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Rick Bennett
Advanced Member

USA
316 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2020 :  5:24:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Made it, 726 miles to cabin #6 Racoon Mountain. My Berkshire is running just like the day John sold it in 1974. Riders meeting tonight at 7:00. The others will get a look at one of Johnís best. It has been a blast to take one of his machines and bring it back to life. Holding 55 on the road is no problem other than the screaming 48.5 mm piston waking everyone in my path. Only a broken headlight ground in three days of riding.
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Paul Danik
Advanced Member

3029 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2020 :  8:44:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Greetings,

Rick called today from a gas stop at around 11 am. He said he is giving the little Berkie a real workout in the hilly terrain but it is running like a Swiss watch.

He said there have been some deep creek crossings and he helped rescue a BMW out of one of them. There have been some break downs and from the sound of it Rick has been making friends quickly as he helps where and when his skills are needed. " You meet the nicest people on a Penton"

That is about it for now.

PS. As I posted the above info a text came in from Rick.

"Done for the day. 1134 miles since leaving. Rained on the trail the second half of the day. My Penton is running great."

Paul


Edited by - Paul Danik on 08/05/2020 8:49:23 PM
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Paul Danik
Advanced Member

3029 Posts

Posted - 08/06/2020 :  08:46:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Greetings.

Just got a quick call from Rick. They spent the night at a campground in Maggie Valley, about 3 miles from the Wheels Through Time Museum. All is good with him and Berkie. There are 21 machines on the ride and his is the smallest displacement. His brother got a plastic bag caught in the countershaft area yesterday and it took out the seal. They pulled the motor out and took it apart on a picnic table last night and put a new seal in. He said the design of the seal makes it so you can't just pry one out and put in another. Finished the fix around midnight.

The ever cheer-full Rick laughs and seems to take it all in stride.

Paul
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Paul Danik
Advanced Member

3029 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2020 :  12:57:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Greetings.

Text from Rick at 11:15 am from a gas stop. " Gas stop all good. Rough trail yesterday and rain last night. 225 miles today. ".

I take it that they have 225 miles to ride today.

Paul
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Paul Danik
Advanced Member

3029 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2020 :  01:57:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Greetings,

At 11:57 Friday night this text came in from Rick. " My Penton is running well. In to camp". My reply text read as follows. " Are you texting in your sleep", I got no reply. Interesting story surely to follow.

Paul
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Paul Danik
Advanced Member

3029 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2020 :  2:26:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Greetings,

Text at 1:16 PM " Ice cream stop, happy Penton."

Paul
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Paul Danik
Advanced Member

3029 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2020 :  07:10:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Greetings,

Great news, Rick finished the event at 10:36 last night. He said his Berkshire was perfect ! Can't wait to hear his stories. Great Job Rick...

I don't know for sure but I do believe he has over 700 miles to ride to get back home. A true testament to Rick's mechanical and riding abilities as well as his commitment to finish what he starts, and most assuredly to the quality of John Penton's Sportcycle even after all of these years.

Paul
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Paul Danik
Advanced Member

3029 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2020 :  09:40:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Greetings,

Rick just called and told of how the one day the roll chart directions were off enough that once in awhile they would roll up to a mailbox and pull out the mail and see what the address was just to see where they were, first time I ever heard that one...He also told of how the comradery among each group of riders grew very strong and how when someone would have an issue and tell the others to go on that they would not do so, they worked together to overcome mechanical and trail riding issues as a team. He is tired and wore out, but he said he knew that would be the case. The Berkie doesn't sound as tight as it did a week ago but he said he is once again so very impressed with the Penton and particularly the Sachs engine. A gal on the ride kept falling and breaking her brake lever, finally when she had no lever to replace it with he offered up his spare magura lever and said to her "try to break this one."

Paul
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Paul Danik
Advanced Member

3029 Posts

Posted - 08/11/2020 :  09:51:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Greetings,

Today is the last day of Rick's GREAT ADVENTURE. Just talked with him and he said they could smell bacon as they came thru Cedarville so they stopped for breakfast al the local coffee shop. He figures they have 239 miles to go to reach home.

I think this is day 11 and he sounds as upbeat as he did on day 1. So far his Berkie seems to be holding up well and Rick said he is anxious to tear it down and check out the rings and piston to see what wear there is on those items. I imagine his tin can has a bit of wear as well !

Paul
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Richard Colahan
Advanced Member

USA
253 Posts

Posted - 08/11/2020 :  11:26:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for posting all of these updates Paul!

