After my divorce, I realized I needed a new companion. The problem being, “she” was living in the garage.
I refer to my much-beloved and always faithful ’75 Kawasaki S1C, aka Little Stinker. She actually smells pretty good, if you’re a fan of the smell of burning two-stroke oil and uncatalyzed exhaust gattling gun-burping out of the three pipes. Little Stinker has no valves but lots of heart – and makes a lot of smoke. She won my heart the first time I spied her faded Halibut Blue gas tank and ran my hands along her greasy fins.
She is butch – but that’s what makes her sexy.
Anyhow, I spent a couple of years restoring her to a state that made it questionable to keep her in the garage. Hardly a place for such a beauty. But when you’re married, it’s bad form to have a wandering eye and with that thing in the house there was bound to be jealousy and perhaps worse. But I am no longer married and that means she can move in.
But where? And how?
I’ve decided my office is the right place for her. She will occupy the space across from my desk where a sofa now sits that no one ever sits on, even the cats. But it’s a perfect spot for her. I think I unconsciously meant for her to be there. The spot is an alcove, with two very cool (I think) motorcycle/Americana prints on the forward and side wall, each wall mounting a mica-faced Kokopelli lamp, the Indian god of motorcycles (not really).
It’s perfect. I will spend hours with her everyday and she will never know the darkness and cold of the garage again. I will be able to keep her shiny in comfort.
But, moving in a new SO is not just a simple matter of come on over.
Old girls like Little Stinker . . . stink. And leak. Gas vapors in the garage seem right. Gas vapors in the house seem dangerous, especially when you heat the house with a wood-burning fireplace and/or propane. So if you are thinking of doing what I’m doing, think about draining the tank and carburetors before you roll her in. An inside bike can still go outside – be maintained in operational readiness – without fuel in her.
Just keep the fuel in the garage.
Oil is another matter. I think keeping oil inside – inside her – is a necessary thing as well as an operational readiness thing. I want the bike to be ready to ride and – yes – oil could be added when the time to ride arrives. But an engine emptied of oil is an engine that might not be ready to run when the time arrives. Oil keeps things nice and lubricious. I like her loose. I also like to rotate her engine regularly, in between rides – which can be done manually with these neat old street bikes because they have kick starters. Almost no modern street bikes have that, much to the loss of the primal experience that used to attend riding a motorcycle as opposed to a car with two wheels.
It is important to turn the engine over fairly regularly – especially if it’s an old two-stroke like this one – to keep the crank seals pliable. Once they get brittle, the seal gets loose and the crank will have to come out for new seals . . . if you want the bike to run decently. Crank seals aren’t cheap – or easy to install. So you’ll want to put off this job as long as possible.
But oil in the crankcase means oil on the wood floor of my office – because Little Stinker leaks naturally. The engine cases aren’t gasketed – a “sealer” prevents outright gushing. Seepage is inevitable. The pipes drip, too – their wasp-waist chambers containing liquid gold (well, liquid black) . . . the partial remains of the two-stroke oil-laced gas that didn’t make it out of the pipes.
So I got a mat to cover the floor. A rubber mat, easily wiped and – most of all – not porous. It will nicely set off the chrome and polished steel and magnificently repainted Halibut Blue tank and side panels.
She’s still in the garage, though – because I haven’t yet figured out how to get her in. Though she is only a 250 she is at least as heavy as my 1200 – the ’03 ZRX 1200. It’s the difference 30 years – and aluminum vs. steel – makes.
I can’t carry her across the threshold – much less up the stairs. A ramp is required. But I am wanting something Bat Cave-ish, not just a ramp that I haul from the shed and place on the stairs. I am envisioning something more permanent, a motorcycle version of an ADA ramp that’s always there so I can roll at a moment’s notice – like Batman exiting the Batcave – or a B52 scrambling.
Note that they both smoke, too.
What could be finer than a combat-launch from my office? Given The Situation these days, that could as necessary as it is fun.
. . . .
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Here’s a funny video about keeping your bike in the house: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPLtJEGAaMs&t=2s
My cb550 aka “mongrel” is parked in my living room. I don’t have a garage and keeping her in the shed is out of the question.
Years ago, I owned a CB550 SC – the one with the “chopper” styling. What a great bike that one was!
I used to ride a bike all through the winter in snowy Wisconsin. I had a Rickman 125 that I bought for really cheap new. I would haul it up the steps and park it in my kitchen that was somewhat above freezing instead of leaving it outside and have to heat a tea kettle to dump on the cylinder assembly to warm it enough to start.
I did learn that Robert Bosch company would not stand behind their product so I boycotted them for more than twenty years. Pity that the Italians used their junk.
Since I live in a townhouse and my garage is occupied by my project car, I’ve had to store my bikes in the living room.
Neither one of them leak, which is good, but I did make sure to put down cardboard so I don’t mar up the carpet with tire tracks.
I take them outside to run them every month or so, and alternate a trickle charger between them.
It’s a satisfactory arrangement.
All you have to do now is decide which room you’ll use to park your TransAm.
How ’bout the Living Room, with the Thunder Chicken decal facing toward the entry? 🙂
I have a friend who worked as an engineer at one of the local steel plants. Most of the people that work there have a “mill” car, an old beater they drive to work in, since you would basically ruin a nice car by taking it to work. Since he had desk job there, he decided on a motorcycle since they were ok with him taking it IN his office!!! Yes, it parked right next to his desk! He would roll it right in every day, and back out at the end of his shift!
Eric have You seen Allen Millyard`s 2–4 and 5 cylinder Kawasaki two strokes? It`s the dammest thing I have ever seen. The guy is a mad scientists with engines. He even made a Z 1 six!!? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kq8rwu3XFg
Little Stinker is the ULTIMATE furniture! Not only does it look pretty; it’s fun too… 🙂
I kept a FZR1000 in my house one or two winters. I had no garage, and a new fixer upper house in a bad neighborhood with very limited second hand furniture. The bike was the only thing I owned. The bank really owned my car and house. Hence the bike went in the house. Had to get up about 5-6 steps with a ramp and a couple friends. I didn’t drain the gas or do anything special to it that I remember, but the house was so poorly insulated with 80 year old windows that I’m guessing that’s why I didn’t notice the gas vapors.
It was my tv for a while too. That bike became my wife’s wedding ring.
You absolutely should put it in your office. It will make you happy. Maybe take it apart to get it done?