With a challenge like the 555 that is in its essence designed to fail, sure enough, it did. Kansas City's bike merely shut down to a quiet coast. The riders in the front stopped at the Super Stop to wait. This gas station was the only thing around for miles. We felt lucky to find it, cause it was nowhere near anything. A long time later the boys came riding up and KC's bike came in on a trailer of a friendly driver.
Not the average roadside repair was in order.
This was a good time for Slappy to tear into his and use the part scavenged from the salvage yard. So, 2 bikes down.
With KC's engine in pieces, we found a small issue. One of the valves was bend into an "S", the other was just bent.
With many of us on the horn to find parts, help, hints, or any clue that can get us a little closer to getting back on the road, the first of the beer gets purchased from this small store. Luckily, there is a tiny diner attached, and they like motorcycles. A pavillion stands empty since the end of the season of bike night Friday's.
This good man below stopped by with a serious look in his eye and a determination in his questioning. He looked like a man that gets things done. He pulled out a couple tools that Slappy needed and just gave them to him. This power linesman then disappeared. Shortly later, he reappeared and gave us a bag of dehydrated squid and a large jar of tastey moonshine. He figured it would help...and it sure did. After this show of road magic, we never saw him again.
Motorcycles like moonshine, but we like it better.
You may remember this chap from Mike and Tank's previous trip to South America. Oly met us in Guatemala, figured he would get a little old dirt bike like ours from Tennessee, then meet us back in El Salvador. He did all that except on the way back he had his bike stolen in Mexico, ending the whole debacle only a couple days before reaching us again. He flew back to Australia where he is from. We hadn't seen him since, til 2 days before the 555 trip. He flew in, took a gulp of whiskey, and wrenched on a bike that Mike, the Outlaw, had scavenged from the mist of the mysterious stash of all things old.
Oly loves trying American food. In fact, so do the rest of us. We tore into a roadside barbecue stand.
Sure enough, before leaving Tennessee, we had to stop at the moto salvage to scavenge a piece for Slappy's machine. The part was found, ripped out, and pocketed for a future repair.
The part was an engine valve. So the correct machine had to found and engine torn apart to retrieve this piece.
Oly was amazed at the salvage yard in our neck of the woods.
There are always repairs, so there is always waiting. Harness the wait.
...and waiting. With 12 of us, all on pre-1975 machines, it takes us a long time to do anything, but it is never boring.
We made it down the road and into the late afternoon. Our escorts had long departed, and we were now officially out of town and on the road. Looking in the rearview mirror that only some of us had, we noticed that some of the crew had fallen behind. We stopped for a refreshment and sat in the parking lot for a long time til it came time to mosey down the road to order pitchers and wait at a table at a mexican restaurant; for, Slim's bike was charging 40Volts (they're supposed to be around 12V).
Not feeling comfortable sitting around with half the team broken and the light fading, I made a move that took me only out of the parking lot and halfway down the drive before a wave led to a hospitable invitation for spending the night at a welder's shop. We had seen him getting pulled over by the police earlier that day in the hot rod he was building. We noticed each other's hot rods and it led to a great night of burning tires and ramping his jacked up, off-road jeep. Slim had an angel appear in the night with a new battery which got us on the road the next morning in the light of the rising sun.
The adjustments to the road was different for each, though we were all exhausted from the last month of late night wrenching parties. Dizzle gets some extra Z's for getting ready so quickly; then again, he didn't really bring anything.
Feat proudly carried a fabulous handmade flag... the entire way.
Slappy... and don't think this is a Harley.
Slim feels the freedom of his knees in the breeze. He's been waiting anxiously for this for about a year now, maybe two. He and his bike stole the show...thank god, it was the zombie magnet.
It was a sight to be seen and a sound that no one, including us, wanted to hear.
We wriggled our way onto a little 2 lane road that zig-zagged its way through the beautiful farmland of Virginia. The weather was perfect and the turns superb. Then Mike's chain tensioner snapped off and caused a little break for us, and a headache for him. Everyone resumed the repair position.
the Zombie Slayer
Suerte = Luck (thus named later on)
Pistol Pete and Jimmy B
The headless Kansas City Dave Stalker and Dizzle
Feat and The Silver Fox
The fall colors creep on us as we creep up north with a pace that is set by the fate of our own ramshackle, late-night tinkering. After a brief intermission of the Outlaw fixing his issue, we were back on the road.