22nd August 2016
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Compass Challenge Continues in Canada
Classic bike riders continue clocking up compass points in RealClassic magazine's worldwide riding challenge. Nick Adams in Ontario has been spending some long days in the saddle...
The RealClassic Compass Challenge is open to anyone, anywhere. Nick in Canada has been bagging cardinal points of the compass all season – he was out there as soon as the snow cleared aboard one Moto Guzzi or another.
First off, he went a-wandering in Ontario on his 750S, collecting compass points with a watery theme. ‘This is a bit of a cheat,’ explained Nick, ‘as East Lake and West Lake are close together in Prince Edward County, Ontario. West Lake exists as a hamlet and (you guessed) a lake. Northbrook – hmm, something of a watery theme. South Palmerston is in the hamlet of Snow Road. I wonder how it got that name?’
Then another excursion saw Nick clocking up over 800 miles aboard his 1972 Guzzi Eldorado. ‘Big day today: Kapuskasing to home. 1302km, including a diversion into Quebec, as I couldn't miss this one. Left at 6am; back in the door at 8pm. The Eldorado blasted along like a speedy tractor. Apart from a bit of cutting on to one cylinder during the thunderstorms, it behaved impeccably. A real usable classic.’
However, you don’t get to spend long hours in the saddle without devoting a little down-time to mechanical maintenance. ‘After returning from my northern Quebec run, I decided it was time to replace the clutch. The one in the bike was working fine, but it was dragging a bit and last time I'd had it apart I could see that the plates were worn. I got the old one off easily enough but, in removing the drive side case, I managed to move the cam pinion, dropping the pushrod cup off the end of the rocker arm. I only realised this when I kicked the bike over and there was no compression.
‘So, to cut a long story short, I had to take the head apart, relocate the pushrod, then re-assemble. In doing so, of course, I tore one of the gaskets - something I didn't notice until I started the engine (first kick!) and oil started to seep from the valve cover…
‘Fortunately I had some gasket material, so off came the valve cover again, so I could manufacture a new gasket.. One thing led to another which burned up most of the weekend. The good news is that the bike is all back together, the clutch is working beautifully, and after a brisk 50 mile shakedown run just now, not a single drop of oil has spotted my garage floor.’
With drive re-engaged, Nick took off to find another compass point. ‘Another 150 miles for a single West. Westplain is a few scraggy houses around an intersection. It doesn't even have its own sign - just this, pointing in the general direction.’
That’s a whole heap of Compass points, Nick. Hope you’ve been keeping track of how many there are and how far you’ve travelled because… we lost track sometime around June!
Join The Challenge
Everyone is welcome to take part in the Compass Challenge. Grab a motorcycle, find four places with North, South, East and West in their names, and go for a ride. Send us the photographic evidence of your four compass points by email or post your pics on the Compass Challenge Facebook page: www.facebook.com/The-RealClassic-Compass-Challenge
You can ride on your own, with a friend, or drag your whole club or branch along, as seen here. You choose your own four points of the compass, and point your wheels in your own direction. Just take a photo of your bike (ideally an old one) at your chosen N, S, E or W point. You don’t need to be located in the UK; entries are welcome from all around the world.
At the end of the year, prizes are awarded for the best efforts – these can be on the oldest bike, or by the oldest person, the furthest travelled, the silliest place name, and so on. Final entries are due by 31st October 2016.
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