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GOING THE DISTANCE
PHOTO BY GENGHIS
THIMK!: Sometimes yer walking along and an idea comes to you.
I was walking to work today, and a thought came to me about David Snow's XLCH, Animal Mother. He has to set up a system to turn his bike off (the original kill switch for his magneto-equipped bike is gone) better than stuffing a rag into the carb, and I was ruminating about how I used to kill Sally The Bitch's (my '68 Sportster XLCH) motor. I rewired Sally to get rid of among orher things, the kill switch on Sally's stock handlebars because I went to drag bars. I just remembered that before I came to the final solution of attaching Sally's kill switch connection screw on the magneto, to an on/off toggle switch, that I used a screwdriver to shut Sally down.
On the back of the Fairbanks Morse magneto, is the screw that the kill switch wire is usually connected to. I would place the shaft of the screwdriver on this screw and then touch the tip of the screw driver to the magneto case, completing the circuit that would shut the motor down.
Like many fleeting memories that suddenly float to the conscious surface like a flimsy and slick lily pad, this memory is admittedly over 40 years old and is as shaky as 'ole Uncle Willie's rehab days with the DTs.
And like a slimy lily pad coated with Harley 60 weight, it evaded capture.
I futilely tried to get a firm grasp on this memory, only to have it slip and slide before I caught it.
Is this a false memory, of the type that causes people to make false accusations of abuse against relatives, long after the supposed events took place? Who knows, but I feel reasonably certain that this is something I did do with a screwdriver, to shut Sally down. Now that I think about it more, I seem to also remember that I used to carry this screwdriver around with me when I rode, as a temporary measure for shutting down the CH's motor, before I went to the toggle switch solution. I feel that this memory of the "screwdriver shutdown" is a true memory, and this method worked.
This memory led to what I believe is a better idea for a compact kill method for "Animal Mother."
This is really meant for Snow, and I could've privately messaged this to him---but, what the hell. I thought I might as well archive this as a GTD article, in case this actually works. Now we're rappin' about pending patents, and millions to be made from this idea! I'll have to hire a patents attorney on retainer! I'll have to seek financial backers, to have the resources for buying out the world's feeler gauge (blade type only) supply!
Nah, just kidding. I'm no electrical engineer, but this idea should work, if I was able to shut off Sallys motor with that screwdriver. Of course, the memory could've been a psychedelic dream. LSD and mescaline were plentiful in those days. Not that I partook of 'em, of course.
You heard about rhe "screwdriver shutdown." This better idea is for the "feeler gauge blade shutdown." Dig it, man!
Okay, here's the idea:
Take a feeler gauge, not the wire type, but the blade type where the various size blades swing out. Disassemble the gauge by unscrewing the screw that the blades rotate on. This will leave you blades of varying thicknesses, made of a springy steel. On one end of these blades are the holes that the pivot screw of the gauge ran through. Choose one of the thicker blades whose density will prevent the blade from flexing excessively, when its attached to the motorcycle. You don't want vibration from the motor to cause the motor to cut when you're doing 70 on the interstate, with a semi taligating ya.
I'm willing to bet that the hole size is close to the shaft size of the screw that connects the kill switch wire to the magneto. If the hole's too small, you can enlarge it with a drill.
Screw this blade onto the magneto in a vertical position, with the kill switch wire connection screw, with the other end of the blade pointed straight down. This will provide you a way of completing the circuit from the kill switch connection screw, to the body of the magneto, effectively killing the motor.
When you want to shut down the XLCH's motor, just reach down and use your fingertips to bend the bottom end of the blade toward the magneto, until you make contact. This should kill the motor. If it doesn't work, don't blame me, man. Like I said I ain't no electrical genius, so sue me. Speak to my patents attorney about it.
Besides, if this doesn't work then I'll hear about it long before anybody takes apart their feeler gauge. Later.