This blog is chronological description of my 78 CB750 chopper project which I began in April 05. SOHC (Single Over Head Cam) CB750 motors were produced by Honda from 1969-1978.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Thursday, February 16, 2006
A year ago I started a journey. The journey was as much about filling a void as it was about building a bike. I had just started back to work after having been unemployed for 5 months. With out getting to Froudian, people have different ways of dealing with questions about life, purpose, and selfworth. This project was a part of answering those questions. Building this bike has taught me how to troubleshoot, attention to detail, and above all patience. I hope this is just the beginning of a lifelong relationship with motorsports, restoration and metal fabrication.
Before I close theres a few people I'd like to thank. First to my wife for putting up with gas fumes in the garage, grease under my nails, and countless Ebay purchases. Next to Daryl "The Squirrel" Wayne Locklear for letting me crash at his place when I picked up my bikes, and the last minute calls when I was in a pinch. To all the members of Hondachopper.com . Thanks for the countless tips, tricks, and processes that allowed me to build my bike. To Louisiana Technical College , specifically Mr. Boone, Mr. Hanson, and Mr. Bill for there patient instruction and advice. And finally to the Almighty for giving me the health, strength, and grace that allows me to persue the things that make life rich.
Friday, December 30, 2005
...heres a pic of the bike... (the one on the right)
So when I got back, I pulled the carbs off the 77 rejetted them, and put them on my chop. While they seemed to have problems on the 77, they run half way decent on the chop. So carb problem solved for now.
On to the pipes...
So the problem here was I was running MAC drag pipes which look great, but don't hug the frame very well, and hince run low to the ground. Probably only 3 or 4 inches clearance. For me, this is a problem for two reasons. #1-I don't want to slow down to 5 miles an hour every time a take a turn. And #2-It just ain't safe! Any bike I get, I want to RIDE!!! And I can't do that if I'm worried about dragging everytime I take a turn. All it takes is one time to lean to far, and this causes the rear tire to hop, and u'r eating asphault. So, what I did was this. I had a set of stock pipes that I had cut short, well, I cut them even shorter. They'r only about 15" long now. The leave the head and stop right at the point the down tube curves to form the bottom railing. Are they loud? You better believe it, but its a chop! Still is not as loud as an HD with stright pipes, so I don't feel to bad.
I havn't even rode it since I put the new pipes on it...had stuff go'n on every day after work. The weather is nice this weekend, so I'll ride some for sure. I'm just starting to scratch the surface of the power of this bike, as I become more comfortable on it. Now maybe its just me, but this motor feels like its get'n up. I'm comparing it to my Sportster 883, and it feels like I have at least that much power. Dare I say more??? No, I don't dare...not til I put it on the street with one.
Sorry about not having pics, the wifey has been back in NC for the holidays. I'll try and get some pics this weekend, and update this post.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
This past weekend I [finally] got my kickstand welded onto the bike. Not a great job, but its mine, and I can say I did it. My biggest concern right now is my exhaust pipes. These are a set of MAC drags I got on the cheap. They are wayyyy to low. Probably only 2 or 3 inches off the ground. Its seriously effecting my ability to lean into turns. I'm going to try turning them out a little bit and see if that gives me the clearance I need.
Carbs are the next issue. The last time I tryed to start it with the set of carbs that I rebuilt, it wouldn't start. So I had to go back to the carbs off my stocker. I think I want to take those apart again (the carbs I rebuilt) and soak the bodies in carb dip and see if that helps. I jetted up to 120's, and the plugs look good, but had a little bit of white on the tips (lean condition), so I'm gonna try 125's.
Got to put a new set of races in the neck. I feel like such a tool! When I put the races in the neck, I thought they were a little tight, so I shaved a little off them to make them easier to drop in. Bad idea! Now when I hit a bump, the neck feels like its about to rip off the frame. Lessen learned...you have to bang the races into the neck for a reason.
So thats where I'm at. I'm heading to pick up a 77 750 in Arkansas this weekend. Fighting a cold, so I hope I'm feeling better by then. Gonna spend the night with Senica J. while I'm up there. Its always a good time at his place.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Monday, November 14, 2005
Day 224-Maiden Voyage
Monday, October 31, 2005
I also began work on the cutting a slot that will allow the chain to pass through the fender. I should have that wrapped up by the weekend. And of course I'm still waiting on my throttle housing of come back from being fabbed. So more waiting...
