Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Knees Back In Da Breeze

Rebuilding the Bagger...

Shirley! Line em up .... It's a great day!

Got the phone call on my way to work - "Yer bike's ready!" Yee-haw! Just meant turning right instead of left after gettin' across the Potomac ... It was a warm, sunny morning, I'd been getting around w/o that cane for almost a week, I had ridin' gear in the Jeep just for such a contingency, and work could wait!

I may be getting ahead of myself ... For those who havn't been listening, My bagger was all but totalled down in Daytona. Click [here] for that story.

When I got to Harley of Washington, their detailin' guy was soaping her up, so I settled up and loaded the jeep with all the damaged parts - fender, tank, fairing, handlebars, saddlebags (one's in better shape than the other), mufflers ... It filled the Jeep.

They did a great job, every little thing that might have been forgotten, left off or lost had been transferred to the new frame or replaced. Even my old throttle rocker made it! I shirley didn't make it easy for them. Since damaged parts were gonna be replaced anyway, might as while replace them with, er, more functional stuff. So, I worked with Matt to modify the parts list more than a just little bit. V&H true dual headers, extended reach brake pedal, swept wing passenger footrests w/streamliner inserts (sure to raise the brows of the "chrome don't get you home" crowd), braided stainless brake, throttle and clutch cables ... Since she was gonna be in there waiting on parts anyway, I figured I might as well punch her out to 95ci, put in a pair of cast flat-top pistons, SE 204 cams, a skinny head gasket, and a brandy-new PCIII ...

Just to help me get over my pain & suffering don't you know?

I got back to the shop as she was being buffed out. Beautiful. My heart was fluttering. John (the wrench) had executed it all flawlessly! I slapped on my lid, fired her up and headed for work ... the long way, of course. With the new engine work, I gotta break her in all over again so I resisted the almost overwhelming temptation to get on her. But it was a warm, beautiful spring morning, rush hour was over and I had the roads damned near to myself.

God it felt good to have my knees back in the breeze!

Couldn't get a lick of meaningful work done that day. When knock-off time finally came, I hopped on and headed the wrong way home - down a long parkway, into the country, through rolling hills and farm country till it was time to head home.

I took a bottle of Jack back to John as a token of my appreciation ...

Oh, just about a year later, I took her to Al's American Iron outside of Grand Rapids - an offishul Power Commander Tuning Center. Al got me 91 ft/lbs of torque right at 3200 rpm - an improvement of 12.58 ft/lbs. I was concerned that eliminating the crossover was gonna cause a dip in the tq curve, but it comes on quick, there's a very slight dip around 3800 and then she slowly looses steam from 4000 on. Air/fuel is a little lean at cruising rpms, and is richer from 3200 on. The tuning provided a noticable seat of the pants improvement, and we'll see what kinda milage I get on the road to MAMBM.

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