Sunday, January 25, 2009

Back To Bike Stuff - For Now

Time to get back to bike stuff. Performance or function. That’s all I put on my bikes. The only “bling” is whatever the factory put on it. Floorboards. The stock location, to me, sucks. Right side, your foots right against the exhaust. Left side, shifters are too close. Most of the “fixes” I saw for this looked cheap and probably wouldn’t last long. I found a small company called Harley-Goodies that makes floorboard extensions that will work on just about all Harley floorboards. Bought them, installed them, love them. They’ve been on the bike over a year now. No complaints. If I remember correctly, they cost just under $50.00 and the freight was free. By my measurements, they move the boards out 1 7/16 in. Makes a hell of difference.

You can also free up more of your left floorboard by reversing the heel-toe shifters. Move the heel shifter to the inside on the splined shaft. Factory set up is toe inside, heel outside. Simply reverse them. Yes, it will clear the primary cover. But most boots still won’t fit between them. I went with Baker extended shifters. 1in. over on the toe and 1 ½ in. over on the heel. Price is reasonable. About $70.00 each. Plus they make them so both mount bolts face the same direction. Just a “eye” thing with me. There are a crap-load of mfg’s. that make extended shifters, whatever catches your “eye”. I just like that my foot fits between them. Gives me full use of the floorboards.

Passenger Floorboards. This is just for Softails with Harley brand passenger floorboards installed. A lot of people put on passenger boards, as did I. The only issue is that with no adjustment, and only one way to mount them, they put the passengers right foot damn near right on top of the rear muffler. Dumb ass engineers. You’ll notice that my rear boards are about 3 ½ inches higher than normal. This involves cutting and welding, but is a very simple fix. E-mail if you want more info. I mention the rear boards for one reason. When installed as per Harley’s instructions, they keep the passengers knees pointed at a downward angle. That causes them to slide forward when you brake or hit a bump. With a minor modification, the knees are kept at a slight upward angle. Therefore keeping the passenger firmly planted against the backrest, where they belong.

Last week I read a post on Crusty's blog. He was talking about new requirements for bike inspections in Mass. One of the comments asked how they would know if the exhaust was stock or not. This is one way to tell. Since the EPA jumped on the bandwagon in 1978, OEM approved mufflers have a “EPA compliance statement” stamped on the frame facing side. It states the mfg. info, part no., model and decibel rating. The current EPA rating is, I believe, 80db. The db reading is normally taken at 25 ft. with the engine at a idle (some states may differ). Normal conversation at 5 ft. is 65db. So how loud is 80db? Start your bike and let it idle. Pace off 25 ft., turn and look at your bike. Now fart. Did you hear it? If so, then your bike is to damn loud!


"Joker" said...

I've been wondering about these footboard issues since I never had them before. Well, not full-sized ones anyway. I guess I'll have to wait and see how it feels when I get out on the road. If I don't like the way they are set up now, it's good to know there are other options to set them up so they're more comfortable for the rider.

I asked my mechanic about passenger fold-up footboards, but supposedly they don't make them for the Springer - something about them hitting the exhaust on the left side I think he said. I know if we start welding we can do just about anything, but I hardly ever carry a passenger, so for those few times it's not worth all the work and cost.

As far as the noise issues with Mass. new inspections go, I just hope they aren't as anal about it as Crusty describes. Not that I won't get around it somehow, but depending on how tough they are about it, old Joker might have to grease a few palms. I know that H-D is supposed to mean "Hundred-Dollars" every time you do something to them, but I never figured it would include a frigging inspection. I really HATE Massachusetts sometimes.

Ann said...

Mass inspection stations...yup I don't miss 'em! I used to have to go somewhere I knew somebody because otherwise my cars would never pass emissions! I was a total polluter. :)

Dean "D-Day" said...

As always, thanx for the tech tips. I learn a lot from them.

And yup, the exhaust laws are going to get tougher and tougher. Hardly a day goes by that I don't hear about some city or state that is trying to institute some new noise or exhaust ordinance aimed at bikers. Stay informed and contact your local ABATE.

One Harley Rider said...

Thanks for the FloorBoard ext tips, I may have to apply that to my crossbones

Willy D said...

“Joker”: On the comfort scale, the ext.’s are worth 10 times what I paid. The rears only take one cut and one weld each. I’ll take a look the next time I see a ’07 Springer and get back to you. It should take about 2 sec. to tell if my mod. will work on that model.

Ann: You! A total law breaking polluter! Say it ain’t so!

Dean: Ever see the poster at the H D dealer with exhaust pipes tied in a knot :(

OHR: You won’t be disappointed.

Mr. Motorcycle said...

Great post,
I never knew, although never inquired, or researched about decibel readings. I did not know that they read at an idle. I guess that only makes sense though. This will work well for me, and the Vance and Hines Straight shots that I have are quite quiet at idle, and really get loud when accelerating.

Willy D said...

Mr. M: That is the “normal” way to take the reading. Can’t speak for all states.

FLHX_Dave said...

Now this is true customization my friend. The type that is practical. That's true customization

13biker said...

I use the Harley Goodies extensions as well. Wrote a review on my blog. They make them for softails and baggers. All I can say this is the best mod I have done for comfort. It makes a world of difference and is inexpensive as well.