Ah, the trials of being a scribe possessing a camera with removable lenses… I have been drafted to do the writeup of our local Airhead tech daze. Don’t these people know that I flunked Freshman English and do “new media” for losing politicians? Oh well, duty calls, so here’s the crude but final copy:

Naples Airheads Hold Record Tech Daze

A record 68 riders and fans of classic BMW Airhead motorcycles signed in at this year’s tech day (and a few folks no doubt snuck in too, wishing to avoid being named as a “potentially responsible party” in the neighbors class action suit) at Roger Bush’s home and awesome shop near Naples, Florida.

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I know, there’s not quite 68 airheads in the picture… A few folks couldn’t put down their beer long enough to get in the picture, a few couldn’t put down wrenches long enough to get in the picture, at least one someone was in the porta-potty, a few of us have outstanding warrants, a few of us are already in witness protection programs, and a whole bunch of us were busy TAKING pictures.

In preparation for the expected horde, we made the obligatory supply runs to Costco. (Contrary to local rumor, we did not directly cause the beer shortage in southwest Florida that weekend.)

DSC_0314Sorry, but the pix of the bench covered with the perfectly arranged wrenches next to the perfectly flattened and stacked empty beer cans is mysteriously missing. So I’ve used this equally embarrassing one of the pickup & trailer parking lot. But we did redeem ourselves from trailer queen status- most of the bikes that came in on trailers were ridden out under their own power…

DSC_0423Back amongst the living and out for a test ride, hope the cops don’t notice the 2005 plates!

The action began thursday with the opening of a couple transmissions and thorough rebuild of a couple neglected airheads. (we actually started a couple days earlier with Roger helping me fix my trailer, but we don’t ‘fess up to trailer ownership in public) Roger and Jim Miller put Roger’s newly acquired two ton(!) lathe to good use  cutting a groove for the missing circlip in one transmission’s output shaft. On friday we upped the pace with 7 bikes in various stages of repair at once, and the tech day hadn’t even officially begun. Meanwhile, more airheads rode in and established a tent city in Roger’s back AND front yard (wonder if the local zoning officials can google into this blog?).

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Saturday dawned foreboding… Florida AM Kevin was under the weather, and if the exponential growth of bikes under repair continued we’d have to start stackin’ ’em in the rafters or something. But while seemed like twice as many folks showed up, most of their bikes needed no repairs, or at least none they’d ‘fess up to. So with tech day officially in session, we had 60 odd Airhead aficionados present and 8 bikes under repair at once.

(Insert picture of studious Airhead technicians lovingly wrenching on bike that looks too perfect to need wrenching. DO NOT use photos of us using multiple hammers and/or torches on bikes!)

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So I’ll use this picture instead, which shows us loving warming a /2 crankcase under the watchful eye of an infrared thermometer.

DSC_0368Now this is the image we really want… Airhead Master Technicians gently checking runout or something fancy like that on a vintage /2 crank. Unfortunately, the crank was a little too “vintage” and flunked the test.

All this fun was interrupted by an awesome lunch served by our able and gracious kitchen crew of Linda Fenwick, Stacy Franzmeier, Cheri Hibbs, Judy Miller, and Anna Walsh. Then a few hours later they served up an awesome supper, and a bunch of other equally awesome meals and snacks. All this good eatin’ and the standard airhead libations had a predictable effect… wrenches were slowly downed as we socialized, then dozed off to dreams of airhead riding.

Sunday… Ain’t this thing supposed to be over by now? The campers were still packin’ up, and the wrenches were still being twirled… We just don’t know when to stop! After  years of sleep Airheads roared back to life, and we finished up late in the afternoon. ‘Twas gettin’ late, so the final test ride was delayed ’til monday morning and the last Airhead rolled out of Roger’s shop around the crack of noon, giving Roger a chance to roll his own Airheads back in.

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Fortunately the centerstand bolts we forgot to tighten didn’t fall out…

So another record Naples Tech Daze goes into the record books and memory banks, and barring a restraining order we’ll be back for an ever bigger ‘n’ better one next year!

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