Richard Colahan
1969 V1225
Upper Black Eddy PA
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Rick Bennett
Advanced Member

USA
316 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2020 :  9:36:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My great adventure is over for now. Tomorrow I will give her a bath and good look over. Riding for that many miles and days in a row you sure get in tune with your bike. Riding becomes second nature. What did I learn on this trip? I carried too much stuff. Next time I will cut back even more. The one man tent worked just fine. Yes there was less space inside and out under the vestibule but even in rain it was workable. I did have to assemble it rain fly first again this year as it was raining. It can be done. My Thermorest air mattress and 40 degree down sleeping bag are from last year. I took too many clothes. Next time I will only take one pair of pants. I can wear my rain pants while washing them. I took three pairs of sox and needed them all. My single layer leather boots got wet but dried way faster. I packed them with TP stolen from the campground at night when necessary. Speed Deluxe gave us all a shirt and I didn't need to carry another one. I should have removed all my food and supplies used for the road trip down but didn't. I carried too many tools. I will have to think on this one. I checked my motor mounts and they did not get loose. Neither did my spokes this time even though the trail was rough. I used my riders wrench and large screw driver every day. Charging my phone, GoPro, GPS and flashlight became a problem. Because the charging port on my bike failed (Read made in China) and we reached camp late several night in a row, we couldn't run a generator. I should have had extra batteries for the GoPro. The biggest problem with my bike was the broken speedo cable (no odometer) and lumpy front tire. Both the Kenda 270 front tires were not round. Next time I will ride the bike earlier and change out the tire if I am not happy. I spent extra time making sure the wheels were round, so I know they are not to blame. With the mileage this bike makes I didn't need to carry any extra fuel. I filled my 30 oz. MSR bottle with oil and this weighed too much. A 12 oz. bottle is enough for a day of riding. I think I can get away with only one Wolfman saddle bag next time and a small dry sack. Other than over tickling the Bing one morning my motor ran flawlessly. I can't say enough good things about Sachs motors. I revved the h**l out of it for hours and hours. It does loose power when really hot and gains it back when cooled down. If the jetting is right and the air filter is clean these motors can be abused. I use the clutch for every shift and miss two shifts a day, one at 10:30 every morning, don't ask me why. Almost always going into 6th. Everyone on the ride wore a different jacket. I am still happy with my waxed cotton Barbour. It does soak thru, especially at road speeds, but is breathable in the heat. In heavy rains I use a second quilted jacket underneath for warmth and wetness protection. It doubles as my pillow at night.

That is all for now. I will probably think of more later.

Edited by - Rick Bennett on 08/16/2020 09:12:58 AM
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Rick Bennett
Advanced Member

USA
316 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2020 :  9:53:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One more recollection.

At two different fuel stops I had strangers come up to me and say:

"I haven't seen a Penton in a LOOOOng time. The only thing better would be a Bultaco"

They had no clue...

I guess you have to ride a Penton to really appreciate what John put together.
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Richard Colahan
Advanced Member

USA
253 Posts

Posted - 08/15/2020 :  11:28:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rick...perhaps they meant "If you REALLY wanted a challenge you would attempt this trip on a Bultaco, and not on one of the finest machines ever made!" Now that would be a task!
quote:
Originally posted by Rick Bennett

One more recollection.

At two different fuel stops I had strangers come up to me and say:

"I haven't seen a Penton in a LOOOOng time. The only thing better would be a Bultaco"

They had no clue...

I guess you have to ride a Penton to really appreciate what John put together.




Richard Colahan
1969 V1225
Upper Black Eddy PA
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Pat Oshaughnessy
Advanced Member

220 Posts

Posted - 08/15/2020 :  5:30:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
AMEN BROTHER!!!
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Rick Bennett
Advanced Member

USA
316 Posts

Posted - 08/16/2020 :  07:52:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The bikes...
2) Triumph 750
Yamaha XT 500
Yamaha DT 250
2) Honda CL 450
Honda CX 500
BMW R60
BMW R90
Yamaha XS 650
3) Honda SL 350
3) Honda CL 350
Honda CL 360
Honda XL 250
Honda XL 350
Penton 100
And a couple I canít remember.
These machines, half of them, were up to the task. The rest showed up, having been recently purchased for the trip or very rarely ridden. Points replacement hadnít been done and these owners had no idea what to do when the engine gave up. Owners manuals, forget it. Timing, what is that? The gap has to be how big? You have to put grease on the cam? I have owned a Honda twin for years and carry feeler gauges and 400 grit sand paper in my wallet. Nick thinks this funny, but guess who canít tune the Honda I gave him to ride? No one but Randy and I had spare points on board. Most mornings Randy and I found ourselves with two or three to work on or there would be more bikes on the trailer. Most of these riders were eager to learn and will come back next year better prepared. There were other small problems that couldnít have been foreseen, like broken shifters and frames. Thread locker and or nylon nuts, the lack of, left shock bolts and others out on the trail. Poorly braced mufflers made riding behind a couple bikes almost unbearable after they fell off, never to return. Luggage racks, over burdened with stuff, probably not needed, and poorly braced, broke, sometimes taking the rear frame hoop with it. My SL 350 came home with broken tail light, wiring rubbed thru after the fender collapsed onto the tire, and broken frame hoop. I looked at the rack arrangement before leaving and pretty much knew this would happen if Nick took too much stuff. Was all this worth it? Yes it was. My Penton and 350 are easily repaired. The memories are what counts.

Edited by - Rick Bennett on 08/16/2020 09:08:44 AM
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