Monday, October 24, 2005
Spent a long day on Satruday working on the chop. The goal was to get spark at the plugs, and maybe try to start the engine depending how that went. Well, the goal was accomplished...sort of. I spent all day saturday checking and double checking wiring, points, coils, and all points (no pun intended) in between. No luck on saturday, but the day wasn't a complete wash. I also got my carbs mounted, and all associated hardware on my gas tank installed. So I have the tank mounted with gas in it. The shot above is with the carbs mounted. Not a huge accomplishment, but as soon as I get the wiring straightened out, she should be ready to fire up. On Saturday I also put a smaller (42 tooth as opposed to 48 tooth) rear sproket on my stocker. Should give me better gas milage. So yesterday after more troubleshooting on the wiring I found that if I manually break the points contact that I am getting good spark at the plugs. Evedentely whats happening is that [for whatever reason] I am loosing voltage to the coils when the switch is in the "Start" position. Someone said that sometimes automotive switches are set up to kill power to the coils in the start postion because there is a separtate curcuit that provides power to the switch??? At this point I'm just glad I feel like I have a resonable handle on whats going on. A few guys on the hondachop board have said they have had good luck with a Walmart swich, so I may try that. The other option is to use the stock solinoid to wire it up. More to come...but I'm get'n closer!!!
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Day 193 - So close I can smell it!!!
...and it smells good! Got the fender mounted this weekend. Drilled four holes in the swingarm portion of the frame so the fender s good and stable. I had considered using a harley style strut to strenthen it. I want a passenger to be able to sit on the back and I want the fender to support the weight. The fender is pretty hefty (12 gauge steel???) and after mounting it, I'm confident it will hold an average persons weight. Also got my "Po Boy" pipes on it. I plan to wrap them in heat tape at some point...only becuase they look like crap, but I'm not in any rush. Also got the electrics mounted, I'm very proud of this work. I tucked them in nice and neat on the back side of the battery box:
And also mounted the ignition switch. I tinkered with this some more last night, and still have work to do. The starter seems to be engaging in the ON and START postions on the switch. It should only be engaging in the START position, so I have a little more research to do there. Mailed off my throttle sleeve and housing this morning to Jason Held at http://jhcustoms.hortoncustoms.com/ This guy does awesome billet aluminum work, hes making a set of grips for me that look something like these to the right. Hopfully that won't take more than a few weeks. I'm ready to fire up the engine, but with my throttle housing gone I may have to wait til this one comes back. I may try and pull the housing off my stocker until these come back.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
I think I'm settled on how I'm going to mount the gas tank. I took it with me to welding class last night and welded a U-Bolt to the inside of the tank. I only welded one U-Bolt, so its still not real sturdy. Then it hit me this morning while laying in bead. I'll weld a tab on the end of the tank (right where the seat meets the tank), and use a worm screw/strap to secure the bottom end of the tank.
Did a nice little project in class last week. I added 6 inches of stretch to a stock CB750 swingarm. I'll use this on the stock bike that I'm modifing.
Also big ups to DW Locklear...he won a nice CB750 down in "Hot"lanta, GA...
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Monday, September 12, 2005
Finally made some real progress this weekend. As you can see in the pic I got the motor mounted on saturday. Called a buddy (thanx Randal) and getting it in was easy money. Way easier than getting the motor in the stock bike. On Thursday of last week I get bolts to mount the motor which worked out great. This particular frame only uses 3 of the 4 mount points on the motor. The upper front mounting holes on the motor are free. I may use these unused mounting holes to secure the forward controls.
My forks also came in on friday...that was a long wait...it took UPS 2 weeks to get me those forks (thanx Hurrcaine Katrina!!!). At any rate the front end is together and feels good. I'm not real pleased with the front wheel as its full of rust. While its sound, it looks a little rough (even for a budget chop). Plus wheels are cheap, so I got a bid on one on Ebay as we speak. I also have issues with the front brake caliper. I'm not sure, but I think the caliper I have is for a different model fork, cuz it doesn't see to line up with the disk. I'll need to pull the front end and check that out. Oh, and I also have a rear wheel on the way. The one that mounted now is off the stock 78K, and is off center. I have a pre 77 model wheel/hub that is laced to a harley rim on its way.
