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Author Topic: You meet the nicest people riding a Norton...  (Read 727 times)

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Offline norton73

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You meet the nicest people riding a Norton...
« on: May 07, 2016, 10:22:53 PM »
I'm gonna start this down here as I may add a few more stories in the future.


Last weekend I rode the Norton up to NC for the Vintage Meltdown. Wrote a ride report here; http://bamarides.com/ride/index.php?topic=986.0 
I got rained on a few times in the course of the weekend and the bike was a mess. I was busy with other things, so today I cleaned it up and checked it over. Adjusted and lubed the chain, checked for loose bolts, etc.
When I was done, I decided I should go for a ride. I'd heard great thiings about the burgers at the Pikeville Store and Deli http://www.al.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2014/06/alabamas_best_cheeseburger_fin_6.html  so I thought I should go check it out.
After doing some other chores, I finally headed out just before 11. Due to the late start, I headed north on Rt 11 out of Springville till I got to Steele, where I went north on Rocky Hollow Rd to Gallant Rd. Then north on 278 for a couple hundred yards to Duck Springs Rd. That turns into 227 which I took through Crossville, Geraldine, and then to Buck's Pocket State Park.
When I started down the road to Buck's Pocket, there was a "Road Closed, no through traffic" sign. I decided to go down anyway, and when I got to the low water bridge, sure enough, there was a barrier across the road, just a single bar. It was high enough for me to dismount and push the bike under, then get back on an continue. On the other side, there was just a sign. I have no idea why the road was closed, looked OK, and as it's the only place to cross South Sauty River for many miles, it must be a pain for the locals.
Once i got up the other side, I headed over to Langston via Rts 44 and 38. 38 looks to have some fresh pavement on the bottom half, the upper was just as rough as I remembered it.
Then I parralleled  the river/lake to 35 where I crossed to Scottsboro and picked up 21 to Pikesville and the Store. The place was packed, cars and bikes everywhere. I went into order and was told it would take about 40 minutes to receive it.  I went ahead and ordered, then spent some time talking to other people there. One rider was on a new Indian, so I quizzed him about it, spent some time talking to a family in the booth next to the table I was at, just kicked back and took in the store while waiting. I don't think it took all 40 minutes, but either way, it seemed a shame to wait that long and eat it in 10 minutes. So, I took my time, talked to the owners some. Decent burger, wasn't the best I've had, but ok. I doubt I'll go back on a warm Saturday again, but I can see stopping by on a weekday ride when the wait would be shorter.
after my lunch, I headed north on 470 to pick up 33 to the top of the Mtn. Had a good ride up 33. My plan was to ride 146 to Paint Rock Valley, but as I hadn't topped off the tank since home, I decided to go south to Skyline for gas, then retrace my route back to 146. Now the fun begins...

Loose nut holding the handlebars

Offline norton73

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Re: You meet the nicest people riding a Norton...
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2016, 11:03:12 PM »
Normally, I use 89 octane in the Norton, but today it had been pinging some, so I decided to put 93 in it. After filling it, I started retracing my route north to 146. I got about 3 miles, the the bike started backfiring, popping and running rough. Then it quit and I coasted to side of the road. It always concerns me when buying the higher octane gas because I'm pretty sure it doesn't get used as much as 87, so I sometimes wonder how old the gas might be. My first thought was I had gotten bad gas, maybe the bottom of the tank with water.
I pulled a float bowl, didn't see anything unusual in the gas, smelled ok. Put it back on, gave the bike a kick, it started, then promptly died again. A couple more kicks and not even a pop. Thinking maybe the plugs were gas fouled, I removed them and laid them on the head and pushed the starter though by hand. No spark. Pulled out a fresh set, still no spark. maybe it's not the gas?

Started examining connections at the coils and working my way down to the points cavity. Way back when, I replaced the points with a Boyer electronic ignition. I pulled the cover and wiggled the wire and heard a pop at the plug. Played with the wires some more, the plugs were sparking, so i was sure the ignition components were good. Dug a little deeper and found a solder joint on the back of the pick up coil had pulled off. Unfortunately, a solder iron is not something I carry.

I was at the end of someone's driveway, so decided I might as well see if they had a soldering iron. The house was a couple hundred yards off the road in the woods, so I walked down and knocked on the door.

An older lady, probably mid 70s answered.
"Hi, I'm riding a motorcycle and I have broken down at the end of your driveway. I was wondering if you had a soldering iron I could borrow to fix it?"
She had no idea what I was talking about, so went and got her husband and I explained my situation to him.
He didn't have one, but said he'd call a couple neighbors to see if anyone had one. They invited me in, offered me something to drink and started making calls.
On the second call, one of the neighbors had thought he had one, but was too busy at the moment to look for it. He said we could come over and look through his garage for it though.
The husband, JR, said it was about 5 miles away, so we climbed in his car and drove over.
On the way, JR and I talked some. It turned out he was a retired machinist, he had been employed in Huntsville for many years working with various contractors to NASA.
 By the time we got there, the neighbor, Gary had found a very old one, but he thought it worked. I plugged it in and it got hot. Gary thought he had a better one somewhere and probably some solder with it.
We took the old one and Gary said if he found the other one, He'd bring it over.
JR and I returned to his house and I started to push the Norton down the driveway. About the time I was getting ready to solder, Gary and his grandson showed up with a nice new Weller gun and some solder. I used it and got the joint fixed. Put the bike back together and it started first kick.
We all chatted some more, Gary had been an over the road truck driver at one time, talked about breaking down. JR talked about getting bad gas in Illinois in the winter in the 60's. Ended up sleeping in his car all night shivering till the tow truck found him.
Extremely nice of these guys to go out of their way to help a stranger. Neither one of them knew anything about motorcycles, but helped in anyway they could. All in all a great experiance, I got to meet locals, and I hope they now know motorcyclists are people too.
Loose nut holding the handlebars

Offline kdtrull

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Re: You meet the nicest people riding a Norton...
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2016, 11:32:04 PM »
Extremely nice of these guys to go out of their way to help a stranger. Neither one of them knew anything about motorcycles, but helped in anyway they could. All in all a great experiance, I got to meet locals, and I hope they now know motorcyclists are people too.

I figure they know more now.  WTB!
I'm telling ya'....this was a great day smile and help folks smile.

Offline klaviator

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Re: You meet the nicest people riding a Norton...
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2016, 07:12:07 AM »
Great story!