Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The 800 pound gorilla

     My Electraglide is up and running again. It is the only bike I haven't talked much about on this blog.  I had to replace the shift shaft inside the transmission.  I got some new special tools and fixed it, finally.  I broke the transmission last June and it sat almost a year.  I've ridden about 2000 miles since I repaired it a month ago.  Grand Tour towns and The Bonzai Road Rally have kept me pretty busy.

     The culprit of my woes, a broken weld on the shifter shaft inside the case.  It is the very first part to go in the transmission so it required complete disassembly for replacement.

     I'm pretty sure I broke the old part from abuse.  My clutch was acting up for quite a while due to a buffer steel plate that the rivets fell apart.  The bike was hard to shift due to poor clutch action and I was really hard on the shift lever.  I'm sure the added stress from that caused the weld to break.  The moral is fix your clutch when it acts up and you won't have this problem.

The new part is made by Baker.  It has an improved pawl spring so that won't break on me in the future.

     The gear set was in good condition and should last a long time.  I've spent alot of miles on many different Harley's with the 6 speed transmission.  I like the 5 speeds better.  They are stronger.

     I've owned this bike since May of 2010.  It had 54k miles on it.  Currently it has 93k miles on it.  I put a new cam and tappets in it @ 67k, upgraded the stereo and speakers @80k.  I've had just about everything on this bike apart besides the short block.  It's going to require a major overhaul eventually but for now it's running good so I'm just gonna keep riding it.  The long term plan, at about 120k or 2 more years worth of riding, is an S&S stroker kit, another new cam, and new belt and sprockets.  An 89 c.i. Evo is sure a fun motor in a touring bike.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Garage is all set up.

I finished the reorganization of my garage.  I moved all my spare parts onto shelving in the basement, relocated the tool box, and parked the tractor in a different corner.  Now the big bikes are straight in and out and I have room to move around.  I also bought some much brighter light bulbs for my exsisting fixtures.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New dirt bike and some garage time.

     This things kinda ugly. I bought a $220 china bike.  I think it's an XR125 replica.  It runs, rides, all the gears work, and it even stops pretty decent with the disc brake on the front.  It is a far cry from the dirt bike I really want but it's going to get me through the summer I hope.
     I need to buy a trailer to hold this bike and the XR80 then we will be ready for some weekend moto fun.  Trail riding and camping are a priority for me this summer.  It's about the cheapest fun you can have with motorcycles because these little trail bikes just sip the fuel.  Spider lake is about 60 miles away and pulling a trailer I get about 20-22mpg with my car.  Cheaper than going to a movie for all day fun.  I don't think I will get both bikes in the trunk.

     I've been re organizing my garage to make room for all the bikes and make it easier to work on them.  My basement is filling up with shelves of parts and things I don't use very often in order to free up precious floor space.
All of the shelves along the left side are headed for the basement.

     The boxes and totes of "stuff" that is to important to throw away are also basment bound.  My tool box is going to be moved to the left side of the work bench.  I already removed the small brown cabinet to make room for it.

     The lawn tractor and the dirt bikes are going to be lined up along the wall to the left of the garage door in this view once the totes and tool box are relocated to their new homes.  This is the final step of me moving into my new house.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

2nd ride of the year

Todays ride was much longer.  130 miles.  I know that doesn't sound like much but this is the end of March in Minnesota.  Temperatures ranged from 38-42 degrees.  I put on my Bibs, three layers under my jacket, and I was off.  My 1200 runs REALLY well with air this cold.  Making extra horsepower today.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

I'm always a little sad when I sell a motorcycle.

     I sold Bradley's XR70 tonight.  It was the right thing to do but it's always a little uncomfortable the first time I walk into the garage and that bike isn't there anymore.  Here's a list of the motorcycles I have sold in no particular order:

1980 Yamaha XS 650

     I really liked this bike.  It was the first motorcycle that I bought after my leg was cut off.  I got it from a friend of mine named John.  It was pretty much as you see it but had stupid handlebars and old tires.  I installed some Mikuni VM34 roundslides, new tires, clutch just a general going over for a bike that had been sitting for about a decade.  I rode it for 2 summers and put about 10k miles on it.  I sold it about 3 weeks after I got my '05 Sportster.
     I learned ALOT about Mikuni carburetors getting these things to run properly on this bike but in the end I increased HP from 40 to 44, better throttle response, and actually got better gas mileage.

1999 Dyna Wide Glide:

I bought this bike for my ex girlfriend Kari.  We were engaged to be married, she loved riding and I thought it was pretty awesome to buy her a motorcycle.  She must not have thought it was that awesome because she called off the wedding and broke up with me.  Anyways  I sold it to my friend Shane.  I really liked it but it was a good decision selling it.  I bought Bradley's 883 shortly after selling this one.
I even swapped mid controls onto it because she couldn't reach the forwards.
I miss all the mini bikes too, but they had to be sold in order to keep Bradley moving up to bigger bikes


Friday, March 14, 2014

First ride of the year

     I got my first ride of the year in tonight.  I was chasing a photo tag for the game on GLMC's website .  By the time I got home with my required photo of my motorcycle in front of an Irish Pub someone else had already made the tag.  I put my picture up anways though because I 'bout froze my nuts off getting it.  I am officially the first guy to ride a motorcycle to the bar in Swanville this year.