I also got started on the wiring yesteray. Just got all the tape off the stock harness, and got things laid out. Was gonna try to keep everything entact, but it was just way to cluttered, so I chopped off just what I needed, and I'll wire it from stratch.
So, got lots to do now. Not even gonna try and guess when I could have the motor running, not close enough yet, so I'll keep you posted. Cheers!!!
Monday, September 05, 2005
It has been a sad week in Louisiana. The hurricane hit today a week ago. Words can't describe the pain and devistation survivors displaced by the storm have felt, and the helplessness and frustration I have felt. Erica and myself fared pretty well, we only lost power for most of Monday. Things have finally started to look the they have turned a corner the last few days, but there is alot of work ahead. With all the devistation I feel reluctant to even give an update on my project. It all seems pretty insignificant in relation to other events of the week. I had hoped to have the frame on wheels and the motor in the bike by now. But the storm held up the set of forks I had on its way in, and I still have yet to receive them. I also have a bro from hondachop sending me a pre 77 rear hub. I hope this will work OK for the rear wheel. Things should move pretty quick when I get the forks in. I finished up grinding on the neck, so the triple tress are greased, and in place, I just need to slide the forks in and tighten everything down.
Monday, August 22, 2005
Also, I'm starting my welding class tonight. I'll let u know how that goes next time I post.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
...this is with the etching primer on it...I put a coat of El Cheapo flat black on it just so it looks a little better. I also did a quick mock up:
...I know...looks pretty crappy, but you get the idea. The lines are what I wanted. With the forks slid down in the triple trees I figure I need about 6 over forks. I have a lead on a set from a guy off Hondachop, so we'll see if that pans out.
As far as the neck goes I think I solved my problem. If you recall the diameter of the neck was to large for the dust cover. So I used my angle grinder to take about 1/8 of an inch off the top of the neck...heres a pic:
I was pretty proud of myself with this. The dust cover fits nice and slug over the neck now. I ordered a set of aftermarket sealed bearings for the neck. Hopfully they will be here today or tomorrow. I'm hoping they come today, I'd like to bolt it up tonight and see how it fits. Just checked ups.com and they left Illinois yesterday at 2pm...so I'll keep my fingers crossed.
So the rear wheel situation is pretty dyer. If you recall problem #1 was my axle did not fit the holes in the frame. Well the problem there was the axle holes are 3/4 inch, and the stock Honda axle is 22mm (or was it 20?). At any rate the axle is slightly larger than 3/4". The was a pretty easy fix. About 20min of grinding with my Dremel fixed the frame right up and I was able to get the axle through. So now I can bolt up my stock CB750K wheel. Well, with it all bolted up the wheel is off center by about an inch! In the immortal words of Goose to Maverick in Top Gun, "This is not good Mav!" Turns out the stock Honda hub is just to wide for frame. A fellow chopperhead on Hondachop has a cycleone frame, and he went throught the same thing. He says he has rear wheel from a CM400 that he is using that fits like a glove. So I'm working on two fronts now. One if I can find a CM400 wheel, the other is to use a sport bike wheel. I originally wanted to go with a sport bike rear wheel, but was concerned about how much work it would be to make it fit. Since it looks like I'm gonna to have to do some fabrication any, I might as well go with what I want. I won't be able to do it this weekend, but I plan on going out to Rad Cycles ( www.radcycles.com ) , they have a pretty robust bone yard with a ton of wrecked sport bikes. I have all the measurements in hand and if I can find something that will work, I'll give it a try. So all in all, I'm pleased, still running into problems, but nothing I havn't been able to solve.
Friday, August 05, 2005
Sup all! Two thing to report. First I started making some motifications to my stock frame for a future bobber project. I'm using this web site, www.homemadehonda.com as a reference. I'm taking a welding class as the local techincal college, and hope to work on the project there.
From here I want continue with the downward angle of the backbone. This will allow the rider to side about 6 inches lower than normal. I'll keep you updated.
