Friday, March 30, 2012

Safely Home

In the excitement to get home, I totally forgot to get some pictures of the VTR loaded in the E250 cargo van (courtesy of Enterprise). However, I did remember to get a couple of snaps when I had the VTR in the garage. The trip was uneventful. Fortunately, LaFayette, Indiana is only a couple of hours southeast of Chicago. The seller (Dave) called me, just after dinner-time on Wednesday evening, to let me know he had just crossed into Ohio from New York/Pennsylvania. His GPS was telling him he'd be in LaFayette around 3 AM Thursday morning. So, after letting rush hour traffic fade, I left home around 7:15 PM. The ride down  was uneventful and I managed to entertain myself with the AM band on the radio. Some of you may have experienced AM radio waves "skipping". This is a phenomena where the atmosphere 'traps' the radio waves and the signal carries for quite some distance. I've experienced this before. One snowy night, in Poughkeepsie NY, I sat in the local mall parking lot and managed to tune into WOWO, in Ft. Wayne IN, and caught the third period of a Ft. Wayne Komets hockey game. I learned how to ice skate in the Ft. Wayne Coliseum and had attended a Komets game or two (courtesy of my Dad). So, I found it slightly entertaining when I was able to tune in WJR in Detroit. I was hoping to listen to the Red Wings game but I guess WJR is no longer the flagship station of the Wings. There was some talking head on instead. Next up, while I allowed the radio to scan the dial, was a station in Minneapolis MN. They were discussing the Timberwolves and Twins. As they began to fade (and I'm not much of a basketball or baseball fan), I picked up WCBS 880 AM out of New York City. I used to live about ninety minutes north of NYC and it was interesting to listen to traffic reports on roads with which I have some familiarity. I also heard an ad for Toyota North in Mt. Kisco NY. My brother-in-law lived in Mt. Kisco for a time. I reached my destination just as WCBS faded into the darkness. I put some gas in the tank and drove to a local mega-mart parking lot where I was to meet Dave. I had four hours to catch some shut-eye. I had wondered if I would need to ask permission to be able to sleep in the parking not. There was no need as a bevy of tractor-trailers littered the lot (as did a small RV). I scoped out a dark corner and settled in for a snooze. Dave, and his daughter, arrived 7 minutes early at 2:53 AM according to the clock in my rental van. I was rousted from my slumber by a couple of honks from his truck's horn. We moved to a area of the lot that was better illuminated and proceeded to chat, ask/answer questions and inspect the VTR. Dave mentioned that the bike had been in his shed (garage) for the entire winter. It was obvious that was true, from the smell of burning dust on the exhaust. After the VTR warmed up, I took it for a spin around the lot. A slightly different riding position than the NX but fun, right off the bat, none-the-less. The front brake has a slightly sticky feel to it. I'm thinking a good bleeding will resolve that. And, the turn signal switch won't pop out after you push it in to cancel. A good cleaning and lubrication should return it to working order. Other than that, it needs a good washing/cleaning to remove years of accumulated dirt/dust, some of which appears to be as old as the bike. I'm not insinuating that Dave didn't take good care of it but it's obvious that it sure hasn't seen much use in it's 22 years of life. After an hour of this, I decided it was time to be off. Dave was still waiting for the local person to show up (he was picking up a KLX, iirc) as I drove off.

The ride home was as uneventful as the ride down. I managed to keep pace with a Greyhound bus right at the speed limit (70 mph). Most of the big trucks were travelling at a slower pace. This indicated to me that there might be State Troopers on patrol. The amount of cars and light trucks was so low as to be almost non-existent. I believe I saw three cars between LaFayette and Gary IN (where I-65 intersects with I-80/94). One of those cars must have been exceeding the speed limit at a great enough rate to warrant being pulled over. He had passed me just as I was entering the expressway. I didn't think he as going that fast, maybe 75-80? But, it was the end of the month........ Once I reached the southern Chicago suburbs, traffic increased and  illumination, from overhead lights, made it seem more like twilight than the dead of night. I got home at 5:15 AM and slept until 8:30 AM. I spent the rest of the day returning the van, registering the VTR, visiting the dentist and doing odd jobs. I think I made it to about 9:30 PM before running out of energy.

I have most of the bodywork off to facilitate the cleaning process. I've also encountered some body fasteners that need a good cleaning and a haze of anti-seize. I'm thinking my metric taps are going to see some duty this weekend. I also encountered a patch of dirty, oily 'grease', on the engine, near the shift lever. I'm not sure if the shift lever seal is leaking or if it's lubrication that was slung off of the chain. There also appears to be some greasy "goo" on the frame, just below the chain. I'll address both the grease and the chain. I'm hoping the master link is easy to find and remove.

Here's a shot of the VTR with the seat removed. I was happy to find the owner's manual in the vinyl pouch just aft of the gas tank (to the left in the picture). While I do have a shop manual, it's nice to have the owner's manual, as well. I never had and owner's manual for the NX.

Years and years of dust are about to be cleansed....

Monday, March 5, 2012


The current owner was kind enough to send some pictures to me. Here's one (above). There are more on the Images page (link in the header). Enjoy. I can't wait to get my hands on this thing!!