Saturday, December 10, 2011

Chez Jiri

I showed up at my favorite local motorbike shop without warning and with no particular purpose in mind. I found the proprietor enjoying one of the perks of fixing other peoples' bikes: the test ride.

The 2002 Zuma looked brand new to me, 600 miles ridden he said and abandoned, thus choking the carburetor which needed cleaning before it would run again. There was an engine loose on the shop floor kept under observation by Cheyenne:

Cheyenne knowns how to make herself at home in Jiri's shop. We talked of this and that, the joys of child rearing, the pleasure of being in Key West and not Brno. The owner of the cruiser engine wanted Jiri to pull the engine from the frame to replace a bearing in the water pump...such was the silly design of the motor putting the bearing out of reach unless the motorcycle and engine were separated:

In summer it's hot in there and in winter the shop can be airless on a sunny winter day so the fan was whirring pulling in outside air. Odd but necessary.

Jiri manages pretty much any job on any bike. I have always been intrigued by these small Japanese thumpers designed for on and off road use (enduros they called them when I was a kid), practical in town, lively in the dirt and...time to stop dreaming. Mine is a one bike home.

There are always crotch rockets needing work as South Florida generally, especially military bases breed boy racers or Harley riders almost exclusively. This next picture encompasses four generations of Yamahas, an 80's superbike, a cruiser and the lovely 400 four stroke twin. Plus the liter crotch rocket in the foreground.

I was reminiscing about my two weeks in Corsica in 2005 with Giovanni and his BMW like this one. I liked it a lot. And I liked Corsica even more, I'd like to go back and take another ride. Giovanni has outgrown the comfortable simplicity of the R1150 and is now eyeing a new 1600 6 cyclinder monster. He laughs at my loyalty to my Bonneville.

Jiri is a reluctant subject for the camera but I am not deterred.

His assistant, nameless and hard working didn't pause for me, my camera or even my dog.

Who sat back and impeturbably kepton keeping an eye on things.

I wonder if I would have survived learning to ride if stuff like this machine had been available when I was pottering around on a 30 horsepower 350cc café racer in 1975.

Oh yes, there are miles and miles of bikes and scooters at Jiri's place.

Jiri likes four cylinder Japanese motorcycles and encouraged me to go for one when I was contemplating the replacement for my unreliable Vespa 250 GTS. He sighed when I got the Bonneville but it has turned out well so far. I bring the Haynes manual when I drop it off for it's annual valve check, carb balancing and cable lubrication.

I'm a silly bugger. I forgot to buy my four quarts of oil for the change I will do at home in a thousand miles. Oh well I guess I'll just have to pay him another visit.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Chuck and the Pheebs said...

Proper motorcycles are air cooled.

End of story.

Conchscooter said...

I have always felt that way, but everyone else wants to cool with water. Even Moto Guzzi. Bah humbug.