Monday, February 27, 2012

Tanks and Frames.....

     Well I guess it is time for the Monday post.    Things have been progressing nicely back in the back yard.  First thing is first you all know that a bunch of aircraft stripper was involved after busting the little thing down into it's component pieces.  Once that was was done, I took the tank and Jason took the frame and we went off on our separate ways for a few days.  I think I got the short end of the stick on this deal since the tank was really hammered.

     So after about three days of stripping paint, checking for holes and pulling dents I finally started getting the thing skim coated with filler.  Now those of you that have done allot of body work know that the lighter the skim the less the problems.  I of course was playing by these rules, so lots of using a dowel and a body hammer to get the thing to resemble straight commenced.

     Here is what it looked like after about 3 skimmed and sanded down coats, still not there but getting closer.

     Yes that looks like allot of filler, well really it is not it is barely 1/16th of a inch thick and it is mostly there to get rid of small ripples.  I really took my time on this tank because I wanted it to be right.  Well Jason did the same thing with the frame.  After stripping and inspection things looked really good.  Most of these old hard tail Z50 K0, K1, and K2's pre 1972 have a real problem with cracking there frames.  Jason got lucky so it got primed and painted while I was working on the tank.  I shot down the hill to check the progress and found the frame looking really nice.

     Of course after seeing the frame looking so sweet I felt like I was lagging behind.   I jumped back on the tank and worked my fingers till they were a bit dried out and sore.  Finally after another few days I had the sucker in three coats of primer and looking dam fine.

     So feeling accomplished I moved onto other things, like collecting parts.  There are many things that are going to be needed for this build.  Tires, rims a engine.  We have not decided what we are going to run in it yet, but we will figure something out.  We have the old CT100 50cc case with gears and stuff.  But no jug, piston, head, or rocker cover.  Granted that old push rod engine will not make it fast or quick, I rather like the idea of using it.  But of course parts are a bit scarce.  Not sure yet, I will update on what we decide next week, or two weeks.   Perhaps keep you all in suspense till the last moment!

     But there is your update for the week, see you all next Monday.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The welcome, and who and where we are....

     Well I guess this is welcome to Benton Backyard Bikes.  I guess I should start with who we are.   Well that is pretty simple, I am Sean.  The author of this blog and the insane mechanic of this dynamic duo of misfit build anything backyard bikers.  The other half would be Jason, a long time friend of mine who had a idea that started oh, bout sixteen years ago out of necessity, but more or less grew to what it is today.  He is a mechanic as well, and a idea man.  Me I am more the fabricator and the, no no THIS WAY man.  It is a odd thing, and a odd combination.  I would have pictures of us, but we are a couple of scruffy ones.

     Now where we are is, well lovely Benton California.  Right smack dab between the Sierras and the Whites, here is a nice picture over looking Benton CA.

     It is such a lovely place to live, and face it there is mass win with being able to walk out the back door, jump on any bike of your choosing and ride off into the distance with out so much as a care in the world.  Well, if you are on the proper trails.  We DO NOT condone just going anywhere you please.  Some folks do not take kindly to such things, such as folks coming up here to rip up the area.   Want to see some nice areas, well ask first please so you don't wind up on someones property and get your rear end full of buck shot.

     If you need a guide, you can even ask one of the folks at Benton Station to track down one of us to take you on a little tour, or a massive adventure.  We take beer, preferably Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, or Arrogant Bastard Ale.  No cash, no checks, no credit cards.  Now if you have a wire feed welder you cant stand to look at because you never used it once, or some other equipment, please look us up.  Our rates are very reasonable.

     But enough about the area, why you are here is bikes right?  Well, and here to see us build bikes, ride bikes, and do other assorted bike related things.  There may be food involved but you can find the stuff we cook on the road trial tested by our great friend Libby, over at  she has a tendency to share food stuff with us after all. 

      OK, enough of the intro stuff, lets get down to bikes shall we.  All of this started sixteen years ago when I got given a 1971 Honda Z50 K2.  Well it ran, just, but it has burnt valves and some other issues.  Well some where along the way the timing chain snapped and I got fed up and just gave the bike to Jason and got a Suzuki MT50 2 stroke trail bike.  A good little runner, but lets face it.  There is no fun in riding alone.

     So I gave the broken Honda to Jason and we went to the dump and found a motor.  A CT100 Honda motor that bolted right in.  Sure it was push rod and not over head cam.  But what the hell, it bolted in and ran.   If I knew then what I know now that motor would be in a sealed bag somewhere.  But lets get back to the bike.  It ran and we rode it allot until the font forks hit a rock, and well that was the end of the front end.  So Jason with his back yard 20 something 'I want to ride' attitude pulled the front forks off a Honda 80 and managed to get them in there with little more than messing with some triple tree races and bearings.  

     We rode for years after that, and then the piston and rings went to the point that it lost compression really bad and would not run.  The head and jug got pulled and wound up who knows where and I went off to work 2700 miles away in Georgia.   Well the bike got scrapped and he moved to the Bay Area and then almost 10 years to the day we both end up in Benton once more and said, 'Hey you remember that Pot Belly Pig?'  And we had a few beers and yapped about it and such.

     Well about a month after that, we were down at another friends house that has quite a collection of infernal combustion stuff and we were getting pretty good and sloshed on the Ol Ale.  Well on the nickel tour.. there she was.  The Pot Belly in all her used and abused glory.  But the guy would not let us take her right then and there.  No no, we had to wait.   So another month goes by.

     Jason goes down there looking for a part for something else and the guy tries to give him a Kawasaki 90 that has a broken kick start but runs.  Jason shakes his head and says oh no no no.   I want my Pot Belly back.  He says ok, and Jason comes to me jumping up and down.  We saddle the truck up and bring her home, and this is the state she was in when we got her back to his place...

     Now I am sure you are going.   What a hunk of rubbish, it is not worth it's weight in scrap and should be left to rot away behind some barn.   Well even if it looks like one of those backyard restoration nightmares.  To us, she is not.  She is a labor of love.  One that has allot of sentimental value to us both.  This is the first post of her story and perhaps many more.   You will just have to read and find out.  Figured folks might get a kick out of it, and well here is genesis if you will.

     Posts will be on Monday nights unless otherwise noted, and things are going to take some time to get going.  But one thing I know, if you have a heart you want to see what happens to this little Pot Belly Pig in time.  For now, I must call it a night.  See you all next Monday.