IN OVER MY HEAD PART ONE: THE HUSKY COMES HOME


My co-worker Christine had the most uncomfortable couch west of the Rockies, but then she gave it to me. She is a smart lady. In all fairness, there was no misrepresentation of the comfort level of this piece of furniture. I had sat on it before, and understood that was basically fabric covered wood…very thin fabric, and fairly solid wood.

I never claimed to be a smart man, but as I sit on the medieval torture device disguised as a sofa, legs going numb, I know I made the right decision. After all, it was free and it came with a motorcycle.

You read that correctly.

Husqvarna 390

Looking for a spot without rust.

While picking up the furniture, Christine said that I should take the bike too. She must have thought that since I was dumb enough to take the couch, I would probably be a good place to unload other unwanted goods. She knows me so well…

My free couch came complete with a 1979 Husqvarna 390. Rumor has it that the last time someone tried to start it, it fired right up…two years ago.  It is going to require a wee bit of work (read complete rebuild) before I try to kick it over. In the following weeks (read months) I will be tearing this beast down to the frame. I can already tell that I need to remove about 10 pounds of rust, and at first glance it looks like anything that is (or was) rubber will probably need to be replaced. The brake lever is broken which is fine because the front brakes don’t really perform the designed stopping function anyway.

Husqvarna 390 gas tank

The gas tank, currently holding varnish.

Some background on me. I am a photographer, writer,  spreadsheet monkey, “C” group track day rider, and maker of  a pretty mean skillet breakfast. In a past life I was a certified mobile electronics installer and since my father retired from a high end tool company I have always had access to nice tools . You might have noticed that, while I have been surrounded by tools all my life, I did not list “mechanic” as a skill. That’s why this is going to be fun for both you and me. By the end of this project, we will all have an understanding of what not to do as well as some basic first aid techniques. Besides, sticking to what you are good at gets boring after a while.

Husqvarna 390 case

A spot without rust!

The plan is to restore it to about 1981 condition; not quite showroom fresh, but still in good looking and great running shape. I wanted to say that early on so when I reread this a few months from now I can giggle to myself. By then I will be close to my goal or I will have given up and bolted the motor into a custom blender and made the worlds largest margarita. If I complete the rebuild, then I will start writing the sequel: “In WAY over my head: Choosing a 390 Single 2-stroke as a First Dirt Bike…What Could Go Wrong.”

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