Blog 264 Ucluelet May 2013


Current News – Still enjoying Scott’s company in Edmonton, doing the sights, writing the blogs, changing the tyres that sort of thing. Head to Jasper and Banff maybe tomorrow. Meanwhile here is the latest offering from May  – Vanvouver Island.

The sun did manage to emerge for the rest of the afternoon and bathe Ucluelet in its warm glow but we were soon bought back down to earth when we unrolled the sopping wet tent, Yuk !!!


Sunny Ucluelet

Sunny Ucluelet

One wet tent

One very wet tent

Eewwh do I have to put the pole inside

Yuk, do I have to put the pole inside……

This was our personal view from the tent that night with the tide in and the next morning with the tide out.

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Having laid all our stuff out on the picnic tables to dry we wandered the campsite and found a huge mound of tree stumps from when the site was cleared, it was a beautiful jumble of roots and moss. We also photographed a few views of the town before we returned to eat dinner and put our dry stuff back in the now dryish tent before it started to drizzle again.

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From our campsite we could walk in to Ucluelet which was a pretty fishing town. We preferred Ucluelet to Tofino, it felt more like the real deal and we both thought it more picturesque. There are also some clever artists in town, check out the octopus. This house complete with its boat had bags of character as did this old wooden building.

Octopus wood art

Octopus wood art

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The evening light was good and when the sun came out and you could see some nice reflections on the dark water.

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Having spent 43 years as a hydrographic survey ship from 1932-1975 the Canadian Princess is now a floating resort. We admired her from afar as we were not the kind of clientele she was used to.

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More up our alley or down our gangplank as was the case we found the Floathouse patio and grill where we sat on said patio with blankets sharing a cheesecake and having a beer watching the rain once more until it got too cold and we went inside to warm up. The walk back up was a good test to see how sober you were.

Restaurant Ucluelet style

Restaurant Ucluelet style

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The rain was relentless all night and even managed to get a little heavier when we went to leave. Tofino and Ucluelet were on the well named rainy coast, it was that kind of mizzly rain that gets into everything and even Kev’s supposedly super, duper waterproof pelicase leaked leaving his camera bobbing around in a load of soggy sponge with a fogged up lens.

The old girl liked the weather about as much as we did and began to show her displeasure by developing a misfire under load over the pass on the way out, not a good place when you have 30 ton lorries hot on your tail. In desperation Kev stopped in small lay by to try to figure out what was wrong.

The misfire only started when the road was really wet and we wondered if the cause was spray getting into the electrics somewhere. Kev fashioned some extra spray/mud flaps to see if this helped at all.

Kev making a mud flap in the rain

Kev making a mud flap in the rain

It was all in vain alongside Sproat lake she was by now running on one pot (cylinder). Kev did the only sensible thing and found a pull off away from the main road to take another look where Rob returning home found us and invited us for dinner and to have the use of his workshop, it was the beginning of great few days.
Next morning we resumed trying to find out what was wrong, it was an annoying fault which was intermittent. Seemingly worse under load i.e. the more you opened the throttle the more it cut to one cylinder. By rolling off the throttle slightly Kev could make it run back on both cylinders but of course when you are climbing hills etc you need to open the throttle.


Kev removed the points cap to find a lot of plastic dust, he forgot to bring the original Guzzi points ignition cap from home so we had to use the one from the existing electronic ignition. It seemed to fit okay but unbeknown to us had been rubbing slightly on the top of the points cam hence all the plastic dust where it had been slowly wearing through. It was easily cured by finishing the hole to give it some clearance and aralditing a bottle cap on to the top of the cap to keep it waterproof. He checked the points which seemed fine, then after cleaning and checking all the connections all seemed well and he went for a test ride only to come back 15 mins later with it missing again.

Black dust in the disi.

Black dust in the disi.

Through a process of elimination we thought the coil was at fault, it seemed unlikely at first as it was a fairly new unit but the problem seemed to get worse as the bike was used and the coils warmed up. Rob called a friend who ran a motor museum in Port Alberni and he said he had some spare old 12 volt car coils that we could try so we arranged to go over next day. Normally we carry spare coils and the other critical parts that make the bike go but we had not long changed ignition systems and hadn’t yet procured suitable spares. Next morning when she was cold the same thing happened, initially the bike ran fine but began cutting onto one cylinder after 20 mins or so and more so under load. When we got to Vic’s house we were treated to tea, banter and sympathy by his friendly wife Janet. Then we all went up to the museum where we first got a personal tour around.

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Vic is now retired but he used to run a logging and haulage business for many years. Much of the museum is dedicated to the machines from this important local trade although there are also fire engines, traction engines, railway stock and other classic commercial vehicles. It is open to the public on certain days and is run entirely by volunteers. The large collection needed a large home and they luckily managed to find it in the form of an old ice hockey arena, a new rink had been built and this one was scheduled for demolition despite the fact that the building was sound. They petitioned the council to give them the building rather than demolish it and saved them a bunch of money and found the collection a home, the rest is history.






Railway Carriage awaiting restoration.

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Original Model T Ford ignition coil (wooden box on left) and spark plugs.

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Once we had looked around we got to work, Vic found a selection of 12 volt car coils and they bypassed just the right hand cylinders wiring to the new coil. Kev was stuck for somewhere to put the coil as it would not fit under the sidepanel where the other one lived. As it was only temporary Kev fixed it to the mobile phone holder on the dash that Craig in Australia gave him and cable tied it on. A length of wire and a few crimps later and it was time to test it. Here it was definitely in the dry and within easy reach of the spark plug.

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Kev rode it around the block and it worked fine no misfire at all so we chalked it up as a success and headed back home for tea and buns stopping on route at the little shop where we photographed the dragonboats and canoes by the jetty behind the shop.


The sun had come back out by our return to Robs so we walked down the garden to the lakeside to take a few photos.



Kev and Rob

Kev and Rob

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Little did we know at the time how long this temporary repair would be on there. Originally a stop-gap for our return to Vancouver. Kev emailed Keith from classic solutions to see if many others had failed and ask his advice. Keith replied that night to say he had sold hundreds of them and had only ever had four returned. After kindly agreeing to replace the defective one under warranty we ordered a couple of spares while we were at it. Keith even went halves on the postage which was really nice of him. We got them on their way and just had to hope they got to Harri’s before we had to leave to head up north.

Next up – A little R & R and our return ferry trip.


  1. #1 by mark foster on September 6, 2013 - 2:44 am

    Hi all all well her sort of Mum has had a whoops and has now had her sholder Repaired . poor thing has been in the wars .sholder re construction , two eyes ,annd a great lump choped off the other sholder . grrrr . I have had the same problem with my Guzzi those points are of crap quality check they dont have and side way movement . the plastic bush pivot gives me trouble in the hot weather . took ages to find . as cold they appear good but hot it floats . I have made fibre pivots and what a relif . now I can pull up at the pub have a cold drink and come home on 2 cylinders . Yay . hope all is well will be back on the bike soon Mark

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