Made it to Milwaukee on the 1929 Harley so far and it has not been without issues. Yesterday was the most concerning. I was riding hard to make sure I go to the ferry to Milwaukee on time if any of the rider missed the ferry after 300 hard miles on the road, we were in real trouble. I was pushing hard to make it when, about 60 miles still to go, I stopped at a red light and saw LOTS of smoke pouring off my 1929 Harley JDH.
I looked down and saw lots of smoke and oil EVERYWHERE. One of the three bolts holding down the front cylinder lifter block came out and oil was pouring out from the sump. I had so much oil pouring out the engine, trans, floorboards, saddlebag and more were totally oil soaked. Eventually the oil got so bad it coated almost the entire bike – left and right side.
Knowing the engine would seize without oil, every couple of miles I hand pumped in more oil to keep things lubricated. I crossed my fingers and finally made it in, but I made so much smoke I am sure passerbys thought I was on fire.
Before getting on the ferry I looked down and saw the original bolt sitting on the case wedged in place but out of the hole. Mark Hill took the bolt, inserted a rubber band to tighten the fit and safety wired it in place as the bolt was stripped.
The cure held up long enough to get off the ferry and ride to the Harley museum, where we were overwhelmed with fans and enthusiasts. After I rode out of the museum around 10 PM we found a better bolt, cleaned the entire area with contact cleaner and JB Welded it in place. Let’s hope to works, I have about 3,000 more wiles to go. Wish me luck.
Off to National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, IA, today.