USA – Take 2 – Part 2

So here we are, 1st May and the bike is still in the UK… in fact it is still off the road having taken much longer than expected to get all the work done, but should be finished today or by Friday at the very latest.

I am sure you are thinking… what about shipping to the US??  Well…. it’s all change there..

The fantastic John Wood from Autofreight came back with a figure for the agent to handle the importation into the US at Oakland port… £760!!!! Plus $180 to take it away.  I am truly shocked and disappointed as this is just too much and takes the costs to almost the same as air freight. Now the advantages of shipping by air come into play, they can guarantee the bike will be there for me to collect on the 18th whereas by sea it is dependent on weather etc.

I sadly have to reject the quote from Autofreight, but thoroughly recommend them if you are shipping by sea.  I then got back in touch with Tim at Motofreight who quoted to send by Air plus approximately $60-$100 for me to self-clear through customs…. how do I go about that??

“Each air terminal is different but generally you go to the airline your bike has flown with. Get some form of confirmation then visit customs with your passport and EPA certificate (that you will have done a month in advance). Back to the airline and un box your well crated motorcycle. From my experiences if you are unsure just ask someone and people who work there are always ready to help. It is really nothing to worry about.” 

Well that seems straightforward enough… let’s do it says I.

So now I don’t need to drop the bike until the 4th June at Heathrow airport, they will crate the bike up and everything so it will be much easier I think.

I am also going with Motofreight for the return from New York by sea dropping the bike on the 26th July, am still awaiting details about where.

I immediately applied for the EPA certification and received it within 2 weeks, it was really easy so should be all systems go.  Am now awaiting the final invoice so I can pay… ouch!

What’s happening with the bike I hear you ask… well I had quite a few hiccups with some of the modifications especially the front indicators.  Happily I have sorted that out and they are now in the position I wanted them in.  I purchased some stainless steel standoffs with 10mm threads and two stainless hollow bolts to allow the wiring to pass through so now they are sitting very nicely on top of the bottom yoke… yay.

BEFORE    cOZFf1KPT3S64BRqThtitg

AFTER   ZMzN0lY%QIWKp+j15Z1pcA

I have also fitted a double usb port to charge my phone on the move, a side mounted tool box, recovered the seat again.. (I did recover it in leather but when the snow got in the workshop it ruined the seat so have recovered it again, but in heavy duty vinyl), added RSD handlebar clamps to match the levers and indicator mounts, filled and bled the front/rear brakes and hydraulic clutch and fitted a new brake light switch so all that is left is to rebuild the bike starting with the front cylinder head.

I bought a guide to help drill out the broken stud, which actually worked well, although the drill bits that came with were shit so I went out and bought some cobalt bits in two sizes which did the job easily.


I have decided not to tempt fate so won’t be removing the rear cylinder studs.  Having removed the cylinder head I thought it best to remove the barrel as this engine doesn’t have a base gasket it has a rubber ring and I think removing the head will take pressure off the ring so its probably best to put a new one on.  This entails removing the barrel from the piston so I did toy with the idea of changing out the piston rings, but decided against it in the end.  That done and, having cleaned off the old gasket residue from the mating surfaces, I replace the two O rings and prepare to put the barrel back on the piston… but, I don’t have a piston ring compressor.  In the past when I have done this the engine has been out of the bike so it was fairly easy to access the rings and compress them with my fingers, that proves impossible on this engine so my mate Spin comes up with an ingenious idea to use a very, very large hose clip to compress the rings.  We slip the barrel on pushing the clip down and then undo it… it works perfectly.

That done I re-install the cylinder head, breather unit, rocker plate, rockers and rocker box cover with new gaskets etc. making sure all the bolts are torqued to the correct settings…. all done.

Next is to refit the throttle body, air filter, horn and fuel tank, (I also need a new cross-over pipe on the tank).  All goes well until it comes to fitting the fuel guage connector under the tank, it has corroded and one of the wires breaks so I am going to have to repair that.

So today I hope to finish the bike… that entails repairing the broken wire; refitting the exhausts; changing out the fluids so new transmission oil, engine oil; fit new spark plugs, new oil filter; check front tyre pressure; refit the seat and check handlebar/control position.  Finally, she needs a good clean and, although it isn’t necessary because I didn’t fit new piston rings, I will run it in for the first 2-300 miles just to be sure.

UPDATE… managed to get it all done so here she is in all her glory…. needs a good wash tho’ dirty grrrrl

All that’s left now is to deliver the bike to Heathrow on the 4th June.  I fly to the states in just over 6 weeks time.. excited or what.


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