This is Kate flexing her muscles at a stoplight in Austin, TX after Rockers vs Mods. She absolutely loves this bike.
So a few days after the Barber Vintage Festival we decided we would head down to Luckenbach, TX for the Harvest Classic which fell that following weekend. I didn’t even unload the van from Barber. Kate and I picked up Kit early Saturday morning (around 4 am) and we pointed the van towards Austin.
Once again, the drive was very uneventful. Skyler and his wife Tori had left the previous night on his Thruxton and stopped at a hotel about 60 miles away from Luckenbach. Once we got east of Austin and into the gorgeous landscape of the hill country it was marvelous. I love that area. I’d live there in a heartbeat. The roads are nice. The views are spectacular. It’s beautiful country.
Once we started to get closer, we started seeing more and more bikes, including LOTS of old Airheads.
Once we got into the event area the first thing we see is this guy just hanging out.
And Kit couldn’t contain his excitement.
We got all unloaded and camp setup and ran our bikes over to the bike show. We were denied registration as we were four minutes late. FOUR MINUTES!!? I was a tiny bit bummed, but we just parked our bikes just outside the show area and got some good attention anyway
Later on we decided to fix a little exhaust leak on the RD400 so I sent Kate to get it, but of course not start it. So she pushed it back while Skyler’s wife Tori steered. This was Tori’s first time behind the controls of a motorcycle. She did well and everyone seemed to get a kick out of a couple of a couple of girls pushing this gnarly bike through the crowd.
Once night fell we just relaxed in our campsite with some drinks. We scrounged some firewood from what appeared to be a trash pile that also had remnants of a recently cut down tree. We built a fire pit from large stones we’d gathered from the dried up creek bed next to where we were camping.
Then a drunken Skyler climbed a tree.
After a bit, Kit decided we should go take some photos of the RD400 in the Luckenbach “town center.” While I was moving the bike into position, he noticed a girl walking by that was modeling items for the auction earlier that day. He asked her if she would like to take some photos, which she was happy to do.
Then we went and snapped a few next to the Harvest Classic banner.
The next morning we loaded up most of the gear and got ready for a little ride on this beautiful road that went past the event site. The ride was abruptly ended when Kit dumped his bike and tweaked the bars. There was a guy on the side of the road with his hood up, and Kit quickly pulled over to see if he needed help. There’s almost NO shoulder on this road so as soon as he hit dropped off the edge of the road he hit some wet grass and the bike just buckled underneath him. Luckily he was going very slowly so it was more of a soft topple. But it was enough to bend his bars a bit. So he and I headed back to the van and waited for the others to return.
After that we loaded up the van and headed North! It was a fun little trip. In the end I wish we would have rode it, but I just don’t quite trust the RD400 yet. Next year… next year.
Yay yay yay! It’s my favorite thing of the year!
Oh my goodness what a weekend! So this year it was more than just Skyler and me that went. With me in the van was my wife, Kate, and Kit. In vehicle two, Skyler and Junior.Together we made up the DFW Wrecking Crew…. so named because at any given time we were only allowed to have 2 working bikes between us.
The ride down was fairly uneventful. Hanging out in the van. Listening to “Born On The Bayou” (CCR) radio on Pandora.
We rolled up to our gracious host’s house around 2:30am and were immediately greeted by “Fix” from DTT. Fix was wearing long-underwear and riding boots. He and our good pal Justin helped us unload the bikes, while Kate setup our tent.
That night I worked on swapping out the jets in the RD400 as it didn’t seem to want to run right. I knew the next day there’d be plenty of smart two-smoke guys hanging around that could help get it licked.
The next day we started Kit and Kate decided to run into Birmingham to get some paint from an art supply store for Kit so he could do some pin-striping. While in town, the van’s fuel pump decided to take a huge dump, leaving them stranded. We took Junior’s truck to figure out what we were going to do. AT&T’s roadside assistance informed us they wouldn’t cover the tow 2 blocks down the street to a local shop because my vehicle wasn’t considered a “light vehicle”. That’s when Kit remembered he had AAA. We gave them a call and they showed up shortly. Kit and I rode with the van back to Kiley’s house near Barber.
We eventually made it out to the park and hit the swap meet. If you need something… anything.. (as long as it isn’t a clutch basket off a CM400 (sorry Junior)) … it’s probably there. We poked around the track a bit. Hung out with some DTT peeps and then made our way back to Kiley’s for the evenings entertainment (putting a new fuel pump on the van and fixing the RD400).
The fuel pump in a 3/4 ton Chevy cargo van is inside (and on top of) the gas tank. You have to drop this tank to get to it. The old fuel line + old wiring made Skyler and Kit decide it would be better to just cut a hole in the floor of the van right over the fuel pump and attack it from the air. So that’s what they did.
And they nailed it.
A couple of really smart two smoke dudes helped get the timing set on the RD.
Kit went to town on the RD with some sharpies.
The next day Kate wanted to give the bike a test ride. She’d never actually ridden the RD before so she was a little nervous. The bike still didn’t feel quite right, but she was really excited so we took it out for a short little ride. While on our short ride in the twisty road near Kiley’s house, she suddenly decided to drop the hammer and absolutely left me and the BMW in her smokey wake. I must admit I giggled a little.
A few moments later, she ran out of gas.
I ran back and grabbed the van and some gas and met back up with her. Topped her off and she was on her way. When I returned I realized her purse was sitting in the driveway. Right in front of where the van was parked. I hesitantly opened it and pulled her phone out. The back was cracked. Front was fine. But it wouldn’t turn on. I killed her iPhone 4S… BUT SHE DID LEAVE IT IN FRONT OF A 7,300lb van…
Meanwhile, Skyler discovered he had destroyed the rear bearings in on his RD400, so we were trying to track some down on a Saturday. The good news is, they are a common size. The bad news is, every place was closed, and wanted an “opening fee” to come sell him some bearings on a Saturday.
Skyler took the van into town to sort that out while Kate, and I went to the track. Kit stayed behind to help Junior sort out his CM400.
Kate and I spent some time walking around in the paddock area and then meandered down to the track. Much to my surprise, we were able to go through a little gate and go straight to the retaining wall. This was a happy moment for me. Bikes screaming past only a few feet away out of Turn 17. It’s a magical thing.
Here are some shots from the track.
The next day we got a chance to head over to the museum for some awesomeness.
There was also some fine flying entertainment!
I’m currently at the jQuery Conference in San Francisco, and I have to say, the number of BMWs in this town is amazing. I see at least 4-6 a day, and that’s mighty fine. Conference is finishing up this afternoon, so if you’re reading this and you are in San Francisco, I’ll be here until Sunday morning. Let’s grab a beer!
Sooooo. I’m at a friends house for a little barbecue, and he happened to have to tv on. I saw an ad for next weeks episode for Cafe Racer TV, and they mentioned Barber Vintage Festival. I was like, “Heeeeyyyy, I was at Bar…OH MY GOD THAT’S MY BIKE!!!!”
So tune in next week to see Matty’s whip.
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