Practice was a muddy, sticky mess for a few laps due to the heavy early afternoon rain shower.
I was rootin' for Carver or Pearson to win since they were pretty cool and offered me water, etc. - and I've watched both these guys come up through the ranks, and followed them through their racing careers.
After race practice and a couple singles qualifiers - and took a break and ran up to Crossroads again to see one of my favorite bands . . . The Supersuckers ! It was a rockin' good time - and the $2 PBRs helped matters. Met some nice people, convinced a group of 20+ to go to the races - and saw them there later . . . "You're Welcome" American Flat Track Series....
They played their entire greatest hits record (which is what ya want) and they still sound great after all these years. Now I'm really fired up . . . so back to the races where George Wills and Eric & Jennifer Bass saved me a great spot on the top of the bleachers . . . The most exciting race here yet - search: Fans Choice Buffalo Chip TT (or You Tube) for the race replay . .
#95 JD Beach didn't give up . . . he widened his gap on #17 Wiles and #14 Bauman and continued the charge to the front, eventually passing leader/teammate #5 Jake Johnson for the win - in the about the last five feet before the flag. The place went nuts !
A good place to meet up with all your bros . . . see what's goin' on the rest of the week. The motorcycles in the show are some of the best builds of rally week.
Above: This custom was built by Dave Perewitz and took home top honors at the 2nd big custom show ever held at Daytona Beach. Arlen won the 1st year of the show, the year before . . .
Jordan's bike (back from Germany) is one of my favorites . . .
and being an "engine guy" this show had an incredible group of tricked out mills . . . wow !
Lots of great artwork adorns the walls . . . all the while each builder is interviewed by Lichter himself on each box (with their build or art). Servers with tray of fancy finger foods are paraded around just like a real show opening. Very professional, and good times had by all . . . !
Above: The Dug Out Bar in Tripp, SD has ice cold _______.
My rain suit went on at the Lake Francis Case lookout over the Missouri River. I've rode up through those hills before when it looked like this - and you can't see crap.
Fog cleared . . . Sunny skies ahead ! Top gear - 75mph, leanin' back on the pack, one hand, panhead up sweeps in your ears singin' the sweet sounds - Nothin' better. Hwy 44 thru Pine Ridge . . . . nobody out here but me . . .
SD44 is well marked - and one of the most beautiful road in America. Rolling hills (and all is green this year from solid rainfall). I stopped at every gas pump. I never had to use my aluminum(reserve bottle) - and most fills took 1.5 to 1.7 gals. Ave 40+mpg.
I've been to The Wagon Wheel 20 time now . . . my 20th Run through this area. It feels like home, and the friends I've met I see every year, from bar owners to station owners. Many locals who've helped my out over the years - great to see everyone again.
This little area in the bottom of the Badlands is my spot. There's no place like it on the planet. I like to stop every year and just sit. The earth is a beautiful place to live - I just wish more people would appreciate it . . .
My trip to the rally every year is much more than the party, bikes, etc . . . but after a few of these stops - I'm ready to get down - Only about 100 miles to go . . . (gone 500) Let's Party !
I buy 10 packs of REAR panhead baskets - and make them into FRONTS ! I use this old, original (white cardboard-type) front panhead base gasket as a guide. I lay it on a rear gasket, and trace the edge - then cut off the edge. Saves me money buying (2) 10 packs of fronts & rears . . .
I like the thick D-Ring cover gaskets, the "firm.dense" style for the dampening pads, Fire-Ring style for the head gaskets, and the heavier Athena brand base gaskets. You can adjust your base/head gasket thickness when determining your piston height at TDC in the cylinder. I try to keep a variety on hand. I have a "gasket addiction" and I've saved all types of gaskets over the years.
I have multiple, flat containers (as above) with all types of gaskets for 900 Sportsters, K Models, 45s and Panheads . . . and a quite extensive collection of 4 speed transmission gaskets, seals, etc. Also extra bushings of all types. It's really sickening . . .
I've got gaskets they don't even make anymore - and when I'm down to my last one, I get all worried and panic . . . The extra-thick XLCH tin cover primary gaskets are awesome. I gave a couple away to a buddy this summer for payment of a shared booth space - and I still have like 7 left . . . but I'm still thinking about it ! I've got problems . . . But hey, those old-time, super thin oil pump gaskets that shrink up over the years (and you have to put them in water to expand them) are the best. The new ones are too thick - and those white mylar plastic things are junk. Sometimes I just open up everything and take a mental inventory again. I have gaskets all over the living room floor and my wife thinks I'm a kook with all this stuff. But I just love it . . . Anyone need a gasket?
On side valve motors, it's easy to see how cam/valve timing and ignition timing work, and understand what's actually happening in the motor (with the heads off) What position the piston is in - Where the valves are on each cylinder, in relation to which cylinder is firing. The Harley 45s are a great learning tool to educate a person how engines work, and what makes them work. A mechanic has to understand how a motor works in order to correctly diagnose issues. Myself, personally, after all this education, and thinking, etc . . . I still have a difficult time troubleshooting problems, which is the true test of a good Wrench. You can be a great engine builder, a great machinist, etc., but a good Wrench is a difficult title to achieve. It's probably the reason most of the oldest mechanics are the best Wrenches . . . they've seen it all and 'been doin' it the longest.