By Paul Berglund
For those of you who read last months installment, first off thank you and next an update. The Honda CT70 I was selling is now in Michigan. The new owner is building up a fleet of Trail 70s to ride with his grown sons. I’m guessing the whole family is OK with the tiny wheels. I wish them luck.
Torque Fest 2018 has come and gone. We had a great time again this year but sadly the event eliminated riding mini bikes in the fairgrounds. If you enter a car or truck and happen to have a mini bike stashed in the trunk or bed of the truck, you can ride it around in the fairgrounds. If you are like me and show up with a bunch of Northerners and a trailer full of mini bikes, you are not allowed past the chain link fence that surrounds the place. We had to park our mini bikes at the gate and… walk. The only explanation we were given was that the new policy was due to a golf cart incident that happened last year. So ban golf carts, we suggested, but our petitions fell on deaf ears.
It was only half bad. We still ran about the huge grass covered parking area, the campgrounds and best of all, we still had access to the race track. Friday morning the track was still wet from two full days of rain, so they were still grooming the dirt during mini bike track time. They let us run amok between several events Friday afternoon. Saturday everything was back on schedule and we had more track time and mini bike drag races. There was also a mini bike parade, but that was kind of sad. Yes we got to ride in the fairgrounds but it was all done single file and at walking speed.
There was all so an off-road mini bike course laid out. They had a race Saturday morning, but we managed to miss that. We did go out on our own and raced it one by one to see who could get the best lap time. The race course was laid out very well. It would have been a lot of fun on anything other than a mini bike. As it was it was just dangerous. But danger can be fun too for the young or stupid. Only one of us was young. The rest of us still had fun. You do the math on that one.
I had bought a Honda CB125S to replace the Trail 70. I was going to ride that down at Torque Fest. April was cold and snowy, so I didn’t get out on the Honda till a week before. The shake down run was going fine till the bike quit. A roadside diagnosis told me the petcock was clogged. So I walked home, got my truck and brought the fallen warrior home. I immediately ordered a petcock off of eBay. After I paid and I got the receipt emailed to me I could see a problem. It wouldn’t get here in time. By that the local shops were all closed, so the next day I called Crosstown Cycle and they ordered me a petcock rebuild kit. That would arrive the day before I would leave.
The eBay petcock arrived early and it didn’t fit. The rebuild kit was right on time and I had it cleaned up and flowing like the Mississippi. However, I no longer had spark. I’m guessing the coil has died. So I spent Torque Fest riding around on a borrowed mini bike. I would like to Thank Rick A. for being so generous and lending me one of his bikes.
It’s a long drive down to Dubuque Iowa where Torque Fest is held. From the Twin Cities you take highway 52 all the way down. Google Maps has you take a few zigs and zags off and on 52 down in Iowa, but for the most part it’s just 52. It’s a very scenic drive, all two lane road with lots of hills and valleys. You even get to see Amish people in their horse drawn buggies down by Harmony Minnesota. I saw they had a roadside stand selling honey and jelly.
I don’t know how many Amish read Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly but if they do, I’d like to suggest they sell those wide brimmed straw hats they wear. You can sell them at the same stand in Harmony. I sure want one and I think they’d go over big with the crowd at Torque Fest. It would be a long buggy ride, but they could do well with a stand there too.
We stayed at the Motel 6 in Dubuque. I have some thoughts on that too. Do you remember years ago when Motel 6 advertised on TV and Radio. They ran a lot of ads. Motel 6s are made of cinder blocks and concrete, so the rooms are quiet. They were nice places to stay. Now I haven’t heard an ad for Motel 6 in years. The owners of the motels appear to have stopped doing upkeep on the rooms at about the same time the ads stopped running. Now I would describe them as “sketchy”. I would like to know why that is?
Lastly, it’s spring time here in Minnesota. Finally. That means a lot of you will be thinking about spring cleaning. Or for you guys out there, your wives will tell you it’s time you did some spring cleaning. Here’s the thing. My garage is stuffed to the rafters with three motorcycles, boxes of motorcycle parts, motorcycle tools, motorcycle clothing and gear. Boxes of motorcycle books that don’t fit in the house and a large collection of toy motorcycles that I don’t have anywhere to put on display. It’s full. To the untrained eye it may look a bit chaotic, but it’s not. I have a system.
Now this is the part I want you guys to think about. Picture you’re on the roof cleaning out the gutters and you slip and fall. You want your spouse to dial 911 right away. If they know what a nightmare it will be cleaning out the garage without you, they just might dial a little quicker. Those boxes of motorcycle parts might be your best insurance policy.