Wednesday, January 28, 2009

1200 Sporty - A Big Twin?

This is based entirely on a comment Big D made on Joker's post, “More on the New Iron 883”.
First, is a 1200 Sportster a “Big Twin”?
Second, who you calling a “old timer” Big D?

The 1200 Sportster vs. Big Twin is a valid point, and one that has always bugged the hell out of me. When Harley made the change in 1986 from the Ironhead Sporty to the 1200 Evo. Sporty, it bothered me. Mainly for one reason. Having owned several 1200 Big Twins, and still having a “74in. 1200 Big Twin”, the almost overnight perception that a bike with a 1200 cc engine (the Evo. Sportster) was a small, entry-level bike irritated me. Perhaps a different advertising campaign at that time, introducing the all-new “Big Twin Super Sport Sportster”. Or something along those lines. But to keep the 1200 Evolution Sportster in the same classification as the 1000 Ironhead Sportster, I think was a mistake.

Make no mistake about it. A 1200 Sportster will almost always, in my opinion, out-run a 1200 Shovelhead. A 883 with a 1200 kit, will probably always out-run a 1200 Shovel. I also would not be a bit surprised if a 883/1200 conversion, opened up a can of speed demon whoop-ass on a few of the new 96 inchers. I’m in complete agreement with Big D on this one. A 1200 “is” a Big Twin, no matter what frame it’s mounted in. As for the 883 itself, I don’t think it should have been made part of the Sportster family. It should have had it’s own product designation, or just left on the design room floor.

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!

Friday, January 23, 2009

My "Contribution" Of 25 Things

It has been a lifelong dream of mine to achieve “Ass-Hole Status”. Those of you who have taken that giant leap know what I mean. It must be a one of a kind feeling. I’ve never quite made it. I came close a few times. But I always fell just a little bit short. Maybe this will do the trick. I’m taking “100 Things” to the next level. But I’m only doing 25. The knife blade broke off while I was digging into my brain for these. So this is all there is. So here’s “25 Things” I didn’t know about myself until they came to me in a dream about five minutes from now.
1: Contrary to popular belief, I invented the Internet.

2: I lost my virginity to your sister.

3: I believe Global Warming is caused by Mexican Food.

4: I was on the Hollywood set when they filmed the Moon Landing.

5: I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.

6: I was once eaten by a Great White. He shit me out after five minutes.

7: While in the Army, I had Sergeant Stripes tattooed on my di*k so I could pull Rank.

8: I was raised by wild dogs until the age of 17.

9: I once snorkeled to the wreck of the Titanic.

10: I have been to Jupiter twice.

11: I shot J.R.

12: I have never been on a motorcycle. All the pictures were Photoshopped.

13: I fart after I piss to blow-dry my balls.

14: I was a secret agent for the CIA.

15: I quit that job to work for the KGB.

16: I quit that job because the drugs sucked.

17: I have been abducted by Aliens five times.

18: I have a eye on my left shoulder.

19: I can smoke a cigarette with my right ear.

20: I can fart through my eye sockets.

21: I’ve had sex with Aliens from three Planets.

22: I can piss in rainbow colors.

23: I often sleep while I’m typingggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg.

24: I was the body double in the movie “The Blob”.

25: I think I’m having a mental breakdown. Right Frigg’in Now!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

For Ann & Lady R

Your "redneck" house is complete and ready to move into. Enjoy! But don't try finding the out-house in the middle of the night.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

News Flash!

Our fair city of Salinas was invaded yesterday. That's all I'm saying. If you want the whole story you'll have to go to B.B.'s Road Trip.

Friday, January 16, 2009

And On A Happy Note:

Home of the California International Air Show, The California Rodeo and The National Steinbeck Center. Nicknamed “The Salad Bowl Of The World”. Welcome to Salinas, California. A great place to live, and apparently die.

As of midnight 1/15/2009, Salinas has had 6 homicides and 10 shootings. The population of Salinas is about 150,000. So with the help of teachers who, 35 years ago, would kick my ass if I didn’t pay attention in class, and if the ammo holds out, these are the figures I came up with for 2009: We’re on course to have 145 homicides and 243 shootings. If you live in Salinas you have a 1 in 1034 chance of being murdered. Or, if you would only like a little pain, you have a 1 in 617 chance of being shot.