Second, my frame came in yesterday, and I got a chance to check things out. Two problems. One is the rear axle is to big for the axle holes in the frame. Its not off by much. I've emailed cycleone to get there take on it. The frame should have been machined for this axle, so not sure whats up. Either way, I think its close enough that I can grind it down and make it fit. Next is the neck. The triple trees don't seem to fit right in the neck. I'm using the stock ball bearings, and I'm hoping the neck is machined for aftermarket races...that will be an easy fix...$40 for the new races. I've emailed cycle one on both issues and hope to hear somthing today. I don't think either of these is a show stopper. Tommorrow I plan on priming the frame. Gonna go with a good etching primer as a base, then Walley World flat black sanded to a smooth finish. Cheers!
Friday, July 29, 2005
In other news, I got an email from cycle one yesterday, and my frame is on the way (see left). Only problem was it does not have the drop seat that I wanted. Rather than wait for them to fix it, I just told them to refund me the $50 I paid for it and get that puppy in the mail. Should be here in about a week.
Frame Specs: 6 up, 4 out, 40 degree rake
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Got an email from CycleOne last week, saying my frame should be ready this week, no word yet. Either way I'm hope it will be here next week, or the first of August.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
No word on my frame yet...
Friday, July 08, 2005
Not bad for $40 worth of suppies...won't go into how much time it takes. Suffice it to say if you'r time is worth anything to you, just pay someone else to do it. At any rate I am pleased. I'll know out the side covers and rear faring now.
Still waiting on the frame, no word yet, but should be hearing something in the next couple weeks. In the mean time, I have a new head gasket and from break setup on the way.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
What does it mean...
I think there is a natural evolution to motorcycling that everyone will evolve to if they ride long enough. The last evolution is that of the chopper, or the custom bike if you will. It is not bound by the constraints of stretch or rake, but only by the riders imagination. The desire to sit back meditate on what one wants in a motorcycle, and then build it for themselves. Not so much the physical act of building it, but the act of building what you want, what is asthetically pleasing to you and no one else.
I think I was searching all those years. Don't get me wrong...I've loved all the bikes I've rode. Nothing can beat the power of the CBR I rode for 3 years. Nothing coming off the line and pushing 135mph in a 1/4 mile. And I have great memories on my Harley. Honestly I think my honda chop will be the best of both worlds. The power and acceleration of a sport bike, and the stance and attitude of a cruiser.
At the heart of it I think I love these bikes (SOHC's), because they are what Harleys used to be. In the 60's & 70's Harleys were a novelty. Not a lot of people rode them, and there wasn't a dealership on every corner. When you wanted to work on it, you had to scrimp/scrap, beg-borrow and steal for parts. Thats how it is with these SOHC's. Now-a-days everybody has a harley. Their not the exception, they are the rule. If you need parts and you are lucky you'll find the parts at your Honda dealer, but more times than not it means wading through Ebay or contacting other folks who ride.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
I will be in NC for the 4th, so I'll let the clear coat cure over the holiday. Then I'll be ready for wet sanding with 1500 grit sand paper and polishing. Also pulled the head on my donor motor yesterday so I can change out the head gasket.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
The tank is still in pretty bad shape. Whats left is clear coat, lots of sanding, then buff and polish. The process is this:
-First I will put 3 or 4 coats of clear coat on (hope to do that today) and let that cure for a couple days.
-Next I will get 1500 grit sand paper and wet sand (water + detergent for lather) the tank to a nice even dull sheen.
-After the sanding there is special compound used to remove 1500 grit sanding. This will be polished on and should give it that "wet" look.
-Final step is a few passes with a buffing pad.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
This is my first forey into the world of paint. The paint is pretty crappy on the stocker, so it will be good practice. After stripping, I'll give it a good sanding, then primer and more sanding, then it will be ready for paint. More to come...
more done today...
Monday, June 13, 2005
So more on the frame. It from from CycleOne ( www.cycleonemanufacturing.com ) The specs are as follows: 4" in the down tube, 6" in the backbone, drop seat, and custom oil tank/battery box. Oh, and a nice curve in the down tube. I think this is gonna be bad a$$, and just the street fighter look I'm go'n for. I have funds on the way, so it will be another week before I can get funds to CycleOne, then about an 8 week wait, so I hope to have it in-shop by labor day, then the fun begins!!!
