WHERE IS BOB L ?

NOTES

This shows most changes to my site, with the occassional note about the site.

Also, this is where I rant, talk to myself, or whatever. Not really worth reading, but I use it sometimes.

Newest Posts are at the TOP


2017-06-27 This is standard P with special wrapping It will act like text, but with normal font and wrapping.

This is Typewriter font, with white space and pre-wrap, so all I have to do is copy text here, or write it, and it will wrap the same as if I was using P on each line, except it will be a fixed width font like courier.
2017-05 - I am BACK

For various reasons I have not been doing my normal trip stories. I have been taking trips, and have done some writeups, but I have not been making them public. That is about to change, I hope. I will be retiring in a year, and plan to start regular updates of some kind. Since these writeups are really just for my own use and entertainment, I don't currently have a way of notifying people of new posts. Just check back here once in a while. If you know me, I might keep a list of those people that want notifications. I might even get a FaceOff acount or something.


2017-05 - Ireland and Scotland Trip

I took a motorcycle trip around Ireland and Scotland. You can find the story here:

2017-05 - Ireland and Scotland Trip


2015-07 - Computer Fan Kludge

The fan on my old computer crapped out earlier this year. I needed it right away, so I created a bit of a Kludge, which worked, and then fixed it in a non-traditional way after seeing just how hard it is to fix it the right way. You can find the story here:

Laptop Fan Kludge


2015-07 - Mice in Car

I seldom drive my car outside of winter, but every year I have to get it inspected so I take the car out for a ride to shake out the cobwebs. A few more things got shaken out than I had anticipated. You can find the story here:

CARS and MICE - -


2015-07 - DropBox

I have been using DrobBox lately as a way of updating my web site. It works great, as I can edit files on any device and the files are automatically updated. The only issue is that for this to work, I have to link to the files on DrobBox. That is fine, except that some people cannot see files there. For example, I cannot see it at work. So, the plan is that I will use DropBox to update any pages for current trips while on the road, then copy them to my website when I get home. I would move everything just to DropBox, but I would still need to pay for website registration, which is pretty much the same whether I have my site on my webhosts site or not.


2015-06 - Alps Motorcycle Tour

We rented a bike in Switzerland and rode around for a couple of weeks. You can find the story here:

2014-10 - Buell For Sale

My Buell is finally officially for sale, sort of:

Buell For Sale -


2014-10 - Pumpkin Cannon

I was riding by the Yankee Farmer farm, where the Yankee Siege machine is stored and saw a Ton pf people hanging around. It turns out they were having a shoot for a Discovery Channel show. See the details and pics at the link below:

Pumpkin Cannons -


2014-09 - California Trip

In September we took a trip to the PRK. That's the People's Republic of Kalifornia. We flew to San Francisco and rented a Honda Goldwing Motorcycle. Rode the coast some, then rode to Napa and over to Lake Tahoe. From there we went to Yosemite for four nights and back to San Fran to fly home. Good trip.

Here are links to my photos and a few rants:

www.whereisbobl.com/pics/UP/2014-09-CALIFORNIA/ - ZEN

CALIFORNIA 2014 - dropbox

www.whereisbobl.com/2014/2014-09-california/2014-09-california.html -

Lane Splitting with a Goldwing - -

Goldwing v.s. Harley - -


2014-01-05

Over on the LD Rider forum someone asked a question about Harley engine life, and wether they might need an engine replacement at 100,000 miles. Having LOTS of opinions relative to Harleys I had to respond. Having absolutely no abilities pertaining to brevety, I wrote the following:

Having put a decent chunk of miles on H-Ds, here are my experiences, from records and withering memory. I have had other bikes, the following is just my HD experience. I have never "replaced" an engine, but have done some work on them. Understand that I ride a LOT in New England winters, and have, in the past, had to spend a lot of time sitting in HOT traffic. I don't know exactly what info you need, so I will just spew out my experiences, at least those that I think are relevant to your quest (and a bunch of other blather). The list is Model 'Year - Final ODO

