In 1989 I rode my 1974 Norton 850 Interstate from Phoenix Arizona to Kimberly BC Canada, a trip of 1800 miles one way.
The "Super Tanker" was running like a top not a bit of a problem for 2 days when going through Salt Lake City I noticed the right had exhaust nut was working its way loose. Normally this wouldn't be to much of a problem but in a fit of madness I had installed a pair of alloy exhaust nuts. It is bad enough when the nut works its way loose but using an alloy nuts had destroyed the threads in the head.
Knowing that there was no way to fix the problem without removing the head I needed a "get around". What I did was purchase 6 of the largest worm type hose clamps I could find. I hooked 3 of them together and went around the head above the exhaust ports and 3 more hooked together below the exhaust ports. I then took some mechanics wire and tied the two clamps together to keep them from spreading. I called these my stainless steel band-aids. They worked quite well and I finished the trip with only one other problem!
Headed home I was 30 miles north of Wells Nevada in the middle of no where. This is the kind of place where you can stand up on the foot pegs and see tomorrow it is that desolate. I noticed that when I rolled off the throttle I lost my clutch. Fortunately I didn't have to shift for hours at a time and it gave me time to ponder what was going on. I realized that what had happened was that the clutch nut had come loose and as long as I had the power on I had a clutch, back off and it was all over. Coming into Wells from the North you cross under I-80 with a stop sign and a long grade on the other side before there was a gas station. I knew I didn't want to push my bike so I looked both left and right and blew thought the stop sign and into the gas station. Next to the gas station was a coffee shop with dozens of bored patrons inside, I became the entertainment for the afternoon. Letting the bike cool down I got my tools out and opened up the primary dumping hot oil all over the parking lot. Not like I was going to be coming back soon anyway. I know my bad!
Just as I had suspected the nut was loose and half an hour later I was putting my tools away. Thank god I had thought to bring my clutch tools with me.
One thing nice at the time was that Nevada didn't have a speed limit. just what was reasonable and prudent.
I figured that 85 to 90 was both.
I often wonder about what the fellow who was driving his Honda Hillux thought when we passed each other.
Probably like me wondering what he was doing out the middle of nowhere on that!
I still own my Norton and am looking forward to the next Norton National in Utah.
|Story #4, By Chuck