Sunday, December 12, 2010

Seattle Progressive International Motorcycle Show

Saturday I went to the Progressive International Motorcycle show at the Qwest Field Event Center in Seattle. Since I am retired, I really wanted to go during the week, but the show only ran Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday. My real reason for going was that I wanted to meet the Progressive Insurance spokesperson, "Flo". Unfortunately, she was not there. So instead I looked at motorcycles and "stuff".

I was a bit disappointed in the show. The layout was sloppy and only covered part of the main floor. Several large motorcycle companies were represented(Honda, HD, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Ducati, etc), but the motorcycles I really wanted to see where the BMW's. They were not there. I was surprised at the size of the Ducati display. They offer a big line of mainly sport bikes and they had them all there.

Of course there were lots of vendor booths selling clothes, services, accessories, etc. The most aggressive vendors wanted to clean my glasses!

Several museums brought their collections of old motorcycles. It was fun to see some of the motorcycles that we rode in the early 70's when I was just starting to ride. There were a few custom bikes competing in a build off contest.

There was some presentations put on mainly by insurance companies. One demo was done by a small lady in the Harley Davidson section. She demonstrated how to right a motorcycle that had fallen over. She was demonstrating her procedure on a Sportster. Of course she had one caveat: " if you fall over with a large bike like an Ultra Glide, you should probably call road side assistance to get it righted".
The show was spread out on a portion of the main floor.
I am not much of a Harley fan, but I thought this was a nice look with very little chrome. I think they could have powder coated the wheels and gotten rid of all the chrome.
In this picture, there is no chrome showing. Scott, this one is for you.
This was a very unusual custom motorcycle. I wonder how it corners?
I know this one doesn't corner very good! This drag bike has no padding in the saddle. But who cares when it is only ridden for a few seconds at a time.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Great Bronco Engine Transplant-Work Stoppage

The work on the Bronco engine transplant has come to a halt. I have been waiting for a critical part. The date for shipping was suppose to be today, but when I checked the order status I found out that the shipping date has been moved to Feb, 2011!

I have virtually all but one of the parts I need for the Bronco engine transplant. The part I need is an adapter kit that modifies the Ford C4 transmission so that it will bolt up to the existing Bronco transfer case. A company named Advance Adapters makes the kit. I sent them an email a couple months ago and quizzed them about the availability of the kit. They never answered. So I found the Advance Adapters kit advertised at Summit Racing. And it was cheaper than the Advance Adapters factory price. I ordered in early Oct. First the shipping date was late October, then it was changed to today and now Feb, 15th.

I sent out more emails to other companies that sell the Advance Adapters kit to see if I could find one somewhere. Consensus is that the part has been back ordered for four months and delivery is still two months away. Advance Adapter did not answer my email.

So, I am in a work stoppage waiting for material. There is a small amount of engine work I can do on the V8 and if I get the larger differential soon I can start changing it out. But until I get the adapter, I cannot position the V8 in the Bronco. Until I position the engine, I cannot locate other equipment like the radiator, headers and oil filter. And until I get the adapter, I am not planning on taking the V6 engine out of the Bronco. After all, it is still a good daily driver.

If the kit from Advance Adapters is back ordered again, I have plan "B" to fall back on. The automatic version of the Bronco used a C5 transmission. It is the same as a C4 transmission except it has a lockup torque converter. If I can find a C5 transmission from a Bronco or Ranger, I can change the valve body and bell housing from the C4 and have a transmission that will fit the same as the C4 with adapter kit. I already have the C4 gasket kit and shift kit.

But for now, I think I will go clean up the garage and put away all the parts that I can't use right now. Like one friend said: "It is a marathon, not a sprint". But I was hoping to have the Bronco running by January.

The Advance Adapter kit. It contains a new output shaft and output housing.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Winter Vashon Island Race-South Sound Series #1

Saturday December 4th was the Winter Vashon Island Race. This is a race from Tacoma Yacht Club at Pt Defiance around Vashon Island. The total distance is 30.7 nautical miles. This race is the first race of the four race South Sound Series. This race could also be considered the beginning of the 2011 racing season even though it is in 2010. All of the 2010 race series are over and all the year end championships have been sailed.

I started this event by leaving Brownsville at 0700 on Friday morning. One good thing about being retired is that I can get underway early and get a prime spot at the reciprocal moorage at Tacoma Yacht Club. I arrived at about 1045 and spent the rest of the day socializing and mooring boats as all the later arriving boats showed up. Tacoma Yacht Club sponsored a great pasta dinner in the evening.

Saturday morning was cool. The neat thing was that we had wind! That doesn't always happen at this race. The crew arrived, we rigged the boat and got underway.

At the start, the wind was gusting to 20 knots out of the north, so we chose the #3 jib with a full main. I was overly conservative at the start and was late for the gun. I wasn't the only one late, many boats in my class were just ahead. We started the beat up Colvos Pass. The wind was gusty to as high as 24knots. The beat was straight forward, but a few shifts and following favorable current flows allowed us to pass a few of the boats in our class.

Near the north end of Vashon Island, the waves got large to around four feet and very steep. The boat pounded heavily and lots of water came aboard. After rounding the mark, we started the run down the east side of Vashon Island. The wind was forward, so most boats did not set spinnakers. We still saw speeds to 9.5 knots. I waited until the wind lightened some before setting the spinnaker. Two boats in my class set their spinnakers early and passed us.

Rounding Pt Robinson, the wind came ahead and a straight course to the finish was a beam reach. The wind was still blowing 20 knots and at one point we saw 10.3knots. Since it was gusty and boat control was getting difficult, we took the spinnaker down halfway to the finish. Defiantly faster to be under control. A lot of other boats also took down their spinnakers.

We finished at about 1404, a very early finish time for this race! Our placing was not that great, we placed 7th out of 11 entries. One boat lost their mast did not finish. The wind blew strong all day and the sun was out. A lot of the country does not sail during the winter, we are fortunate that we can!

After cleaning up the boat and folding sails, I motored home, arriving at my moorage at Brownsville at 1908.

Total distance covered for Friday and Saturday: 87.3 NM

Results and photos can be found at:

Prime mooring spot at Tacoma Yacht Club.
Here we are at the start near the back of the class.
Tom driving during the downwind leg.
Running toward Pt Robinson with the spinnaker up.
Our course for the day.