Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Stuff is still going on

Yeah the season is over, the snow is gone, the rains have come, well the rains SHOULD have come but haven't. That doesn't mean the sleds get neglected, or it SHOULDN'T mean the sleds get neglected...

Saturday I got some time to start putting the machines into storage, step one was to pull the windshield off the '91 Jag, the windshield comes off that sled easily so I pull it, otherwise the tarp will pull on it all summer and fold it in effectively ruining it. Then I added a couple ounces of Seafoam gas additive to the tank. I've been adding Seafoam at every fill up so this dose wasn't all that important, I also managed to run the tank down pretty far the last time I rode the sled so I didn't use very much.

Then I scrubbed the sled:

I used normal carwash soap and my normal car scrubbing sponge. This is a chance to give the sled a good check over, look for anything broken or needing attention. I found some cracks in the fiberglass of the hood but nothing too bad. The I fired it up and ran it around the yard to its summertime spot. I was very pleased in that it started right up no problem. That got the engine warm and helped dry out the hook and engine compartment. Then I waxed the hood and put two yogurt cups with mothballs in the footwells to keep the mice away.

There are a couple more steps, I need to stop and get a tarp for it, the canvas cover I have will get killed by staying outside all summer. Then I'll start it one more time and turn off the gas so the carb bowls empty out some. I'll shut it off before they run out, 2 stroke engines really don't like running out of gas. The bowls will still have some gas in them, theres nothing I can do about that but having them half empty will help to keep varnish from building up on the jets and causing trouble.

Finally I'll hose down the whole engine compartment with WD40. This gets rid of any remaining water and puts a water resistant coating on the metal parts. I did this last year on this sled and I was very pleased with the results. Its especially important since I don't have covered storage for the sleds although even if I did I think I'd still go ahead with it. I wish I'd been doing this on the Pantera, if I had I wouldn't need to repaint the tinwork...

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Its not a dead sled but...

Picked up a new-to-me sled yesterday,

Its a 1998 Jag 440 with just over 3100 miles.

Its in good shape although the hood is broken a little at the hinge:

The guy claims the wind caught the hood while it was open but he's repaired it with some tin on the inside and fiberglass on the outside. It looks like a decent repair although I'll keep my eyes open for a replacement hood. It'll also need a track in a year or two, I priced the sled with that in mind...

I bought this sled because my '91 Jag beat the snot out of me last winter. When the trails were nice and flat it was a nice sled to ride but when they were bumpy it wasn't. This '98 has at least twice as much suspension, this is the last generation of the Jag, they stopped making them in '99, its got the FastRack long travel rear suspension and should be a much more comfortable ride. Its got aftermarket plastic skis with good carbides so it turns great. Starts real easy, and with a single carb its easy on the thumb and should be pretty easy on gas.

Overall I'm excited, this sled should have all the good my '91 has plus be more comfortable to ride a win overall.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Call it

What a winter its been but as I write this the snow here in north central Massachusetts is about gone. They tell me theres still riding up north but sadly I have no time for that and honestly with such an epic winter I'm about all done. I did something like 300 miles this year which is a record for me. To get to that mileage we had at least two 50 mile rides which are also records never mind having just an epic amount of snowfall.

My last ride was actually several weeks ago, I went out by myself for another 50 miler. Angie was willing to go with me but the snow conditions were less than idea for a liquid cooled machine and I was worried the Ski-Doo would overheat. The Jag just ate up the miles no problem and most of the places I rode we nice and flat so its less than fantastic suspension wasn't a big issue. After a whole season of riding past it I finally found a spot lots of people had taken pics of and Ben had told me about:

Looks to me like some sort of railroad or maybe a trolley had run through here. This runs down through the Birch Hill recreation area by the parking lot and I think the tracks must have continued down into Lake Dennison park. I didn't realize it before but I can see them as tracks now.

The Jag seems to get about 10-12mpg limiting me to around a 50 mile run which is fine as thats about as far as I can stand. The sled has good front suspension but the rear end only has a few inches of travel. I've started looking around for something newer with more suspension. Randy tried to warn me about that last year but I didn't listen. My plan is to sell the Ski-Doo and Jag and get a pair of newer machines like a Z440 or newer Jag DLX, or maybe a Polaris with an Xtra 10 or Xtra 12 suspension. Something I can ride on the whoops without getting beaten to death.