XLH '86 - 125k - at around 80k I had a crack in the frame at the sidestand. My fault, had damage to the frame early on, which eventually rusted. I got a 10% discount at a shop, and frames with proper numbers were surprisingly cheap so I decided on a complete bike overhaul. When I had the engine out, I overhauled it and bumped it to 1200, mainly because I had parts lying around. The cylinders and heads looked great. One of the main bearings was toast, but it was an old, stupid design. Probably could have gotten 20 or 30k more out of the engine before catastrophic failure. The overhaul was done poorly by a shop and never quite sounded right, until the pistons smacked the valves at high RPM. This happened after about 20k miles. Broke a con-rod, had the engine overhauled back to 883 (had parts lying around) but failed to change back to stock cams, so about 25k or so later a valve tapped a piston and I gave up on the bike. It was severely rusted from mostly winter riding, and last year I sold it to a friend super cheap. He got it running an is enjoying it immensely.

FLST '88 - 74k - no real problems, until the engine oil was starting to get used up, and the primary fluid was starting to self replicate. The cast-in steel insert for the main bearings was loosening up and leaking engine oil into the primary. It was covered under a good-will warrantee as it was a known issue for my VIN, the dealership offered a great trade-in and price on a new FLHS and I was sold. The dealership just replaced the engine cases (under HD $$) and sheet metal with some take-off stuff and sold it for decent $$. The engine looked great inside, except for the leaky inserts of course.

FLHS '91 - 240k - I overhauled this engine at 160k due to a burned valve. I tended to run this engine rich, and I think the valve started to stick a bit, resulting in burn out. The inside of the engine was still looking excellent, other than the burned valve and the valve stems looking pretty cruddy. Early on in it's life a leak developed in an oil fitting (HD mechanic error) and all the oil drained out, slowly, so it was running on only a little oil in very hot conditions, until pretty much all the oil was gone. After that, it would always smoke if I started the bike cold and jumped immediately into stop and go traffic. That was the only sign of damage, which I took to mean it had a valve guide leak. Whether it was this, or winter riding or hot summer traffic or some other issue that caused the initial valve problem, I don't know. I was trying to sell it for a while to make room in the garage, but was not getting any interest. Anyway, at 240k something happened in the engine that sounded bad. I did a quick cheap sale and was happy, as was the new owner. I think the sound ended up being something in the primary, but I can't remember for sure. Either way, I was able to sell it broken for only a little less than what I was trying to sell it for running and in good shape. I guess the buyer thought he was getting a good deal on a broken bike. He was, but..... - Oh, what I forgot to mention is that this thing ate lifters, the inner two mostly. Of course, when that would happen it would take out the cam and lifter blocks. Old style engine you know. I got pretty good at replacing these on the side of the road. Had I had enough sense to either replace the lifters before they went bad, or use a better quality lifter I would not have had problems, but..... I have always been stubborn.

Buell S3T '99 - 67k - Still have it. No issues, although at the moment it is unregistered as I want to get rid of it. An engine mount bracket broke, and I decided rather than put the $$ and effort in to fix it I would sell it. That was a few years ago. Some day I will list it somewhere.

FLHT '00 - 96k - at 70k the cam chain followers broke and the entire assembly, oil pump etc had to be replaced. This was done under good will warrantee as it was a known issue with this vintage. The failure happened in Ohio, and I rode back to NH with the engine sounding like it was loaded with marbles. We get older, but we don't necessarily get any smarter. Actually, I needed to get back to work and it was worth the risk as I was pretty sure I knew the issue. This bike suffered a slip and slide on a highway and was bought by the insurance company.

FLHT '04 - 96k - At 65k I replaced the cam bearings, plates etc as one of the bearings in the plate had spun. Not a big job, and a known issue with the Twinkie engines. During the 2009 IBR in Pennsylvania, I woke up at O-Dark-30, started the bike and heard a valve clip a piston. After that, the rear cylinder did not work. I removed the rear push rods, and found where the nearest dealership was in the direction I was going and headed out in the PA hills on one cylinder, in the dark. Highland Harley Davidson in Somerset, PA. I really lucked out here, the dealer was very familiar with the IBR and was also known as the least expensive HD dealer in the world?? labor wise. Well, maybe they said something else, but anyway, I was there by 8am, took my spare fuel tank off etc and was out of there by 12:30 with a new (take-off) head, new push rods ( I broke one of mine during de-bug) and only $400 spent. I spent more money than that on some damned tires at the start (but that is another story). The cylinders and piston still looked great. Later on in the rally the bike took the brunt of a deer strike at full speed along with a bit of a slide. The insurance company bought themselves another bike, and I flew home. FWIW, prior to the valve issue, I was stuck in a lot of heavy traffic, stop and go, just stop, etc in Washington DC, NY and Connecticut in VERY hot weather. When in traffic in CT my bike started smoking a bit, the first time ever. If I were to make a guess, I would say I was having problems with my valve guides leaking, which can cause crud buildup on the valve stem, which can cause a valve to stick a little when cold.