     I was at work today looking out the windows in the front of the store.  The sun was out and the roads have been melted for several days and dry.  I couldn't wait anymore.  I didn't do shit to my Ironhead last fall other than shut off the gas and run the carb dry.  The temp was about 31 degrees tonight when I went out to the garage after work.  I selected my 1974 Sportster to be my maiden voyage this year.  Mostly because it is the only one without expired tabs.  I turned up the idle speed screw about 1 & 1/2 turns, cracked the throttle 3 or 4 times and hit the button.  RR RR RR pop pop pop.  Nice... signs of life right away and the battery was turning the bike over at a decent speed.  So I crack the throttle a couple more times and hit it again.  It didn't start right away, I had to fiddle with it and try a few times but I had the bike up and running within 2 minutes.  I turned down the idle screw to about 1200 rpm and just let it run for a while.  I'm sure it had sumped a little oil over the winter and I didn't want it to puke out the breather tube.  I just left it running and let the oil pump do it's job.

     I love Sportsters.  To me they are everything a motorcycle should be.  I like the way they look, the way they sound, the way they ride.  My '74 is just as quiet as my 2003 and MORE quiet than my 2005 when it comes to valve train and internal engine "racket".  In all fairness I do have .551 lift cams in the '05.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Adventure riding

I'm not around motorcycles every day all day anymore.  That has taken some getting used to.  Quite honestly I think my old job was ruining my passion for motorcycles.  I am looking forward to spring time riding more this year than I have for a couple years.

I sell auto parts now instead of motorcycle repair.  I'm good at selling parts, always have been.  Now that bikes have been removed from my daily grind I find the desire to go riding, explore new territory, and waste gasoline for my own enjoyment has strengthened.

I've started reading, and commenting on a forum called .  It's a new place for me to waste away hours on the internet.  It's full of your usually motorcycle guys.  Mostly about sharing rides or knowledge of things you have done, some keyboard commando's but not very many.  I started reading it because my off road riding interests have peaked. Off road camping weekends are high on my priority list for this summer.  I want to learn how to ride a good wheelie.

Bradley got a new dirt bike this spring, and I'm in the market for a better one.  One of my goals for the next two summers is to get Bradley on his own bike as often as possible to get his experience level up before I put him in traffic on that 883.  I intend to build a trailer and drag our dirt bikes someplace to go riding every couple weeks this summer.

I broke my old camera the night we got his new bike so I had to just point and pray that it would take a picture.  Here it is, a 2003 Honda XR80.

It's clean for an 11 year old dirt bike.  It has new tires, chain, and sprockets.  It's a Honda so I expect is to fire right up and just go and go and go like the Energizer bunny.  It does need a carb cleaning though.  It's the perfect upgrade from his XR70.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bradley's bike

Sportster number two is a 2003 XLH 883.  I bought this bike to be Bradley's first motorcycle once he is old enough to ride it.  It is a nice and stock low mileage bike and I'm gonna keep it that way.  This bike and my '74 are almost perfect just the way they are.  This one needs to have the hypercharger removed and a proper HD air filter installed.  I'm also on the look out for a 1200 custom seat to replace the badlander.

How many kids get a Sportster to ride to high school 3 years before they can even ride it?  I got this bike for him but I bought a 2003 Sportster in  particular because I wanted one like this when they were new.  I wasn't capable to buy a new bike until July 2005 when I got my first Sportster.

you always remember your first...

Sportsters are, in my opinion, the best motorcycles Harley-Davidson builds.  I have always liked them.  I currently own 3 of them.  My first one is a 2005 XLH 883.  I bought it new, it was my first Harley.  It's a 1200 now, been painted a couple times and has been there for me through thick and thin.  If the shit hit the fan and I had to sell everything I owned this is the bike I would ride into the sunset with nothing but the clothes on my back.

The bike is currently rattle can Chevy orange with a bad flame job.  I bought paint to redo it in the same design but better execution.  It is going to be the same color orange as the General Lee with black pearl flames on the gas tank.  The jolly roger paint job lasted a few years.  It will get used again if I ever get my chopper done.

I like Sportsters

Well I am not a very active blogger.  It's been nearly a year since I updated.  Last July I bought a house, and another Sportster.  The newest bike is also the oldest.  It's a 1974 XLH 1000.  I am the 3rd owner and it is a nice stock motorcycle.  I got it from a fellow named Jack.  He bought the bike in 1975 with only 1000 miles on it.  I also got the original gas tank, still in original paint, with the deal and a sweet AMF padlock.  I plan on repainting the fenders to match the paint on the OEM tank and reinstalling it. 

The bike is so close to stock I can't bring myself to modify it.  The pipes are different, but I think they are very early Cycle Shack pipes.  They have been on the bike since the 70's.

It has been repainted once with a larger king sporty tank installed.  It is a couple shades darker maroon than the original color.  I intend to bring the paint job back to stock with out repainting the tank.  I'm just going to redo the fenders to match the old tank.
Right now the tank is enshrined above the television in the living room.