Darryl.Richman's picture

Today's run from Burns, OR to Klammath Falls, OR was a tough run, but in the end, Team Boxer Rebellion had success. With the fresh bore of the cylinders and the unfortunately badly shaped pistons, I ran the whole morning at a very slow pace, hoping to break in the motor. I was soon the last rider and followed up closely by the sag wagon (aka, The Reaper), all the way down US-395 to Lake View.

Some might find comfort in such support so close at hand, but frankly, I've spent quite enough time in the sweep trucks and my Sprinter. And the bike was not cooperating: I ran it in the mid to high 20s, and every time I tried to push it past that, it would threaten to seize. A few long (but gentle) grades did make it seize, and I'd pull over, let the engine cool just a bit, and wait until I could kick it over smoothly again. The sweep truck would pull up in front of me so they could easily load the bike into the back, but then I'd take off again. I hope they weren't too frustrated.

By the time we reached Lake View, I was able to get the bike to a scorching 30mph. I got adept at recognizing the signs of impending seizure, and I would clutch and kill the engine, coast down to the low 20s and bump start the bike again.

In Lake View, I intended to buy gas, after a 120 mile run, at a station marked in the directions at the intersection where we turned from US-395 to OR-140. As I pulled up to the stop sign, the bike died. It didn't seem like a seizure, and when a few kicks had no effect, I opened the gas cap to find just a trace of gas in the bottom of the tank, so I paddle-walked the bike across the street to fill up.

I also began adding a couple ounces of 2 stroke oil to the gas, hoping that this "top end lubricant" would reduce the seizing, although it didn't seem to work for me. And perhaps that was also because I realized it was 2pm and I needed to cover the next 100+ miles in 3 hours. So from then on, I opened the throttle more and became even more focused on catching the seizures before they locked up. (You can feel the bike slow down before it happens.)

Finally, with about 40 miles left to go, the seizures quit. This is the oddest engine break in I've ever gone through. But I hope that they're gone for good. We'll see tomorrow.

Oh, and no problems today with the head gaskets. But I'm still carrying several sets with me!


Thumbs up!

Guy's picture

That's great news to read this morning, Darryl. And I hope indeed things will continue to improve further for the remaining 3 stages.
Who knows, maybe the bike smells the West Coast and knows home is getting a little closer. Smile
Question: where is your team during the actual stage? They follow behind you or they drive straight to the end of the stage? From pictures of stranded competitors, I'd say it's the latter but wasn't sure.

Here I switched from fingers crossed to thumbs up!

By the way, how is this trip physically?



Great news, Daryl! Good

Bengt Phorqs's picture

Great news, Daryl! Good thinking about the two stroke oil. Hmmm, wonder what Marvel Mystery Oil would do? Anyhow, just a few days left and it looks like you'll bring it home. -Mike

The support crews take a

Darryl.Richman's picture

The support crews take a different route and are, in general, not allowed to be on the course that the riders take. We have an exemption for a video bike, but the rider of that bike may not help me. In fact, several times Steve has taken photos of me working on the bike by the side of the road.

Physically, the trip is very demanding. Just riding for 8-10 hours each day is pretty gruelling in itself, because I am constantly doing some math in my head to keep track of the inevitable offset between what my odometer shows and what the roadbook says for mileages. I know you weren't at EP4, where Matz put together an incredible roadbook for our ride across southern Sweden, but this is much tougher. Then there is routine maintenance to do, and of course, non-routine work. I am tired both physically and mentally, and so are Steve and Don. Trying to think through problems and come up with useful solutions is draining.

The 2 stroke oil was a suggestion from another rider, and at the time it made sense to me. I have enough for another 3-4 tanks (at a 60:1 ratio) and I'll probably continue adding it until I use it up.

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

Cannonball two cycle oil

guest's picture

Darryl, great coverage of the your Cannonball. The two cycle oil always seems to be the first remedy when dealing with seizures, but the thing to remember is that the oil causes the gas mixture to be less volitile and to burn hotter. Heat is your enemy. Good luck.


Martin Lodahl's picture

My first full breath in days. I hope this is a harbinger of things to come, and you'll breeze along smoothly from here on! -Martin

Good News

Jim Hansen's picture

This reminds me of a Yamaha 250 I had in 1966. Every time I cruised over 55 mph it would seize. I got pretty good at recognizing the hissing noise it made as it started to seize. I'd pull in the clutch, coast to the roadside, let it cool a minute, and then be on my way. When I disassembled the engine the pistons never showed any signs of damage.

Your slow speed doesn't matter, you're still moving, still struggling on. An incredible story!

cool running

Tom Dabel's picture

Darryl, oil in the gas lowers octane rating, what your motor really needs is 100 octane lowlead. You need to send someone to a local airport with a 5 gallon can. You don't need to run 100%, even my lawnmower works harder with it. Tom

Glad to See You're Back on the Road

Marc St-Pierre's picture

Susan and I are somewhat relieved that you're back in the running though at a somewhat slower pace. I have to say you and your crew are pretty clever and resourceful.

Speaking of chase crews and videographers, did Jeff Wu eventually join up with you? Last we heard in Wellsboro, he was supposed to meet you guys in Sturgis.

Thanks! We 'uns needed some good news

Monte Miller's picture

I looked up "No Slack" in Wikipedia. There was Darryl's picture.

Wow! What a Saga!

Barbara R.'s picture

We've been following your amazing escapades with baited breath and are so thrilled that you finally have good news! Pretty cool the way you figured out to coast pre-seizure! As another comment said, you've got heaps of gumption. If I was there, I'd make an airport run for 5 gal. of 100 octane. Keep enjoying the journey & we know you'll be cruising across the Golden Gate on 2 wheels on Sunday!

A great ride and story!

Lennart & Elisabeth's picture

We keep our tumbs here in Sweden that you make it to the end!

Heal Quickly Darryl

Muriel Farrington's picture

So sorry to hear of your crash, but I'm glad both you and your bike are in relatively good shape. That was a pretty scary incident!


How is the bike

guest's picture

Hope all turns out well with your foot. I have been in several accidents in the 40 plus years of riding and my firsts concern every time was my bike. How is the bike and is it fixable I sure hope the damage was not real bad.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA stops spam by preventing automated "bots" from accessing this site.
Enter the code without spaces and pay attention to upper/lower case.