Saturday, September 18, 2004

Wrench Reports - Snarl's Heavy Breather

Openin' her up, lettin' her breath ...

Got one of Snarl's Heavy Breather air cleaners, and bolted her on today. This thing is suave. Cast aluminum, with a highly polished venturi for pulling air in. The biggest air filter you've ever seen to minimize restriction. An internal sump to take the blow-by oil and gasses from the heads, and plenty of options for dealing with that stuff.

Pull one plug and route it back into the venturi, or pull one of two plugs on the back, and run a hose down to the ground. I opted for the latter.

That choice meant a trip to Ace Hardware. I needed a few feet of oil line, some standard plumbing fittings, and three cap head screws. I also needed a new gasket from the local dealer. Wrapped a little teflon tape around the L fitting, screwed it into the bottom of the sump, attached the oil hose, and ran it down between the tranny and the frame, with nylon ties to hold it in place.

Mounted the breather to the heads loosely, put a drop of Loctite on each of the three screws which hold the HB onto the throttle body, lined the venturi up, and cranked everything down. Perfect fit! I capped her off with an eight inch round, black air filter cover I scored off eBay, and a suave chromed billet insert.

This finished my stage one upgrade. I had strapped on a pair of Khrome Werks HP+ slip-ons, Harley of Washington had installed the Stage-One flash to set a base map and to increase the rev limiter, and I installed a PCIII USB with the appropriate map.

Yee haw! Finally got m' bagger breathing and she just opened up! The throttle's more responsive, she pulls harder, the pipes sound better, my dick gets harder, my acne cleaned up, young girls swoon when they see us, other men step out of my way, and my boss gave me a raise.

I get her dyno-tuned and there'll be no livin' with me!

Thursday, September 2, 2004

Wrench Report: Removable Tour Pak

Mounting a Detachable Tour Pak Rack to a Late Model FLHTCI Tour Pak

This is my attempt at documenting lessons learned from mounting a detachable Tour Pak Rack on my 2004 Electra Glide Classic. I imagine there're similar issues (and more) with Ultra Barges, and some of this should apply to EG Standards and Road Glides, but I converted an FLHTCI, and so that's my focus.

Bear in mind that HD P&A catalog and other documentation is slanted towards those mounting a newly purchased Tour Pak on Road Glides and Electra Glide Standards - bikes without Tour Paks.

So, the catalog and information sheets don't tell you all the parts you'll need, instruction sheets say they're for other kits, or for other bikes - then there're typos, wrong part numbers, and generally misleading info. [more on that...]

Hey, it's an adventure! Don't want to mess with it? Pay the dealer!

Parts I used:

Touring Detachable Tour-Pak Rack (P/N 53276-04)
Detachable Lock (optional) (P/N 46063-98)
Rear Docking Point Kit (P/N 53127-96C)
Front Docking Point Kit (P/N 53746-97B
Antenna Relocation Kit (P/N 76326-00)
HD PHD Tab Terminal (3ea) (P/N 20-166A )
HD PHD Recpt Contact (3ea) (P/N 20-166)
HD PHD Tab Housing, 3-Posit (P/N 73103-96BK )
HD PHD (P/N 73153-96BK) Recpt Housing 3-Posit)
Conduit 10FT (P/N 70554-69)
Layback License Plate Mounting Kit for Touring Models (P/N 53385-00)

There's no single install guide for the entire process. So, if you install each component separately, you'll find yourself frequently undoing something you just did to do the next step. Install the rear docking point first, but read ahead because the front docking point replaces one of the front bolts, and the new antenna mount bolts inside the left rear docking point.

It helped me to understand how the antenna relocation kit works. When installed, the antenna lead from the radio will be relocated to the bottom of a new antenna mount on the rear docking point. When the Tour Pak is off, the antenna screws into this mount. A jumper cable is permently wired from the Tour Pak mount and routed out a grommet in the front of the Tour Pak.

