CALL IT MISSION CREEP, but all I had planned to do this afternoon was push the bike out the basement door with help from Larry Stanley, world’s strongest English professor. Then I’d get going on the final assembly that would have made her too wide to get out the door: crash bars fore & aft, exhaust pipes, mufflers, saddlebags…
But once we had HMS Oinker out the door we said what the hell? Keep going! We grabbed a come-along out of the shed, a rope, some planks and timbers and somehow a four-man job got done with two. Wouldn’t want to do it again, I can tell you. I don’t know about Larry but I’m having an Aleve sandwich before I go to bed tonight
There she is, topside, and never even broke a sweat. She was very relaxed coming up the hill. The weather looks to be good tomorrow, so I’ll do the final assembly right where she sits, on the front walk; drop in a fresh battery, 5 gallons of fuel, check all electrical connections, critical fasteners… Then next week at some point, off we go to the dyno in Westerly, where Johnson Engine Technology will tune the fresh motor.
Here she is coming up the hill. This is where the rope first went on. Larry and I were both pushing the beast before this. We dropped her on her side once, making that turn at the back corner of the house. Didn’t hurt anything, just folded up the left footboard.
PUSH!… grab the brake, chock it… PUSH!… grab the brake, chock it…. PUSH!…
We were making two to three feet with every heave-ho. Where Larry was pushing, at the back, I was concerned about him losing his footing in the grass and smacking his face off the top of the license plate. Chicks dig scars but that would have been ugly. He was wearing dress shoes, came over here right from teaching all day at Brown. And then what happened was, I lost my footing, in work boots, and smacked my face off the top of the gas tank. THUNK! Oww…
So I bolted the front crash bar on the bike and we hooked onto it with a rope. And with the bar on, piggy wouldn’t fall all the way over if we were to drop her again. Which we didn’t.
We did a couple of mechanical pulls with the come-along, pulling on the base of a fence post up top, but what made for the best progress of all was me pushing the bike and Larry up front pulling on the rope.
We were just cresting the top of the hill and my neighbor Ray saw us from across the street and came trotting over, grabbed onto the rope with Larry for the final heave-ho.
I had to dig up two of the bride’s plants. Shhh! Didn’t hurt them any. Stuck them back in the ground, watered them, put the fence back up, bingo-bango, done.
With the bike on the front walk, I put the lift under it, jacked it up, put it in gear, squirted WD-40 in the cylinders to displace any moisture and turned the back wheel to turn the engine over, put the plugs back in and taped up the exhaust ports. It’ll keep overnight.
By lunch tomorrow, the well-traveled old scooter will be all buttoned up. Then all that remains is to arrange transportation to the dyno.
Anybody got a trailer they want to lend me? Oh, uh, and a tow vehicle?
Tony DePaul, May 11, 2012, Cranston, Rhode Island