test if the waterproof lining on my Halvarsson leather pants would work in heavier rain. And it actually works, but the wet pants still make you cold. The rain just got worse and worse and the big puddles made the water spraying over the floorboards get into the so called waterproof boots. So I just kept on riding down the Lofotens and planned to take an early ferry over to Bodø (mainland) the next day.
When I reached the ferry terminal at Moskenes south in Lofoten at 01:30, the winds and rain were so strong it was hard to ride. At the campsite people where trying to secure their tents from falling down.
I just returned to the terminal and found a dry spot just outside the café ... and slept for a few hours there..

Total distance on day 8 was = ~220 kilometers

Day 9:
After 3 hours trying to sleep, it was time to get up again at 05:00 and wait for the ferry to leave at 06:00
The boat trip takes some hours, so I occupied 3 seats and slept during the trip.
Luckily the rough sea didn't knock over the bike, so I could carry on with my trip:)
The national aircraft museum is located in Bodø, and I spent 4 hours checking out the aircraft history, and the displayed planes and helicopters.
My camera was still out of battery, and my iphone doesn't have a no quality pictures from inside the museum.

Outside the museum

The wet riding gear dried up just a bit while inside the museum, and the pants dried up quite a bit after just 2 hours ride.
I rode over the Saltfjellet mountain again, with occasional stops for beating the voltage regulator. But I was able to keep a good pace.. with my ducati I just can't ride 200 kilometers without stopping.. the old chief is so comfortable to ride, better than any other bikes that I have ridden.

My target for the day was Trondheim, and I almost made it despite heavy rain and several stops with regulator adjustments (more like punishment at this stage). The front tire was now very worn from total milage and the previous problem with the bent axle. I hoped to find a new tire in trondheim early next day.
But just outside Levanger the front light went out..
Tried to find an open gas station or a place to camp in Levanger, but I ended up camping outside a school near the E6 road.

Total distance on day 9 = ~ 640 kilometers
Day 10:

Fixing the headlight was easy when the source of the problem was found:

Modern stuff (H4 connector) also fail, the ground cable came off

After consulting some of the local Indian riders in Trondheim, I found a shop who had a new front tire for me. At a good price also, but I had to remove/ install the wheel on the bike myself ( which I probably would have to do anyway).
The process took some hours though, so it was going to be a long night ride home. Off course it was raining on/off... and eventually I just locked the regulator in position and kept the rpm in a range where it was not overcharging the battery. German bosch quality %#%@$£@ !!

Anyway, I made it throught the night and rain... and when I reached the highway it was easy to keep a good pace the last 2,5 hours home.

Old bridge near Tolga

I arrived at home at 02:45, a day later than expected.
My family was at a cabin near the coast, so I rode the chief there the next day. The day after it was a vintage vehicle run nearby, and I rode that also ... still with a dirty bike. And after the run it was direct to a summer party at a motorcycle club..
I was quite tired the following sunday, after several days with just 5 hours sleep and long days on the bike.

Total distance on day 10= ~760 kilometers !

I tried to make this story short.. riding an old indian always makes new friends and meeting interesting people. Sometimes it's hard to get back onto the road after stopping at gas stations etc, people enjoy seeing these old bikes out on the road....

I think I managed to put quite a bit of fun(or maybe even call it an adventure, if that term don't require gravel, bush riding or himalaya...:) ) in a short vacation ...:)

~5200 kilometers (3200 miles) in 9,5 days on a 1944 motorcycle probably isn't too bad either... in a country where the average speed probably is around 60km/h due to the roads (and lots of twisties :))
But it's an Indian! :)