When you mount the Tour Pak, you take the antenna off the rear mount, screw the jumper cable into an adaptor on the rear mount, and screw the antenna into the Tour Pak mount.

At that point, the rear mount is basically a connector extending the antenna cable from the radio to the tour pak. Both mounts are included in the kit, though the one for the Tour Pak is unnecessary in this scenario. Don't loose the adaptor!

You'll need a license plate mounting kit. The original installation uses the license plate holder as a rear support to the Tour Pak. It's not usable in the final install unless you trim hell out of it. I used HD's Layback License Plate Mounting Kit for Touring Models p/n 53385-00 which barely fits. A less spendy alternative might be to find the stock unit on the FLHT.
Nothing tells you that you have to remove the upper chromed rail from the bike (the one the license plate holder holds up). But you do. Of course you do. (You probably already figured that out.)

Mounting the rack to the Tour Pak is straight forward. There appears to be a few options for shifting the Tour Pak fore and aft a few inches, but the available holes only provide for status quo or forward. Mr drill might provide a few more options. But think about what shifting that much weight aft might do to your balance. As the MofoMoCo might say "serious death or injury, yada, yada, yada ...

I found mounting it to be tough at first. The front mounts and rear mounts did not align properly. I double checked all the instructions to make sure I used appropriate spacers, etc. I'm probably going live with it and see if it loosens up in time. Else I might use a thinner spacer on the front docking points, or flex the rear docking points outward.

In order to make this slick, you'll need to provide a way to unplug power leads to the Tour Pak. Then, you'll be able to unscrew the antenna from the Tour Pak, disconnect the antenna lead from the rear mount, unplug the power, pull the Tour Pak off, and screw the antenna into the rear mount.

As it is, there's a plug just inside the Tour Pak you'll need to unplug, then pull the grommet out of the front of the Tour Pak and pull the cables out. A better option is to cut the power cables under the left side of the seat, and install an interlocking connector at a point you can access w/o removing the seat. The parts labeled "HD PHD" in the parts list were available from the dealer. I cut the existing conduit off in order to separate the power leads and the antenna cable. I ran the three power leads back thru the thinner conduit listed in the parts list.

This whole concept opens up lots of options. With two additional mounting points, you can clip on a removable backrest, or backrest/luggage rack combo for the SO. Mount a solo seat for extra poseur points! Or, mount the Tour Pak in just a minute or three.

Riding w/o the Tour Pak is noticeably different. The lower center of gravity makes for considerably less squirrelly slow speed riding, stopping is easier, and it generally makes blasting around corners more fun.



Typos, wrong p/ns and other generally misleading info:

The instructions enclosed with Touring Detachable Tour-Pak Rack (p/n) 53276-04 stated they are for Kit Number 53260-02 (Detachable Solo Tour-Pak Rack) , although the enclosed service parts list was for 53276-04.

The catalog calls for "…appropriate Docking Hardware Kit P/N 53746-97B and P/N 53127-96C." The Tour Pak Rack instruction sheet calls for: "Rear Docking Point Kit (P/N 53127-97C), and Front Docking Point Kit (P/N 53746-97B)." (Note difference in rear docking point P/N). The catalog is correct.

The catalog says "FLTR models require Antenna Relocation Kit P/N 76326-00." The enclosed instruction sheet says "This kit is designed for relocating a fender mounted antenna to a detachable Tour Pak on 1998 and later Road Glide Models." But it works just fine on FLHT models.