Monday, June 06, 2005
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
So this afternoon I'll mount the rockers, and set the valve clearance, and she'll be ready to go back into the bike. All I wanna do is check the compression on this puppy. It was anemic with the F head showing only 80psi. With the stock K head back on she should be 150+.
Monday, May 23, 2005
Day 53 - Its Alive!!!
#1 - Compression is horrible. Its no secret why though. If you remember I put an F model head on a K motor. The F model has domed pistons, and a larger compression chamber in the head to compensate for the domed pistons. The K model has regular/flat pistons, combine this with the F head which makes for more space in the compression chamber. In the end what this means is lower compression, about half what it should be. I did a compression check yesterday and got about 80psi, it should be 150+ on a freshly rebuit topend.
#2 - Leaky valve cover. Not sure about this, but I think this also has to do with the F model head. I cranked the valve cover down, even pounded on it with the empact wrench, and it still leaks. I think there are slight differences in the valve covers that causing them to leak.
So whats the verdict? All in all I'd give the motor 1 thump up and one thumb down. I think the motor is solid, and I could go put 20,000 miles on it, but the lose of power is significant enough for me to conclude the F head is simply not a good idea. I'll find a K head and install that in place of the F head.
All is not lost though. This was my first rebuild and an excellent experience. Other than a few problems I didn't run into anything I can't handle. From here as I said I'll replace the head on the donor motor. I'm also going to put new rings/gaskets in the F motor. Right now my time frame for purchasing my chopper frame is after the July 4th holiday...then the real fun begins!!!
Monday, May 16, 2005
Day 46 - Finished Motor
Now the plan is to remove the motor from my 78F stocker and replace it with this rebuilt motor. I'll drain the oil and start prepping the motor for removal this afternoon. I'm hoping it will be ready to be taken out Wednesday or Thursday, and maybe I can have the newly rebuilt motor purring by the weekend!!!
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Day 42 - Cleaning heads...again...
Monday, May 09, 2005
- On saturday got juggs (lower end) on donor motor.
- Rode up to New Orleans and hung with Bud. Very cool guy...lives in a warehouse and has 8 CB750's, all stock and cafe racers.
-Changed plugs in stock 750SS and was amazed at the increase in power.
Friday, May 06, 2005
Day 36 - Bad valve guide
Thursday, May 05, 2005
Day 35 - Rear wheel woes...
The more I think about it the more I think I will go the KISS (keep it simple stupid!) route and use the stock honda wheels. Success is important in a project like this. I'm already starting to feel the pressure of the build just with the problems I've ran into with the motor (bad valve guide). Its important that I complete this project. I hope this will not be the only project I will ever do. So I think its important to be realistic and stay within my budget goals for this project. Once I get through this one, I can sell it on ebay an tackle a new project next year and challenge myself a little more next time. And the beat goes on...
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Day 33-Waiting on parts
So all the time off has given me time to work on my polishing skills. I was just planning on cleaning the aluminum up nice, but then I see this on Ebay:
Oh my God! I didn't know aluminum could look that good. So I'm think'n minds gotta look like that. I pulled by gear cover and stator cover off and went to work with my dremel tool. Well, I found out real quick the dremel tool just ain't cut'n it. It does a good job, but it just doesn't have the surface coverage...would take months just to do the gear cover. I went out this weekend and bought a 10,000 RPM grider/buffer. This sped this up enormously. Heres some pics of progress:
This is before using the dremel:
...now with the grinder/polisher:
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Day 27-The DMV...
On the rebuild front I placed orders for a complete gasket set and one set of piston rings. I'm suspect about the piston rings, so I just ordered one. If its the right one, I'll order the other 3. Got a couple contacts in Louisiana that I may be able to get an exhaust valve from, so still researching that.
Monday, April 25, 2005
I also completely stripped the head and cylinder, and dipped them and cleaner. Alos cleaned up the pistons and removed the rings. One of the piston rings in cylinder #3 was corroded into the piston, but managed to get it out and get it cleaned up. Here are some pics...
So now I'm ready for reassembly. The things I need before I can begin reassembly are a gasket set, a new valve to replace the one that was bent, and piston rings.
Also have been working diligently on polishing up the valve, stator, and gear covers. I'll post some pics ASAP.