Most of this is assumed to be “gang related”. But since the on again off again, start it up, shut in down “Gang Task Force”, is all part-time personnel, no one is really sure. Just don’t park for 92 minutes in a 90 minute zone. They’ll get you every time. Our Mayor has however taken action. So far he has “fasted for peace” twice. This is a good thing. The fat bastard needs to loose some weight. You know, his health and all.

Now that you’re in a happy uplifting mood, I’ll tell you why I mentioned this “good” news. Bloggers seem to be the eyes and ears of common folks all over our country. Is this kind of behavior increasing everywhere, or just certain areas? The total disregard for human life. The kill or be killed mentality. Is it just here? Or do you see more and more brutal crimes in your communities also? And if so, any ideas why? Are people just becoming more evil?

“Guns don’t kill people. Husbands who come home early kill people”

**CLARIFICATION** After I put this Post up, I had second thoughts and decided to clarify a point. “I am not against gang-bangers killing gang-bangers”. As a matter of fact, as long as they are killing each other, and “only” each other, it’s good for the economy. Look at all the people they help keep employed: Gun mfg’s. Ammo mfg’s. Used car lots (needed for drive-by’s). The police, fire and medical personnel. Coroner’s offices and funeral homes, just to name a few. Not to mention the jobs that open up when they quit showing up for work. So if they want to kill each other, be my guest. A bit of advise though: Learn how to us your damn gun so you hit what your aiming at, not a innocent by-stander.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Headlight Adjustment Revisited

The question of “how to check the headlight adjustment” was asked. So I guess some folks don’t have an owner’s manual or service manual. Or, might have a custom headlight, or whatever. You should still check with your local dealer for exact measurements if you don’t have a manual. This procedure should give you a very good baseline adjustment for just about any bike with a single headlight.

First, the basics: All adjustments are done on level ground. Use the “high beam” only while making adjustments. Bike should have the normal load that it carries, and standing straight up. The adjustment is very simple, so I’ll try not to over complicate it.

As for the adjusters on your bike, you will have to look at it to determine how to move them. There are several different types. Most are relativity simple and straight foreword. Again, check with your dealer or manual if your not sure.

The first measurement you need is the distance from the headlight to the taillight. Take that and multiply by.75, add 250, divide by E=MC2, subtract ½ and tighten the bolts. Did it work? If not, lets try the next method.

The garage door and driveway work good for this. Also masking tape. Measure 25 feet from the garage door. Mark the driveway at that spot. Measure the distance from the ground to the center of your headlight. Mark the door at that height, in a straight line from the mark on the driveway. Place the front axel over the mark on the driveway. Sit on the bike, stand it straight up and straight ahead, turn on the high beam. The mark on the door should be in the center of the main part of the beam. Adjust as necessary.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

This May Be Cruel. But...

It's 4:50 PM. Just got home. See that thermometer in my truck? I'm going for a ride to Monterey. Bye!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Tech Tip Time

With the change in seasons, yes, we have seasons in CA. Pretty much only two seasons: Warm and not so warm, but still seasons. And with this Daylight Savings Time thingy, is seems like I’m riding in the dark, (physically not mentally), more and more. Now, I’ve always thought the headlight on my Heritage kind of sucked. So I decided to change the bulb. I put in a Sylvania Silver Star bulb and headed out to look for creatures of the night.

The high-beam was a little better, the low-beam not so much. So WTF? This is supposed to be the top of the line best invention since the thong, headlight bulb. So I’m thinking, “this sucks”. Then it hits me like a bill from the IRS. This is where the “Tech Tip” part comes in. Understand, that this is what I do for a living. So it’s embarrassing to admit that I overlooked this important aspect of a headlight.

So I go back and check the alignment per factory specs. It was “way” off. A couple turns of a wrench and off into the night searching for little glowing orbs. What a surprise. It was like the difference between night and day. Just the headlight adjustment probably would’ of done the trick. But the Silver Star bulb is a great improvement over the OEM bulb. And yes, it is rated for motorcycle use. Riding at night, with the low-beam, with sunglasses, (not recommended, but looks cool), was the same as riding at night, with the OEM high-beam without sunglasses.

I would recommend the Sylvania Silver Star bulb, nice clean, bright, white light. Not those funny blue things. But the Tech Tip is to check the headlight alignment. I’m sure this gets overlooked a lot. I always check my lights before I head out, just not this part of the system. It only takes about five minutes and might help you see something one or two seconds sooner. Available at any parts store for about $20.00, or probably twice that if you must buy one in a H-D package.