Parts needed for Detachable Backrest:

Detachable Short Passenger Sissy Bar Upright 52935-04
Low-Profile Backrest Pad P/N 52697-04
Front Docking Kit P/N 53104-97A
Detachable Docking Hardware Kit P/N 53450-97C.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

EKIII Rides w/ Me

I had to make this run. Eddie, a founding member of r.m.h, was injured in March of 1994 in a motorcycle crash. His friends used the net to raise funds for a conversion van, and the EKIII trust fund continues to provide Eddie support through online auctions and various fund-raisers. See Eddie's story here. In my mind, r.m.h's support to Eddie is a noble story of a group's effort to take care of their own. I had to meet Eddie, and the fine folks who surround him, in real life.
I decided to bring my 13yo, Joey, along for the ride and create some memories. He was all for it.
EKII wheels EKIII into Eddie's Grill
Our concept was to take US 50 well into West Virginia, cut NW on state highways through Maryland's panhandle and into Pennsylvania, skirt the SW side of Pittsburg, then run north along the Ohio River to the campsite. No slabs and lots of ice cream stops.
Most of that worked out.
Friday morning, I slugged down some coffee, packed the bagger with all the essentials, got Joey dressed for battle, and we were on the road by 0530. We hooked up with Ray Burns in Middleburg, just on the edges of the frontier, and the three of us headed into the mountains.
We had just had several days of brutally hot wx, but the front had gone offshore and a high pressure area dominated the mid-Atlantic. Translation: It was friggin' cold! None of us were ready for it. Bank signs reported mid-fifties, and it was colder at altitude. We donned everything we had and just shivered through it.
Ice cream was no longer on the agenda!
But, US 50 through WV is truly one of the GO2Ls. The homeland of the Shawnee Indians, giant hemlocks and great sweepers. It traverses across Appalachians, so it climbs over a ridge, descends into a valley and repeats. It runs through small towns with names like Capon Bridge and Gore which consist of a few homes, a gas station, a tavern, and a post office.
We headed north on WV42 through the Potomac State Forest, crossed the WV/MD state line at Kitzmiller and entered the Laurel Highlands. MD135, US219 and PA281 took us to the National Pike (US 40). Coming down out of the Highlands towards Uniontown, there's signs warning truckers of the long, sweeping, steep grade ahead "Dangerous Mountain!"
Right on!
From there, we heading north on PA18 to US 22 across the Ohio River into Steubenville. That suspension bridge is one hellofa sight. From a few miles out, it looks like a modern representation of a teepee. Going across I could not help but be mesmerized by the symmetry of the design. We followed the Ohio River on OH 7 north to OH 11 all the way north to OH 307 a few miles west of the campsite.
A few miles shy of 307, the skies opened up, sending us for the shelter of an overpass. Wildflower passed by in her cage with the heat on laughing at us. The rains stopped, the sun came out, and we pulled into the campgrounds around 5:00 having ridden ~400 miles.
One bourbon, one scotch, and one beer
Hawgeye performs emergant chrome repair on Doc.  Others supervise. That rain assured a muddy campground, but didn't dampen any spirits. The Enchanted Forest was filled with tents and folks kept pouring in. A truly international event as several Canucks showed up, along with one Kilifornicator. Fires were lit, Ann sprung for pizza, beer was iced down, we got to meet and greet Eddie and to check out his new suave van. Traci's bike needed emergent chrome repair, and a contingent of beer-swillers swooped in to supervise Hawgeye. The newest Asshole™ is admonished for shirking his shitter duties, and proceeds to set new standards for crapper cleanliness. The boys found cool ways to play with fire.
Bear passed around a fine bottle of single malt, which was followed shortly by a bottle of Knob Creek which came outa my saddlebags. Songs were sung, lies swapped, promises were made in the dark.
Run with Eddie
TL gets up early Saturday morning to make coffee and someone allegedly offers to perform unnatural acts as a show of appreciation. Wx was perfect, and round 'bout 11:00, we headed out to Broadfield Manor to pick up Eddie for the run to Geneva on the Lake.
Some 29 bikes rolled down the road in perfect staggered formation with Philly Hoodlums serving as menacing road guards at each intersection.