I am not currently running an H-D. After I hit the deer I decided to try an ST1300, and now have a Triumph Tiger 800 XC.

To summarize, based on MY experiences only, if you don't severely modify or abuse an H-D you will probably get at least 100k out of the engine before any internal work needs to be done, and then, you can probably get away with a top end, which is easy and does not have to be very expensive. The thing to watch out for are valve train issues. I abused my bikes with extreme cold and extreme heat. From what I have heard the new cam/lifter arrangement is pretty durable, but the heads are getting even hotter. If I were to get back into H-Ds again, I think I would take the heads off every 75k or so and clean them up, maybe replace guides etc, just to be safe. I don't know if this would be necessary, but it would make me feel better. Through the years I have tried HD oil, Aircraft Oil, Synthetic, frequent oil changes, infrequent oil changes. Did not seem to make a huge difference, although when I went synthetic I tended to extend my change intervals. Sometimes quite a bit.

One of the great things about H-Ds is that they are repairable, easily. There is also the option of buying NEW complete engines for, well, a lot of money but it sure is easier than an overhaul. The only problem is that to get the warrantee, you need to have it done by a dealer (unless something has changed since I was riding them). I recommend Highland Harley Davidson in Somerset, PA. 8^)

Engine life is highly variable. If you treat your engine well, you will get maximum miles out of it. Don't stress too much about it and treat your mechanic well so he will treat you well.


2013-12-07

I would like to introduce some friends of mine, who are doing some interesting things right now.

First, there is a Scott McKay, a Canadian who has already climbed to Mount Everest base camp, along with some other hiking there, all to collect money for charity. We met in Yellowstone back in 1988 while on a motorcycle trip. He is planning, in 2013, to run a Marathon to the NORTH POLE !!!! Then the next year, he is planning to cross country ski 100 kM to the South Pole. He is only a couple years younger than I am, makes me feel like a slacker. www.travelearthadventure.ca

The second is Paul Pelland, who has Multiple Sclerosis. Paul is a Long Distance Motorcyclist. After he was diagnosed, someone told him that a cure for MS was a Million Miles away. So, he decided that he would RIDE a million miles while having MS. Prior to his diagnosis, he had quite a few long distance adventures on motorcycles. Since his diagnosis, he has ridden quite a few more. He is doing this for charity. Check out his site and some of his other adventures. www.longhaulpaul.com -

The third is a Canadian woman I met while in Turkey. When travelling, I meet a lot of other travelers. Well obviously...... Many are interesting, but some really stand out. Mar Fenech's travels were part of her research for a book she was writing. Her excitement for her research was contagious. I was looking forward to reading her book. I meet a lot of writers when on the road, but it is rare to meet one that actually publishes what they are writing. Mar did publish this book. I have yet to read it, but from the reviews, it looks like a very good book. It is available through Amazon in Canada, and just today was put onto Amazon in the USA, but as of this writing it was not in stock, I will let everyone know how when it becomes available. The title is, Eight Pointed Cross an Historical novel based in Malta in the 1500's. It sounds like there might eventually be a sequel as well.

In the mean time, check out her site. . . www.marthesefenech.com

The link to the book on Amazon. As of this writing, it was not actually in stock, but should be soon. Eight Pointed Cross


2013-12-06

So, this is a new trial note taking style. I don't know if I will keep doing this, but it might be an easy way to keep notes on the road, or to point out some things I am thinking about, or things that I would like readers to go look at.

It should be noted that this entire website is really for me. I would not be upset if no one ever went here. I use it for my own reference, for my own ranting, or for having a place to put a story for my family and friends. I do like it when others find it interesting, but that is not the main reason for the site.