Today was a big day, we finally rode into the Rocky Mountains. Based on advice from a good friend lived in Colorado, we chose to take US Route 160 through the mountains as it was easier going on the bikes. Still, this is the Rockies and the road took us over Wolf Creek Pass which is at an elevation of 10,856 feet! That thin air meant the bikes were running pretty rich, but a few clicks of the high speed needle cut out most of the backfiring...
We finally made it into Colorado on day 10. Now we are out of the Midwest and heading for the Rocky Mountains. The Rockies are much higher than anything we have encountered thus far, so we are keeping our fingers crossed that the bikes can make it over them without any issue.
After packing up in El Dorado, we had a short ride to visit our good friend George and his wife Kim. George is a vintage bike nut just like us and was nice enough to let us spend the afternoon dripping oil all over his garage while we worked on our bikes. Once we pulled into the garage, the first thing we did was pull the drain plugs on the transmissions and open the oil plungers on the crankcases. Fresh fluids were definitely in order.
A lot of folks have asked what it takes to keep a 80+ year old motorcycle on the road for the thousands of miles needed to cross the country. The short answer is oil. VL's do not have recirculating oil, so I leave about a quart or more on the road each day as it makes it's way through the engine and onto the chains. I also change the oil every evening adding another 5 oz to the daily total. Since I am using straight 50 wt oil, which is not readily available at most gas stations, I have devoted a good portion of my storage to carrying additional oil.