At Eddie's place, many of the other residents came out to greet the group. Cheryl rolls Eddie out and begins to play "Spin the Eddie" to see who was gonna get to give him a big kiss on the lips. Roger Elmore won. Roach squeezed into Traci's sidecar for a photo op. Eddie got in his van and we were off to Eddie's Grill for burgers, fries and shakes.
Eddie outside Broadfield Manor
Traci says "Chicks dig scars!" That evening, as we settled down to another evening of debauchery, Joey and the boys were stripping bark off sticks to burn some weenies. Joey slips with the knife, and lays his wrist and palm open ... Deep too. Sunshine was an angel of mercy. She assisted with the first aid, and offered a ride to a hospital.
Three hours and eight stitches later, we were back at the campsite. Joey is dubbed The Black Knight ("It's only a flesh wound").
Soon, only Roach, Sunshine, Oboe (ne Nemo) and myself were still stoking the campfire. A bottle of Woodfords was consumed while we tried to remember old Grateful Dead songs, and Roach proved that the blues could indeed be played on a ukulele.
Coffee, black - Stat!
Sunday morning we were all awakened way too early by the malodorous sounds of snoring coming from Oboe's (aka Nemo, aka Foghorn) tent. After coffee and donuts, the Black Knight and I struck camp, said our goodbyes, and hit the road.
It was another perfect day. Sun was shining, the sky was dotted with big puffy cumulus clouds, temperatures were in the mid 70s, and there was no rain in the forecast. Roach's directions to US 322 were spot on. Took OH 46 south out of Jefferson through rolling farmland. Jump on US 6 east at New Lyme. The roadway turns into OH 85 at Andover, while US 6 takes a detour to the north to go around the Pymatuning Reservoir. OH 85 goes straight across the reservoir on a causeway, crosses the PA border, turns into PN 285, links back up with US 6 a few miles to the east and intersects US 322 in Meadville.
The Twenty-Eighth Division Highway, is another GO2L, carved out of the north bank of French creek to the Allegheny River. A great ride through rolling country with gentle sweepers. The route takes you thru towns on good ole Main Street and around traditional town squares. We stopped at a roadside drive-in and had lunch by the creek. At Brookville, we picked up PA 36 south to Punxsutawney - Home of Punxsutawney Phil the famous gopher.
As we were coming into town, a sign indicated a right turn to get to US 119. I probably turned too soon, and we ended up on a two lane country road through a canopied forest, with tight "S" turns along a creek. Joey said "Wow!" We stayed the course and eventually found our way back to US 119. Apparently, my GPGPSPSS was well calibrated, 'cause that side trip was worth the time!
From there we picked up the Buffalo-Pittsburgh Highway (US 119), through the Laurel Highlands. An ice cream stop was indicated at a drive-in where we met an Army Reservist riding his softail home in his cammies from weekend duty. We zig-zaged through the mountains on US 422 and US 219 to PA 56 just south of Johnstown (Flood City). That road runs thru Galitzin State Forest and climbs over Babcock Ridge at 2700' - our highest elevation for the trip. A sign in Bedford County pointed to Snook's covered bridge, and so we took that detour and crossed Dunning's Creek on a 121 year old, burr truss design, covered bridge. Snook's Bridge in Bedford County, PA
At the intersection of PA 56, and US 220, we saw an old gent pulled over looking at his chromed, custom-painted Ultra Glide so we stopped to make sure he was ok. He said he had been out for about three hours and was just checking out the bugs on his windshield. We both agreed that it was a perfect day to be smashing bugs! US 220, aka the Appalachian Thruway, was demoted to the I 99 roadway till I 99 peters out a few miles south of Bedford. From there, it's a great 2 lane through rolling green farmlands, in the narrow Cumberland Valley, down to Cumberland.
After a fried chicken dinner in Cumberland, we crossed the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal into West Virginia, got on WV 28, and rode along the south branch of the Potomac River to Romney, WV. There we picked up US 50 and headed home.Total for the day was about 440 miles with about eleven hours in the saddle.
Total for the trip was just shy of a thousand. Got to meet Eddie and the folks who care for him, saw some old friends, met some new ones, sampled some great whiskeys, rode some great highways, and certainly created some memories for Joey (aka the Black Knight).
Tim Morrow's

The 2004 EKIII No-Slab Route
The route as taken