So after finishing our first Orygun Run, my buddy JJ and I already knew we had to plan for the next year. I had been gathering parts for a ground-up build for a few years, but never found the ambition to actually piece it together. With a little over 2 months till the 2017 run, I had a bare frame, an empty set of cases, and enough pieces for a transmission. Fast forward a month and a half, and my panhead was finished. I had roughly 2 weeks to get the bike shook down enough to ride the 1200ish miles around 2 states. No problem...
The bike gave me nothing but problems. It ran fine, but wouldn't idle. Then the exhaust valve seized in the front head and cracked the valve guides. I got the heads back from the machine shop 3 days before the run, only to find out that the springs and retainers were all junk. I was ready to give up until my good friends at Tacoma Vtwin helped me out with new springs, retainers, locks, and pushrods.
The day before the run, I took the bike on a 40 mile shakedown and it ran great, so we loaded up our stuff and the three of us - me, JJ, and our buddy Wes - headed off to Portland. En route, JJ blew up his ironhead chopper near Vader, Wa. The next day, after 36 hours of no sleep, JJ ended up just buying a new Sportster and we were back on the road again. We made it through the Orygun Run, but on the way home, Wes's Kawasaki burned a piston near the Oregon border and he rode the next 130 miles on only 3 cylinders.
Out of the 3 bikes that left my house Thursday, and with only 40 successful miles, the bike I built for the run did amazing. I can't say much for the other guys.
...I should probably mention too that I didn't exactly get a chance to do the whole "licensing" thing with the new build, so I rode the entire run without any paperwork, using some old plate I found on the wall from 1976.
Fuck it, let's ride.