Darryl.Richman's picture

Sorry about the short report yesterday. We had two consecutive long days, and when you toss in a bit of wrenching besides, it can raise the priority of getting some sleep in. The relining the rear brakes got finished relatively late, and I was on the bike again this morning at 6:45. I don't think the sun was actually up yet when I checked out and rode off from Sandusky.

Although a lot of the route in Ohio was freeway (OH-2 and I-90), I still enjoyed cruising along the Lake Huron shore. I saw geese and egrets flying and, I believe, swans on the water. The route got onto some very nice backroads just before the Ohio-Indiana border, and we rode over rolling hills and past small farms and hidden communities. In some places it would be hard judge just what year it was.

The bike hummed right along. The list of minor ailments changes from day to day, although the oil weep from around the magneto seal with the engine case is the most annoying, as after about 75 miles of riding, enough oil accumulates in the right footboard that I have to hold my right foot in place there, lest it slip back and off. There's also a chirping emanating from the right cylinder which seems to be a minor head gasket leak, so minor that it goes away as soon as the revs are up or the motor is completely hot. We've cinched the head nuts, but they are as tight as we judge prudent.

Added to the list is that the kill button doesn't reliably ground out the magneto, so you can't actually stop the engine when you want to. Don's magic fingers worked their magic on the button, however, and now it has the opposite problem -- it grounds out all the time. I've taken the cover off the button (which removes the always grounded problem) and have a quarter handy that I can use to short it as needed. We'll fix the button tomorrow morning.

OTOH, the rear brakes that we did last night seem to be working as well as they ever have (not saying very much, really). One must be extremely cautious about overriding them, as I did this afternoon when I practiced a complete emergency stop because a light changed in front of me. The bike decelerated agonizingly slowly and then finally came to a stop part way across the intersection. Samantha, who was following, taking video shots from time to time, said she missed it too, but of course, it was no problem for her on her R1150R Rockster and its marvelous disk brakes.

The ride went north from Indiana to Muskegon, MI, where we boarded the Lake Express ferry. I was the first entrant to arrive at the ferry terminal, but only because of my penchant to avoid lunch. Norm Nelson, the rider for Team HS #23 on their R11 and I were the first two bikes onto the ferry. It was a bit of a rough ride across Lake Michigan. On the other side, Jon Diaz was waiting at the ferry terminal, and I waved at him as I got off the boat, but unfortunately, we didn't get to connect. We got a police escort through downtown Milwaukee to the Harley Davidson museum, where there were hundreds of people and bikes waiting. We were treated to a very nice dinner there. Thank you very much, HD, you treated us very well!

Tomorrow is a much shorter day, about 214 miles, and the start isn't until 9am. This will give me the chance to fill up beforehand and then get the warmed oil changed out. We have been changing the oil each day, and it looks normal each time, I'm very pleased to report. We did the final drive yesterday while working on the brakes, and it too looked good. We will drain the transmission tomorrow morning or tomorrow night, just to get a secure feeling.

Overnight Rush: Martin Fischer, who is covering the Cannonball for the BMW RA's OTL Magazine, sent me a couple photos that I'm adding in here (though they are from earlier in the event), so look to the bottom to see them.


head gasket

terry gower's picture

Hi Darryl......yes the crossing with that north wind would toss the ferry about a bit.....I have had good luck using hylomar blue from permatex if the head gasket leak becomes a problem.....clean it with a good lacquer thinner or brake cleaner first of course.......watching with envious eyes....regards terry


guest's picture

I was looking at the results so far on the Cannonball page. Is it my imagination, or are 40 bikes tied for first place?

Way to go!!!!!

Mike Fugere (nhmaf)'s picture

I am REALLY enjoying reading about your daily adventures and wish you fair weather, no traffic jams, and good luck for the rest of the journey! IT was very nice that the H-D company and the folks in Milwaukee were so welcoming, even to a "non-American" marque. Sometimes, old iron just brings out the best in everybody. I've ordered a t-shirt and sticker to help with the cause, too. As much fun as I imagine it would be to ride in this event, I am thinking that riding along in the support team with P Glaves would be extremely educational and entertaining as well. We're all rooting for you! Cheers!!!

How Was the Weather on Day 2?

Marc St-Pierre's picture

I know you mentioned bad weather going to Sandusky, but how bad was it? When Susan and I left you and the TBR team in Wellsboro to head home to Montreal, we hit a wall of wind & rain & tornado alerts as we got to Syracuse. Susan had a small branch bounce off her head as we got on the 481 ring road around the city. We couldn't get off the road into shelter soon enough that day. We wondered what all the Cannonball riders were going through that morning.

Keep up the great ride! All three BMW's seem to be going great.

--Marc & Susan

Way to go Darryl

A. Zorat's picture

Thanx to Samantha who pointed me to this blog, so I can follow your progress.
It will be my daily routine now to start the day checking Darryl's and the bike's progress.

Proper Preparation...

Monte Miller's picture

... prevents piss poor performance.

Hat's off to the entire Team 52. Keep 'er smooth n' steady, Darryl, smooth n' steady. Nice blog report. Feel like we're almost right there with you.


Keep it going !

guest's picture

Just another rider saying GO ! Keep up the good work you guys !

Thanks all!

Darryl.Richman's picture

We all very much appreciate your support!

We are perhaps less prepared than it appears. My spare magneto is still wandering somewhere in the USPS; I very much doubt it will be available at any point for the run. I really hope I don't need it.

The rain we encountered was, at first, reminiscent of the gentle rains of Seattle. It was cool, drizzly and not really a problem. But then the skies opened -- and I didn't have the waterproof liner for my riding pants. Are you aware that Gore-Tex boots keep water in, as well as they keep it out?

The standings are being posted over on the Motorcycle Cannonball site. They are in standings order, by points total, class, age of the bike and age of the rider. There are indeed a number of riders with perfect scores... so far.

--Darryl Richman
"Bling is not made in Germany" --OTL, 12/05

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