Sunday, July 19, 2015

Chopper update

     I've been layed up for 3 weeks.  It's starting to drive me crazy but I'm getting some blog posts updated.  I had surgery on my left leg to remove some scar tissue and sinus tracts that have been causing me problems for a couple years.  It's healing well but god dammit it's been hard being unable to ride a motorcycle in the middle of summer.  It'll be worth it in the long run though.

     The most recent progress on the chopper is getting the final wheel spacing done and mounting the front of the gas tank.  I cut off the tabs that would mount a rear belt guard to the frame.  I wanted as much clearance for the sprocket as possible.

     I had a selection of aluminum wheel spacers left over from when I replaced Tony's wheel bearings last year.  I selected one that was a little bit too long and carefully trimmed it with a hacksaw.  Then I filed the rest of it down as flat as I could get it until it was a tight fit into the frame.  The next time I take the wheel off I will bring it into work and have the guys in the shop give it a minor trim to square it up perfectly.  It's pretty flat right now but if they shave .010 off of it installation will be easier and it will be perfectly flat.

     Plenty of clearance to the frame and the belt lines up nicely with the front sprocket.

     I had previously set the spacing on the brake side to move the wheel as far right as possible and to keep the rotor centered on the caliper.  My step dad Roger helped me with that on his lathe last winter.  I am using an 87-99 style Softail rear caliper.  The tire is a 150-16 D401 Dunlop and a 1&1/8" wide drive belt.

     The rear wheel was originally on my 2005 Sportster.  I'm also using the original sprocket from that bike for a 32T front 68T rear gearing combination.  The chrome sprocket cover is from HD.  It reminds me of a Torque Thrust D wheel that you would commonly see on hot rods.  I put tape over it so I wouldn't scratch it up.

     After careful measuring with a micrometer eye I marked the neck gusset and drilled a pilot hole for my front gas tank mount.

     I then used a stepped uni bit to open the hole up to 3/4" and slid in my front gas tank mount.  The uni bit worked very well for this.  I made the mount from round stock to fit between the gas tank tabs and drilled and tapped it.

     What a nice view.  I still have to grind down the flat side mounting tabs on the back bone of the frame and the remaining tab under the gas tank.  I'm going to weld a tab to the tank tunnel and mount the rear of the tank straight into the back bone with a single bolt.  I love the way the width of the handlebars blends nicely with the triple trees and the gas tank.

100,000 miles Brand new bike!.

     On the trip up north my bike rolled over 100,000 miles.  I think it's pretty cool so I shot a video of it.  It is a 1996 FLHTCU.  I bought the bike in May 2010 with 54k on it.  The base gaskets were (still are) weeping a little bit of oil.  I put a new cam, cam bearing, and tappets in it at 67k miles.  It already had a different cam in it when I put in the Andrews EV23.  It had an EV27 in it when I bought it.  So someone had been into the cam cavity before me but I don't think the top end has ever been off.

     I'm going to just keep riding her until she starts smoking or making bad noises.  As of right now I have no reason to overhaul it.  Here's a short 1 minute video of the odometer rolling over

Where the Effie am I ?

     June 27th 2015 Tony and I headed north on a camping trip.  This trip was important to me for a couple of reasons.  My Electraglide was going to roll over 100,000 miles, and it would be the last time I rode a motorcycle for a while.  I was having surgery on Monday morning June 30th to correct some problems I have with my leg.

    I had to work that Saturday so we got a late start.  On the road headed north about 4:15 after a quick trip through Walmart to get some last minute supplies ( I worked until 3).  I needed some tent stakes and a new air mattress.  I like to use inflatable pool mattresses for my bed when I'm motorcycle camping.  They are cheap, small to pack, and disposable when you are done with them.  I don't buy the very cheapest one I can find though, they usually leak during the night.  I was so happy with the one I bought for this trip I actually saved it instead of throwing it away.  The label said Playdough of all things.  The brand doesn't really matter.  Get the type that has the hole pockets for a can of beer.  I've had the best luck with that style being comfortable and not going flat at 4 am.

     Our destination for the first night was a camp ground about 7 miles north of Grand Rapids on highway 39.  It was an RV park with lots of seasonal units. Most of them were empty the night we were there.  I rode right past this sign and went an extra 10 miles before I figured out I was lost and turned around.  I took this picture the next morning it was close to dark when we arrived.

     We took a couple detours on the way to Grand Rapids so we could ride the river road a little bit.  Instead of getting on the river road in Palisade I had the idea to just go west from 169 on Hwy 200 and head south on the smooth part and make a u turn when the pavement got rough and ride back on the same stretch of road.  I wouldn't do it that way again.  It's a lot more fun riding that road from the south heading north.  I don't know why.

     Once we got into the camp ground and set up camp we headed back into town to find a burger and a liquor store.

     We had a nice view from the campsite.  Tony has a hanging hammock tent.  It's a good thing he picked up that tarp when we were at Walmart because it rained about 3 or 4 in the morning.  Next time he sets it up he is going to pick trees farther apart.  He had quite a bit of sag and wasn't comfortable at all.  He did stay dry with the tarp though.  My little 6' x 6' kept me dry as well.  I used the pool toy air mattress with a t-shirt over the pillow area for a pillow case and my Swiss gear sleeping bag.

   In the morning we headed back into Grand Rapids to get a replacement pair of riding glasses for Tony.  He lost them in the night .  It was a blessing in disguise I think.  The delay kept us behind the rain most of the day.  We headed up Hwy 39 to Effie and that's where we had an amazing lunch at the Effie cafe.  Biggest omelet I've ever been served.


     Unfortunately after Effie we got into some rain and wet roads.  Nothing real terrible but Tony was pretty wet riding his chopper.  We altered our course in Cook and started heading south on 53 to avoid the thunderstorms.  Hwy 1 from Cook to Ely to the North Shore will have to wait for another trip.  We took another long break at a McDonalds in Virginia to let the storms move through.  We kept traveling south towards Cloquet so I could pick up Bradley from his mom's house and headed for home on Hwy 210.  550 miles in 28 hours not to shabby.