I took a little break before continuing with the disassembly and rode the Triumph up to Pinetta, FL, and Valdosta, GA, to see some old friends and to see how the new bike would do on its first long trip (over 600 miles). The biek performed flawlessly and my only complaint is the saddle, which I had already made plans to eventually replace with a Corbin, and I found the reach to the bar a little to long and may consider replacing them down the road, but it was a minor inconvenience and can wait for a while.
I passed through the area around Live Oak, Florida, on my way to my friend's at Pinetta (Pinetta is just south of the state line southwest of Valdosta). I had planned on taking small county roads in, but Tropical Storm Debby had passed through here a couple weeks ago and the area was still very wet. I went miles down one road, only to find a lake crossing the road, about four foot deep and two hundred yards long. While a few very big trucks were making it across, one was stuck here drown out while trying to cross. I turned around and went to find a major highway. I got on US 90 thinking my water woes were over when I once again ran into deep water across the highway. I found a side road only a half mile away where I had to cross water, but where the depth was not so bad. Entering back onto US 90 now on the far side of the water I had bypassed I soon came across another flooded out section. This time the water was fairly shallow and I was able to cross and go on to Pinetta.
In Valdosta, I met my old high school friend and artist, Julie Bowland, who teaches at Valdosta State. Julie hopped onboard for a jaunt through the countryside to pick up some peaches and blueberries for a nice cobbler she made later that day. I was struck by how much the countryside around here was reminiscent of the countryside around Niles, Michigan, where we grew up, with productive cultivated fields and tall patches of trees scattered at the edges and between many of the fields. Of course, the crops here were not soybeans, wheat, and apples, but tobacco, cotton, peanuts, and peaches.
The Water Crossing on US 90
Before my little ride, I had stripped Old Faithful as far as I could, but found that the weld that was done in North Carolina had too much material in front of the mount, which disabled me from being able to move the engine enough to pull it free from the frame. I borrowed a grinder from my brother and started in reducing the blobs of material until the engine was free, all the while being very careful not to touch the engine with the grinding wheel while I was working very close to it.
Here I am grinding down the weld in an effort to free the engine.
Here is the motor mount and weld with the engine removed.
To get the engine out it had to move forward a little bit and then titled forward. Removing the area shown in the picture allowed the motor to move just enough to come out.
Once again the engine is on the bench.
The frame is now free from the motor and disassembly can continue.
Next up was removing the fork and steering head. I used a ratchet strap attached to a rafter to lift the frame high enough to pull the fork with the wheel attached from the frame.
The fork and wheels removed.
Now I removed the triple trees and steering bearings while pulling the fork covers free, setting them aside for future painting.
The lower triple tree with steering shaft and lower bearings.
The upper bearings.
It looks like I might have dropped one, unless it was gone already. I will have to sweep the garage floor with the magnetic sweep to see if I can find a missing bearing.
Next I removed the rear shocks. This revealed another dent that will need to be fixed that was on the back side of the cover.
Finally, the frame is bare.
The only thing left to do is separate the swing arm and center stand and it can be set aside for a proper weld repair and powder coating.
"Ride Your Own Ride"