Friday, April 22, 2005
Day 22-Head is off...
When I pulled the head off I was surprised at how bad the inside looked. Alot of gunk and sludge all on top of the pistons and valves. Not sure if there is any serious damage or not. I hope to find that out this weekend. I'm think'n I'll pull the cylinder out and completely tear the head apart. Clean all that up, and if everything looks OK figure out where I want to go from there. Basically sounds like I'm back to the original plan I laid out on Day 18 (at the very least). I'm hoping all looks solid below the cylinder...lets keep our fingers crossed...
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Day 21-Bad valve???
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Day 19-Rethinking the engine...
Monday, April 18, 2005
Day 18-The plan...
I've made a decision on how much work I want to do with the project motor. After much deliberating and question asking, and taking into consideration my skill level, I have decided to just do the top end of the bike. This will include, new head/valve cover gaskets, new rings, valve adjustment, and possibly a new Cam Chain. I'm fairly confident I can do all these tasks myself (with the assistance of the manual of course) and this will keep $$$ to a minimum...I'm hoping under a $200. After the engine work I plan on removing the motor from the stock bike (which I want to clean up anyway) and putting the project motor in and putting miles on it to tune it. At that point once I feel confident the motor is solid it will be ready for mock up in the chopper. And the saga continues....
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Day14-Engine is out
...and couldn't resist pulling the valve cover off to check out the innerts...
So now I'm at the point of trying to decide how far I want to go with the rebuild. At one side of the pole I can just do the top end...gasgets, valve job, ect. At the other end of the poles is a complete overhaul. The disadvantages with a complete overhaul are $$$ and the chance of screwing things up if I try and do it myself. Right now I'm really leaning toward just doing the top end. I feel fairly confident I could do that. Considering this is my first build, and I'v never done anything more than change my oil, I think that would be quite an accomplishment.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
In removing the crankcase cover I ran into a stripped screw. Used "screw remover bit", also known as an "easy out" to remove it. I was pretty proud of myself on accomplishing that. Removed the front spocket cover and took the chain off. I think the motor is ready to come out now, just got to coordinate some help to get it out and up on a table.
Titles to the bikes should be in any day now. However this is gonna be a problem cuz they are NC titles. To transfer them to Louisiana I need a notorized tite or bill of sale...neither of which I have. I'm gonna see if I can get a local notory to hook me up. If not then I'll try and get the guy I bought them from to send me a notorized bill of sale.
Talked with Kate from CycleOne last night. This is the place up in Canada I'm planning on buying my frame from. I think I may go with a 5.5 inch Harley rear wheel. Think I can get one off ebay for under $200. Kate has the best Canandian accent...eyy?
Thursday, April 07, 2005
Day 5 - Man thats a sweet sound!!!
Day 3 - The pickup
Up at 9am on Saturday. I'm depending on directions I got off Yahoo to find this guys place so I can pick up the bikes. Yahoo says its about an hour from my cousins place in Moresville, NC. Fast forward 3 hours and I'm sitting in this guys yard somewhere on Lake Norman. Hes not home and his adolesent son says he'll try and get him on his cell. Kid comes out of the house 30 minutes later and says to follow him...the bikes aren't there, there at somebody elses house. Why am I not surprised? So I follow this kid to a church where the kids dad is doing a constructon job. The kids dad is not there, but he hads me off to the dude that has the bikes at his place. So I follow him another 30 minutes out of Mooresville to a Modile home, and sure enough there they are strapped to the back of a 12ft flat bed trailer.
Me and "haus" get the bikes in to the back of my truck. Pull my back out doing that...haus was making me do all the heavy lifting...there my bikes...I guess he has a point. So I leave there and have to meet another guy who has the keys and titles. He has the keys, but his dad has the titles in his truck. After trying to get a hold of his dad on his cell for 15 minutes we decide they will mail me the titles so I can be on my way.
Up at 4am Sunday morning for the treck back to Louisiana. It took 14 hours to get to NC...and I extimate is will take about 16 to make it back. The truck can pull the weight of the bikes OK. However having the bikes straped in the bed of the truck makes the truck real top heavy, and going faster than 55mph would put me in a fatal speed wobble.
I pull in to Baton Rouge at 7pm. Success!